E3 and me: Marvel’s Spider-man (& Honorable Mentions)

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Marvel’s Spider-man

The last game that I want to mention on this blog from E3 is the showstopper from Sony’s Press Conference, Marvel’s Spider-man.  Sony showed an extended gameplay trailer that blew my mind.  I’ve always been a Spider-man fan, and I own quite a few issues of Spider-man comics.  This game had it all–action, humor, a strong narrative, but also has an open-world (the entire city of New York appears to be available to you to explore).

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The game puts you in the shoes of Peter Parker (although there is a nice Easter Egg for those who stay and watch the “stinger” at the end of the trailer).  It isn’t telling an origin story, but rather it is telling the story of a Peter Parker who has been doing this for a few years and is comfortable in Spider-man’s shoes.  I really enjoyed the high-flying acrobatics that the game showed and they nailed Spider-man’s sarcasm and biting wit.  This one looks like it is going to be fun.

Honorable Mentions

Things that looked interesting, but that I didn’t have time to talk about in the post during this week.

Days Gone (Sony) – A post-apocalyptic game that has a horde of fast-moving zombie-like monsters (similar to the movie World War Z)

Detroit: Become Human (Sony) – A sci-fi game about androids struggling for their freedom.

Shadow of the Colossus Remake (Sony) – I’ve played the demo, but never bought this game, but sure looks awesome.  It might convince me to get it this time around.

Assassin’s Creed: Origins (Ubisoft) – I’ve bought every major AC game and the new setting promises to be fun.

Knack 2 – Hey, what can I say, I love a good platformer.  I platinumed the original Knack, so of course I’m looking forward to the sequel.

and finally,

Elite: Dangerous – Elite was old computer game from the 1980s.  My uncle and I played the heck out of that game on the Commodore 64, and we managed to “break” the economy in the game  Our ship was so powerful and we had so much money, nothing in “normal” space could touch us.  This one is sheer nostalgia.  (I still have the 5.25 inch game disk and I’m pretty sure that I have the manual for the original game as well somewhere).

There were other games as well that probably deserve to be on this list, but I’ve already taken longer than I had intended and I’m much later putting out this post than usual, so I’ll end by saying, Sony had the most games that I’m interested in, so while their conference wasn’t as good as the past two years, it was still the best (to me) in a fairly unremarkable year.

 

E3 and me: God of War

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Image Source: PS5Home

Sony’s Conference is always the highlight of E3 for me.  I’ve talked at length about my preference for Sony consoles and software.  I really like what Sony does in the video game space (with its Playstation brand).  I could afford to buy other consoles, but I’m not as interested in Nintendo’s and Microsoft’s entries in the video game space (for various reasons) as I am for Sony’s entries.  Sony had quite a bit I’m interested in this year (although their conference was light on show-stoppers). I’ll highlight the two that I’m most interested in to finish out the week.

God of War

The God of War (GoW) game was first announced at last year’s E3 (2016), but this year they showed actual gameplay and elements of the story and it confirms the good feeling that I had about the game.  It also gives a release date of early 2018, so it should be a good game that I use as an incentive to help get me through the Spring 2018 semester.  I’ve not bought a God of War game before, but I have played demos of all the PS2 games and I’ve seen bits and pieces of the GoW3.  I never really cared for the GoW games because of the main character, Kratos.  He, in a word, was a “rage-muppet.”  He was always a one-note character, the very embodiment of rage and anger.  Now, I know his history, which I won’t spoil here, but which is well known in the gamer universe (if you want to find out more, here’s his wiki); however, I feel that characters should be able to express more than one emotion.  The new incarnation of Kratos, however, feels like they’ve really worked on humanizing him and giving him more emotions than just rage.

 

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Image Source: Playstation 

I’m also very interested in Viking mythology.  When I was a child, two of the most fascinating subjects were Greek/Roman myths and gods and Viking myths, gods, and legends.  The Midgard Serpent (pictured above in the GoW universe) is one of the most fascinating things in the Norse mythology to me.  I love the idea of worm that encircles the world, hidden away in the depths of the ocean.

This game has really captured my attention and I’m looking forward to uncovering the mystery of Kratos and his son early next year.

