Posts Tagged ‘E3 2017’

Life is Strange: Before the Storm is a doomed romance

There’s an obvious metaphor in the subtitle of the Life is Strange [official site] prequel. Before the Storm refers to a meteorological incident in the original game, but this is a coming of age story. Growing up can be as violent, euphoric, frightening and cleansing as a storm.

What I’ve seen of the prequel makes youth seem like the precursor to tragedy. We’re going to play through the origin story of teen rebel Chloe and we’re going to see the buds of a romance that moves through awkwardness to realisation and eventually gets lost in the horrors of a missing person case. In one of the scenes shown to the press at E3, Chloe can choose to describe her relationship with Rachel as a friendship or “something more”, but however she chooses to see it, and however she can’t help but feel it, we know the end is loss.

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Frostpunk asks why we survive, not just how

In the first week, we put the children to work. They weren’t forced into dangerous jobs, so we told ourselves, but when you’re living on the brink of extinction, what work is truly safe? One afternoon, a man collecting coal complained of numbness in his arm. Frostbite had taken hold. We could have left him to die but instead we opted for an experimental treatment.

He lost the arm and he’s no longer capable of contributing to our dying society. One more mouth to feed with no body of work beneath it. What should we do?

Frostpunk [official site] is a city-building survival sim from the studio that brought us This War of Mine and it is beautifully bleak.

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Has Assassin’s Creed managed to find itself during its gap year?

sliding down a pyramid is probably a lot like falling down a hill

During the Assassin’s Creed: Origins [official site] demo I played at E3, I pressed the wrong button and thought I’d broken the game. I was trying to switch to my bow while sneaking and I accidentally meditated, causing time to fast forward. The sun wheeled around the sky, sank below the horizon, and night fell. The developer guiding me through the experience – an environmental artist – was slightly taken aback, but we rolled with my mistake and I got an accidental peek at the nightlife of Ptolemaic Egypt. Colour me intrigued.

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Far Cry 5 has a great dog

Far Cry 5 [official site] is a Far Cry game. It’s impossible for me to say whether it’ll be a great Far Cry game, an adequate Far Cry game or a poor Far Cry game, but after playing it at E3, I can definitively state that it is a Far Cry game. Clearing out a town of angry cult members, I sniped, shotgunned, stealthed and ‘sploded my way through a bunch of buildings, and had a jolly good time.

You know about this though. You’ve played a Far Cry game, right? So let’s assume all of the vehicles and guns and missions are working fine, and if not we’ll figure that out when we have review code and can take a proper look. For now, it seems best to talk about the dog. Read the rest of this entry »

Podcast: The Electronic Wireless Show talks Frostpunk, Destiny 2 and Middle Earth: Shadow of War

It’s warm! Luckily the RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show, have come together to talk cold games, like chilly survivalist city-builder Frostpunk. That’s because Adam is back from E3 and can tell us (Brendan and Pip) all about it. He’s also played Destiny 2 and Middle Earth: Shadow of War, the lucky sod. Spill the beans, Adam! No wait, don’t. We need those.

This week’s back-to-normal-length episode also sees us talking about Darkest Dungeon‘s latest expansion, The Crimson Court, esoteric desert survival RPG Kenshi, and some news about GTA V and the sad fate of its modders. Also: the return of our patch notes quiz, Patch Adam, this time featuring Dwarf Fortress. Read the rest of this entry »

Total War: Warhammer 2’s campaign rethinks the endgame

Lizards riding dinosaurs. Almighty spells crackling through the sky. A dragon swoops down from above and collides with a stegadon as elves are torn apart and consumed by carnosaurs at its feet. Total War: Warhammer 2 [official site] brings even more spectacle to the battlefield, particularly with its lizardmen armies, but the campaign is looking like the most exciting part of the game.

Strategy games have a habit of petering out as you move toward the endgame. Anyone who’s played Civ (including Civ V designer Jon Shafer) knows the tedium of pushing end turn to watch the numbers grow, as your inevitable crawl toward victory or defeat plays out in turn-based slow motion. That’s partly because so many victory conditions involve watching the correct resource pile up in sufficient quantity, or painting the entire map in a certain colour. Discovery is a thing of the past, diplomacy has run its course, and there is nothing new under the sun. Creative Assembly are looking to change that.

