Experienced Points: E3 Killjoy 2010

By Shamus
on Jun 18, 2010
Filed under:
Column

In this week’s column I bring some words of caution to a few of the hyped games at E3, although I’m not sure they’re needed. I think a lot of people were already skeptical of these games, not to mention the new motion controls.

There are some games I’m looking forward to, but almost all of them are aiming for 2011. (And I’m sure some of those will slip to 2012.) Portal, DC Universe Online, Star Wars The Old Republic, Mass Effect 3. Usually E3 feels like a preview for the holiday season, but this year it feels like a preview for next year. Although, I haven’t run the numbers. It’s entirely possible the distribution of release dates is the same, but my interest level isn’t.

About the only thing I care about right now – and I’m aware of how strange this sounds coming from me – is Fallout Vegas. It goes something like this:

New Vegas will be a disaster, just like Fallout 3.

But this game is by Obsidian.

But Obsidian has a reputation for shoddy work and bad endings.

But they seem to be saying all the right things in interviews.

But the trailer was an insult to the series.

But the trailer is just for FPS fans and not for RPG fans.

But Alpha Protocol seems to suffer from a lot of classic Obsidian problems.

But since both games were under development at the same time, this game must be coming from a different group of people.

This can’t save it from the prevailing console-itis.

But it will be using the established PC-focused Bethesda tools.

Which always seem to produce buggy games.

But this is a refinement of existing tech, not an overhaul, so they’re building on established tech, which you are always saying is the key to success!

…and so on. This could go either way. It’s simply too close to know how it will turn out. It’s like the pod race in Phantom Menace, except I care.

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From the Archives:

  1. Andy_Panthro says:

    And of course New Vegas uses Steam. Which means I’ll let it pass.

    I’m sure NV will be a better game than FO3, but that’s only because FO3 is a mess.

    As for the rest of E3, I think The Witcher 2 is the only thing I’m interested in, and perhaps Dungeon Seige 3 (also Obsidian, the busy boys!).

    edit: Should also mention I am one of those annoyed by the FPS that is named XCOM. For those in need of hope for an X-COM game worthy of the name, check out either Alien Invasion (free, version 2.3 just released), Xenonauts (in development) or UFO: The Two Sides (in development, beta due in the next few months).

    Thank Oh Great Athiesmo for fans.

  2. Nyaz says:

    Urgh, if the combat system is the same as in Fallout 3, I think I’ll pass (and by the looks of it, it’s the same engine… meaning yes, same annoying combat system).

    Mixing FPS-shooting with some sort of fake-turnbased-gizmo (VATS) just makes me feel like Bethesda didn’t bother deciding on (and fine-tuning) either of them.

    The manual FPS-style shooting misses constantly, sometimes when you’re two feet from that Super Mutant and OH GOD HE’S BEATING ON ME HELP WHY ARE MY SHOTS MISSING, whereas VATS gets even more absurd when you have a 75% chance to hit that very same Super Mutant and you miss, despite the fact that he’s RIGHT IN YOUR FACE and the magic dice in the sky decided that you just missed that shot.

    • pneuma08 says:

      Hey 75% means you miss 1 in 4. My worst RNG pull was actually in Fallout 1 or 2 (I forget which one it was at the time), when I missed THREE 95% shots IN A ROW.

      • Deoxy says:

        3 in a row? I LAUGH at your pathetic attempt at extremism! Heck, that should happen 1 time in 8000 attempts. That sounds like a lot, but if you game for a few hours, you should be there (that’s 1 out of 8000 3-shot groupings – how many shots do you take per hour of gameplay? And you’re one of how many people playing?)

        That’s equivalent to rolling 3 20s (or three 1s) in a row on a d20. d20 gamers can tell you, yes, that’s rare… but not nearly as rare as you’d think (well, the ones aren’t anyway).

