Dissecting the Battlefield 1 Beta

The Battlefield 1 beta launched recently, giving us a sneak peak of the most anticipated first person shooter of the year. As expected, the beta was a very watered down version of what’s to come, bringing with it only a single multiplayer map and two multiplayer game modes. The beta didn’t skip, however, on a sample of the varying player classes, something that has become a staple of the Battlefield franchises. With the beta also came a sampling of the various weapons and vehicles available to players during multiplayer play. While there was no single player mode available, let’s face it, that’s not why anyone is getting this game. It showed us what we wanted to see, and continued to flash the middle finger towards Call of Duty that the franchise was always intended to be.

I noticed immediately the variation in classes available to players. Call of Duty has never boasted that to the level that Battlefield does. While customization in weapons and miscellaneous equipment is available to Call of Duty players, it’s something that you have to continually build toward. There really isn’t anything but the foot soldier or sometimes grenadier classes that is worth playing in the early going. In that franchise, you may be able to choose between a foot soldier with an assault rifle or a sniper with a sniper rifle, it has never been as diverse as the classes in Battlefield. The beta version of Battlefield 1 immediately made available foot soldier, scout/sniper, medic, and a few other classes, and immediately it became clear that players were gravitating towards the sniper style of play. Whenever I logged into games, the ratio of scouts to moving foot soldiers was somewhere around 2 to 1. And there’s a good reason for that. The realism in the scout class was astounding. Ranged shots would drop over a distance, leading your shot was an absolute necessity. My favorite part was probably the scope flare. When you shoulder a scoped weapon, light glints off the scope, alerting surrounding players to your presence. It was truly terrifying to run into an open area trying to blow up an enemy telegraph, see six glints appear out of nowhere, and know that you were about to get lit up like a Christmas tree. It also made dealing with enemy snipers a bit more manageable, a lesson I learned after punching a lethal shot of my own into the glinting scope of an otherwise-invisible enemy. It’s a subtle touch that makes the game feel more real, and more even, and the type of attention to detail I have come to expect from Battlefield.

The environment was also something to behold. The map that was available to beta players in my area was the desert homeland of the Ottoman Empire, and it did not disappoint. Players were able to take shelter among rocky outcroppings, the remains of a ruined village, and the rooftops of its replacement settlement. A well-planted path winds up the mountainside, leading to a rickety bridge that in turn leads to a vantage point that makes nearly the entire map visible to snipers. It wasn’t long before players learned to use that outcropping, and counter snipers learned to keep an eye out for enemies foolish enough to remain stationary from it. The environment also featured the destructibility that no Call of Duty game that I have ever played has even been able to mimic. Once, as I crossed that rickety bridge to that terrific sniper spot, I saw a plane crash itself into the bridge and completely destroy it. I managed to get across first, but the bridge was gone, and it wasn’t coming back. After my death, that vantage point was closed for business. It adds another level of strategy to the game; there are smarter ways to do it than running and gunning. Destruction is also not the only way the environment interacts. The map will also kick up random sandstorms that make camping from a spot with a good view completely impossible; visibility is cut down to none, and you need to change your approach. It is truly unheard of for a first person shooter to make you think, but this one is going to make you do it. It’s highly intriguing.

Vehicles are back, and some of them are alive. In addition to tanks and planes, players can also take control of horses to speed up their assault on the enemy. And they are angry. Horses allow you to act as a dragoon, cutting down enemies as you go by. They’re also extremely difficult to kill, meaning that even if you are skilled enough to put a shot into one’s head as it moves, it’s probably still coming at you. If it impacts you, you’re done. A player lucky enough to saddle up in one is going to cause some serious mayhem. The horses are cool, and new, but the returning vehicles also play an important role. Armored vehicles can camp on enemy objectives, making them completely unreachable until someone comes by with a piece of artillery that can forcibly move them. I haven’t yet seen planes feature prominently, but I can guess that, as in editions past, they’re something of a specialty vehicle that only skilled players are able to truly utilize to the fullest. Which is good. Vehicles are especially powerful, and to temper the damage they can cause, it is necessary to keep every putz from being able to use one. Developing that skill is a reward for diligent playing, and honestly, peeling back the layers and developing your niche as a player is the thing that makes Battlefield great; getting together a good squad that gels in a cohesive way makes team play all the more fun. I’ve already started assembling my squad from some work friends, and I’m really looking forward to developing how we all play together.

