Posts Tagged ‘E3 2015’

Shenmue 3 Smashes Records, Finishes On Over $6 Million

And so the unassailable Kickstarter hall of fame receives another member. Perhaps this one will actually ever be released? Shenmue 3 [Kickstarter] has finished its monumental run on the crowdfunding service at $6,333,295, making it far and away the most-funded game project and the sixth most on the entire service. The next slot up is the mighty(?) Ouya at over eight million, so not exactly close. Now begins the long, slow process of getting disappointed development with release still planned for December 2017.

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Sword Coast Legends: Being Bullied By Rats

Hey, you forgot your scythe

Sword Coast Legends [official site] was one of my favourite experiences at E3. In a little booth off the main show floor, the developers are demo-ing their D&D game’s dungeon master mode. I’ve only recently dipped a toe into D&D with a tabletop campaign but it’s been excellent fun so far and I was curious as to how the mode would measure up.

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Deus Ex: Mankind Divided: An Interview About Jensen 2.0

“Deus Ex meets District 9” is how the company described Deus Ex: Mankind Divided [official site] during a demo I attended at E3. Set two years after Human Revolution, Mankind Divided showcases a society still deeply fearful after the Aug Incident where mechanically augmented people turned violent, stripped of self-control after a signal deliberately interfered with their in-built bio-chips. The scale of the incident means augmentations are now viewed with suspicion and augmented people treated as outcasts. Adam Jensen himself is working as a counter-terrorist agent fighting some of the resultant crime. Well. That’s his day job. He secretly believes the task force was set up by the Illuminti for a different purpose and is working to take them down.

“He’s a tool and a weapon,” is executive game director Jean-François Dugas’ analysis of this Adam Jensen.

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The Banner Saga 2: On Combat And Continuity

Like Graham after a few shandies

I arrived a few minutes early for a Banner Saga 2 [official site] interview with Stoic’s artist Arnie Jorgensen and writer Drew McGee at E3 so I set my bags down and walked over to a vacant demo computer. The game is the second of Stoic’s planned trilogy and I’ve only played half of the first Banner Saga so I was a little cautious – what if there were spoilers?

Curiosity won out and OH GOD THERE WERE SPOILERS!

With that in mind, if you’ve not played or finished the first game and wish to avoid spoilers just bookmark this for later:

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Over-Optimism: Ubisoft Learning From Watch Dogs Demo

Watch Dogs did not look like this.

You know how trailers of work-in-progress games sometimes look better than the finished game? That’s largely because they’re unfinished, unoptimised, and running on production hardware, so no one’s yet ordered folks to beat the beautiful out of them so they’ll actually run. It’s misleading, and while it does build anticipation it also leads to crushing disappointment. Ubisoft have felt that wave of disappointment crash over their faces, which is why they say they’re stopping doing that.

In an interview with The Guardian, Ubi head honch Yves Guillemot said that the company were overambitious with early displays of Watch Dogs, but their E3 2015 showings were the real deal.

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No Man’s Sky Interview: Sean Murray Vs The Hype Train

Cake versus pie. Pie versus cake.

Whilst at E3 I spent an hour with Sean Murray, managing director over at Hello Games. We were talking about No Man’s Sky [official site]. Well, we were mostly talking about No Man’s Sky. I had to cut a surprisingly lengthy discussion of whether cake was better than pie (it isn’t). The thing about No Man’s Sky which is most interesting to me right now is how Hello Games – Murray in particular – are trying to deal with audience expectations, shifting them from hype and projected desire to excited realism.

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Hitman Interview: “The Aspiration Is To Build The Perfect Hitman Game”

Front row, obviously. What? No. I'm definitely a fashiopn blogger.

The Hitman [official site] trailer shown at E3 gave a promising tease for a game which is provoking anxiety as well as anticipation. The sentiment I’ve heard echoing through editorials and comment sections boils down to “more Blood Money, less Absolution, please” but IO Interactive’s creative director, Christian Elverdam hopes to marry the best of both games, distilling them to find the essence of Hitman. Eau d’Assassin, perhaps?