    • eri says:

      Well, your chance to hit is determined by your skill with a gun. It’s hard to balance it to where it feels totally natural. And, to be fair, if you’re inexperienced with firing a gun, then spraying blindly at someone may not actually work due to the weapon’s recoil, even if they are close to you – it’s just that limited animations mean that it’s hard to show that visually. With 2D graphics it’s easier for us to abstract that sort of thing out.

      Also, New Vegas has iron sights. If you’ve used the mod for Fallout 3 that adds them, you’ll note that it makes the combat far, far more enjoyable.

      • Sekundaari says:

        Iron sights? I could go for those… But somehow I fear, with the auto-aim, bullet spread and low low damage accompanying those iron sights, I’ll begin to make all sorts of unfair comparisons to OFP and ArmA.

    • thebigJ_A says:

      butbutbut… they added iron sights! That means it’ll be better, right? RIGHT?!?

      EDIT: Ninja’d, dammit.

    • Zombie Pete says:

      If you’ve never fired an actual gun, you may be unaware of how easy it is to miss in the heat of the moment. Yes, even someone who is in your face.

      • Nyaz says:

        Right, I’m sorry. What I meant was when you’re firing it in their face and you clearly see the bullet hitting the enemy, but oops, you “missed”!

        • eri says:

          How did you “see” the bullet exactly? In Fallout 3 it’s possible to shoot people’s guns, which sometimes causes them to drop it, but it does no damage… is that what you mean by “missing”?

  3. Vladius says:

    “It’s like the pod race in Phantom Menace, except I care.”

    A quote for the ages.

  4. Mari says:

    Some new ideas change the way we play games, and some new ideas are the Nintendo Powerglove.

    This was so profound and amusing that it’s the quote of the day on my Facebook.

    For the record, I’m not sure where a cynic gland is located but I fear that mine has been so chronically swollen by gaming press that it’s in danger of bursting.

  5. guy says:

    I’ve been rather fond of NWN2, except for the goddamn caves of a million orcs (and nothing else), and was also very fond of Fallout 2, so I do have high hopes for New Vegas.

    Now, XCOM I totally agree with you on. I’ve actually seen a handful of non-E3 previews, and they just make me less happy. Elerium does not cause aggressive behavior in local ants!

  6. Irridium says:

    I don’t think that game trying to pretend to be XCOM was needed. Everyone seems to already be very wary of the game.

    Also, they need to change thats game’s name. No matter what they say, its not an XCOM game.

    But yeah, basically my sentiments with everything else. Especially New Vegas.

  7. Zukhramm says:

    One screenshot from SWTOR? I’ve seen many screenshots and a couple (not nearly enough though) of in-game movies.

    But yes, theres not much interesting me either. New Vegas, the european release of Demon’s Souls, The Last Guardian, The Old Republic and Guild Wars 2 (the last two I will probably tire of quickly considering they’re MMOs).

    The new Kirby game was the only interesting reveal at E3.

    Edit: Oh, and Journey, although they haven’t really shown anything of it.

  8. Lupis42 says:

    Obsidian said all the right things in the NWN2 interviews. Things like “Nobody was happy with bodies just turning into little bags of loot, so we’re going to do something different” (They didn’t) and “We’re going to do a good job on the story” (Which ends with rocks fall everyone dies).

    • Zukhramm says:

      Yes, but they… But this time…

      But. But!

      • Raygereio says:

        Everyone is entitled to a second chance. Obsidian got one, it was called Mask of the Betrayer and it was every kind of awesome.
        I’m serious about that; Obsidian lived up to their Black Isle legacy for that game (or expansion). If you own NWN2 and were disapointed with it, pick MotB up.

        When I think about it, Obsidian does have an odd track record of picking shitty publishers that screw them over. With kotor2 it was LucasArt cutting their development time down. With NWN2 it was Atari supplying an ancient buggy codebase for NWN. And with Alpha Protocol it’s sega arbitrarily pushing the release date back for 8 months.
        You’d think they would learn after the first mistake.

        • Heron says:

          It happens to everyone. Star Trek Online was released at least a half-year before it’ll actually be ready, because Atari told Cryptic “we want you to release it now.” (Based on Cryptic’s roadmap, the Season Two content patch is about when I’ll consider it “as done as it should have been before release”.)

