So At Least The Graphics Were Nice

Posted by Raven10 (1923 posts) -

Last year at E3 I said that the theme of the show seemed to be showing the same thing as the year before only with better graphics, save for Nintendo actually innovating. This year we haven't hit Nintendo yet but the first part seems pretty much spot on a year later. Halo 4 looked like all the other Halo games, but with better graphics. Tomb Raider went the Uncharted route and let's face it compare those graphics to Underworld and you honestly wouldn't believe we were talking about the same console generation. Assassin's Creed looked like Assassin's Creed with better graphics. The same is true of Far Cry 3, Crysis 3, Dead Space 3, Medal of Honor Warfighter, and God of War: Ascension. Yea all of these games were in a way different and hopefully superior to their previous entries but they were still very much entries in franchises that had been going on for quite a long time. Microsoft mentioned a couple new IPs partway through their conference, but that was pretty much it. We got short 30 second trailers for them but none showed any gameplay. In fact there was only one game shown so far that genuinely made me say, "Huh, haven't seen that before," and that game was Watch Dogs. The game came completely out of the blue, a new IP with absolutely no fanfare and it actually looked pretty cool. I'm not even remotely sure what the hell the game is about, but I can safely say that it is a genuinely interesting idea. Did the end hint at a MP game? Or do you play as a bunch of different characters? I don't know but regardless the idea seemed cool, and yes, it had great graphics.

Easily the graphics champ of the day though wasn't in any press conference. Star Wars 1313 premiered on Spike after Sony's show and let's just say that those are some ridiculously good graphics. The guy being interviewed said he didn't want people to know what was a cutscene and what was being played if they watched someone play the game. I can safely say that they succeeded at least in the parts shown off today. The game easily looked as good as the CG in most other games and put the other great looking games at the show to shame. I'm interested if they were running the demo off of a PC or a console, cause nothing else shown today looked even remotely that good. Plus a Star Wars game that shows a darker, grittier side of the traditionally PG-13 rated series is welcome in my book. I'm honestly surprised neither Sony or Microsoft opted to show the game at their press conferences because the demo shown was easily superior to the Wonderbook or whatever it was called. And I could easily have skipped the lengthy multimedia demonstrations at Microsoft's show.

In the end, first off I am simply amazed at the graphics being shown this year. I'm curious if some of the best looking demos were running on a PC or on a console, but at the very least some of the amazing looking PS3 exclusives must have been running on a PS3. Halo 4 looked beautiful but I felt it was upstaged later in the show. Tomb Raider did look quite good, but the animation was a major sore spot for me. It was okay but not nearly as good as the procedural animation Naughty Dog and Sony Santa Monica are doing on the PS3. Oh and Beyond definitely has my interest. No idea how it actually plays, but it did have the best facial animation of the show and the premise was interesting for a story. Quantic Dream's games are always more enjoyable to watch than to play, but maybe they can prove me wrong and make something that I enjoy playing as much as I enjoy hearing the story.

And that pretty much sums Day One up for me. Amazing graphics, probably mostly running on PC, and a few interesting unique ideas here and there (Beyond, The Last of Us, and Watch Dogs stood out to me) and that Star Wars game is just fucking beautiful.

And final note, was it just me or did Leon really move and shoot at the same time in the RE6 demo? Cause I'm pretty sure he did. Seems like Capcom is truly entering a new generation. Took them long enough.

#1 Posted by Raven10 (1923 posts) -

Last year at E3 I said that the theme of the show seemed to be showing the same thing as the year before only with better graphics, save for Nintendo actually innovating. This year we haven't hit Nintendo yet but the first part seems pretty much spot on a year later. Halo 4 looked like all the other Halo games, but with better graphics. Tomb Raider went the Uncharted route and let's face it compare those graphics to Underworld and you honestly wouldn't believe we were talking about the same console generation. Assassin's Creed looked like Assassin's Creed with better graphics. The same is true of Far Cry 3, Crysis 3, Dead Space 3, Medal of Honor Warfighter, and God of War: Ascension. Yea all of these games were in a way different and hopefully superior to their previous entries but they were still very much entries in franchises that had been going on for quite a long time. Microsoft mentioned a couple new IPs partway through their conference, but that was pretty much it. We got short 30 second trailers for them but none showed any gameplay. In fact there was only one game shown so far that genuinely made me say, "Huh, haven't seen that before," and that game was Watch Dogs. The game came completely out of the blue, a new IP with absolutely no fanfare and it actually looked pretty cool. I'm not even remotely sure what the hell the game is about, but I can safely say that it is a genuinely interesting idea. Did the end hint at a MP game? Or do you play as a bunch of different characters? I don't know but regardless the idea seemed cool, and yes, it had great graphics.

