Tag: E3

15 Jun

E3 2015: Fallout 4 Showcase

E3, Event Coverage, Fallout, RPG by Tramell

Fallout 4 - E3 2015 Header 01

Late last night, Bethesda kicked off E3 with their first ever E3 press conference to showcase some of their upcoming titles. The healthy list includes games like Doom, The Elder Scrolls: Tamriel Unlimited, Battlecry and recently announced Fallout 4 and rumored Dishonored 2. Doom looked beautiful but with this long-established franchise you know what you are getting. I’m familiar with The Elder Scrolls MMO and they just launched on consoles so they are still going strong over there at ZeniMax Studios. Not much was shown outside of a trailer for Dishonored 2 but it still manage to peak my interest as we can now choose to play as a female protagonist, Emily Kaldwin, the daughter of the murdered Empress from the first game. All and All there were good showings but today I want to focus on what was revealed about the next iteration into the Fallout series, Fallout 4.

I’ll admit, I’m not the biggest Fallout fan out there.Something about post-apocalyptic settings just never quite did it for me. The challenge in living in one is a curious thing, it’s just the bland brown color palette that populates it that turns me off. I’m a fan of color and I love variety so when the teaser trailer hit prior to the event I was genuinely interested. Using an improved version of the Creation Engine, the same engine that powers The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim their palette expanded greatly even though the setting has the same theme and tone. Even though a building is old and decrepit doesn’t mean it has to be only a few shades of brown. As people repair it and add-on to it into a makeshift whatever, different pieces are added, red panels from an old gas station, some metal recycled from vehicles to give it patchwork feel but stay true to that dysphoria theme. Everything really popped.

Spoiler territory going forward, so be warned. The game starts you off in futuristic Boston with a family before it succumbs to a nuclear attack . It begins in the bathroom where you pick your avatar and customize them. Character creation and visuals have been massively improved and are a far cry from what we have seen in the past, although I could still see people making a plethora mods that alter character meshes and textures. Once again you have the option of choosing between a male and female avatar and you customize them by simply clicking on various portions of the face and making your adjustments. To note, no matter what sex you choose they will be full-voiced. As a bonus a baby is also randomly generated depending on how you design your avatar and spouse.

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12 Jun

E3 2011: Thoughts and Opinions

E3, Event Coverage, News by Tramell

This year E3 has come and gone. Plenty of good games and plenty of trailers. A lot of surprises and disappoints. Follow along to see the good, the bad and the ugly.

The conference from the three major players was pretty run of the mill with a few exceptions. The Microsoft Conference was still all about the Kinect and they showcased some neat stuff but I’ve seen people hack the Kinect and pump out better uses of the device. I would have loved to see them show off an official release of the SDK for the Kinect to work on other platforms then show the Kinect being used in novelty ways in ‘hardcore games’. Mass Effect 3 voice commands was awesome but what’s wrong with just using the headset for that instead of yelling at the Kinect sensor. Interesting enough Forza Motorsport 4 used the Kinect sensor to turn the camera in first person mode while driving, now that is something I like to see developers utilizing the Kinect for more. Other than that it was just like last years E3 and I wonder what is Microsoft plan beyond the Kinect. Then there the EA and Ubisoft press conferences; they both had spectacular games on display. EA had Battlefield 3, Mass Effect 3, Need for Speed: The Run and Star Wars: The Old Republic. All of which were awesome in their own way. Battlefield 3 had stunning graphics and the multiplayer trailer showed that it would be on par with the single player graphically and the impacting feel of the gameplay. Mass Effect 3 demo showcased the improved combat albeit being a bit Gears of Wars-ish still nice to see that implementation in the much-loved Mass Effect series. Need for Speed look awesome as well borrowing the Frostbite 2 engine made by Dice the level of destruction is a lot more fluid. The extra touch for this game is the new chase scenes and I say scenes because of what they showcased, which was a cinematic QTEs. Good but I still would like to see it implemented better perhaps give us a route option during various points of the chase.

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10 Jun

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – An E3 2011 Update

E3 has come and gone and I got the chance to watch a few demos of one of the most anticipated games this year, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. With its new Creation Engine, Radiant Story and artificial intelligence Bethesda has created a very immersive open world. I got a glimpse of the smooth sleek menu system, combat, shouts and dragons. Follow along as I detail what makes me want to move time forward as a RPG fan.

