Diecast #347: E3 Approaches

By Shamus Posted Monday Jun 14, 2021

Filed under: Diecast 51 comments

Like I said on the show, E3 kinda snuck up on me this year. It had barely started when we recorded this podcast, but it’ll be basically over by the time this goes live. Whatever. I doubt people come to my site because my coverage is timely.


Hosts: Paul, Shamus. Episode edited by Issac.

Diecast347


Link (YouTube)

Show notes:

00:00 E3 Coverage – Ubisoft and the Cavalcade of Cringe

I’ll have a proper show-by-show breakdown of E3 later this week.

07:34 Anacrusis – Left 4 Dead Writer Chet Falizek

Having seen Back 4 Blood now, I have to say Anacrusis feels like a bedroom indie project, while B4B feels like a proper mid-budget successor.

14:32 Dorf Romantik: Singleplayer hex-grid Carcassonne


Link (YouTube)

I bought this during the show, and it won me over in a couple of minutes. I love it. Check it out. I find it deeply hypnotic.

Although, I don’t get the title. Dorf? Romantik? The author is not a native English speakerYou can hear a narrated voice in the trailer above. I’m going to hazard a guess and say they sound German. and I can’t escape the notion that something is getting lost in translation. There’s probably a joke or pun I’m not getting.

20:50 Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands


Link (YouTube)

Will this be a return to the best part of the Borderlands series, or will this be another disappointment like Borderlands 3?

28:00 Goonswarm visits the Diecast

Here’s the link, although I sort of use this topic as an excuse to gush about how crazy their foray into EVE Online was. This discussion is a response to Diecast #324, which is still one of my favorite episodes of the show.

34:23 Hackers breach Electronic Arts

Hackers breach Electronic Arts, stealing game source code and tools

Those that do not learn from incredibly recent history are doomed to repeat it.

46:57 Two Point Hospital is charming and silly.

Yes, I’m discovering this game two years late.

52:40 Mailbag: Survive the Hunt

Dear DiceCasters,

In the beginning of 2020, you put up an analysis of Failrace’s Survive the Hunt, with a link to Episode #12. Since then, they’ve reached 35 episodes with a few one-off spinoffs or specials.

I’ve been watching ever since your analysis. The Failrace guys have updated their rules over time, to acknowledge some imbalances and make their game “better”. In particular, they’ve changed the number of air vehicles allowed, made a rule that high-end supercars were off-limits to hunters unless the prey is caught driving in one (making taking a fast car an important choice with risk-vs.-reward elements), and had a few one-off special rules or scenarios, with the last episode involving an “Escape the country via plane” escape sequence involving a partner in a plane, as part of their 10 year anniversary of the site.

Are you still keeping up with the series? Are there any other games you Diecasters can think of where a healthy dose of setting changes and honor system rules can create a new fun “game mode” that isn’t being captured by the gaming community at large? One of the best parts of the Survive the Hunt format is that it is “video gamer agnostic” – you don’t need to be a gamer or even know GTA5 to understand what the prey’s goal is or what might be a good or bad strategy. Are there any games out there with a similar ease of understanding that might make them particularly suited for recording and viewing or the YouTube environment?

— Nick

I never understood sports fans shouting coaching advice to their televisions until I watched this series.

“GO! Just GO. Do something unexpected! Shoot at some NPCs to make them drive crazy and throw off the hunters. Go over a jump, drive fast, steal a box truck, bail out, try to blow up some target cars, whatever! Just… do ANYTHING but sit at a fucking traffic light for three minutes, arguing with yourself over whether you should have turned right at the last intersection.”

Fail Race is actually a cool channel and I love their antics, but the hunted guy really does need a dose of courage before the game starts. Dude, we’re not here to see you win, we just want to see cool shit happen!

 

Footnotes:

[1] You can hear a narrated voice in the trailer above. I’m going to hazard a guess and say they sound German.



