Tag Archives: Firewatch

PlayStation E3 2015 Recap

PlayStation E3 2015

Sony this year came out with some heat. We all thought most of it would just be rumors because—let’s face it—a lot of it sounded absurd. A comeback? A remake? Oh come on. We should know better by now. Go back to your village and take your pipe dreams with you.

But wham, bam, holy shit. We really shouldn’t be calling out “winners” for this sort of thing, but this press conference did actually bring down the Internet. Feel free to read on or rewatch the entire thing.

The Last Guardian

Ummm, what? I guess sometimes vaporware comes back from the dead. After being in and out of development and existence for the past 2007, it was pretty safe to assume the long awaited project was simply dead and buried. After the trauma of numerous rumors, the latest rumblings that we’d see The Last Guardian at this E3 seemed to only freshen up old wounds.

But it’s all true. Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida confirmed it would release for PlayStation 4 in 2016. Coming from Team Ico and director Fumito Ueda, the same combo that brought you Shadow of the Colossus and Ico, its expectations were high. After all these delays, are they just as lofty?

Horizon: Zero Dawn

Guerrilla Games, developer of the Killzone series, is throwing quite the delicious curveball here. Going from a stock FPS to this is rather incredible. Perhaps filling the PlayStation 4’s required space marine quota earned them some laterality.

But Horizon: Zero Dawn has a fascinating premise. Something along the course of humanity’s development caused them to plunge back into a pre-civilization structure except machines are still rampant and necessary. So instead of hunting for food, they hunt for parts. Sure, the gameplay looks fun enough, but that setup is incredible.

Hitman

Even if you don’t care for the Hitman games, this is a well put together trailer. It finely composes the idea that he’s a killer of tactics, brutality, and skill. Also, the backing track that surreptitiously features ragged breathing slowly sinks in and is reinforced by the kill shot.

The trailer itself, however, doesn’t reveal much except that the series still animates people a bit too cartoonishly. I guess Square Enix assumes we already know what to expect from the game, which is kind of a sad notion anyway. Hitman lands on PlayStation 4 and PC on December 8. (Franchise reboots that simply start off with the same name is an organizational nightmare, by the way.)

Dreams

Media Molecule is still very much about games in which you create, if you were wondering. The latest is Dreams, and while the trailer is very obtuse about what you’ll actually be doing, you’ll definitely be creating…something.

It looks like you’ll be using your controller to sculpt out characters inside of scenes. The “dreams” motif comes in where everything is fast and impressionistic rather than details and builds upon a previously known (read: made) lexicon of items. You can then grab your creations and puppeteer them to life. (The short demo preceding the trailer shows more than anyone could ever say with words.)

Destiny: The Taken King

While I found Destiny to be somewhat lacking in its original release, the more that Bungie puts out for the game, the more I want to go back and play it. It seems like they’re solving the two biggest problems simultaneously with each DLC, being the lack of content for a massive world and a refinement of how to use that world in interesting ways.

Coming September 15, The Taken King will cost $39.99 for the regular edition and $79.99 for the collector’s edition, both of which will also include Destiny itself. The expansion will include new Guardian subclasses and super moves.

Final Fantasy VII

Part of the crazy heat Sony threw around yesterday. Even more dubious than The Last Guardian comeback rumors, we heard voices on the wind talk of a Final Fantasy VII remake, something fans have been clamoring for since dinosaurs walked the Earth.

And now it’s happening. This isn’t a tech demo or a PC version or an upgraded PC version for PlayStation 4, but this is a remake. At this point, it’s unclear as to what that means. This could end up just an HD remaster for all we know, but hopefully they’re not just misleading us with the word “remake.”

The bigger question, however, is if anyone still cares. Tetsuya Nomura is coming on as director after guiding the Kingdom Hearts series (and directing Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children) while Yoshinori Kitase, original director of Final Fantasy VII, will be returning to produce. Is that enough to garner interest beyond the 18-year-old fan base?

No Man’s Sky

This is the first lengthy gameplay demo anyone outside of the press has seen from No Man’s Sky. Hello Games co-founder Sean Murray hopefully imparted upon the audience the sheer size of what they’re attempting with this procedurally generated universe simulator. (If you still don’t get it, read this piece over at The New Yorker.)

Still no release date, but we do learn that every world is fully destructible. Plus there are fish!

Shenmue III

And here’s the real surprise of the event. No one was even expecting this, but Yu Suzuki, creator of an immense number of classics like Space Harrier, Out Run, After Burner, and Virtua Fighter, came out on stage to announce that he’d like to revitalize the Shenmue franchise through Kickstarter.

And then everyone lost their god damn minds. Which is the appropriate response, I might add. It brought down Kickstarter itself for a brief time as it rocketed up hundreds of thousands of dollars in a matter of minutes. It’s already hit its $2 million goal in its first day. If you’re not jacked for this, then you’re a fool. Or you were too young to have played the first two.

Call of Duty

Now we know why Call of Duty was mysteriously absent during Microsoft press conference. PlayStation CEO Andrew House announced that Sony will get all of the military shooter’s map packs first. The deal will start up with Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, coming to PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox One November 6.

Map packs have traditionally gone to Xbox platforms first since Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare back in 2007. While not necessarily everyone’s thing, this is a huge move for PlayStation.

Firewatch

Firewatch is pretty much exactly the kind of game I love playing. Or at least it’s the kind of game I love thinking that I would love playing based on the trailer because the trailer sells a very particular kind of game.

