Bombs dropped. Games revealed. Shocks! Drama! Exclusives! Hardware! Prices! Games Games Games! It's that most fantabulous time of the year, everyone - The Electronic Entertainment Expo is truly upon us after an incredible first day. Let's ride that hype train all the way into this week's jam-packed Tuesday Game Room!
What have you been playing this week?
In between going 'oh god, do I want to turn on my PS3 for the first time in 2 years just for The Last of Us', I've been falling into a pretty deep hole with Marvel Heroes, that new Free to Play Diablo-esque game.
I say free to play, considering I threw down the equivalent of $20 of in-game cashola to play as my beloved Spider-Man instead of one of the free heroes (Scarlet Witch, Thing, Hawkeye, Daredevil and Storm) because I love him. But that said, only him and Iron Man are $20 - the rest of the other paid heroes are between $6-12, which kind of peeved me. I don't see why Spidey is 3 times the price of, say, Black Widow. He's pretty fun to play though, I've specced him into a lot of melee moves and web-based stuns and slows, and thank to some resilient gear, he's a surprisingly tanky incarnation of the Spectacular Spider-Man. Also, one of the abilities in his tech tree that I just unlocked makes it so that, upon successfully dodging an attack (and Spidey's dodge chance is already exceptionally high), Peter has a chance to debilitate the attacker with a witty quip, lowering their speed and attack rate significantly.
Which is awesome.
It might be E3 this week, but that doesn't stop the releases! The 3DS gets a nice shot in the arm with Animal Crossing: New Leaf, which came out in America last Sunday before making its way to European shores this Friday. Also on Friday, world-wide, the new PS3 exclusive from Uncharted creators Naughty Dog is finally out: The Last of Us, high on a wave of stunningly glowing reviews, intends to worm its way into your conciousness.
In terms of Digital Downloads, kooky looking first person punchup Zeno Clash II makes its way to XBLA after its recent PC debut, and Mighty Switch Force 2, sequel to the popular 3DSware sidescroller hits the eShop.
And now, the News: Hyper E3 Recap Turbo Remix Edition
This is usually where I'd post some News from the last week, but who needs that when he had ALL THAT INCREDIBLE NEWS FROM E3!? Instead, here's a recap of what went down at each of the big pressers:
- Games Games Games! - Ryse. Dead Rising 3. D4. MGS V. Forza. Halo: Poncho Edition. World of Tanks. Below. Killer Instinct (it's 2013 and a new Killer Instinct is coming out, what in the holy hell!). Turns out Microsoft weren't kidding when they said they were going to focus on games at E3. I enjoyed most of what they showed, too, lots of nuggets of variety and interesting ideas hidden amongst some of the duller looking stuff. But yeah, turns out this Video Game Console has a lot of video games!
- Money Money Money! - Xbox Live Gold still costs $60/£40 (although the retired 'family subscription' of old seems to have been reintegrated as default, which is nice), the surprise new 360 remodel doesn't come with a price cut, and the big whopper: $499 for the XB1 this November. That's a lot of money, but it then gets even worse for Europeans, with a grossly increased 499 Euro price tag, and the obscene £429 UK tag. The games were cool, but not cool enough to justify paying over £100 more than American gamers will pay for XB1.
- The PS4 kinda looks like a slanted Xbox One: Now there's a turn up for the books. It's scary how alike those designs are. They're both gorgeous looking pieces of tech though.
- Games Games Games! Sony Edition!: Although in honesty, I was less impressed with Sony's stable of exclusives for the PS4, they put out a solid catalogue of game reveals this year. Steampunky shooting in The Order, a veritable cavalcade of Indie titles, and dropped bombs from Square-Enix with Final Fantasy Versus XIII becoming the Fifteenth official title, and Kingdom Hearts finally making it to game three. And what a way to cap it off other than the awesome gameplay reveal for Destiny, which looks FAAAAAAAANTASTIC (terrible faux-banter from Bungie aside - PUBLIC EVENT!!!).
- Sony goes Tron, fighting for the User: You can't see my face. But it is still shocked right now, a day later. JAW DROPPED. I was not expecting them to say anything about Playstation's Online and Used policies, and if they did, I was expecting something incredibly similar to Microsoft - but holy hell, they singlehandedly destroyed Microsoft's chances of improving their PR situation, just by firmly sticking to the current generation's guns and having no System-level Always Online or Used Games DRM. It's a move that will vastly pay off for Sony and the PS4 in the minds of many, and it may just have doomed the Xbox One in the eyes of the hardcore in the process.