From The Archives:
 

51 thoughts on “Diecast #347: E3 Approaches

  1. Aarwolf says:

    Two Point Hospital is charming and I like it a lot. I’ve clocked around 500 hours in and I can safely assume that I’m a little bit addicted. I play it with my wife (she likes the building aspect, I mainly run the day-to-day activity). The game now has about five expansions adding new hospitals, diagnostic rooms and diseases, so there is a plenty to do.

    I love the music and announcements (love the lady, I really do), love the Aardman-like estetics and sometimes silly, sometimes dry sense of humor. Theme Hospital it is not – the game is lighter in tone (no auto autopsy machine, sad!) and esthetically different, but at heart it’s still a clever sim.

    Oh, and now it has a university-campus spin off: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1649080/Two_Point_Campus/

  2. Asdasd says:

    I’ve had E3 fatigue for a while now. Lots of games are announced, but game announcements are a year-’round deluge at this point. It’s a higher-profile class of announcement, sure, but then my disenchantment set in with AAA a long time ago, and the indie scene seems to be consolidating towards the AAA model more and more each year. Oh well, enough kvetching.

    1. Echo Tango says:

      I wouldn’t say the indie scene is moving towards AAA. Individual studios as they gain money, often move up to A- or AA-sized studios, but there’s still a lot of games made by less than a handful of people. :)

  3. gresman says:

    Yeah, the Dorfromantik thing is a pun/german word.
    It means romantic village or the feeling of peacefulness in a rural village. That is at least the best translation I can provide from the top of my head. Given that German is my first language and I myself do not exactly know how to define this word properly. But I know what it means.

    You right the game is kinda hypnotic but for me it lost a lot because it got really samey by third or fourth game. I am somewhat missing a hook. Maybe I would be more into it if the puzzle aspect were stronger.

    1. Thomas says:

      ‘Idyllic village’ or ‘village idyll’ perhaps?
      (EDIT: Whoops should have read below)
      https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/idyll)

  4. MerryWeathers says:

    Some thoughts on some of the current E3 games showcased

    Far Cry 6- looks to be standard fare for the series, unique setting, fun sandbox gameplay, and a great villain who feels like he was written by an entirely different person from the ones working on the main story. Also looks way more polished visually than Far Cry 5 with the exception of the character models for some reason. May buy it, Far Cry is the only Ubisoft franchise I consistently buy.

    Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope- First game was a surprising and charming delight, will definitely check this out.

    Battlefield 2042- Said in the comments before, this is seeming to be the ultimate game in the series with 100+ players, mega sized maps, and weather mechanics that have ultra destructive effects. May also buy it.

    Starfield- I still don’t know how this game os specifically going to play out, even after reading the latest interview and watching the leaked behind-the-scenes teaser. Like it’s about traveling to and exploring different planets but is it a hub-based or is each planet like its own open world? Since its exclusively next-gen and is running on the new Creation Engine 2, maybe it’s possible for the latter to be achieved now.

    STALKER 2- I’m quite skeptical of this game and whether or not it can actually meet its April release date (me wonders if this is going to be VTMB 2 all over again). The trailer also put more emphasis on the action when the strength of the original trilogy was always the atmosphere, making me uneasy over the direction they took for this game.

    Sea of Thieves- I wondered if Johnny Depp’s career had suddenly fallen so low that he’s now willingly doing voicework for video games because Jack Sparrow actually sounded on-point for once in a game, he’s always sounded off in other media where he’s obviously not being played by Depp like Kingdom Hearts.

    Psychonauts 2- Holy shit this game finally has an exact release date, I wonder if it can live up to the first game considering it was fundraised and they only got by when Microsoft bought the studio so it may feel “limited” in a lot of areas.

    The Outer Worlds 2- Best trailer so far. The implication that they’re now fully going open-world hopefully means they’ll be more ambitious with this one (Obsidian is at its best when they’re actually being ambitious). First game was decent but pretty basic, if more RPGs like it existed on the market then I feel I would have been more negative on it.

    Redfall- Heheheh, Elder Scrolls fans were so pissed. Still, I was expecting this to be another immersive sim where you play as a vampire this time and not another Left for Dead clone which seems to be popping up more and more these days.