          ‘Course, there are some companies that finish when they finish and they don’t care what other people say, like Blizzard and Valve.

        • Zukhramm says:

          I would play through MotB, I actually own it, but there’s something with the NWN2 engine that I just can’t stand. (Yes, I know, then why did I buy the game AND the expansion?!)

        • acronix says:

          MoTB was a huge change in my book to what I expected from Obsidian, even though retconning their mishap on the OC ending was sort of a cheap shot (but it´s better than not retconing it). I can´t remember any evident bugs in that expansion, and even the Toolset stopped crashing. I could actually make half a project with it! Then Storm of Zehyr was out, and they trashed it all again with unsolveable CTD, corrupt savegames (and module files for the toolset). Let´s hope New Vegas turn out to be another, less-quiality MoTB.

        • swimon says:

          I’m sorry but mask of the betrayer means nothing (I haven’t played it so I’m not bashing the game itself). After the pointless boredom that was oblivion Bethesda too redeemed themselves with the expansion pack Shivering Isles, it brought back the fantasy and exploratory joy of Morrowind (it also brought railroading but I digress). After that though they went ahead and made FO3 a complete mess of a game.

          It’s the same with Obsidian. I know they have a shining past and they made that one allegedly good expansion but they also made Alpha Protocol and KoToR 2.

          All in all I think New Vegas is going to suck, and I will probably get it at launch since I’m a moron and I never learn :/

          • Nalano says:

            Obsidian has exactly what the gaming industry needs: Writers.

            Which is exactly why it seems like their publishers never properly fund them.

            Mask of the Betrayer obviously was the best thing to come out of their studio, which admittedly isn’t a lot, but then all us grognards really care about when it comes to Obsidian is not their current studio but the legacy of Black Isle: Black Isle, the progenitors of the golden age PC RPG.

  9. Factoid says:

    Shamus I must compliment you on your recent strategy of putting up the first couple paragraphs of your Escapist columns here on the blog and in your RSS feed. I didn’t used to read many of them for whatever reason. Now I find I’m clicking through to The Escapist to read the full thing.

    If that required any arm-twisting of your publishers give them this comment as evidence that it’s a good tactic to draw people to their site.

  10. eri says:

    I was actually about to write a blog post about how much of a disappointment this E3 was, to the point where it’s practically looking like the death of the gaming industry to me. Sadly I haven’t been able to summon the time or state of mind to write on it yet. I’m not so concerned with the quality of the games coming out (we’ve already got about as we can get when it comes to games, mechanically), but rather with the dire lack of creativity and originality. It seems like for every new game idea that is genuinely fresh and interesting, we have a dozen sequels to established shooter franchises.

  11. PurePareidolia says:

    I’ve been thinking on very similar lines. Hell I’ve even been following NMA and trying to gauge the ‘hardcore’ fan reaction.

    Looking at the demos, they only show a very limited section of the game, but nothing I can immediately find fault with. Infact it looks like everything is improved from Fallout 3 and I have yet to find something that contradicts that (of course it is a promotional demo, so obviously I shouldn’t be able to). I’ll be the first to admit I’m not the best judge of what a “fallout” game should or should not be – I’ve not yet played through the first ones (hence watching NMA). Hell I’ll even admit the tightened up FPS mechanics are impressing me, but in my defense, I read in an interview New Vegas will include four critical paths to the endgame, so what roleplaying hints we have are easily as impressive.

    A kind of “fallback” factor for me if this does turn out broken or bad is that because it will ship with the GECK, there can be mods as early as week 1, as well as even ports from Fallout 3. Bugginess can be ironed out by an unofficial patch the same way FO3’s was. If we really want to play after the main quest, that can happen. These Gamebyro games are some of the most mod friendly games ever made so even if the vanilla one has problems, they can be mitigated or even solved.

