Good Stuff From E3

x2ypydqe4pdyjzuffxztE3 has come and gone this week, and if you’re like me, you’re too damn busy to look up all the incredible gaming news that came out of it. I can especially understand that this year, since developers have stepped up their game and released a metric shit ton of games. Of course they had to. Most of the gaming populous has still not picked up a next gen console yet mainly because none of them have any really good titles (at least none that aren’t available on previous gen too). But while much of the world was waiting for E3 hoping either Microsoft or Sony would trip up and make the decision easier, both companies and even Nintendo stepped up their game and delivered an impressive showing. So now we just have to go bankrupt or take a second mortgage and buy all three consoles because damn you guys for giving us so much good stuff.

But if you’re looking at this article now and are stressing out because you missed the party, chill. I got your back. If you were looking at the major gaming website and screaming at your screen for how big of a mess they are right now, I got your back. Thankfully for you, I enjoy giving up what little spare time I have to keep you up to date in a nice simple way. In case you missed the coverage or want to pull your hair out as you look through your RSS feeds, here are the games that you should care about from E3. Or at least the ones that showed enough content to get me caring about them (pre-rendered CGI trailers with behind the scenes info doesn’t get me excited, jerks…yeah I’m talking to you DICE). Because this is everything that has the potential to show up as my kind of good stuff.

Abzu

Platform: Playstation 4 (exclusive)

Developer: Indie

Genre: Blowing your mind

Yes, I’m actually starting out with an Indie. Maybe I’m starting out with it because it’s alphabetical. Whatever. But damn it, you should be excited about this game. Why? Because it’s made by the genius art director and music composer from the team that brought you Journey. And Journey is proof that games can be beautiful works of art. It was a game with no dialogue and a very simple premise. But that game still manages to tell a beautiful story and take you through a wonderful experience. And this game looks no different. I have no idea what this game is about or even what I will be doing in this game. All I know is that the name tells me I’m going to know water by the end of it. I don’t care though. It’s a beautiful looking game and I want it.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/JxdSZrHEYxg]

Batman: Arkham Knight

Platform: Xbox One, Playstation 4, PC

When: October

Developer: Rocksteady

Genre: 3rd Person Action/Adventure

Normally I don’t get really interested in iterative sequels. If you make the same game, add a couple features, and make it slightly prettier, that’s not enough of a reason to plop down $60 of my hard earned money to play the same damn game. This one is a bit of an exception. First of all, I’m a bit of a Batman nerd. He’s my favorite superhero of all time, so I have to get excited about a game like this. Especially now that Rocksteady has proven themselves capable of making some of the best superhero titles ever made. Arkham Asylum and Arkham City were both spectacular titles and I was super impressed by their use of an excellent and legendary comic book story line as the basis for Arkham City’s story.

Oh and there’s also the Batmobile. Just look at Batmobile demonstration footage below and tell me that adding that freaking awesome marvel of sexy engineering into an already incredibly fun Batman game is not enough to get you plopping down another $60 for one more romp around Arkham.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQ0lohVqKkU]

Bayonetta 2

Platform: Wii U

Developer: Platinum Games

Genre: Third person action/adventure

Oddly enough, this is another iterative game, but damn it if it doesn’t look impressive. I sadly missed out on the first game, but it has since become a cult classic. By the way, I want to make sure you know that the official definition of cult classic is a game that didn’t sell at all but has an apparently rabid fan base. I’ve been meaning to pick up the first game, since it’s probably now dirt cheap and it looks reminiscent of God of War except with a badass female lead and a bunch of hell demons, but apparently I no longer have to. The good news is that if you buy Bayonetta 2, you’ll get the 1st one for free as well. Score! Oh and apparently you can trade out outfits for the protagonist, even to don Link’s garb, Samus’s suit, and others. But truly, you should check out the game footage. I won’t say that this will be a system seller for the Wii U, but people who buy one will certainly want to pick this one up.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/DvP4EFjagfU]

