Wednesday, 24 June 2015

E3 Round-up

Just a summary of the major points that interested me at E3 (mostly RPG-focused). There are minor gameplay-related spoilers, and very small plot spoilers (relating the premise of a story, not including anything I’d consider twists).

Not going into detail into all these games, but some which caught my eye were: Fallout 4, Mass Effect Andromeda, FFVII, Rise of the Tomb Raider and Uncharted 4.

Fallout 4

I had planned on buying this but waiting either until the price had tumbled or until a Game of the Year edition emerged. Got to say that it looked bloody fantastic, though. A warning: if you check out the videos from E3 about Fallout 4, you may well come across early plot spoilers.

Female protagonist is confirmed, as is the fact both genders are voiced. Courtenay Taylor (Jack in Mass Effect 2) will be FemSurvivor, with Brian T. Delaney voicing ManSurvivor.

Dogmeat returns. He’s also invincible [although M. Bison thought that about himself too], so he won’t get killed. Instead, he’ll get knocked out, and you will get killed. Glad to hear this.

VATS returns but this time it’s slow-mo rather than time-freeze. Probably makes combat more exciting, but as I have the reaction times of a drunk giraffe I’m not sure it’ll suit me.

There’s a rumour (based on Pip-Boy footage) that there will be no skills, just stats and perks.

Mods will be coming to consoles. How it’ll work is unclear (although a console gamer I know that PC mods can be massive, and a lot are a shade risqué, so I guess some at least won’t be transferred), but it will happen for Xbox One in the early part of next year, and come a bit later to PS4 [probably, not sure that’s 100% confirmed].

Crafting looks like it’s had steroids applied, crack injected into its eyeballs and nitroglycerin inserted in every remaining orifice. Not only can you massively customise weapons and armour, you can also build and decorate your own house. And, in fact, your own settlement. Or settlements, to be precise. Generators, lights, turrets, traders, it looks very extensive.

The release date is 10 November 2015.

Mass Effect Andromeda

Not Mass Effect 4. The title, rather than number, helps mark a clean break for the series. Andromeda is a nearby galaxy to the Milky Way, and is used in the title because the human race is looking for more real estate. It’s unclear whether this is to escape the Reapers, or happens long (or soon) after the events of Mass Effect 3.

Sadly, it seems the protagonist must be human once again, but the usual male/female gender option will be present (unclear if we’ll get 2 or 4 potential voice actors).

Release is around Christmas 2016, which is fair enough given people might just have finished with Fallout 4 by that time.


Final Fantasy VII is being remade. Not remastered. As well as graphics being enormously improved, it seems the combat will not feature random encounters and turn-based mechanics but instead adopt a more modern approach. More surprisingly, the story will not be exactly the same. No idea if that means little tweaks here and there, or a full-blown re-write. Whatever they do with mechanics and storyline will cause some people to be annoyed. I just hope they keep the themes the same.

As an aside, it’ll be odd hearing Red XIII’s name. I misread it the first time I played, and have thought of him as Red Eight ever since.

Not Indiana Jones

Lara Croft and Nathan Drake both get new outings (the former coming to Xbox first, the latter a PS4 exclusive, as per usual). I may look at the new Tomb Raider when the price drops (enjoyed the reboot, but I’ve always been off-and-on with the series). Doubt I’ll bother with Uncharted. Liked the first two games but they didn’t grab me enough to keep my interest.

Not a videogame, but glad to hear Xbox is bringing backwards compatibility to its console. Shame that hasn’t happened with the PS4 (and probably won’t). I hope the next generation is another story, but that’s some way off. Backwards compatibility is not only great for gamers, it’s good for the firms because helps lock in loyalty from one generation to the next.


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