My Highs and Lows From E3 2016

This year’s E3 is just okay for me and it is slightly on the lower side of “okay”. Interesting new announced titles are minimal. Some titles who have been staying in stealth either are still hiding their charm or just cannot meet the expectation. VR is spending every resource in the world just to say nothing other than “I exist”. EA’s press conference sucks but maybe it reflects the fact that not all publishers see E3 as the place and time they should unleash all their surprise of a whole year. Fortunately, The Legend of Zelda rocks.

It has to be emphasized that I was not at E3 and neither did I dig every piece of news on the web. I am sure I missed a lot of interesting things, especially some low-profile games that did not receive enough attention from media. And of course, all of the following is my personal opinion, very personal.

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Low

Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War III

Relic made my favorite RTSs in the past but this really looks dumb. Piles of piles of troops standing arbitrarily on a place as flat as a hockey yard and shoot each other. All the texture and visual effects feel very cheap and casual.

Fallout 4 DLCs

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Bathesda deserves more respect than Konami. They have the ball to go head-on-head and say “this is my game, I fuck it when I want”

Many VR games

I am not asserting anything about the future of VR but it is lame now. They are having a hard time fitting itself into the current flow of hardcore gaming, not to mention change it. Some of the games would have difficulty finding publishers if not for VR. At the present, the notation “VR” is like “mobile” or “online”, which suggests the downgrade of all the elements old gamers care and targeting for a new market.

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Mass Effect: Andromeda

How many people still believe this is going to be launched in its full strength in 6-8 months? The tone of this video feels similar to an indie project that is about to go to Kickstarter.

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Average

Kojima

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His appearance carries more political messages than other information. It is not a bad move considering all the humiliation he had last year, but you’d better not keep his new game in mind in the next 2 years.

Days Gone

Usually I just walk away when something does not attract me. But I cannot hide my disappointment when another huge capital is invested into zombie/survival genre.

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Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

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I cannot see the game has evolved as they promised earlier. It is very similar to Human Revolution with no stress on how the bigger map and new gears change the gameplay. Also, no one talked about how they reformed the game in narrative aspects. However, I am aware that this is a game not easy to be showcased and it is still high on my anticipation list.

Final Fantasy XV

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It has exactly the same problems as when I played the demo. The enemies’ attack is too swift with few precursors comparing to Noctis’s lagging movement. The hit box is ambiguous. And of course, the frame rate is bad. The new introduced pause function might help a little but not too much for critical actions like dodging and counterattack which outweighs any traditional tactics in this game. I will have trouble finishing this game.

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildland

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?…

The tactical aspects of this game is like the voice acting in the demonstration: it is not likely to happen in real world. Nothing stands out as the pillar of the gameplay, to prevent this from becoming another generic map cleaner.

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High

Vampyr

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Could this be the very first game with creepy and dark atmosphere that attracts me in? It seems to enjoy a very intricate world building and deep story. Meanwhile the presentation is very friendly and meaningful, unlike Dark Soul. You are really interacting with the inner structure of the world and face a constant stream of choice and consequences

Gwent: The Witcher Card Game

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If one thing can make me forgive the absence of Cyberpunk 2077, it is The Witcher 4. Now half of it is true now as there will be story mode in Gwent. This is sufficient for me to jump in though I am never into card collection.

Persona 5

There is some magic cast in every details that a plain walkthrough looks like a well prepared musical. Shopping, walking around, battle, exploring dungeon...whatever you do, you seem to be riding on a consistent flow of fancy patterns and music.

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Horizon: Zero Dawn

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It is too good to be true that the developer for Kill Zone catches some essence for open world game at their first attempt. I expect a The Witcher 3 with a weaker story and better control and frame rate. The world looks gorgeous with enough variety of encounters.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

I am never a fan of Nintendo, but the existence of this year’s E3 is to bring The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. For the first time ever, Nintendo hit my soft points so hard. Some of the changes are exactly what I have in mind when I play A Link Between Worlds. Tons of collection and crafting elements made it more RPG. It surely is not a grind for loot or a boring open world because there is so many unexpected possibilities you can interact with the world and every battle and dungeon is of its own kind. Nintendo finally set out to realize so many people’s gaming fantasy using its trademarked quality and genius.

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Besides, Nintendo’s way of presentation completely overshadows the rest of industry. When Watch Dogs 2's developer is recycling the same complied footage from Ubisoft’s press conference on IGN and Gamespot on and on, Nintendo gave a whole afternoon of demonstration with non-repetitive live gameplay and a casual chat with developers where any questions can be asked. Such confidence and honesty strike stronger notes than any trailers.

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