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The Worthwhile Bits Of E3 2015

While we don’t care much about what E3 represents and/or presents, it sometimes happens to coincide with certain revealings in the world of video games, and that’s what matters to us. So, here you are and a sum of all things worthwhile from this year’s festival.

Part A. Game Titles

“The Solus Project”

Genre: First-Person Adventure/Survival/Puzzle
Release Date: Q1 2016
Platforms: PC/Xbox One


Looking absolutely nothing like “The Ball,”  — which, although a game I enjoyed more than “Portal,” wasn’t exactly my cup-of-tea — this newly announced first-person survival/adventure title from Hourences, has the potential to become one of the better games of 2016, if not the best. It’s somewhere between a video game sequel to “The Quiet Earth” and “S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow Of Chernobyl” in outer space without any other stalkers to shoot at. That, and a more optimized Unreal Engine 4, unlike the abysmal performances we’ve seen so far, as in “Pneuma: Breath Of Life”, “Daylight,” and more recently; “Kholat,” “Hatred.”

“Doom”

Genre: FPS/Arena Shooter
Release Date: Spring 2016
Platforms: PC/Xbox One/PS4


Enough said. No, not the Devo tune; this.

“Outward: The Adventurer Life Sim”

Genre: Third-Person ARPG/Open World/Co-Op/Survival
Release Date: TBA
Platforms: PC/Xbox One


“Gothic” and “Severance: Blade Of Darkness” get-together sexed with local co-op and both hunting/camping mechanisms? And they say “No Man’s Sky” is an ambitious indie project. See Outward, the game showcased during Microsoft’s conference (the “ID@Xbox” section, which was basically about fast-forwarding — read: ruining — tons of great indie game trailers).

“Hitman”

Genre: Third-Person Action-Adventure/Stealth/Sandbox
Release Date: December 8, 2015
Platforms: PC/Xbox One/PS4


“Absolution,” was fine, but that was all it was. That means except for two or three missions, it never occurred to me to go back and play the entire game from scratch. And most people who had played any of the other installments would recognize that as huge step back. Now, a major part of that had to do with the overly dramatic narration of the game, and how that led to decisions in level design that were not so Hitman. The above trailer released for “Hitman,” as well as the last two handheld iterations, “Hitman Go” and “Hitman Sniper,” all point out a more composed storyline that only gets charged by the player’s actions, and not simply because the plot’s plagued with a pre-set melodrama. Seriously, I can deal with the extra Hollywoodian cheese in a game, but not with 24/7/365 Nolan/Zimmer witch-hunt.

“Cuphead”

Genre: Side-Scroller/Run And Gun
Release Date: 1936 (Plus Eighty Years)
Platforms: PC/Xbox One


Quite arguably the very side-scroller I have eyes for.

“Kingdom Come: Deliverance”

Genre: First-Person RPG/Open World/Sandbox
Release Date: Q2/Q3 2016 (PC)/ TBA (Xbox One/PS4)
Platforms: PC/Xbox One/PS4


The RPG aspects aside, “Kingdom Come: Deliverance” makes one imagine how “Dark Messiah” could have been if it were a “Total War” spin-off instead of a “Might And Magic” one. Pretty intriguing indeed, if executed properly. And from what we saw in “Lichdom: Battlemage,” last year, the CryEngine is in good shape, too. So it’s equally expected to be, performance-wise, fluid.

“Soma”

Genre: Survival Horror/First-Person Adventure
Release Date: September 22, 2015
Platforms: PC/PS4


“Soma” is neither the “beneficent non-habit forming-junk” Burroughs talks of, in the introduction to “Naked Lunch,” nor a Stephen O’Malley simulator. It’s quite close, nonetheless, the newest project from Frictional Games, announced months prior to the E3. It reminds me a good deal of “Penumbra: Overture,” and that’s why it’s caught my interest — I’ve never been a fan of the “Amnesia” series to be frank. This is ‘the alternate option’ while we wait for any news on the production of “Routine.”

“Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege”

Genre: Tactical Shooter/FPS
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Platforms: PC/Xbox One/PS4


There is no third-person cover implemented in Siege, like it was in “Rainbow Six: Vegas,” but the game itself seems filled with enough variety in the gameplay to cover up for that. But why, Ubisoft, why?

“Phantasmal: City Of Darkness”

Genre: Procedural Horror/FPS/Sandbox
Release Date: TBA
Platforms: PC/Xbox One


The game was released as an early-access some months ago and seems to have taken the already terrific procedural horror mechanism of titles like “Monstrum” to another level. Possibly — now that Microsoft is also involved — we will see a full-release before the end of the year.

“Deus Ex: Mankind Divided”

Genre: ARPG/Stealth/Sandbox/FPS
Release Date: Q1/Q2 2016
Platforms: PC/Xbox One/PS4


This new installment doesn’t seem to go anywhere that “Deus Ex: Human Revolution” hasn’t gone before, but recalling Human Revolution’s two primary features; the stealth mechanics and the freedom of choice in conversation and action both, makes it something I wouldn’t want to pass over, no matter what.

Part B. Things

“PC Gaming Show”


E3 is mostly about a couple companies propagating their products, so why no PC? Because PC is a platform that poses significant, material threat to many of those same companies, and most importantly, nobody owns PC. That said, PC Gamer’s PC Gaming Show wasn’t necessarily different, and the exact reason they made it there was the show was backed by enough sponsors, which varied from AMD to Microsoft in this case. Still, partly due to the fact it’s the beginning, the whole deal wasn’t as rotten. Just not yet. And from my personal experience, it proved an entertaining one, and, quite forthright, too.

Part Z. More Game Titles

As a fan of the Advanced Warfighter-era Ghost Recon (the console variation) as well as Future Soldier, I still have no clue what Wildlands does have to do with Ghost Recon. Outside of that, the following titles are those falling into the average category, that is according to what’s been shown of them so far. Two other groups of awful and irrelevant also exist but are completely off the subject of this article.

“XCOM 2”
“Superhot”
“The Technomancer”
“Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands”
“Firewatch”
“Shadow Warrior 2”
“Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain”
“Dark Souls III”
“Hellblade”
“Ashen”
“Fable Legends”


Written by Ari Wilson

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