Post E3 depression aside, I have enjoyed the last week.
It was great to see videogames being made and talked about, and that's enough, for the moment. It was especially refreshing to see hype surrounding the games that made an effort to be experimental: While Halo and Call Of Duty were pushed out as respective show starters and stoppers at the Microsoft conference, it was games like The Last Of Us and Beyond that left people buzzing with excitement.
I'm not going to sit here and lament, again, the palpable shift towards non-videogame entertainment that was so transparently present at the show. This transition has been glacial, and anyone who is surprised or dismayed by Microsoft or Sony using known brands to sell hardware has clearly been hallucinating for the past several years. It's worth wading through the marketing PR nonsense and terrible Usher puns however, for just 5 minutes of Miyamoto goofing around. If that man endorsed heroin I would be a smack fiend within a week.
Also, there's totally a new Pikmin game. Get. Fucking. HYPE.
The Wii U looks to be doing all the things that Nintendo probably should have done a while ago, though it may be too little too late. Anyone who wants to play the 3rd party titles that had been previously excluded from the Wii library probably already owns an alternate means of doing so. Plainly put: Being able to play games like Batman: Arkham City on a Wii U in not incentive enough to go and buy one. What it does do, however, is spark the potential for 1st Party Nintendo games of a similar scope. It will be interesting to see how this alters the design of these classic franchises, each generation of which has been limited by it's respective hardware.
The game that most prominently caught my eye was The Last Of Us. It's a strange mish-mash of genres, survival thriller meets action adventure. The bright colour palette and amicable protagonists are at a surreal juxtaposition with the way you brutally murder anyone you meet. I watched the gameplay demo at work and by the end of the video my co-workers had crowded around my desk and were actively cheering at each fatality. (I agree with Jeff that cheering murder is kind of fucked up, but it was more of a "Oh no he didn't?!" kind of cheering than a "Yeah, show me his brain!" kind of cheering. Subtle difference?)
What interests me the most is the versatility of that engine.
A lot of the most exciting moments was the spontaneous way the characters react to each situation. If you run out of ammo the hunter hears the click of your gun and ventures forth, only to experience a budget Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster to the face. But what if you don't run out of ammo? How much wriggle room is there? That entire sequence looks so perfectly choreographed that it's hard to imagine it being resolved in any other way. So it is with mixed apprehension and excitement that I await The Last Of Us, a game that will either dazzle with it's versatility, or underwhelm when it's linearity is revealed.
I shall end this blog with a comic strip that is disarmingly relevant to my current situation. Replace the words League of Legends with Dota 2 and you have something pretty similar to what's going on with me right now.
I have actually managed to load up some hero models in maya so maybe I will write a blog explaining how to do that, as the process is fucking arduous and there are no actual guides on how to do so for Dota 2. I had to mash mine together using old TF2 guides, which was an utter ballache.