Yesterday, I mind-melded with CD Projekt CEO and owner of the most victorious last name ever, Marcin Iwinski, on all things Cyberpunk. Also, DRM. However, with those topics covered and safely underneath fluffy wordblankets of information, the conversation weaved its way toward the next natural stop. I’m speaking, of course, of Westeros. Read on for Iwinski’s thoughts concerning parallels between The Witcher and Game of Thrones, the male-driven nature of geek culture, and where E3’s utterly archaic reliance on booth babes and titillation fits into that.
Posts Tagged ‘E3 2012’
RPS Feature CDP At E3, Pt 2
RPS Feature Fluffy Dimension: Behind The Seams
It’s the final day of E3. Most attendees have died exhausted and alone, with only XXXL shirts and fliers for NOS energy drinks as bartering chips in their bid to enter the pearly gates of the great beyond. I shuffle into a tiny booth cubicle – technically for an appointment, but mostly in vain hope of discovering some hidden developer pillow mountain. Inside, I instead find Quantum Conundrum mastermind Kim Swift… excitedly chatting with Square Enix PR about Left 4 Dead, energized as someone who just woke up from being frozen in a block of ice for thousands of years.
It was pretty surprising at the time – given that she was coming off not only a grueling E3 but also an entire development cycle. But then, I suppose there’s a sort of giddy limit-defying elation in finally crossing the finish line. And, as Swift went on to tell me, she got to do it her way – even with a titan as large as Square Enix looming over the production. Which is kind of incredible, when you think about it. So then, how did all of this come about?
RPS Feature Metro Interview, Pt 2
On Friday, I picked Metro: Last Light communication lead Huw Beynon’s brain about wising up to the fact that players don’t want “dumbed down” games and, er, wrote an ode to a gas mask. It’s incredibly promising things like these that set Metro apart, and yet – this time around – it’s opting to hop aboard the multiplayer train, which also contains, oh, you know, the entire gaming industry. But why? And how will this affect 4A’s laser-sighted focus on single-player? Meanwhile, in the last leg of this last part of this Last Light interview: games journalists howling like giant monstrosities while 4A pretended to shoot them. Seriously. It’s all after the break.
RPS Feature Metro Interview, Pt 1
Metro 2033 had its fair share of rough edges. Shooting was clunky, some systems felt overly complex, and others were so under-explained that many players didn’t even know they existed. Even so, a lot of love obviously went into the construction of its bombed-to-the-brink-of-extinction post-apocalyptic Russia. In smoothing out rough edges, however, many other game series have opted to lop off entire aspects of what made them so great – generally in the nebulous name of “accessibility.”
4A Games, though, doesn’t believe that’s necessary. In fact, according to communications lead Huw Beynon, Last Light‘s adding – not subtracting. So then, how exactly will that work? And, if this is something that’s in such high demand, why aren’t more developers trying it? Read on for answers to those questions and many more.
RPS Feature Deep Breaths
When I walked into the E3 demo room for Metro 2033 sequel Last Light, I was immediately presented with a small, thin military-green bag. Inside it, I found an actual, factual gas mask – sturdy yet pliable, and reeking of fresh-off-the-assembly-line rubber. It might seem like a curious object to take home from a gaming convention, but given the events that unfolded during Last Light’s demo, I can’t think of anything more fitting. So what follows is the story of a videogame. And also a gas mask.
RPS Feature Crafting Croft
Tomb Raider‘s demo made me realize something: it’d be a stretch to call what we do in games killing. I mean, yeah, we’re probably the only medium that can (and frequently does) tout multiple physics systems specifically capable of calculating the way bullet-perforated brain bits dance majestically through the air. But really, all we’re doing is knocking down hyper-detailed action figures. We pull the trigger or aim the bow or bury the shank in a fertile bed of neckflesh, and they go down. Then we move on to the next faceless thug, rinse our knives, and repeat.
The Tomb Raider scene I sat in on during E3 really struck me because it didn’t let Lara cut people (or animals) down and then continue gleefully on her way. Death is messy and scary and awful. While the Nathan Drakes and Persian Princes of the world slay 300 people and then sweep corpses under a rug with a dumb joke, Lara – intentionally or not – sticks around for her victims’ final moments. I guess what I’m saying is, I sympathized with an irredeemable, cold-blooded murderer and, er, some random deer. They died scared and spittle-soaked and alone, and I really didn’t feel good about that.
