E3 2021 Part 4: And the Rest…

By Shamus Posted Friday Jun 18, 2021

Filed under: Industry Events 83 comments

And so we end E3 week with a final catch-all post designed to round up the smaller presentations. Note that I won’t be covering the Nintendo stuff at all. I’m just not keyed into Nintendo’s stuff and so I’m not going to have anything useful to say. 

Same goes for Capcom, although I’m willing to bet Chris will have some thoughts on that stuff at some point, if you’re following him.

Square Enix

The Square Enix show is a little shorter than the rest. SE isn’t a juggernaut like Microsoft and Zenimax. Like Blizzard, this company isn’t the home of a lot of IP, but the IP it does have is important and influential. I don’t have anything to say about their JRPG stuff, so let’s jump straight to…

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy


Link (YouTube)

I was really negative about this at first. The art style looks like Square Enix’s Crystal Dynamics’ Marvel’s Avengers’ LIIIIIIVE SERVICE nightmare, and I assumed this was more of the same sort of unimaginative tone-deaf cash grab. The Avengers looks too much like the movies to be its own thing, but it doesn’t look enough like the movies to feel like you’re hanging out with Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr., and Scarlet Johansen. The uncanny resemblance invites comparison, and then it inevitably comes up short. 

But Guardians of the Galaxy is really its own thing. This is a single-player adventure starring the GotG, and it looks like a real game and not a facade for a microtransaction storefront. 

Having said that, I really wish they’d done something else with the art style. In a world overflowing with shooters, Borderlands stands out from the crowd thanks to its comic book art style, and GotG could easily have done something along those lines. There are some amazing “toon” shading techniques out there these days, and they’re not seeing much use in the AAA space. One of the costumes in Spider-Man had a costume that used comic shading and it looked brilliant.

Like Marvel’s Avengers, this game is aiming for this really bland look. It’s not photorealistic enough to wow us with graphical fidelity. At the same time, it’s not “toony” enough to really stand out the way Borderlands does. Once again, the visuals seem to invite unfavorable comparisons with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Adopting a unique style would be a great way to clearly signal that this game is based off the funnybooks and not the movies.

Square put a ton of time into this, giving it nearly half the show. And I can understand why. Despite my initial misgivings, this looks like it could be pretty good. Like the movies, the game is aiming for banter-driven comedy. It obviously can’t hold a candle to James Gunn‘s brilliant scripts, but it’s passable. It certainly has more charm than the boring cringefest that is the Avengers game. 

It looks like you make a lot of decisions in this game. As the guardians bicker amongst themselves, you frequently have to take sides, broker peace, or make decisions. It almost feels like a game from the now-defunct TellTale. But we also get some action gameplay that looks pretty button-mashy. 

A TellTale-style conversation and choice system, joined with real action gameplay systems? That actually sounds pretty good. 

Yeah. Despite my initial pessimism, this might be fun.

Marvel’s Avengers Roadmap

Really Square Enix? You’re still making content for this monstrosity? Did you not get the memo that everyone hates this? We’ve been waiting years for Marvel heroes to appear in a game, and you took that opportunity to turn it into a boring, badly written, microtransaction-driven grindfest that doesn’t want to create its own versions of the characters but also doesn’t want to pay for the likeness rights to the iconic film versions. 

Check out the new trailer for the Black Panther expansion. He looks far more like the tech-suit version of the Marvel Movies and not like the spandex suit version of the comics. Again, it’s just inviting comparisons that will make the game look weak in comparison.

This thing is gross, cynical, and rotten to the core. You can’t fix it with more content and a bit of polish. Hurry up and cancel this mess so the creators can spend their talents making something good.

(Yes, I’m aware that it’s going to run until it stops making money. I’m not new to this industry. But I’ll bet they could have made more money with a less cynical design. It’s very hard to prove to executives that quality matters.

Life is Strange Remastered Collection

What? You’re remastering Life is Strange? The game is only six years old! Worse, it’s not like this had a cutting-edge photorealistic look that needs to be refreshed for next-gen hardware. It already has a stylized presentation. What are you going to improve? Are Life is Strange fans clamoring for 4k 120fps? I doubt it.

Whatever. I certainly don’t mind the game getting a re-release for current hardware. I just think that calling it a “remaster” is a bit much.

Warner Brothers

What an awkward stream. WB showed us less than ten minutes of Back 4 Blood. And that’s it. Show over. The people in chat were absolutely dumbfounded.

I’m glad this wasn’t a live show at an in-person event! If I spent ten minutes hiking across a convention center and twenty minutes standing in line to see a six minute presentation, I’d start a riot.

Where was Suicide Squad? What about Gotham Knights? Yes, I’ll probably hate them both, but I still wanted to see them. I’m still foolish enough to think they might turn out okay and wise enough to know I can turn my anger into articles if they don’t. 

Take-Two Interactive

Take-Two had a show. Sort of. But not really. Essentially, this was a fifty minute presentation on “Diversity in Games” that took the form of a rigidly scripted Skype call with terrible audio quality and wretched green screening.

What a disaster. If you asked me to design a presentation that would annoy and offend as many people as possible, I doubt I could do better than this.

If you’re the type that gets annoyed by this topic, then getting fifty minutes of it instead of the game trailers you came here for is just going to create further resentment and outrage.

If you’re the type that thinks this is an important topic and you’re glad when it gets some air, then you’ll probably be offended that this multibillion dollar corporation tossed out this clunky no-budget disaster. (And then left the comments unmoderated so they were quickly turned into a sewer by the outraged people from the previous group.)

I’m actually feeling a little of both of these. I don’t know that E3 is the best place for this sort of discussion, but if you ARE going to do it then you need to give the topic the respect it deserves. This show had production values lower than the average YouTube video. I mean, look at that horrendous green screening! Take-Two made 3 billion dollars in fiscal 2020, and they couldn’t buy a round of entry-level Yeti microphones for these people? All the other companies else put on a suit and had some sort of virtual set, but Take-Two just has their people literally phone it in from their bedrooms?

If they were going to show us some trailers, they would have spent some money and put on a show. I’m not asking for a million-dollar show booth like you see on the floor of E3. Just, rise to the basic level of your typical teenage YouTuber and get the proper equipment. We’re talking a couple hundred dollars at most.

This corporation used their E3 platform as an opportunity to show us how much they care™ about This Important Issue™. Only, it’s clear they don’t. This is like the time Grand Theft Auto V managed to be sanctimonious and incoherent at the same time. Just… gross.

The only thing I care about from T2 is: When are we getting a new Grand Theft Auto game? And apparently the answer is, “Nobody knows. Probably not soon.” I guess people are still buying those stupid Shark Cards, so why bother making another videogame? Just show up and put on a zero-budget diversity panel so you can show us what a good company you are and how much you “care about people”.

And then go back to selling shark cards to whales. You complete bastards.

PC Gaming Show

This show is always a beautiful disaster. The other shows are all backed by corporations, but there’s no “PC Gaming” company. If Valve ever decided to have a show for Steam, then we could adopt that as the home for PC gaming at E3. But as it stands, we don’t have anyone bankrolling this thing. Which means the PC Gaming Show has to wrap itself in ads and sponsorships to get made. This means the show is a bit bloated and overlong to make room for all the crap that isn’t trailers for hotly anticipated games.

