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E3 Overview: Day Two

Robert’s Overview: A decade ago, the release of a new Tom Clancy-branded game was a celebratory event. Titles such as the 2000’s Rainbow Six and 2002’s Ghost Recon: Island Thunder offered some of the tensest experiences found on consoles.  Unlike the unsophisticated, thrill ride-like first-person shooters of today, these games demanded strategic competency. Decisions from the type of loadout to breach tactics delivered wildly different ramifications which complemented (or even undermined) different play styles- making each mission sufficiently edgy.  Notably, these games were unlike today’s FPSs, offering little of the buttresses such as health regeneration or bullet absorbing protagonists. On the higher difficulty levels, a single headshot could end the game, ratcheting up the tension to controller-clenching intensity.

Over time, Ubisoft seemed to grow envious of the attention and revenue earned by other prominent military shooters; Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon evolved into graphically opulent shooting galleries that needed only a modicum of planning, trading tension for bombastic Hollywood spectacle. Fortunately, Christian Allen, the former creative director for the Ghost Recon series, has a desire to reinvigorate the tactical shooter with the upcoming release of Takedown: Red Sabre. A brief play though of a pre-alpha build demonstrated that the development team at Serellan has their crosshair locked on a visceral experience.

Takedown Red Sabre

I’m usually a stickler for authenticity, and puzzled when games go to great lengths to model the look and sound of weaponry, but then falter in other key areas. Even at an early stage, Takedown evades many of the pratfalls which plague final builds. Enemies exhibit intelligence, avoiding the predictable pathways and behavior which can ruin the tension of engaging multiple hostiles simultaneously. Nicely, tangos demonstrate credible accuracy, obliging players to slice the pie with attentive precision. Smaller details such as operatives carrying twenty-eight rounds in a thirty round capacity M4 magazine reveal Serellan’s aspirations for accuracy. With options for single, cooperative, or competitive six-on-six play, Takedown: Red Sabre is coming along quite nicely. Undoubtedly, I’ll be following this game very closely as it advances toward a fall release on PC and subsequent console launch.

After the apprehension of Takedown, a trip to the Namco-Bandai booth managed to quell my nerves. Here, the publisher was focusing on the evolutionary rather than the revolutionary. While that might seem like a snub, it’s not- many of the titles demoed at their booth were quite enjoyable.

One Piece Pirate Warriors 2

Having an affinity for anime and Musou titles, I was immediately drawn to One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2, a game which effectively fused Omega Force’s traditional mechanics with Monkey D. Luffy’s elasticized abilities. Tapping out crowd -purging combos was intuitive, and the game’s visuals managed a fluid framerate even during the craziest confrontations.  Nicely, I was told an obligation to the manga or anime wasn’t a prerequisite for enjoyment, with the game crafting a new plotline as players unlock new characters.

With the line for Dark Souls II filled with solemn faces, I hoped a few missions with FROM Software other principal series would produce a smile on my visage. A slight grin materialized when I took the kitschy pink machine piloted by the previous Armored Core: Verdict Day pilot, and converted it into a gunmetal-hued ranged-combat killing machine. As with previous series iterations, much of Armored Core’s strength lay in its options, which hundreds of components, liveries and decals for player to fiddle with. After assessing my new Core design in the test lab, I took the machine to the battlefield, finding solid gameplay which didn’t veer wildly from past iterations. That said, my Core was responsive and proved to be sufficiently formidable, as I downed a few enemy Cores in both solitary and cooperative missions. Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 owners can expect the title to jump-jet onto store shelves on September 27, 2013.

Armored Core Verdict Day

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.