- Sony wins the price war: As if it couldn't get worse for Microsoft publicity-wise, Sony also undercut them by $100 too, with single SKU price of $399 for the PS4. Incredible. It was Sony's victory to take, and they just didn't take it, they systematically went for Microsoft's Jugular! Time will tell what this does for the Xbox One's image as we lead up to the holiday release season, but I imagine there's a lot of bewildered people up in Redmond after last night.
- The Wii U gets a shot in the arm: As ever, it's more of the same from Nintendo, but it's a good same. They're bearing of the full brunt of their storied IPs at the Wii U over the next year, with a new Super Mario, the gorgeous Wind Waker HD, Donkey Kong Country and Mario Kart all making their way to the system. And Thanks for making me remember you got Bayonetta 2, Nintendo, dammit.
- ... but what about 3DS?: The biggest disappointment for me, however, was the utter neglect during Nitendo Direct itself of what is arguably the big cheese for Nintendo Hardware right now, the 3DS. Passing mention of third party titles like Shin Megami Tensei IV and Arkham ports, as well as the reveal of Smash Bros. For 3DS are all well and good, but I'm disappointed there wasn't more news for the handheld. No sign of the new Pokémon trailer there, for reals!? Baffling decision to show the 3DS content just by youtube trailer dumps.
- The awkwardly named Smash Bros. games get Animal Crossing guy... and MEGAMAN!?: Insert George Takei 'Oh My!' pic here.
- Oh god, shut up about Sports already! - More than a third, hell, almost half of this damned conference was dedicated to celebrities spouting bullshit about sports games. Ugh. So... pointless. Hey, sports games in 2014: they'll be a lot like the sports games that came out in 2013. And 2012. And 2011. And so on. Is it entirely necessarily to get Drake out to wax poetical about Football!?
- None Shall be Untouched by the Fires (or AT-ATs) Above - It wasn't all bad though. DICE teased the fact that yes, they're making Star Wars: Battlefront, as well as showing a big-ass skyscraper falling to bits in a Battlefield 4 MP demo. And Bioware unveiled the delicious Dragon Age Inquisition. Morrigan and Varric, two great tastes that taste great together! And then this happened...
- Gotta have Faith-a-Faith-a-Faith - Mirror's Edge 2. #micdrop
- Well that was... French: From Aisha Tyler's '#girlwood' T-Shirt, to Yves Guillemot's delightfully charming accent, to a Rabbids animated TV show for Nickelodeon, to Jerry goddamn Cantrell introducing Rocksmith, Ubisoft once again delivered a conference that was just wonderfully weird. Tyler was once again a brilliant host, unchained from last year's disastrous partnership with Youtube 'Celebrity' Toby Turner, handling the ridiculous whimsy of Ubisoft with aplomb as she towered over everyone else who took the stage. Literally. That woman is tall.
- More of the same, but the good same: A lot of the presser though, felt like games that we'd known about, and seen, last year. Rayman Legends, delayed perpetually, received not one but two trailers, and Blacklist, Assassin's Creed, Stick of Truth, and Watch_Dogs (yes, it still looks amazing) all returned for the trailer circuit. It's kind of a shame there wasn't so much new from Ubisoft. That's not to say there weren't new titles though - The Crew, a new, Driver-esque multiplayer racer was announced, as was a new 2014 sequel for perennial top-seller Just Dance. And Two new Trials games were revealed, huzzah!
- Ubisoft corner the market on near-future Western paranoia: First Watch_Dogs commenting on our always connected society, and now Tom Clancy's The Division, Massive Entertainment's MMO-esque take on American society in the throes of a disastrous pandemic. And it looks pretty goddamn cool you guys.
What an E3, and we're only on the official Day One! Titans have risen and fallen, games have been revealed, and some of the most groud breaking shocks in recent Game Industry history have rolled out. This will be an event to remember, game fans.
We'll be back this time next Tuesday for more gaming discussion, but for now, sound off in the comments with the games you've been playing, what you're looking forward to this week, and what you thought so far of this stellar E3!