The whole thing is anarchic, messy, weird, and occasionally confusing. Sort of like the PC itself.

Here are a few titles that caught my eye:

Orcs Must Die 3

IssacMy son, who edits the podcast every week, and also the YouTube essays I produce. is into this series. I like how they’ve actually aged the protagonist up so he has grey hair now. He still looks like the same clueless dipshit,This is part of the joke of his character. but now he’s a middle-aged dipshit?

I liked the first one of these, but I didn’t feel the need to play more. Issac will play this, though.

Vampire The Masquerade Swansong

What? You have another Vampire game coming out? But Vampire The Masquerade Bloodlines 2 is still lost in development. It’s supposedly coming out this year, but the game was a no-show at E3 and everyone seems to be assuming it’s been delayed or canceled. 

It feels weird to have spinoff side titles like this when the mainline title is stuck in limbo, but whatever. This trailer was all cinematics so I don’t even know what kind of game this is supposed to be. (Wikipedia says it’s an RPG, which doesn’t really narrow it down much these days.)

Next Space Rebels

Hey, it’s another riff on the Kerbal Space Program idea. Given that KSP2 seems lost in development hell, this is welcome news. This game seems to be about “backyard rocket science”, with rockets being constructed of improvised parts. 

That sounds fun. And unlike KSP2, it should arrive later this year.

A Visit from the Pope of PC Gaming

Gabe Newell stopped by. It’s always nice to see Gaben poke his head out of his fortress and wave at the unwashed masses of PC Gaming. Sadly, he doesn’t have any Valve-produced games to show us this year. Instead he’s here to tell us about Steam Next Fest

As I write this, Steam Next Fest is still in the future. But it will be in full swing by the time this post goes live. SNF runs June 16-22. There will be trailers, free demos, and dev livestreams all week.

My take on this is that Valve is trying to create a version of E3 that’s accessible to the hungry indies and bedroom developers that make their home on Steam. Those folks don’t have a prayer of getting noticed in the Official E3 Deluge, but if Valve can give them a platform then maybe they can do some inexpensive self-promotion?

Sounds like a cool idea. We’ll see how it turns out.

EDIT: Now that I’ve been following this for a couple of days, I have to say: This is a lot. A lot of games. A lot of trailers. A lot of good-looking stuff. It’s like another entire E3 worth of trailers. I don’t have time to sort through it all now. I wish there had been a week between E3 and Steam Next Fest so we could all take a breather. I’ll try to come back to this. In the meantime, have a look for yourself.

PIONER


Link (YouTube)

(Yes, that’s the correct spelling. It’s Russian.)

Weird. This year we’re getting another STALKER, but also a spiritual successor to STALKER. It even has random dudes hanging around a campfire playing guitar, just like STALKER.

Issac pointed out that this will be a lot more interesting if they leave the dialog as subtitled Russian like we see in the trailer, but odds are good we’ll end up with terrible English audio by the time the game ships.

I don’t know about this one. It’s full of weird stuff, which is a good sign. But it’s also incredibly derivative, which is bad. I think I’ll wait for reviews.

Chernobylite

You’re kidding? ANOTHER Stalker-like? It’s been years since we’ve had another game like Stalker, or any Left 4 Dead clones. But now we have several of each in the same year. It’s so weird how these trends appear.

Hang on… this game is already out? It came out back in 2019? But it’s in Early Access now?

Whatever. This looks quite a bit more polished than PIONER, but even more derivative. How is it I haven’t heard about this before?

Death Trash


Link (YouTube)

Oh my goodness. The pixel art is SO GOOD this year. I don’t even know if I’ll like most of these, but I love this art. I love this weird throwback art style that mixes modern lighting, bloom, and fog with super blocky pixel art. Games never looked like this back in the day, but this sort of captures how I thought they looked at the time. 

Project Warlock II

Me: I see the clear 90s influences. Is this a successor to Doom, or Heretic?

Developer: Yes.

I don’t know. These retro throwback shooters are pretty hit-or-miss for me, no pun intended. I really love Prodeus, and I thought DUSK was pretty good, but a lot of these games are too monotonous for my taste. The trick is that while we remember the 90s fondly, there are a lot of flaws with those old titles that aren’t part of the nostalgia. For example, I never miss hunting for colored keycards.

Also, a lot of these retro shooters can get kinda strobe-y, and that’s a migraine risk for me. 

Anyway, I’ve never even heard of the original Project Warlock. I don’t know if Project Warlock || is going to be one of the good ones in this genre, but it looks promising. The trailer is free of both strobing and keycards. 

Wrapping Up

So that’s E3 for 2021. There weren’t any big games that got me very excited, but there were about a dozen titles that fell into the “Oh that’s interesting, I might check that out” area of the spectrum.

 

Footnotes:

[1] My son, who edits the podcast every week, and also the YouTube essays I produce.

[2] This is part of the joke of his character.



From The Archives:
 

83 thoughts on “E3 2021 Part 4: And the Rest…

  1. MerryWeathers says:

    Nintendo is even more mythical than Atlantis on this site.

    1. RamblePak64 says:

      I mean, as far as I’m aware Shamus hasn’t owned a Nintendo system in a long time (if ever? I know he mentioned playing on an NES or SNES in his autoblography, but I feel like that was at someone else’s house), so it doesn’t make a lot of sense to cover a game system with games you’ll never buy because you don’t own the system.

      1. RamblePak64 says:

        If I scrolled down I’d have seen he actually addressed this himself. Yay!

      2. Shamus says:

        For the curious: My wife is the Nintendo fan in the family. She even owns a Wii U, and NOBODY bought that thing. I was going to get her a Switch, but instead I had that hospital stay and now the Switch has been postponed. Hopefully I can make it happen for her birthday in a couple of months. (I know she doesn’t read the comments here.)

        But despite her love for Nintendo stuff, I just don’t pay that much attention to it. We keep our Nintendos in the living room, and I do all my gaming in my office. Once in a long while I’ll sit down in the living room and mess around with the thing. I think the last game I played on it was Super Mario 3D World. (2013 release. I probably played it in 2018.)

        What little I know about the console comes from her. And even then, she’s not really into the mainline titles. (I can’t remember the last time I saw her playing a Mario and Zelda title) I think her favorite game on the Wii U is Just Dance, and she’s irritated because Ubisoft discontinues something or other on the Wii U version and now she lost access to a bunch of her favorite songs. I think it’s been about a year since anyone turned on the Wii U. :(

        1. ivan says:

          Oh? Does she like/had she played Wonderful 101? There’s a game that you, Shamus, should do an in depth story and thematic analysis of. ;)

          I’m only kidding a little bit, that game is my poster child for proving “paladins don’t have to be boring”.

        2. RamblePak64 says:

          Beyond the typical rumor mill going around, I have a very strong theory that they’ll be launching a new Switch successor console next year that will probably be backwards compatible, so I’d hold off on purchasing a Switch until that is announced. Even if you don’t want to snag the latest and greatest, you’ll probably be able to grab a regular Switch at a better price point.