Easily the graphics champ of the day though wasn't in any press conference. Star Wars 1313 premiered on Spike after Sony's show and let's just say that those are some ridiculously good graphics. The guy being interviewed said he didn't want people to know what was a cutscene and what was being played if they watched someone play the game. I can safely say that they succeeded at least in the parts shown off today. The game easily looked as good as the CG in most other games and put the other great looking games at the show to shame. I'm interested if they were running the demo off of a PC or a console, cause nothing else shown today looked even remotely that good. Plus a Star Wars game that shows a darker, grittier side of the traditionally PG-13 rated series is welcome in my book. I'm honestly surprised neither Sony or Microsoft opted to show the game at their press conferences because the demo shown was easily superior to the Wonderbook or whatever it was called. And I could easily have skipped the lengthy multimedia demonstrations at Microsoft's show.

In the end, first off I am simply amazed at the graphics being shown this year. I'm curious if some of the best looking demos were running on a PC or on a console, but at the very least some of the amazing looking PS3 exclusives must have been running on a PS3. Halo 4 looked beautiful but I felt it was upstaged later in the show. Tomb Raider did look quite good, but the animation was a major sore spot for me. It was okay but not nearly as good as the procedural animation Naughty Dog and Sony Santa Monica are doing on the PS3. Oh and Beyond definitely has my interest. No idea how it actually plays, but it did have the best facial animation of the show and the premise was interesting for a story. Quantic Dream's games are always more enjoyable to watch than to play, but maybe they can prove me wrong and make something that I enjoy playing as much as I enjoy hearing the story.

And that pretty much sums Day One up for me. Amazing graphics, probably mostly running on PC, and a few interesting unique ideas here and there (Beyond, The Last of Us, and Watch Dogs stood out to me) and that Star Wars game is just fucking beautiful.

And final note, was it just me or did Leon really move and shoot at the same time in the RE6 demo? Cause I'm pretty sure he did. Seems like Capcom is truly entering a new generation. Took them long enough.

#2 Posted by GunstarRed (5462 posts) -

You can move and shoot in Revelations.

#3 Posted by StrainedEyes (1331 posts) -

@Raven10 said:

I'm interested if they were running the demo off of a PC or a console, cause nothing else shown today looked even remotely that good.

It's said in the interview that it is running on a "high-end PC with Nvdia hardware."

#4 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4701 posts) -

That pretty much sums up E3 day 0.

#5 Posted by ArbitraryWater (12114 posts) -

I agree with this person's opinion, and thus post in his blog in order to give my approval.

#6 Posted by Zacagawea (1613 posts) -

@Raven10 said:

And that pretty much sums Day One Zero up for me. Amazing graphics, probably mostly running on PC, and a few interesting unique ideas here and there (Beyond, The Last of Us, and Watch Dogs stood out to me) and that Star Wars game is just fucking beautiful.

#7 Posted by Raven10 (1923 posts) -

@GunstarRed: Ah yes, I forgot about that. You need the circle pad pro or whatever it is called for that right? I guess this would make this the first RE game where dual analogue controls were standard and not optional.

@StrainedEyes: Ah yes, I didn't watch the full interview before posting this. If I was to place a bet I would say it is a launch game for the next gen systems. Definitely beyond what a current gen system is capable of.

@ImmortalSaiyan: I'm glad you agree.

@ArbitraryWater: Good to see you my friend. It has been too long since I read one of your excellent blogs. Are you still playing old PC RPG's? It's been a year or two since I last was blogging here.

@Zacagawea: Lol. Got me on a technicality. It's the first day of E3 so I think it's fair to call it E3 Day One even if the show floor doesn't open until tomorrow.

#8 Posted by Korwin (3029 posts) -

@StrainedEyes said:

@Raven10 said:

I'm interested if they were running the demo off of a PC or a console, cause nothing else shown today looked even remotely that good.

It's said in the interview that it is running on a "high-end PC with Nvdia hardware."

Pretty much everything this year that isn't a console exclusive has been running off a PC in the demo's, a lot of this stuff is going to be pushed over into or shared with the next console cycle. Hell at the EA conference you could see the giant green Nvidia PC sitting at the front of the stage with big ass Geforce logo's as the wallpaper.

#9 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

Yeah, the industry ahs started to suck and has for a while now.

Kids now will wonder why E3 was such a big deal 5+ years ago. It used to be a magical land where every direction held portals into worlds you had never seen or experienced before. Nobody knew what potential they held. Everything was different. Some stuff sucked. Other stuff was great.

EVERYBODY wanted to go.

