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Tuesday, 21 June 2016

E3 2016


E3 2016

It's that time again. E3 was a bit lacklustre this year, but there are still a few games I'm pretty excited about, so here's me rambling about them.


Dishonored 2.


The game I was personally really excited about seeing, and man, Bethesda didn't disappoint, giving us a gameplay demo with Emily showing off her new powers (as well as showing off some of a time-manipulation mechanic where you can hop between two eras, Zelda style, and some dynamic weather) and a trailer which seemingly confirmed that Delilah, the Outsider-empowered witch of the Daud DLCs, will be the main villain, having somehow survived whatsoever Daud did to her (presumably, in canon continuity, trapping her in the Void).

The power of Emily's that really interested me? Domino, where you can link multiple enemies to have them all suffer the same fate. Useful for a murder playthrough, but also pretty useful for stealth, if you can choke out or sleep dart one guard and have two or three more fall unconscious. We also found out at E3 that it's possible to reject the Outsider's powers and go through the entire game completely powerless, which is an interesting twist no doubt meant to increase replay value.

So consider me pretty thoroughly hyped. We have a release date too - hopefully, one that's slightly more realistic than the previous 'March 2016' release date they put out and then quietly never mentioned again - for early November. I will most definitely be buying this one on release day, because I adored Dishonored, and if I'm very lucky, I'll like the sequel even more.


Horizon Zero Dawn.


So, first thing: Horizon Zero Dawn's been delayed from 2016 to early 2017, but we do have a solid release date: It comes out on the 3rd of March for the UK, a few days earlier for the rest of Europe, and the day before that for the US.

Horizon Zero Dawn might actually be one of the most interesting games we've seen this year: A vibrant, unique open world game that combines a post-apocalyptic, caveman-y aesthetic with giant robot dinosaurs, not to mention having a pretty awesome looking female protagonist. 

The trailer actually gave me massive hopes for the story, as well, telling us about how protagonist Aloy became the best hunter in her village of outcasts, in order to pursue information about her mysterious, outsider mother, and to find out what the great crime of the 'Old Ones', the humans who created the robots, was.

I also really love all of the design decisions. Every time you see the huge, towering, megafauna-esque robots, there's a Jurassic Park like sense of awe. They're clearly mechanical, but they feel like actual prehistoric animals, and that's an interesting balance to have struck.

Definitely one of the more refreshing looking games this year.


Scalebound.


Scalebound offends my sensibilities a little, because it looks really cool, but I don't have an Xbox One (and I never will) and I doubt my PC is powerful enough to play it. Still, it looks very cool, a kind of Devil May Cry/Bayonetta with dragons, with a vaguely Dark Souls-esque co-op schtick thrown in.

Ah, Hideki Kamiya, I do love you. I do. I wish you produced games only for consoles that I own.

If my PC is powerful enough to play it, then I definitely will, otherwise I'll just watch wistfully from afar.

That's out some time in 2017.


Final Fantasy XV.


I feel like I've already said everything I can possibly ever say about Final Fantasy XV on this blog, but, er, we have a release date now! Worldwide release on the 30th of September. 

We also got confirmation of just where in development Final Fantasy XV had been when Tetsuya Nomura was moved off the project, seven years into its so-far-ten-year development cycle: It was still in the planning stages.

Jesus Christ, Nomura.


The Last Guardian.


Not actually much that was new about The Last Guardian was shown to us. We got some glimpses of the gameplay in a gameplay preview, and we got an absolutely awesome trailer - but what is probably most key is that we got a release date.

For a game that's been in development for over a decade, and is most certainly one of the most anticipated titles of the year - because why wouldn't it be, it combines the joyful wonder of having a giant griffon-cat-dog-bird for a friend, and the melancholy tone and quiet mystery of ICO and Legend of the Colossus - that's a pretty big deal.

I'm looking forward to it, although it's maybe not an instant buy-on-release-day title like some of these are.


Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.


Breath of the Wild is probably Nintendo's most anticipated upcoming game right now, especially as we've waited so long for it without really any information, bar 'megalolz, it's delayed.' It's been delayed again, by the way, we're currently looking at a 2017 release, after it was originally slated to come out in late 2015, and then some time in 2016.

Pulling a bit of a Square-Enix there, Nintendo.

But Breath of the Wild does look genuinely amazing. It's beautiful, vibrant, seems to have a really interesting plot (involving Calamity Ganon, an eldritch shadow pig that I'm told is Ganondorf's version of Dark Link, and which seems to have caused the apocalypse in Hyrule), and takes the series in a new direction, with open world gameplay and a few survival game elements.

Nintendo rather put a dampener on the hype by peddling some truly bizarre lies as to why Link couldn't be a woman, including 'having two women would upset the balance of the Triforce' (agender/genderfluid Ganondorf confirmed?), but excitement seems to be running pretty high for the game anyway.

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