    Now obviously I’m hoping that won’t be the case, but it was with Fallout 3 and Oblivion and they’re not only fun to play, but can have an extremely long shelf life.

  12. Jep jep says:

    Being cynic is the easiest way to be. I still like to be optimistic, or try to be anyway. I’d agree about NV that the track record of Obsidian isn’t too convincing, but I still have my hopes up. I’ll be most probably buying it anyway, unless they really manage to shit it up big time. Waiting for the actual reviews is always good. When it comes to hype in general, I’ve gotten used to ignore most of it over the years and just try to pick up the important bits. That’s the best you get out of them usually anyway.

    I’d have disagree about Old Republic. While admittedly there’s not much prevalent info out, I would say that it’s currently still the best hope when it comes to future MMO’s, because current gen MMO’s are getting fairly redundant when it comes to content and story-telling. While enjoyable, there hasn’t been much improvement how they handle them. Lotro may be an expection with the whole Epic Quest-system, and the skirmish-system they put up last fall, but in general, I’d like to see more engaging story-telling and generally somekind of attempt at breaking away from the set standards of “fetch 25 Rodian skulls but only 25% of them actually have one” etc.

    There’s definetly room for skepticism, but on the other hand, if they do manage to pull off what they’ve promised, it’ll set up a whole new bar in MMO-standards. And how are they going to pull everything off they’ve promised? Heck if I know, but that’s their problem to solve, not mine. We’ll see.

  13. GoodApprentice says:

    Speaking of xcom…

    For those original xcom fans out there, after two long (long) years in development by volunteers and fanatics, UFO:Alien Invasion 2.3 has been released today. It is a free game that seeks to update but maintain the spirit of the original xcom. The website can be found here:

    http://ufoai.ninex.info/wiki/index.php/News

    Like I said, it’s free, so download it and give it a go. If you like what you get, please mention it in their forums. Sorry about using your forum to plug this project Shamus, but you started the xcom talk.

  14. swimon says:

    KoToR is probably one of my favourite games of all time so this hurts to say but: I think The Old Republic is going to suck.

    See the problem I have is voice acting, it’s nice and Bioware is good at it but it costs a lot.

    The problem then is that an MMO needs to be continually updated to stay interesting and combining that with choosing your path and voice acting will become very expensive. This means that updates will probably be less common than in other MMOs which is a problem because if new content is not added all the time the incentive to keep playing gets very small which means there will be very few high level players.

    Bioware could of course make the game interesting from beginning to end but I doubt it. The meat and potatoes of most MMOs is grind and if the end level stuff isn’t beckoning it’s hard to push through when you’re forced to grind for a level or two. True the game could be good while it lasts but when you quit due to frustration you get no closure and the time you spent just seems wasted.

    • Jep jep says:

      Grinding only sells because it is always rewarded in one way or another in every freaking MMO out there. I don’t see it as a feature that would need to be in every MMO to be succesful. Sure there will probably some of it out there, even in Old Republic, but too many MMOs are built upon the principle that you must grind something, a lot, in order to advance an important area or part of the game and that’s getting old. The point here being that you’re basically forced to do it, or else you’re screwed.

      • Pickly says:

        Agree with the above comment.

        This is actually my biggest concern by far for guild wars 2 (Which is the only game at E3 that I’m currently following), that they’ll throw in much more leveling and grinding sort of gameplay, far beyond the “relatively) small amount in original guild wars (Which is the big thing I liked about the game compared to other MMO’s and diablo 2)

  15. Sean Riley says:

    Obsidian are officially on my s***-list after Alpha Protocol. They’re now basically like Bioware; albiet with more originality, yet with much worse writing and polish.

    • Roll-a-die says:

      Funny thing that, after Alpaca Prototype and Mosque of the Bother, their off my shit list. Bioware went on my shit list around the time they started reusing their plot more than once. It’s gotten to be like Scooby-Doo with them, ANOTHER 4-6 hub adventure, with no consequences for what you do in said hubs, and no recognition of your acts by people outside of said hubs. Another cast of cliche companions with approximately 2 character traits and 2-3 states of emotion.