This year I'm not even interested in watching the keynotes. I already know everything. New Halo, New COD, New blah blah blah. I mean, if you're just saying "everything we did last year plus one"... why do you need a trade show?

#10 Edited by ArbitraryWater (12114 posts) -

@Raven10:Kinda sorta, though not nearly as much as I would like. I wrote something about Mass Effect 3 like a month ago, and before that I wrote about The Witcher. I thought I'd have more time during the summer, but now my job eats up a lot of free time, as opposed to school and League of Legends. I'm probably going to write something up about Suikoden III when I finish that though, and I could probably finish Icewind Dale II given an attention span and a few days.

#11 Posted by SarjuTheRapper (278 posts) -

i can only hope it was boring because they were buckling down to have an eventful 2013. gotta save that conference money for when the launch process begins

#12 Posted by Brodehouse (10129 posts) -

I'd rather Resident Evil stuck with plant-your-feet, because it created interesting gameplay scenarios and tension. Its not like it's going to be more exciting because you can backwards strafe on every enemy like it was Borderlands. I prefer pop-pop-pop-full out run away and find a new place to set up-shoot more.

It's tough to tell publishers to create new IP that has to contend with sequels to popular games. Despite how pumped you might be about something new, the market rarely respones the same way. You have to spend five times as much on marketing to get Watch Dogs to have the same awareness as Assassin's Creed. You need to have a full media blitz to get Watch Dogs to sell 3 million. All you need to do is announce Assassin's Creed 3 to sell 3 million copies. Some guy who doesn't follow games closely sees a new version of one of their favorites compared to something he's never seen before.

Online
#13 Edited by HarlequinRiot (1098 posts) -

It was really cool to see the current consoles making games that look so good. A few years ago, I wouldn't think that something like Halo 4 or The Last of Us could be done on the same system that made things like Perfect Dark Zero.

There weren't many new games this year, but what do people expect the year before console announcements? Everyone is going to save major new properties for the next cycle. We got 3 really cool looking properties and that's more than I expected.

#14 Posted by cexantus (131 posts) -

Who knows if our childish memories of E3 really were all that better or merely the product of nostalgia; however, you're right in that E3, as well as the continuing trend of gaming, seems to be moving in this singular, boring path of sequels with better graphics. Sure Halo 4 and that new Gears of War game looks fairly nifty, but it's disconcerting how familiar they appear to be (though I probably will play Halo 4 at some point, cause I actually do enjoy the franchise). The reason why games like The Last of Us, Watch Dogs, and Beyond resonated strongly with gamers isn't so much the graphics itself (though all three games look gorgeous), it's that they're used to evoke an atmosphere (dat feel) quite different from any game shown during the press confrences. Especially The Last of Us, a game I was fairly indifferent towards until that E3 trailer, a brutal looking game that (at least seems to) treat every act of violence as beautiful, tense battle between life and death.

I left out that new Star Wars game purposely. While pretty, I'm not exactly sold on the actual game mechanics which looks too much like a generic third-person action game.

#15 Posted by AngelN7 (2973 posts) -

@Brodehouse: Yup it most be frustrating to developers people ask for new stuff yet only a few of them actually succeed and then are turned into franchises wich after the second game people get tired of , most gamers seem to have a very short attention span that or they contradict themselves too much, on forums they ask for new games but outside they go and buy the sequel.

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#16 Posted by Akrid (1356 posts) -

I don't understand the claims of this E3 being boring. The Last of Us and Watch Dogs look simply amazing, and even that is more then can be said of some past E3s. Aside from those two, there were a good handful of games shown that have some promise - ACIII looks great, NFS: Most Wanted looks great, Beyond could pan out pretty well, RE6 looks like good fun, Revengeance could be great or terrible, and I'm at least hopeful for Farcry 3. And I'm sure people other then myself are looking forward to Halo 4 and the new GoW (Both Sony's and Microsofts).

And in the grand scheme of things, I feel like this E3 marks the year where the industry starts to distance itself from FPSes. There's still plenty coming, but it seemed like most of the conferences were eager to show off something new.

#17 Posted by LiquidPrince (16175 posts) -

I thought God of War Ascension looked considerably worse then God of War 3 when it came to graphics. Although maybe the stream was just making it look bad.

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#18 Posted by Raven10 (1923 posts) -

@JazGalaxy: Sony had a couple cool games at its show, mainly Beyond and The Last Of Us. And Ubisoft had Watch Dogs, but everything else I saw was just an iteration on a game that had come before. They all looked nice but they didn't really show any new gameplay.