I once wrote that Battlefield got me back into online play. The attention to detail, the variation in available play styles, and the way the game fosters camaraderie by allowing players to build cohesive squads with differing and equally valuable components makes it the best first person shooter franchise on the market. Battlefield 1 looks like it won’t be any different. I played the beta for hours on end, despite only having one map, and was bitterly disappointed when I got home from work on the closing day of the beta and realized it had ended before I’d managed to squeak in a few more hours. There is no better commercial that this game could have broadcast for itself, and based on what I’ve seen, I’ll be right there in line on opening day. The beta showed us some terrific gameplay, an awesome environment, and some really cool new features. After playing it, I can’t wait for launch.

Real-Time Review – Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

The next(last?) Deus Ex game is out for all the major platforms as of this month. It’s been 5 years since the Human Revolution, and we probably thought we saw the last of Adam Jenson, but he is back with a new story and some new augmentations. Two years have passed game-wise and, although a lot has changed in-world, not much has changed for the franchise. Five hours into the game, that could be a good thing or a bad one, but here’s a real-time review of my impressions so far.

Soundtrack

I would say the ambient noises of the game are the real strength of Mankind Divided so far. There’s always a radio on somewhere, or music from a nearby rave, or the noises from a police drone or citizens around Prague having conversations about the state of the world or just regular gossip. Outside of that there isn’t that much sound at all, besides a generic cyber-punk background static. In the few cases so far where there was a need for dramatic music, however, the soundtrack has come through. I like that there isn’t much music to be found actually. It makes the world seem a little bit more real, as most of us don’t have a CD playing in our heads at all times.

Controls

I cannot speak for the consoles, but I have never encountered a game with so much mouse sensitivity. Just a little nudge and I was blasting away with enough escape velocity to reach orbit. Once I was able to get it down (almost all the way down), Mankind Divided got a little bit more fun to play. There’s a lot to remember, and a few new features, but there are plenty of tutorials to help that will continuously pop up unless you turn them off. Finding some of them again, however, is a little stressful. I was hanging above a gas filled hallway trying to equip my rebreather aug and couldn’t figure it out or find the tutorial for them. Turns out the rebreather is a passive aug, but it would have been nice to know. You can go into ‘training modes’ to test out different features in the next sections, which I found to be nice practice since you could run through it out without repercussions first. I think the stealth interface is a great improvement from the last game. Most features are intuitive, and seasoned gamers will have no trouble settling in, or back into, the Deus Ex world.

Graphics

There is an optional 12 minute recap video you can watch before you begin the new game. I recommend watching it if you haven’t played the other titles, or if it’s been 5 years like it was for me, if not for the memory boost/story line then for the shock of what the graphics have changed into. The overall graphics for Human Revolution stand up against the test of time much better than the cut scenes and character graphics, so thankfully Mankind Divided has improved on those two fronts. Everything has a new, fresh coat of paint on it and, although it’s not immensely beautiful or detailed compared to some other new releases, you can see a lot went into making Mankind Divided look good.

Story & Gameplay

You jump into Adam Jenson’s skull 2 years after the last game. It doesn’t matter if you played Human Revolution or what ending you picked, because the main focus is on the Aug Incident, when thousands and thousands of augs went rogue and killed a large amount of people. You can see the after effects in the very first mission as Dubai, which had a heavy population of augs to keep the city on the top of tech, is not much more than a wasteland of wrecked and half finished buildings. There is a great tension between augs and ‘normal’ people that Jenson is stepping right into the middle of, and the beginning of that is another horrific incident that reveals some questionable tech inside his body that requires some answers. The gameplay has been somewhat slow, as I’m five hours in and I’m starting to put the pieces together of the starting plot, but on the other hand it’s a good thing since the last game came out so long ago. I think I’m at the point when things are going to start getting more interesting, so hopefully it picks up instead of dragging along.

