Video Games at E3 That Were Neat or Cool, By Brad

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Posted by Brad (2875 posts) -
Strap a contraption built by John Carmack onto my face, check.

First it was trendy to malign this year's E3 for being too big, too out of touch, too gauche, or too boring. Then maligning the people doing the maligning became the thing to do. I suspect we'll be yelling at the people who are yelling at the people who are yelling about E3 soon enough, but before this snake of negativity begins to eat a second tail it didn't even know existed, let's cut through all the nonsense and admit that whatever issues the video game industry and the expo itself may have, there were more than enough games to get excited about scattered around the show floor.

The two most memorable moments of E3 actually happened back-to-back for me on the afternoon of the first day, when I first got to talk to John Carmack about his homemade head-tracking VR unit, and then get a look at the absurdly gorgeous Star Wars 1313 demo. But we've covered those things plenty, so let's move on to a handful of the other stuff that I thought was most impressive at the show.

Dyad and The Unfinished Swan

I grouped these together because they're the two PSN indies I had a chance to spend some real time with, but also because they exemplify how well Sony is approaching and supporting small games and small developers lately. I've heard over and over how easy Sony makes it for indie studios to get onto the platform, and both of these games seem to show off what a small group of people can create when they've got the support and confidence of the platform-holder.

You can't really get smaller than a team of one guy, Shawn McGrath, who's making Dyad. The game made a big splash back at GDC, and now having played it myself I can easily see why. It basically does for Tempest what Geometry Wars did for Asteroids, bringing the tube-racing format into high definition with a pounding, adaptive soundtrack and lots of neon lights. More importantly, the basic rules of the game never seem to stop evolving, so the mechanics you rely on in one level may have flipped upside down or completely given way to some other objective a couple of levels later. McGrath said that nonstop reinvention continues right up to the end of the several dozen levels in the game. Sounds like fun to me.

The Unfinished Swan is also coming from a small team, but one that's had the benefit of literally setting up shop inside Sony's famed Santa Monica Studio. Five minutes with the game made it clear this is going to have the same appeal as Journey, with its dreamlike emphasis on exploring an environment at your own pace. There's a storyline, but it seems like you're only going to see as much of it--and indeed as much of the world that contains it--as you're interested in revealing for yourself. The stark, minimalist art style is really joyous to see; I can't wait to see more of it.

SimCity

The idea of being able to import commodities like electricity from your neighbor's city is enough to get me interested in playing a new SimCity. It's such a sensible and thematically appropriate way to incorporate multiplayer into the game, beyond some really basic sort of "check out the layouts of all your friends' cities!" functionality. But the thing that really impressed me about SimCity when I sat down for a 15-minute demo was just how elegantly put-together everything seems to be.

The interface looks like it will be a beautiful exercise in minimalism. All of the controls I saw were arranged along the bottom of the screen in a tidy little row that sort of looked like the Windows taskbar. The only interface elements I noticed that actually get in the way of your city pop up in the form of little info cards that float around near the thing they're describing, almost in an augmented-reality sort of style. Combine that with the everything-is-tiny effect of the tilt-shift photographic filter they're using, and the droll sense of humor with rockabilly criminals running around and such, and I will be very happy to waste an absurd number of hours on city planning and governance in February next year.

Watch Dogs

There's not a lot to say about this one that you can't see for yourself in the lengthy demo, especially since Ubisoft wasn't showing anything else or really revealing any other information afterward. Like seemingly everyone else, I'm excited about Watch Dogs purely for the reason that it's something other than a sequel. But beyond that, the information-warfare aspect looks both really entertaining from a gameplay standpoint and also distressingly prescient as we barrel into the over-connected digital future. Though, the part in the demo where Watch Dogs went from imaginative cybercrime stealth game to standard-fare third-person shooter is where the game lost me a bit, but I'm remaining hopeful that slow-motion shootouts will be only one of multiple ways to address your objectives. I'd rather hack into power grids and disrupt communications from the shadows to get my dirty work done. With all the nifty high-tech tools at your disposal, it would be shame if you're railroaded into blowing a bunch of guys away every 30 minutes.

All that stuff would be reason enough to keep an eye on Watch Dogs, but that little tease at the end of the demo implying some kind of dynamic cat-and-mouse multiplayer makes this seem like it could be one of the most exciting new properties to come along in quite a while. We need to see a lot more of this game to be sure it works as advertised, but what's out there now sure is promising.