The Crew

Platform: Xbox One, Playstation 4, PC

Developer: Ivory Tower

Release Date: November 11, 2014

Genre: Racing

I happen to love racing games, but mainly because it actually allows me to drive around awesome cars around awesome tracks in ways that I will never be able to afford in real life. It’s called fantasy. You know what I don’t love about racing games? Super high level competition. While I enjoy how hyper realistic the Forza games are, I always found something lacking in racing in closed pre-decided circuits. Sure, you could pick a map and drive on it. Sure, you could challenge friends online. But Need for Speed and Midnight Club games have always been more of my cup of tea because they typically included a level of exploration and car customization that you don’t have in other racing games. The Crew is the answer to all my racing needs, all in one game. First of all, they have built a realistic scale model of the United States that you can drive across from coast to coast. I’m hoping that realism doesn’t extend to traffic, because screw LA and New York. But still, the concept excites me. Especially if this is a game designed for casual use and not hyper-competitive. I don’t want my road trip being interrupted by a scrub in a Civic trying to race me. But thankfully, a dev confirmed for RPS that you can just drive around for hours and roam freely, so maybe my fears are baseless. If I can actually drive around and explore the United States without leaving my home and without having to spend a dime on travel, that would be amazing. Okay, that sounded sad. But come on, you feel it too. Now check out the trailer.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/WPF486_YNg0]

Cuphead

Platform: Xbox One

Developer: MDHR

Genre: 2D Shooter/Platformer

I never thought I’d be saying this, but the Xbox One got a lot of really good looking indie games. And this one just looks cute and hilarious. It’s a freaking platformer that’s build on 1930’s era Steamboat Willy-esque animation. Except in color, of course. But this game begs the question: why the hell has this not been done before? Why the hell was this not Epic Mickey? Regardless, thank you MDHR studios for making this happen. Also consider this is an Indie, it’ll probably cost like 10 bucks.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/gIbUS6UgWw8]

The Division

Platform: Xbox One, Playstation 4, PC

Developer: Ubisoft

Release Date: Sometime in 2015

Genre: Tactical Shooter/Role Playing Game

Ever since I first heard about this game around a year ago, I’ve been mildly intrigued. It’s a post-apocolyptic shooter, but with the Tom Clancy spin. Normally, most post-apocolyptic games have to do with killing off most of mankind and forcing you into some sort of anarchist dream. That’s not very realistic though. If shit goes down and governments collapse, the world will get ruled by terrifying warlords and gangs that will take over territory and kill, rape, and pillage anyone who has less guns. The Division is built around this terrifying reality, except that you are one of the only non-assholes left in the world who’s trying to restore some amount of order to the chaos and attempt to reform some semblance of government. Mainly because you work for what’s left of the government as part of the SHD (Strategic Homeland Division). Like a guardian angel, your job is to help people, overthrow the stranglehold these warlords have on wartorn areas, and generally fix the world. Yes you have high tech equipment. Yes you work as part of a team. And yes, there will be a lot of crazy action. But this is also apparently going to be an MMO. That makes this the world’s first strategic shooter MMO, which is an interesting concept. As long as this game only costs $60 and doesn’t include some sort of stupid subscription fee, I’ll be into it. Just check out the amazing looking trailer, and you’ll be hooked too.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/XJVdt7z_WP8]

Grave

Platform: Xbox One

Developer: Broken Windows (Indie)

Genre: Horror

This is my kind of horror game. None of that shock gore crap. No cheap thrills or girly screams. Just you in a screwed up situation where reality happens to be bending around you. This is a true honest-to-gods mindscrew game and I love that. The last time a game successfully screwed with my mind was F.E.A.R. and I talk about that game every chance I get. So the basic premise of this game is that you are exploring a strange desert environment. There might be a house or a barn or whatever. It’s all randomly generated. In any case, you go explore, check out some stuff, and then at night time, the monsters show up. Light repels the monsters, so you have to keep finding more matches, flashlights, batteries, etc. However, when the sun rises, you leave your shelter and find that new features like houses or skyscraper husks have been randomly generated overnight, lending you some more exploration and more tools. However, the developer promises that things are not exactly as they seem and there may even be people living in this strange world. Understanding the nature of his strange reality ends up being the real point of this game, and that sounds fascinating. Check out the trailer below.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/8OoK77t4puU]

Grim Fandango Remastered

Platform: Playstation 4, Vita

Developer: Double Fine & Disney

Genre: Adventure

For about 15 years, I’ve been wanting to see Grim Fandango resurface on something that I can buy and play it on. Unfortunately, I was way too young to buy my own games or have my own computer when it originally came out, but I’ve been taunted by games journals everywhere about how masterful this game was when it originally arrived. Well, now I can rejoice, should I find myself owning one of Sony’s consoles. During their press announcement at E3, Sony announced a joint deal with Double Fine (the new developing arm of Tim Schafer) and Disney (who now owns LucasArts Games and all their IPs) to get this game remastered for the PS4 and Playstation Vita. Unfortunately, we don’t have a trailer for this game, since the deal was only just announced. But rest assured, I will be keeping up to date with this game as it progresses.

