E3 2018 — My Hextuple A games
So E3 2018 has finally concluded and with that, we can finally focus our attention to the most important global issues: FIFA World Cup!!! unleash the balloons!
The most popular event where people watch other people doing activities that they themselves could be doing. And while this would be a great segue into the question why a lot of those people don’t get esports, I would instead rather talk about previously mentioned event that recently ended. I know That people who would be reading articles like this are already on track with the news from E3, so instead I will present my own take on it; what has left the biggest impact on me? And for that reason I present to you: My hextuple A games of E3 2018 commendations! Like triple A but twice as much! Again joke aside, when I was wondering what games left the most impact on me during the event, the first few that would come up are the following six, all of which start with the letter A. Perhaps this is still not very understandable, but let’s just dive into it and I’ll explain.
First, the “Oh dear…” commendation goes to: Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey.“ Write your own epic odyssey and become a legendary Spartan hero in Assassin’s Creed® Odyssey, an inspiring adventure where you must forge your destiny and define your own path in a world on the brink of tearing itself apart. Influence how history unfolds as you experience a rich and ever-changing world shaped by your decisions.” — Ubisoft page
The “Oh dear…” commendation is rewarded to a game that left me most worried about it, where the presentations and interviews could not get rid of that malevolent feeling that this game will not be as good as I would like it to be. The reasons for this game receiving it is closely connected with its predecessor: Assassins creed: Origins.
I think AC: Origins is a perfect example of a game rated 8/10. It’s a good game, no doubt, but there are still many things (some more obvious than others)that prevent it from being cherished for a long time. When the talks for the best game of the year come around, this game will not be mentioned. What AC Origins does the best is its world. Egypt is presented so well, both visually and acoustically: You can feel that the world is alive, feel like you are really walking the deserts of Egypt. However, it does fall short in many other areas: the combat is not that fluid or exciting, the characters are hard to connect to and the story, while trying, fails to be anything but shallow. The game has many pros, but also many cons. So despite of playing this game for 75 hours and not regretting it, I am equally happy to put it back on a shelf and not touching it for a long time. If someone was to ask me whether I would recommend it, I would have hard time saying yes. And this is the biggest difference between a good and a great game: It comes down as much to an individual as to the game in order to determine if one would enjoy it. The game has a hard time speaking for itself.
Back to the AC: Odyssey: I am afraid that this is nothing else but another Origins and despite being set in ancient Greece (a setting much closer to me), reworked combat and being essentially an RPG, the identity of Origins is still very much present in it. Mostly it comes down to how it looks. I’m not sure if the game was built in the same engine as Origins, but it visually it reminds me too much of it: From stone temples to sandy shores and palm trees. Even the combat that is supposed to be core refined still seems shallows and forgettable. And so we come down to the core of the problem: I don’t want another AC: Origins. I do not want another 8/10 and yet, AC: Odyssey seems to be just that.
The “Please be good, please be good” commendation goes to: Anthem“On a world left unfinished by the gods, a shadowy faction threatens all of humankind. The only thing that stands between these villains and the ancient technology they covet are the Freelancers.” — Origin page
There is one distinct difference between this award and the previous one: If I end up not liking AC: Odyssey I won’t be disappointed. This cannot be said for Anthem. Bioware is a darling of mine, I adore TOR games, Dragon Age and I even liked Andromeda, I think it had many great ideas but also many bad executions. Despite that even I can understand that Bioware’s reputation has been somewhat dwindling in the public’s eyes. Anthem has a potential to turn that curve upward again, actually, the entire game has lots of potentials. That being said, the showing of this game at E3 was somewhat… limited. Especially the EA’s conference. If you’ve been interested in this game, you had to look at multiple sources to maybe answer the question that you had, but when I had, I’ve also got the feeling that they try to be as transparent about it as possible. With the lack of different gameplay footage, I would really like a beta before release in order to get a feel for it because, as of now, I have trouble gauging how up my alley this game is. It looks fun and more than that it looks gorgeous. But that is not enough to convince most people today. Anthem is an ambitious project that has a chance to put Bioware back on track (or at least make the first step there). So, please, please Anthem… Be good.
The “OMG, OMG YAS!” commendation goes to: Ashen“Ashen is an action RPG about a wanderer in search of a place to call home. This is a world where nothing lasts, no matter how tightly you cling to it. At its core, Ashen is about forging relationships. Players can guide those they trust to their camp — together, you might just stand a chance.” — Steam page
The “OMG, OMG YAS!” commendation receives a game that I liked everything about for the longest time and can’t wait for the release. Ashen fills that role: Mix Absolver and Dark Souls and you’ve got yourself this gem. In more detail, that means the cooperative idea and artsyle of Absolver and combat and overall atmosphere of Dark Souls. This also includes crafting and building a settlement in the dark world you inhabit. This game got on my radar at E3 last year and I implore you to check it out.
The “That was it?!” award goes to: Anno 1800“In Anno 1800 players will take charge of their own fortune as they navigate the rapidly evolving technological and malicious political landscape of the 19th century in their quest to build and empire that will stand the test of time.”
The “That was it?!” commendation goes to the game that was not seen nearly enough of or not given enough information about it. Anno 1800 made a short appearance on PC Gaming Show and that was it. While Ashen and Anthem left some things unexplained during a conference, that was later fixed with an interview, Q&A or another sort of demonstration. Anno 1800 barely had an exposure to speak of (also that trailer was not that great, in my opinion). Arguably, E3 is the biggest stage to promote our game and Anno 1800 disappointed. Especially because there is gameplay footage from development before and since it’s due to arrive later this year and there is no exact release date, that makes the situation even more sour. The stage was set but Anno 1800 didn’t make most out of the situation. I am not worried that the game won't be finished on time nor that it would be bad, but it still feels underwhelming to be given so little. Hopefully, it will be lest modest at Gamescom.
The “Where were you?” commendation goes to: Splinter Ce…
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Age of Empires 4!
Ok, I understand that it was just announced last year but I was wishing for more or any kind of presence. Microsoft has been pumping up the initiative for PC and the community waited a long time for some sort of AoE news beforehand. Still, the short time window from the announcement makes it highly doubtful that we would’ve seen it so soon. But a man can dream and I did. I hope that the devs at Relic take their time and make the best game they can. Age of Empires is one of the biggest franchises on PC so there is so much more pressure and demand for it. See you at Gamescom (maybe).
The “I actually laughed!”commendation goes to: Afterparty“In Afterparty, you are Milo and Lola, recently deceased best buds who suddenly find themselves staring down an eternity in Hell. But there’s a loophole: outdrink Satan and he’ll grant you re-entry to Earth.” -Steam page
From the developers of Oxenfree, a new game is due in 2019: Afterparty. Taking what I consider the best dialogue mechanic in games so far and implementing them into a drinking (video) game sounds amazing and ridiculous. While the humor might be somewhat less innocent in hell than it was on a haunted island, the charm is still there and both the dialogue and performance are actually really good. There are needs for more wild humor that Rage 2 presented and there is a space for reckless destruction like Just Cause 4. Afterparty is bound to take its place among the excellency of gaming with its brilliant interactions and as amazing delivery.
And there you have it. The 6 A games Commendations that impacted me most during E3. I’m most excited to get my hands on them and see if they are up to their pedigree. And with that, I conclude my tryingtobealittlemoredifferent report on E3 2018. While it wasn’t the best E3 in recent memory, it did provide a nice measure of entertainment, announcements and excitement for future games. Some did it better than others and some I’ve come to respect more. Now I’ve got to go and finish Ancestors Legacy. See you next year.