South Park: The Stick of Truth

Even if this game looked like poop, it'd deserve a mention here just for the 90 seconds Trey Parker and Matt Stone spent rescuing Microsoft's press conference from the robotic executive doldrums that were dragging it down. But considering how deeply involved those guys are in the actual writing and production of the game itself, is it any wonder this thing actually looks completely fantastic? OK, so it's probably not the toughest feat to nail the dinky construction-paper aesthetic of the TV show, but still, they did it. Most importantly, the trailer seems to show off exactly the right mix of subversive and ludicrous humor that's kept South Park going on television for what, 15 years? It's mindboggling that the show is still even remotely good or relevant, but it is, and if you combine those sensibilities with the spot-on presentation of the show and what sounds like some well considered RPG mechanics, The Stick of Truth honestly sounds like it could be the video game South Park has deserved since its very beginning.

The Last of Us

The Sony press conference demo was merely OK, with its focus on killing everyone in your way as brutally as possible, but it was the much longer, closed-door demo I got to see with Patrick and Alex that convinced me The Last of Us is going to be something special. For me, step one of establishing that I really want to play this game was confirming that no, you don't have to shoot every bad guy you encounter in the face with a shotgun. In fact, you don't have to shoot them at all, or even engage with them in any way; sneaking around roving groups of enemies will be a perfectly acceptable way to deal with them. The unexpected step two for me came in the realization that while you may elect to play The Last of Us as a pacifist out of moral responsibility, you'll be making a very real mechanical sacrifice to do so. Those bandits may be carrying some very precious supplies that you won't get access to if you don't take them forcefully, and what's more, those guys are scrounging the area for the same found items you are. So if there are bandages or bullets in a drawer somewhere and they get to that drawer first because you were busy hiding in a closet waiting for them to pass, you've lost your chance at getting those items. It sounds like a game that will ask you to make a lot of tough decisions on your feet, and that's more interesting than gunning down hundreds of thugs could ever be.

However underwhelming or one-note this year's press conferences were, however offputting the treatment of certain show staffers was, however repetitive and unimaginative the product cycle may be getting this late in the hardware cycle, at least there were still more individual great-looking games to see than one person could reasonably have time for. Top of my list of games I'm sorry I missed, there's XCOM: Enemy Unknown, The Cave, and Far Cry 3. And plenty of neat stuff barely missed making this list, like Pikmin 3, Halo 4, and Assassin's Creed III (which I didn't even bother to go look at, because, come on, who's not going to play that?).

There's talk that E3 may move cities next year, if Los Angeles goes ahead with its plans for more downtown stadium development. In light of all the criticisms about how this year's show played out, maybe a change of venue is just what E3 needs. What could make for a bigger shakeup than literally picking up and moving to a new stage? Wherever E3 ends up next year, and whatever wild hardware shows up there, I'm at least confident coming out of this year's show that we'll have plenty to play and talk about until then.

Staff
#1 Posted by Brad (2875 posts) -
Strap a contraption built by John Carmack onto my face, check.

First it was trendy to malign this year's E3 for being too big, too out of touch, too gauche, or too boring. Then maligning the people doing the maligning became the thing to do. I suspect we'll be yelling at the people who are yelling at the people who are yelling about E3 soon enough, but before this snake of negativity begins to eat a second tail it didn't even know existed, let's cut through all the nonsense and admit that whatever issues the video game industry and the expo itself may have, there were more than enough games to get excited about scattered around the show floor.

The two most memorable moments of E3 actually happened back-to-back for me on the afternoon of the first day, when I first got to talk to John Carmack about his homemade head-tracking VR unit, and then get a look at the absurdly gorgeous Star Wars 1313 demo. But we've covered those things plenty, so let's move on to a handful of the other stuff that I thought was most impressive at the show.

Dyad and The Unfinished Swan

I grouped these together because they're the two PSN indies I had a chance to spend some real time with, but also because they exemplify how well Sony is approaching and supporting small games and small developers lately. I've heard over and over how easy Sony makes it for indie studios to get onto the platform, and both of these games seem to show off what a small group of people can create when they've got the support and confidence of the platform-holder.

You can't really get smaller than a team of one guy, Shawn McGrath, who's making Dyad. The game made a big splash back at GDC, and now having played it myself I can easily see why. It basically does for Tempest what Geometry Wars did for Asteroids, bringing the tube-racing format into high definition with a pounding, adaptive soundtrack and lots of neon lights. More importantly, the basic rules of the game never seem to stop evolving, so the mechanics you rely on in one level may have flipped upside down or completely given way to some other objective a couple of levels later. McGrath said that nonstop reinvention continues right up to the end of the several dozen levels in the game. Sounds like fun to me.

