74c46166202d8f4ef1a74e511e278b05.png?d=http%3a%2f%2fcheerfulghost.com%2fassets%2favatars%2fheadphone cheerful ghost

Travis

Always outnumbered. Probably always outgunned, too.

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Joined 01/23/2012
Phantasm 4

359 Posts

I'm currently working on a full review of No Man's Sky, but this isn't it. It's a hard game to review, for many reasons, but one thing that's hard to ignore is people's disappointment in things that were missing. I decided to only focus my review on the game as it is (as much as I can), but I felt the need to address this a bit.

The battle cry of people on various gaming forums is "Sean Murray lied!" or "No Man's Lie" or some other variation on that. But were we lied to? People are using the words "promise" and "lie" quite a bit when talking about this game, but those words carry a lot of weight.

There are features missing from the game that were shown or discussed before launch. I chose the video above because it shows portals, something that people were looking forward to, but didn't make the cut. You can find portals in the game, but they don't do anything at all. People have pored over the game files, and there are still references to what might have happened, but as it currently stands they don't function. This, along with many other features, were cut for some reason, including but not limited to: true ship class differentiation (instead of just a bit of a speed/health difference), different resources and climates depending on the distance from the sun, highly varied alien structures, and of course, multiplayer.

For some reason, multiplayer is the one people focus on the most, so I'll go more in depth. Yes, Sean Murray said multiple times in multiple interviews that you could run into other players, but the chances of it were incredibly low because of the size of the galaxy, and in one instance said that if you saw someone you wouldn't know if they were an NPC or another player. But as we know now, two people who happened to be streaming on Twitch ended up in the same place at the same time, and couldn't see each other. An examination of the game files shows no capability for that kind of thing at all-- the only network communications are for uploading your discoveries and seeing other people's discoveries.

Now, I don't understand the hate over this one specifically. Maybe it's just my taste in games. But if you would have no way of knowing if it was another player or an NPC then I don't see it as being a huge issue that it was cut. (However, the current state of NPCs wouldn't allow that either, because they're always behind a desk or manning a trading post, so that's another thing that was cut back.)

So yes, plenty of things were discussed that didn't make the cut. But that happens regularly in game development. We've had years of build-up, so things are expected to change. The question is, what was promised, and were we lied to?

If I make plans to come over to your house for dinner, is that a promise? If I have to cancel because of a flat tire or something unavoidable came up, did I lie about those plans to begin with? I would answer no to both. Planning something isn't a promise, and breaking those plans isn't retroactively lying. It's not a lie if you believe it to be true. However, I would definitely give you a heads up that I wasn't coming so you wouldn't expect me and I never show up.

I think that's the big failing of Hello Games here. It's not that things were cut, it's just that there wasn't enough notification about the changes. Sean Murray dialed back multiplayer expectations in more recent interviews, but didn't come out and say that running into other players was cut. There are still videos on Steam's page for No Man's Sky that at least exaggerate the scale of the game.

I imagine what happened is that they were against a wall. They lost a ton of work in a flood that took out their offices, and that alone may have led to some things getting cut. Even after announcing a release date, they had to push it back some, and in order to prevent another major delay things had to be scaled back in some places. Multiplayer (such as it was) was a great candidate for that because it would require a lot of work to implement something that would barely be seen. Portal functionality may or may not have been replaced with black holes. Some features may have just been time sinks that they could scale back and implement later, after the launch. They had a flood over a year ago that set them back, Sony was probably putting pressure on them to get the game out (Murray has said there are things about that agreement that he wasn't allowed to talk about) so they took a calculated approach to what they could dial back. The game was also originally going to be a PC exclusive, but the deal with Sony involved a PS4 version, so some cuts may have been necessary for that as well (though console limitations are becoming less of an issue). I imagine at least some of these things will be added later on.

And as I said in the last Roundtable, I think Sean Murray was as much of a fanboy in interviews as players can be. I think he was super excited about some things that weren't finalized and may have spoken about things when he shouldn't have.

I used the phrases "I imagine" and "I think" a few times in the two paragraphs above, because I can't know for sure. However, if we got some info about this stuff pre-release, I wouldn't have to imagine.

Ultimately, I like what we have (more on that in the full review). It's missing some things that people were expecting, but I don't think we were lied to at all. Plans had to change for whatever reason, and that happens in game development, but when the game is as much of a media darling as No Man's Sky (even a Stephen Colbert interview), they could have mitigated the backlash by managing expectations better.

