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Monday, 19 June 2017

E3 2017 Round-up, Part 2

E3 2017 Round-up,
Part 2.

So, after looking at our first five interesting games from E3 (catch that over here), it's time to look at five more -- covering one DLC, a lot of sequels, a lot of JRPGs, and one Supermassive game.

Dishonored 2: Death of the Outsider.

So, this is an oddly daring choice.

The first DLC for Dishonored 2 (which is likely to be part one of a two part story, ala the first game's DLCs) is titled 'Death of the Outsider,' and will purportedly be about Daud and Billy setting out to kill the Outsider, aka the person who gives our protagonists all their magical powers.

Either this is a sign that they're planning to end the franchise after these DLCs, or they're going to wriggle their way around actually killing him (or, you know, any other games will be prequels).

We don't know much about the DLC yet -- just that you'll be able to play as Daud or Billy, much like how you could play as either Corvo or Emily in the main game.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2.

Xenoblade Chronicles (and its successor-but-not-really-sequel Xenoblade Chronicles X) was an enormously successful and well-received game, boasting an interesting story, time-manipulating JRPG gameplay, and a massive open world (eleven square miles, only slightly smaller than Skyrim).

Its sequel was announced for the Switch not long ago, but E3 gave us the first trailer for it, and it's -- strange, to be honest. There's an over-shiny chibi style that reminds me more of World of Final Fantasy than anything else, some really weird character designs (short-shorts with giant balloon chaps, anyone?), and the main character has the most absurd Yorkshire accent.

The trailer tells us only a little bit about the plot, which involves a world tree and a magic sword, but honestly, at this point, I think the game's success is assured just based on all the good will Monolith Soft built up with its last two Xenoblade games.

Ni no Kuni 2.

The first Ni no Kuni game might have, in other circumstances, been doomed to fall into obscurity, having fairly mediocre gameplay and a fun but not groundbreaking story. What saved it was having Studio Ghibli attached to it, instantly piquing people's interest.

It got a fairly middling response from critics, and it was up in the air for a while as to whether it would even get a sequel.

Well, a sequel -- this time sans Studio Ghibli -- is on its way, due to be released later this year, with a story about a king retaking his country after some snake guy steals it. Bandai Namco and Level-5 are pushing this game pretty hard, with Level-5's CEO insisting that this game will better fulfill the lofty ambitions of the first game.

If it succeeds in that, it will be a fun, engaging, memorable JRPG, but let's not hold out hope for that until we see it in action.

Hidden Agenda.

Until Dawn was the first game I bought for my PS4, and even though I've only played it once -- in a single, eight hour sitting -- it made a big impression on me. Supermassive Games managed, with Until Dawn, to do what David Cage has been trying to do for his entire career -- make a genuinely compelling, choice-based game. 

Well, they have a new game coming out: Hidden Agenda, about a police officer and a prosecutor attempting to track down a serial killer who booby-traps his victims to kill first responders. The game promises to have a heavy noir theme running through it, and to deal with themes of police corruption, crime, and all that good stuff.

Interestingly, Supermassive is also instituting a system where people watching can vote on what choice you make -- Telltale tried to do something similar, but the attempt fell flat on its face, so it'll be interesting to see if Supermassive can pull it off.

Beyond Good and Evil 2.

In truth, I'm not that excited for Beyond Good and Evil 2. I never played the original, and it never looked that interesting to me, so I don't have the attachment to the franchise that a lot of people have.

Still, after years of Ubisoft teasing that they might do a sequel if people buy enough of their games, they're finally making good on that promise -- we haven't seen any gameplay yet, just one (admittedly impressive) pre-rendered trailer, so it seems likely that the game is in a fairly embryonic stage of development, but if they can pull this off, Ubisoft will win back a lot of the fans that they've lost in the past five years.

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