E3 Impressions: Watch Dogs

Well, so I’ve highlighted two PS3 exclusives in a row and so I feel it’s only right to detail a game that’ll be going multi-platform. It’s not often that I get surprised by a third-party conference, but Ubisoft punched me in the face this time. Near the end of their conference they released a brand new IP: Watch Dogs.

Everything is Connected. Connection is Power.

The following trailers contain some language and violence, but I’m so stoked by the conceptual idea that I can look past that, and look forward to the completed product.

This is how they introduced the product:

In a generation that’s littered with conspiracy theories, financial concerns, explosive gas prices, war, and civil unrest in our everyday society, I can’t tell you how chilling this game concept felt for me. The idea that data silos are sitting somewhere out there in an interconnected community and YOU can be in control of it all – makes the hairs on the back of my neck tingle with both fear and excitement. Here’s where it gets fun, so Ubisoft dropped that trailer, and THEN they released a section of initial gameplay for the game:

Are you kidding me?! – The graphics quality is something that I’ve always found special about Ubisoft productions. Their stories, graphics, and characters are some of the most prolific and beautiful that I’ve ever witnessed. I’m still unsettled on whether or not Watch Dogs will feature one protagonist, or if Watch Dogs will be some sort of multiplayer game – via the online services. Either way I’m excited to see what this unsettling game is going to deliver.

Total Control? Yes! Thank you!

The idea that I can go around playing as [ from what’s been presented currently ] a protagonist named Aiden Pierce, in the seedy underbelly of Chicago. The game seems to be about vengeance and justice being retained for Pierce. The game is also reportedly going to be an open world environment, which means I’ll be able to solve problems, accomplish goals, and side missions in more than one way [ Horray for non-linear formats! ].

It seems like Watch Dogs is not only going to test players abilities to solve problems, but also will give them the free will to determine how Pierce will escape capture, seek his vengeance, and so forth. This small detail will give so much more depth to the gameplay, allowing players to either play as a sympathetic, stealthier assassin – or a havoc and chaos type player where casualties aren’t a concern to your primary objective. How awesome!

The game is slated for some time in 2013 and will be fully playable on XBox, PS3, and PC. So – get your thumbs ready for some major conspiracy control folks! This game looks amazing and I love the HUD displays simplicity as well as the gritty, dark gameplay of it all! Watch Dogs – definitely a game to ‘watch‘ out for! I’ll keep folks posted as more comes about!

Thanks Ubisoft for this gaming nugget!

E3 Impressions: The Last of Us

The theme of  a post-apocalyptic survival game isn’t unheard of, in fact, it’s really quite a prevalent style found in some of the most recent games. I think I’ve found one, however, that’s going to rock the pants off me this upcoming season. Naughty Dog Studios is getting ready to release The Last of Us, a PS3 exclusive that’s far darker, grittier, and more adult than the former hero study of Nathan Drake in Naughty Dog’s Uncharted series. Seriously, the main characters of The Last of Us live such a violent lifestyle that it makes Drake look like a toddler still sucking on a bottle.

Apocalypse – WOW!

Now I’m a huge fan of the Uncharted series. I love the quips, the humor, and the high octane action. I’m excited though to see a studio who I’ve always associated with jovial, family friendly, entertaining series [ Jak and Daxter, Crash Bandicoot, Uncharted ] actually branching out into a far more mature realm with The Last of Us. This story deals with a duo, similar to how they did with Uncharted, but the pairing is far different. Here’s why I’m so excited for this game:

  • You play as Joel, a rugged survivor with a brutal attitude, who befriends and takes a young teenager, named Ellie [ Ashley Johnson ] , under his wing. It seems as though you’ll be playing primarily as Joel as you go throughout the game, but the AI of Ellie looks phenomenal.
  • I’m hoping there will be moments within the game where you can switch, or the game switches, the character you play. I understand that Ellie doesn’t really seem like she poses a threat, but I think that’s the strategy of it. It would be a whole new game challenge if you had to deal with drifters, infected, etc. as a young girl vs. a rough and tumble survivalist.
  • There seems to be some sort of infection going on. This was apparent to me since the first few trailers that were ever released for this game. It seems like some sort of fungus, or organic infection, that’s turning any living organism into some sort of zombified cannibalistic creature. This means, not only are you traversing the apocalyptic city scape, but you’re fighting off drifters AND infected as enemies.
  • The infected enemies seem to be dubbed “Clickers” and so I’m stoked to see how they became infected, etc. I also like the inventory system as it seems to be very fluid and easily accessible. The characters seem to mesh well and the vibe of the game seems to be increasingly focused on moment to moment combat, seamlessly ducking in and out of cutscenes and gameplay.
Overall, I’m stoked by this game – and even though I know it’s probably going to be rated M for Mature I’m so eager to grab this up like warm, piping blueberry pancakes from a morning skillet! It’s slated to be out some time [ I’m hoping earlier than later ] in 2013. So here’s to hoping the apocalypse doesn’t happen in December so I can focus on my gaming apocalypse in 2013!

 

Thanks Naughty Dog giving me something to look forward to, for providing me with two brand new characters I can now obsess over!