EDIT: The full review: http://cheerfulghost.com/Travis/posts/3100/no-man-s-sky-review-procedurally-generated-everything

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There are many types of DLC that gamers have complained about for years. We've heard of on-disc DLC that is developed before the game's release, and the downloadable portion is just an unlock code to get to it. We've heard of day-one DLC that could have been part of the core game (and in some cases, should have been). We all remember horse armor for Oblivion that cost far more than such simple changes should have. But now, we have something new.

Yesterday, the ARK: Scorched Earth expansion pack was released on Steam, for $20. The catch? The game isn't even out yet. This is the first time an Early Access title has received paid DLC, and to my knowledge the first time add-on content was available and playable for a game that hasn't technically released.

ARK is an Early Access title, which means interested gamers can pay now and play the game as development progresses before it's finally "released." But the Early Access model has made "release" a gray area. Some games have stalled in Early Access, leaving players unhappy and out some cash, while some have thrived there.

ARK seems to be in the latter group. The fans of the game are very fond of it, but most would agree that there are bugs and performance issues that need a lot of work. The game was supposed to leave Early Access and be officially "released" a few months ago, but these bugs and performance problems delayed that release.

And now, a paid DLC has been added to the mix. This is the first time an Early Access game has received paid DLC and it's leaving a bad taste in some people's mouths. The game's Steam rating quickly dropped by 16%. Steam reviews aren't always a good indicator for the quality of a game, but that's a clear indication of some unhappy people.

Many argue that the money and time should be spent on fixing the bugs present in the core game, while others point out that multiple teams do different things and this probably didn't take anything away from the bug fixes. The truth is probably somewhere in between, since new DLC will inevitably introduce new variables into the process at best, and at worst could have taken time away from getting the game out.

Either way, some see charging money for new content for a game that isn't out as a slight to the player base, regardless of how much it affects the release window.

Plus, there are many complaints about the value of the $20 price tag for what some are calling a meager amount of content, considering that the full game is $30.

I'm not sure where I fall on this, but regardless of this specific case, what I worry about is the precedent it sets. Studio Wildcard is known to be quite involved and open with the community, and very active with new patches, etc, but other developers aren't. I worry that game developers will be able to use Early Access as a shield for complaints about performance or gameplay ("it's not finished, we're still working on it," etc.) while still attempting to generate new revenue with new content.

What are your thoughts on this? A dangerous precedent, bad for the players, or just a new method of delivering content in an industry where the players are more and more involved in development?

ARK: Survival Evolved on Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/346110/

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Bethesda shared the full trailer for Nuka World today! The pieces are definitely there for a fun romp in a destroyed theme park, and it looks like there are new mechanics that allow you to turn settlements over to the raiders, giving people an evil option for settlement building.

If it's anything like Far Harbor in terms of size, scope, and fun, I'll be in love!

Pay attention to the lyrics in the theme song, especially toward the end. It's at least mildly amusing :)

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iNews24, a news organization in Korea, has reported that Blizz is giving us a shiny coat of paint for the original Starcraft.

This isn't a tabloid or anything, it's a respected source, but they don't have any official confirmation from Blizzard on it yet.

Reportedly, it will keep the same gameplay, but have new graphics and better resolution. No more 800x600 max!

This move would make a ton of sense for Blizzard since the game is still popular, and I'm hoping for the same treatment for Diablo II and Warcraft III.

Source: http://kotaku.com/report-blizzard-releasing-starcraft-hd-1784863397

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The tiny console wars are upon us! In October, a mini-Genesis with 80 built-in games will be arriving.

This is coming in two versions, the one pictured, and a handheld version: https://i.imgur.com/ckF2hWc.png

Both versions retail for about $65 USD and are currently only available from a UK retailer.

Both have 80 built-in games, but they have expansion capabilities. The mini-console has a slot to play original Genesis carts, and the handheld has an SD card slot (so are they tacitly approving of downloading roms?).

So lets talk about those games! 80 of them! That's 50 more than the mini NES! Well, yes it is. But you'll only care about 40 of them probably. The remaining 40 are things like Chess, Solitaire, Sudoku, things like that. But still, 40 Genesis classics and 40 puzzle/strategy games isn't bad.

Downside-- no HDMI. That's not a dealbreaker, but the mini NES could (one hopes) scale well to 1080p. This one will be stuck at 480 over composite cables. I play retro games over composite all the time and it's not bad, but it's obvious these were made for the old TVs we used to use.

The full game list and more details can be found on The Daily Dot: http://www.dailydot.com/parsec/sega-mini-mega-drive-genesis/
And if you want to order it now, Funstock Retro has it ready for you: http://www.funstockretro.co.uk/sega-sonic-25th-anniversary-range

EDIT: Probably don't buy this. http://kotaku.com/no-sega-doesnt-have-its-own-mini-genesis-1784350008

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I'm sure you've all heard about Pokémon Go by now. It's the mobile game that has you going out into the world to find Pokémon.