E3 and me: The Crew 2

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Image Source: Rayman-Fanpage.de

This time I want to talk about another racing game that’s caught my eye: The Crew 2 (TC2).  This game is a sequel to The Crew by Ubisoft.  The Crew’s claim to fame is that it offers an open world map of the United States for players to drive through.  Players can start in New York on the East Coast and drive seamlessly though the game’s roads, highways, or even off-road and travel to Los Angeles or San Fransisco on the West Coast.  Now, while the map is highly condensed, it can still take anywhere from 30 – 45 minutes to travel the length of the map and there are quite a few unique elements to the game that I really enjoyed such as road discovery, landmark discovery, modifying vehicles, and a mostly satisfying in-game soundtrack delivered via radio stations.  The Crew was denigrated for its story and many reviews thought that the game’s visual’s were not up to “next generation” standards (which the devs. addressed by “up-rezzing” the graphics as part of a patch) and they supported the game rather well, I thought.

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Image Source: Techno Buffalo

TC2 seems to up the graphical fidelity even more and it looks like from the gameplay trailers that the map may be even larger than the previous game (and if not, it certainly looks more diverse).  It appears that they might be dropping the “story” mode to the game and going with more of a festival/win at all the various disciplines approach to the game.  Speaking of disciplines, the game is devoted into 4 main areas: Street Racing, Off-road racing, speed boat racing, and air racing.  It also looks like you can jump seamlessly between the various modes even in mid-race, although I’ll have to see how that plays in game to see if that is going to be as cool as it sounds.

The Crew’s large open world, its (in my opinion) inoffensive story, and its great game play made it a mainstay for me and helped me to keep my sanity during my second year of teaching middle school.  I’m hoping that The Crew 2 helps do much same now.  I’m cautiously optimistic about this game as well.

Here is the reveal trailer for The Crew 2.

E3 and me: Beyond Good and Evil 2

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Image Source: rayman-fanpage.de

Bethesda’s E3 Conference this year left me disappointed; I have a wide range of gaming interests and nothing that Bethesda showed interested me or was something that I wanted to play, so it was up to Ubisoft to intrigue me and they did.

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Image Source: Kotaku

Beyond Good and Evil 2 (BG&E 2)

So this one came as a bit of a surprise.  The original game, Beyond Good and Evil, has become sort of a cult hit since it’s release in 2003.  Usually, I can say that I’ve played the game and have been awaiting the news of this long wanted/long awaited sequel, but in this case, I can’t.  I actually missed this one — how I don’t really remember.  I checked and according to IGN, it received a demo in the Official US Playstation Magazine (Vol. 78) and that was primarily how I checked out new games and decided if they warranted a purchase.

However, even though only a trailer was shown, the trailer for BG&E 2 is a very intriguing Sci-Fi trailer.  It looks very inventive and the universe seems to be a mash-up of the movie The 5th Element and the Mass Effect series.  Again, while no gameplay was shown, the creator of the series, Michel Ancel appeared on-stage (with another team lead on the project) and they talked a bit about the game’s development and what it would be like playing the game.  It seems, from their description, that it will be a lot like/play a lot like Mass Effect Andromeda, where a “multi-ethnic crew” will come together to explore new worlds while looking for a specific object.  According to the developers you will go to and discover new fantastical worlds during your search.

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Image Source: Trusted Reviews

This sounds truly epic to me and I hope that they are able to pull off.  This is what I’m trying to do in my own Sci-Fi stories and this is what I like to read/play from stories from others.  I’m cautiously optimistic about this particular game.  And if you’ll notice, they even put a spaceship in the promotional image above, and as I’ve said before, put a dragon or a spaceship on your cover, and you’ll pique my curiosity/interest level by 100%!

In case you’re curious, I’m including a link to the BG&E2 trailer.  However, this one has a personal warning from me about language.  They drop the “F-bomb” early and often in the trailer, and while I’m not usually okay with that (I generally take the “language” tone of Captain America from Avengers 2: Age of Ultron in my everyday life), I still feel that the trailer is so well done and so evocative towards the vision that I’d like to see more of in stories (my own and others) that I’m willing to overlook it and feature it on my blog.

So, personal warning out of the way, here’s Beyond Good and Evil 2’s trailer.  Hope you enjoy; I know I did.

E3 New & Notable Games (Day 2): Star Wars Battlefront 2

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Star Wars Battlefront 2

The second of EA’s games to make an impression on me was Star Wars Battlefront 2 (SW:B2).  I’m a massive Star Wars fan and I bought the first game.  However, because there was no story campaign and I was trying to apply for PhD programs when it released, I didn’t get to play it as much as I would have liked.  I dipped into a couple of modes and played a few multiplayer matches, but nothing like what I probably should have for a game of that length and scope.