Attention to detail

Opening the demo you notice right away the rich environment of Skyrim. The area I saw was a lush forest with evergreens, mountains in the back and animals scurrying about. Here Todd Howard explained that they are paying a lot of attention to detail. He states “In an open world the player can go anywhere they want and we can’t hide anything.” Everything from flowers, rocks, to mountains are all handcrafted and every nook and cranny gets some TLC. As the dev traveled through the area I saw a fox run across the screen chasing a rabbit from the dirt path and into the bushes. Come to find out that even the animals have scripts that allow them to hunt for food or passively travel to their next breeding grounds: it’s all about the details. The animation system has received a rework so the player’s character runs differently and more realistic. Horses are in the game and they move like real horses with smooth transitions from trotting to sprinting. As you navigate the world with these fluid animations there is a lot to discover. Going downhill we were introduced to Guardian stones which functions similarly to altars in Oblivion as these stones bestow a buff on you that increase the rate you level up certain skills. When you’re in a town the townsfolk all have their own unique duties and when you speak to them it doesn’t zoom in like it did in previous Bethesda games and it provided a genuine feel and it kept you immersed in the world. In town you can take part in the crafts they do such as blacksmithing. They really want to suck you into the world no matter what you choose to do.

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09 Jun

Nintendo Press Conference – E3 2011

E3, Event Coverage, Games, News by Tramell

After a hectic morning I sit down to watch the Nintendo Press Conference with renewed vigor. I was excited to finally hear about the new system Nintendo has developed that was rumored to be just a step up from current consoles giving something to the hardcore crowd. What exactly was their gimmick this time around that was going to sell millions and allow them to keep the crown. As excited as I was the best things are usually saved for lasted and this time to I would have to wait for goodies I seeked.

In usual Nintendo fashion they opened up with glimpses into their first party line up including Luigi Mansion, Kid Icarus and was that Zelda in high definition!? Precursor of things to come I hoped. President Reggie Fils-Amie then walks out and opens up with the Nintendo 3DS talk. All primary focused on the uniqueness of the 3DS(rolls eyes) and they top it off by announcing you guessed it, more first party titles including Mario Kart 3D, Star Fox 64 3D, Kid Icarus: Uprising and Luigi Mansion 2. All looked fabulous and unique even in 2D Recording I could see how 3D was utilized and how it offered a unique experience with the various design of the levels and camera angles. They showed various other third-party titles that would make an appearance on the 3DS. Overall the presentation thus far gave me the usual Nintendo being Nintendo vibe and what I mean by that is that they put their stuff right up front and really talk it up while the rest of the third-party games only got brief glimpses in film reel trailer fashion. I really wish they would stop shoving third parties aside and really embrace them and give them s little more press. That is one of the reasons I really don’t follow Nintendo. I’m tired of Mario, Pokemon, Zelda and all the other games and their fifty million iterations/remasterd versions of them. Despite my Nintendo rage the show went on. They unveiled details of their eShop that will sport a virtual console application built to run older GBA and GBC games. Good for people who want the old stuff but otherwise nothing to write home about especially after seeing the PS Vita the previous night.

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09 Jun

Sony Press Conference – E3 2011

E3, Event Coverage, Games, News by Tramell

By expected demand Sony started their E3 conference by speaking about the hackings they endured that resulted in the PlayStation Network being taken down for nearly a month. I was glad they took the challenge to getting out in front and addressing it on stage and apologizing to consumers, publishers, and retail outlets but it kinda left me feeling even more jaded by talking about how they learned their lesson and seeking to improve their network and hoping to win back customers with their line-up at E3. Even now hackers are still attacking Sony at various levels and top experts in security claim that PSN still isn’t safe. But you know I let it slide and witnessed what they have to offer.

Like Microsoft they followed a similar trend continuing the message from their previous E3 Press Conference last year. Catering to the hardcore gamers by showcasing a robust offering of titles including demos of Uncharted 3 and Resistance 3(their top exclusives) and much much more all in 3D. A powerful display of what they have to offer on the PS3 and PS3 alone. Transitioning a bit towards hardware and 3D, Sony still pushing 3D down the hatch has developed cheaper 3D glasses as well as a unique 24 inch television that allows an affordable 3D experience in high definition with exceptional technology that displays two different images to two separate players while playing in 3D. So that they have a seamless co-op experience without have to share the screen. Very impressive hardware that looks to be a fit in the dorm environment with its cheap price point and small size but I’m still not sure if that will push people including the targeted market to buying into 3D. After that they moved into championing the Move controller(pun intended) with a pretty shotty demo with Kobe Bryant featuring the move on NBA 2k12 which convinced I’d rather have a Kinect then Move controllers, neither of which I really care about.

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07 Jun

Electronic Arts Press Conference – E3 2011

E3, Event Coverage, Games, News by Tramell

Firing right out the gate, the EA Press Conference kicks off with a new Mass Effect 3 trailer showing the reaper invasion in full detail, and how they are just ripping the place up. This alone sets the tone for the conference since EA has the most interesting line up of games being showcased at E3. There is Battlefield 3, Mass Effect 3, Star Wars: The Old Republic, their sports line up including Fifa and Madden, as well as a number of unannounced games making their debut. In the ME 3 gameplay demo Bioware showcases the scale of the encounters in which they want ME 3 to be known for. You start off assaulting a Reaper base only to find out that it houses a Reaper and you go from tactical insertion to full-blown retreat while you call in an ordinance drop from the fleet in space. A new release date is announced for 3/6/2012.

