Daniel’s Top E3 Announcements
Here are some of my favourite announcements from E3 2017.
A Way Out
Cooperative games are rare these days, especially ones that you can play on the same couch. So it’s exciting to see developer Hazelight take a risk by announcing an action game that can only be played cooperatively. It’s a jail break game, a cinematic presentation of the story of two men, with various types of gameplay. That final point is a big focus of the developer’s message: A Way Out includes fighting, shooting, stealth, and strategy. Players aren’t simply breaking out of jail. They’re robbing stores, figuring out how to sneak past guards, and breaking into a hospital. The strategy you and your partner employ and your subsequent execution of the plan can lead to a number of different outcomes. A Way Out is looking like an extremely enjoyable cooperative experience.
XCOM 2 Expansion
XCOM 2 is an incredible strategy game, binding together two types of gameplay into an addicting loop. The game’s expansion, War of the Chosen, looks to add to the mix of strategic combat and resource management. The expansion is far more than just new enemies and new abilities for your soldiers. There are new factions that your team can recruit, new lost cities to explore, soldiers can form bonds with each other (hopefully similar to Fire Emblem games), and an in-game propaganda poster generator. Firaxis has a history of releaseing fantastic DLC, and if War of the Chosen expansion is anywhere as good as XCOM: Enemy Unknown’s, fans of the series will be popping their XCOM 2 disc back in their consoles come August 29th.
The Last Night
Gameplay of The Last Night showed up briefly during Microsoft’s conference but its neon-noire art style left a deep impression on me. Described as a game set in a post-cyberpunk world where AI has made human labour and creativity obsolete, The Last Night explores what it means for humanity to be defined by what they consume and not by what they create. That all sounds interesting, and artsy, and opaque, and hopefully the developers manage to deliver gameplay that matches the incredible art design. Is the game a shooter, a platformer, or a mixture of both? I can’t wait to find out.
Shadow of the Colossus Remake
Shadow of the Colossus is my favourite game of all time. Its world is beautiful and unsettling, its simple story is unique and memorable, while its gameplay mixes puzzle solving and combat together as you take down sixteen massive beasts. Now coming to PS4, I wonder if the remake will be more than just a graphical upgrade. Megafans of the game have delved into the PS2’s code to find that the game was originally going to include many more colossi. Will the PS4 remake include these, along with new weapons, or perhaps a new game mode? News will likely trickle out slowly, and one hopes that the game is released closer to the starting of 2018 rather than its end.
Pokemon on Switch
I’ve never been a big Pokemon fan. The show didn’t interest me growing up and my only time of considerable length with the games was a couple years back with Pokemon Y. And while that game did give me a few dozen hours of enjoyment, I grew tired of the simple combat and the way in which the gameplay never really changed from the beginning of the game to 25 hours in. Pokemon fans have a number of reasons to be excited for Nintendo’s coy announcement that they are making a core Pokemon game for the Nintendo Switch, but it piques my interest for the simple reason that I am hoping it leads to some evolution of the gameplay. The Switch has more power than any Nintendo console before it, better internet connectivity, and the ability to switch between TV and handheld presentation – how will Pokemon Switch take advantage of these features?
Spiderman on PS4
Batman is obviously the coolest superhero of all time, but the Dark Knight’s games, once original and interesting, have saturated the market to the point of exhaustion. That’s one reason why I look forward to Insomniac’s Spiderman on PS4. Gone is the dark, rainy skyline of Gotham, with the shiny and bright buildings of New York City taking its place. The other reason I am excited for Spiderman on PS4 is the gameplay, shown off during Sony’s conference. The game borrows from the Arkham series’ quick, counter-based combat, but adds in much more interaction with the environment. While the gameplay shown did have a lot of quick time events in it, which aren’t my cup of tea, it also showed extremely smooth combat and excellent web-slinging navigation through New York City by Spidey. It looks like a blast just to travel around the city as Spiderman, and that bodes well for the entire game.
GT Sport is coming this fall
Gran Turismo is an interesting series because while it has always been respected as one of the best racing simulators out there, the release of Gran Turismo 6 may have done more to hurt the series’ reputation than help it. Delayed time and time again, the game eventually released with limited damage modelling, limited weather effects, and disappointing online play and events. It was more than a competent racing game, offering up a variety of game modes, but it was also underwhelming in many aspects. The developers of Gran Turismo Sport have stated that the game symbolizes the start of new generation in the series, but what does that exactly mean as far as evolving the gameplay or offering up more “premium cars” that have damage modeling and high graphical detail? And can we trust Sony when they say the game is coming out in 2017? There are a lot of questions surrounding Gran Turismo Sport, and they should be answered in a few months.