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Even though they mostly showed extended multiplayer footage of the game, I still think that the single player campaign will be good and that this will be a good game and the story (at least from the trailers) looks interesting. Below are links to various elements of the game and this is one I’m looking forward to when it releases later this year.

Story/Campaign Trailer

Assault at Theed Multiplayer Demonstration

Well, that’s it for EA–I’ll move on to Ubisoft games that were interesting in the next post.

Need for Speed – Payback

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Image Source: Wikipedia

Since this E3 week, I’d thought I’d use this week to highlight some of the more interesting games that I’ve seen and I’m excited about that have been announced during the week.  I won’t talk extensively about them, but just to give a little explanation about it and why I’m interested in it.  So far, this E3 has been light on games that have interested me.  EA had two games (well, they had 3, but they botched one by not premiering on their own stage, but giving only a teaser while giving an “extended” premiere to Microsoft, while Bethesda had nothing that interested me particularly this year, so today and tomorrow, I’ll briefly cover the two games from EA that were interesting.

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Image Source: Digital Trends

Need for Speed – Payback

I know few readers of the blog will be interested in video games, and fewer still will probably be interested in a racing game, but this one is doing something different.  It is trying to tell a “story” using racing gameplay as the driving force (no pun intended) to move the player through from one story element to another.  It is very much inspired by the Fast & Furious (F&F) film franchise, but imagine that instead of just watching exciting car chases on film, you could actually take control of the cars and do all those crazy “set pieces” yourself.  That seems to be what NfS:P is going for.

Now, EA has tried this once before in a Need for Speed game, Need for Speed The Run (NfS:TR).  The Run tried to tell a cinematic story, but it didn’t work out very well.  I finished The Run, but felt no desire to go back to it once the story was done.  The story, which had you trying to get the main character into 1st place by the time you reached the other coast line was too restrictive and didn’t work as well as they planned.  However, several F&F films have been released since then and I feel fairly confident that they have figured out how to integrate the narrative with the gameplay this time around.

Here is the trailer for Need for Speed Payback Gameplay Trailer and here is the trailer for The Fate of the Furious (Furious 8) for comparison.  You’ll notice a similar “vibe” between the two, I think.

This one looks like it could be a lot of fun.  I am cautiously optimistic for it and will check the reviews when it releases later in the year.

 

Black Panther, E3 and Me

 

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Image Source: YouTube.com

So, this blog was going to be about E3 (the video game and computer game conference happening on the West Coast this weekend), but Marvel released a teaser trailer for the Black Panther movie coming in 2018.  You can find the teaser trailer here: Black Panther Teaser Trailer.

I’m very interested in this movie as I was introduced to the Black Panther via a Marvel Comic that talked about the various gadgets and costumes of Marvel heroes in the early to mid 80s (it was the same comic that described the Mandarin’s rings and Falcon’s  wings/jet propulsion system) and mini-series done about the character when I was in High School in the late 80s/early 90s.  However, I discovered that the movie will debut next close to my birthday, so I feel that it will be a great movie to see as a present to myself, so I’m already “sticking a pin in it” as the expression goes.  I hope it turns out as well for Marvel and the creators as well as Wonder Woman has turned out for DC this year.  I will keep it on my radar.

E3

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This weekend marks the kickoff to the E3 Conference.  I am a very big fan of video games and video game narratives, and this is where the newest games and technologies are mostly announced for the upcoming year.  E3 used to be about selling games and software for Christmas, and while it still has some of that element, mostly its about things that will be coming out in the next year and building anticipation for things even further out (a year and a half to two years).  Electronic Arts’s Press Conference kicks things off later today, and then tomorrow will be Bethesda.  Ubisoft and Sony will round out Monday’s coverage and then the show will begin in earnest with games out on the show floor.  EA’s press conference (or EA Play Event as they technically aren’t doing “Press Conferences per se since last year) is scheduled to kick off at 1pm Eastern time (9am Pacific Time) and I plan on watching that before digging into some yard work that I’ve put off for too long.  If there’s anything fun and relevant to the blog, I’ll probably talk about the things that were announced that I find most interesting (games are doing some pretty neat and novel things in the narrative space these days).  In between the conferences, I hope to get some writing done over this weekend as well.

Have a great weekend!