E3 was manic.
A whirlwind of next gen consoles and triple A titles.
This year I roamed the show floor trying out as many games as possible.
Most were bigger & badder takes on familiar genres.
Forza 5 on Xbox One was stunning. FIFA 14’s animations flowed better than ever. Call of Duty Ghost had gunplay, underwater! Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs pulled us into an immersive wired city. Oh and mechs are back!
So what about non core games?
Not that many.
There were bright spots though - 5 personal highlights:
1/ That Dragon, Cancer
Not so much a game as a thoughtful piece of art. The setting is a sad hospital room, the character a cancer patient and his thoughts. This game had the most emotional impact, despite the lack of fancy graphics.
2/ Project Spark
Little Big Planet and Minecraft just had a love child…
This was the most awe inspiring demo at the event. Microsoft’s ambitious game creation platform is a joy to play with: the first time you swipe your finger and literally create worlds of ice and forests before your eyes takes your breath away.
Octodad is so ridiculous in its premise it can’t help but bring out the smiles. Trying to control Octodad’s clumsy tentatcle to retrieve a wedding ring for your (female) bride is a farce, in a good way. The game bursts with personality and character, a welcome contrast to all the high speed action and violence in the rest of the PS4 zone.
This action platformer leaves a dark impression. Contrast has intriguing female leads, gorgeous french noir art and a gameplay twist. When your character’s shadow is on a surface you can change modes and control your shadow in 2d, moving and jumping amongst other shadows. Whilst frustrating in its controls it pushes the boundaries in creative gameplay.
5/ My School
Not sure whether I’d call this a highlight or not, but worth a mention. This over the top school simulation game features plenty of “only in Asia” quirkiness (maybe fitting from a studio called Racoonsoft). Busty teachers, an overabundance of cola machines and confused students looking for work, this game had it. When I asked the goal of the game, I was told it was “to make money”.
Education these days :)
ps - special mention to The Wonderful 101 - who knew 101 character multiplayer chaos could be so much fun…