@ArbitraryWater: That's too bad. I finished The Witcher last week. I thought it was a brilliant RPG. The voice acting could have been better and I started to get annoyed that there were only like 5 character models in the entire game, but as far as telling an interesting story with complex moral choices, I can't say I've ever played a better game. It was refreshing to not have your standard Bioware Good/Evil choices and actually have to make a real decision with numerous implications.

@SarjuTheRapper: Yea I assume next year we will see a lot of cool stuff. At least hopefully. Nintendo's press conference managed to be the worst of the bunch and it was announcing a new system.

@Brodehouse: @AngelN7: That's very true. It's incredibly tough to launch a new IP especially at this point in a console generation. I'm sure next year we will see a bunch of new ideas that come with the launch of next gen systems. At least hopefully. I think a really telling moment was when Geoff was interviewing the Lucasarts guy on Star Wars 1313 and he said something to the effect of, "So this is obviously a standard duck and cover shooter just with better graphics." He said it in a way that seemed like more of a compliment but the gist was that what we had was Uncharted set in the Star Wars universe just with really good graphics. If that is the next generation then I'm going to be pretty disappointed. We had some great innovation this generation and I hope that we get some more great innovation next generation that extends beyond making prettier versions of games we have played 20 times already.

@HarlequinRiot: Watch Dogs was really the only huge surprise for me. The Last Of Us was announced last year and Quantic Dream had said several times it was working on a new PS3 game, so really the only big surprise of the show was Watch Dogs. Compare that to previous years when we got a dozen or more big announcements it kind of feels sad. But I agree that next year we should see some more creative new franchises. Hopefully at least.

@cexantus: Yea The Last Of Us definitely showed well. I'm curious how scripted that sequence was. If those types of situations emerge through normal gameplay then that would be amazing. But if there was only one outcome of that scene then it would be decidedly less impressive. I have a feeling though that there were multiple ways to get through that battle speaking that the person playing missed most of his shots. I'm really interested in how this game turns out. Of everything shown at E3 so far The Last Of Us has me the most interested.

@Akrid: I disagree with your last statement. Sony didn't show off an FPS games but Ubisoft showed off one, Microsoft showed off two, and EA showed off three I believe. If you add in third person shooters then I think I could safely say that the shooter category definitely owned the show as usual, again outside of Sony. EA especially seemed to have shooting on the brain with Dead Space 3, Medal of Honor, Crysis, Battlefield and maybe even one other I'm not thinking of. And even games that weren't solely shooters seemed to involve a lot of shooting like Tomb Raider, The Last of Us, Splinter Cell, and Watch Dogs. Again, Sony seemed to do less of this than everyone else, but most of the games shown were shooters still.

@LiquidPrince: I don't think it looked worse, but it didn't look any better really. The animation seemed to be the main improvement. They moved from canned animations to procedural animation in this game and if you look carefully you can see that the animation is far more fluid than before. Some of the lighting and depth of field effects also looked superior to God of War 3. That said, I didn't think it was a huge step up by any means, though I'm sure they have more great stuff to show going forward.

#19 Posted by PeasantAbuse (5138 posts) -

I think this is usually happens towards the end of console cycles.

#20 Posted by Raven10 (1923 posts) -

@PeasantAbuse: It seems to have gone on longer than usual this generation though. I feel like sometimes it is maybe the last year all we see is great looking sequels, but this is the third year at least we've seen the same set of games just with higher numbers on the end. The only difference between Microsoft this year and last year for example is that this year they decided to mix it up and start with Halo and end with Call of Duty instead of the other way around. Other than that they had pretty much the exact same set of games that they have had for three or four years now. Halo, Fable, Forza, Gears of War, Call of Duty, Dance Central, and one or two other token third party games, generally being either from Square Enix or Ubisoft, or in the case of this year, both. If this had just been a trend for a couple years then I might accept it, but these are the exact same games they have been showing for over half this generation. The only game I can say I was mildly surprised showed up was RE6 simply because Capcom isn't usually present at Microsoft's events. Other than that though it was literally the exact same six or seven games we see every year.

#21 Posted by Akrid (1356 posts) -

@Raven10: Maybe it's less the raw numbers and more the feeling that we've kind of gone past the most basic concept of FPSes. With Watch Dogs and The Last of Us, shooting seems to take a bit of a back-seat to a more human aspect. There were plenty of FPSes out there that are still mostly focused on facilitating you shooting guns at things, but out of all the games I mentioned previously, only one I'd consider a pure-bred shooter (Farcry). Guns themselves are going to be ingrained in games for a very long time, but the elements around that aspect are beginning to become the focal point. Up until this point, the story and setting was mostly just a vehicle to the shooting, but now that FPS and TPS tropes are a little less experimental because of examples like GoW and CoD, I feel like developers are now able to concentrate and emphasize on the more auxiliary parts of a game.

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