Normally at this time on my blog I have lots of things to talk about regarding the E3 proceedings. I have been watching like I always do and have managed to catch Bethesda, Microsoft, Sony, Ubisoft, and the PC Gaming show. I missed the Nintendo show but have caught most of the trailers that might be important to me on YouTube. There is just an overwhelming feeling of blah this year when it comes to the shows. There isn’t a whole lot new that I didn’t already at least know was in the works. There were no shock announcements, and even the ones that were supposed to be… like the Hideo Kojima creepy dude with tiny baby dripping oil on a beach game where just the end of a logical conclusion. We knew in no circumstances was he going to stay out of the game after the whole Konami break up, and I assumed that even though PT/Silent Hill fell through that he and Norman Reedus would work together on something. Basically it feels like all of the secrets were either foregone conclusions or something we heard about months ago. Maybe if I read fewer gaming news sites, or watched fewer YouTube videos I would feel differently about the proceedings this year. It just all feels like an off year to me, with a bunch of predictable games and a very few things that make me extremely excited. In past years I could declare a clear winner but in truth… while I lean heavily towards the games that appeared at the Bethesda show, both Microsoft and Sony seemed to create similarly mediocre experiences.
I think the big problem for me with this show is that I am not that interested in Virtual Reality as a whole. As I have said before this is a technology that has been “within five years” of mass adoption my entire life. There is always a new peddler of these dreams, and while I think that probably we are the closest we have ever been… I just can’t seem to muster any excitement about it. Namely my problem is the massive price point, and realizing that quite honestly I would rather spend that money elsewhere. Currently the cheapest offering is the $399 Playstation VR, and it is going to offer a sub par graphical experience so that it can keep the hardware costs down. The HTC Vive so far seems to be coming out of the show the clear winner, with games like Fallout 4 already being announced for that platform. It seems like the Occulus Rift is behind the eight ball in so many ways right now, with the production problems… and kickstarter folks still not having gotten their units. They also lack a solid 3D controller design, which the Vive already has locked down pretty tightly. Were I single… I would probably be all over this, but as a husband who already feels guilty for isolating himself in a game… spending over $1000 on computer upgrades to give myself an experience that is even MORE isolating just doesn’t seem like something that is going to happen. However it seems like the majority of folks are really excited about these prospects so time will see if they can bring down the cost of entry enough to reach mass market saturation.
The Best of Shows
As far as games I am looking forward to… after the recent play through of Dishonored I am extremely looking forward to the sequel. That game was phenomenal and it looks like they are taking the sequel in some interesting directions with having split characters you can play with completely different tool sets. I am looking forward to the Skyrim remaster, and am extremely pumped that they are giving it to PC users for free pending we had the game and all of the available dlc… which I do. Now a game that I am surprised I am into… is Let it Die for the PS4. I am largely over the whole gore thing… but it has this almost silent hill feel to it as you start with nothing at all and have to kill baddies to gather up weapons and armor as you try and climb a tower. The premise is kinda dumb admittedly, but I watched some game play of it on one of the live stream shows and it looked interesting. Horizon Zero Dawn once again showed well, and I am looking forward to seeing this game launch. That said I think it would be a title I would enjoy playing more on the PC than on the PS4 but time will tell. Recore also showed well once again, and this time I am pumped that they announced that it would be coming to Windows 10… giving me even less reason to care about an Xbox One. The highlight of any show was likely the announcement of State of Decay 2, because the game is finally adding multiplayer support.
From Nintendo I am all about the look and feel and game play of the new Legend of Zelda game and I am thankful that I went ahead and picked up that Wii U. Then of course there are the disappointments. We all go into the Bethesda conference hoping for an Elder Scrolls VI announcement, even though I doubted that would be the case given that last year they launched Fallout 4 and are still working their way through the expansions. I still really don’t know much more about Mass Effect Andromeda than I did going into the show, which is frustrating. I’ve technically seen more of the game thanks to the trailer, but I really don’t know much knew. Then there are all the games that we didn’t see… like Beyond Good and Evil 2 that has been on again and off again for a decade. I guess the problem is that other than State of Decay 2… I really didn’t have any “Hell Yeah!” moments during the show. There was nothing I was seeing that excited me so much as to make me day dream about playing the game I was just seeing. I guess it makes sense… we are just far enough into a console cycle for things to start to feel visually samey… and not far enough for folks to have really mastered the art of pushing this generation to its limits. The problem there being that with the talk of increasing console resources… it makes me wonder if we will ever reach that point with this generation. Consoles seem to be treading upon the realm of PC gaming… where the experience becomes extremely variable based upon how much money you throw at the problem, and I am not entirely certain that is a good thing.
Now for a bunch of trailers that I happened to like this time around…