          I know it stinks to sit around wanting something but holding off because of what if…? but in this case I feel really, really sure they’re going to have a new console in 2022. Sadly, I can’t prove it’ll be backwards compatible, and simultaneously I can’t prove it won’t have some goofy gimmick that proves to be unnecessary when the Switch’s only real flaw is how under-powered it is (and Joy-Con drift (and the dock having issues with scratching screens at launch (and the plastic shell cracking in spots despite never being dropped (holy crap this is the worst piece of kit Nintendo’s ever produced)))). I just feel I wouldn’t be doing my due diligence if I didn’t caution that you might want to wait a bit for a potential announcement for the future, and thus either save you some cash or help you get a better system.

        3. Leviathan says:

          Hi Shamus, long time reader here. Just wanted to give you a heads up that a Nintendo switch “pro” upgrade of some kind is expected very soon, maybe later this year. If you think having the latest and greatest is a factor, just know that hardcore Nintendo fans would consider this a bad time to buy the main Switch console. That’s because Nintendo stuff maintains MSRP pricing for most of its life span (all the Mario games are going to maintain high prices) and so the new Switch could bring 4K support via upscaling, plus a better screen, battery, and hardware, at the same price point or not much more. The cheaper Switch Lite is a little different, as that’s handheld only and can’t connect to TVs. If you won’t ever use the Switch with a TV, some might recommend that one. But that model also doesn’t get the ability to play local party games on the big screen with full support, which might be something your family would want to do with a game like Mario Party or Kart. If you don’t care about having 4K support and hardware which might get some exclusive games, then you could just get the current Switch and not worry about the “pro” or whatever it ends up being called. I just wanted to let you know, because this is like buying a base PS4 with the Pro and Slim revision being several months away on the horizon. Many people would consider it a bad time to buy the outgoing model at MSRP, but then again, you may genuinely not even care about the newer spec. It’s also difficult to say for sure when Nintendo actually will release.

          Also, I really enjoyed your books.

  2. The+Wind+King says:

    Got Project Warlock on Steam, it’s…

    It’s a good game, but it’s put this weird thing into spending “skill points” on your spells and weapons, but you’ll never get enough to upgrade everything, and you can’t replay earlier levels with your current upgrades, so you end up taking a shine to a few weapons, and the game wants you to replay it and try out different load-outs, but you still get access to the weapons Doom / Blood style where they don’t stick around from chapter to chapter, so you can lose access to your most upgraded weapon for a couple of levels if you’re unlucky.

    Also ammo counts are generally low, the final boss on medium took all of my ammo, and my mana.

    Thankfully it’s short enough that it can be completed in a day or two, plays generally well, and it is crammed head to toe with references that are obvious enough to get, but subtle enough to not be in your face.

    It also has a life count…

    I’d recommend it on the easier settings, but not on the higher difficulties, unless you’re a Dark Souls player, because the frustration is very real, and there are some frankly odd design choices.

    1. Fizban says:

      Most of that is pretty bad, but “final boss on medium took all my ammo/etc” I think is actually a good target things should probably aim for more. If your game has consumables, then skill might let you get by without them normally, but challenges should require you to use them. I was quite pleased last night playing some Bug Fables, fighting an optional boss on hard mode probably far earlier than expected and even an upgrade short technically, but I won. After burning through half my items, with the entire party nearly dead and mana on empty. As I well should, and this is how most of the first try hard mode boss fights have gone.

      (That’s on hard mode rather than medium of course, but as I said, skill player vs optional challenge).

  3. Geebs says:

    I was surprised that people were talking about Orcs Must Die 3 because I thought it had already come out a while ago. Turns out it was a Stadia exclusive for a year. Apparently everybody forgot?

    1. Dreadjaws says:

      I mean, if you hadn’t just mentioned it I would have entirely forgotten Stadia was ever a thing so yeah, that’s what happens when you release on a dead platform. People forget about your game.

      In hindsight, this is probably better than the whole issue with Epic. When games release as Epic exclusives they have enough of a fanfare that people hear about them and the hype is dead once they finally reach Steam a year later. In this case, most people didn’t even hear, so they treat this game launch on Steam as new.

    2. Bubble181 says:

      There’s also been OMD Unchained, which some considered to be 3, but was a piece of multiplayer garbage.
      I liked 1 and 2, though.

  4. Dude Guyman says:

    Project Warlock 1 is pretty good, although nothing like the trailer for PW2. It’s a retro shooter clone of Wolfenstein 3D instead of doom or quake or whatever everything else is copying. There’s no elevation changes (except for elevators) and the maps are made of 90 degree angles, but they work around those limitations to create very interesting, diverse, and memorable maps instead of the monotonous indistinguishable slog of actual Wolfenstein. There’s also some character building RPG elements and weapon upgrades and other stuff and it’s all done well, but the most standout element was the Wolfenstein 3D cloning and how they actually managed to make that work in a modern game.

    Making the sequel clone later entries in the genre makes sense, but it does mean that it loses one of the most unique parts of its identity. There’s a lot of retro throwback shooters that are cloning doomquakeheretic.

  5. Joshua says:

    “Janes Gunn”?

    Janes got a Gunn?

  6. Henson says:

    I know basically nothing about VtM: Swansong, but I’m interested for no other reason than it’s by the developers of The Council, one of the most insane stories I’d seen in a long time. That game had the balls to go places I never imagined it would, so if Swansong follows that mold, the game will at least be interesting, even if it ends up being not particularly well-crafted.

    1. Infinitron says:

      Yes, if you want to understand what Swansong is going to be like, play The Council.

    2. Fizban says:

      I watched an LP of The Council, it was a ride. Not the craziest of heights, but definitely a lot more than expected. Hopefully the same LPer will pick this one up eventually.

      1. Philadelphus says:

        Same! That was…an experience.

    3. Thomas says:

      You have sold me on this game

  7. Tizzy says:

    That Death Trash game looks like they mined the original Fallouts for atmosphere, with an entirely different gameplay. Which I can completely get behind: when the Fallout games came out, they blew my mind. But trying to play them again recently was more ponderous than I could handle.

    Also: Occultism as a core stat? Yes, let’s do that.

    1. John says:

      I tried the Death Trash demo briefly yesterday, but I uninstalled it after I was killed by some zombies. Between omni-present meat and the vomit-on-command command, I don’t think it’s the game for me.

      1. Echo Tango says:

        Dude, there’s a dedicated button to puke? Let’s go! XD

        1. Echo Tango says:

          Having played the demo, puke is merely the first ability that goes into your combat/active slot, which you later fill with electro-zap or other things. Still pretty cool! :)

    2. Echo Tango says:

      The indoor levels and some of the city-scape look very Fallout-esque, but Fallout never had much in the way of body-horror, or pools of blood. This game feels like the devs watched a lot of slasher and cronenbergian movies, but Fallout only dipped its toes into that with the mutated stuff. (Mostly because everything still had its skin on, I think.) I’m definitely going to be trying this demo after work, though! :)

      1. GoStu says:

        The Master from the original Fallout was very, very much a piece of body horror. (YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-UUTGamYp8)

        Not to say that Death Trash isn’t going further, just that the original Fallout wasn’t always… sanitary.

