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 

Facebook takes promising future away from gaming for just $2b USD.

It all started with a simple text I received last night. “What did Facebook buy?”


Facebook to Acquire Oculus — Facebook today announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Oculus VR, Inc., the leader in immersive virtual reality technology, for a total of about $2 billion. This includes $400 million in cash and 23.1 million shares of Facebook common stock (valued at $1.6 billion…

If I wasn’t in a church building at a band practice, I would have said a few things inside of a church that I would regret. Ultimately, Facebook spent $2b USD on a company leading the charge on modern virtual reality implementation, called Oculus VR. All for the sake of “getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow.”

The $2b USD buying price sounds like a blocker buy-out price to prevent Oculus VR from being picked up by a peripheral company or multiplying its valuation by taking in more venture capital funds. However, Zuck’s comments sound like that they’re looking to right a wrong they made that allowed so many games and services to operate through Facebook—to take a page from the Apple playbook of completely locking down the system and turning the Oculus Rift’s final retail product into the Facebook VR app marketplace vector.

Internet cool guy keekerdc has found a series of tweets from a certain well-known mobile developer who has already pulled the plug on any potential Oculus VR port that was picked up by the CEO of peripheral company Razer who then offered to “help out.”

Razer’s nonexistent VR product isn’t the only way out. Sony has been teasing its own VR headset that will eventually be deployed to the PlayStation 4. CCP Games’ dogfighting simulator originally designed for the Oculus Rift, Valkyrie, announced just this last week that they would also be developing the game for Sony’s Project Morpheus.

I’d imagine that there will be plenty of game developers following CCP’s lead and announcing development for Sony’s VR headset in the coming weeks after the Facebook acquisition.

The reaction to a post made by Oculous founder Palmer Luckey in /r/oculus was met with some pretty negative reactions, but this particular comment by /u/AlexHD concisely explains gamers’ hesitation with the Facebook acquisition.

> By Gamers for Gamers
Was the original Kickstarter pitch. But now it’s
> We believe virtual reality will be heavily defined by social experiences
What a shame.

Perhaps there was a little miscommunication involved at Facebook HQ about a question from Zuck…

Here’s what I learned from CheckPoint S3E26.

  • Cue the Playstation kids that are angry they have to finally get their parent’s credit card out for another thing besides the M-rated game they recently fell on their face begging for.
  • I imagine that “You shut your filthy, seasonal mouth” is a tasteful way of saying “GET ON WITH IT!”
  • Obvious report about service subscription sales going up tremendously when an updated service requires aforementioned subscription.
  • Vlambeer releases a parody of the parodies generally being released about their own games? “We Must Clone Deeper” indeed. My head hurts after trying to suss that one out.
  • Even CheckPoint caught onto to Apple picking up PrimeSense, the manufacturers of the first generation Kinect for Xbox 360 and SDK for PC. Guessing from how long it took the biometrics company’s product to the integrated into Apple products in a very Apple manner, these sensors probably be expected no earlier than the 2015-2016 models of upcoming Apple products.
  • Skylanders? PASS.
  • Barcode Battlers sounds like a mobile game property that can be made awesome right now.
  • Typing of the Dead mention is awesome. Plus… an expansion pack to add Shakespeare quotes as lines to type? Man, I think I need to get on this train and fast.