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Crytek’s monsterhunt FPS Hunt: Showdown looks neat

The first gameplay video of Crytek’s Hunt: Showdown has arrived and makes the monster-hunting multiplayer FPS look a lot more interesting than expected. I was disappointed when Crytek revealed that they’d turned the cooperative Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age into the competitive Hunt: Showdown [official site] and teased the change with a video of some cowboys shooting some other cowboys. Turns out, it’s not nearly as rubbo as suggested. Showdown will see five two-person teams roaming around big monster-filled levels, trying to find and kill a boss monster with a bounty on its head – while making sure they live to claim it. Watch: Read the rest of this entry »

XCOM 2: War of the Chosen’s alien champions, lost cities and soldier bonds explained

Fallen cities swarming with the dangerous remnants of their human populations, alien battlefield commanders who resemble fantastical heroes, new rulesets for friendship and fear, and an actual active resistance out on the Geoscape. XCOM 2 [official site] is changing.

The War of the Chosen is “definitely the biggest expansion we’ve ever done”, lead designer Jake Solomon told us at E3. Introducing unique enemy champions doesn’t strike me as an obvious move for XCOM, so I asked Solomon how the concept of the expansion had developed, and whether he’d drawn any inspiration from Shadow of Mordor’s Nemesis system. And whether we can expect any terrors from the deep in the future.

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Skull and Bones is about being a ship, not a pirate

Skull and Bones [official site] is a game I’ve wanted for a long time. That has nothing to do with its setting or style, though a Black Flag follow-up of sorts is an attractive proposition – but, no, the appeal of Skull and Bones is more abstract. This is the result of Ubisoft having one of their apparently specialist studios build an entire game around their specialism. Almost like a mega-bucks version of the animation experimentations of Grow Home.

In this case, it’s not procedural animation. Here, we’re with Ubisoft Singapore and the wonders of water.

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Destiny 2 combat is a punchy, kinetic joy

Destiny 2 [official site] comes with a lot of baggage. It’s the PC debut of an enormously successful new series from a mega-developer, and the original is precisely the kind of multiplayer co-op shooter that even some die-hard fans are a little burned out on after nearly three years of DLC and grinding for gear.

Enter Adam. I came to Destiny 2, at E3 last week, with barely enough baggage to fill a pencil case, having only played the demo of the original, and am immediately greedy for more. Whatever more it might offer. Destiny 2 is colour and light and the majestic spectacle of a Saturday morning cartoon and a space opera fused into a punchily satisfying shooter.

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The compassion & cruelty of Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus

The early stages of Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus [official site] show the same blood, guts and heart that were key to the first game’s success. Described by Bethesda’s Pete Hines as “fucking bananas”, it’s a game of extremes, but it’s the care that it shows for its characters and setting that stand out as unique in the field of alt-history Nazi war-shooters. Alongside the silliness, the gore and the pulp fiction roots, there’s a core concern for humanity and its loss.

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Strange Brigade takes on mummies in demo footage

Strange Brigade

Real talk: the only opinions I’m capable of having right now are related to ice creams that will see me through the UK’s unfamiliar hot weather. That’s why my emotions towards Rebellion’s next game, Strange Brigade [official site] are pretty much just “WHY ARE YOU NOT AN ICE CREAM?” Instead of being a delicious Twister, Strange Brigade is determined to be a third-person adventure thingy for 1-4 players set in a 1930s explorer kind of world. It’s all ancient evil and dirigibles and Egyptology and British Empire this and that. Aesthetically it reminds me of films like The Mummy – the one with Brendan Fraser, not the reboot with Tom Cruise which is confusing me every time I pass the local cinema – or the Tintin comics from around the 1930s. Maybe even a ’50s rendition of the ’30s? Read the rest of this entry »

