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Monday, June 11, 2012

Justin's E3

AKA: A bunch of trailers for games that I'm totally looking forward to.

Among the Sleep

Here's a cool idea: a game where you play as a toddler. With monsters.

I'm not sure what this game is ultimately going to end up as, but the main site suggests that there will be obstacles, as in this is more than just a walk-through experience with no interactivity.


Despite the name, this trailer doesn't do a terribly good job of demonstrating the gameplay, but I'm more interested in showing the setting, which is fantasy, whaling, steampunk, muttonchops, and lots of disease.

This game has turned me into a bit of a grump because passer-bys have this incredible compulsion to label the game as a mix of two or three things they played last year, which isn't anything new, but in this case it's all anyone can say. Bioshock, Assassin's Creed, Fable, Skyrim, Half-Life 2, Hitman. Sure, whatever, Internet. Could somebody call out Deus Ex or Thief? Just like Dishonored, in those games you're given a level and a billion verbs, and you've got to reach your objective using all the tools at your disposal, but you use them at your own discretion. Despite what the trailer would lead you to believe, you don't actually need to kill anyone in the game.

And the lead designers worked on projects like Dark Messiah and Arx Fatalis, which are games famous for their unique concepts and emergent gameplay coupled with their painful flaws (Arx had this single room with a jumping puzzle that has got to be the worst I've ever seen in a video game).
Unlike those titles, Dishonored looks to be offering all the good stuff and none of the bad, which is good.


I already knew that Neal Stephenson was a talented author. What I didn't know was that he's also Bond villain with a secret lab.

Oh yeah, he's also doing a game.

After watching this video, I now understand the kind of person who can write Snow Crash.

The Last of Us

Something to keep in mind while watching? None of the action you're seeing belongs to a scripted, happens-every-time event. That brutal execution at the end was the player's choice, and not entirely necessary.

I love the banter between the other survivors (the enemies). Having good back-and-forth between AI while the player is sneaking past is a staple of video games, and doing it well is an art.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my God. I was pretty excited about the creative ideas in this lineup, but The Last of Us... the action was impressive, but even more impressive was how the people react with one another. They don't just seem like waves of AI that are on "alert mode." And the kid isn't just a magical pixie lady that heals you or maybe blows up your brain if you leave a 50 yard radius because...? Characterization and setting is developed while you're walking. Dynamic characterization as you choose to fight or not fight. The guy actually looks like he's reacting to the bullets, not just getting red spots on his shirt (although I'm still impressed he can take out these muscly guys after being shot at). Are you playing as a good guy? A bad guy? It's hard to tell, given the context (just because a little girl's present doesn't mean he's not actually a psychopath), but that's what makes this fun. I'm stoked about what I'm seeing with this one. Very, very stoked.