E3

First of all, I know, the third and final part of my comic collector guide was meant to be up today (or, technically, yesterday I guess).  Well, fear not, it is on it’s way and will be online before I go see Man of Steel tomorrow.  Today I wound up with less time available than I had expected.  Secondly, I realize that I only posted yesterday, and will be doing so tomorrow to give my thoughts on Man of Steel, but having caught up on all the important news from the last few days of E3 I have loads I want to talk about.  Think of it this way, this post will be a nice little freebie for you, you lucky things.

Let’s get started, shall we?

PlayStation 4 owners and online play
This one I found very interesting; to be able to play online multiplayer games over the PlayStation Network, users must now pay for the PlayStation Plus membership.  Reality is, one of the main reasons I found it interesting is because it doesn’t seem to have caused a massive uproar from the irritating fanboys (you get them from both sides, let’s be fair).  The very same ones you would see online, arguing that PSN was better simply because it was free.  Sony clearly had to make cutbacks in certain areas, at least in comparison to Microsoft’s running of Xbox Live.  You just have to compare down time of both networks and successful hacking attempts to see there was a difference in quality of service.  I have said this before, and I’ll say it again: this subscription direction will make the PlayStation network a better place, a more secure place and a more reliable place.  I think it’s a positive move from Sony, it’s just a bit of a shame it’s taken them so long to clock on to how self sufficient a system like this is.

Microsoft clarifies pre-owned policy
There is still so much hate going around the internet for the Xbox One, I suspect there will be for some time but I appreciated them coming out and clearly explaining it all properly.  The bits of information and mass of misinformation that’s been going around since the reveal has been utterly confusing and not in the least bit helpful.  I have to say I’m not experiencing the Hulk-like rage the vocal part of the internet is, I’m a PC gamer too and not one of the games I have on my laptop can be traded, sold or lent out.  Since comics became such a big part of my life (and spending) my game purchasing has dipped off significantly.  It means that I can either pick up a new game on release because I haven’t bought one in a while, or I can pick up a game I had my eye on when it inevitably drops in price.  But, shock horror, it’s not as restrictive as most people were expecting.  I expect many would disagree but for me, this isn’t going to make any difference.

The Witcher 3
I had hoped that something would come up at E3 for this, and it did.  This alone is extremely big for me, I absolutely love The Witcher series, to the point where I will most likely get this on console and PC (continuing story from previous games on PC, achievements on console).  The story seems suitably epic, what I saw of gameplay footage looked really nice and it was nice to hear Geralt’s voice again.  This will absolutely be a day one purchase.

Dragon Age: Inquisition
I have been really good with my “no EA games” policy since Mass Effect 3.  For the record, I’d like to point out that it had nothing to do with ME3, it was more down to the generally dickish (not a word, I know) way they were going about their business, I had said a little while before ME3 came out that it would be the last EA title I would buy.  Forgetting, apparently, all about the Dragon Age series.  I loved Dragon Age: Origins, I really did and you know, I actually rather enjoyed Dragon Age II.  The enjoyment for DA II was more down to the story than anything, I too was disappointed by the frequent copy and paste dungeons and samey combat.  This new installment, however, looks to have taken what was good about DA II and fused it with DA:O.  And the trailer was voiced by none other than Claudia Black, so Morrigan will be returning at some point and, I’d expect anyway, probably playing a pretty big role.  This is all enough for the game to have well and truly grabbed my attention, not quite enough to go on to guarantee a day one buy, but I will certainly be keeping an eye on this.

Elder Scrolls Online coming to next gen consoles
This was a really big surprise for me, I had no idea there was any intention of this going anywhere but PC.  While I can appreciate the merit of PC gaming, with an MMO the graphics are most likely going to be on par.  On top of that, I can gather another 1000+ gamerscore from an Elder Scrolls title, something I am not going to complain at.  I love the Elder Scrolls series, and while I had been hoping for a Fallout 4 (we all know they’re working on that now Skyrim is done), I’m still very pleased with this.  Time to bring out the wood elf archer again.

Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade
Another complete surprise announcement (I didn’t see it coming anyway) and funnily enough another MMO.  Coming to both next gen consoles and PC, this looks to be a promising new game.  Four factions available so far; Orks, Space Marines, Chaos Space Marines and Eldar.  To  anyone unfamiliar with the universe this will mean very little, to me it means hopefully being able to run a witchblade through a Space Marine’s chest.  I used to play the table top game many years ago but I had to stop due to how expensive it was becoming, that’s considering it was never really a cheap hobby in the first place.  Thing is, I never lost my interest in the universe and it is ripe for great story telling and fun games.  I’m looking forward to faction based war in a far flung future where there is only war.

Dead Rising 3
I’ll be honest with you now, I have been seriously mulling over which console I’d be going for, even considering cutting loose from the completely and upgrading my desktop.  Announced as an Xbox One exclusive, Dead Rising came in with a very strong showing.  It’ll be sacrificing some of the sillier aspects of the game, taking a darker tone with a darker sense of humour.  This is, I think, a wise move.  The absurdity had become tiresome by about half way through DR2 for me, so I’m pleased to see Capcom go this route.  Co-op remains, as does the combo weapon mechanic but with more potential weapon combinations.  The thing that caught my attention, though, was that it will support up to three times the number of zombies onscreen at any one time than DR2 could, and that could handle a lot.  This is another guaranteed day one buy for me which cannot come soon enough.

Halo 5
Last, but by no means least, the trailer that everyone suspected, but at the same time no one expected.  By this I mean that after the announcement of a new console, it was clear as day that a new Halo would be gracing it.  Not only that but 343 had stated that Halo 4 was the first part in a new trilogy of games.  It was interesting to note they didn’t actually label it “Halo 5” in the trailer, it simply said “Halo”.  The thing is though, the trailer itself was a little unexpected, the cloaked and hooded figure wandering through the incredibly windy desert.  I actually thought it might be the Arbiter, especially by the way the figure was walking.  Then the ground crumbles before this mysterious figure and a giant Forerunner construct rises from the sand.  Before the hood is removed, we see the figure holding the AI storage device used to transport Cortana so we know who it is, yet I still got the thrill from the Chief having his hood blown down and helmet revealed.  My theory from this (spoilers for anyone that hasn’t played Halo 4 yet) is that since losing Cortana, Chief has cracked somewhat and left the UNSC.  Where we see him now, he is either doing one of two things: he’s either hunting down Forerunner artifact locations for a way to bring Cortana back, or he’s gone to wage a one man war of revenge.  It looks to me though that he no longer has UNSC backing, he wouldn’t need a cloak like that with fully working shields and properly maintained armour.  Since he’s no technician himself and after everything he’s been through in that armour, it’s no surprise it’s pretty much falling off around him.  It looks to be an interesting direction 343 are taking the series, Halo 4 was good but didn’t really feel like much new was brought to the table, hopefully this installment will be different.

And that sums up all of the bits that particularly stood out for me at E3 this year.  Not as much for me to be really excited about this year but the things shown I’m interested in have all got me very excited for the next year or two of gaming.  I should really get to bed so I can be at least semi productive tomorrow before Man of Steel.  Thanks for stopping by and reading, good night all.

@NickLayland88

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