Another E3 has come & gone, leaving behind expectations for the coming year. Honestly, I don’t pay much attention to the hardware news. I’m only interested in the games. So what games have piqued my interest this time? For the sake of simplicity, I’m only including games on this list that I can actually play. This means that even if a PS3 game looks good, since I don’t have that system I can’t play it, & therefore it won’t be listed here.
360, PS3 & PC
A brand new IP being published by Bethesda, Dishonored sounds less like Elder Scrolls & more like Deus Ex. I guess that makes sense, given that the lead designer worked on both the Deus Ex & Thief series. According the Wikipedia, the game is classified as a “first-person Neo-Victorian/steampunk stealth action videogame.” Talk about a mouthful. I have to admit, I love the steampunk genre, but it’s sadly underused in games. The world of Dishonored looks to satisfy my empty cravings, though. When I first saw the game, I thought it was your standard fantasy setting. But the new trailer shows the right combination of fantasy, steampunk technology, magic & Victorian fashion to get me excited.
The player takes control of Corvo Atano, a former bodyguard for the Empress who is framed for her assassination. While imprisoned, Corvo is given supernatural powers by a mysterious being called “The Outsider” to exact revenge on the government (in fact, the tagline for the game is “Revenge Solves Everything”). After escaping, he becomes an assassin, becoming known for his mask a la V for Vendetta. The game aims to be very open-world & allows the player to approach each mission however they like. The powers you gain sound very fun & unique & affect how you play the game. In one interview, the developers mentioned you could possess a rat to find a secret way inside a building, or slow time while a guard is shooting you, possess the guard & walk him in front of his own bullet. Each player will have their own experience with the game. According to a member of the Escapist staff who played the demo: “My first playthrough was entirely stealthy and I even bypassed some of the obstacles the designers had assumed could not be bypassed. I can always tell a good open world game when it allows players to do things that the designers not only didn’t intend, but also never considered were even possible.”
The game is set to be released later this year.
360, PS3 & PC
I already talked about the new Tomb Raider game after last year’s E3, but I’m still excited for it. At this year’s E3, Crystal Dynamics showed a new trailer as well as a gameplay demo. Both shed a bit more light on the story as well as the mechanics. Some fans have criticized the reboot for changing Lara too much, but I don’t think this is the case. Sure, Lara Croft was one of the first really successful badass heroines in gaming, but do you think she was always like that? This game tells the story of how Lara got to be so tough. Personally, I love stories of people being forced to become heroes.
The demo clearly shows that, while less experienced & more vulnerable than in previous games, Lara is every bit as tough as before. She sneaks around, takes out bad guys with a bow, pushes them off cliffs & blows them up, & falls off cliffs. Gameplay resembles Uncharted… or is it the other way around since the original Tomb Raider influenced Uncharted? A lot of sections require quick reactions.
The game is set for release on March 5. Let’s hope they don’t push it back again.
DmC: Devil May Cry
360, PS3 & PC
I have to be honest, I’ve never played any of the Devil May Cry series. I do intend to correct this with the HD release, hopefully before this game comes out in January. Another reboot, DmC takes place even before Devil May Cry 3 with a teenage Dante as he explores a city called Limbo Town, a demonic city parallel to the human one. This demon city influences the humans, controlling them without them even knowing.
As with Tomb Raider, DmC stirred up a lot of controversy with its first trailer, mainly due to Dante’s new appearance. The dark-haired teen was at first assumed to be a completely new character. But the reasoning behind this appears to be that Dante hasn’t come into full control of his demonic powers yet. This is supported by the fact that his hair does turn white during combos. Personality-wise, Dante’s still the same trash-talker as always, though perhaps a bit more punk-ish. But since the gameplay demo, the game has gotten more positive opinions. The combat seems very similar to previous titles, very fast & combo heavy. Dante has a similar set of skills, such as knocking enemies into the air, juggling them with some gunplay before hovering in midair to slash them with his sword. There’s also a demon/angel mechanic, where some moves have two different versions. The example of this I saw in the demo was a move that’s demon version pulls enemies to you while the angel pulls you towards them. Devil May Cry is also known for challenging gameplay, & it sounds like Capcom’s keeping with that tradition, as the developers said they start making the game at the highest difficulty & then adjust for the lower levels.
Hopefully the game will stay true to the franchise while breathing some fresh life into it.
360, PS3 & PC
Having been compared to Yakuza, Sleeping Dogs was originally a True Crime game before it was bought by Square Enix. An open-world crime drama, Sleeping Dogs has you playing as undercover detective Wei Shen who has to infiltrate the Triad, the criminal underbelly of Hong Kong. Wei faces many moral dilemmas as he must appease the Triad to climb their ranks while at the same time still holding to his code of justice.
The world of Sleeping Dogs looks very detailed. I’ve never been to Hong Kong myself, but the city looks very impressive in the game. Not only that, but according to the developers, there are over 100 side missions available for those willing to explore. The game features a robust combat system with both martial arts & gunplay. An interesting feature is the cinematic aspect of the game. Wanting the player to feel like an action movie star, there are certain moves that slow the action down in this Wire-fu effect. These can include vaulting over obstacles while shooting or flipping over cars. Sleeping Dogs also has RPG elements, where you gain experience & skills as you use them.
The game comes out this August, & I really hope it lives up to its potential.
360, PS3 & PC
Ubisoft just announced this game at their E3 Press Conference, so there isn’t a lot of information on it yet. However, from what I’ve seen, it has a very interesting premise. The game is set in a slight alternate timeline where all technology is controlled by a Central Operating System (ctOS). This includes all of your personal information, the way you think habits, etc. The protagonist of the game is Aiden Pierce, a skilled hacker who can use the ctOS in many different ways to accomplish his goals. He can hack phone signals, tamper with traffic lights & even view the information on people around him. His exact goals aren’t known yet, but from the demo I saw he appears to be a vigilante.
The game is set to be an open-world action-adventure game. Aiden can accomplish his goals in a variety of ways, from distracting people to using guns & melee. The demo showed him hacking a traffic signal as his target passed through, causing a multi-car accident to trap the target. After taking out the target & his guards, he stole a car & hacked a drawbridge to rise, blocking police pursuit.
I’ll be keeping an eye out for more information on this game as time goes on. A tentative release date of 2013 has been given.
In the next few days I’ll be posting an Honorable Mentions page, highlighting games that looked good but that I won’t be able to play.