It's pretty fun. At it's heart, it's mostly all about catching them all, less about the RPG elements of the main games of the series. If you like geocaching, this is right up your alley, it's just Pokémon you're finding instead of muddy containers. If you played Ingress you'll feel right at home. It's made by the same developers, Niantic, and all the points of interest in Pokémon Go are the same. They already had all this map data, so why recreate it right?

I managed to get up to level 6 without even leaving my apartment. This area is But alas, I ran out of Pokéballs. To get more, you either have to pay for coins to buy more, or go out to Pokéstops. As it turns out, I needed to run some errands today so I decided to add some stops to my trip.

Now, the title of my post was not about how fun the game is, it's about how important it is. And this is where the importance comes in.

I noticed the mall next to the store I was in had three Pokéstops and someone had used a lure to get rare Pokémon to come around. There was a little lounge area in the mall where you could reach two stops and the lure, and there were thirty people or so all gathered around chatting and getting items. Pokéstops reset every few minutes, so between resets people would walk around the mall, getting in steps to help hatch their Pokémon eggs (incubators require you to walk a certain distance to hatch eggs).

Even discounting this experience, I saw dozens of people walking around with their phones out, talking with people. A friend of mine has even made some new friends by running into groups of people playing.

So, this is important for two reasons:

First, ARGs like this have never caught on to this extent. There were a lot of Ingress players, but this is orders of magnitude higher. This seems to be the game where ARGs become an established genre.

Second, this finally fulfills the Pokémon Company's goal. For years, each new game has gotten more and more social, and more and more active. There was a step counter for one game set that let you level up your Pokémon by walking around (or attaching the step counter to your dog's collar). Finally, a Pokémon game is bringing together massive groups of people and getting people active.

I'd encourage anyone with a smartphone or tablet to check this out. Smartphones would be worlds better, because you really need a data connection for it, and unless your tablet has mobile data, the areas you can play are very limited.

And even if you haven't played Pokémon games in the past, don't let that stop you. This really requires no experience with previous games, and doesn't even play like previous games.

And join the Blue Team! :D

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In the tweet that ground many gears, Pete Hines today revealed that Nuka World would be the last expansion for Fallout 4. People on Twitter are responding as you'd expect, feeling ripped off by the hefty price tag of the season pass (unless you bought it before the price was increased), which only provides 2 or 3 expansions (depending on how you look at it) and a few pieces of mostly settlement-building add-ons.

I, unfortunately, must agree.

Based on what we've seen in the past, Bethesda games usually get way more content than this for way less money. I thoroughly enjoy the settlement system and love building things, but it doesn't replace the value of expansions for me. Far Harbor was fantastic, probably better than the base game itself, and hopefully Nuka World will be amazing too. But other than that we have very little in terms of content, and a lot of items that expand on settlement building.

So I'm really glad I got the pass at $30. I feel like I definitely got my money's worth. $50? Not so sure.

https://twitter.com/DCDeacon/status/750099439579193344

http://gamerant.com/fallout-4-nuka-world-last-dlc/

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And this is what we're seeing for the most part!

It always happens like this for the first few hours, so it's best to give it a while.

This time around they've brought back the trading cards as a reward for going through your queue. Much like the most recent sales, every game that will be on sale is already on sale, for as low as it will go. There's no need to wait until the end to see if the game you want will get cheaper.

Is there anything you've been wanting to snag?

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The news from E3 about Fallout 4's upcoming DLC didn't include a lot of detail about Nuka World. The other two were mostly self-explanatory, but all we could tell about Nuka World was that it takes place in a theme park. However, Bethesda has added the DLC to the Steam store now, and the description gives some details:

Take a trip to Nuka-World, a vast amusement park now a lawless city of Raiders. Explore an all-new region with an open wasteland and park zones like Safari Adventure, Dry Rock Gulch, Kiddie Kingdom, and the Galactic Zone. Lead lethal gangs of Raiders and use them to conquer settlements, bending the Commonwealth to your will. Nuka-World features new quests, Raiders, weapons, creatures, and more. Enjoy the ride!

Lead lethal gangs of Raiders and use them to conquer settlements, bending the Commonwealth to your will?
I guess they heard the complaints from players who didn't like that you couldn't go evil. While I probably won't go that route, and will instead opt to take Nuka-World away from the raiders (if that's an option), it's great that they're adding a real bad guy path.