The adventure game from Campo Santo and director Jake Rodkin (co-host of the Idle Thumbs podcast) tells the story of a fire lookout in the Wyoming wilderness in 1989. Numerous mysteries begin to unfold as he goes about his patrols.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

While the return of the Uncharted series still doesn’t seem like the best creative decision, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End still looks pretty incredible. Like, visually, I mean. It seems like it’ll play like the other games, so you probably already know if you’ll be into that or not, but there’s certainly something to be said for a masterful refinement of a craft.

After a little technical hiccup where protagonist Nathan Drake froze in front of a still animating crowd, we go on a classic Uncharted whirlwind ride of shooting bad guys, running from overwhelming odds, shooting more guys, and (as a franchise first) driving a vehicle. Oh, and crackin’ some wise. Don’t forget that.

There are some other odds and ends that came out of the conference (like a new Street Fighter V trailer), but that’s the gist of it. There were several genuine surprises, capping off a rather momentous start to this year’s E3. Look for more coverage as the show continues the rest of the week.

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Trailer Roundup: NBA Live 15, Persona 5, and More

Trailer Roundup: NBA Live 15, Persona 5, and More

Yeah, I’ve been out of it for a while. Honestly, all the stuff about Gamer Gate had me put off the idea of even talking to another person, least of all not even bothering with PAX Prime. It was a terribly destructive period of the industry that morphed from slander to verbal assault to a fundamental debasing of reasoning and decency.

Paste has a nice bookend to the whole ordeal, though the problematic existence of bullies and bigots extends far beyond the terminative boundaries of the end of a bookshelf. That’s all I want to talk about it. Others have spoken on it far more eloquently than I ever will and I don’t want to get dragged into a flamewar.

In fact, let’s just get back to what we do best on a Monday. Let’s watch some god damn trailers.

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth

NSFW. Maybe? I have no idea. I don’t have a single solitary clue about what most of this trailer is but it certainly feels NSFW even when you take the somewhat naked burlap sack head people out. As weird as The Binding of Isaac actually is (and as weird as this port The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth will similarly be), this trailer takes the cake. Comes out November 4 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, PC, Mac, and Linux.

Slender: The Arrival

Slender: The Arrival is a game that you kind of have to buy fully into to get any joy out of it. It’s very easy to play it, get bored, and stop after about five minutes. And even if you last long enough to encounter a thing to run away from, you have to be willing to play along and get perturbed. This is, however, a rather good trailer, though I’m not sure if you haven’t played this game before, what would convince you to do so now. Comes out September 23 for PSN and September 24 for Xbox Live Arcade.

Assassin’s Creed Rogue

This is an absolutely fantastic trailer for Assassin’s Creed Rogue, and for some reason, I just can’t get behind it. While Black Flag was a great game, it was kind of all I needed to cap off with the best of the series’ gameplay (mostly) and realize that without the Desmond story, I’m just not that interested anymore. I’ll probably still play Rogue since that’s how this job works, but the desire is lacking. Comes out November 11 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Hatoful Boyfriend

Basically, if you like this trailer, you’ll probably like what Hatoful Boyfriend has to offer. It’s a weird game. Like, super weird. It’s a visual novel game about being the only human at a school for sapient pigeons. It’s strange and funny but also surprisingly deep with a branching storyline and complex motives for relationship building. It’s out now on Steam, so maybe give it a try.

Ancient Space

I really like how surprised the voiceover sounds when he says “PEGI 12.” I also really like what Joe Fricano, senior producer on the project with Paradox Interactive, said about Ancient Space being more like NASA and less like Star Wars. I like Star Wars, don’t get me wrong, but I like this idea of a clinical take on a deep space mystery. Sounds cool. Comes out September 23 for PC and Mac.

Wasteland 2

The problem with Wasteland 2, the $2.9 million Kickstarter success from April of 2012, is that the prospect of playing it isn’t very inviting, but playing it will undoubtedly be wholly encompassing. I mean, look at this trailer for combat. It’s a seven-minute trailer about just the fighting portion of the game. That being said, I probably will be one of those people playing. Comes out September 19 for PC, Mac, and Linux.

Firewatch

Now that’s a doozy. No idea what Firewatch is but I’m totally into it. Just read this description and tell me you’re not in, too: “Firewatch is a mystery set in the Wyoming wilderness, where your only emotional lifeline is the person on the other end of a handheld radio.” What a hook. Even the website is slick enough to make you want to find out more. Comes out sometime in 2015 for PC, Mac, and Linux.

Persona 5

God dammit, Persona 5, give me something to work with. I feel like that weird chair teaser from February was more informative than this thing. It has my interest piqued, sure, but at what cost, man, at what cost. Comes out in 2015 for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.

NBA Live 15

The NBA Live franchise doesn’t die easily, huh. It basically stopped after NBA Live 10 until NBA Live 13 got canceled and then was officially revived with last year’s supremely disappointing NBA Live 14. Considering that the NBA 2K series has been alive and kicking in the intervening years, I wonder if NBA Live 15 will even have enough legs to run and not shit the bed again like 2013. I can’t tell if the song in the trailer is more wishing or telling. Comes out October 7 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

WWE 2K15

Boy, wrestling games seem like a lot of fun to motion capture. Even if you’re still beating the shit out of yourself while actively trying to not quite beat the shit out of someone else, it must be super cool to do all those acrobatic super slams and then watch it go into a game like WWE 2K15. Also, how is Goldberg still alive? Like, as a person. Comes out October 28 for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.

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