“We’re trying to distil the essence of [Hitman],” Elverdam tells me. “We’ve been doing Hitman for fifteen years and we felt we had a chance now to try to build… I wouldn’t say the perfect hitman game, but the aspiration is to build the perfect Hitman game.”

We’re sitting in a little room at the back of the Square Enix booth a little removed from the scrum of the E3 show floor. Elverdam is about to take Agent 47 to a Parisian fashion show in an enormous mansion – possibly an art gallery. It’s at this swanky gathering that you’ll attempt to find a way to take out a gentleman by the name of Viktor Novikov.

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Master of Orion: A Hands-Off Peek

Vroom vroom!

Remake or reboot? That’s the question I asked Jacob Beucler, director of global operations at Wargaming during an E3 demonstration of Master of Orion [official site].

“Definitely a reboot,” he says. “We’re taking things very seriously in terms of what made this franchise great.” By this he means Master of Orion and its first sequel, not the curious but problematic Master of Orion 3 (which our Adam likes to pretend never even happened).

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Cyberwizards & Robobees In 13 Mins Of Cod Blops 3 Co-op

I'm a mechanical- I'm a mechanical- I'm a mechanical man.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 [official site] turns soldiers into cyberwizards with dominion over cyberbrains and robobees, but does that make the game much different from any other CoD, Blops or otherwise? For the first ten minutes of a new thirteen-minute gameplay trailer showing off four-player co-op, the answer appears to be no. Soldiers run along corridors in a sandy city and shout and shoot and there’s a cinematic where a man dies and oh it’s so very tragic. The final three minutes, however, venture into one of the boss battle arenas, and that looks a whole lot more fun.

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Secret Clubhouse: Guild Wars 2 Expansion’s Guild Halls

You and your Guild Wars 2 [officail site] guildmates will get a secret clubhouse to hang out in with the Heart of Thorns expansion, as it reintroduces guild halls from the first game. They’ll be a lot swankier this time around, involving a lot more work and giving you more to do as you build and customise them, as developers ArenaNet have explained in great detail following an E3 announcement. Eight chunky blog posts tell exactly what you can expect as a guild member when it comes to the new guild housing situation and how it now fits into the game’s storyline.

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Adorable Enter the Gungeon Revealed To Have Co-Op

A whale of a time

Look at those cutesy little bullets. Look at that bullet bishop. Has flaming, plasma death ever been so saccharine? (Don’t answer that.) In case you didn’t know, Enter the Gungeon [official site] is an upcoming shoot-everything-up from Dodge Roll Games and Devolver Digital, and it is more than likely already going to be badass. But such experiences are never complete without the company of your best friend. Which is exactly what Enter the Gungeon apparently has! (We did not know it had co-op before. Suspected, maybe. But did not know for sure.)

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The Crew: Wild Summit Expansion Adding Monster Trucks

Monster mash-up

High-octane vehicular chases always seem so dangerous to me. Which is why I’m rather grateful for games like The Crew, which allows you to engage in your most absurd speed fantasies without risking being turned into a pancake. And with the The Crew‘s [official site] newly-announced expansion Wild Run [look, we’re catching up on a few E3 things -ed.], you’ll be able to diversify this experience even further.

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God Foot: Total War Warhammer’s Wonderfully Weird Units

When I go to watch the Creative Assembly team show off units from their upcoming Total War: Warhammer [official site] game, what really sticks out to me is the sense of humour. I’ve been to Total War previews before and the emphasis is very definitely on serious historical epic battles. This time around I watch a goblin with scrappy-looking wooden wings clamber into a catapult, preparing to fling himself into the ranks of the opposition.

“That’s called the Doomdiver catapult,” grins battle designer Simon Mann. “Goblins volunteer – I don’t know why you would – to have a pair of wooden wings strapped to their backs, get loaded into a catapult and then just get launched. In our game it is kind of silly, and there’s a lot of humour in the Warhammer franchise.”

