Seth Collins and Nina Kaufman bring you updates from the show floor at E3 2015!
Being the 30th birthday for a certain plumber named Mario, this year’s show showed similar maturity. The lights and sounds are turned down a notch, and the focus on games turned up. It’s a welcome change. As usual, we spent much of the first day getting our bearings and discovering games we might like to further explore later.
For us, one major highlight was Elite: Dangerous from Frontier Developments. Although the series is one of the true grandfathers of PC gaming, it has now come to consoles via the Xbox One and done so in a seriously impressive way. Though initially it would be easy to find the openness of the world overwhelming on a console, the developers have translated the controls masterfully. I had no trouble navigating flight or gunning down enemy ships in combat. Additionally, the inclusion of support for the Oculus Rift brings a new level of immersion to the game, and given you have the freedom to fully explore an exact scale replica of our entire galaxy, why not do it while utilizing VR goggles?
We were lucky enough to be given over an hour of time with the developers, including a private demonstration, so you’ll definition want to check back later this week for exclusive video content.
Explore a deeply immersive underwater universe in Abzu, the new game from Giant Squid and 505Games coming out for PC and PS4 in 2016. The vast, expansive world focuses on exploration and minimalistic character interaction, an experience that provides a zen-like, relaxing feeling reminiscent of the 2012 PS3 hit, Journey. In Abzu, players swim and float in shallow and deep sea waters and follow schools of fish while exploring a seemingly endless expanse of water and mysteries. There are fragments of ancient mythological statues scattered throughout the ocean floor that will unfold into a deep mystery that players may unravel as they continue their journey through the ocean floor.
Players may also ride creatures such as manta rays and blue whales that unlock new areas to explore. There are no enemies in the game, no threatening interactions amongst the sea creatures, and no ways to die; instead, the world is polished and incredible amounts of detail have been added to create natural interactions between schools of fish and other ocean creatures. All of the creatures within the game react naturally respective to the player, their surroundings, and even the long tangles of gently-swaying kelp that decorates the brilliant oceanscape. The game is certain to be a hit among players wanting a polished, open world to discover and explore for themselves.
As predicted, games like Fallout 4 and Doom provided major highlights, but Mighty No. 9 from Deep Silver proved to be a surprise star. The similarities to Mega Man shouldn’t come as a surprise given its creator has been involved with that series from its inception. It will feel familiar, but the ability to absorb power from every enemy you encounter changes things just enough to make the gameplay very interesting. Also, from the team behind Dynasty Warriors, highly anticipated title Dragon Quest Heroes was incredibly easy to jump into and start playing—the intuitive controls felt fluid and natural as combos and special attacks were easy to execute. Fighting enemies was fun and exciting in the game’s incredibly vivid HD environment. The game is slated for an October 13th, 2015 release date for the PS4.
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