        1. Echo Tango says:

          Oh yeah, I guess I forgot the Master – he’s half blood, half cancer, and you meet him at the end of a hallway of blood and other organic substances. (I replayed Fallout 1 last year too – still holds up pretty well! :)

  8. John says:

    I have been mostly ignoring E3, as is my custom. I could not help but notice, however, that Nintendo announced a remake of Advance Wars 1 & 2. On the one hand, that’s good, because I like Advance Wars. On the other hand, that’s bad, because I don’t have a Switch, I don’t intend to get one, and Nintendo is never going to allow the remake to appear on any other platform. But maybe that good, because from what I’ve seen so far, I think I hate what they’ve done to the character art. The 3D models for vehicles and infantry are all fine, but the commander portraits are awful. They’re weird, cheap-looking caricatures of the original art, which, while admittedly cartoony and exaggerated, was nevertheless lovely. (I suspect the changes are for animation purposes.) There’s some sort of half-hour video of the remake but I don’t know if I can bring myself to watch it. My one consolation is that I still have my original Advance Wars 1 & 2 cartridges and can play them whenever and wherever I want thanks to the twin miracles of cartridge readers and emulators In fact, I finished unlocking (almost) everything in Advance Wars 1 not too long ago. Maybe it’s time to start on Advance Wars 2.

    1. Echo Tango says:

      I like the remake commander art more than the originals, at least in stills. It seems like an actual cartoon / comic-book feel, but the originals seem like they’re in the uncanney valley for level of fidelity. Note though, I’m commenting as an outsider who’s never played the games, but that’s my take on the art! :)

      1. John says:

        We may not be talking about the same thing. Advance Wars 1 & 2 are GBA games with pixel art and I have never heard anyone use the terms pixel art and uncanny valley in the same sentence before. The CO portraits aren’t 3D and aren’t supposed to be. They’ve got a children’s cartoon aesthetic, assuming that the children’s cartoon had a respectable budget and some talented, passionate artists. My point is that the commander portraits have gone from what I have always considered to be charming and well-executed pixel art in the original games to what I suspect is crudely cell-shaded 3D in the remake. It does not help that the new art makes significant changes to some designs and overall looks like middling-to-bad fan art of the originals.

        1. Echo Tango says:

          Ah yeah, I was going off of the art on the wiki here for the original game, which is definitely not pixel art. Might have been some scans of the original instruction manual or something?

          1. John says:

            Huh. The characters on the left side of the page are Andy, Sami, and Max. The designs are approximately correct, but that isn’t the style of the art in the games or in the manuals I have. I’m guessing that’s concept art. I suppose it could also be art from Advance Wars 3, which I don’t own and have never played. The art on the right side of the page is box and manual art from the fourth game in the series, Days of Ruin, which has no relation to the first three games apart from the mechanics.

            As it happens, I have now watched the Nintendo video I mentioned earlier. After seeing the designs on a bigger screen, I’m less certain than I was that the new portraits are cell-shaded. (I don’t mean to suggest that cell-shading is inherently bad. It’s just that when it’s done on the cheap it’s a poor substitute for quality hand-drawn art.) It turns out that some of the portraits, specifically Nell and Olaf, aren’t as bad as I thought they were. Eagle, on the other hand, looks awful. It’s like something that someone who wanted to mock the character would draw.

  9. Ninety-Three says:

    Issac pointed out that this will be a lot more interesting if they leave the dialog as subtitled Russain like we see in the trailer, but odds are good we’ll end up with terrible English audio by the time the game ships.

    To be fair, that is what a faithful successor to S.T.A.L.K.E.R. would do.

    1. Echo Tango says:

      I think most media benefits from staying in its original language. Poetry, music, films – the rhythm of a lot of languages is often incompatible, so it’s better to have subtitles on. (Comic-) books usually fare better, since it’s usually just about the meaning, and describing what’s going on. Mood can be affected, but that’s usually not too hard to get right. (e.g. I read the translation of some boddy-horror mad-scientist japanese comics a few years ago, and everything there felt totally right for mood, tone, etc.)

      1. Lino says:

        I think translation is harder than people give it credit for. The best translations are ones where you can’t even tell the work has been translated to a different language. This is why I read all my fiction (and some of my non-fiction) in English. Not only is it good for maintaining my English, but I just don’t want to take the chance on a potentially bad translation. There’s nothing more infuriating than reading an incompetent translation where YOU CAN TELL what the original text says, but the idiotic hack of a trsnslator misinterpreted it in the most amateurish way possible.

        In Bulgarian (can’t speak for other languages), a very good example for this is Terry Pratchett. He’s got a very particular style of writing. And a good chunk of his humour is based on puns and wordplay. Something which is impossible to translate literally to another language. However, in amongst all the hacks, we’ve got some very, very good translators. The ones who translate Pratchett are definitely good. In order to preserve the humour, they don’t try to translate Pratchett’s puns and wordplay. Instead, they find the equivalent puns in Bulgarian, and in the end they preserve both the original spirit of Pratchett’s style, and his jokes.

        It’s very unfortunate that we can’t get the same thing with Russian games. Although my Russian is extremely poor (I only somewhat understand it if I’m reading it, and that’s only thanks to the similarity between Russian and Bulgarian), Russian itself is a very difficult language to translate. E.g. there are many Russian jokes where the crux of the joke is as much in the way it’s constructed from a language perspective as it is in the punchline itself. Let’s hope that with the proliferation of Russian franchises like STALKER and Metro we start getting some better translations. Because I definitely think the Russians have a very interesting perspective to show both in their films, and in their games….

        1. Bubble181 says:

          It’s funny, but I’m a huge fan of reading in the original where possible, etc etc as well for much the same reasons, and Pratchett is always my go-to example for translations done right for this same reason.
          I still prefer the original, in the end, but the Dutch translations are really excellent, too, which is very rare for this type of pun-heavy comedic writing.

  10. Chad+Miller says:

    Funnily enough, I keep seeing people compare the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy to a Telltale game, but not once have I seen any of these comparisons note that Telltale did make a Guardians of the Galaxy game.

    (though I suppose people can be forgiven for collectively forgetting about it, because it was pretty boring)

    1. Rho says:

      I am sad to hear it wasn’t good. I recently played the Batman telltale series and greatly enjoyed – so much so that even when it ended well I became disappointed because there will never be the third part to round it out.

      1. Chad+Miller says:

        Yes, the Batman ones, especially the second one, are good. The ones I’ve personally played include:

        * The Walking Dead ones
        * The Batman ones
        * Guardians of the Galaxy

        The only ones I would say I disliked are Michonne, which I hated and only finished because of the momentum from the other TWD games, and Guardians, which I found so dull that I wandered off after the first episode (and I played this one before the Batman ones, so I don’t think it was just me getting tired of the formula; I just found nothing of interest at all in that game)

        1. Gautsu says:

          Wolf Among Us was probably their best newer game, with Tales from the Borderlands and Game of Thrones pretty close behind

  11. Truett says:

    You forgot to pay tribute to the gods at Nintendo.