E3 Impressions: Beyond. Two Souls.

If you’ve been a fan of my blog, or followed me for any length of time, you’ll know I’m an avid fan of Quantic Dream. Their game designs are phenomenal, and they’ve managed to push the boundaries of graphics capabilities on the PS3 time and time again. If you’ve never played Heavy Rain, or if you haven’t seen that tech demo for their short film, Kara, that I covered earlier in the year – I insist you check them out. It will most definitely help you grasp why I’m on the seat of my pants for Quantic Dream’s newest IP: Beyond. 

Two Souls. One Adventure.

In the Kara demo, I described how Dream’s new graphics engine was going to expand the capabilities of what a gaming system can deliver emotionally, and this time it’s no different. Before I carry on, I would like to ask you all to please watch this trailer. I won’t say anything about it until you’re finished, because I don’t want to talk about details until you’re done. I would also definitely recommend watching it in FULL screen to get the best effect.

Now, what’s so amazing about that? Well, let me just start off by saying: ELLEN PAGE! I got goosebumps when they announced that the Inception actress was going to be playing the lead role in this new IP! Seeing that kind of star power start to come to video games is so intriguing and warranted. Let’s focus on the game though shall we? Here’s what I know:

You play the game as Jodie Holmes, brought to life by Page’s performance. According to David Cage, the game’s creative director, you follow the progression of her life and her interactions with this being. I caught a name in the trailer, so I assume this entity is named, Ivan. Now there are no details to how they are linked together, but with a game that states “Two Souls” as it’s tag line, I can only imagine the possibilities as to how these two are interconnected.

It seems to me Quantic Dream has really pushed the envelope this time around. They’re going from having one of the most unexpected successes in Heavy Rain, to now trying their hand at an action-drama. I can’t wait to see how it unfolds, but it looks like there will be tons of off-your-seat action, explosives, escaping, and that constant guise of mystery with this game as I try my hardest to figure out what’s going on in this game! It seems to me that Ivan might be some sort of poltergeist, maybe an imaginary friend come to life, I’m not sure – but I’m eager to find out!

I’ll keep you all posted as I find out more, but definitely Quantic Dream and their love-child: Beyond, is one to definitely keep watch on, and I will just for you guys. Anything new I’ll report as soon as I get word, but for now just let your mind’s be boggled and your thumbs twitch to play this, what looks like it will be, remarkable game! I’m certain that this game will probably be rated M for Mature, but that’s just my guess. The game should be out sometime in 2013 EXCLUSIVELY to the PS3.

I can’t wait for a full release date!

Retrospective: E3 2012

Well, I’ve done it. I’ve gone through all of the E3 conferences, and right now I’m exhausted by the amount of information and gamer love I have to share with all of you. There’s so much content that I have to cover that I won’t even begin to start detailing them all within ONE post. This would be unfair to developers, publishers, and pretty much anyone in the industry if I rushed detailing all of the highs and lows of this year’s biggest event.

I had some definite moments where I was blown out of my seat, and there were also moments where I was begging for more. I’ll have more reports on all of these games in detail, but for now I’ll give you a run down list of the games that were covered via the conferences and I’ll highlight the ones that shocked and awed me so that you’ll see what I’m looking forward to covering most:

Microsoft:

  • Halo 4
  • Gears of War: Judgment
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops II
  • Splinter Cell: Blacklist
  • Nike + 
  • Resident Evil 6
  • Tomb Raider
  • EA Sports [ Madden 13, etc.]
  • XBox Smart Glass

Sony:

  • Beyond
  • Playstation All-Stars: Battle Royale
  • God of War: Ascension
  • Last of Us
  • Assassin’s Creed III
  • Assassin’s Creed: Liberation
  • Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified 
  • Far Cry 3
  • Wonderbook
  • and other Tech related improvements

Nintendo:

  • Super Mario Bros. U
  • Batman Arkham City: Armored Edition
  • Paper Mario: Sticker 
  • Scribblenauts: Unlimited
  • Luigi’s Mansion
  • Nintendoland
  • Pikmin 3
  • Zombi U
  • Lego City Undercover
  • Wii Fit U

Ubisoft:

  • Assassin’s Creed III
  • Splinter Cell: Blacklist
  • Rayman: Legends
  • Far Cry 3
  • Just Dance 4
  • Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth
  • Zombi U
  • Shootmania
  • Watchdogs

EA:

  • Dead Space 3
  • Madden 13
  • SimCity Social
  • SimCity
  • Medal of Honor: Warfighter
  • FIFA 13
  • Need For Speed: Most Wanted
  • Crysis 3
  • Other game updates, tech, etc.

Note:

I will also be detailing a couple of Tech Talk posts in relation to the new hardware/software properties that some of these companies put out. These posts will be more of my own personal opinion on how I feel these properties will aid/inhibit accessibility, education, etc. within games. They should be taken with a grain of salt seeing as I can currently only judge visually without actually having hands-on experience with them yet.

So – great E3 and I’m excited to talk in depth about a ton of these games and my impressions! Look forward to updates in the coming week. The first game I’ll be talking about is one of Sony’s great new IP’s that blew me out of the water: Beyond, so look forward to that soon!