    1. Vertette says:

      Redfall definitely felt disappointing. Co-op shooters are a penny five dozens these days.

    2. MerryWeathers says:

      Oh fuck, I forgot about Elden Ring– Its just open-world Dark Souls which is pretty cool, it’ll be interesting to see what kind of open-world game it will be, probably a mega metroidvania and highly doubt it will be the Ubisoft kind.

    3. Geebs says:

      Far Cry 6 doesn’t seem remarkable to me except in as much as UbiSoft finally seem to have figured out exactly what kind of bad PR they want, and how to weaponise it.

      Have Bethesda actually stated what the new features of Gamebryo Engine 3 are supposed to be? Apart from, apparently not ladders.

      1. MerryWeathers says:

        We got some information from this interview from a while back: https://www.gamespot.com/amp-articles/todd-howard-teases-the-major-game-engine-change-for-the-elder-scrolls-6-and-starfield/1100-6484022/

        He (Todd) said during a recent event (via GI.biz) that the overhaul to the engine is “probably the largest we’ve ever had, maybe even larger than Morrowind to Oblivion.” To help with this, Bethesda is heavily investing in the team behind it; Howard said there are more people at Bethesda working on the engine “by a factor of five” than ever before.

        The new Bethesda game engine is likely to retain some of the things people know and love about the studio’s games, including support for mods and the general approach to open-ended worlds, Howard suggested. However, outside of that, fans can expect major changes.

        “From rendering to animation to pathing to procedural generation… I don’t want to say everything, but it’s a significant overhaul,” Howard said. “It’s taken us longer than we would have liked, but it’s going to power everything we’re doing with Starfield and Elder Scrolls 6. When people see the results, they’ll hopefully be as happy as we are with what’s on the screen and also how we can go about making our games.”

        1. Ninety-Three says:

          The new Bethesda game engine is likely to retain some of the things people know and love about the studio’s games

          Raise your hand if your first thought was “falling fifteen feet is fine, falling sixteen feet knocks off a quarter of your health and falling seventeen feet kills you”.

          Seriously, when you ask me to think of iconic Bethesda engine features, there are not a lot of positives on the list.

          1. MerryWeathers says:

            The biggest and most obvious one is the extensive modding capabilities, which plays a key tole in a Bethesda game’s value and replayability. The other is that it is specifically designed to make Betheada’s unique brand of open-world game which hasn’t been replicated in the industry if you really think about it.

            Sometimes I do wonder if it’s really the engine’s fault for the average Bethesda game’s level of buginess or if it has more to do with the spaghetti forest coding which I know a lot of games are guilty off as development can get too unwieldy.

            1. Mattias42 says:

              I’d add another one: The graphics & sound.

              And I know, I know, but hear me out:

              Sure, they’re not nearly top-of-line, and must of us ‘core gamers’ can point and laugh at them on a mechanical level on just how dated Game Embryo looks & feels by now… but Bethesda as a studio are really, really good at hitting that sweet spot between good enough raw tech mixed with flash & style where Joe Average does a double take and gets interested, AND has a rig (or console) that can actually run the game without slowly melting into a puddle. Or for that matter, turning all the graphics down to ‘potato with a fork in it’ levels, and thus quitting the game in disappointment, right there.

              So, sure… Joe Average probably isn’t finishing the game, but they’ll throw the disk in, and play around for a few hours. Having a grand old time with what, to them, is a buttery smooth experience with some funny bugs and a cool world and cool writing and systems they’ve never seen before in a game. And that positive experience is going to guarantee a sale the next time a Fallout or Elder Scrolls drops because even if they don’t recall the studio name, they’ll go ‘sweet, another one of that one game I kinda liked!’

              They’ll never even SEE the areas three dozen hours into the game where Johnny Guitar Hardcore scoffed at the animations, found the writing childish, and had to roll back their save because the known bug of Enemy Type #321 sometimes permanently deleting your equipped weapon with their attacks instead of disarming you ruined their entire character build otherwise.