    1. Shamus says:

      If I comment on Nintendo, it won’t be useful because it won’t be informed, because I don’t play Nintendo games. So I’d comment on the show and then Nintendo fans would dump on me for not understanding the context of a game or not knowing who some character is.

      So I skip Nintendo, and people complain about it.

      Damned if I do, damned if I don’t. I’m just one guy. I can’t play everything.

      1. Retlor says:

        Maybe split the difference and insist to your last breath that there ain’t no such thing as Nintendo and there never was?

        1. Shamus says:

          I looked on Steam, and I couldn’t find this nintano game you’re talking about!

          1. Rho says:

            To be fair, Nintendo wants to have their little walled-off little world more than anyone else on the planet save maybe the Disney corporation. This causes issues when they’re so grabby and controlling they actively hurt their own fan base. The fault here is Nintendo’s, not the players’.

      2. phoolboy says:

        Nintendont

  12. tmtvl says:

    I was looking forward to the announcement of Dragon’s Dogma 2, and Capcom didn’t oblige; neither did they pleasantly surprise me by announcing another Breath of Fire game (though, given what happened last time they pleasantly surprised me that may be a good thing) and that’s all I really care about.

    Also no DMC or Street Fighter news, so all-in all it seems to be a slow year for Capcom fans. At least the MonHun and Ace Attorney fans have something to look forward to.

    1. John says:

      Well, Street Fighter V is still in active development. They added another four characters this year, though the way people talk this batch may be the last. I don’t know if there’s been any official announcement. My guess is that any Street Fighter VI announcements are at least a year or two away.

    2. Christopher says:

      They said what they were gonna talk about up front, so getting excited for anything else is on me, but at the end of it I was just wondering why they even bothered to have a show.

  13. Dennis says:

    FWIW I think 2K had announced a few days in advance they wouldn’t be showing any new games. I think they’re still on the legacy side of the intersection between “industry event” and “public hype machine”.

  14. N/A says:

    Worth noting, the Avengers game was REALLY blatant that it was very specifically aping the MCU designs, but the GotG game just seems to be running into the issue that the Guardians, as a source material, are enough of an oddball property that they have a distinctive look, that the MCU hewed pretty close to the source material, and now the game is too. Not to say I can’t see issues, but this one in particular feels unfair.

    1. Volvagia says:

      Counterpoint: GREG. ELLIS. Rocket. If they wanted to signal trying to do a more “definitive” take than a watered down version of the choices (not as badly as Avengers, but still clearly just watered down) the movies made? Personally, that would do a lot more than the weird decorated beard thing.

    2. Dreadjaws says:

      Visually sure, I agree. The look of the characters in the MCU is much more similar to their comics counterpart than most other characters in the universe, which is why the game gives Shamus the impression that the game is aping the MCU rather than the comics, after the whole Avengers game did precisely that. That being said, the humorous style is more of a thing of the MCU. There’s humor to the comics, of course, but not of this style.

  15. evilmrhenry says:

    I’m in the market for Orcs Must Die 3, and wasn’t aware it was on Stadia. While I’m unwilling to touch Stadia, it does mean there’s reviews out, which basically say it’s the same thing as Orcs Must Die 2. (This makes sense when you think about it; it’s unlikely that the devs would be willing to create a full-fledged sequel for Stadia, but taking Orcs Must Die 2 as a base, making a few changes, and giving it a new story sounds more reasonable.) So, nothing extraordinary, but it’s unlikely to be doing anything stupid with monetization, either. (I was worried about that; they made an Orcs Must Die game that was a live service a while back.)

  16. RamblePak64 says:

    Same goes for Capcom, although I’m willing to bet Chris will have some thoughts on that stuff at some point, if you’re following him.

    Man I need to update that About page somethin’ fierce.

    I’ll be posting some thoughts on E3 today, but not a write-up like this. Perhaps I should instead of having typing whole novels in your comments section. I will, however, have a new Eh! Steve! up tomorrow with mine and Steve’s thoughts on games of the show, which will indeed include reflections on Square Enix and Nintendo. On Monday I plan to have a Twitch stream with my pals Zack and Joey to have a more thorough discussion on the event at 8pm ET. So if you have a leaning towards Japanese games and stuff, yeah, we’ll have some of that available. Maybe I’ll try to put something together in written form to be a bit more supplementary? I dunno. I wasn’t expecting to get linked today.

    The Square Enix show is a little shorter than the rest. SE isn’t a juggernaut like Microsoft and Zenimax. Like Blizzard, this company isn’t the home of a lot of IP, but the IP it does have is important and influential.

    Not entirely true. When Squaresoft merged with Enix back in the early aughts, they got two JRPG juggernauts worth of IP. Then they bought… Eidos? which included at the time Eidos, Crystal Dynamics, IO Interactive, and maybe a couple other things. IO Interactive managed to not only leave, but negotiate maintaining the Hitman IP as their own, but Kane & Lynch and Mini Ninjas were left behind with Square Enix. Needless to say, while it’s not as much as Microsoft and ZeniMax owned with their powers combined, but it’s still a significant list. The problem is, like many studios and publishers, they can’t just pump as many games out as they used to.

    Like, I never played any of the Legacy of Kain games, but looking at old footage of Soul Reaver, I’d much rather Crystal Dynamics take their experience with Tomb Raider 2013 and Rise of the Tomb Raider and make a new entry in that franchise than a live-service Marvel game.

    Between the clear fiscal failure and lukewarm critical and fan response to Marvel’s Avengers, and the abundantly negative response to everything in the show but the Legend of Mana opening cinematic – a port of a mid-to-late 90’s PlayStation game getting a faithful remaster – I’m hoping Square Enix does a major reassessment of their blatant trend-chasing. They wanted their own live-service game, so did they make one such title in Marvel’s Avengers? Nope. Did they make two in Marvel’s Avengers and Outriders? Nope! They’ve got three, with PlatinumGames being approached about making a live-service model title. It’s… not what anyone was hoping for. I mean, Shamus, I know it’s not in your wheelhouse, but compare the first gameplay reveal in 2019 with what was shown at E3 this year, and even if you dismiss the more effective soundtrack and editing techniques in the first video, it looks like two completely different types of games. Babylon’s Fall isn’t a character action game like Devil May Cry, Astral Chain, or Bayonetta. It’s in some weird realm between the upcoming Dark Alliance, Diablo, and Destiny, and everyone on board with the first trailer was incredibly let down.

    Thinking on it, I think I am going to put together something for the blog to post on Sunday or Monday, so I guess look forward to that because there’s… a lot to say about this game. However, in regards to Square Enix chasing trends, this is also part of the issue with Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin. Does Square Enix want a Souls-like of their own? Understandable. Is Team Ninja a good team to do such a thing? Normally, yes. Is making a Souls-like with the insufferable combination of Tetsuya Nomura’s aesthetic and Kazushige Nojima’s awful writing what people want? Heck, is a reskin of Nioh 2 what people want? I don’t think so, it’s a wasted opportunity, and if you wanted your own Souls-like this is one of the worst ways to try and go about it.

