Mr Teatime makes weird looks in E3 2015’s direction – Part 1
Tea: Green Coconut Sencha Tea
Another year another E3 and with it more games and unreliable trailers. This year might have been one of the leakiest E3s ever, seeing as most of the surprises where already known beforehand. So let’s get through this swamp of incoherency. I will do this conference after conference and talk about anything that interested me, so if you are missing anything from your list it probably wasn’t on mine.
Bethesda had already played their big card before the event: Fallout 4. I personally want to say I have no interest in this game. Never having played any Fallout game might sound hypocritical, but they just never appealed to me in any way. Brown and uninspired nuclear wasteland is just not that amazing. People praise the atmosphere and maybe you need to spend some time with it, but I can’t for the life of me get myself to pick it up. The story looks uninspired to say the last, nuclear apocalypse is not exactly the invention of the wheel. People usually bring up the same argument when I proclaim that I wasn’t big on Skyrim either. There is a thing as a too-open world. There is so much unused space and endless walking/riding. It is a forge-your-own-adventure kind of thing, but I would rather be intrigued by a story rather than write one myself. Engage me, game! Next one: Doom. A rare case of showing too much gameplay. Normally this conference are a desert of gameplay videos and sand being the CG trailers. I usually prefer the former to the latter, but this year I discovered that there is a good amount of gameplay and Doom went well beyond that. Nine minutes of gameplay may sound exciting, but I got bored after just three of it. The game loses its appeal rather fast, as it is very repetitive and just keeps shoving its uber-violent imagery in your face. I liked the fact that there are health and armour pick-ups, in this day of regenerating health this is a rare sight. Other than that it is far more classic-Doom than Doom 3, which was basically System Shock 2. The new game they announced was Dishonoured 2: Now I was really looking forward to Dishonoured at the time of its release and was ultimately disappointed. This has to do with a bigger gripe: Bethesda, why can’t I play my game in the language I prefer? Why do you force your horrible German version on me when I am fully capable of understanding the English one? I know of no other company that does that! But I digress. Dishonoured 2 had a CG trailer so they might as well have just said that there is a second part and just as much would have been known. The new powers look weirdly inorganic as they transform the body far more than in the first part. Hardly exciting though as it just seems like more of the same. But that might sum up Bethesda’s conference quite well: More of the same.
Microsoft the masters of back-paddling did honour their title again this year. After announcing the Xbone as the “all in one entertainment system” and then figuring out that this is not particularly attractive for gamers they made sure to appear as much as a gaming console as possible this year. At least they stopped with the ridiculous trope of calling it “The One”. Nobody does this Microsoft, nobody, except the people you pay money to and even they have to gag afterwards. They unveiled their backwards compatibility patch. A step I view with respect, but ultimately don’t really get. If you have a 360 games and didn’t throw your console out the window the moment Microsoft announced the next one. It would be great for downloadable games, but I guess it saves the trouble of having to switch ports if you are too lazy to get off your couch for five seconds. Backwards compatibility in general is a good thing so credit where credit is due. Along with that they showed the elite controller. So if you want to be cool and elite you better put down 150$ or you are a backwater peasant with no skill. Honestly, creating a new controller is a nice thing, but just shows how lacking the original controller apparently is. Besides, I have no complaints with the controller shape as it is. What else could we need? Oh a touchpad, the vital accessory Sony has in the centre already and that gets barely used. This, of course, should appeal to the hardcore-gamer crowd once more. So if your ego hinges on the fact that you have a controller that looks like its directional inputs have been censored as it is too obscene to show and its only real improvement is the word “elite” at the front then Christmas has come early, I suppose.
Surprisingly Microsoft also showed some games, but hardly anything worth mentioning. Halo 5, the franchise so stale they wouldn’t dare to alter the slightest thing as to not alienate the core-fan base, who might have a heart attack if one game is not exactly like the other. A franchise I cannot take seriously right from the start. A characters named Masterchief is not a character name. That is a power-fantasy name for 12 year old boys. They might as well have called him Soldierman, or Shootguy. Anyway, if you are into Sci-Fi shooters that are at least colourful and not endlessly brown and grey, this might be your thing. The next sequel in line is Gears 4, not even Gears of War 4, oddly enough. That is fucking confusing in my opinion. So there is no war? Are we going to start one and just disrupt the working society of another subterranean species? Everybody simply called it Gears, I am well aware of that, but abbreviating your title like this just seems like you are trying too hard to get closer to your crowd. It’s like making another sequel to Indiana Jones and just calling it Indy 5. Anyway, Gears is the original cover based shooter, or to be more precise the original sin. It must be congratulated for starting such a trend and at the same time burned in the market square for the exact same reason. The gameplay throughout the series remained the same with no and I mean NO innovation. “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” must have been the propaganda message painted on every surface in the developers office.
And the last game I am going to talk about for Microsoft’s conference: Rise of the Origin of the Uncharted Tomb Raider Reboot Resurrection. Undoubtedly the winner of the worst sequel name in a long time. They showed off a “gameplay trailer” in massive quotation marks, as it basically boiled down to: walk a linear path à cutscene à climb a linear path à cutscene. Pardon me if I am not impressed, but I always suppose I get to play a game when I put a disc into my system. Other than that it seems to follow the formula of the first game: Watching Lara Croft get the shit kicked out of her, while still somehow being alive at the end of the game. I didn’t expect much and didn’t get much.
Next on the list is lord of money hording himself: EA. The biggest announcement was, I suppose, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst. Mirror’s Edge was the game that introduced a lot of gamers to the concept of motion sickness. Even the trailer alone turned me off. First person perspective and precise platforming simply don’t go together very well. The hyper futuristic setting didn’t show much originality as well. I also don’t get why the evil-corporation-enemy-soldier-generic-enemies don’t just pull out some guns and start punching holes in the main characters, like an enraged office worker into a stack of forms. But instead choose to fist-fight this parkour master. Not tempted EA, what else have you got up your sleeve and don’t even dare to show me those yearly sports games you keep vomiting out. “Ok”, says EA “how about another Mass Effect game?” I have actually heard good things about Mass Effect and the trailer was somewhat exciting, at least the first half of it. Even though it was mainly to show of new environments, but I can deal with that. Other than that I require gameplay to judge whether I will actually play this one or not.
Last one for EA was the big nerd hook: Star Wars Battlefront (3, maybe? But numerical titles are for boring people who like their shelves properly ordered, I suppose). I can’t really say I was excited by this presentation. It just looked like a shooter with Star Wars sound effects. Yes, you can play as both a Jedi and a Sith, but the whole thing is played so safe it is laughable. No risk taking, everything in accordance with the original trilogy. Everything was so bland and unoriginal. It was just what I had expected when they announced it. Shiny graphics and nothing more. *Yawn* For a massive universe full of possibilities they sure are re-treading the same ground a lot.
That about does it for part 1 of my E3 coverage. Look forward to the sequel coming as soon as I can manage to actually write it. With Sony, Ubisoft, Nintendo, and Square Enix. Alongside with my opinion on Dark Souls 3 and why I love Metal Gear Solid V trailers, but will definitely not buy the game.