Destiny 2’s PlayStation-exclusive bits hitting PC in 2018

If you’ve been closely following the Destiny 2 [official site] newsfest blastnews announceblam out of E3, you’ll likely know that Bungie’s online looter-shooter: 1) has a PC release date seven weeks after the console launch; 2) has pretty things; and 3) has a cooperative mission, a multiplayer map, and some weapons and gear cordoned off as PlayStation exclusives. I bring okay-ish news on point 3. Those exclusive PlayBits will come to PC eventually, Bungie have confirmed, but not until 2018. Here, watch this trailer for all the stuff we’ll receive late: Read the rest of this entry »

FREE 3: A trio of free recommendations for tired souls

We don’t take kindly to E3 round these parts. Well, we do. We think it’s great. But we don’t think it ought to hog all the attention. As part of our alternative E3 coverage we’ve been collecting free games for the past two days that you can play now, rather than waiting for things which – who knows – might never even exist. Here’s the final trio of games, rounding off our triumvirate of FREEDOM.

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Podcast: The Electronic Wireless Show E3 Special

Oh my lord, somebody needs to defeat this notorious E3 war machine once and for all. The RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show, have gathered their forces to take on the monster. We’ll be tackling all the big news: Beyond Good and Evil 2, Wolfenstein 2, Sea of Thieves, Anthem, Life Is Strange: Before the Storm and lots more. We’ve so much news to talk about that we’ve recruited news editor Alice O’Connor to come help us. We’ve also sent Adam behind enemy lines to Los Angeles, but have only been able to recover a handful of his communiques.

This week’s special extra-long episode also features some chat about Alice’s murderous efficiency in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Pip’s floundering in Football Manager 2017 and my doomed piloting in Everspace. We also discuss the origin of the name “E3” and discover a patchwork quilt of possible etymologies. Read the rest of this entry »

A Plague Tale: Innocence trailer unleashes ravenous rats

“[It] will almost certainly be That One Game With The Brilliant Rats,” our Adam declared after seeing a bit of A Plague Tale: Innocence [official site] earlier this year. It’s a stealth game set in France in 1349, when the Black Death is in full swing and swarms of rats are feasting on corpses. Two kiddywinkles are our stealth heroes, trying to dodge both the ravenous horde and the Inquisition, using light to protect themselves from the rats and taking light from their foes to feed ’em to the squeakers. Nasty. Now we can see those rats for ourselves, as the game’s first trailer has arrived out of E3: Read the rest of this entry »

Insurgency: Sandstorm shows off story campaign

The follow-up to multiplayer tactical FPS Insurgency is adding a story campaign, and you can have a peek at that now in the obligatory E3 trailer. Insurgency: Sandstorm [official site] will star an Iraqi rebel fighter and her best friend, who are on a personal mission into a warzone accompanied by an American combat veteran and a French volunteer who’s new to war. It’s a grim road trip. It will support four-player cooperative play too, which is nice. The trailer’s all cinematic-y but this is E3: Read the rest of this entry »

7 games to look forward to that you won’t find at E3

As we recover from the trail of destruction left behind by E3’s news conferences, it’s important to take a breath and remember not all the cool kids are hanging out in LA this week (and even if they are, they don’t always get heard). Here’s seven neat-looking games that have yet to be released, to whom we will gladly extend some of the industry’s overflowing hype.
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Destiny 2: Swish 4k 60FPS nonsense and screenshots

Destiny 2

YOU, a reader, may be interested to see this PC Destiny 2 [official site] footage running in 4K at 60fps. It’s a marketing push by NVIDIA because graphics cards and numbers and tech etc etc BUT it did mean I could pass watching a minute and a half of Destiny looking pretty off as work. Read the rest of this entry »

Vampyr bleeds 10 minutes of gameplay footage

Vampyr

Last time I wrote about Dontnod’s undead RPG bloodsucky doctor adventure, Vampyr [official site], it was because they’d released 14 whole minutes of gameplay footage. WELL, there’s now a further ten minutes of the stuff which brings us to roughly a US sitcom episode’s worth of vampiric comings and goings: Read the rest of this entry »