mercredi 12 juin 2013

What I took away from E3

The title makes it seem like I actually went to Los Angeles and participated in the festivities. Sadly, nothing of the sort happened and I had to enjoy the experience via various video, livestreams and articles around the web to construct any sort of review/opinion on the matter.

First off, let's talk about the "new" hardware we've seen, the PS4. Let's just skip over the looks of the actual console, because while it does look good, a fine piece of design I'd say (I also liked the fact that they brought the mind behind the design on-stage. Nice touch), it hardly matters when you'll be putting a disc in and playing it. Anyway, the announcements that garnered the most applause from the audience were the "No Restriction on Used Games or on lending games whatsoever", the "No online verification needed to play", the "PS+ on all three PS3, PS4 and PSVita" and - the best part - the 399$ price tag. In that regard, Sony clearly knocked Microsoft out. Although rumors are circulating around the Internet about the fact that Sony's policy towards used games might not be as open as the conference led us to believe. But nothing has been confirmed yet, we'll see! Anyway, I was also excited at the number of indie developers Sony were getting along with, including Supergiant Games, of Bastion fame. The first-party exclusives (The Order : 1886 looks like an awesome steampunk game) in development also had me pretty pumped for the first year of this new console. Some multiplats were also showcased and looked quite appealing to me. Destiny looks and feels like a gigantic project undertaken by Bungie (read a good piece on it in EDGE lately) with amazing potential, while Ubi's Watch Dogs showed some spectacular depth in gameplay, a wildly interesting story setting (so far) and jaw-dropping graphics.

Overall, I was so happy during the conference I immediately pre-ordered the PS4 from two different places when it became available later that night.

I won't lie, I have a slight bias towards Sony's consoles. But to my defense, I went out of my way to try and defend Microsoft's position when talking to people. I'm not a big Microsoft fan, I work on a MacBook, my 360 is barely ever used at home and various stuff like that would make you think I hate Bill Gates' company. Which is not true. I try and be as objective as possible when arguing about consoles. I try not to fall in stupid, pointless arguments about the "better" choice and I will try to distantiate myself as much as possible from my subjective feelings when talking consoles.

Anyway, I haven't watched Microsoft's conference. I heard many negative things about it, except for the games which looked pretty impressive when I watched a few trailers. And when it's all said and done, for a gamer like me, Games should be and usually are the central focus of every discussion. If you have good games, your console will fare better. So that's why I went on and watched a few trailers, to get soaked in and better evaluate the console for the games it offers and not for some controversial marketing choices. Ryse : Son of Rome looks like promising take on a somewhat forgotten historical era (a least in video games) with visceral combat and tactical warfare, although I'm not sure how I feel about all the button prompts/QTEs... Games like The Witcher 3 and MGS V are no-brainer AAA titles. The only other one I saw was Titanfall, and I really liked what I saw there as well. It looks like a somewhat futuristic Battlefield with mechs and other neat concepts. So while everyone is shitting on the XBone for various reasons, they still had some very decent software to show for. And you can't go wrong with good games.

I haven't watched Nintendo's either, but I still took in a few trailers to see whether or not this console was worth it before the next Zelda game gets released. The trailer for Super Mario 3D World looked absolutely epic, everything you'd expect from a Mario game, like they've been doing at Nintendo for over two decades... just pure gold. Pretty much the same goes for Mario Kart 8, although I wish they had come up with a better name for it... I'm one of those who feels like "numbered" series are shooting themselves in the foot. Why? Not only you are saying to the audience you have no imagination, but you also make it seem like there was A LOT of games before it, which makes it seem like nothing more than a rehash of old ideas. Which is why, even if I'm far from being a Call of Duty fan, I appreciate their idea of not calling their games by the number since the first one. I know you'll find numbers like in MW3 or BOII, but at least we're not simply at CoD9 or something, which would make it even worse.

Anyway, back to Mario Kart 8, it seems to me like Nintendo could make 89 Mario Kart games and somehow still come up with new tracks, new concepts, new ideas. They're just THAT good. I'm not buying a Wii U for that game only, but holy crap it looks fun... The last thing I saw from Nintendo this week was The Legend of Zelda : Wind Waker HD. If I remember correctly, Wind Waker is in the top 10 of my favorite games of All-Time, amongst the legends of GoldenEye, Ocarina of Time, Resident Evil 4, Super Metroid and Bioshock. It tells you how much I loved this game. I think it's a great opportunity for the many who shunned the GameCube version for idiotic reasons like "It looks childish".

So I haven't been able to get through ALL the games yet, but I've seen enough to be excited about the next generation in gaming. Bring on the PS4!

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