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E3 Overview: Day Two

Sean’s Overview: One thing that we always need to keep in mind at E3 is that the demos that we’re watching are not finished products, and the teams aren’t always the best at putting their best foot forward when building an E3 demo. That had never been more evident than today. Robert and I passed on Bethesda and made an appointment with Warner Brothers to see Batman: Arkham Origins and the first-person-zombie-free-runner, Dying Light. We sat through a demo for Arkham Origins before being let loose to give the demo a try for ourselves. It’s definitely a Batman game. The demo didn’t really add much to the Arkham City formula, apart from a tedious crime-scene-recreation gimmick in which you searched for in order to unlock different views of the same animation over and over until Batman says you’re done. Hopefully, the finished product will allow players to use their own deductive reasoning to skip steps if they are more perceptive than Mr. Wayne, otherwise I imagine I’ll be skipping a lot of sidequests.

There was also a portable Arkham side-story for both Vita and 3DS which plays as a sidescrolling brawler with familiar controls and mechanics from the 3 previous Arkham games. On paper, it sounds terrible, but it was actually pretty fun. The story and voice-acting were goofy, particularly for Catwoman, but the classic Arkham fighting style holds up well on a single plane. I’m almost looking more forward to the Vita release than the PS3.

Batman Arham Origins

Dying Light was a first-person zombie survival game with free-running elements and a weapon customization system. You’ll probably see that sentence cut-and-pasted a lot, because it describes 90% of games at E3. Dying Light also features lens flare. No word yet on other buzzwords like “social” or “epic story” but I’m sure those are in there somewhere.

After Warner Bros., we met with City Interactive to see Lords of the Fallen. Lords is definitely my kind of game. It focuses on tactical real-time combat, similar to Monster Hunter or Demon Souls, but the story takes more of a central role than it does in either of those games. You will also be able to customize your character on the fly as stats and class-type are tied mostly to armor and weaponry. So far, Lords of the Fallen is a frontrunner for my game-of-show, and I’m not just saying that because they game me hot dogs.

Lords of the Fallen

After lunch, we hit Square-Enix’s booth, and only managed to see a handful of games in the 3 hours that we spent in their booth. While Sage and Robert tangled with Thief developers, I checked out Final Fantasy XIV’s reboot, A Realm Reborn. I didn’t spend much time with the initial release, so I can’t say for sure what has changed, but I can say that what I played was competent, if not terribly exciting. I guess part of the problem with Final Fantasy being so inspirational is that they can’t really stand out against all the other fantasy games that have aped and lapsed their visual style. I also had hands-on time with the HD remakes of Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy X. Those games are still fun, and I think they’ll hold up well, as long as people keep their expectations low for the visuals, as PS2 visuals appear sterile when compared to games of today.

I ended my day at Namco where I only got to play Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures. The new Pac-Man game is a character platformer that ended up being more fun than it had any real right to be. I hated it the moment I touched the controller, as the movement felt sluggish compared to other platformers that I have played in the past few days, but within minutes, I was used to the pace and was charmed into finishing the demo. The orchestrated music is fantastic, and some of the best I’ve heard at the show. I worry that this will get overlooked as some of the mechanics, such as Pac-Man’s suits giving him powers, are a little done-to-death (but what isn’t in the character platform genre) but this game is endearing enough to deserve a second look.

Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures

I’ll keep you guys posted on how the final day turns out.

About Sage Morris-Greene

As Tech-Gaming's own Phoenix Wright, Sage Morris-Greene is currently balancing the completion of her law degree, an obsession of all things cyberpunk, and a budding career as a stage and film actress.

27 comments

  1. Yeah, Day 3 on Day 4. Oh well, who is counting?

    Thanks for covering the not so big stuff. Never heard of Alien Rage, Stinky controller, or new about a new Pac-Man game.

  2. Nice to hear from NOLA again. Sounds like he and Rob are having a good ol’ time. Wish I could be at E3 with you guys.

  3. “You’ll probably see that sentence cut-and-pasted a lot, because it describes 90% of games at E3.”

    Yeah, NOLA’s back alright.

  4. Where’s Robert’s write-up? Someone pull that guy out of lolli-land and get that guy writing.

  5. Lords of the Fallen is on my radar now. Thanks for the heads-up, I really didn’t know about it before.

  6. ZDoes it take one foot in the middle or two feet toward the top to simulate the “W” key?

  7. Does it take one foot in the middle or two feet toward the top to simulate the “W” key?

  8. Stinky footboard controller, never heard of it before. Looking forward for the review 🙂

  9. Stinky foot probably isn’t the best name for a product. It makes me think of when my brother doesn’t wear socks. (Gag!)

  10. Yes, Day 3 is up!

  11. Glad to hear you got on board with the Saints Row IV series. The games match the sense of humor on the podcast perfectly.

  12. You might want to mention that Alien Rage will be an affordably priced downloadable game

  13. I really want a stinky foot now. Very cool idea!

  14. Sounds like two thumbs up for Takedown. I’ll hype on that hype train.

  15. Robert saw your tweet about Angry Joe. What did he do to piss you off?

    • 3rd day I was waiting for the doors to open and he barrels into me from behind, doesn’t say sorry or do anything besides look at me. I remember him because he’s wearing a think leather jacket and its about 80 degrees outside.

      A few hours later he does the same thing to a smaller women, only this time he’s completely oblivious. I just want to ask him, “Joe, why are you so GODAMN angry and rude?”

      Another funny story, one guy comes up to hit on Sage in the middle of a rep-guided booth tour interrupting her spiel. I swear, 30% of the the E3 attendees have almost no social sense.

      • Dude seriously looks like a Mexican Mario. Was he hopping around?

        Oh, and the jacket is part of his costume.

      • The guy seems cool in his videos maybe he’s just clumsy. Or maybe he feels like he’s some kind of internet celebrity.

        Or he doesn’t like tech-gaming.

    • Who is that and why she we care?

  16. I was hoping Dying Light would be the next gen’s Dead Island. I guess not. welp.

  17. Id like to hear more about Tropical Freeze. I loved tge old Donkey Kong games.

  18. Waiting for last day impressions. I’m hoping they’re the pick of the litter.

  19. “Smaller details such as operatives carrying twenty-eight rounds in a thirty round capacity M4 magazine reveal Serellan’s aspirations for accuracy.”

    Now you are speaking my language. DEagle has returned.

  20. Waiting for E3, Day Z. When you battle zombies on the streets of Los Angeles.

    • Or even just zombies AT e3. you could pick up game consoles or rip controllers off their demo tethers to beat zombies with. lots of potential for humor there.