I haven’t been able to test out any of the new, flashy augs so far as it’s still early, but I’m not really all that excited for them. The majority seem to be geared towards more hostile playthroughs, and stealth no-kill is my preferred method of playing Deus Ex games; the love seems a little one sided. There are some updated augs, like remote hacking, but they’re not any of the ‘cool’ ones, and, if you play, you’ll understand what I mean. All this aside, the game so far seems to be an upgraded version of Human Revolution story and gameplay wise which, so far, is just fine with me.

X-Factor

I think that the versatility of the Deus Ex games sets them apart from many other franchises. There are always multiple ways to complete a mission. You want to go in guns blazing? Go for it. You want to sneak and kill everyone like a death dealing shadow? Also an option. You want to ghost through a level and never be seen? You haunt to your little heart’s content. There are several ways to do each type of playthrough, too, and I appreciate the time and thought that must have gone into creating so many alternatives. Deus Ex feels like the cyber-punk version of Hitman in this regard, but I doubt Jenson will be putting on any chicken suits any time soon. The continuing story line of the series is also a high-interest factor, this philosophical question of what makes us human, and how far is too far to take our own evolution.

Overall, so far Mankind Divided feels like a solid Deus Ex entry and a pretty good offering for the fall line up. It’s too early to tell if it will have the same impact as Human Revolution, as I’m not blown away by anything yet, but it’s still early so I’ll hold out hope. I would suggest anyone interested in it, or interested in a stealth fps, check out Human Revolution first as it is a great game and also useful to better submerge yourself into Mankind Divided.

 

What Did I Miss?

It’s been a rough summer. I picked up a second job to make some extra cash, and there wasn’t a lot of restraint by that second job in terms of the amount of time that they were scheduling me. Working seven days a week, 75 hours a week didn’t exactly leave a lot of gaming time. It certainly wasn’t conducive to me gaming enough to write anything about it. Add in the home improvement project that drained my accounts out in the first place, and suddenly the only gaming I have been able to do since May was some Pokemon Go and one afternoon of finishing up Fallout 4: Far Harbor when I got rained out of my second job. Now that my time is finally freeing up, I’m curious about what’s going on in gaming and what I’m going to be able to play going forward.

I know that No Man’s Sky came out, and after all the hype, I’m disappointed by the reviews I’ve managed to read. They seemed as though they were universally less-than-flattering, and all focused on the sometimes-tedious and always-repetitive qualities of the game. I haven’t played it, so I can’t critique the critiques too sharply, but I honestly don’t know what anyone that was familiar with the game’s premise thought was going to happen in that regard. You could peg that coming a mile off; a game that’s about exploring the whole damn galaxy is probably going to include some down or boring time. So that doesn’t erase my initial curiosity toward the game. In fact, a co-worker relayed to me that the reviews were unduly harsh, and that while there is certainly some repetition to the game, it was more than worth a play. If it can still eat up time, and you can still see the effects that other players have on the universe, then that’s pretty damn cool. Expecting non-stop action out of a game that’s all about building and exploring is stupid, and anyone thinking that No Man’s Sky would feature that had unrealistic expectations. So my initial interest in the game hasn’t abated despite the negative reviews.

I’ve been getting kind of amped up for Battlefield I, and I say that as someone that isn’t really that into first-person shooters. I had a lot of fun playing Battlefield 4‘s multiplayer, and I was into Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 for a while when I was in college, but other than that, I tend to focus my time elsewhere. Upon finding out that Battlefield I had an open beta going, I downloaded that and plan to play it a little bit this week. If it is as good as the early trailers seem to indicate, it will be worth sinking some time into its online multiplayer. At the very least, the potential for it to kill some time when I have time to spare is enough for me to break my gaming fast on the open beta. I’ll probably keep you updated on that. Or I’ll end up getting sidetracked and write about something else next week. I don’t know, I’m not psychic.

I didn’t get to Uncharted 4, but then again I never pay $60 for a 20 hour long Uncharted game anyway. Seems like pretty much everything is getting a remastered version lately, not that I mind that. That Fallout 4: Nuka World DLC looks pretty cool. I’m sure there’s more brewing, but I just haven’t been able to keep abreast of it. Those are really the only things that I can say off the top of my head that I’ve been aware of the last few months. When you don’t play, you hit the hot spot gaming websites a little less, and your inability to put any time into gaming manifests itself into a lack of knowledge about games. That’s where you come in, dear readers. You’ve seen my woeful lack of knowledge about what’s going on in games right now, and now that I’m able to get back into them, I’m looking for a gem that I may have missed, or even a mediocre game that’s still fun to kill some time with. What did you have fun playing this summer? What did you have no fun playing this summer? Or was gaming such a cesspool the last few months that I didn’t miss anything at all? Sound off in the comments.

