DP on E3 #1 of 3: Microsoft & EA

Hey kids! This is Justin, formerly of Dyslexic Penguin, and current guy that prevents Riv from blowing up his own forum ...again. I take part in a yearly tradition of high expectations, and disappointment. This magical event is the Electronic Entertainment Expo, otherwise known as E3. So, since I was gonna be stuck watching it anyway, I figured fuck it. Might as well post my thoughts here on the Asked site so that Riv can pretend he has actively posted content. I mean, to be a good friend.

Oh, and one other thing. Since I live in Australia now, the majority of this show consists of being up at retarded AM. So if I sound like a belligerent crazy man that would be why. So, with that said we begin our story with last years embarrassing loser Microsoft!

The first thing you might notice with Microsoft's presentation is the rather large amount of between trailer short videos with developers telling us how much they love games, and what their favorite memories of the games are. So, roughly translated this works out to just being Microsoft begging us to believe they actually do care about the games themselves, and are not just lulling us into a false sense of security in order to drop their hot new IP: Comedy Central.

Our first game reveal is for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, which is also announced to have downloadable content exclusive to the Xbox One. Right off the bat we're starting with a multi-platform game with console specific content. We all know how much everybody loves that, right? We get some game footage, which I've gone ahead and tossed up above this paragraph. It looks about the same as any other CoD game to me, but at least there isn't any fifteen minute jerk-off fests about how much a dog's fur flows, or fish physics so I'll call it a win. Either way the game is gonna be released November 4th. It's the birthday present I never really wanted.

With our shooter out of the way, we shortly transition into our Forza showcase. Specifically the upcoming Forza 5: Nurburgring downloadable content, which is announced as being free. In addition we also learn about the upcoming Forza Horizon 2. However, since when the topic of racing games gets brought up I naturally begin to feel my eyes roll back into the back of my head I cannot even begin to pretend I can tell you anything about either game aside from the fact they involve vehicles driving. It releases on September 30th if you're one of the folk who might actually give a crap.

Next up from the makers of Left 4 Dead, we have Evolve. There isn't a whole lot to tell from the little mini trailer, but from first impressions it looks like a version of L4D in which you either play as soldiers, or you play as some alien monsters. So basically this is Aliens: Colonial Marines with a budget rather than a franchise IP.

From here we go toward a showcase for the multiplayer functions for Assassins Creed: Unity. This AC takes place in historical France, and looks about the same as every other AC game. Climb up stuff. Stab stuff. Be historical. You know the drill. The multiplayer stuff looks fine, but I can't help but feel it kind of goes against the stealthy concept of the game. I can't picture people playing multi and actually sneaking around. I expect gunshots, and swarms of rape everywhere. Hopefully the inclusion of multiplayer won't cause them to half ass the actual storyline. By that I mean the actual historical storyline. The weird you're sort of a game developer plot thing can go fuck itself.

Following this we see a trailer for Dragon Age 3: Inquisition. I'll likely go ahead and throw up the trailer for this a little later when we see it again during the EA presentation. Following this we get a really unusual trailer for a game called Sunset Overdrive which seems to be a third person shooter/adventure type deal where you play as "yourself," if yourself if a one-liner shouting punk who's clearly the coolest guy in town! Yeah! It looks a bit cartoony, which sort of implies it might actually be fun, rather than just being another dude-bro type dick pumping fest.

Microsoft soon turns their attention to Disney, to discuss the dance game nobody really gave a shit about, or wanted: Disney's Fantasia: Music Evolved! Remember when Harmonix actually made Rock Band, and people gave a shit about them? Seems like a whole lifetime ago now. We shortly cut to footage for a kinect based Fable game called Fable Legends. I'm sure the fact it's kinect specific will ensure it sucks terribly, but I admit the ability to play as the bad guy and essentially run a D&D game with other players looks like it might be mildly interesting. I mean, I wouldn't pay for a kinect game. But the idea isn't bad.

Remember Project Spark from last year's E3? It was like a weird game creation tool thing. Well, they shill it again here, along with some examples of some ideas you might use for games. We also get the reveal that Conker from Conker's Bad Fur Day will be involved with it somehow. I guess you can use him as a character in your games. A brief trailer follows this for a game that looks like a sequel to Dust: An Elysian Tale, but ends up being an unrelated game called Ori & The Blind Forest. It looked nice though.

What's that? You have had your dick in your hand this entire presentation waiting for a Halo reference and you're starting to lose your erection? Well Microsoft has got you covered my friend. As every Halo game will be released with HD remixes in one set as Halo: The Master Chief Collection. This set also contains beta access to Halo: Guardians, which I guess is some kind of MMO deal. I never really cared much about Halo, but even I have to admit this is a pretty big deal for Microsoft. Hilariously, the Halo TV Show they were shilling last year is also featured on this set, so that roughly translates to they couldn't find a TV network willing to pay for it.

We have another deceitful trailer for a game that I thought was a sequel to Limbo, but ends up just being a game called Inside. Which isn't really that interesting of a name, but there you go. Fuck all that noise though, we quickly stop caring about it as the sequel to the AMAZING reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise gets a launch trailer. The sequel will be known as Rise of the Tomb Raider, which is a good title I think. Much better than just throwing a 2 on it and calling it a day, since it'll be her first actual tomb raiding as before she was just surviving a snuff film.