Grim-Fandango

Hyrule Warriors

Platform: Wii U

Developer: Omega Force/Team Ninja

Release Date: September 26, 2014

Genre: Dynasty Frickin Warriors, man!

Okay, I understand that this is a Dynasty Warriors game skinned with Zelda stuff. But read that sentence over again. Is that a bad thing? It might be if you only played as Link. That would be boring. But no. Apparently, if it’s ever been in a Zelda game, you can play as it. That means Zelda, Midna, hopefully Sheik, some of the other characters from Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword I can’t remember. Come on, that sounds amazing. You can’t say that you haven’t bought a Dynasty Warriors game, sat down with some buddies, and then did not have a good time endless smashing around the poor little minions with your ridiculously awesome powers. Because if you did, you lied. I will buy this game and I will play the crap out of it because it looks wonderfully amazing. Watch this trailer and tell me I’m wrong.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/7MdBVsNI2_g]

Magicka 2

Platform: Playstation 4, PC

Developer: Arrowhead Game Studios

Genre: Top down Action/Role Playing Game

In high school I frequented the local arcades a lot, which meant I also played Gauntlet Legends a lot. Back in the 90’s, who didn’t play Gauntlet? That game was amazing. Okay, it was terrible, but it was entertaining in the same way that Michael Bay movies are. They’re action packed, full of button mashing and coin collecting, and you could playing them with friends without wanting to punch them in the face afterwards (most of the time). When the original Magicka came out, it sorta did the same thing for me. Except that it only came out on Steam, forcing me to find friends on the internet to play with me. But the game was fantastically innovative. For one thing, it introduced an innovative new spell system in which you use various components in different combinations to produce different spell effects. The effect is that the act of spell casting is a bit more immersive. You really feel like you personally are memorizing the spells and making them happen, and it this provides a joy that I haven’t experienced much in a button mashing RPG like this. Well, now that the 2nd one has been announced for Playstation 4, I’m excited at the prospect of true couch co-op and using a controller with buttons mapped to the different components. Plus there’s a whole lot more stuff that it looks like you can do with cooperative magic as you’ll see in the trailer below.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/cDj6bjvDiY0]

No Man’s Sky

Platform: Playstation 4 (first), Xbox One, PC

Developer: Hello Games

Genre: Space Sim/First Person Shooter

From that vague genre definition, you can guess that this is going to be an interesting game. So this is another indie-ish title but will arrive on all platforms, and is honestly very close in the running with Division to be the most anticipated game on my list. This game fulfills every desire I had for games as a child. I wanted a game where I can fly in a space ship, shoot down ships and blow up astroids, and then go fly down to the planet and go run amok. I used pen and paper and Micro Machines to make a game like this in my head as a child. But being as how I didn’t get into game development, I never created it. Freelancer was the next best thing for me, but even that game was disappointingly linear and restrictive. Then Chris Roberts promised the world with his next space sim, but these days, I’m really hoping for a space sim that truly fits my needs for exploration. However, now it looks like I won’t have to wait much longer. Hello Games’ next masterpiece is a game in which you literally get into a space ship, fly into space, do some dog fighting or mining or whatever, and then fly down to any planet and explore without any loading screens. All the planets and their flora and fauna are randomly generated with creatures from giant dinosaurs to flying jellyfish to huge lumbering rhino-like creatures, and others that I can’t even begin to describe. Best of all, it looks like most of the terrain and space environments are destructible, meaning you can literally change the face of a planet. We don’t have a lot of details on this game yet, but we do have some impressive game footage shown below.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/cDj6bjvDiY0]