      • acronix says:

        Don´t forget that those companions aren´t just cliché, but are also remakes of other characters they made before.

        Proud Warrior Dude -> Wrex – Sten – Minsc
        Grumpy Alcoholic Dwarf -> Oghren – Korgan (Mass Effect didn´t have an alcoholic companion, right?)
        Annoying Bitch -> Subject Zero – Morrigan – Viconia
        Whinning Guy with Daddy Issues -> Every Mass Effect 2 character – Alistair – Nalia.
        Comedic Relief -> Joker – Oghren (if you are into that sort of comedy) – Jan
        Suppousedly Wise but Annoying Woman -> Miranda – Wynne – Jaheira
        The Supernatural Fella -> Legion – Shale – Haer-Dalis.
        And a huge ETC for every other game.

    • Kjetil says:

      Obsidian has worse writing than Bioware!?!?

      I suspect you wouldn’t recognize good writing if it bit you in the ass.

      • Shamus says:

        Steady now. The BioWare vs. Obsidian thing is a touchy one.

        Obsidian might not recycle the same 6 characters again and again, but instead they have characters that glom onto you and follow you around and criticize everything you do.

        BioWare might recycle a story structure, but t least they HAVE A COMPLETE ARC. And endings are important to me.

        And so on. It’s a matter of taste.

        I’m always willing to believe that Obsidian CAN do better, but they have yet to make the case.

        • krellen says:

          You didn’t play Mask of the Betrayer, having been burned by the plot door in NWN2, did you?

          • Shamus says:

            It wasn’t just the plot door. It was

            * Followers who hated me and quarreled with me over petty bullshit.
            * The reprehensible ending.
            * The bugs.
            * The loading times.
            * The useless companion combat AI.
            * And the plot door.

            I didn’t think giving Obsidian a chance to make it up to me by paying them more money was a wise move. For either of us.

            • some random dood says:

              The writing in Mask of the Betrayer was (mostly) enjoyable. The story was more about the character, and an interesting tale. (I also really enjoyed the story in KOTOR 2.)
              Um, just kinda squint and forget the ending though (at least, if you played the goodie goodie way, the end well and truly wimped out). (Sigh.) Just the usual from Obsidian then?
              Anyway, just to mention that the journey was enjoyable, and I think that at least Obsidian are one of the very few teams that can tell an interesting story. But, I agree, they do seem to have difficulty in finding satisfactory endings that the story practically promised.

        • tremor3258 says:

          but instead they have characters that glom onto you and follow you around and criticize everything you do

          Left Morrigan in camp too, huh?

          • Roll-a-die says:

            And Bastila, and Carth, and Jaheira, and The Council/Illusive Man.

            • acronix says:

              But those are lone individuals, sorrounded by a group of people that didn´t whine on every of your actions (unless you went against their alignment).
              Now, I must say that in my experience on NWN2 I didn´t got sick of the companions, except the elven druid, and Bishop, and Qara…and Sand…all right, I think got sick of all of them except the dwarf, the gnome (even though gnomes are my racial enemy) and Neeshka. So…there lays the problem. In NWN2 the PC is surrounded by a bunch of unsympathetic people.

              • Roll-a-die says:

                Haven’t played NWN2, but KotOR2 was actually far better than KotOR1 in regards to companions and companions in NWN1 were pretty much 1d stereotypes.

                • somebodys_kid says:

                  I would agree that KOTOR 2 had much stronger characters than KOTOR 1…though I wish Obsidian would have actually finished the game….

                • Roll-a-die says:

                  KotOR 2 was forced out the door a year before it was ready, Lucas Arts basically said, “We need it by Christmas.”

                  NWN2 was made with a quite honestly ANCIENT Aurora code base(0.9.8 IIRC.)As in 2 versions BEFORE the patches Bioware did to make the game decent. Atari gave it to them as well as forced them to release it early.

                  AP, Sega forced them to take a massive 8-month break where they weren’t funded to decide if they were even going to publish it.