They also released info for the other two DLC...
Contraptions Workshop:
Machines that sort! Machines that build! Machines that combine! With Fallout 4 Contraptions, use conveyer belts, scaffolding kits, track kits, even logic gates to construct crazy and complex gadgets to improve your Wasteland settlements. The Contraptions Workshop also includes all-new features like elevators, greenhouse kits, warehouse kits, fireworks, armor racks and more!

and Vault-Tec Workshop:
Build a brighter future underground with the all-new Vault-Tec Workshop. Create a massive Vault and attract new Dwellers using pre-war industrial kits complete with retro-nostalgic furniture, lighting, and art. And like every good Overseer, run Vault-Tec approved experiments on your Dwellers to learn what makes an ideal citizen. Vault-Tec has given you the tools, the rest is up to you!

Details on Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/377160/

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Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Oh, they're starting right in with the new Zelda. This game looks gorgeous. Easily the prettiest I've seen on the Wii U. It's somewhat cel shaded, like Wind Waker, but much more detailed. MUCH. Looks like you can climb trees, cook, and interact with the environment way more. Link has a new hang glider trick with his poncho.

Here's the trailer they showed: https://youtu.be/1rPxiXXxftE

Reggie is out talking. A "seamless Hyrule." Sounds open world without loading screens. It looks like Nintendo's first day is almost all about Zelda. But he has one other thing to pitch first.

Pokémon Sun and Moon
Rowlet, Litten, and Popplio are the starter critters. There's a full panel, including the producer and director from Game Freak and people from Nintendo, talking about the game. It's the 20th anniversary of Pokémon, damn.

Wow, this is a big difference from the Pokémon games I've played, just in terms of perspective. It's not just top-down isometric anymore, it looks like you have a wide range of camera control. The characters look like anime characters instead of video game characters, if that makes sense.

Two legendary Pokemon are the avatars of the sun and moon, and they tie into the plot significantly.

The three starter Pokemon are designed to be super cute when they move around in the game. I kinda love that "cute" was a goal.

They changed the characters to be more realistic to increase immersion.

Now the demo is going. Popplio is fighting Ledyba. Popplio is super cute. There's a crazy amount of info in battles, you can get a description of every move, and see how status effects have affected the Pokemon in the battle.

Hey a new Pokemon, Yungoos. He looks like an angry weasel.

The Pokedex has been redesigned a bit to encourage catching 'em all.

You can now see the trainers during battle, standing a few feet behind.

Youtube used "bad stream." It's super effective.

This is mostly just a bunch of fights they're showing. Nothing really surprising, but it certainly looks nice.

There's a new multiplayer battle mode called Battle Royale. It's four players, with up to four Pokemon. It's a free-for-all battle with all four fighting each other. When one player loses all their Pokemon the match is over, and it calculates the rest based on various factors.

So yeah, if you like Pokemon you should be excited. This looks like a great evolution of the series.

Available November 18, 2016 on the Nintendo 3DS.

Back to Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Link starts by waking up. Keeping with tradition. Then he gets a Sheika Slate. It kinda looks like a smartphone. It even has GPS. This game has more tech than we've seen before. I guess it could be based in magic but it at least looks high tech.

It looks like climbing is a big part of this game. This opens things up significantly for exploration. If you want some apples you can either climb the trees or chop them down.

This is a deeper kind of game. You have to collect resources to keep your health up, and your weapons will break so you have to constantly collect to survive.

Woops, the presenter/player forgot to turn off the time limit for the floor, so now he has to restart.

One thing that's important to mention, there's no constant background music. You hear the world around you.

At 3PM Pacific today, Miitomo is getting some Zelda items.

This segment is over, but they're going to be streaming Zelda for hours to come. I'm not sticking around for all of it but if you want to see it in action you have some time to tune in, and of course, it'll all be available to watch after the show.

This does look like a great game, though.

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So I'm doing this one as a stream of consciousness basically because that's more fun. I hope you have as much fun reading it as I did writing it. I added some titles in after the text because I wasn't sure what they were at first, so it might seem weird sometimes when you just read what the game was, but then I'm surprised by it.

Sony has a pit orchestra. Nobody else has had a pit orchestra. Whatever they're playing is great. Now there's a woman making strange mouth noises and playing a big drum. Still a great piece though.

OH SHIT IT'S GOD OF WAR! BUT KRATOS IS OLD AND BEARDED! HE SURVIVED! And he has a son, who he's trying to train.

God of War
There's no subtitle on this, just God of War. That seems premature.

He has a big-ass axe now instead of the Chains of Olympus/Athena. The view is a more third-person angle rather than the overhead angle that we've had in the past.

This feels more open-world. I don't know if it is, but it feels that way. Everything seems more expansive and... well, open. A real Skyrim vibe. There's a ton of snow.

This just feels way different. The tone and art are different. It feels Norse. Very Norse. But Kratos still has the "rage of Sparta" powerup.

