Yes, that rhyme was intentional and, yes, I am hilarious.
E3 is well underway now and there have been plenty of exciting announcements. A new PlayStation portable device, a new Nintendo console, a plethora of newly announced titles: the list goes on and on. And, while we here at Digitally Downloaded feel that digital distribution is the way of the future, that’s not to say that we don’t get just as excited about new retail releases as the rest of you.
To that end, here’s my top picks of E3 2011, both downloadable and retail.
(PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
As you can see from the video, the game looks gorgeous. Apparently, Bethesda has developed an entirely new engine to run this game: no more with the awkward movement animations; no more with the character facial animations that sit squarely in the “uncanny valley”; no more with horrible game-wrecking bugs that can have you sitting inside terrain features. Instead, we have smooth animations, believable character models and breathtaking environment vistas.
Everything about this game looks amazing. From the absolutely gorgeous graphics at work to the interesting combat mechanics to the compelling level design to the amazingly detailed character models to the brilliant inclusion of intelligent creatures with random behaviours (like the aggressive dragons or the wandering tribes of frost giants), everything sounds and looks incredible.
With a gigantic world that dwarfs even Oblivion’s expansive landscape, and so many gameplay hours that even the developers have admitted they lost count, I expect Skyrim to be a strong contender for game of the year for 2011. The release date is scheduled for November 11, 2011 (a Friday of all days), so mark your calendars and prepare yourselves: this will be one hell of a game.
This game looks prettier than Skyrim (if that’s even possible) and that’s mostly because of the newly announced id Tech 5 engine that is making its debut with Rage. The style of the game looks like a combination between Borderlands and Fallout 3; much like the latter, Rage is a first-person shooter set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland where you wander around and accept quests given to you by people in the world. The other Borderlands-esque side of the coin involves how you get between the towns: namely, you spend a large section of the game driving around in dune buggies rigged with machine guns and rocket launchers.
Besides the amazing graphics that the game boasts, one of the most interesting things about this game is the combat. Well, rather than generalize it like that, let me specify: Rage has so many guns, so many different types of ammo and so many gadgets that there seems to be endless ways to play the game. Do you want to snipe from afar? You can do that. Rock a shotgun up close? You can do that instead. Want to drive an RC car strapped with explosives and blow up your enemies? You can do that too.
id has never disappointed and I doubt they will start with Rage. With how gorgeous it looks and how fun the gameplay looks, I’m expecting great things.
Merging stealth gameplay, roleplaying character building and first-person shooting aspects, Human Revolution will truly allow you to play the game the way you want to. If you want to specialize in stealth and install such cybernetic improvements like the ability to turn invisible, you can do that. You’re allowed to specialize in demolitions and learn how to properly handle a grenade launcher. There will even be large parts of the game devoted to talking to characters in an attempt to gain information for them.
This is a game for everybody. The setting is an amazing homage to Blade Runner and the story is woven so tightly with conspiracy theories that it will make any science fiction fans proud. The combat is as diverse as you want it to be, and with things like customizable weapons, custom-created ammunition and a cover system, even the run-and-gunners will be happy playing through the Baroque world Eidos has created.
I have to admit, since Eidos was acquired by Square-Enix, they have produced nothing but stellar titles. Eidos has always been a powerhouse developer but with the monetary backing of Square-Enix, they’ve truly been able to go wild and produce amazing products. I have to say that I am excited for this game, and cannot wait for it to be released.
Besides, it’s coming out on August 23rd, 2011, the day before my birthday. It’s obviously marketed directly at me.
I am intrigued at the prospect of the gameplay design: being able to manipulate landscapes is very interesting and a very novel idea. Of course, don’t get the wrong idea: it’s not a sandbox game solely about manipulating landscapes. The purpose of the game is to follow and protect the tribe of your followers and the gameplay revolves around that task.
There’s also some interesting backstory revolving around the tribe and how they have forgotten their magical heritage. Most of the objectives involve guiding your tribe to totems that will teach them songs they can use to manipulate the landscape around them. For instance, in the demo that everyone has spoken about, you must guide your tribe to a totem that will protect them from an incoming tsunami (which you keep track of by a countdown timer located on screen). You do this by — as I mentioned earlier — creating a bridge with sand between two islands. A later level involves you having to redirect a river. A further challenge involves drawing lava from a volcano and dropping it on a mountainside to create a larger wall of rock. I imagine there will be even more complicated and interesting objectives further into the game but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
From Dust is scheduled for release sometime this year and will be coming to all digital distribution platforms. Again, because I’m super excited about this game, I’ll put up a review as soon as I get the opportunity. And who knows? Maybe Mr. Chahi would be interested in doing an interview for our magazine sometime in the future. We’ll keep you posted.