    I have this same feeling with their approach to the Marvel games. I think someone at Marvel needs to oversee their games division in a far more tight-fisted manner, closer to what you’re getting with LucasFilm and the spin-off games post Battlefront. I may not be fond of the writing of the prologue of Star Wars Squadrons (haven’t played any further), but it certainly doesn’t look or feel like Discount Stunt Double Star Wars like Marvel’s Avengers feels like Discount Stunt Double MCU. Guardians of the Galaxy is saved by at least half of its cast looking like their comic book counter-parts, but the voice acting begs comparisons, and pretty much none of the actors in Avengers or Guardians of the Galaxy feel right for the part or capable of delivering a performance as memorable or top notch. Only Troy Baker – and I feel horrible leaning on him but the dude is a talent – feels properly cast as Bruce Banner. Everyone else seems to be a complete misfire, either not at all fitting the tone of the character or too ineffectively measuring up to their Hollywood counterpart.

    I don’t know what kind of hand Marvel had with Sony and Insomniac, but I never had such a strong feeling of “discount Spider-Man” when playing that game. Yuri Lowenthal and the Peter Parker character model feel appropriate. Doc Ock looks soggier than I’d have anticipated, but I can’t say it doesn’t fit the part. Norman Osborne, Miles Morales, Mary Jane, Aunt May, and even the barely-present side villains are all excellently done. As I said when on the podcast with you, this Black Cat is probably the best I could imagine for any sort of visual medium like games, film, or television. I don’t know if it’s possible, but if you were going to dictate the direction of Marvel video games, I’d be getting the art team and casting directors of Marvel’s Spider-Man to be in charge. The problem is that Insomniac is owned by Sony, and Sony has a special interest in Spider-Man, and therefore Spider-Man is always going to be platform exclusive and Marvel would definitely want the other games to be available across other platforms.

    Really, Marvel needs a video game equivalent to Kevin Feige to ensure consistency across the board, because when left to their own devices, Square Enix has failed to deliver something that just feels right to fans like Rocksteady managed with Batman and Insomniac with Spider-Man.

    That said, Guardians of the Galaxy was still the highlight of the presentation, and that says a lot coming from someone that should have been all over Babylon’s Fall and Stranger of Paradise. The only thing I can say about Life is Strange is I find it interesting the only Dontnod developed one included in these packages is the first. I’m curious why they’d leave out Life is Strange 2, but I can only speculate as to why that might be.

    Where was Suicide Squad? What about Gotham Knights? Yes, I’ll probably hate them both, but I still wanted to see them. I’m still foolish enough to think they might turn out okay and wise enough to know I can turn my anger into articles if they don’t.

    It’s not just those two games. That Hogwarts game was absent, as was the… ugh… Lord of the Rings Gollum game, and I think one more title I had forgotten about. However, those are all also slated for 2022. This is an example of a bunch of games getting announced long before they’re going to release. It’s possible they’ll show up at Gamescom towards the end of the summer, or something at the Video Game Awards at the year’s end, or to just pop up with random news throughout the year when the news cycle doesn’t need to be shared. Back 4 Blood is all WB has for 2021, I think, and that’s why it’s the only thing you’re seeing.

    Or, and this just occurred to me, any other releases are too up in the air with the whole AT&T and Discovery+ shenanigans going on. I’ve seen mixed reports as to what’s going on with Warner Interactive, so we also might not be seeing more on those games because the studios and publisher themselves don’t know what the future holds.

    I won’t say anything about Take-Two Interactive’s panel. I’m observing the response out of curiosity, and being selective in whose responses on YouTube I’m listening to as I’d like to know what certain corners of the Internet thought, but I’m not in a position to comment on it myself. However, I will blame the games press, including the ones hired by the ESA to host the online stream of the show (which I think was largely IGN), for failing to keep expectations in check. Capcom, for example, was open about only showing four games at their event, all of which we knew about, two of which are just receiving updates. But the games press (including the hosts being streamed onto the official E3 Twitch channel) kept making predictions about whether we’ll see this announcement from Capcom, or that announcement, and what to expect. As a result, fans were speculating like crazy as well. You know what the informed journalist ought to do? Be informed and then inform the audience. I told my friends not to expect much from Capcom based on what Capcom announced ahead of time. I told friends not to expect stuff like a Switch Pro in a 40 minute presentation. I learned ahead of time that Take-Two wasn’t making game announcements but holding a diversity panel.

    The games press instead fueled speculation and hid the reality of Take-Two’s presentation from the audience, and thus the audience reaction is… well, it is what it is. Maybe, just maybe, the audience wouldn’t be so angry and you wouldn’t be dealing with so much backlash (across all three streams, not just Take-Two) if the press did their job and informed viewers ahead of time.

    That’s where my rage lies.

    What? You have another Vampire game coming out? But Vampire The Masquerade Bloodlines 2 is still lost in development.

    This is nothing compared to the Battle Royale VtM game coming out. Paradox is, I think, trying to muster up some serious interest in the World of Darkness setting they now own (they own it, right?) and have the same sort of relationship with games as Games Workshop does with the Warhammer franchise. I feel like they’re bound to fail, though. They’ve already released some games that have been critical and commercial failures, and both the battle royale and Swansong seem to completely miss the point of the original pen-and-paper game (not that the current pen-and-paper universe cares). A Battle Royale as presented in the trailer goes completely against the very concept of the Masquerade itself, and Swansong’s trailer suggests that it is man that is the monster, not you, the vampire, the creature of the night whose immortality is a curse, that must drink the blood of living things, that is very much a monster, from which the horror of the game is existential and psychological, and also the knowledge that there are worse things than even you out there.

    Which is why I think Bloodlines 2 is bound for failure, regardless. People don’t want a sequel because it’s Vampire the Masquerade, they want a sequel because of Bloodlines, the game itself, divorced from its origin as an adaptation of a pen-and-paper role-playing game.

    I think interest in World of Darkness is waning (probably has been, if my table-top friends are to be believed and not reporting based on bias (which they likely could be)), and their efforts to develop interest via video games is failing fast and hard.

    You’re kidding? ANOTHER Stalker-like? It’s been years since we’ve had another game like Stalker, or any Left 4 Dead clones. But now we have several of each in the same year. It’s so weird how these trends appear.

    I feel like there’s multiple things going on here. The first is that Eastern Europe seems interested in three types of games based on my observations: old school style computer RPGs like in the 90’s, historical multiplayer first-person shooters, and post-apocalyptic games that are somehow about Chernobyl. I don’t even think Pearl Harbor or 9/11 had the impact on the United States that Chernobyl seems to have had over there.

    I actually kind of like the look of Pioner best of the three (STALKER 2, Pioner, Chernobylite), but the possibility of bugs and jank are high so I’ll probably wait some time after its release.

    And that’s about all my thoughts on your thoughts. I shall now stop taking up huge scroll space in your comments section.