I need a PS4 now. This is what will push me over the edge.

Days Gone
I thought this was a sequel to The Last Of Us, but maybe not. It's after some huge event that causes a ton of people to die, electricity to be unavailable, and the government to fall. It looks beautiful but I don't know much about it yet. Looks like the main character was in a Biker Gang.

The Last Guardian
This still looks amazing. It will continue to for as long as they keep showing it. Not much new here that we haven't seen already. It feels like it's been ages since this was announced. OH NOW THERE'S A RELEASE DATE. October 25, 2016. Finally!

Horizon: Zero Dawn
More norse-ness, but apparently the world is ruled by machines. Open world, with vibrant colors. Another game with a Skyrim vibe. A mix of high-tech and low-tech make this a really compelling premise. Wow, these fights are impressive. The combat looks deep and engaging. This has a conversation wheel like Mass Effect. This demo makes me highly curious about the plot. Very compelling. I've never seen anything like this. I really want to play it.

Detroit: Become Human
Androids that look human, and humans really don't trust them. An android has a girl hostage, and another android fails to protect her. Oh, that's just one outcome. You can change things. This is a very Heavy Rain style game. It looks like if that's your thing, this will be too. Very pretty, very compelling story.

Resident Evil
A Playstation VR title. Dank and dirty. You wake up in a room and someone on the phone tells you that you have to leave or they'll kill you. Creepy mannequins. This house looks lived in... about 60 years ago. Rotten food, roaches. OH SHIT. OK this is definitely survival horror on a VR headset. That sounds like the stuff of nightmares. You can find videos from other people's attempts to escape for clues. OH SNAP IT'S RESIDENT EVIL. January 24, 2017. Play the demo tonight! I need a VR headset.

Playstation VR
October 13, 2016. $399. Fifty games at launch. Now they're going to show some games that support Playstation VR.

Farpoint
A space FPS. The player is on an uncharted desert planet. But there's life! Wow, this is gorgeous.

Star Wars Battlefront: X-Wing VR Mission
Oh wow, a Star Wars game in VR. X-Wing battles, that sounds like motion sickness. Well that trailer was over quick.

Batman Arkham VR
Hamil as the Joker voiceover. That's all I need to convince me. Coming October 2016

Final Fantasy XV
Man they aren't letting up. Trailer after trailer. Wow this game looks nice. Visuals flying by so fast I can't get a good look at them. Chocobo Dubstep Theme, weird. Coming Sept. 30, 2016.

Final Fantasy XV VR Experience
This kinda looks like a rail shooter using lower resolution FF XV assets.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
Another space game. This one is inside a ship. I do love space games. There's a solar system map that looks like Mass Effect, but this one seems to take place entirely in our solar system. Great graphics. Player is getting into a fighter ship. Oh hell, massive space battle. This looks intense. Oh snap, he just jumped out of his ship and onto the base ship they were attacking and now there's a low gravity gunfight. This is really inventive. Some mechanics I've never seen. Once it's inside it kinda feels like a modern shooter. Just in space. OH. It's Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. OK I want to play a Call of Duty game. This feels weird. Like, really weird. This game looks nothing like I would have expected.

Seriously this has been nearly an hour straight of trailers with only like 20 seconds of a break, and my hands are getting tired from typing.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare Remastered
OK This one is a more standard war game. Helicopters, kicking in doors, grit and grime, "we have visual on target," "move, move!" Ah, CoD Modern Warfare Remastered

Crash Bandicoot, Crash 2, and Crash Warp Remastered
OK it's not a trailer, someone is actually talking. My fingers can get a bit of a break. OK so he just said these games are coming out and introduced a trailer. I don't think he likes talking.

Skylanders Imaginators
Seriously he talked for like 20 seconds and now there's more trailer. Crash is going to be in this. Tons of Crash hitting things. Oh neat, you can draw your own Skylander. You can make banana head things and really ugly things.

Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Can I just say it's awesome that the pit orchestra is playing almost all of the music for these trailers?

Scenes from the movie recreated with legos. OMG 3D glasses when Starkiller fires. That's hilarious. I love the Lego game humor. And even though the characters are in Lego, the environments are really well done. Available RIGHT NOW. Sweet!

Death Stranding
Ah someone else is coming out to the stage. Maybe he'll stay longer than 20 seconds. And he just talked about their awesome games and introduced Hideo Kojima! And he just said "I made something new" and rolled a trailer. Nobody is talking here.

Anyway, the trailer. Lots of dead crabs on a beach. Super realistic looking crabs. Handprints. A naked dude with handcuffs and a baby. Whoa it's Norman Reedus! Wait now his baby turned into... tar? No it just left some tar on Norman Reedus, the crawl-prints show that he's just suddenly invisible. Wat. Norman Reedus has a cross scar on his stomach. There are people floating in midair. TONS of dead fish. I have no clue what the hell is going on. This is compelling but... what? The crowd looks confused too.