To What End

The journey is more important than the end. In my experience it’s a saying that’s just supposed to make you feel better when something doesn’t go as you want, like the one about it being lucky if it’s raining on your wedding day. Or driving 30 hours to get to the Grand Canyon only to realize that yup, it’s a big hole in the ground. Of course, the journey there might actually be worth it when you can stop at big balls of yarn or every dive bar along the way. Vegas, anyone?

I recently played Wolfenstein: New World Order and, for the most part, I enjoyed it up until the very end. I was then left contemplating if the journey made all of my time spent on this game worth it. It didn’t feel that way. It felt like the last three minutes alone soured my whole experience and I was left with a very bitter taste in my mouth. I’m not against bad endings. I play a lot of games with multiple endings and I always go for the good ones even if it takes more work, but there have been a few instances where this doesn’t apply. For me, the Max Payne 2 regular ending is good, the newest Prince of Persia ending was poetic in its irony, but apparently I couldn’t take it for Wolfenstein.

I don’t like doing a bunch of work and having it all go wrong. Who does? Sure it might be realistic, but believe it or not I am not playing a video game about space Nazis for realism. As I was sitting there listening to the incredibly sad end credits song and becoming even more miserable, I wondered if I was alone in my feelings towards video game endings. I decided to poll as many people as I could on Facebook and Tumblr. I had 153 people take my survey that asked them 1) what their favorite game was 2) if it had a happy ending 3) If a game has multiple endings, do you generally choose or prefer the happy/better one? and 4) Has a game ever been soured for you because of the ending alone? and told them they could elaborate on their answer for this question.

The favorite game varied, but as I have a lot of people that follow me who play Mass Effect and Dragon Age games, there was a substantial amount of those in the running. The choices for if it had a happy ending were yes, no, or multiple endings, and 62.1% selected the last option, 19.6% said yes and the rest said no which means ~18% of people really love the pain I’m guessing. 85% of everyone told me they generally choose the happier ending in games if multiple options are given. My results for the last question got a little disastrous as I should have said to only elaborate if you answered yes because there’s just a mix of answers here, but definitely 43.8% said a game has been soured by the ending alone. A lot of people that elaborated also said yes and listed reasons why, while most just put Mass Effect 3 in all caps, a feeling I think many can understand.

I think that fact that well over the majority of people polled said yes they choose the happier ending answers my question and went along with how I play games as well. When you spend 50 hours doing fetch quests, you want it to mean something, and an ending where “Rocks fall, everybody dies” is hardly satisfying. I believe that most video game creators recognize this and cater to it, but there are the brave(or foolish) ones that like to break the mold with their endings. Like I said, it’s worked for some games, but I’m not sure if there’s a pattern or reason to why that is. It could be that the whole rest of the game was good enough that a rough ending couldn’t ruin it, or that it was left open ended enough that you can live in some state of denial. There’s also the greater possibility that the ending makes the most sense the way that it is but, speaking from experience, that’s never stopped me from being mad about something.

While Wolfenstein made me want to scream a whole bunch, I do appreciate that they went against the grain and stuck to their guns about it. I’m sure it’s a big gamble when creators decide to throw a bad ending in there when so many people like and probably expect only good, or the option for it. It’s nice to have some variety, but if the only other thing to consume is something rotten, I’d rather stick to one side of the buffet.

The White(est) Wolf

It cannot be denied that the Witcher series, and especially the last game, is amazing. I’ve talked positively about it already in a few articles, and many other people must have enjoyed it; Witcher 3 received game of the year accolades. CD Projekt Red seems to have gotten everything right with their latest (and last?) installment, with compelling characters, storylines, quests, atmosphere, graphics and music. They even sweetened the story with two extremely long and nicely priced DLCs and dozens of little free ones that most companies would have put a price tag on. There is one problem, however, that is hard to overlook and sours a great franchise and the future of what could possibly be a great company. One glaring, bright, pasty problem.

