E3 was here as it came and went with more a whimper than the usual roar of news. This was mostly due to early leaks and already announced games. Still I need something to write about and talk about for this blog post, so I will dig up the interesting games and releases of June 10 to 16, 2018.
Hollow Knight –
A side scrolling metroidvania style exploration game. You dash and fight to discover the secrets of a long abandon insect kingdom Hallownest. Developed and published by Team Cherry it came out in 2017 for PC, Linux, and Mac and now makes it way to Switch. It released on June 12, 2018.
Jurassic World Evolution –
A park management simulator where you build a park to hold dinosaurs and let visitors see the wonderful and terrifying world. One must manage and build your park and be careful to keep things working well because you don’t want say a T-Rex breaking out and eating your visitors or maybe you do. Released on the Xbox One, PC, and PS4 it came out on June 12, 2018. It was developed and published by Frontier Developments.
Racing never crashed so good. Demolition derby, race wrecked cars or wreck your opponents as you try to come in first place. This game was developed by Bugbear Entertainment and published by THQ Nordic. It released on PC on June 14, 2018 with a PS4 and Xbox One version due to release in November of 2018.
There were a few good things/surprise announcements so it wasn’t all meh.
- The bizarre game My Friend Pedro from publisher Devolver Digital and creators DeadToast Entertainment is well worth looking at. It is a side scrolling shooter with lots of slow motion and ridiculous action. It’s coming to PC and Switch sometime in 2019.
I watched the trailer for this game several times just to make sure I understood it and just because I could. It does have a bit of a Deadpool and The Matrix feel to it, which is nice and what makes this trailer work so well.
- Of course there is the whole Super Smash Brothers Ultimate that Nintendo went in depth on. When I say in depth, I do mean they talked a lot about the little things during this E3 direct video. The ultimate Smash game will have all of the fighters that have ever appeared in the series and some new ones. It is coming to Switch on December 7, 2018.
Smash looks like it will be another excellent addition to the series. There are lots of those little Nintendo touches and the ever meticulous Masahiro Sakurai leading the team to keep things fun. Plus all of the characters from the previous games will keep most happy with the exception being Waluigi fans.
- You also have the oddball Maneater where you play as a shark going around and eating humans. This has RPG elements as you go about eating things allowing you to grow, jump higher, etc. It’s being developed by Blindside Interactive and will be published by Tripwire Interactive.
I’m not sure why I like this trailer except for its absolute silliness. I’ll be curious to see how they keep the game potentially interesting as you progress or if it will falter and wind up feeling pretty much the same all around.
- On Sony’s front The Last of Us 2 looks as violent and gruesome as the first perhaps even more so. The game doesn’t have a release date yet, but appears to be coming along nicely.
The trailer for this one threw me through a loop for a bit and didn’t wow me. It also felt like they got away from the tension of the first game for a straight up action game. That isn’t a bad thing, but much of Sony’s E3 felt like third person action adventure violent games. I’m looking forward to this one but tentatively as I need to see more of it.
- On to Microsoft’s Xbox conference where there the big thing was that they acquired several small companies to make games for them. The big two were Compulsion Games who are working on We Happy Few, and Ninja Theory who recently made Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. Learn all about the news from Techcrunch.com
This was a bit of a surprise. Normally you don’t go around announcing you have bought companies at E3. I get why they bought them as it feels like Microsoft doesn’t have much of a developer stable for first party games, just a bit weird to announce it in such a fashion though it will hype up fans.
- There was also Cyberpunk 2077 which was shown off with a bright and very airy trailer when some were expecting dark a gritty.The world the developer is creating looks alive and full of mischievous opportunities.
From the first E3 showing to this trailer feels a touch underwhelming to me. I have no doubt that this will turn out well thanks to a developer who will put love and care into it. Add in the positive response that journalists had at a backroom demo, bodes well for it.
- For Armored Core fans, Nintendo, Marvelous, and First Studio have your back. A new game from ex-developers of the Armored Core series are creating a mech game called Daemon X Machina for the Switch. It features a more cartoony cell shaded style of art but retains the big mechs and weapons. It will be coming in 2019.
This looks really neat visually. I’ve never been into mech games as they tend to never feel quite right control wise for me. But this one, I could potentially see myself trying out mostly to look at the art style it has going on.
The not so great of E3 was also quite a list of things:
- Nintendo’s E3 direct video concentrated pretty much on Smash, which if you’re not a fan of made it a disappointing video. With so few new games announced it felt like the company was losing a bit of steam to keep the Switch console relevant.
