Monday, June 11, 2012

E3 2012 - Part 4

Here it is, my final E3 post. When all is said and done, while technically we didn't see a lot of new stuff this year, we saw a lot of stuff that was still in early production or only mentioned in passing last year and it's all stuff that is on the horizon for the next 12-18 months. I'm coming away from E3 very excited, even if I know I'll never have the time to play all these games.

Hawken (video link)
These guys have got to be annoyed that a new Mechwarrior game is finally coming out because before that, this was going to be the only stop for giant pilotable mecha action. If you like big robots (and if you grew up with Robotech and Voltron like I did you damn well better like big robots) then Hawken is a dream come true. Even with a new Mechwarrior game in the works, I think there is still plenty of room for success for both projects. If history (and source material) is any indicator, Mechwarrior is likely to be a much more detailed game, bordering on simulation. Based on what we've seen so far of Hawken, it's less heavy on the simulation and instead concentrates on kicking ass. Hawken looks like it could be the Counerstrike of mecha games and I'll gladly take that and still enjoy the brutal simulation I assume we'll get when Mechwarrior Online launches as well.

Deadlight (video link)
Zombies may come and go in TV, Film, Comics, and Literature, but in video games they seem to be a mainstay. At the very least zombies are a humanoid enemy that it's totally OK to kill. Personally I can't get enough of zombies; they're easily my monster of choice when it comes to horror regardless of how they're portrayed. Deadlight not only gives me zombies, but it does so with in the style that seems to blend part point-and-click adventure with the "metroid-vania" formula. The end result is something that (if it works) will likely constitute pure digital crack for me.

Metro: Last Light (video link)
The first Metro game is one whose premise and visuals I loved to death, but that turned me off in several other ways. The town sections were boring, the barter system was confusing (mainly due to a UI that didn't let you see what ammo went to which guns you currently had), and the shooting itself wasn't quite tweaked enough. It was 75% of a great game though and someday I may finish it. From initial impressions I've heard regarding Last Light, it would seem that at least some of my issues have been addressed. If anything, the video (above) that I've seen of the game features some interesting first-person stealth and that's always going to turn my head. Along with the aforementioned visuals and setting of the first game, if Last Light has indeed smoothed some of the edges off its forebears, then that 75% of a great game may get to 100% quite fast.

Miner Wars 2081 (video link)
When it comes to space games, I'm something of an aficionado and that generally leaves me clamoring for information about anything new in the genre since it has been by and large dead for over a decade. Once a PC staple, the space genre didn't evolve quickly enough away from requiring pricey peripherals and towards keyboard and mouse and just sort of disappeared. Every once in a while a new space game will come out, but they're usually small and seldom very innovative. Miner Wars 2081 doesn't look like it's going to save or reinvigorate the genre at all, but it's breaching the MMO space in an interesting way and it's utilizing game play that reminds me an awful lot of the hallowed Descent series, specifically the third installment. It may be nothing more than a curiosity of mine at the moment, but I'm interested to see how this one plays. It seems like a sound formula for a genre I enjoy. 

A Game of Dwarves (video link)
This is another game that I didn't take a look at until several days into E3. Once again the name turned me off. "A Game of Dwarves"? It just sounds like they're trying to blatantly associate themselves with A Game of Thrones and such pandering doesn't sit well with me. The thing is, I kept seeing posts about this game all week and so eventually I had to see what the fuss was. I have to say, I like what I see. It appears that what they've done here is combine Dungeon Keeper (the classic dungeon builder/defender game) with Dwarf Fortress (the indie 4X-style micromanagement simulation). What they end up with is a game that has the sim and management elements of Dwarf Fortress, with the direction and ease of Dungeon Keeper. I've gotta say, it's a damn brilliant combination and I can definitely see myself spending some time with it.

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