Spider Man
A new Insomniac game. REALLY beautiful New York City. SPIDERMAN! Oh yeah, we need a good Spider Man game. The brief gameplay makes it look like they learned a lot from how the Arkham games handled combat.

Days Gone (again)
The host is coming back out to talk for 20 seconds. Thanking the community. He talked for like a minute this time. Introduced a demo of Days Gone.

So I'm trying to figure out the premise here and exactly what the disaster was. Maybe this will help. Some wild dogs have killed someone. OK so there are zombies. Maybe this does take place in the Last of Us universe? The zombie is tiny, like Gollum. OK I guess that was just a pre-teen. There are planty of them and they aren't small. I think the main character might be played and mo-capped by Sam Witwer. Running from the zombie horde. Shit there are like 1000 of them. That barn door won't help you now. This guy is handling the horde well. That was intense.

That's all folks!
Nothing about a new console iteration, nothing about their services, barely anything about the VR tech. This was a very game-heavy presentation. That's not a bad thing, because these games looked AMAZING.

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This is the first one of these I'm writing while watching the conference. I don't know why I didn't think to do that earlier :D

Aisha Tyler is amazing. Ubisoft couldn't have found a better host. So far it's the only conference in which the f-bomb was dropped in the first five minutes.

Ghost Recon: Wildlands
Releasing in March 2017. This game looks absolutely beautiful. But I can't really comment much on whether it looks good because I've never played a Clancy game, but to my uneducated eyes it looks like a great addition. It looks highly strategic. It supports solo play or up to four-player co-op.

South Park: The Fractured But Whole
Get it? It sounds like "fractured butthole!" Hahahahahahahahaha poop humor. Trey Parker and Matt Stone took the stage to talk about the Stick of Truth sequel. Maybe it's just being over 30 but the humor is falling flat with me. There's a fart that can rip a hole in spacetime. Great. Combat looks kinda neat though. It's kind of a grid-based tactical RPG.

The Division
There are some new outfits coming from previous games.
The Survival DLC that's coming up looks pretty neat, putting you in dire weather conditions.

Eagle Flight
This VR game looks like tons of fun. It's all about bird fights. It's... hard to explain. Just check out the footage :D

Star Trek: Bridge Crew
A Star Trek VR game! You take the USS Aegis through the galaxy, doing what Star Trek ships do. Go where no one has gone before! Levar Burton took the stage to discuss the game with Aisha Tyler and it was a major nerdgasm. Again, Aisha Tyler is a total geek and the perfect host for an E3 conference, and this showed it again. This game really makes me want a VR headset, more than anything else I've seen.

For Honor
Coming February 14, 2017. Celebrate Valentines Day with viking fury! This game looks like tons of fun. It's a third-person action game, think God of War and Assassin's Creed. It looks like more than a button masher, with a necessity to use the right attacks at the right time. The environment is a major factor in combat; throwing people into and off of things is a great strategy in some areas. It looks like the right stick is used to set your stance.

Grow Up
Coming August PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Sequel to Grow Home. You play as BUD, a neat little robot, who's running and flying around the world using plants to get you to new places.

Trials of the Blood Dragon
Out now on PC, PS4, Xbox One. Two guys in really garish sweatsuits came out for this one. This trailer is the most 80s thing I've ever seen. Even more than Blood Dragon. This is exactly what it sounds like-- a Trials game in the Blood Dragon world. Sidescrolling racing mayhem!

Assassin's Creed movie
We got a lot of info about what went into making the movie, including some behind-the-scenes footage, and new clips from the movie that haven't been seen yet. It's a video game movie so I'm trying not to get excited, but I'm excited.

Watch Dogs 2
Coming November 2016 to PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Oh no, the presentation got hacked! This game looks gorgeous. Their version of San Francisco looks like a perfect game world, at least the parts they showed. This game has a lot to prove, since the first entry had a lukewarm reception. You can run into other players in-game and seamlessly go co-op. The mission they demoed looks absolutely amazing. If the whole game is similar, this will be a winner. Oh yay, more timed exclusives: Watch Dogs 2 DLC will be available a month earlier for PS4 players.

Steep
Coming December 2016. Snowboarding, base jumping, hang gliding, wingsuits, skiing, and more. Tons of extreme sports mostly set in the Alps. It looks mostly open-world, which is impressive for this kind of game. You can see other players in-game and challenge them to races, etc, in real time. You can set custom challenges based on any amazing tricks you've pulled off. I loved the Skate series, and this looks like an extension of that formula, applied to winter extreme sports. I'm *seriously* looking forward to this.

