Photographs by Daniel Boczarski.
In our second day we jumped into Sony’s booth taking a look at the upcoming PlayStation family of games. We initially took a look at a newly announced titled Bloodborne, from the creator of Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls, Bloodborne is a PlayStation 4 exclusive title in the same vein as the previous Souls games. We were shown a hands off 10 minute gameplay demo that took us through a dark gothic land full of atmosphere and style that was akin to vampire hunting movies. Fans of the Souls series will feel right at home with the gameplay of Bloodborne as the gameplay was very similar to the previously mentioned games with an emphasis on sword and gun combat, and less on sword and shield. What was shown was very early and had very visible performance problems but no doubt will be addressed before release sometime next year. Among Sony’s offerings we had hands on time with The Order 1886, Hohokum, Entwined, Freedom Wars and CounterSpy.
The Order 1886 is a PlayStation 4 exclusive action adventure third person shooting game set in an alternate history London filled with crazy guns, cinematic flair, and human monster half breeds for you to hunt. The game had a unique visual style and great graphics, featuring interesting character, world, and weapon designs. The demo was fairly short but gave us a taste of the combat and cinematic style as we moved through the city fighting a group of hostile humans. Our primary weapon was a thermite gun that shot combustible powder in the air with primary fire, and a ball of flame that ignited the powder with secondary fire. Even though the demo was short, the atmosphere, graphics and extremely awesome gun made The Order 1886 an exclusive game worth keeping an eye on.
We also took a look at Hohokum; a quirky, colorful, and downright strange puzzle flying game and Entwined; a stylishly beautiful indie game where you bring together two spirits in love. If you’re a fan of the weird, the artsy or just interesting new experiences check these two titles out!
Then we grabbed some hands on time with Freedom Wars, an action adventure game for the PlayStation Vita. Freedom Wars is a multiplayer co-operative focused monster hunting game similar to the Monster Hunter or God Eater series of games. Set in a post apocalyptic world, Freedom Wars looked good and felt good to play. Recommended if you’re looking for a cooperative game on the Vita.
Finally we took a look at CounterSpy, a 2D action stealth game set in the cold war era. You take the role of either a Russian or American spy trying to stop the other side from launching nukes. It offered great 2D stealth mechanics, with an arsenal of melee and both silent and non-silent weaponry you have plenty of options to use while you race against the clock to prevent nuclear annihilation. With the great tense gameplay and fresh art style CounterSpy kept me engaged up until the end.
Our Nintendo appointment was one that we had looked forward to leading up to the show, as Nintendo’s ability to keep their in-development titles secret until their reveals has always paved the way for a lot of surprises during their Nintendo Direct E3 broadcasts. This year was no different as we were introduced to unique new titles like Mario Maker as well as a line of NFC-capable figurines of Nintendo characters called “amiibo.”
We were able to get some hands-on time with the stellar lineup Nintendo has in store for the Wii U. Super Smash Bros is a very polished fighter and will not disappoint anyone familiar with the franchise, nor new fans trying out the series for the first time. With vibrant and detailed environments, the game is as beautiful as it is frantic.
One game of interest was something different for Nintendo, a completely new IP called Splatoon which is unique as the company generally tries to play it safe by using their familiar lineup of characters. Splatoon is a third-person perspective multiplayer shooter which has you wielding a paint gun to color arenas. You can transform into a squid which can maneuver between puddles of paint to help you get around the environment. It looks to be a fun and approachable title that should appeal to everyone.
The rest of Nintendo’s lineup was impressive as well, with a range of titles that include the more familiar lineup of Nintendo characters that we all know. Yoshi has a new title called Yoshi’s Wooly World, with a charming visual style, and Kirby also gets his own new title called Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, and even Toad gets some well-deserved recognition with a spin-off of the Super Mario 3D World’s Captain Toad segments.
All in all it seems that Nintendo has finally gotten some strong titles together, which is just what they needed after some general disinterest in the Wii U without the strong first-party support that it required. It seems like it is finally looking up in the games department and Nintendo is on track for heading in the right direction.