The Unfinished Swan is also coming from a small team, but one that's had the benefit of literally setting up shop inside Sony's famed Santa Monica Studio. Five minutes with the game made it clear this is going to have the same appeal as Journey, with its dreamlike emphasis on exploring an environment at your own pace. There's a storyline, but it seems like you're only going to see as much of it--and indeed as much of the world that contains it--as you're interested in revealing for yourself. The stark, minimalist art style is really joyous to see; I can't wait to see more of it.

SimCity

The idea of being able to import commodities like electricity from your neighbor's city is enough to get me interested in playing a new SimCity. It's such a sensible and thematically appropriate way to incorporate multiplayer into the game, beyond some really basic sort of "check out the layouts of all your friends' cities!" functionality. But the thing that really impressed me about SimCity when I sat down for a 15-minute demo was just how elegantly put-together everything seems to be.

The interface looks like it will be a beautiful exercise in minimalism. All of the controls I saw were arranged along the bottom of the screen in a tidy little row that sort of looked like the Windows taskbar. The only interface elements I noticed that actually get in the way of your city pop up in the form of little info cards that float around near the thing they're describing, almost in an augmented-reality sort of style. Combine that with the everything-is-tiny effect of the tilt-shift photographic filter they're using, and the droll sense of humor with rockabilly criminals running around and such, and I will be very happy to waste an absurd number of hours on city planning and governance in February next year.

Watch Dogs

There's not a lot to say about this one that you can't see for yourself in the lengthy demo, especially since Ubisoft wasn't showing anything else or really revealing any other information afterward. Like seemingly everyone else, I'm excited about Watch Dogs purely for the reason that it's something other than a sequel. But beyond that, the information-warfare aspect looks both really entertaining from a gameplay standpoint and also distressingly prescient as we barrel into the over-connected digital future. Though, the part in the demo where Watch Dogs went from imaginative cybercrime stealth game to standard-fare third-person shooter is where the game lost me a bit, but I'm remaining hopeful that slow-motion shootouts will be only one of multiple ways to address your objectives. I'd rather hack into power grids and disrupt communications from the shadows to get my dirty work done. With all the nifty high-tech tools at your disposal, it would be shame if you're railroaded into blowing a bunch of guys away every 30 minutes.

All that stuff would be reason enough to keep an eye on Watch Dogs, but that little tease at the end of the demo implying some kind of dynamic cat-and-mouse multiplayer makes this seem like it could be one of the most exciting new properties to come along in quite a while. We need to see a lot more of this game to be sure it works as advertised, but what's out there now sure is promising.

South Park: The Stick of Truth

Even if this game looked like poop, it'd deserve a mention here just for the 90 seconds Trey Parker and Matt Stone spent rescuing Microsoft's press conference from the robotic executive doldrums that were dragging it down. But considering how deeply involved those guys are in the actual writing and production of the game itself, is it any wonder this thing actually looks completely fantastic? OK, so it's probably not the toughest feat to nail the dinky construction-paper aesthetic of the TV show, but still, they did it. Most importantly, the trailer seems to show off exactly the right mix of subversive and ludicrous humor that's kept South Park going on television for what, 15 years? It's mindboggling that the show is still even remotely good or relevant, but it is, and if you combine those sensibilities with the spot-on presentation of the show and what sounds like some well considered RPG mechanics, The Stick of Truth honestly sounds like it could be the video game South Park has deserved since its very beginning.

The Last of Us

The Sony press conference demo was merely OK, with its focus on killing everyone in your way as brutally as possible, but it was the much longer, closed-door demo I got to see with Patrick and Alex that convinced me The Last of Us is going to be something special. For me, step one of establishing that I really want to play this game was confirming that no, you don't have to shoot every bad guy you encounter in the face with a shotgun. In fact, you don't have to shoot them at all, or even engage with them in any way; sneaking around roving groups of enemies will be a perfectly acceptable way to deal with them. The unexpected step two for me came in the realization that while you may elect to play The Last of Us as a pacifist out of moral responsibility, you'll be making a very real mechanical sacrifice to do so. Those bandits may be carrying some very precious supplies that you won't get access to if you don't take them forcefully, and what's more, those guys are scrounging the area for the same found items you are. So if there are bandages or bullets in a drawer somewhere and they get to that drawer first because you were busy hiding in a closet waiting for them to pass, you've lost your chance at getting those items. It sounds like a game that will ask you to make a lot of tough decisions on your feet, and that's more interesting than gunning down hundreds of thugs could ever be.

