Well, summer is here and that means it is time for the Electronic Entertainment Expo to come along and let us know just how many gaming pennies we should be saving for the upcoming year. With that in mind, the Plot Bunnies present you Matt’s Unquestionably Biased Guide to Upcoming Videogame Spending, or MUBGUVS. Ok, perhaps I should have spent more time on my acronym, but that would have cut into my time spent staring blankly at my computer screen and drooling at the flashing pretty pictures. Heaven forefend, am I right?
So let’s start with Microsoft’s game announcements. Unquestionably biased warning: I’m not an Xbox guy. I have a 360, but only because I got a free one for signing a 3 year contract with my internet provider. I’ve dabbled in some of their exclusives and mostly I think they are fine, but not super compelling to me. That said, if you are into their exclusives, they have a shitload of sequels heading your way that are probably going to be pretty fun: Halo 5, Gears of War 4, Forza 6, etc., as well as some HD remakes of popular older games, like Gears of War 1 – 3. But within the din of sequels and remakes there are a couple exclusives that popped out at me.
The first is Sea of Thieves, a new pirate-themed MMO from developer Rare. Technically, this is not really an exclusive as it will also be released on the PC, but that just means I might have a chance to play it. We don’t get to see a lot of mission gameplay in the trailer, but I’m loving the artwork and the sea battles look suitably epic.
The other exclusive that actually makes me a little sad not to have an XBone is ReCore. Again, there is not really true gameplay footage here, but the cutscene shows an intriguing world and the potential for a cool story. Here’s hoping.
Next, let’s take a look at Nintendo’s offerings. Roz and I actually have a WiiU and each have a 3DS so this is where we start serving my cups of tea. But first, I want to take this opportunity to cast some completely unrelated shame upon Nintendo. At the last E3 they showed us Splatoon and I was stoked. Like super stoked. Roz and I couldn’t wait to get our hands on that and team up to drench some motherfuckers in brightly coloured ink. So Splatoon finally comes out and there is no online co-op option, only a lame 1-on-1 couch co-op mode. What the hell, Nintendo? Online co-op is the best part of Mario Kart because I get all the fun of old school 2-player in-person razzing and pizza sharing, but with the challenge of a full court of human competitors. Why would you ever remove that option from something like Splatoon?! For shame, Nintendo. For shame.
Moving forward however, we have a ton of new stuff to look forward to. Some of it we already knew about, like Yoshi’s Woolly World and Super Mario Maker, but the new trailers do nothing to lessen my enthusiasm for those games. Among the new trailers are some gems like Star Fox Zero, for WiiU. There is also a new trailer for Xenoblade Chronicles X, on the WiiU. I have to say, I wasn’t particularly interested in this game before (never played the first on one Wii), but this new footage is pretty darn compelling.
Somewhat surprisingly, most of Nintendo’s most exciting and newest (to me) game announcements were for the 3DS. From the charmingly exuberant Chibi-Robo Zip Lash to co-op Zelda (a la Four Swords) in Tri Force Heroes and co-op Metroid in Metroid Prime: Federation Force, there is lots of handheld fun to look forward to. But my favourite 3DS announcement? Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam! I thoroughly enjoined Super Paper Mario and Paper Mario Sticker Stars, so this has me really happy. I get to make enormous cardboard Marios and then drive them around the world, destroying everything in my path, you say? Count me the fuck in!
And now we get to Sony’s announcements. Let me sum up with this:
Hot damn, do I have some saving to do. First up, my sequel bait. I will play anything from the Uncharted series (well, other than those digital card games they have, or whatever they are. I don’t like card games in real life, digital versions just seem even dumber. But hey, to each their own, right? Gotta keep telling myself that). So the new Uncharted 4 trailer has me hooked, needless to say. Sure, it doesn’t look that different from the previous games, but if it ain’t broke, right? And Nathan Drake kills like a million people while destroying an impoverished village just to get his grubby mitts on some relic only a handful of people care about. But so what, did I come here for a morality lesson? Hells no. I came here for treasure, action, and sweet parkour moves; and Uncharted 4 looks like it has that in spades.
Next up, in the old money pit, is Horizon Zero Dawn, from the makers of the Killzone franchise. Looking like The Last of Us, with a cyberpunk twist, this game has me salivating just thinking about it. Hopefully it has a story that lives up to the promise.
We also got to finally see a real trailer for The Last Guardian, the conclusion to the Ico and Shadow of Colossus trilogy. People have been talking about this game forever, and rumors of its cancellation have floated around, but here it is in all its beauty. And it is, indeed, beautiful. I liked Shadow of Colossus, but didn’t get huge into it, so my enthusiasm is a little tempered on this one, but it is still big news for sure.
In semi-exclusive (it will eventually come out on PC) news, Sony actually presented us with a bit of gameplay from No Man’s Sky. For the uninitiated, No Man’s Sky is this crazy space exploration game with procedurally generated worlds (not designed by a person), and you have the whole universe to explore. This means that there are thousands of world to visit, many of which will have never been seen by human eyes. You could play this game forever and not see everything in it. Neat. Unfortunately, for all that the developers keep talking about the amazing scope, we haven’t really seen much that tells us what you will actually be doing in the game. Even the new trailer still leaves us a bit in the dark about the actual gameplay. All that said, I can’t wait to see what actually happens with this game. Go big or go home.
And last, but not least, is the non-exclusive highlights. First up: Firewatch. I don’t really know too much about this game and the trailer doesn’t explain much, but it’s got me intrigued.
The last two games are both quite dear to my heart. Star Wars, motherfucker! Yeah! So we have a new gameplay trailer for Star Wars Battlefront and it made me pass out and shit my pants. Well, maybe not really. But if I lived in a cartoon? Then that totes would have happened. It pretty much looks like you get to play in some of the battles from the original trilogy, or other battles that would have been occurring at the same time. So pretty much the greatest thing ever. And the graphics! Oh, the graphics. There are times in the trailer where would have a split second thinking I was looking at actual footage from the forests of Endor or the canyons on Tatooine. It’s real purdy. And best of all? Two-player co-op. Take that Nintendo!
And the last trailer to present is not a new game, but is for an upcoming expansion to Star Wars: The Old Republic. Unfortunately, the trailer doesn’t really show us anything about what will be new to the game, but damn, are those some good looking cinematics. It’s like we get a nice little Star Wars animated short.
– Matt B.