E3: What to look for…
E3, the veritable video game Mecca, has come and gone again. Although this was my first year participating, it went about how I expected; that is to say that there were a lot of booths showing off games and the entire Zerg army disguised as nerds were swarming the place. I was a little disappointed by the number of iOS games, and “kiddy” games, but that didn’t stop me from having fun. Below I will some of the games that caught my eye that I will be anxiously awaiting.
What I am anticipating eagerly:
Civilization: Beyond Earth – Imagine my surprise seeing that one of my favorite series is not only getting a new edition, but it is expanding into space. Unfortunately I was not able to land an appointment to check it out, so at this point all I can do is speculate. It is going to be a rehash of the old Alpha Centauri? Or maybe Civilization is branching out into the space 4X genre. Either way I am totally ok with it, and since doing a Google search or contacting 2K for press released information would be WAY too easy, I am just going to let my imagination run wild on this one. Civilization is one of the few series that has not disappointed me yet, so fingers crossed!
Gauntlet – Am I the only person who thinks “it’s about damn time they released another Gauntlet?” If so, let me get an “Amen,” and if not, I pity your childhood. The upcoming Gauntlet looks a lot more like the original than some of the later installations from the post NES generations of consoles. It is definitely prettier than the old one (as if I need to mention that), and has a slightly isometric view rather than the traditional overhead view. I especially like that they added the ability to bomb through certain walls, because anything inspired by Legend of Zelda is legit.
Smash Bros. – This game looks awesome of course, but I doubt I will go out and buy a Wii U for it. Fortunately I know which of my friends will, so guess where I will be hanging out once Nintendo drops the latest edition of the game that is keeping their company alive. I grew up with Nintendo, and there is a certain soft spot I have for them, but there are only so many gimmicky controllers and games designed for 8 year olds I can handle before I stop giving them my money. The Game Cube controller is ok and all, but it is hardly the best one available on consoles (yet it has somehow survived 3 generations for the sole purpose of accommodating Smash Bros. players). As usual there have been some character changes (most notably Little Mac who seems pretty OP), but at least they didn’t nerf Samus in this edition!
Mario Maker – Maybe I’m old school (I do occasionally bust out a game of Tetris), but when I was growing up Mario Bros. was the shit! Soon, Nintendo will be rereleasing Mario Bros. with an awesome twist: you can make your own levels. Although I did not stick around long enough to try the demo they had set up, the concept alone has me excited.
H1Z1 – This game has me excited because, ever since War Z (now called Infestation: Survivor Stories so they wouldn’t get sued by the author of World War Z) came out, the idea of a huge, open world, MMO zombie survival game has been very appealing to me. The problem with this genre of game is that none of the developers can seem to deliver on what they promise. The games are notoriously buggy, and are often riddled with hackers. Trying to survive a horde of zombies with nothing but a canoe oar is hard enough without having to worry about some asshole with a .22 head-shotting you from 1000 yard away. Although I have not seen the multiplayer aspect of H1Z1 yet, the demo showed great promise in terms of game stability, and actually had a professional looking interface. As with all games in this genre, I will not be giving them any of my money until the game is fully released, and appears to be functioning, but this game has serious potential. Anyone familiar with this genre probably just rolled their eyes and said, “I thought the same thing about Day Z standalone, and all the others, but they still turned out to be crap.” I know, I know, but I can still hold out hope that someone will eventually get it right.
Metal Gear Solid V – You can abduct goats, ‘nuff said. All I got to see of this game as a developer controlled demo of one of the levels, but the stealth mechanics on this game look awesome. The only disappointing thing about this game is that the PC version is on the back burner. I don’t mind playing PC ports of console games, but when they make the controls hard to use, or over simplified for people who are not playing with an entire keyboard of buttons, it can be frustrating.