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Always outnumbered. Probably always outgunned, too.

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Joined 01/23/2012
Phantasm 4

362 Posts

Here's that crossover content that was teased a few weeks back!

Some time before the end of the year, Terraria will be getting a new invasion with new enemies and loot, and Dungeon Defenders 2 is getting some new levels and the Dryad as an unlockable hero! And she looks newly angry! I guess she has a corrupt form?

From the article:
"In this rare crossover event, Terraria players will get to experience intense invasion-style action straight from the magical realm of Etheria, while Dungeon Defenders 2 players will enlist the help of an ancient and powerful hero to face down new threats of a distinctly Terrarian nature."

"Terraria fans will get a new Dungeon Defenders 2-themed event with special enemies and loot accessible to new players and engaging for veteran players. Dungeon Defenders 2 will receive new maps, gear, vanity items and more inspired by Terraria, as well as a brand-new hero available for purchase: the Dryad."

This looks interesting! And hey, more Terraria is always good!


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Some Obsidian devs have created Mos Eisley in Unreal Engine 4 just as a fun little project. This is not for any game. Don't want you to get your hopes up! :D

The download clocks in at 7.4 GB, just for one level, which tells you something about the assets. If you've ever wanted to walk around in the most realistic Mos Eisley imaginable, now's your chance!

The project started as a 3DSMax model of the Falcon, and then grew from there. 17 people at Obsidian joined in to provide artwork and other help.

This really pushes graphics hardware, getting about 45fps on a GTX 970/980, so if you have aging hardware you might just get a slideshow.

They are about 90% done with it and plan to add VR support in the future.

More about the dev process and download links here: https://80.lv/articles/star-wars-scene-production-in-ue4/

UPDATE: A review! Can tech demos have reviews? Is this allowed? What's next? Human Sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!

There are options you can set to tune this to your hardware, so don't be discouraged by the specs I mentioned above. That was probably with everything on ultra. I got a ton of texture pop-in but otherwise this is gorgeous. The texture pop-in can be minimized by setting the Unreal Engine process to high priority in task manager. Don't do real-time unless you want your system to crash.

Also there's a "hidden weapon" that you can find, but I haven't yet. It's gotta be a lightsaber though right?

This feels like the closest interactive media has ever gotten to real Star Wars. I feel slightly embarrassed to admit that a tech demo made me feel emotions, but this did.

Time for a whole-series rewatch. :D

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This review is only about the game that I played, nothing else. I'm not including the drama surrounding the features that were discussed or shown before release that didn't make the cut. You can read more about those here: http://cheerfulghost.com/Travis/posts/3096/no-man-s-sky-review-supplemental-the-game-we-got-vs-the-game-we-bought

Ah, No Man's Sky. This game was hyped far past the point of over-hyped before release, which is always a bit dangerous. I let myself get taken in by it, drooled over every new trailer and Sean Murray interview, but I've ridden hype trains before and I know the risk of getting overhyped. I managed my expectations. I didn't think it was going to be the god of all games, and the last game I'd ever need. It has problems but not a ton. In short, I really like it. REALLY like it. I might even love it.

It isn't all rosy, though.

The first few days, I couldn't start the game. It would just crash on the "Hello Games" logo. It seems not a lot of QA was done in the final days before release, and tons of AMD users and some Intel users were stuck at the same place. This wasn't the only launch issue either. Luckily, in a week or so, Hello Games had fixed most of the crashes and gotten people playing.

Once I finally got into the game, I was smitten. For a few hours, my mouth may have been stuck open, I was so amazed. This game is beautiful. Some planets are duds, no flora, no fauna, very little other than gray, but you can still find beauty there. I'm not a screenshot-taker, but I have taken about 50 in this game. That's an incredibly small amount when compared to others.

You get thrown into the galaxy with no memory and vague goals. You know you have to travel, and you have a goal to get to the center of the galaxy. A mysterious entity named Atlas wants your help with something and promises to help you as well, but past that you aren't sure what it's all about. You're free to ignore one or both of these goals, you can do whatever you want. You're entirely on your own. You don't know the alien languages and have to learn them, and your friends can't help you. Yes, it's entirely single-player, and I'm actually really glad they took out (or never made) the ability to see other players. It's a more meaningful experience that way, I think.

Plot is intentionally vague, but you can piece things together. That mystery is one of the best parts of the game for me. Having completed both of those paths, however, I'm still not sure of how some of it fits together.

After those first few hours of jaw-dropping amazement, I got hit with a sense of "ok, now what?" I realized I wasn't really playing toward any goal, just riding on the beauty of the game and seeing what I could see, but now I needed something to do. I was hitting a wall in terms of inventory, so I decided to bump that up. This was a nice change. It gave me a few goals on top of the Atlas and Center paths, so I had a clear sense of what I wanted to do while seeing all these amazing planets.

And that was great. The "grind" to get a 48 slot suit, 48 slot ship, and 24 slot multitool didn't feel like a grind at all. I got lucky on my first few jumps and ended up making so much money that I never really had a problem with affording anything I needed, but I almost wish that I hadn't. Gathering resources to sell so that I had enough money to upgrade my suit and buy new multitools would have added some depth to those goals, rather than just finding them and buying them. But finding new awesome looking multitools and especially ships was really fun. Even after finding that perfect 48-slot ship that you decide you'll keep forever, there's always a better ship. I have gone through four forever ships.