There’s a lot to love in this series and I definitely love it. The lore and the storyline are wonderful, as are the multitude of characters new and old that we run across. It’s serious, oftentimes grotesque, and surprisingly hilarious. The first two games especially have this campy feel to them, like they knew what they were doing was ridiculous but owned it, similar to the old school Buffy movie or Army of Darkness. Sometimes, I felt like the series was a marvelous fanfiction of something else. There seemed to be some growth on CPR’s part as well, from the fighting mechanics and breadth of story to the graphics and even some self awareness towards sexist tropes and themes. Thankfully the collectible cards never came back, and they kind of poke fun at themselves with Ves’s storyline in Witcher 3. Does every female character seriously need boob windows? Does every fantasy medieval type setting need violence against women to make it more ‘edgy’ when there’s literal monsters and a war wreaking havoc across the lands? It’s tiring, but considering how incredibly cool Ciri is, plus all the well-rounded female characters we meet, I think CPR will continue to make strides in that department. Ciri sequel, anyone?

So that’s not the hill I want to die on today. The thing that really needs mentioned in this: the Witcher series is so unbelievably, painfully white.

From my recollection there are no non-white characters in the first two games and definitely none in Witcher 3. I understand that it is based on a Polish book series and was made by a Polish gaming company, but it was not consumed by only Polish people (who are not all white, even then). I also understand the desire for ‘historical accuracy’ but this only seems to come into play when brown people are placed into ‘white roles’ and never when there’s wyverns and spells that turn boys into monster killers. Things did look up with the Hearts of Stone DLC. We’re introduced to a few Ofieri characters which seem to take some inspiration from a Middle Eastern culture, although I am not certain which one in specific, and I doubt that CPR knows either. Then they turned around and made Blood and Wine, a whitefest again (there is one Ofieri merchant but, I never even found him). Was there really a reason why everyone in Toussant had to be white? A whole new area that none of us have been to yet, but we were still given the same old. Witcher 3 is a fantasy game, and fantasy games don’t require any of the unfortunate limitations of our world, including unnecessary racism. There can be black knights, I swear. If someone’s idea of fantasy only includes white people then they, and CPR, might need to do some deep thinking. 

The game of the year for 2015 had no people of color in it. None. That’s more ridiculous than anything. Not to mention insensitive, exclusive, boring and dumb. I don’t want to completely belittle CPR’s achievements considering how good the game is, but think of how much better  it could have been with a diverse cast and a diverse crew creating it. I want better games for everyone, and I want awards given to companies that are inclusive, not companies that perpetuate the same, dangerous old. If you want to make games for the global market then make games with the global market in mind. There’s over 7 billion people in the world and over half of them identify as Asian. Diversifying a game would surely not ruin its marketability, so here’s hoping, for our sake and theirs, that CD Projekt Red’s next game or franchise looks a lot less monotone.

The 1-Up Cup Reacts: E3 2016 Sony Press Conference

Welcome to The 1-Up Cup Reacts to the Sony E3 2016 press conference. If you missed any of the other E3 Reaction Articles, you can find them here:

EA Play

Bethesda

Microsoft

Ubisoft

PC Game Show

We will be recapping and reacting to all of the E3 press conferences with a Hype Factor /5. Earlier today, Microsoft hit it out of the park with their press conference, Ubisoft bored, and the PC Game Show brought the hype to PC Gamers. Sony finally gets to do their press conference. I’m hoping for The Last Guardian information, a Final Fantasy VII update, a new demo of Horizon: Zero Dawn, and maybe, just maybe, we’ll get a release date for Kingdom Heart 3. Let’s get to the press conference.

First up we have the announcement of a new God of War, called God of War. Bearded Kratos! He uses an axe this time around.  They show off the first boss fight and it looks fantastic! Looks like it may have an open world feel to it, with the player being able to gain knowledge by tracking enemies and discovering new locations. There are dragons in this new game, and it looks like it takes place with Norse Mythology. I love this idea! I played the original God of War, but not the second or third, so it will be nice to be able to start from the beginning of a new (I’m assuming) trilogy. If this was going to be God of War 4, I was hoping they would give the first two games an HD remake. Hype Factor 10 out 5.

