|Posted by Fluffyman on June 19, 2013 at 7:30 AM|
When all is truly said and done, with all the in-show hype died down, what can I really take from this E3? How does the future of gaming look?
Right now, I am seeing a bubble, containing a lot of the practices and current ideas of the video game industry, ones which have better or worse defined this generation and looks to continue or expand onto this upcoming one. The inflated budgets, the DRM, annual installments of franchises, whipping developers into shape so that they’d get a game out without giving them much pause, break or lot of pay, sometimes forcing design decisions onto a franchise that was very fine without them and demanding more out of the consumer than $60 for a game, whether actual asking price or through some money grubbing DLC for vital features.
Now there is one thing I think is going to happen this next generation is the real test of how much this bubble is going to continue to expand before it is likely going to burst. Before the game industry becomes truly ruined by these practices that for the most part are shameful and wholly out of touch with the demands of the consumer. There was something truly wrong when games like Hitman: Absolution, Tomb Raider, Sleeping Dogs, Resident Evil 6, Crysis 3 and Dead Space 3 were considered failures in spite of some selling millions of copies. They were expecting astronomical sales, but why… why do they think throwing near impossible sales projections with making large marketing budgets to their games is such a good idea? And once more some of those games had been given some nasty hype due to design decisions that were made to make it more “friendly” to the Call of Duty and shooter crowd, stripping elements of their identities in the gaming market. Something is truly broken and I don’t think it’s entirely the fault of the developers.
It is only going to get worse with whatever Microsoft is planning with the Xbox One which is apparently “to appease Publishers,” where basically they are expanding upon the worst DRM features that have plagued such games as Diablo III and the new Sim City, as well as adding their own bullshit about 24 hour internet log-ins, a convoluted/“permission-based” Used Games system, supposed “spy-like” features of the Kinect and of course seem to have a lot of hubris that we’re just complaining because we haven’t tried it. We have had a taste Microsoft, we know what companies are doing to screw us over, and we don’t want it as a feature with a new video game console. You are making people feel a lot less like they own your console, and that is nothing to really be proud of.
Aspects of which thankfully Sony has decided to go far away from a 50 yard pole, but as I have written they won’t be slapping Publishers’ hand to not include any sort of DRM with their games. Hopefully that won’t be much worse than it has been for the PS3, already they’re going to lock out some multiplayer without PlayStation Plus but I am pretty worried that there will be stuff the publishers plan on doing that will make some third-party PS4 games much more difficult to play. Then there is the constant updating, just recently a firmware update for the PS3 has bricked up some people’s systems, and not the first time it has happened either, so what assurances for the new console to make sure things like this doesn’t happen? Nintendo doesn’t have much of this crap at all, but I guess it becomes clearer why there isn’t a heavy third-party support beyond them not thinking up of good and creative ways to utilize the touch screen.
At this point I’m seeing things at least immediately will turn out bad for Microsoft as it did for Sony in 2006, their price, their terrible PR, bad hype with their anti-consumer stuff, will turn out to bite them in their collective asses hard. Sony I think will make a bigger splash and Nintendo might see things increase for them. But in the long run, will things change? Will Sony have regain hubris and drop the ball in a major way? Will Nintendo ever fully recover? We shall see, but it’s up in the air, and how the bubble will be affected will ultimately be up to us.
Assorted Non-Conference Related Game Thoughts:
-Batman: Arkham Origins looks a bit more of an expansion of Arkham City if anything, not quite the big step from Asylum to City. A lot of the mechanics looks similar but hopefully WB Games Montreal can make it fun enough to not feel like just more of the same.
-The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, looks a lot less like the generic FPS that it was originally announced but now looks like a 1960s Mass Effect with the same sort of radial menu, some of the commands looks similar and some of the gameplay/shooting. It certainly could be not a bad copy but I am certain fans are more likely to stick with the XCOM game released last year Enemy Unknown.
-Call of Duty: Ghosts made a splash showing gameplay the day before the major E3 conferences but honestly in the gist of things it just looks more of the same. The same linear scripted gameplay, with environments that still look stuck in the past, and the only real big new thing is a friggin Dog. It just looks like this Infinity Ward playing it safe once again, no real push to be innovative or different with the series.
-Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 certainly looks similar yet different, same sort of combat as the first but this time with a better managed camera. Have only played a bit of the first, but it seems like this will be decent, though likely going to cull a lot of elements from other games like the original.
-Castle of Illusion: Starring Mickey Mouse from Sega and Ducktales Remastered from Capcom, shows promise that Disney is finally taking nostalgia the right way. Though I am looking forward to DuckTales more as that has WayForward, the talented nostalgia-makers behind Contra 4 and Double Dragon Neon on it, not to mention still having the voice cast reprise their roles including 93 year old Alan Young as Scrooge McDuck, and 95 year old June Foray as Magica De Spell.
-Deus Ex: The Fall looks a lot like Human Revolution… on mobile devices. This was hyped a while back and the reception to it being an iOS/Android game was not pretty. I don’t see that playing anywhere as well and there isn’t extra steps to make it feel different from its console cousin. I never asked for this.
-Dragon Age: Inquisition I somehow managed to miss mentioning this in my EA coverage, but though I’ve only played a number of hours at the start of Origins and only the demo to the second game so I don’t know how to measure my expectations, except there is likely going to be people who are going to herald the continual death of BioWare, 2012 was especially not kind to them.
-Twisted Pixel’s Lococycle is unmistakenly a game from the guys who made ‘Splosion Man and Comic Runner but whether it would be doing good for themselves launching with the Xbox One is a completely different story.
-I haven’t exactly been catching up on the series but Mario & Luigi: Dream Team definitely looks like it takes up the tradition for the inventiveness the series goes for being a fun RPG’s starring the Plumbers in Arms themselves.
-Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows I’m not exactly competent will be the TMNT we’ve been looking for, while there is promise the combat looks slow and kind of clunky, and I have a fear of repetition that is going to set in.
-Trials Fusion is one I missed mentioning in the Ubisoft conference (as well as it’s mobile counterpart Trials Frontier) but I certainly have been digging the Trials games and hope they have some more fun if challenging courses, definitely intrigued to see them expand upon the create-a-track stuff from Evolution.
-Beyond having the alternate history gimmick, Wolfenstein: The New Order just looks primarily a basic FPS, though it certainly looks like they aren’t going to take itself completely seriously (Who would having Nazi mechs and dual wielding machine guns).
My E3 Awards/Games Of Show:
-Best Trailer: Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain In spite of my grievances with Keifer Sutherland playing Snake, there is no denying Kojima and crew can make very compelling trailers. Here’s the very brutal extended trailer.
-Most Impressive On-Stage Demos: Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag at PS4 conference(In spite of the freezing), and multiplayer Battlefield 4 at EA’s conference (In spite of it being obviously planned)
-Game I Wish Wasn’t An Exclusive: Insomniac’s Sunset Overdrive for the Xbox One
-Sequel I am Really Looking Forward Too: Infamous: Second Son
-Biggest Surprise: Tom Clancy’s The Division
-Biggest Disappointment: Killer Instinct
-Best/Worst Reveal: PEGGLE 2!
-Most Awkward/Poor Company Representative Award: The start of the Xbox One presentation of Battlefield 4.
-Game With Design Choices Most Likely to Disappoint Long-time Fans: Dead Rising 3 (Follow-up with Dragon Age: Inquisition but considering the state of BioWare that’s a given)
-Common Game Title Trend: Having “The” before your title (The Divison, The Crew, The Order: 1886, The Witness)
-Common Game Genre Trend: Games Being Open World.
-Best Strength to Their Brand: Nintendo
-Most Delusional to Their Brand: Microsoft
-Developer I Wished I Saw Tease Their Next-Gen Game: Naughty Dog. Sony has said they are developing a new PS4 game but I wish they would have shown as a taste, even a small trailer, though I guess they aren’t at a point where they’ll be able show a lot and/or don’t want to steal the thunder of their current release The Last of Us.
-Hyped Game I Likely Will Never Play: Just about all of the Xbox One exclusive line-up.
Well that’s it for all my E3 coverage, hope you guys liked reading it even when I wasn’t on the show floor, likely hating the congested nature and may have gotten a case of the Con Flu. Come one year from this convention, how will we look back upon it? Will there be something better or worse for the next E3? Well now that we’ve gotten well into the introduction to the next generation, the aftermath of the launch of both the Xbox One and the PS4 will be something that will be heavily considered for the next convention and others in-between.
End of Rant