              And if Johnny Hardcore tells Joe Average how dispirited they were by the graphical fidelity in the plasma unicorn area with the quest where you ride their queen through space hell while being chased by blood golems? Joe Average is going blank right over whatever ‘gra-phi-cal fi-delity’ means, and go: HOLY SHIT I NEED TO BOOT THE GAME UP AND GO DO THAT QUEST!!! IT SOUNDS AWESOME!!!

              Honestly, in it’s own way, that’s an impressive skill, and they’ve threaded that needle for four console generations now. Morrowind, Oblivion, Fallout 3 & 4, and Skyrim, all drew mainstream attention, and that’s a FICKLE market, right there, let alone for RPGs.

    4. Radkatsu says:

      > Starfield

      At the end of the day, it’s still Bethesda, no matter how they try and hype it up. Terrible story, clunky mechanics, massive world that’s as wide as the ocean and deep as a puddle.

      The usual. The fact that Emil Pagliarulo is still head writer is enough for me to immediately tune out and lose interest.

  5. Alarion says:

    I’d translate “Dorfromantik” as bucolic idyll – the very enjoyable countryside. Literally it means “village romance” – the love one has for the life in the village.
    It’s a unique word for a concept, like zeitgeist or weltschmerz. We’re very into this kind of thing, apparently.

    1. Philadelphus says:

      You can always trust the Germans to have great words for concepts that don’t have them in English. Which, of course, just means we adopt them and make them our own, like a linguistic Katamari ball. Schadenfreude, gedanken experiment, etc..

      1. Steve C says:

        And then there are words like “handshoes” for gloves and “shield-toads” for turtles. So it’s a bit of a mixed bag.

      2. Sleeping Dragon says:

        #NotJustGerman

        And then there is Mamihlapinatapai from the Yaghan language which, according to wikipedia, stands for “A look that without words is shared by two people who want to initiate something, but neither want to start” or “looking at each other hoping that either will offer to do something which both parties desire but are unwilling to do.” I… wonder about the social dynamics that resulted in the coining of this term, though in all seriousness I’m fairly certain every language has oddities like this.

  6. tmtvl says:

    Dude, we’re not here to see you win, we just want to see cool shit happen!

    Speak for yourself ;-).

    Actually, FR has a video called “how not to survive the hunt”, where he shows off things he tried that people often mention he should go for and that don’t really work. Things like staying in his fast starting car and just racing around (various little mistakes added up to make his car very poorly), driving around in a truck (when the hunters got suspicious he couldn’t escape), and going on foot (a hunter noticed him crossing the road and it didn’t end well).
    He also follows every STH since like STH 10 up with a Discussing Survive the Hunt episode. Most of these include hunter chat, giving us such wonderful moments as “Building!” (a building ran into the blimp. Other way around? What do you mean?), and “He knows I’m following him.” (a hunter was trailing an NPC, thinking it was Alex).

    1. Trevor says:

      I’m current with the series and I don’t mind dedicating an hour when the newest episode drops on the 1st of the month. But I share Shamus’s frustrations with it. Alex (FR’s frontman/narrator), clearly enjoys pretending to be an AI. That’s the most fun for him, not blowing up the maximum number of Priuses or innovating on a meta (a recent episode saw him successfully survive in a top-ish end car that he stayed in the entire time, but I don’t think he’s incorporated this strategy into his future games). Similarly, the hunters don’t seem to learn much game to game. Alex clearly prefers 3-4 different cars that he will default to grabbing if they are available. If I were a hunter and I saw a Sultan (one of his preferred cars) I would stop, get out, and shoot out one of its tires on the off chance it’s him. It would be great to see him take a turn as a Hunter (maybe even in the blimp) if he’s going to be the exclusive narrator, or have someone else take on the prey/narrator role.

      It’s just bizarre because their normal daily race episodes get 20-30k views whereas their monthly Survive the Hunt episodes get 300k views. You would think they would try to innovate on their most popular thing.

    2. Yerushalmi says:

      I personally really want to see him drive around in one of those station wagons with the suitcases on top. The hunters would NEVER see that coming.