But once I had all that, and had built all the tech I wanted, I hit another wall. In terms of goals, all I had left was the two paths. The achievements in the game match up to in-game Journey Milestones, and I had hit level 10 on all of those by this point as well. I finished up the Atlas path quickly, and didn't really have a ton of fun doing it, because I didn't have anything else to fill my time on that path. Then I worked toward the center of the galaxy, jumping from black hole to black hole, and therefore I had to land more often to find resources to repair my ship, and that alone gave me more to do, making the trip to the center a really fun trip.

A note about the ending, with no spoilers. It's another thing people are hating on pretty hard. I didn't mind it, but I thought it could have been better. I suspect that they will add to it in future releases, but even if they don't I'm fine with it.

After the end, I hit yet another wall. I don't even want to give you minor spoilers, so I won't tell you whether you can continue after the center, or if I started up from my last save but I did keep playing. No goals, practically infinite planets to explore, but no further progression to make, really. I still haven't quite gotten over this wall.

The exploration of the game is fun, very fun. And it's breathtaking in places. Every planet I saw was something new, created by the algorithms just for me (generally). But once you see enough planets, you see the same things repeated. You see the same weird bear face on 100 different creatures on planets spread throughout the galaxy. Each planet has the same buildings, with aliens that ask you the same questions. It's a new configuration of very familiar elements, and when you have literally no goals other than collect plutonium and titanium to charge things up, the sightseeing doesn't carry the game. I mentioned in the last Roundtable that I was afraid of this happening, that the content would run out too soon, and that's what happened.

But at the same time, having absolutely no goals also changed the game yet again. I still hop in and play some, just not as much. It's like listening to music or watching your favorite movie. It's relaxing. Just hopping to a planet, getting out and taking in all the sights. After the goals and progression were gone, it became the anti-game for me. More a hobby than a game, if that makes sense.

That said, I hit that point at about 64 hours. Even if I had stopped there, that's a lot of fun for a game. My idea of what to do for fun kept changing throughout the game, and that's a good thing. It provides variety. But the variety isn't deep enough yet. I'm greatly looking forward to the content updates that Hello Games will be releasing.

I have a few specific complaints that don't really fit the narrative above. All but the first are pretty minor:

  • The sentient alien species all feel shallow. You only ever see one at a time, usually sitting or standing behind a desk. There are trading posts where there could (and maybe should) be more activity. After you've learned a few words you've maxed out your reputation with them and it's near impossible to lose it. There aren't really any factions in the game, but you do get a sense that the species don't like each other in some cases. There's just nothing to do with that. Even when you get the rare opportunity to help one species hurt another or warn the other species, you only gain standing with one, you don't lost standing with the other.

  • The UI leaves a lot to be desired:

    • The galaxy waypoint system is easy to break and doesn't allow many waypoints (though Hello Games is working on a new system for this), and there's no easy way to revisit planets.

    • When you get a Journey Milestone it blacks out half your screen and puts text over the other half, and won't let you interact with most things.

    • Uggghhh why do I have to hold E to do anything, just let me press it!

    • When a conversation with an alien starts, you have to wait a crazy long time for all the text to pop in. It's definitely a form-over-function situation. The effect looks nice but after you've done it 100 times you just want it to get out of your way.

    • There's no way to clear on-planet waypoints without actually going to them, and beacons frequently give you the same location multiple times.

  • The combat capabilities of your multitool are rarely needed. Actually this is just a subset of...

  • As a kind of survival-light game, there's very little danger. Even without many multitool upgrades you can easily take out hostile sentinels, and as long as you have one of a few very common elements you can keep your hazard protection going without ever upgrading for specific element protection.

But those are really minor, except for the first one. More robust alien interactions could give the game more content.

Overall, the positives far outweigh the negatives. The Steam rating was at 48% shortly after launch, mostly due to the issues many had in the first few days. I thought it would go up, but it's gone down. It's currently at 37%. I really don't understand that, at all. I certainly understand some of the complaints, I even share many of them. I just don't know how you can use those complaints to say it's a bad game.

It has a hefty price tag for an indie game at $60, but I think it's worth that amount. Some of the vitriol may have been avoided if it were priced lower, but I personally got my money's worth, and will get even more value with more content coming in the future.

I'm not even going to attempt to give this a numerical rating. It's like nothing I've ever played. It scratches an itch that I didn't even know I had before playing it. I just want more of it! There's a wide variety of things to do, just not enough depth to them. "Wide as an ocean, deep as a puddle" is a phrase I've seen a lot, even from people who really enjoy this game. It's hyperbole, sure. It's not THAT shallow, but the sentiment is valid. It has some problems, some major and some minor, but Hello Games is working hard to fix them and to add more things to do and more ways to do them.

It isn't a game for everyone, Hello Games has even said that. It will never have the wide appeal that some games get. But for the right kind of gamer it's fantastic, and should only get better. Even if it stayed the same as it is right now, I would replay it often.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go play it for a bit.

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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.



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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.

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.

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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