The demo we’ve just seen didn’t involve a hands-on but it did give a decent peek at a lot of the units from the Empire and Greenskins factions. (Dwarfs and Vampire Counts will come a bit later, with Chaos also very strongly implied in trailers.) The Greenbacks are all manner of weird and wonderful, while the Empire occupies relatively familiar Total War territory – give or take the odd demigryph.

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Orcs Have Tithing Problems In Total War: Warhammer

The Warhammer war game Total War: Warhammer [official site] will have a shifting campaign that will differ hugely in style depending on which of the four announced factions you are playing as. This is according to battle designer Simon Mann, who chatted with Pip in LA this week, in a full interview to follow shortly.

Mann confirms my long-held suspicions when he tells her that Orcs “aren’t really into taxation”. To be fair, neither are most humans unless they’re high enough up the food chain to directly benefit. The Empire, meanwhile, is all about skullduggery.

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Star Wars: Battlefront – A Yoghurt-Scented Hands-On

Leave my lovely innocent AT-ST alone

R2-D2 smells like yoghurt. In fact, the whole second part of the Star Wars Battlefront [official site] queue at E3 smells like yoghurt. I’m in a group of 40 attendees waiting for our turn to do battle on Hoth in the final play session of E3. I think the yoghurty smell is coming from the copious dry ice, which is swirling around R2’s wheels as EA try to create a Hoth-like experience in a cavernous conference hall in downtown LA.

The Hoth of the game is not yoghurty, but it is gorgeous. An expansive snowy wilderness which we spawn into as Stormtroopers. Well, 20 of us do. The other 20 are rebel scum, ripe for the shooting.
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Arma 3 Expansion’s Tropical Islands Of Tanoa Revealed

A leak last week made pretty clear that a new tropical landscape was coming to Arma III [official site], and now it’s really, formally, officially happening.

The South Pacific archipelago of Tanoa (pronounce that last part like in ‘quinoa’ or everyone will think you’re a right mug) will arrive in Bohemia’s military sim with an expansion in the first half of 2016. I don’t believe they’ve named the expansion yet. Of course, given that this announcement already leaked, all we really have to show you that’s new is the trailer we couldn’t see before:

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Vampyr Is An RPG From Life Is Strange Studio Dontnod

I first encounted vampyr one night in Putney, two weeks after the funeral of my dear friend Archibald Guts. He’d returned from a post overseas and seemed somewhat under the weather. We all believed him to be suffering from the malaria or a severe gin-deficiency, but it was a fever of the blood that did for him and it was that same fever that caused him to rise again.

The first time I encountered Vampyr was in January of this year. Dontnod had just announced that they would be developing a vampiric RPG, to be published by Focus, and they had a few details to share. Now there’s a trailer.

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David Braben Talks About Rollercoasters

Mate, I don't know what you're on about. It's clearly a dinosaur.

“Can I play as the dinosaur?” I ask a slightly jetlagged David Braben as we discuss the just-announced Planet Coaster [official site] after the PC Gaming Show at E3.

“Mmmm. Not at the moment but it’s a nice idea.”

He pauses then adds, “You do realise it’s not actually a dinosaur? It’s a bloke in a suit.”

“We’re done here.”

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Flying Swords And Boss Chat-Off: 25 Mins Of Deus Ex 4

what a neat beard. Where does he find the time?

I know it’s not really called Deus Ex 4 in any shape or form, but ‘Deus Ex: Mankind Divided‘ [official site] is long and headlines boxes are short. You get the point though: here’s the best part of half an hour of Adam Jensen asking for it in Square’s upcoming stealth-or-death sequel. On show: new augmentations, purportedly improved combat, ‘social boss fight system’, a gun which fires swords from your wrist and a new, grumpy pilot who keeps talking about coffee.

Also, it’s very pretty, but my graphics card is frightened. Video and my own notes on it below, anyway.
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