Next up is the announcement of Days Gone with a trailer. This game looks really interesting. Nothing is discussed about this game, which sounds post-apocalyptic, and the main character is a bounty hunter of sorts. Hype Factor: 4 out of 5.

The Hype Train just pulled into the station with a new trailer for The Last Guardianand it is coming October 25! These are the people behind Ico and Shadow of Colossus. There are thoughts that with all the delays that it will be only ok, but I think with the track record of these games that this game will be amazing! Hype Factor 10 out of 5.

And the hype keeps running, running with a new trailer for Horizon Zero Dawn. This leads into more gameplay. It launches on February 28, 2017, and that day cannot come soon enough. The protagonist can uncorrupt the robot animals to be able to ride them. Everything about this game looks fantastic! Hype Factor is through the roof, a whole bunch out of 5.

Sony starting with all of the big hitters!  

Next up is a new trailer for Detroit: Become Human, which was announced back at Sony’s Paris Games Week press conference. This looks to be a really interesting game, premised around people not wanting the help of androids and their intense dislike of them. The story branches with each decision you make. This game looks like it has a ton of potential. Hype Factor 4 out of 5.

Up next is a game called Resident Evil VII, and it launches on January 24, 2017. They advertised it for the VR headset, but it can be played without the VR headset. That looked really interesting. Not a huge Resident Evil fan, but that looks like it could be a great game for the Playstation VR. Hype Factor: 3 out of 5.

The finally give a release date for Playstation VR; it launches October 13 for $399. I want this! I want this real bad! I’m just hoping there is a good selection of games to buy with it at launch. Hype Factor: 5 out of 5.

A Playstation VR montage is up next. A trailer for Farpoint, Star Wars Battlefront: X-Wing Mission, Batman Arkham VR, and Final Fantasy XVwhere you play as Prompto. Battlefront: X-Wing Mission looked awesome, and I’m intrigued by Batman VR and Final Fantasy XV VR.  Hype Factor: 3.5 out of 5.

Call of Duty Infinite Warfare is shown with a new trailer and gameplay. I am tired of this franchise, but I have to admit, this looked real sweet. Probably not enough to make me buy it, but it’s better than the wash, rinse, repeat they have done for the past who-knows-how-many years. Call of Duty Infinite Warfare launches on November 4. Hype Factor:  3 out of 5.

Holy shit! Crash Bandicoot 1, 2, and 3 remasters are coming to the PS4! I can’t believe this is actually happening! I can’t wait for these to come out! Take all of my money! Hype Factor:  Nostalgia out of 5.

Up next is Lego Star Wars The Force Awakens. The demo is available now. These games are usually a lot of fun. You always know what you are getting with them. Hype Factor: 2.5 out of 5.

Woah!!! Hideo Kojima is in the building!  He has a trailer for his new game called Death Stranding. It stars Norman Reedus; it’s nice to see that partnership rekindle after the death of Silent Hills. That looks like it has a crap-ton of potential. Hype Factor: 5 out of 5.

Sweet! Insomniac is back with a new Spider-Man game. Based on the hashtag, it looks like it is a PS4 exclusive. I’m all for this; they made great Spider-Man games in the past. Hype Factor:  3.5 out of 5.

They conclude the press conference with game play of Days Gone. Seems like the game is a lot of running away from hordes of zombie-like creatures where you need to thin the herd a little bit to give yourself more space. I’m still trying to figure out this game out. I’m dropping the Hype Factor to a 3 out of 5 after seeing that.

That’s all for Sony’s press conference. Sony opened so strong with their press conference, pretty much saying “here are all of our exclusives, what are you going to do about it?” Real pumped for God of War and Horizon Zero Dawn. Detroit: Become Human and Days Gone looks like they have a lot of potential. I couldn’t believe the Crash Bandicoot news, and I’m all for the return of the originals. I was really surprised by the lack of VR announcements, and no Gran Turismo Sport at all. I can’t wait to see how the new Kojima progresses and wonder when it will come to the PS4. I do wish they showed more gameplay for all the games and less trailers though. Next up is the all day stream of Nintendo’s Treehouse tomorrow.