There are no wrap-ups yet because I wrote this real-time, but I'll add a good one later if you want more to read. :D

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Microsoft, as always, had quite a bit to say. Here's the gist!

Xbox Hardware and Xbox Live

  • Xbox One S: A slimmer version of the Xbox One, launching in August for $300.

  • Project Scorpio: A totally new console from Microsoft, coming in 2017. It's capable of 4K gaming. Microsoft says this is the first step toward their plans for incremental console upgrades. New consoles will be able to play older games, older consoles will be able to play new games, but at lower quality.

  • Custom controllers: Microsoft is launching a Design-your-own controller service, with 8 million possible combinations.

  • Xbox Play Anywhere: A program that lets you buy a game once and play it on Xbox One or PC, with synced saves and achievements..

  • Xbox Live Multiplayer: Three new multiplayer features were announced. Clubs, connecting people with similar interests (like Steam groups); Looking for Group, which lets you seek out multiplayer buddies for games; and Arena, a new tournament platform that lets people compete across the world.



Game Presentations
It's important to keep in mind in these early announcements that many games that say "coming to Xbox One" may also hit the PS4. They just won't tell you that at the Microsoft conference. One thing I love, though, is how many of these say "and PC." Though it may require buying them from the Windows Store :/

  • Gears of War 4: Horde Mode is coming to GoW4, and the campaign will be a return to the classic style.

  • Sea of Thieves: Rare's new pirate game has a new trailer, and it looks Swashbuckling.

  • Scalebound: Platinum Games title that involves killing dragons? Sign me up! With co-op to go dragon slaying with friends.

  • Recore: Launching in September on Xbox One and PC, this Keiji Inafune title is a robot action adventure game with some intense platforming and a lot of charm.

  • Final Fantasy XV: It's still weird to see Final Fantasy on the Microsoft stage. A demo was shown, and it looks pretty incredible. The battle system seems far more action-oriented than previous games, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The series can't keep doing standard turn-based ATB battles and stay relevant.

  • Dead Rising 4: Coming holiday 2016, and set during Christmas.

  • Forza Horizon 3: Absolutely beautiful, as all the Forza games have been. This seems to really be pushing the tech. This supports cross play between Xbox One and PC.

  • Halo Wars 2: Coming February 21, 2017. It looks a lot like Starcraft in the Halo universe, and that's about the best compliment I could give a sci-fi RTS. There's a beta out today on Xbox One.

  • Gwent: If you played The Witcher 3, you probably played the in-game card game, Gwent. It's getting a standalone release for Xbox One and PC.

  • State of Decay 2: Coming in 2017 for Xbox One and PC.

  • Minecraft Realms: A multiplayer cross-play powered Minecraft, that lets you play on Xbox One, Windows, and mobile platforms, as well as Gear VR. It also has dedicated servers, which is a biggie for the Microsoft versions of Minecraft.

  • Limbo: Currently free for a limited time.

  • Inside: Coming in June for Xbox One and July for PC. A new title from Playdead, the developers of Limbo. It looks kinda dark and twisted and amazing.

  • The Division: Underground DLC coming this month, first to Xbox One. Stupid timed exclusives.

  • Tekken 7: Coming to Xbox One and PC in early 2017.



Phew, that's a lot.

Gamespot has the first roundup that I've seen, if you want to read more:
http://www.gamespot.com/articles/all-the-news-from-microsofts-e3-2016-press-confere/1100-6440223/

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https://i.imgur.com/rPsQN7m.jpg
By now I’m sure you’ve all heard about the tragic shooting in Orlando yesterday. It’s the largest mass shooting in US history. Such a senseless act of violence caused by fear and lack of understanding. Our thoughts are with the victims’ families and friends today.

To those who lost someone in this attack, please know you are not alone. We can’t imagine what you’re going through right now, but we’re mourning with you.

This event will become politicized (and that’s already started), but that’s not what this post is about, and we ask you not to do so in the comments. There are political ramifications and those need to be discussed, but not now. For now, we mourn this tragedy and pay tribute to those who lost their lives:

Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old

Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old

Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 years old

Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old

Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old

Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 years old

Luis S. Vielma, 22 years old

Kimberly Morris, 37 years old

Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old

Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old

Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old

Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old

Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25 years old

Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old

Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 years old

Amanda Alvear, 25 years old

Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old

Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old

Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old

Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 years old

Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 years old

Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 years old

Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26 years old

Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old

Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old

Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 years old

Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old

Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old

Cory James Connell, 21 years old

Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 years old

Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old

Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old

Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25 years old

Not all the victims are known at this point, but the city of Orlando is keeping an updated list.
http://www.cityoforlando.net/blog/victims/

And NPR is reaching out to learn more about them to pay tribute to their lives, not just focus on their deaths.
http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/06/12/481785763/heres-what-we-know-about-the-orlando-shooting-victims

Orlando is operating a hotline for those seeking information about friends or loved ones: 407-246-4357.