Now, the next thing I might get some disagreements over but I had some trouble keeping my attention going through the demo of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. I know the games have a fan base, and maybe they play better on PC but when I tried to play the Xbox 360 version of Witcher 2 I was bored out of my fucking mind. I may give it another shot one day, as I've changed my mind on games before after giving them a second attempt, but wow did that feel like a story that went absolutely nowhere fast. Still, it looked decent enough if you enjoy the series.

We cut to a FMV trailer for some show called Phantom Dust. It's supposed to be based off an old IP, but I an drawing a blank as to what the IP is. From here we get more rooty-tooty-aim-and-shooty as we show off Tom Clancy's The Division. Again, like CoD games these all end up looking exactly the same to me so I can't really comment on them much. I admit sometimes I begin to wonder lately if games exist where you're not just shooting people while being in a city setting.

A very brief trailer follows for a game called Scalebound, which seems to star a Dante from DMC (the reboot version) fighting dragons while looking smug as fuck. I guess if you like dragons then go for it. Finally we wrap out Microsoft's presentation with a FMV trailer for a new Crackdown game. I've only played the first one, and it wasn't necessarily horrible, but I'm not sure how a game like that'll really work in a world where Saints Row 4 exists and does the concept much better.

Microsoft Final Grade: B-

The big get for me was Rise of the Tomb Raider. Some other stuff looked semi-interesting, but while nothing was truly bad I also didn't really feel myself getting hyped for anything either. It would have ranked higher if there was more game demo footage, and less just random FMV videos. Still they needed to make up for last year, and they did. Now watch as Sony pulls the tard card and starts talking about movies, and television later. Before that, however, we have Electronic Arts!

EA begins with a brief making-of video for the upcoming Star Wars: Battlefront game. Unfortunately, this doesn't go a long way in showing us any actual game footage. It looks nice enough, mind you. Eventually we get into actual game stuff with another look at Dragon Age 3: Inquisition! This time around in addition to the same FMV we saw earlier, we also get some actual gameplay footage which you can see above. I admit to being a bit disappointed it looks more like DA2, and less like DA: Origins. That being said, I didn't hate DA2 like a lot of other folk did. Plus, they showed a tactical view screen shot which implies you can make it emulate DA: Origins instead. So we'll see. Either way it looked nice enough. Honestly, as long as they don't half ass the maps like in 2 where you can literally see the map being openly reused constantly I'll be happy.

We get a mention that another Mass Effect game, as well as a new IP by Bioware is in development. Unfortunately they don't really show anything, and it's little more than a tease to inform us that Bioware remembers that Mass Effect is a thing that prints money for them. Speaking of printing money, our next actual game presentation is for The Sims 4. This time around you can add personality traits to your Sims, to make them act more like normal people. From what the trailer implied you're meant to use this to make Barack Obama. Sims has always been a bit of niche (albeit a large niche) audience, so I'm sure the people who have an interest will hunt this stuff down. I'm indifferent to it, personally. They're games that are fun to screw with, but I could never see myself sitting down to actually play it seriously.

Naturally, since this is E3 we're dealing with we have our Sports Game Medley. This year we feature the following: UFC 2015, NHL 2015, Need For Speed, Madden 2015, PGA Tour 2015, and something called Frostbite 3. The updated content on most of these roughly translates to more up to date player rosters, and updated graphics engines. The only interesting news was that Bruce Lee will be a playable character in UFC (which was known before E3), and that Need For Speed will also include drivable Jet Skis, Boats, and Planes. Great if you're the audience for it, but otherwise meh.

EA continues the search for more money by announcing that they'll be getting involved with the MOBA (games like League of Legends, or DOTA) ring with a new game called Dawngate. It looked about the same as the other games of the type, which I honestly don't know much about. In fact, all I really know about League of Legends is apparently the player base is considered the worst people on Earth for some reason. Surprising, since I always figured the MMORPG was. Don't believe me? Look at Moon Guard's Goldshire on World of Warcraft.

We get a couple of very short preview videos for Mirrors Edge 2, and Fifa 2015. I'm actually kind of surprised how little time Fifa got considering the world cup is a thing that's going on right now.

We close with a fairly lengthy demo of Battlefield: Hardline which is another shooting game in which is meant to feel like a cop drama. So you play as the white cop, with a black partner and you totally don't think the same things. One of you is only three weeks away from retirement. There will be a beta test that is available now. You can look that stuff up, as I forgot the full details for it - but you'll want to do it sooner than later since the spots are limited. At least they claim they are. I'm sure they'll magically come up with more if it has a high enough demand.

Electronic Arts Final Grade: C

There was nothing to complain about, but there also wasn't anything really that interesting for me aside from the Dragon Age info. The majority of which we already saw during the Microsoft presentation, with the new stuff being a little shorter than I would have liked. Still, this is EA so I can't fault them for milking the sports games as that is where the bread is buttered. Perfectly acceptable middle of the line presentation.

Well that wraps things up for act one of our E3 watching. Tune in soon for part two: Ubisoft & Sony!