The 1-Up Cup Reacts: E3 2016 PC Game Show

I should probably not admit that this was my first time watching the PC GAMERS portion of E3 considering all I play on is a PC, but we all must start somewhere I guess. I was kind of hooked with the pre-conference as they had a contestant putting as many games in their Steam cart as possible in a few minutes, and he ended up with $1500 worth of mostly pre-order games. How can I get on the short list for that next year? There were a lot of video games announced or discussed at this conference. Since this is my first one, I’m not sure if that is the norm or not, but it was both exciting and a little overwhelming; I’m going to try and break it down easily for those that might have missed it and use the patented 1-Up Cup Hype Factor for most of them.

Dawn of War 3 – New game promises to mix old elements of elite heroes and building with new features like a gigantic space laser finishing move. It looks like you can steam roll over everyone in some pretty cool mechs. All the RTS games shown today are going to get low hype from me considering they are not games I enjoy playing, but the massive carnage I witnessed was exciting anyways so 1 out of 5 Hype.

Oxygen Not Included – a teaser trailer that looks a game that might be in space, all from the makers of Don’t Starve.

Ark Survival Evolved – an action adventure game with dinosaurs! They’re adding a primitive mod which lets you trade and have store fronts and a Titanasaurus that is basically unstoppable and can be used like an Olophant. You can also play as animals like an ant or a wolf and go through their whole life cycle. I enjoy dinosaurs, but it kind of looks like a prehistoric Mount and Blade to me so 2 out of 5 Hype.

Speaking of- Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord is next! This one is all about siege warfare – you can command your player or take control of ballistae while storming castles. The creators put a lot of thought into this by researching medieval tactics and I’m sure watching a few movies, so the parts of a siege they showed really seemed to evolve rather nicely. They also said they’d be giving more power to modders, and I know that  that’s a big pull factor for this game so 3 out of 5 Hype for this too.

The Surge – Not a lot to report with just a teaser trailer, but it seems like some human vs A.I. FPS from Focus Home/Deck13.

Law Breakers – Anything with Ice-T in it is worth my time. It’s a multiplayer shooter set in future Cali that mixes Overwatch, Quake and the vertical elements of the new Titanfall 2 game together. Like Titanfall 2, it looks like it’s going to be a serious test of coordination with zero g and low g moves and attacks, but it seems really interesting and fun to play regardless. 4 out of 5 Hype.

AMD – The CEO, Lisa Su, was there to talk about a few new products that will be out soon. Polaris is their new graphics system, and there are three cards running on it. The biggest one is the Radeon rx480 that’s made for the VR experience but has a manageable price tag at around $300-400. They also hinted at a new CPU called Zen, but that was about all the information they wanted to share for right now. The biggest thing they announced was a “VR Backpack”, and I was screaming about it. It is literally a backpack computer that you strap on to use with VR tech, so you can go walk around a gigantic field or parking lot and play. The one they showcased was an Alienware model with little holsters for controllers attached. It’s an extremely cool idea, but right now it’s just a proto-type with no release date as of yet. 8 out of 5 Hype.

Vampyr – From the Life is Strange makers comes something completely different. The preview was a short battle with the player character using vampire-like abilities and swords. The interfaces reminded me of Dark Souls a little bit. Very little idea about the game, besides that you may in fact be a vampire, but I’m definitely interesting considering the subject matter and the makers so 4 out of 5 Hype.

Killing Floor 2: Bullseye – The main game is in early access still, and Bullseye adds new characters, fan made maps, a sharpshooter perc, a railgun that explodes monsters quite nicely, and the ability to play as the monsters in the game in a characters vs monster mode. It’s not my cup of tea at all, but the few add ons are interesting- you can play the main game for free Thursday through Monday on Steam, and they’re releasing a VR game called Killing Floor 2 Incursion that will use the Oculus Touch so 2 out of 5 Hype.

Giant Cop: Justice Above All – This is a VR game that looks wild. You play as an overlord of a city and dispense justice by throwing tankers at rallying hippies or launching people into the ocean with your gigantic hand. The trailer was funny and quirky, so if I ever do get a VR I’d consider checking this title out so 4 out of 5 Hype.