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Bethesda's second E3 conference wasn't quite as eventful as its first, but it was close.

Wolfenstein: New Colossus? maybe: Before the footage even started, a DOS style directory was shown with an entry called New_Colossus, which is a poem that B.J. quotes in Wolfenstein: The New Order. Is this a tease for a new game or just a tease?
http://www.pcgamer.com/a-new-wolfenstein-was-teased-at-bethesdas-be3-show/

Quake Champions: Quake is back! As of right now it looks like a "continuation", so to speak, of Quake III Arena. It's a classic style arena shooter, but it looks like classes are coming to it which could work well for the game if it's balanced properly. I'm really hoping for some single-player progression. I'm no fan of multiplayer-only titles. And I'm still holding out hope for a Quake 5 that goes back to the setting of Quake 1. Some day!

The Elder Scrolls Legends: Not a ton of new info here, but this looks like a solid entry into the TCG scene. The game will release later this year on PC, Mac, iOS, and Android.

Fallout 4: The next set of DLC was announced, and I'm pretty stoked.

  • Contraptions, releasing next week, will allow you to build your own Rube Goldberg devices, and includes things like ball tracks and conveyor belts.

  • Vault Tec Workshop, releasing in July, lets you build your own vaults, attract dwellers, and even run your own Vault Tec style evil experiments on them.

  • Nuka World, first discovered last month in a few lines of code in the game files, has been confirmed. Releasing in August, this DLC takes place in a theme park called Nuka World, that may be based on Hershey Park.



Fallout Shelter: Some major new updates are coming to Fallout Shelter, including sending your dwellers on quests, fully explorable new environments, a new combat system, new characters, AND PC SUPPORT. I've been wanting to play this on PC ever since I first played it on mobile.

Skyrim Special Edition: Yes, the rumors are true. On October 28, Skyrim is getting a remaster for the current gen, and it looks gorgeous. The new engine serves Skyrim well. The new shaders make these familiar scenes look brand new, and I can't wait to sink my keyboard and mouse into it. The best news? At least on PC, it's totally free if you already own Skyrim.
http://www.ign.com/articles/2016/06/13/skyrim-special-edition-free-for-pc-owners-of-original-game-and-all-dlc

Prey: Arkane Studios, the dev team behind Dishonored, have a new game coming out. Prey is a game about a human experiment taking place on a space station, when an alien threat invades. Details are sparse, but the trailer is gorgeous.

Doom: New DLC was discussed, Unto the Evil, which includes three new multiplayer maps, a new playable demon, and new powerups. They also discussed new game modes coming including (FINALLY) a free-for-all deathmatch. Still no word on any single player DLC, and since the season pass is multiplayer-only, I imagine there won't be any.

Bonus, if you haven't gotten into Doom just yet but want to see what all the fuss is about, there's a free demo, this week only, so get it while you can!

The Elder Scrolls: Online: ESO is getting a new expansion, The Dark Brotherhood, on Tuesday. In addition, ESO will change this fall with One Tamriel, a system in which your character automatically levels to the content of the area. This is an interesting mechanic. I've seen games that level you down to content, but never leveling you UP. This could be interesting.

Bethesda VR: Doom and Fallout 4 are coming to the HTC Vive in 2017, and they were both playable on the E3 floor. As immersive an experience Fallout 4 is already, I can imagine the addition of VR would be amazing.

Dishonored 2: The most time was probably spent on Dishonored 2, and with good reason. It's the only new game coming this year, and they have the most to show. First off, the game looks gorgeous. Just, absolutely stunning. You start and end the game in Dunwall, but the bulk of the game takes place in a new area called Karnaca. You can play as Corvo or Emily this time around, and Emily has a ton of new and interesting powers to help her sneak effectively or murder inventively. We saw two levels, one was a typical assassination mission, and the other was a setting that brings in new mechanics. Powers don't work here, but you can see and travel back and forth in time.

So far, Bethesda is winning E3, but there are way more announcements coming.

You can watch the pre-coverage and the full conference above, or if you prefer, IGN has a great round up:
http://www.ign.com/articles/2016/06/13/all-the-news-and-trailers-from-bethesdaas-e3-2016-press-conference

EDIT: I didn't mean to steal Greg's thunder. But we have different sources, so the two can co-exist.
http://cheerfulghost.com/GregoPeck/posts/3000/bethesda-e3-2016-announcements

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