                  NV will have been made in around 16 months.

                  Obsidian has spent their lifetime as a dev studios being shit on by publishers, it quite like Troika in a way.

                • Irridium says:

                  Yeah, with a bit more time and polish, KOTOR 2 could have easily surpassed KOTOR 1.

                  Great characters, good story (sans ending), and fun gameplay. Well I found it fun.

  16. (LK) says:

    It’s like the pod race in Phantom Menace, except I care.

    Do you think of these ahead of time then find a good place to use them, or is that off the top of your head? :P

    (I laughed)

  17. Someone says:

    It scares me to admit that 2.5 years have passed since the last time I was genuinely excited about a new release. I dont even remember what it was. Bad times ladies and gentlemen, bad times.

    As for New Vegas I am confident in the success of Obsidian, if only because of how low the standards are at this point. And I liked NWN2. Worst case scenario – we get FO3 again, but with better world and story.

    And if we are lucky, free from unreasonable release dates, Obsidian will deliver a true 3d successor to the Fallout throne, a game about choice, and freedom, and roleplaying in a postnuclear world; do what Bethesda couldnt and create an all time classic, bringing about the reneissance of complex western RPGs, and XCOM will not suck, and publishers will stop destroying PC market with unreasonable DRM, and there will be no more conflict in the world, and Valve will release episode 3, free together with a TF2 update and remaining two meet the team videos.

  18. DmL says:

    What no love (hate) for Zelda? : )

    • Shamus says:

      I don’t really pay much attention to the news about handhelds, since I don’t use them myself.

      • Danath says:

        The new Zelda for the Wii I think he meant.

        Also Witcher 2! Woo.

        • Mari says:

          LOL Yeah, because Shamus had such big love for Witcher ;-)

          • Shamus says:

            I’ve been meaning to give the game a look again since they released the update that fixed to fractured dialog, the loading screens, and a bunch of other little issues.

            It won’t fix the fact that I still can’t stand Geralt, but of all the games I’ve disliked, The Witcher stands alone as one I wish I could have liked. And yes I realize that sounds odd.

            • Danath says:

              I played through it again since the update, loading times are still quite noticable even if it is better. Dialogue is improved if still a bit off at some places, just a bunch of things.

              Not sure if it’ll be enough to change your mind on the game, which is too bad, the consequence and dialogue system in the game was fantastic I thought.

            • X2-Eliah says:

              Probably it’d be best if you don’t. If you can’t stand Geralt, you won’t like it even with the fixes, and if you go in there an expect everything to be magically different and totally not as you recall, you might be disappointed.

              In any case, I know I liked it, so no skin off my bones.

      • Nick Bell says:

        The new Zelda is a Wii game.

        Edit: Too slow. =(

      • DmL says:

        Heh, soon they will ALL be handhelds. : )

        • (LK) says:

          Yeah, give it 20 years and you’ll be able fit a PS3-grade console in your hand.

          I like to remind myself that the pocket-sized calculator I carry around today is 8 times more powerful than the very expensive navigation computer used to control the flight path of the Apollo capsule, and that thing had to do continuous multiple-vector calculations.

          Decades before that, in WWII, the computer required to do continuous multiple-vector calculations for naval gun aim adjustment was a machine nearly the size of a car full of hundreds of pounds of precisely machined gears, levers, and cams.

          … and a PSP is doing that kind of thing many many times a second for every curve and line and surface it renders on screen.

    • Chris says:

      I guess that the Nintendo presentation didn’t give anything in particular to whine about, meaning we’re not getting any snarky posts, and the news I’ve heard about Zelda has been fairly average (looks good, but not most exciting thing out there). Anyways, the users here tend to seem more interested in the HD consoles and PC than the Wii a lot of the time.

      Edit: Ninja’d!

    • X2-Eliah says:

      Is thee any reason at all to be excited over it beyond the “OMG ZELDA & LINK” thing some people have?