However underwhelming or one-note this year's press conferences were, however offputting the treatment of certain show staffers was, however repetitive and unimaginative the product cycle may be getting this late in the hardware cycle, at least there were still more individual great-looking games to see than one person could reasonably have time for. Top of my list of games I'm sorry I missed, there's XCOM: Enemy Unknown, The Cave, and Far Cry 3. And plenty of neat stuff barely missed making this list, like Pikmin 3, Halo 4, and Assassin's Creed III (which I didn't even bother to go look at, because, come on, who's not going to play that?).

There's talk that E3 may move cities next year, if Los Angeles goes ahead with its plans for more downtown stadium development. In light of all the criticisms about how this year's show played out, maybe a change of venue is just what E3 needs. What could make for a bigger shakeup than literally picking up and moving to a new stage? Wherever E3 ends up next year, and whatever wild hardware shows up there, I'm at least confident coming out of this year's show that we'll have plenty to play and talk about until then.

Staff
#2 Posted by RandomInternetUser (6789 posts) -

Yay, Brad article.

#3 Edited by GalacticPunt (1026 posts) -

But which ones were nifty-keen?

#4 Posted by Gunslinger0130 (224 posts) -

Bradelfield Brad Company

#5 Posted by wrecks (2212 posts) -

Neat.

#6 Posted by Little_Socrates (5675 posts) -

So, uh, I don't think South Park is still funny or relevant, and I haven't for a few years now.

But the game still looks cool and I want to know more.

#7 Posted by Abyssion (8 posts) -

I remember Brad mentioning he wanted to play Theatrhythm on the Bombcast, I'm curious about his thoughts on the game if he got to play it.

#8 Posted by Lively (298 posts) -

@Little_Socrates said:

So, uh, I don't think South Park is still funny or relevant, and I haven't for a few years now.

Ditto; the creative, chaotic energy that made South Park special has been dying or dead for years now (it started going downhill after around season 8). Every so often they have something mildly interesting to say about current culture, but then proceed to beat that same joke into the ground for the rest of the episode.

#9 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -

Last of Us sounds so much better from the closed door demo, I wish they'd stop insisting on showing us just action and shooting things treating us all like some gun crazy morons. It's what I hate the most about the current state of gaming. Everything has to be about guns.  
 
How many people are really that excited for another third person shooter? Because that's pretty much what the E3 demo portrayed. 
 
I hope Sim City is well designed to make good use of multi-core, if it is I don't think I should have many problems running it, looks great. I hope it inspires a resurgence in sim games. I wouldn't mind another 2D Rollercoaster Tycoon.

#10 Edited by hussatron (189 posts) -

Well Brad, your title wins.

Also, it seems like everyone missed The Cave since there isn't much talk about it. I'm hoping to hear more about it soon.

#11 Posted by The_Nubster (2052 posts) -

It's always a joy to read Brad's writing! And also heck yeah Sim City.

#12 Posted by DG991 (1344 posts) -

@Gunslinger0130 said:

Bradelfield Brad Company

: Brew

#13 Posted by Overbite (200 posts) -

I'm not going to play Assassins Creed 3. I don't like those games at all.

#14 Posted by HarlequinRiot (1098 posts) -

I feel like for the scavenging concept of Last of Us to really work, they're going to really need to balance the difficulty so that's it's fairly challenging, so that those items are really necessary, but lenient enough to prevent trial-and-error, which would ruin the mood completely.

#15 Posted by Abendlaender (2766 posts) -

Assassin's Creed III (which I didn't even bother to go look at, because, come on, who's not going to play that?

Says the guy who didn't play any Assassin's Creed when it came out :P

Always love to read Brad's articles though

#16 Edited by TheHT (10904 posts) -

I really enjoy the way Brad writes. Something about it is always so pleasant, even when the subject matter itself may not be.

Just learning about what Unfinished Swan actually is, I'm way excited for it. I can see myself painting every single corner of the space you're put in to discover all there is to see.

#17 Posted by UnholyBomb (3 posts) -

Really enjoyed this. Thanks Brad!

