So this is my first gaming convention. I'm going as part of Mash Those Buttons (mashthosebuttons.com) so I've got media access and I should have some stuff up tomorrow (including a preview of Saint's Row 4 and Hearthstone.) This is one of the most insane experiences I've had, and its only been one day.
I was disappointed that I didn't get to sit in on the panel where Blizzard announced Hearthstone, but I did get to spend about 45 minutes playing The Last of Us. I'm still confused about how the girl looks like Ellen Page but isn't Ellen Page because isn't she in Beyond: Two Souls? Anyway, THIS feels like the stealth/horror game that Resident Evil hasn't been in a long time. Its got tough enemies (tougher than the amount of ammo you can pick up), and you've got to sneak around and kill them stealthily rather than trying to stand up face to face. The graphics are amazing. Its ultimately not my cup of tea, but it will do well.
I played some Diablo III on console. Hearing people bitch about Diablo III being built to be ported to console makes me think of Jurassic Park II: The Lost World. Crichton's second book felt like it was meant to be a movie script, and the movie producers ignored it and gave us Jeff Goldblum with a T-Rex on a boat. Diablo III on consoles is that same T-Rex on a boat. I don't consider myself a PC fanboy, but the gear and skill interfaces felt wrong with a console. I didn't care for the radial menu either. The game itself should be fine with appropriate button mapping. If you don't have a pc that can handle Diablo, its a good way to get in, but there's no reason for anyone who already bought the fastest selling PC game of all time to jump on this.
Marvel Heroes looks like the game that Diablo III should have been, except with Marvel skins. I'll be talking to developers tomorrow, so I'm curious to get more details about their pricing, but the best part of the panel was when David Brevik, when asked about if PvP would be included in the game, said "Yes. At launch. Not just dueling." He gets Action RPGs. He should still be working on Diablo.
I saw some extended trailers for Assassin's Creed blackflag. The ship-boarding looks awesome. At this point though, the franchise seems so damaged, even if this is what it would need, it may be beyond repair. I feel like they are butchering the lore in the name of gameplay, which should be the *right* answer, but I'm a lore nerd.
Maybe I'll post more impressions tomorrow. This show is crazy. I need sleep.
I GOT TO MEET WITH DAVID BREVIK!!! I should have recorded what wound up being a 1-on-1 interview, but basically he was my guide through Marvel Heroes. Diablo III is the lore sequel to Diablo II, but Marvel Heroes is the gameplay sequel. HE'S STILL USING SKILL TREES. Its going to be free-to-play and I think its going to be huge.
I also got to meet with Steve Piggott of Torn Banner games. Their game Chivalry (chivalrythegame.com) is amazing. Its a first person shooter (well... really more like first person melee. But there are crossbows!) set in the middle ages, and it appears to be historically accurate. This is not a fantasy setting; there's no magic. Weapons can and do kill you in one shot. Its like nothing else I've seen on the market.
I also got to play the Wildstar demo. Its WoW in a fantasy space setting... and I mean that to the degree that Blizzard could sue them for infingement.
I got to check out the NVidia Shield. It was decent enough.
I also attended two panels. First, I heard some of the former employees of 38 Studios talk about how they transitioned into indy development when they lost their jobs. Basically they all realized that now was their time to take their shot and put something out. I also sat in on a panel about Violence in Video Games causing Violence in Children. The conclusion of the presentation was that most of the research that alleges a link is flawed, and there have only been three real studies, with one showing a minor link and two others showing almost no link at all. Really, it was a good exercise in applying the scientific method.
This show is exhausting. I'm glad there's only one more day. We'll see if I'm up for posting about that tomorrow.
Originally posted by ZeruelI always wished that there were more games like this on the market. One of my favorite PS1 games was Bushido Blade, for that very reason.
Imagine Bushido Blade as an FPS with updated graphics set in Europe. I meant to ask Piggott if he had played Bushido Blade, because oftentimes, the first person to move in a standoff was the first person to die, just like Bushido Blade. I'm still getting the hang of this interview thing.
Day 3 was spent touring the Indy section, though I did get to play Dead Island Riptide. I never played the first one, I suck at FPS's and I don't have an Xbox. This combined to cause me to not really understand the demo at all. It had lots of zombies and damage numbers, so there's that.
Two games that are going to be huge are The Swapper and Contrast. The Swapper is classic Metroid meets Portal. The gimmick is that your gun allows you to make clones of yourself, that mimic your moves. So you can shoot a clone up to a platform that is otherwise out of reach, and then as you walk on your platform, the clone will walk on the other platform, and perhaps press a button that will open a door that is in your path. Contrast is a puzzle-platformer where you play a ghost (I think) that has the ability to transition in and out of shadows (provided there is light). When in shadow-form, you can interact with other shadows as though they were solid objects. So if you need to get up to a platform you can't jump to, but the platform is casting a shadow down to the ground, you can turn into your shadow, and your shadown can climb the platform's shadow up to the platform. I'm doing a terrible job explaining it. Just check out the official site (contrastgame.com). Just know that the art is BEAUTIFUL. The worlds that both these games create are compelling, and they have promise for interesting gameplay.
Other games of note:
Delver's Drop - Its a randomly generated dungeon crawler with a top down, Zelda-esque perspective. The graphics were top-notch.
Secret Ponchos - I LOVE that name. Imagine Power Stone but with a spaghetti western motif instead of as a fighter.
Divekick - A fighting game where you win by being the first player to land a dropkick on your opponent. The matches are quick and the game always had a crowd.
Charlie Murder - An arcade-style brawler with Gorillaz style characters.
Telekinetic Tactics - Think FF Tactics with a top down view and telekinesis instead of magic.
Colliding Forces - A two player strategy game where you knock elemental pucks around your iPad. This caught my eye because the developers had the iPad on the table between two players, like a gameboard.
Legend of Dungeon - A 4-player roguelike, with procedurally generated dungeons AND MUSIC.
The media Q&A with Mike and Jerry was today too. The best part was when they asked us if we had any information on the next Xbox. If anyone in the crowd did, they stayed quiet.
I also met with the Able Gamers foundation. They are striving to make video games more accessible for Gamers with Disabilities. Its interesting how because they are such a minority, that the larger developers don't see any value in catering to them. Its a niche that Indy developers are more than willing to fill. It was an interesting chat.
Tomorrow I'll be writing out all my articles. By Wednesday everything should be published, including our podcast recap. This was an amazing experience, but I am glad I'm home.