  7. Joe says:

    Outside a couple of cool shots in the Elden Ring trailer, the deluge has mostly left me cold. Not even the Starfield trailer moves me. Maybe the next batch will be better. The Outer Worlds 2 trailer was fun, but I don’t feel the urge to watch it a second time.

    I hated all the plot in Dragon Keep. I don’t care about the story in a Borderlands game, I care about the shooting. And the level design was lacking too. The Lair of Infinite Agony. Ha ha, look how funny we are, giving it a name that signifies the frustration you’ll feel playing it! Also, those skeletons that turn invisible. Endlessly annoying.

    Also, do you think E3 will ever return to in-person? I think we’re all wary of large gatherings these days. Even with the vaccine I don’t see the appeal of rubbing shoulders with 10,000 other people in order to play 10 minutes of an upcoming game. Plus, they had a big security fuckup either last year or the year before, and tried to shut down the news of it before or maybe instead of actually doing anything.

  8. Duoae says:

    I really enjoyed the Microsoft conference but the Ubisoft and Square Enix presentations left me mostly cold. It’s like these companies have almost nothing to show for my tastes… doubly so for SE as I really felt that their interviews and behind the scenes parts should have been in independent videos.

  9. Lino says:

    Typolcie:

    I’m, not getting

    One extra comma.

    Regarding E3, I was caught completely unaware! Also, I had never heard of Anacrusis before this podcast, and I have to say, it looks janky as fuck!

    Regarding games from the show that I’m interested in, there aren’t that many. There were a couple I’m moderately excited about – e.g. I really like the look of Soulstice, and Tinykin looks cute. I was initially excited about Aragami 2, but I’m not gettin my hopes up – the team seems to have increased their scope more than twofold, and very often that doesn’t end well.

    The only game I’m absolutely, positively, totally hyped about is Psychonauts 2. I have such fond memories from the original, and the sequel seems to be taking all the right steps. Which reminds me – I need to replay it one of these days…

    As far as things I’m very lukewarm about:
    – The new Bloodlines. I don’t know how that qualifies as a “gameplay trailer”. 2 seconds of stilted walking does not a gameplay trailer make :D
    – Ubisoft’s Avatar game – never really liked the movie all that much. And I’ve never been a fan of Ubi’s modern style of open world games
    Starfield – even though I adore hard sci-fi, for some reason I’m just not the least bit excited about this one. Maybe I’ve just been soured on Bethesda to the point that I’m judgmental about everything they do. I don’t know. But, objectively speaking, this looks good. Given its long development, I hope that means it will be good on release.

    1. Joe says:

      That wasn’t Bloodlines, a different VTM game. There are a bunch coming out. None move me. BL2 looked interesting, but god only knows what’s happening with that these days.

      1. MerryWeathers says:

        It seems like the game was actually almost complete since they were going all out on the marketing and already accepting pre-orders back in 2019 but it was turning out exactly like the first VTMB (i.e. really shitty gameplay and optimization wise) which Paradox wouldn’t accept, leading to the lead director and later the developer itself getting fired.

        I think VTMB2 is effectively cancelled for now.

        1. Ninety-Three says:

          As of a few months ago the news was that Paradox was taking the game away from its current developers and giving it to someone else. Literally just “someone else”, they didn’t say who which implies they hadn’t even found a new developer yet.

          The inside story I heard was that Paradox really wanted a big ambitious blockbuster RPG and somehow the developers did not get that message, leading to a lot of frustrated expectations.

          1. Geebs says:

            If that’s really the case, I kind of feel like the Bloodlines 2 team should maybe have watched the first trailer for their game, which looks an awful lot like a big ambitious blockbuster RPG.

            1. Thomas says:

              You hear stories of dev teams who didn’t understand what their own game was about until they saw the E3 trailer. Not knowing even after you’ve watched the trailer is an evolution on the meta.

    2. Chad+Miller says:

      for some reason I’m just not the least bit excited about this one. Maybe I’ve just been soured on Bethesda to the point that I’m judgmental about everything they do. I don’t know.

      I mean, I know that’s my reason.

