Tag Archives: Gears of War 3

Microsoft E3 2015 Recap

Microsoft E3 2015

There was actually something genuinely surprising about the Microsoft press event yesterday, but it’s probably not what you think: there wasn’t even a sliver of a presence for Call of Duty. That showing has been happening like clockwork for the past forever and it wasn’t there this year.

I don’t know if that’s good or bad or even how I feel about it, but it’s certainly remarkable. But there was plenty of other news for the Redmond company and their little gaming machine that could (and then did and became a beast of an ecosystem for entertainment).

You can also watch the entire presentation if you’d rather do that.

Halo 5: Guardians

There was a substantial co-op demonstration that happened. And that just about sums that up. At this point I’m pretty sure you know if you’re going to buy a new Halo game or not, let alone get excited for hearing 343 Industries studio head Bonnie Ross talk about the brand new engine that runs single and multiplayer at 60 fps.

Warzone, however, sounds pretty fun. It’s a new 24-player mode where you’ll face off against both AI and player-controlled enemies via drop-in, drop-out co-op. The maps are massive at four times bigger than you’re used to. Josh Holmes of 343 appropriately called it “ambitious.”

Backwards Compatibility

This is an ostensibly big move. This will open up an entire generation’s worth of games up to Xbox One owners for free (so far it’s just a smattering of titles) and will definitely set the system apart from the PlayStation 4 feature set, something they’re keenly aware of.

“We won’t charge you to play the games you already own,” said head of platform engineering Mike Ybarra, an obvious jab at the fact that PlayStation 4’s backwards compatibility works only so much that you can stream old games via PlayStation Now. Ybarra says it won’t take any extra development from studios and players just need the original disc to download a new digital version. It’ll be available to everyone this holiday season.

Fallout 4

Here’s so more Fallout 4 footage, including stuff we didn’t get to see yesterday during Bethesda’s event. I mean, it all follows the same path of content, but it’s bonus gameplay at some parts.

Game director Todd Howard also announced that PC mods will work for the Xbox One version of the game, but not right at launch; that will get added somewhere in 2016. And they’ll hopefully bring that same compatibility to the PlayStation 4 version.

Forza Motorsport 6

We already know there’s a new Forza game. Even if you didn’t know that, it seems like you could have assumed that anyways. Turn 10 Studios’ Dan Greenawalt says there will be over 450 cars and 24-player multiplayer. That’s kind of all the excitement I can muster for this.

Tacoma

Even if Tacoma just ended up being Gone Home in space, I’d still be cool with that. But developers Fullbright has earned more respect than that. It’s very obviously going to be about a singular experience and story-driven, but rehashing the same ground is (hopefully) beyond them.

Co-founder Steve Gaynor announced that their upcoming game will come to Xbox One and PC first before hitting Linux and Mac.

The Long Dark

Billed as “the first survival game on Xbox One,” The Long Dark is very obviously a survival game. You’re out all alone in a frozen wilderness and have to face the cold and wolves and whatnot.

The bigger tidbit coinciding with this is that Microsoft now offers Xbox One Game Preview, their own Early Access. The Long Dark isn’t out now, but you can play it on Game Preview right now. (Game Preview is not be confused with the Xbox One Preview program, although it exists within that and, yeah, you get it.)

Ion

Dean Hall, creator of DayZ, announced his new project Ion. It will also be available on Game Preview first and will attempt to realize Hall’s vision of “a game that wasn’t a game.” The press release describes the game as “an emergent narrative massively-multiplayer online game in which players build, live and inevitably die in huge floating galactic constructions.”

It aims to feature fully simulated environments involving power grids and heating and a bunch of other things to maintain space living. It seems pretty neat, though it may cross that line into too ambitious real quick.

Sea of Thieves

Rare is making a new game! What more do you need to know? Hopefully not much more because they didn’t give us much more.

Rare Replay

Coming August 4 to the Xbox One, the Rare Replay collection will feature just about every game you’d want to play from Rare’s history. This includes some serious bangers like Battletoads, Perfect Dark, Banjo Kazooie, Viva Piñata, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, and Blast Corps. If this doesn’t excite you then you must be dead inside.

Gears of War Ultimate Edition

This remastered version of the original Gears of War will come to Xbox One on August 25. It’ll have updated graphics (which Kotaku has a nice comparison of), integrated Gears of War 3 gameplay features, and the additional content previously exclusive to the PC version from 2007.

Gears of War 4

I dunno. Are you guys excited for a new Gears of War? I’m interested, I guess, but not necessarily looking forward to it. It’ll be the first one not developed by Epic Games. Maybe there will be a fresh take on some of the old staples of the series we’ve grown accustomed to? Gears of War 4 will hit during holidays 2016.

HoloLens

This is a pretty impressive demo for Minecraft with HoloLens, Microsoft’s 3D head-mounted display technology. In it, one player is on a Surface tablet playing the game while the other assumes a more godlike role through HoloLens, able to peer into the entire world and manipulate it from on high.

