Freddie and Brandon @ E3

Join us as we check out this year’s games, crown one game “Game of Show”, and lament the lack of new consoles.

We couldn’t bring our camera in for some of the games we checked out, so here’s what we thought of them – in textual form:

The Other Games!

First of all, Ubisoft was pretty much the only dudes at E3 that had any games that were worth checking out. Also, they had a trailer for Just Dance 4 that featured our buddy Harley from Epic Meal Time rocking back and forth with a giant sandwich (and drawing attention to his Epic Meal Time shirt, so that the commercial feels like a bizarre Epic Meal Time ad with a lot of attractive dancing people).

ACIII feels a lot like MGS: Snake Eater in that, just like MGS, the third one takes place in the forest. It also’s the only sequel that doesn’t feel like another rehash of previous game mechanics – we saw the short closed-door demo and the environment and weapons opened up a bunch of gameplay possibilites that you didn’t look at and immediately get bored of. They preserved the idea of “being faster by parkouring up in the air” by replacing crowds of people with waist-high snow, and the way they generated the tree pathing was organic without being too video game-y. Overall, the only Assassin’s Creed game that we’re excited for, and that didn’t feature lots of dubstep in the trailers.

 

 

Halo is made by Bungie. Bungie wanted to end Halo at Halo 3. Microsoft’s shareholders were like “are you high?” They gave it to another internal studio. It’s hard to be excited about a game that’s been abandoned by their parents (I feel the same way about orphan children what a downer), but I look forward to mercilessly murdering three-foot tall aliens with funny voices once again as Earth’s last hope: The Master Chef. Then again, I’m a Marathon fanboy so what do I know.

 

 

The engine is really showing its age, but you don’t need a good engine to go prone and spawn camp, so it’s all good!

 

 

First I almost deleted this because I was like “wait this is an E3 2012 write up, not 2011″ but apparently E3 got so lame you can now show the same thing two years in a row and people will totally be cool with it. Regardless, we are SUPER pumped about the ability to call plays from your controller without your friends knowing, the ability to manage your inven…

Oh right. Sega Dreamcast did this over a decade ago with the exact same selling points. I look forward to standing in the middle of my living room and swinging around a controller to look at things though, just like I looked forward to throwing a controller at my TV with a thin wrist-strap as all that stands between my Sunday afternoon and a trip to Costco, holding my arms out awkwardly to select things, or holding a lighted dildo to cast spells.

Also since when is it cooler to be a golf caddy and not be Tiger Woods? If you own the Wii U, the answer is “when you pay for the system.”

 

 

Finally, Square has created the game engine that generated the cutscenes from Final Fantasy VIII, which means the CG cutscenes for these games? They’re gonna be mindblowing. Square was pretty much like “Guess what we didn’t waste last year doing more sequels we made a baller engine that will let make better looking sequels next time!

Brandon is the more CG-inclined, and his notes were that:

  1. So far all next-gen engines seem to have focussed on physics, but this one’s emphasizing skin shading, facial animation, particles, etc. It’s cool to see a non-FPS oriented next-gen engine.
  2. Check out the individual hairs in that dude’s beard, like, seriously.
  3. Man who does that

Finally for the first time there’s procedural animation in this game, which means every single Madden hater will have to come up with something else to complain about. Frankly, we got no issue with EA Sports, with Madden, FIFA (which got awesome by the way), NHL, or any of the games that everyone bemoans as retreading the same dynamics year after year.

Because like 99% of the time, the people who are saying that are literally talking on Xbox Live while playing Call of Duty, a game that’s notable for reinventing itself every single outing. Brandon played it – the tackles feel right and the system is on track. I played it and my QB got sacked and then I threw a four interceptions, which is a pretty accurate simulator of what it would be like if I was a quarterback.

 

 

This was made on the Battlefield 3 engine, but doesn’t actually feel like Battlefield 3, so good job dudes. One of the things I’ve missed from a lot of FPS since the first Modern Warfare is that we’ve lost the “feel” of bullets hitting another player – it’s a combination of UI design, sound design, and gun mechanics, but my big issue with every CoD since the first Modern Warfare is that it didn’t feel like my bullets were hitting anybody. Medal of Honor really cranks up the sense of bullet impact, which is super satisfying. They also introduce a bunch of stuff to encourage co-op with another player (you basically team up with another guy and get perks if you work together), but I’m pretty sure nothing short of some Richard Pryor/Gene Wilder-esque gameplay mechanics where you control the other person’s mouse or something will ever result in any sort of teamplay between pubbies on a multiplayer FPS.

 

 

Lightning Round!

Despite their titles, both games, disappointingly, do not feature dogs as a main mechanic. Instead, the first one is a bunch of Asian dudes beating each other up, and the second one is some nerd using his iPhone to alter traffic and create a cover system.

Uncharted with a 40% chance of rape, but I’m glad Naughty Dog’s got the balls to do a new IP.

Matt notes that until he actually looked at the screen, it sounded like pornography. The idea that it’s a serious take on a woman trying to survive in the wilderness is undercut when said woman slides down white water rapids like Rayman and grabs ledges at the last minute.

Finally, an FPS that goes back to the old school simplicity of Quake and Tribes. Seriously the only FPS I’m excited about playing.

When I fire up Smash Bros. the first thing I think is: “This game would be great if only it was a bit more floaty.”

Totally. Freaking. Rad. (assuming they don’t pull a Spore on it)

I will buy a thousand copies on launch day if they have a feature which allows you to play through a solo at your own pace, only advancing to the next note when you play the current note correctly because starting some insane passage immediately at 50% speed is not how actual people learn to play actual instruments. This looks like a really good “next game” after Rocksmith, which seems to be a better game at getting the fundamentals in.

Gabe pulled us aside for a private showing on this one – the new Source engine is gorgeous, but I’m not sure I agree with the decision to have Steve Buscemi voice Gordon Freeman.

That’s all for this year! If you want our opinions on other games at E3 this year, let us know in the comments below!