  10. Ninety-Three says:

    I wish I could be excited for Psychonauts 2 but I need to uphold the blood oath I swore against that random fly-by-night indie dev, and setting aside their conduct with Spacebase they’ve spent the last decade as a consistent 7/10 studio (literally, check Metacritic) so I think it’s unwise to expect their performance to improve just because they return to a beloved IP.

    S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat is one of my all-time favorites so I am very excited about anything trying to follow in its oddly-shaped footsteps, but the trailer didn’t excite me. I know there’s a certain degree of bombast expected from cinematic trailers so I’m not sure if I’m holding it against the game yet, but it’s definitely not a good sign that it opens with you waltzing into a building full of dudes with clear lines of fire and easily winning that absolutely terrible engagement. The rest of the trailer didn’t say anything to me except “we have nice graphics”, but like Shamus and the Tiny Tina game, this is one I’m going to buy no matter what so I guess they don’t need to impress me.

    Otherwise the few trailers I’ve seen seemed totally insubstantial (as usual) so I continue to be confused about what anyone gets out of trailer season. Everything I learned from the Outer Worlds 2 trailer can be contained in the words “Outer Worlds 2 trailer”, I feel like E3 would serve me nearly as well if it were simply a text file listing upcoming games and release dates if the game has one.

    1. Echo Tango says:

      I just hope the minimum requirements for the new Stalker let me play it. I loved that series back in the day! :)

    2. BlueHorus says:

      I wish I could be excited for Psychonauts 2 but I need to uphold the blood oath I swore against that random fly-by-night indie dev, and setting aside their conduct with Spacebase… [I] think it’s unwise to expect their performance to improve just because they return to a beloved IP.

      Have to agree. I didn’t swear a blood oath, but almost everything I’ve heard about Double Fine and crowdfunding has made me shake my head in amazement.

      I loved Psychonauts, but I won’t be handing over any money to Double Fine until there’s a finished final product to buy and the reviews are out.

    3. Ninety-Three says:

      Update: I just saw STALKER 2 has one of those “here’s what you get for each of these different pre-order special editions” checklist things and I no longer like it enough to play along with its silly gimmick of putting a period between each letter in the game’s name. I’m probably still going to buy it, but I will do so resentfully.

  11. John says:

    I think I may hate E3. At the very least, I hate the deluge of trailers and announcements that it spawns. The sad fact of the matter is that I don’t care at all about most of these games and I can’t be bothered to sift through the flood to find the few bits of content that might actually interest me. I prefer all the non-E3 parts of the year, when announcements and trailers come at a more leisurely pace and it’s easier for me to pick out the good stuff. Honestly, they should just do away with E3 entirely. It probably served a legitimate purpose as a press event in the pre-internet and pre-pandemic era, but those days are gone. Publishers don’t need E3 or the organization behind it, the ESA, in order to put out trailers or put on livestreams. In fact, I’m fairly certain that the only reason that E3 is still around is that without it the ESA would have a lot less to do and have a much harder time justifying its existence. The ESRB doesn’t particularly need the rest of the ESA and the big publishers are perfectly capable of doing their own lobbying and don’t need the ESA for that.

    1. MerryWeathers says:

      It’s obviously a personal thing but I like (or at least find it useful about) E3 for that exact reason, I prefer most of the big game announcements to be made on one specific date/week as it’s way easier to keep track of all the games revealed and when they will release.
      Devs or publishers just randomnly announcing their games whenever and across the year makes it a bit more chaotic to me.

  12. Rho says:

    At the risk of looking like a jerk, I found myself really uninterested in this years’ big “name” games. Many of them seem to be retreads with few intetesting hooks, or sequels long after interest in the original faded. I’m not trying to squash anyone else’s excitement, but increasingly major titles just feel very “corporate” to me. Like restaurants that think a dash of pepper is too spicy.

    Plus, I’ll admit to cynically looking at every title and questioning what microtransactions they’ll include.