Ori and the Blind Forest

Platform: Xbox One

Developer: Moon Studios

Genre: Action/Platformer

I’m a sucker for a game with a great storyline. Part of Microsoft’s impressive line-up of indie titles, Ori and the Blind Forest looks like it’ll be a beautiful and emotional game reminiscent of Limbo or Dust: An Elysian Tale. There’s not much I can really say about this game, mainly because it speaks for itself so well. But I will say that this game came out as a collaboration of various people that are scattered throughout the world, only working through the internet without a unified studio. Together these individuals created Moon Studios and released this as their debut game. An impressive start for these talented developers.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/cklw-Yu3moE]

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Platform: Xbox One, Playstation 4, PC

Developer: Square Enix

Genre: Third-person Action Adventure

If you loved the latest Tomb Raider reboot, you should be super excited about this game. I loved how Tomb Raider finally gave Lara Croft a sense of identity and personality beyond just T&A. This latest edition in the series looks to step that up a notch. Now she’s in therapy after the terrifying events of the last game (understandably) and seems to find solace in murder and exploration. Sounds legit to me. Unfortunately, we only have a CGI trailer at this point and no gameplay, but you know the gameplay is going to be good. You just need to know that the story will be good, and it looks like it’ll be interesting at least.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/agS3WwxNYNg]

Rainbow Six: Siege

Platform: Xbox One, Playstation 4, PC

Developer: Ubisoft

Release Date: 2015

Genre: Tactical Shooter

This is one I had to include, even though I don’t think I’ll personally play it. The trailer and gameplay look freaking incredible and the teamwork elements look awesome. In case you haven’t heard, this game was originally going to be a single player tactical game called Rainbow Six: Patriots, but it got canned and rebuilt primarily because nobody apparently buys single player tactical action games anymore. However, Ubisoft’s decision to turn the game into a Counter-Terrorist team vs. Terrorist team based multiplayer game makes this game a lot more interesting than it would have been otherwise. It looks like planning will be done prior to the start of the mission, but based on a timer, but inevitably, plans will change as events unfold. Fighting against AI is one thing, but fighting against a real thinking enemy is another. The environments will also be highly destructible, allowing you to blow holes in the walls, kick down doors, and do pretty much anything your mind can comprehend to get at the bad guys or get away from the good guys. However, I’d like to say I probably won’t buy this game because I’m not a big fan of multiplayer games that require competent people to team up with you for your success. But, if you’ve got more friends than I do and love Counter-terrorism action, this is the game for you.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/6wlvYh0h63k]

Unnamed New Zelda Game

Platform: Wii U

Developer: Nintendo

Genre: Friggin Zelda

Open. World. Zelda. Okay, I know open world is a buzz word these days, but don’t tell me you haven’t wanted this. Also, this game is beautiful. It seems to use a mixture of Wind Waker and Skyrim for graphical inspiration. Unfortunately, not much is known about this game. But honestly, I don’t need to know much about this game. This will be a system seller. Unfortunately, it’s not coming out until 2015. Fortunately, when Nintendo releases Zelda games, they are always good.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/yhzRIhe6rqk]

Witcher 3

Platform: Xbox One, PC

Developer: CD Projekt Red

Genre: Third-person Action Adventure

I first learned about the game known as Witcher from a random German dude who told me while I was manning a Geek Squad tech bench. He seemed so ridiculously excited for it, and I just passed it off as nonsense. But then I started hearing some great reviews for the game and finally decided to check it out. And I was blown away. It’s been so exciting to follow these developers and the story of the Witcher. I love the Gerald’s rough and tumble nature and I especially love how morally grey their world is. Back when the first Witcher came out, we had a lot of games like Knights of the Old Republic, which played with morality systems, but remained black and white. Some games would punish you for your morality decisions. Witcher has always been that alternative game where all of morality is a shade of grey and while your actions matter, it allows you to straddle the line that most of us fall under. Since the first game came out, the series has certainly evolved and become much more complex, but this game has always been first and foremost, an RPG. There’s crafting, character customization, powers, spells, equipment, etc. There’s also a great combat system that’s fun to use and exciting to watch. But now, Witcher 3 moves along with the rest of the industry (Witcher 2 was disappointingly linear) and becomes open world. I’m personally very excited about being able to run around anywhere I want as Gerald and actually be a wandering mercenary Witcher (hunter of crazy ass monsters) instead of being stuck to a predestined path. Check out the trailer to see what you might be missing.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/fCCj-oaKUd8]

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