Tyranny – From Obsidian, a game about what would happen if evil won and how you could thrive and survive in such a world. It looks like a Pillars of Eternity-type RPG, and the trailer was very cinematic but also kind of confusing; I’m not sure about much more than that. I know Pillars is a very popular game on Steam, so I’m sure this one will be too. 4 out of 5 Hype.

Observer – I’m not a fan of horror/jump scare games, but this one has what seems like a cool premise. The world looked very neat, something like a post-apocalyptic setting but with the matrix running over everything. Half simulation, half reality. Someone, I’m assuming the ‘Observer’, has the ability to hack into your fears and worst nightmares, so you have to navigate through the environment with all those different factors combining. I’m pretty interested in this, but will definitely not be playing it on VR, so 5 out of 5 Hype.

Drop Zone – An RTS where you go one on one with 3 pilots(mechs) that you customize before the battle and fight for fifteen minutes. Kind of looked like a battle bots cage match to me. Again, RTS games are right up there with strategy games as my least favorite, so if you like this sort of thing check it out, but for me 0 out of 5 Hype.

Arma III: Apex – You get, like, cool vehicles and such. That is the breadth of my notes on this title, so I’m not even going to rate it. I have at least heard of Arma, so if you play it, be excited for some cool planes and trucks and I think I saw a motorcycle?

The Turing Test – A new first person publisher from Bulkhead/Square Enix. The premise is that you are exploring Jupiter’s moon Europa in search of life, and apparently this involves putting a lot of boxes into box-shaped holders and using a laser gun to get from one room to the next. It reminded me of Portal 2, especially with the light bridges shown in the trailer. That’s not necessarily a bad thing considering how amazing Portal 2 is, and the game still looked unique and beautiful in its own right, so hopefully that holds true. 5 out of 5 Hype.

Overland – A survival strategy game in the form of a roadtrip across a post-apoc country. You have to manage food, gas, and the people, deal with wildlife and other environmental problems, and also other people. Graphics-wise, it looks something in the same vein as titles like Don’t Starve. 3 out of 5 Hype.

Dual Universe – A space sim MMO where you build everything in game: the ships, buildings, etcetera. It is all one seamless environment, so you can fly your ship from the ground to the next world over without any load screens. You can trade with others, war with others, and become famous for your building prowess. It sounds a lot like an MMO answer to No Man’s Sky. I’d rather play a single player campaign, however, so 2 out of 5 Hype from me.

Halo Wars 2 – I’ll be honest, I heard the word Halo and stopped listening. There’s a new Halo game coming out, everyone.

Day of Infamy – A game from the makers of Insurgency. Looks like a WWII version with maybe Scottish or Irish infantry? I wasn’t really positive about it. They made it seem like everyone knew what Insurgency was and should know what to expect, which is not the case with me. I’m not sure I need another WWII shooter game, so 0 out of 5 Hype. If it turns out to be super amazing with early access available next month, then I might change my mind.

Mirage Arcane Warfare – It’s apparently Chivalry Medieval Warfare but with magic! I’ve never heard of it, but it’s a single/multiplayer hack and slash game. This one looks like it is set in an India-inspired setting and is one of those games where you have to time your attacks and watch your opponents carefully instead of mashing the left mouse button. Dark Souls, but brighter, and without the monsters. 3 out of 5 Hype even though I would be horrible at it I’m sure.

Mages of Mystralia – Not much to go on for this one. They kept pressing the fact that you could create your own spells, but I’m not sure what that will mean. 3 out of 5 Hype though for the concept. I just hope it’s something cool in the end.

Lunaro – From the makers of Warframe, which is a co-op FPS. This one is a peaceful game, however. You are supposedly old warriors/soldiers who have put away the weapons in favor of sports equipment. You play some type of futuristic lacrosse-type game but it wasn’t clear if it was single player, co-op or multiplayer, or some mix of all of those. Maybe something like Rocket League except without the cars. 4 out of 5 Hype.

Deus Ex Mankind Divided – Was the last title for PC GAMERS show. Gameplay of the first mission was shown as the developer talked about changes in Jensen from the last game to the new one, and about how this one is even darker than the last. The beginning is said to be a good refresher for old players and an easy entry for new ones. I’m in love, give it to me now. 10 out of 5 Hype.

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