Next up in Need for Speed: The Run, which looks to play like any other Need for Speed game except this time they upgraded to the Frostbite 2 engine which is the same engine being used in Battlefield 3. Which does it mean for NFS, well it means gorgeous graphics and improved destruction. The one place where I see it really shining is in Foot chases which are scripted QTE(quick time events) the player goes through as he progresses through the game. I’m bit disappointed they seem pretty straightforward and focusing more on delivering a cinematic experience which is fine but I wish they did a little more with it.

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07 Jun

Microsoft Keynote – E3 2011

E3, Event Coverage, Games, News by Tramell

 

Microsoft kicked off E3 2011 similar to the way they did last year; A lot of focus around the Kinect(For better or for worse). They created a new UI that looks very similar to the Metro UI being used in Windows Phone 7 devices as well as Microsoft tablet OS codenamed ‘Windows 8’. Using tiles(blocks) to represent various applications and games the UI looks very sleek and a welcomed addition to the Xbox update later on this year. Along with the tweaks in the UI, Microsoft is bringing some new features to the table. If you recall Microsoft has really pushed the Xbox 360 as Media device; The one to rule them all in the living room. The trend continues with Youtube for all your cat video pleasures, Live T.V a subscription-based live television service with DVR capabilities and combining it with Bing search  which allows you to do searches on anything you have in mind. Though I lean towards more of the hardcore gamer, a device I can use to do more tasks is still something I can get behind.

After the information dump of the new UI and features, Microsoft dove head first into Kinect PR mode. They showcased a number of games that use Kinect in some way. The champion of the Kinect is getting a sequel with Dance Central 2. They showed off Tom Clancy Ghost Recon: Future Solider using Kinect to interact with gun upgrades. Using a variety of hand motions you can dissemble your gun as well as reassemble it and with voice commands you can shout out various parts to swap and install into your gun. Peter Molyneux from Lionhead Studios made an appearance and introduced the new Fable game which will use Kinect for combat. The design this time around seems to be in first person experience. In the demonstration the person used a variety of hand motions to attack his enemies which was strictly spell based. It was pretty neat overall and at one point in the demo he created an energized arrow with a variety of hand motions to throw at an enemy residing in an outpost. That particular moment caught my eye because of the elaborate hand motions to use that powerful spell. The game looks promising but they still have some ways to go especially with the recent buggy Fable 3 release. Continuing on Crytek showed a trailer of their Kinect title called Ryse. The graphics are extremely stunning as you take control of a solider during the Roman time period and in first person mode you fight like an actual gladiator. Nothing new as far as I could tell but the graphics blew me away; Perhaps a game for the hardcore crowd. Forza Motorsport showed off some nifty head tracking, voice and driving with the Kinect while a person was racing in game. Last but not least they are offering Kinect Labs which allows you to use Kinect in a variety of ways such as taking a few pictures of yourself and Kinect and software create a personalized Avatar of you clothes and all. Neat stuff there but i need a Kinect to enjoy which I don’t have at the moment.

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06 Jun

Preparations for E3 2011

E3, Event Coverage, News by Tramell

Even though I’m be able to attend E3 in person like some many people who I know(sad face), I will be here at home on the couch scouring through all the livestreams,  liveblogs and news sites to get my hands on all the goodies and I will do my best to cover some of the events that are of my interest and to gamers . Some of the things  I really looking forward to what the big guys are going to bring to the table this year.

There is the obvious fact that Nintendo will unveil their new console codename Project Cafe. What I want to know is how powerful it will be, what kinda disc and storage system will they use and what is the last say on the controller. Will it truly have a 6 inch screen on it and how will it look. Lets not the forget the official name of the system Nintendo Stream maybe as I don’t think they can top the Wii. Another important thing to note is who are the developers that will be on board with the new system and I mean on board in terms of serious games and not some run of the mill/crapware that some major top-tier companies end up producing just for the sake of looking good for the press and investors.

For Microsoft there are rumors of a Diamond edition to the XBL subscription model that will bring in movie rentals over to XBL and possibly some other features. What else will they bring to the table such as 3D implementation, Kinect for the hardcore, a possible product refresh and so much more.

We all know what has gone on with Sony with the repeated hacks against the company and PSN going do for near a month and experts still saying that it is not safe. That is something they have to discuss in some way. Moving on from that I expect a lot of the presentation will be focused on the NGP which from leaks and rumor that the device will be called the PS Vita(Who comes up with this stuff and why are they getting paid). A device not competing with mobile phones but seeks to adjust itself as a ‘second device’. Having a good choice of games and multimedia features.

If you don’t have a place to hang out through out the event or looking for some people to converse Ryan and others as well as myself will have discussions on the new Vagary.TV Forums. Feel free to come join us there and keep an eye on the Vagary.TV for some unique news and articles.