    1. DeadlyDark says:

      “The first is that Eastern Europe seems interested in three types of games based on my observations: old school style computer RPGs like in the 90’s, historical multiplayer first-person shooters, and post-apocalyptic games that are somehow about Chernobyl. I don’t even think Pearl Harbor or 9/11 had the impact on the United States that Chernobyl seems to have had over there.”

      As a russian, I think it’s the result of how beloved Fallout 1 and 2 were (games themselves plus original pirate lozalizations were pretty memey, somewhat). And what is the best way to make another Fallout, but somewhere closer to home? Well, Chernobyl is perfect for this.

      That reminds me. I need to play Atom RPG.

      1. RamblePak64 says:

        I can see that. Either way, I find it fascinating, as it’s always a post-apocalypse with a twist. You get to see actual grass and greenery while American post-apocalypse is always trying to look like the desert wasteland of Mad Max.

        1. DeadlyDark says:

          At least Wasteland 2 and Wasteland 3 are different, in this regard

        2. Radkatsu says:

          *UnderRail entered the chat*

    2. RamblePak64 says:

      So I dunno if you want to update the link to my site in the post, Shamus, and it’s probably too late to matter, but I hammered my face into the keyboard enough times an obnoxiously long blog post came out. This way people get the thoughts they’d be looking for instead of my chubby, flubby double chin.

    3. tmtvl says:

      Like, I never played any of the Legacy of Kain games, but looking at old footage of Soul Reaver, I’d much rather Crystal Dynamics take their experience with Tomb Raider 2013 and Rise of the Tomb Raider and make a new entry in that franchise than a live-service Marvel game.

      Eh, the quintology is kinda finished, the time-travelling makes a prequel kind of hard to fit in (thanks, Moebius), and you can’t have the Elder God appear because nobody can take over the role from Tony Jay. Maybe a game where you play as Vorador could work, explore how he got to where he was when the pillars got corrupted.

      1. Lino says:

        There actually were a couple of LoK games that were supposed to come out after Defiance, but got cancelled – https://www.neogaf.com/threads/the-10-cancelled-legacy-of-kains-mama-robotnik-research-thread.594576/

        Some of them looked quite promising, I think…

        1. Gautsu says:

          My biggest regret in what might have been in gaming is never getting the proper ending to this epic

  17. Volvagia says:

    Take Two Show: Yes, the sloppy lack of professionalism is bad. Yes, they weren’t as good at the message as they could have or should have been. Yes, a single game announcement appropriately capping that theme of “we, as a medium/industry, have A LOT of work to do on diversity” would have been even better. Take-Two/Rockstar isn’t exactly my ideal pick for this property (that would be Ryu Ga Gotoku Studios, published by Sega, entirely off the back of the last Yakuza game), but imagine if they ended it with a teaser for a Hazbin Hotel game? Might that have been the initial plan and the license fell apart last minute? Hard to say, but 20 months is a plausible timeline if so.

    1. eldomtom2 says:

      Is this a joke?

      1. Volvagia says:

        I am serious about all of it, but, especially, that part about the Yakuza guys being PERFECT for Hazbin Hotel.

        1. eldomtom2 says:

          It’s just such a baffling theory.

  18. Dreadjaws says:

    The Black Panther thing is really sad. They yet again modeled every character after their MCU counterparts and not just BP. It’s like they haven’t done the smallest effort to listen to the complaints that have been there from even before launch. I can understand not having time to change the designs of the main team members in time for launch, but they should have at least tried with the DLC characters. Expect Spider-Man to also have a techy MCU-like suit when he eventually shows up.

    The Take-Two panel was just sad. Yet more evidence that these companies don’t give a crap about the stuff they profess yet love feeling sanctimonious about. This is why everyone is so angry about the subject of diversity these days. It’s not like everyone is racist, is that people are tired of companies pretending to care about a subject they very evidently not. I’m sure at least some of the people on that panel were genuine, but when the black guy started telling stories about people being surprised that he’s black and working for a videogame company I had no choice but to think this poor guy is entirely delusional or he believes the audience is. This sort of thing wouldn’t happen if this kind of event was the slightly bit curated, but Take-Two clearly doesn’t give a crap. They just thought that since they had no games to show they’d kill two birds with one stone by filling some time while patting themselves on the back.

    I guess people are still buying those stupid Shark Cards, so why bother making another videogame?

    Well, apparently they’re shutting down the servers for the PS3 version of the game, so I guess the playerbase there isn’t buying enough or they are planning on some kind of move.

    It feels weird to have spinoff side titles like this when the mainline title is stuck in limbo, but whatever.

    Vampire the Masquerade is originally a tabletop RPG series. The videogame adaptations of it have all been handled by different companies. This isn’t a spin-off, but simply another game by a different developer and publisher.

    You know, Shamus, you really oughta look into getting yourself a Switch. You’ll save yourself a ton of headaches by playing a bunch of games that are dedicated mostly to be fun rather than frustrating. Granted, the multiplatform stuff is unlikely to be particularly better in it, but the exclusives will certainly more than make up for it. Since I got a Switch I rarely play in any other platform. I’ve literally re-bought games for the Switch that I already had on PC or PS3 and never even touched. Sure, part of that is the major convenience of having them on the go, so I can just pick them up and play whenever I feel like it (no more dealing with “Oh, I feel like playing Doom but I don’t have my PC with me right now. Bummer.”). Even if you have eyesight issues and the portable mode isn’t good for you the console is still infinitely more portable than any other one.

    Now, I’m not trying to convince you to play Metroid, but I think you’d probably really enjoy something like Pikmin. Also, if you can use it in portable mode, all of these pixel art games look remarkably better in this system.

  19. Dreadjaws says:

    Oh, damn. The Steam Fest has an insane amount of demos. On the one hand, this is exactly the sort of thing I’ve been championing for years. On the other hand, it’s quite overwhelming. I don’t even know where to start looking.

    1. John says:

      Oh yeah. Right there with you. I really wish the Steam client, which I’m pretty sure is based in Chromium somehow, would let me open up multiple tabs or windows so I could toggle back and forth between the Steam Fest page and the games’ store pages. It would make things so much easier.

      Incidentally, Shamus, this is something like the third Steam Fest in under two years. The event has a slightly different name each time but Valve seem really keen on pushing demos these days and I like it.

      1. Dreadjaws says:

        You can actually open things in new windows on the Steam client by middle-clicking on links, but depending on how your OS feels like that day, the different windows might not show up on the task bar. They all show up if you Alt+Tab, though.

  20. ivan says:

    Shamus, did you catch/are you aware of the Day of the Devs presentation? I forget the exact timing, but it happened at the beginning or a few days before E3 sometime, and it is basically what you described that Valve thing as. Could be worth you taking a look, IIRC Tim Schaefer hosted it, or he opened it and someone else hosted, something like that.

  21. Ninety-Three says:

    This is not technically E3 but it’s topical upcoming game stuff so here we go.

