Jun 102011

This is part two of my feeble attempt at analyzing what the analysts have told us about all the excitement at this year’s E3.  Part 1 is here, where I take a look at a few things that I’m looking forward to.   In this part, I take a look at a few games that I’m a bit worried about.  By nature, if I’m worried about a game, it means it’s definitely high on my watch list, and am just concerned that it may not meet my lofty expectations.

Before you go crazy, the first two games I’m most worried about are on my “will buy day 1” list, although I’m pretty sure I’m in the minority with these, as most people seem to be 100% positive these are “game changer” games…or…something.

Mass Effect 3.  Loved the first two, but was slightly disappointed that the second game dumbed down the RPG elements  and focused more on action.  Seeing the promos for Mass Effect 3 worry me further, because it seems to be almost *all* action.  It appears they are billing it as a 3rd person shooter more than anything else.  Yes, I will play it, and I’ll probably enjoy the hell out of it, but I want something more — dialog, character development, universe exploration, and RPG stuff like stats on weapons and abilities.  Hopefully all that is in there, and am hoping the epic over-the-top action is just marketing hype.

Battlefield 3.  What I’m worried about in BF3 probably has to do more with me than with the game.  I’ve loved the previous BF games and sunk hundreds of hours into BF2 and BC2 online.  BF3 looks to take the best parts of the last two PC versions, and do it in the beautiful Frostbite 2 engine.  I’m worried because I can’t seem to get myself excited to the same feverish pitch that friends and the media are about this game.  It could be all the focus they have put into the single player, which is something I don’t want from a BF game.  It looks great, and I’m sure it’ll be fun.  I’ll buy it, even preorder it.  My problem is most likely I’m suffering from modern warfare fatigue.  It’s getting a bit overdone, and the constant DICE/EA trying to out-do Call of Duty is getting old, and even a bit embarrassing.  Maybe by the time BF3 rolls around with its shear awesomeness I’ll be ready to dive back in to the online modern warfare shooter world.

Aliens Colonial Marines:  A game that I haven’t heard much about, but I’m always skeptical of games of some of my favorite movie franchises.   Sounds a bit like Star Wars Republic Commando with the squad-based mechanics and is billed as the “true sequel to the Aliens movie.” Hopefully it gives us the Aliens game we’ve always wanted but that, by nature, sets the bar so high it would be a minor miracle to achieve.  The other factor is Gearbox.  They’re responsible for picking up the pieces and finishing DNF, which isn’t really a good thing.  I’m keeping my expectations low.

I’m probably worried about much, much more than this since I’m cynical by nature, but those are just a few that stand out in the post-E3 rubble.  I’ll be closing my E3 thoughts in part 3 of my Armchair E3 analyst article, where I take a look at the things that just don’t look appealing at all.

Jun 092011

With all the big news sites covering E3 from head to toe, it’s hard to avoid the headlines and the hype.  When casually following this year’s E3 news, you tend to make some assumptions, get excited about, lose interest in, and never want to hear again about different things coming to the gaming landscape this fall and beyond.  As a person with no credentials other than actually a player of games, I figured I’d take a look at a few things that I noticed out of E3.  I’ve broken up my thoughts into 3 parts, what I’m excited about, what I’m worried about and what over-hyped stuff I could do without.  These are loosely organized ramblings about what stuck out in my mind about E3.

What I’m excited about:

Batman Arkham City is an easy one.  After having some early hesitation about Arkham Asylum when it was first released but then being completely blown away by it, I’ve been eagerly anticipating Arkham City.  Admittedly, I haven’t seen too much about AC at E3, other than snippets about having a playable Catwoman character that makes me worry ever-so-slightly. I was pretty much sold on this game day one.  Gaming media types tell me not to worry, so I won’t.  This is easily my most anticipated game for 2011 and my only fear is that my expectations are so high, I may only be setting myself up for disappointment.

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.  Some people would call me a terrible gamer for not playing any of the previous games in this series.  After playing Fallout 3, I did go back and play some Oblivion, but it just didn’t seem to hold up well even a few years later and I never got very far into it.  Since buying into a bit of media hype and seeing a bunch of Skyrim footage, I must say I’m interested in actually playing an Elder Scrolls game, properly, for the first time.  Looks like the buggy and sometimes ugly Oblivion/FO3/FO:NV engine is gone and new tech is in place.  The potential is there for an epic story that I could end up enjoying more than the last couple Fallouts, which I was pretty happy with, although New Vegas lost its luster fairly quickly and was almost relived to make it to the ending.

Prey 2.  Yeah, weird, huh?  Prey 2, the sequel no one wanted actually looks decent.  It’s hard to tell how it will shake out, but the media all seem to be pleasantly surprised by it, and what videos I have seen look interesting.  Oddly enough, Prey 2 doesn’t have much to do with the original Prey, but hey, you’re some bounty hunter guy in an alien city-world like Coruscant with everything having a Blade Runner-ish feel to it.  Assuming it’s as good as they say it is, this game could be a sleeper hit.  Maybe I shouldn’t have wrote it off the minute I heard that Prey 2 existed.  Go figure.

Assassin’s Creed Revelations.  I basically played the AssCreed games backward.  Dabbled in the first two games and wasn’t all that impressed, but got Brotherhood and absolutely loved it so much, it made me go back and play AssCreed 2, which I loved the second time around.  Again this is another title I haven’t followed too closely, but like Batman AC, I’m mostly sold on it.  It doesn’t even have to do anything revolutionary for me — just give me a tweaked Brotherhood experience and tie up the story and I’ll be happy.

Bioshock Infinite.  Loved the first, found the second to be ho-hum.  Bioshock Infinite is being made by Irrational, who did the first, so that’s reason alone to be optimistic.  Infinite changes up the environment, adds a supporting character reminiscent of Enslaved and looks to have a more varied gameplay experience.  I’m not 100% sold, but I’m definitely interested in it.  Ken Levine also made a compelling argument for PlayStation Move support in Infinite and says they’ve found some good ways to use motion control beyond what you’ve come to expect from games that use waggle.  I guess we’ll see.

Those are the notables that caught my eye.  Look for part 2 “What I’m worried about” coming very soon.