The Hype Train: E3 2014 Edition.

bcdm_hypetrainNow that Nintendo’s pre-recorded E3 presser has been broadcast, the show is officially underway. The last of the five shows rounded out what could possibly be called the E3 Hype Train. There’s plenty of liveblogs out there that cover the five conferences, but here’s what I think are the biggest things to know from each.1

Microsoft 2

  • There’s a new Call of Duty. It’s called Advanced Warfare and it will be $60 USD of shooting people in the face circa the future. You can recreate the game’s experience by modding a Counter-Strike 1.6 server with any RPG mod you like along with HookMod.
  • Sunset Overdrive is oozing with style and should be one of the titles to watch out for that seems to be exclusively Xbox One. It’s Jet Set Radio with an extra ounce of kickass based on this trailer.
  • The new Fable game looks nice, but it won’t be outshining anything else. If you want a 4v1 game, wait for Evolve.
  • Halo 2 in the Halo 4 engine on the Xbox One? That’s reason enough to consider the Master Chief Collection. There’s also a pre-Halo 5 video series called Nightfall bundled in, but don’t worry about that. Dual wielding SMGs is officially back along with a ton of other stuff. Halo fans, get in line.
  • The Witcher 3 needs to be on your radar. IT NEEDS TO BE THERE.
  • The Division might seriously get some following on the Xbox scene, especially with how social the trailer shown off at this presentation seems to be. It took me a second to realize that these aren’t the characters in the game talking, the voice over in the trailers is meant to be coming from the players of those characters.

EA 3

  • Teased development and alpha assets are the new voice-over teaser trailers as far as video games are concerned. I’d rather a traditional trailer or two. See: Star Wars Battlefront.
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition looks bad. Avoid.
  • The Sims 4 should be good fun, just don’t let your child play it. It’s not a child’s game, it’s for your teenager.
  • Any EA sports game that isn’t FIFA can be ignored as garbage. Even so, FIFA 15 is the first game in the series to be made for the current generation of hardware. It should look and run cleaner than it ever has before.
  • They made an Dota-clone called Dawngate. They claim that it has a meta. They probably expect you to pay for it. Go play Dota 2 or League of Legends instead.
  • The concepts for the upcoming Mirror’s Edge reboot are looking good. I hope they continue to invest in the development of the game. The world that DICE has dreamed up has a lot of potential and I believe you shouldn’t ignore this game simply for it being a first-person perspective game.
  • Battlefield: Hardline is a mod for Battlefield 4 that is being released as a whole new game. Avoid.

Ubisoft 4

  • FarCry 4 is another CryTek show-off fest and an edgy storyline. Just like FarCry 3. Just like FarCry 2. Just like… well, FarCry was okay.
  • The Crew is Ubisoft’s attempt at dethroning Gran Turismo or Forza from relevancy. They will fail if it has anything to do with Uplay.
  • Assassin’s Creed: Unity is supposed to be set during the French Revolution, in Paris… but not a single character is speaking French. How difficult would that have been?
  • A proper Rainbow Six game is being developed? BE STILL MY BEATING HEART. Siege looks likes it intends to undo every bad game made in the name of Tom Clancy since Rainbow Six, because they were all bad since Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon.

Sony 5

  • Destiny was the first game to be shown off, and for good reason. It’s going to be an important release for Sony console owners, with PS4 owners getting the first access to the game before the other platforms. A great trailer that explains the universe more than had been up to this point was released. Look forward to seeing leaked footage from the alpha all summer.
  • For non-PS4 owners, like myself, there’s a console bundle that will be available with Destiny. And I might pick it up. Because it looks pretty.
  • The Order 1886 is a game that looks like a CGI movie the entire time. It achieves this by being locked to 30 frames per second, but the graphics it can constantly produce make it worth while. It may be a gimmick, but it’s a good one.
  • From Software announced the spiritual successor to Dark Souls 2, a PS4 game called Bloodborne.
  • You don’t have to own FarCry 4 to play a multiplayer game with a friend that does. A huge feature that seems to be Sony taking a cue from Nintendo.
  • Double Fine is remastering Grim Fandango.

Nintendo 6

  1. Image at right completely lifted from somewhere on the Internet. I don’t own it. Chill out though. It’s an image macro. It’ll be okay. 
  2. Ars Technica: Microsoft’s pre-E3 2014 press conference 
  3. Ars Technica: EA’s pre-E3 2014 press conference 
  4. Ars Technica: Ubisoft’s pre-E3 2014 press conference 
  5. Ars Technica: Sony’s pre-E3 2014 press conference 
  6. Ars Technica: Nintendo’s pre-E3 2014 press conference 

Here’s what I learned from CheckPoint S3E4.

I’m a little late with this post, as I’ve been busy trying to relearn everything I forgot about Linux server administration.

  • Graham and Kathleen are rightfully smug for the US-in-general forgetting Canada Day. Now, moving on…
  • Square Enix continues its string of out-of-touch decisions by deciding that, instead of developing a Final Fantasy VII remake with modern 3D technologies, its time would be better spent by making Cloud’s SOLDIER uniform a pre-order bonus for Lighting Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. But Graham has a point, nostalgia can make up for a lot of sales.
  • MSFT announced an algorithm for match-making that takes into account the ratings and reviews that other players leave about you using the Xbox Live match-making system. The more negative ratings you receive, the more likely you are to be paired up with players with negative ratings like yours. It sounds like a decent way to split up griefing and trolling users from those wanting to just play the game and do so without feeling the need to use racial slurs and so on. Graham’s remarks are right on; if the system works as intended, perhaps there’ll be a bit more self-reflection among the Xbox Live players.
  • Dwarf Fortress hitting version 1.0 in 2033? Half-Life 3 confirmed.
  • Ars Technica comes up with some great information about the prices of console systems at release versus prices adjusted for inflation. While the Xbox One’s launch price is roughly half a gas tank more expensive than the Xbox 360’s launch price adjusted for inflation, it’s important to note that it’s still a difference of half a gas tank. I don’t really consider myself a social being that drives errywhere all the time, but that’s still something to think about.
  • Douche AsstrickDon Mattrick left MSFT and joined Zynga. Going from being the boss of the division that believed that the Xbox 360 was the offline version of the Xbox One to being the boss of a company that preys on consumers’ wallets with pay-to-win games that are borderline addictive. But oh wait, that was Xbox news. And Kathleen got a Dwarf Fortress joke in that needles the Xbox brand again! HEYOOOOO
  • The way to get a game that glorifies drugs classified in Australia: find/replace drugs to vitamins. The future of tiles.

I wrote something cool on my company’s blog regarding the Windows 8 preview that has been released for anyone to download and try out. The big money thought behind tiles?

Seeing the Start menu in action makes the design decisions of the Metro interface clear: information is the new icon. A nice-looking sprite that represents a program does nothing but identify itself. Windows 8 allows for the entire tile space to be used to not only identify an application, but quickly convey a summary of relevant information.

Check out the post over at 1