But it’s also very much unbelievable and in a not great way. Do you remember what we were promised with Kinect? Yeah. And having worked with this sort of tech before, I’m all the more wary. Still cool, though.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

There was also a trailer that came out, but that’s pretty much inconsequential compared to the gameplay demo they threw down. It’s coming across as even more Nathan Drake than before, but it still looks great. Drake’s defining characteristic is that he’s lucky as shit and knows it. Lara didn’t have that.

In 2013’s Tomb Raider, Lara started with getting impaled and it somehow went downhill from there. But this demo shows Lara dodging bullet after bullet and that’s kind of Drake’s thing. I’m not complaining, mind you, but it seems worth mentioning.

And that’s it! Actually, there was a lot more like the above promo for the new Xbox One interface, the Xbox Elite controller (which will cost a whopping $150), and a bunch of other games, but these were kind of the big hitters. It’s fantastic that Microsoft focused so hard on games this year. It felt refreshing.

It’s also worth mentioning that there was a distinct lack of Kinect talk, and with the lack of Kinect in the new Xbox One bundles, it calls to question if Kinect is being swept under the rug. I don’t necessarily buy it, but Ben Kuchera raises some good points over at Polygon.

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Seeking Closure, Finding Resonance

If my friends had to describe me in two words, they would probably be “emotionally” and “dead.” All right, that’s probably a bit of a stretch, but I am fairly sure that I do have some sort of psychosis, not entirely undue to watching 90s cartoons like The Ren & Stimpy Show and the like (seriously, those original Nicktoons were kind of messed up). The advent of the Internet didn’t help either as otherwise disturbing, saddening, or whatever things instead became litmus tests for normality.

The number of movies that have significantly moved me emotionally could be counted on two fingers. Every evocative piece of art usually only brings about a singular feeling of mild curiosity but definitely nothing substantial. Some songs make me want to dance and some pictures make me want to fall asleep in a sunlit meadow, but books have the greatest kill count of feels for me, the most recent being Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.

The most consistent medium, however, for eliciting some sort of deep, unfettered response has been video games. Per title, each game brings out more unique or extreme emotions than any of those other forms of entertainment. That’s not to say it happens a lot, but it is more consistent. Both The Walking Dead and Journey, for instance, get me all riled in up in vastly different ways but to almost equal extent.

I bring the entire topic up because yesterday Justin Korthof of Robot Entertainment sent a tweet asking, “What is the most emotional a game has ever made you?” The common responses he culled were Halo 3, Journey, Gears of War 2, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Red Dead Redemption, and Heavy Rain. That’s a pretty good list, although really I could only personally agree with Journey. The rest I’d felt little more than saddening indifference. I actually thought Halo: Reach and Gears of War 3 were more moving than Halo 3 and Gears of War 2, but hey, to each his own.

Red Dead Redemption was an interesting notion, though. True to its name, at the end of the game, I felt an immense sense of redemptive closure after the epilogue. The pseudo-end was bittersweet more than sad to me as it was building up to that moment since the start of the third act, but the ending ending was—dare I say—incredible. Perhaps it was the combination of the low key cowboy lifestyle preceding the final all-out action sequence with melancholic topper, but it really hit hard once the credits started rolling. It was closure I’d rarely felt in life let alone in a video game.

So when I found out a friend of mine had just made it back to Beecher’s Hope (he’d just picked up the game of the year edition for cheap), I told him to pause it so I could drive over and watch him play it out. I wanted to know that after these past couple of years, my time with John Marston was not wasted.

My friend is a bit of an oddball in that he has a very…unique take on locked doors, i.e. he doesn’t. Neither do his parents, which I guess is where he gets it. He does, however, lock his car, which is strangely enough the only thing to ever be stolen from him. This makes it interesting to drop in on him because you don’t need to stop to call him or ring the doorbell or anything. You just walk on in.

And when I walked in, I saw him not playing Red Dead Redemption but rather Shadow of the Colossus. I’d only lent it to him via the Ico HD collection two days ago but I knew he’d burned through about 10 colossi on the first night. The first thing I see, however, is something I’d likely repressed. Repressed for seven years and now brought forth by witnessing him make the last move to the 16th and final colossus.

Agro had fallen.

Agro, the horse you’d spent the entirety of this incredible journey with, this companion that has been with you long before you arrived in this forbidden land, had been taken away from you. It suddenly all came back to me that not only now was I feeling everything that I’d felt all those years ago but also so much more. Even though I knew she was fine in the end, watching Agro fall after seven years of pent-up and unchecked depression was overwhelming in the most severe of ways.

And when my friend dropped his controller and looked back at me, mouth agape, bewildered by what had just happened to his one friend in this dire, empty world, I just had to walk back outside. It was just too much.

No tears were shed, though. I am, after all, mostly dead inside.


Feel free to discuss in the comments below. Have you revisited any games and come away with a new regard? Has a game ever impacted you emotionally before? Shaped the way you lived your life? Tell us all about it!

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