      • Falcon says:

        Yeah, because Nintendo has a history of producing obscenely fun and polished titles. The ratio of good to bad in their first party software is horrendously lopsided. So while they may not be the most innovative all the time, they tend to be the most fun.

  19. ATMachine says:

    Shamus, have you been following the progress of the Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge Special Edition remake? It looks to be pretty awesome. It’s very much like the Special Edition version of The Secret of Monkey Island that came out last year.

    However, the MI2 remake has some exciting new features. The three original creators of the MI series–Ron Gilbert, Tim Schafer, and Dave Grossman–have recorded a developer commentary track, Valve-style, which you can listen to at various points during the game. Plus, there’s a gallery featuring much of the concept art that went into making the original game, which is quite cool.

    Also, the new episodic Monkey Island game that came out last year, Tales of Monkey Island, is currently available on DVD, and you can buy it directly from the creators, the fine folks at Telltale Games. It’s quite excellent, and a worthy sequel.

  20. Ramsus says:

    Well the only thing that I know of that showed at E3 (I didn’t really pay much attention as…well I never do) that I even care about is TOR. And yes the whole time I’ve been sort of annoyed we had yet to see any real gameplay footage. At this point there’s a least a bit out there now (because apparently some lucky bastard did get to play a bit of it). Sadly that footage is really not long enough to make any major judgment calls. Then again even if this is Bioware’s shoddiest work ever it will still almost certainly be better than most MMO’s out there anyway. I mean really they’ve been promising us story since day one…that’s more than any MMO has ever pretended to do as far as I know. It may not end up being the best thing of all time but I really don’t see it being Champions Online either. And well….if it is….on the upside I’m sure we’ll get a hilarious Let’s Play out of it.

  21. WarlockofOz says:

    I’ll go against the grain here and say I’m more excited about upcoming games than I have been in a long time with new versions of Civ, Portal, Starcraft and Diablo expected. Admittedly those are all sequels but it’s been a long time between drinks.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Same here.And though these are sequels,they are sequels from developers that have proved they can deliver great sequels(civ 2-4,half life 2+episodes,diablo 2,warcraft 2 and 3).So its starcraft this summer,and civ in the end of the year.It will be a nice year.

  22. Neil Polenske says:

    Okay, regarding XCOM:

    Let me get this straight, you’re complaining that the aesthetic choice they made doesn’t match the original? That’d be fine and dandy if the link you provided of the original XCOM intro showed an aesthetic worth keeping. First off, that’s not ‘anime style’ that’s ‘crappy early 90’s comic style’ that has been derided for the past two decades for a damn good reason. That intro looked like ass and in terms of pure aesthetics, the new one is nothing but an improvement as far as I’m concerned.

    • Shamus says:

      Fine. Ditch the art style. But keep the international angle? Or the base building? Look, SOMETHING? Okay? The point was that the 50’s thing is a whole different idea.

      This is not a sequel. It’s the harvesting of a brand name. Saying, “but I don’t like the old game” doesn’t excuse that.

      • Michael says:

        At the risk of sounding slightly sycophantic, I actually like the shift to ’50s aesthetic. It’s a perfect mesh for the genre of alien invasions. But, seriously, it’s the 1950s, why isn’t XCom competing with the Soviets on two fronts? Scrambling to get Alien tech before the Russians do? I mean, the new setting almost demands the international angle more than the original one did.

      • MrPyro says:

        The new XCOM game is supposed to have some kind of base element, although whether it actually involves any building has yet to be clarified (I’ve seen an interview with the devs, and they were very cagey about a lot of how the game was going to work).

        In terms of a re-make made by fans, I’m currently looking forward to Xenonauts

  23. Shmun says:

    So, tangentially related topic: the Old Republic article you link to has that “Hope” trailer, which the writer just fawned over. It was kinda cool at first, but then the Jedi shows up, and it’s all so very far downhill from there. I’m trying not to rant about how trite and silly the double-bladed lightsaber thing is, but goddamn.

