So the Electronic Entertainment Expo is on again and this of course means that all the major game developers are showing off their wares in what amounts to a massive marketing campaign to hit as many headlines as they can before the hubub dies down. It’s a wonderful time for people like me who revel in the news of new and exciting games and hardware that said games will be played upon. Whilst its a far cry from what it used to be when it wasn’t invite only it’s still a major talking point in the gaming industry and this year seems to be no exception. Here’s some of the things that have been announced that I really like (apart from the PSP-Go, of course).
Mass Effect 2: The game that left me so weak at the knees that I bought a Xbox 360 just to play it, and I still don’t regret that to this day. What really grabbed me when reading this article was the focus on creating a more cinematic experience for the player. Whilst I detest the term quick time events their addition into the dialogue system sounds like a solid idea and its meant to mimic those kinds of snap decisions people make without thinking about it. Carrying over saved game data is one thing, having it alter the storyline of the next game is something I really hadn’t considered, and I’m interested to see how it plays out. The over-arching storyline that the player creates with their experiences which will span a total of three games is something I adore but I can also see the risks here. If you didn’t invest the time initially to play through the original (which can be a 40 hour ordeal) I’m wondering what you might miss out on, and that could be a sticking point for some people. I’m only worried because that’s what happened to Battlestar Galactica, although they tried to go “episodic” with horrible results and back-pedalled fairly quickly. If they stick to their guns they’ll have a loyal fanbase and fewer new customers.
Assassin’s Creed 2: Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed this game when it was first released I felt the replayability of it was extremely limited. Sure I could jump around the cities and find all the flags and so on but since there was no reward in sight for doing it I decided against it. Playing straight through the game however was incredibly rewarding and having the characters develop as you play was something I really enjoyed. From what I can tell of the previews Assassin’s Creed 2 looks more evolutionary than revolutionary with more weapons, new ways to get in and out of trouble and of course new scenery. Hopefully with the bevvy of new weapons they’re unleashing on the player they’ll have to improve the combat system, which was sorely lacking in the original.
Left 4 Dead 2: (Notice the pattern here yet?) The aggressively timed sequel to Valve’s hit Left 4 Dead which like Assassin’s Creed appears to evolve the existing game with new additions, new scenery and attempts to address some of the problems that players complained about with the original. To be honest with the original taking 3 years to develop I can’t help but feel that this sequel (slated for release 1 year after its predecessor) is going to be woefully underdeveloped, delayed or a bit of a slap dash paint job on the original. Sure right now the teaser videos look cool (the obligatory zombie chainsaw finally makes an appearance in this series) but I feel like calling this a sequel is a little rich. Making it something like Left 4 Dead: Episode 2 or similar would’ve suited it perfectly. The way it’s described now seems more like episodic content than a sequel.
This years E3 hasn’t yet thrown anything at me that is completely new and exciting but that’s to be expected after the blockbuster last year that we had. I’m more then happy to settle for the things I’ve mentioned as they’re giving me more of what I like, but I know the critics won’t think along those lines. There is of course so much more that’s going on at E3 than what I’ve detailed here but I’m not going to rehash it all for you, the blogosphere is doing a good job of that already 🙂
If I’m lucky they’ll say something about the release date of Heavy Rain…..