There were some good announcements, the Daemon X Machina and Super Mario Party. But to offer so little else, feels a bit disheartening. I figured they would at least get developers to talk a bit about their games. Instead we got lots of Smash Brothers, which is fine, but leaves you wanting more.
- Also disappointing was Sony’s start to their E3 conference, in which they started the event in a tent, showed off The Last of Us 2, then moved to their main stage causing a large intermission to occur. For fans at the show that’s fine, for anyone watching on TV or streaming it was a rather large “What The Fuck” moment as people scrambled to understand what was going on. After that though Sony did settle down and just show games.
As an idea for a show it sounds like a great idea to do, but someone managed to completely forget that the audience present at the conference wasn’t the only one watching. This kind of thing can work well as an experience for people present, like many of the fan experiences at Comic-Con’s. Otherwise, no, no, and no don’t do it. I hope Sony learns not to do this ever again, or if they do they manage to broadcast far and wide to all people watching what is going to happen.
Still sticking with Sony one cannot get past how bad they have been when it comes to cross-platform play or even worse in this instance locking content. This is of course in reference to Fortnite where if you link your Epic account to a PS4 you cannot use that same Epic account on Switch. You can read Sony’s non-response to the issue over on Digitalspy.com
This is just sad. I don’t know any other way to put this then it makes Sony look petty and small. I don’t see how they can continue to think it is a good idea to cut off gamers from one another. And considering they proudly use the Twitter hashtag #Forgamers, it really doesn’t look good. Fix this Sony and be quick about it or you will lose consumers come next generation.
Square Enix’s little conference really wasn’t much of one. It was a trailer compilation of games that were mostly expected. Nothing terribly surprising from them, which is a bit sad you’d expect at least something big if you’re holding a conference.
It was nice to see Just Cause 4 and the craziness they’re trying with that game. Otherwise it all felt flat and uninspiring. They have a lot of good games in development but to not bring them to E3 feels like a shame.
Similar to Square Enix, Ubisoft also didn’t have a great conference, as they didn’t announce anything really major. It is almost expected that they have one last grand announcement before their conference ends. They however, didn’t have one this time which gave the showing a bit of a muted feeling.
I didn’t see anything to blow me away from Ubisoft. I though the new Trials game looked good, but I expected so much more from them and I didn’t get it. It felt like a parade of the usual games, when everyone was wanting that something special.
COD: BLOPS IV is drawing the ire of gamers for its season pass, which many feel will split the gaming multiplayer base in two with people who have the DLC and those that don’t have it. This is in sharp contrast to games like Overwatch and the upcoming Battlefield V where all the upcoming DLC will be free but you have to deal with cosmetic loot boxes. Check out what’s going on over on Kotaku.com
It feels like Call of Duty is stuck in a rut and this latest issue pushes the game further away from gamers. It can be rectified easily enough, but whether Activision wants to or if they more interested in money remains to be seen.
The shooter and Cliff Bleszinski led game Lawbreakers will be shutting down its servers on September 14, 2018 due to the closure of the studio who created the game. In the meantime the game will be going free to play for those that want to try it. This story comes from VG24/7.com
It is an unfortunate situation for all those involved but this is often what happens with anything creative. Your game either gets an excited fan base who carries the game for a long time, or it slowly catches on and builds an audience, or the game never gets an audience. It is sad when things don’t work out, but it happens.
On July 13, 2018 two car games will be joined together… sort of. The car creation game Automation which is in early access and the racing wrecking simulation game BeamNG.Drive will soon allow you to bring your creations to even greater life. You will be able to export your cars from Automation to Beam with the simple click of a button. Most of the settings and set-up of the car you create will work in Beam, though the damage model won’t be as extensive as it is with the cars already in Beam. There is a full blog post over on the Steam web-pages for the game that runs down all that they’re doing.
This is pretty neat. It’s nice to see two developers working together to bring something fun and unique to the gaming world. I hope to see more of this and that the two developers continue to work together to keep improving each others game.
There is also the sad news that Bomberman character designer Shoji Mizune recently passed away. He is known for his work on Bomberman and Beyblade’s anime and the Bomberman anime Jitters. Mr. Mizune was 58. Forbes has the story on his passing.
This is sad news for someone so young.
Well E3 may not have lived up to the hype that many build it to be, but there is as usual: some good, some bad, and many questions left unanswered. That is all for this week in gaming, so thank you for visiting my blog. If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions I would love to hear them. You can submit those via the comment section below, emailing me at Lostvideogamesblog@gmail.com, or finding me and contact me on Twitter at @Snipehockey.