RPS Feature Molyneux 2: Electric Boogaleux
So then, cubes. Admittedly, they’ve been closely associated with games before, but during E3, Peter Molyneux told us about his ambitious plan to think outside the box by putting a mysterious item inside a box. As is typically the case with the extremely excitable mind behind Populous, Black & White, and Fable, it all sounds gleefully insane, and it showed in his blindingly sunny demeanor. Today, though, we discuss darker, more sinister things. Social games, for instance, and indie developers’ place at the kiddie table during shows like E3. OK, fine, we also discuss more cubes.
As it stands, Hawken is the story of a few robots shooting a few other robots. Perhaps there’s subtext and pentameter and denouements underneath it all, but right now, this is far from the Black Swan of artfully destructive mecha-ballets – let alone the Nutcracker. A recent live-action trailer, however, suggested that – for probably the first time in history – there’s more than meets the eye to robots. And, if the folks at Adhesive Games have it their way, there’ll be even more where that came from.
RPS Feature E3 2012 Diary
For whatever reason, the conclusion to this year’s E3 found me sitting in a retro-style 1950s American diner. Brain nearly as fried as the egg on my sandwich, I couldn’t help but zone out for worryingly long spells while reintroducing my body to the concept of nourishment. During my brief moments of lucidity, however, I noticed that game developers were just sort of appearing – like drops of water beading on a glass that also played Elvis’ rendition of “Hound Dog.” Turns out, they were flocking from a party one building away. What happened next was, well, kind of incredible.
RPS Feature Unsyndicated
Peter Molyneux is excited. It’s early in the morning of E3’s notoriously draining day two, but it certainly doesn’t show. The god of god games seems energized and animated – reinvigorated, even. Admittedly, this is a man who – in the past – has been known to become lightheaded at the prospect of hyper-realistic videogame acorns, but there’s substance behind the passion this time around. After years of being caught up in triple-A content churn, Molyneux’s finally doing everything his way. His team, his project, and – perhaps most importantly – his wildest ideas.
Will they even stick, though? Can his 22 seemingly abstract experiments be fun? Should they be? Will this gigantic cannonball into the deep end of gaming’s least charted waters even make any money? For now, these questions couldn’t be further from Molyneux’s mind. In his own words, he’s “just experimenting,” and – while many of his former colleagues continue to stick to game development’s straight-and-narrow – he has no idea what he’ll find. So, near the ruins of what appeared to be a truly formidable breakfast, he and I chatted about that.
RPS Feature Cyrodiil Welcomes Careful Grinders
If you’ve only got 15 minutes to wow a crowd, it stands to reason that you’d unload your biggest guns until even the most ardent doubters would have no choice but to fly a white flag with your face on it. Elder Scrolls Online‘s E3 presentation, then, was worrisome. The action-based combat looked hollow and unconvincing, and we spent the bulk of our time watching a perplexingly un-Elder-Scrolls-like quest chain involving ghosts, time travel, and “collect X amount of Y item” prompts unfold. Meanwhile, the potentially unique three-way factional PvP battles got a chaotic 45-second flyby video that looked like what’d happen if an upturned anthill learned magic.
But then, let’s face it: even at their best, MMOs don’t demo well. That in mind, I attempted to get a clearer picture from creative director Paul Sage. So then, what exactly sets TESO apart from a legion of increasingly same-y looking online worlds? Can we mix and match classes as we see fit? Can we slaughter random NPCs? Does TESO stand a chance in a hostile MMO landscape that’s even chewed up SWTOR? And, most importantly, will there be books? It’s all after the break.
Paradox’s latest trailer for A Game Of Dwarves shows us the antagonist in the game – mages! Dastardly wizards, it seems, are responsible for dwarven hardships, and it’ll presumably be the becowled-ones that you’ll be taking on as you carve your kingdoms. The presentation of the backstory as a bedtime story is cute, too. Which sort of sums up this entire “if Bullfrog made dwarf fortress” sort of affair…
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The Ladies & Gentlemen aboard the VG247 newsblimp have beamed up another interesting minor announcement, which is that Shiver Games’ spooky Omen-like horror game Lucius, in which you play a demon-child offing people in a country house, is to arrive in October. It’s an open world thing, which gives you the run of the house, allowing you some invention in how you kill off characters before your journey to hell. Looks both worrying and intriguing.
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