    1. Rho says:

      After some reflection, I might be interested in Guardians of the Galaxy. A comical, breezy action game with the GoG characters could be pretty fun, and they’re clearly taking inspiration from the comics and going for a more over-the-top style compared to the Avengers. I also didn’t see any hint that this was a Liiiiive Seeeervice game. if it really is a single-player focused title, or non-mandatory co-op, it sounds like decent fun.

      1. Thomas says:

        I’m pretty excited for Guardians of the Galaxy. The fact they’ve decided to mix some of Telltale into an traditional RPG could be really cool, and I’ve got my fingers crossed that they’ll actually have some of that licensed music in the game.

        I’d worry the studio can’t execute on the concept, but it’s Eidos so they’ve got a fair shot.

        Peter Quill’s voice acting is pretty rubbish though.

  13. Christopher says:

    I’ve got kinda specific/niche interests in gaming so there hasn’t been a ton of things that interested me yet, even though they showed a lot of games. Babylon’s Fall and Final Fantasy Origins are both in my wheelhouse theoretically, but I think Babylon’s fall looks kinda ugly and tacky in that cheapo anime Code Vein sorta way. It’s also gonna be their attempt at a live game grindfest, which, that’s not really what I want. And Origins has convinced me that Nojima and Nomura are like the worst dev tag-team a game can have lol. Bad character designs, bad writing. The English dub is comically bad. Might give these a go if they play, like, amazingly in a demo, but for now I’m disappointed.

    Metal Slug Tactics is my favorite so far. Steam page says it has roguelike elements, which made me groan, but at least I love what it looks like in the trailer. Lots of exciting and cute animation. Perfect use of the IP for a natural spinoff.

    It was nice to get dates for Elden Ring and Psychonauts 2.

    And the CHAOS memes from Final fantasy Origins are pretty funny.

    Hope Nintendo and Capcom have something cool to show. We’ll see. I like a lot of their games.

    1. RamblePak64 says:

      Square Enix’s E3 this year was like getting the wind knocked out of me. When Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is the best looking game of your presentation, and it looks just as mediocre as Marvel’s Avengers was (not to mention such a weird choice of voice for Peter Quill), you’ve got yourself a problem.

      Well, I guess Life is Strange looked good for people that like Life is Strange. I can’t really comment on that.

      Babylon’s Fall, I think, has had some poor marketing. You announce you’re making a new game by Platinum? That gets people excited. You show a photo of one character doing character-action stuff and then having a big ol’ battle with a boss? Oh yeah, this is Platinum action, alright! You’re then quiet for two years before… revealing that it’s a live-service game. A genre that does not really appeal to most character-action combat fans who look for systems mastery to encourage them to play on higher difficulties, not better loot. Simultaneously, all those flashy effects that looked great in single-player demonstration make a whole bunch of visual noise in multiplayer. Any time the camera swapped to the archer class looked boring, limited, and awful. Even the interview didn’t help. It begins with Yosuke Saito praising the quality of Nier Automata’s combat before suddenly saying “I wondered how they would do with an MMO style game.”

      How do you make that leap?!

      Chances are, Square Enix wanted to not only double down, but triple down on potential live service games to have a piece of the pie, and they did so late into the game where those battle lines are largely already carved. Babylon’s Fall might still be fun, but I only signed up for the closed beta in hopes that I can try before buying. I know it won’t be complete and all that, but I just want to know if the combat at least feels enjoyable still. Regardless, it went from a highly anticipated game to one I’m not even convinced I’ll purchase.

      Final Fantasy Origin was mostly a disappointment due to the leak last month. Some journalist claimed it’d be a “Souls-like” by Team Ninja, which it most certainly does not look to be. I guess they saw dark-looking architecture and swords being swung and assumed that makes it a Souls-like. It’s nothing of the sort, clearly, but that alone is something I could live with. I like Team Ninja combat, after all. It’s the other part of the leak, where it mentioned a Souls-like in the world of Final Fantasy 1 that got me reminiscing about how much the original game took inspiration from Dungeons & Dragons manuals and what that could do in a Souls-like. Well, it turns out it’s just more Nomura art design, which I am growing increasingly tired of. Like you, I’m sick of Nomura and Nojima being paired together.

