This year’s E3 boasted a lot of good solid games, but I can honestly say I wasn’t knocked on my butt by anything this year. And given the fact that I prefer PC games, it kind of thinned the group for me a bit. But that’s not to say I’m not excited for a couple solid titles.
Pillars of Eternity – Obsidian Entertainment
Yes, this Kickstarter title made its first showing at E3 this year, and it is coming along quite nicely. When you look at it, the isometric view and art design has a distinctive feel of Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale, not surprising since many of the team have ties to the old RPGs in some way. But this is not a D&D game, so Obsidian has come up with its own rule set, its own world and bestiary, and its own classes and races. Unfortunately, what we saw at E3 is under embargo until later this week, but suffice it to say… Damn, I want to play this when it is ready.
Star Citizen – Cloud Imperium Games
Another Kickstarter game I have been keeping track of, and one that looks pretty amazing. Of course, Chris Roberts and his team have $40 million in backer money, so this game better look good. I got to see the new dogfighting module that they put out, and while a bit rough around the edges, it was still pretty engaging. Listening to Roberts talk, it is obvious that this is a passion for him, and he has five different studios around the world working on various aspects of the game, from the open world lore to the planetary combat to the single-player Squadron 42 campaign. Roberts plans to release the game in pieces, and the backers have been pretty receptive and pleased. After seeing the demo. I can see why.
Shroud of the Avatar – Portalarium
Gee, another Kickstarter. Seeing an old-school trend here? Richard Garriott and Starr Long have been putting new iterations of Shroud of the Avatar out to backers every few weeks, and what I’m excited about is the massive player-driven housing market that ends up being cities and towns in the world. Players can buy land and create their own shops and homes that will be accessible to all players. Another fun aspect is weapons and gear created by players that will track the history of the item as players use it. Once it is sold to a vendor, it goes back into the loot table and can miraculously appear again, complete with stats on how many beats it has killed, enchantments added and associated lore. These are just a couple small things that piqued my interest during the demo, and I’ll be waiting for this to materialize sometime late this year.
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel – 2K Games
Ok, it’s a non-Kickstarter game, but I had a ton of fun with Borderlands 2, and while the pre-sequel is more Borderlands, that’s not a bad thing at all. The twist this time is oxygen as a resource, and a zero-G environment that adds a new spin to movement and combat with jetpacks. Time a crouch just right while airborne and you plummet down on top of enemies in a “death from above” style of move. You’ll be getting four new characters to try, including that noisy loudmouth Claptrap, and other notable NPCs from the previous games. All of the gun manufacturers and modifiers will return, making this game another loot grab in the quest for orange and purple gear. Can’t wait to get my hands on this on October 14.
Evolve – 2K Games
This game really surprised me. At the urging of Greg Tito’s wonderful pre-E3 preview, I took a look at this and was immediately enamored with the asymmetrical style of play. Being anti-social and not one for multiplayer games and playing coordinated team tactics, I was totally in my element playing as the monster and just pretending that the players I was gnoshing on were AI driven NPCs. Finally, I could play like a boss as a boss monster. Of course, the cause for the game was significantly bolstered by the fact that the new monster revealed at the show looked like Cthulhu, with some similar powers. Count me in.