    Overwatch 2 is coming out eventually and I have the very strange problem fundamentally not understanding what it is. Is it a boxed videogame that you pay $60 for, like you normally do? Is it a regular free update patch for Overwatch 1 attached to a dumb rebranding gimmick? Is it a DLC expansion you buy within Overwatch 1? Is it the friends we made along the way? Every time I try to look into it I find a bunch of conflicting evidence that makes each of these theories seem plausible, someone please explain it to me.

  22. Christopher says:

    I agree they’re really shooting themselves in the foot by making games so close to the MCU in style and presentation, ’cause that comparison is never gonna be favorable. With GotG they made a point of saying it’s its own take, and had a writer for the comic on, which are good signs in theory, but it’s like… this is the same character roster as the movie. The personalities portrayed are pretty much the same. With the exception of Gamora(who’s wearing what I expect is her current comic book outfit? Her Marvel VS Capcom incarnation looked pretty similar), the character designs are pretty much identical aside from the actors underneath the makeup. Star-Lord pulls out a walkman and puts on old music. Either the movie was a hell of a lot more faithful than I expected, or they’re cribbing just as much from the MCU as the they are from the comic books. This didn’t at all feel like it was the case when I saw the Guardians in, say, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Everyone’s in uniform. Gamora and Drax aren’t here and instead we have Adam Warlock and Quasar. Star-Lord is professional. It’s a distinct entity of its own compared to the MCU.

    The Spider-Man and Batman games managed to craft an identity of their own by taking parts from many different versions of those characters. You didn’t open Arkham Asylum with a wannabe Heath Ledger Joker, and you didn’t start Spider-Man PS4 by chasing down a Homecoming-style Vulture. This wannabe MCU bullshit approach is so frustrating to me in comparison. If you just wanna be the MCU, then pay those actors and just be a movie game – on a budget for once.

    This is probably, to some extent, Marvel’s fault. Compare Marvel VS Capcom 3’s comic book style and designs to the MCU-inspired look and roster of Marvel VS Capcom Infinite. If you look at cartoons or comics past a hero’s movie adaptation, I expect those take a lot of cues from the movies as well. But if Spider-Man PS4 could do it, what’s their excuse?

    1. Dreadjaws says:

      You are correct. Like I mentioned up there, while the visual style of the comics and MCU is similar enough that you can make the case for either when discussing which style the game is trying to emulate, the tone is straight out of the MCU. I’ve read Guardians of the Galaxy comics and while there’s certainly team banter and all that jazz there’s not a focus on humor like the movies have, and the whole “obsessed with 80s music and culture” thing is clearly just James Gunn projecting himself into the movie and not something out of the source material.

      And it’s nice to see other characters like Cosmo showing up, but yeah, obviously they have the exact same roster from the film despite all the many incarnations the team has had over the years, most of the team members look more similar to the film versions and they even redesigned Mantis to look more similar to her MCU counterpart as well.

      Now maybe it’s unfair to pin all the blame on Squeenix. This could certainly be very well Disney’s mandate (they had famously demanded for instance that Marvel vs Capcom Infinite not include any X-Men members back when they didn’t have the film rights). Then again, all the other videogames based on Marvel properties don’t pull this sort of obvious stuff except for Avengers, which is also theirs, so, if it looks like a duck…

  23. Mattias42 says:

    Honestly felt rather cold towards most games announced this year, with two exceptions (and giggling at the Avatar game being a thing).

    New Metroid, looks GREAT. Can’t wait.

    And this thing, Citizen Sleeper:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMtpCfLyKeE

    Kinda like Tharsis, but seems to have more to it then just rolling dice. Some hints of an actual RPG slash character stat system. Just looks plain neat too.

  24. DeadlyDark says:

    So I’ve checked that Pioner game. Trailer looks nice. But then I saw this. It’s an MMO. Not that it’s bad, but you know. I hoped for something more single-player, and this trailer looked more interesting than Stalker 2 one

    1. RamblePak64 says:

      Oof. Interest evaporated.

  25. EOW says:

    Honestly the highlight for me were Metroid 5 (christ, metroid 4 was in 2002 holy shit) and Fuga getting a release date.
    Metroid was always a series i liked, but the timeline has been stuck at 4, all games released after that were set prior to it, which i always found disappointing, because metroid 4 shook the status quo massively.
    Now, many are confused with the 5, when Prime 4 was announced and still has to see any kind of trailer, but Prime is a spinoff series wrapped in its own continuity (well, as of samus returns it has been made canon in the main timeline).

    Fuga… well, Solatorobo was my personal favourite ds game and one of my favourite games prior. It’s kinda awesome to see a ceo that actually wants to make a game because he has a story to tell and boy will he tell that story no matter how little it sells. Solatorobo (and tail concerto, the prequel) have amazing art style and surprisingly deep worldbuilding.
    Fuga seems more of the same, althought you can smell the no budget self published look. But i’ll buy it full price.
    So rare to see someone CARE in the non-indie scene, so i want to support them.
    Just to iterate how much they like this world, leading up the the release their yt channel is being filled with additional lore stuff. So cool

    1. RamblePak64 says:

      Was there ever confirmation that Prime was its own timeline and not just fan theory? Because I know Other M sort of proved that Yoshio Sakamoto was never really paying attention to what Prime was doing (it also proved that he should never be in charge of the story to the series, ever). To me, it makes sense that Prime is its own timeline and should just continue being its own thing. I’d rather they not unite the two since, to me, I prefer what Prime is doing in terms of a universe compared to Sakamoto.

      1. EOW says:

        It’s odd, Metroid ain’t really a series known for the plot, but usually Prime has always been very disconnected from the main timeline, it was set between 1 and 2, which is where metroids are still alive and ridley hasn’t been killed yet, so they can have the freedom to pretty much have anything happen. So it was always treated as “canon until proven wrong” by fans.

        I have to correct the thing about samus returns making prime canon tho, aside from a reference to meta ridley, the game seems to imply to take place shortly after 1, while prime is explicitely 10 years after 1 while also being before 2.
        Again, Metroid is not a series you play for the plot (even tho my interest in metroid 5 is exactly that), while prime is content being it’s own thing

  26. Xander77 says:

    Orcs Must Die 2 is free on steam up until 3 comes out at the end of the month, and well worth a look.

    You can have elaborate trap setups for maximum combo damage, a chaotic mess of physics traps, or just roll up your sleeves and take out the orcs on your own. Good variety of levels and enemies, just the right co-op integration – you won’t feel like anything is missing if you play on your own, but it’s hilariously fun with two players.

    3 feels like it hasn’t really advanced much in 8 years, so I’d wait for further reviews on how well it works on PC and whether some of the complaints are fixed.

  27. Ferrite says:

    Like the movies, the game is aiming for banter-driven comedy. It obviously can’t hold a candle to James Gunn‘s brilliant scripts, but it’s passable.

    I was a little bit excited when they had Dan Abnett, one half of the dynamic duo behind the comics those films were based on, show up in the other trailer… but then I found out he’s not actually involved with the game at all and I got more disappointed than I would have been otherwise.

  28. Guest says:

    (Yes, that’s the correct spelling. It’s Russain.)

    Heh, a somewhat ironic typo. Also here:

    the dialog as subtitled Russain like

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