    Anyway, this trailer is all it takes to get people hyped up for the game? They seem to be assuming the damn thing will play just like that, despite being an MMO. That’s a pretty big leap to make. I’d wager we’ll get something more like EVE Online than Republic Commando.

  24. Just one correction, Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood is not multiplayer only. There is still a single player mode, it’s just that this is the first game in the series to feature multiplayer (and by the looks of it something a bit more original than the standard deathmatches in every other game) so that’s the thing that Ubisoft are hyping up the most. Link: http://assassinscreed.uk.ubi.com/brotherhood/news/11436.html

    Other than that, I agree with all of your points. The really annoying thing about XCom is that they could have just used a different title and I would have been excited by that trailer.

  25. acabaca says:

    Speaking of E3 killjoys, Spoony has an interesting interview with a guy who proudly showcases how Fable 3 has the worst inventory system in the history of video games:

    http://spoonyexperiment.com/

    When the guy said lists are old hat, I thought “great, maybe we’ll finally get icon based inventories like what PC has had since 80’s” and then he shows… a ROOM? That you have to spend time walking around in? How about making the main menu a room where you have to run around to find the “load” button, hmm? Or making a version of Windows where you have to run around to find the icons?

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Yeah,I thought thats gonna get really old really fast.There is a reason why inventories are list based.

      Also,spoonys words on new vegas arent very promising.

    • acronix says:

      A room. How original. I bet they probably got the idea after playing Assasin´s Creed 2.

    • Irridium says:

      I honestly don’t know how Fable can get any more simple. Fable 2 was one of the easiest games I’ve ever played. I enjoyed it (more or less), but it was very, very easy.

      Developers need to stop simplifying games that don’t need to be freaking simplified.

  26. Axle says:

    E3 is one big PR event, so I don’t realy understand why people are taking the E3 demos so seriously. Publishers always show how AWESOME their games without giving too much practical information about the games and we are left with a bunch of pointless videos full of explosions…

    Regarding Obsidian: I am one those people who thinks that NWN2 is a great game. Besides the sucky ending, the story is quite good, more original than what we are used to, most of the characters are interesting and more…
    The reason I am not running to pre-order New Vegas, is that I don’t like the mechanics of FO3. This whole real world with fantasy aspects (a lab coat that makes you a better scientist for example) and the way the fighting is done, is just not my cop of tea.
    Maybe I will get it later when it is modded enough.
    Maybe not.

    I want to buy Aplha protocol but I am waiting for it to be patched properly and priced lowerly (can I asy lowerly?).

  27. Davie says:

    But Fallout 3 wasn’t terrible.
    Granted, that’s not saying New Vegas will be good, but certain people consider the newest installment of Fallout to actually be pretty decent. So I’m not ready to give up on New Vegas simply because I don’t think the format will work.

  28. Vegedus says:

    My gut is telling me that it New Vegas can, in the “will I like it” department, be considered an expansion to FO3. It’ll be upgraded and changed in quite a number of small ways, and pretty much the same in all the big ways. The writing has a very equal chance of being better or worse, though the plothook doesn’t make me hopeful. An assasination attempt in the degenerate wastelands leading to a grand quest sounds about as coherent as most of the plot holes that are pointed out in Spoiler Warning.

    Since opinions on Fallout 3 are so extreme (generally ranging from “great game” over “good game, bad Fallout” to “mutilation of Fallout and every other RPG ever”), I’m betting one’s appreciation for New Vegas will be proportional for one’s appreciation of the former. The critics will still love it, and the objective worth of the game will be hotly (hot as flames) for years to come.

    I can’t agree more on the XCOM thing, though. At the first announcement of it, it sounded like they’d stripped it of ALL the original gameplay, but might have some of the same style or feel. Now I’m fully convinced they’re deliberately trolling the fanbase to generate some free PR, since the benefit of the name alone is negligible.

  29. Mia says:

    Today, I went to the beach front with my children.
    I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.”
    She placed the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it
    pinched her ear. She never wants to go back!
    LoL I know this is totally off topic but I had to tell someone!

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