In one word, wow. In a few more words, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I wasn’t quite prepared for the organized chaos that is E3. Thousands of people, hundreds of games, two show floors and a whole lot more going on behind closed doors. It’s not a trip for the faint of heart, but it is a trip for anyone who loves games. As someone who is firmly in that category, it was great to see that E3 was all about the games the games this year.
My games of show
Although I was fortunate enough to see lots of games at the expo, the following were the ones who really sparked my interest.
Civilization: Beyond Earth
As a fan of Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri, I was excited to hear that the Civilization series was going to be adding a futuristic entry to their franchise. After seeing some gameplay, I’m even more so. Gameplay looks just as smooth as Civ V, but what got me excited (besides the aliens) was the tech upgrades. Instead of a more-or-less straight forward tree, they’ve moved to web based system, which should offer greater flexibility to the player. The tech you pick also influences what sort of affinity you have, which in turn influences how other societies might interact with you. I’m intrigued to see how it all plays out. Although the game is instantly recognizable as a Civilization game, what I saw got me excited to go build a new society beyond Earth.
Dragon Age: Inquisition
As may be obvious from my thousands of edits for the Dragon Age wiki, I’m a fan of the series, and I was so hoping that this would be the game that our community wants to see. After watching the demo I feel confident it will be. Tactical view is back, allowing players to approach combat in a more strategic manner. The revamped combat was shown off spectacularly in an epic fight against a dragon. The oft maligned recycled environments of Dragon Age II also look to be a thing of the past as we were shown a beautiful open fields, rundown villages, and gloomy abandoned castles. Although very different areas, all were beautifully detailed. During the presentation, producer Mark Darrah mentioned that this was the Dragon Age game the team always wanted to make, and after what I saw it is a game I want to play.
Batman: Arkham Knight
The world looks wonderfully gothic, the combat brutal, the enemies intriguing, but really Arkham Knight was all about one thing to me; the batmobile. It has two modes battle and pursuit. Pursuit mode is what you want to use to zoom around the expanded environments, but in this game the batmobile is no mere means of transportation. When you switch o battle mode, it becomes an army unto itself. With all the things going for it, this game looks like it’s going to be a real treat to play.
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
After getting some hands on time with Shadow of Mordor, I can’t wait to play more. The combat was a real strength of the demo. With the player having the ability to engage in mounted combat, ranged combat using your special wraith powers, or just to get up close and personal with an old-fashioned stabbing, combat looks to be a blast. Another of my favourite features of the game is its nemesis system. In short, it is a gameplay mechanic that produces new enemies with new motivations every play through. This promises to help make this a game that will be fun to play and fun to replay too. It was such a pleasure running around Mordor, riding the local wildlife, and taking down orcs in a variety of ways!
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
I was lucky enough to see an extended preview of Wild Hunt and what I saw was jaw-droppingly beautiful and it wasn’t even the final product. I can’t recall ever seeing a city that felt more alive, and character models are spectacular. After picking my jaw up, I liked what I saw of the quests too. Without giving any spoilers away, it looks there will be plenty of the Witcher’s signature grey choices with no easy answers too.
It was such a blast being part of what felt like the world’s biggest celebration of gaming and being surrounded by people that loved gaming too. Now I just have to be patient and wait until all these games start being released!