      The only way I plan on playing that is if it’s on Game Pass, which I could see Sony paying Square money just to not have it on there.

      Ah yes, and if you look closely at the Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster trailer, you can tell the games are all being given character sprites similar to what’s on the Steam version of FFV and FFVI (which they humorously did not really show off). So anything that could potentially be exciting from Square Enix to me is instead a major disappointment.

  14. DeadlyDark says:

    Russian mafia is a Cerberus of the real world? Talk about insults, man. Let’s just hope that Boris will never hear this, or he’ll send a rogue cell after you

  15. DeadlyDark says:

    Anyway, speaking of E3. Somehow, nothing really picked my interest. I mean, at most, it was nice to see a bit of Starfield, but it’s so far away, so eh. The rest is either not interests me, or designed to annoy me. And I can only snark at the second category. Like, Rainbow Six versus Aliens? I’m sure this is what Tom Clancy himself always wanted to do. Eidos Montreal is making another Marvel game? I see that Square Enix is still making sound decisions…

    I feel that I became so out of touch from the general gaming public. Or it’s the publishers. I don’t know anymore

  16. Grimwear says:

    I’ll be honest I’m wary of the L4D clones. It’s the same problem with WoW clones where you need a really good reason to have people stop playing the game they enjoy and stick with the new. And Turtle Rock failed miserably with Evolve (though that was asymmetrical). But I think it may just be too late. Just off the top of my head we have L4D, L4D2, Vermintide (Warhammer L4D), Vermintide 2, Deathwing (Warhammer 40k L4D in space), now Back for Blood, that other one Shamus mentioned in space, and then Darktide just got announced which is Warhammer 40k L4D. The gameplay is no longer unique and I’m not sure they’ll find a persistent audience. Heck didn’t Ubisoft just announce Rainbow Six Siege Quarantine which is pretty much the same thing? Ok I googled and it’s called Rainbow Six Siege Extraction, formerly known as Quarantine due to reasons which should be apparent.

  17. ivan says:

    Regarding the Survive the Hunt thing, is it always the same person playing the Hunted? That seems odd, I always assumed the roles were switched around or randomised for each round.

    1. tmtvl says:

      In the videos Alex (AKA FailRace) is always the hunted, sometimes together with guests; but lately Chris (AKA Longbow) has been putting his perspective on his channel. I actually don’t think it’s super interesting because it lacks the tension of “is that a hunter? Did he see me?” that Alex’ videos have.

      They have played STH variants on Forza Horizon 4, both a shorter version of regular STH where Alex tries to sneak for 20 minutes without getting brought to a halt, and a version where Alex is the hunter and tries to tag (ram) as many of the others as he can.

  18. Steve C says:

    I love the contrast between the two linked trailers. The first one is exactly what I want out of an advertisement. It is almost perfect. It just needs to say where to buy it and the price. I’m definitely going to give Dorf Romantik a try.

    Then there’s the second trailer. I have absolutely no idea what the game is about or if I’d like it. Completely totally useless and wasted my time. Exactly what I do not want out of an advertisement. I’m going to have to wait and see someone else review it before even having a chance of figuring out if I’m interested. If I remember. And I don’t particularly care if I do. Perfect example of the arrogance of AAA and nothing else.

  19. Paul Spooner says:

    Something E3 this way comes?

  20. Philadelphus says:

    Ok, the description of Dorfromantik as single-payer Carcasonne (with comparison to Islanders) has me interested. I was gifted Carcasonne (the physical version) back in the early 00s, one of the first board games I owned, and it’s been a constant favorite with family and friends since then (especially with a few expansions). I only recently discovered it’s also on Steam, though I haven’t had a chance to try it to see how well it made the jump. If you haven’t tried it Shamus I can definitely recommend it.

  21. Rick says:

    I don’t often get time for videogames anymore but you’ve made me very interested in Dorfromantik and Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep.

    I went to add them to my Steam wishlist and discovered that I already have the Borderlands 2 DLC :D

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