#18 Posted by Phatmac (5721 posts) -

Brad continues to prove that he's the best writer at Giantbomb! Great read, Brad. :P

#19 Posted by huser (1044 posts) -

@Sooty said:

Last of Us sounds so much better from the closed door demo, I wish they'd stop insisting on showing us just action and shooting things treating us all like some gun crazy morons. It's what I hate the most about the current state of gaming. Everything has to be about guns. How many people are really that excited for another third person shooter? Because that's pretty much what the E3 demo portrayed. I hope Sim City is well designed to make good use of multi-core, if it is I don't think I should have many problems running it, looks great. I hope it inspires a resurgence in sim games. I wouldn't mind another 2D Rollercoaster Tycoon.

It's a weird dilemma. The numbers indicate the large percentage of gamers care about shooting dudes in the face, the response during the demo shows people care about shooting in the face, yet nominally they are trying to get some mainstream news cred, which probably is not served by basically completely adhering to some of the worst stereotypes that anti-gaming lobbies throw our way (tough to argue against being desensitized to violence when blowing the face off a dude on his knees beggin for his life is wildly cheered).

#20 Edited by chocolatebear (5 posts) -

@huser: I think you have to shotgun that guy in the face though. He probably would have done you that way if roles were reversed.

Also I fail to understand how killing only a few thugs for supplies is any less worse than poppin' every thug you come across. Where do you draw the line and how does that make the gameplay superior because you have a choice? edit: Why would you intentionally limit your amount of supplies by killing less thugs? edit: I understand that by killing more you're also possibly spending more supplies as well. Maybe there should be an option to only maim/knockout and not kill. Maybe a barter system? Or maybe you pimp out your little gal friend to the thugs in exchange for goods. That's a tough choice to make, but one that should be available if killing isn't your thing or you ran out of bullets. You get the supplies, but the thug's death isn't on your conscience.

#21 Posted by radioactivez0r (830 posts) -

@TheHT:Right? What would cause someone to NOT fill in the entire world anyway?

#22 Posted by Sharpless (458 posts) -

I love that the title of this article makes it sound like a paper written by a fifth grader.

#23 Posted by umdesch4 (772 posts) -

@Phatmac said:

Brad continues to prove that he's the best writer at Giantbomb! Great read, Brad. :P

I have to agree. I was reading bits of this out loud for a friend, and it flows like a well-polished speech. Also, I have my suspicions that there were multiple passes of copy editing done here. That's very much appreciated too.

#24 Posted by jaycrockett (430 posts) -

Sim City looks like Mr. Roger's neighborhood! Nifty!

#25 Edited by huser (1044 posts) -

@chocolatebear said:

@huser: I think you have to shotgun that guy in the face though. He probably would have done you that way if roles were reversed.

Also I fail to understand how killing only a few thugs for supplies is any less worse than poppin' every thug you come across. Where do you draw the line and how does that make the gameplay superior because you have a choice? edit: Why would you intentionally limit your amount of supplies by killing less thugs? edit: I understand that by killing more you're also possibly spending more supplies as well. Maybe there should be an option to only maim/knockout and not kill. Maybe a barter system? Or maybe you pimp out your little gal friend to the thugs in exchange for goods. That's a tough choice to make, but one that should be available if killing isn't your thing or you ran out of bullets. You get the supplies, but the thug's death isn't on your conscience.

First point, I don't see how that's relevant. You have the gun and he's on his knees, the hypothetical that he'd off you if the situation was reversed doesn't entirely matter because that's not the situation you are dealing with. Given he was choking you out (then again you'd already burned alive one of his buddies), I agree with you he probably would.

Response as you say isn't a stepwise function. Could have knocked that dude the eff out. Heck that actually makes sense for not alerting everyone on the block where you are, and saving a shotgun shell now that you don't have revolver ammo. And that demo has you take out more than half a dozen folks. That's not a few thugs by any reasonable interpretation of that scenario other than most game protagonists being mass murderers. If you are actually worrying about scrounging, then don't waste literally irreplaceable resource.

EDIT - To be clear, that's not even the real point. It was the thunderous cheering to go with that event. Which ties directly to there being a bit of a dilemma for game makers.

#26 Posted by lamaldo78 (6 posts) -

Conbradulations on a great article.

#27 Posted by Vortextk (418 posts) -
Strap a contraption built by John Carmack onto my face, check.
 
So...he should make this for the next saint's row, right?
S4int's Row: Carmack Edition: Strap it on.
#28 Posted by Demoskinos (14574 posts) -

This has the best title for an article.

#29 Posted by ThePilgrums (423 posts) -

@Little_Socrates said:

So, uh, I don't think South Park is still funny or relevant, and I haven't for a few years now.

Agreed. I got straight up sick of South Park even before the World of Warcraft episode. It just started feeling stale to me and felt every episode was reusing old gags, only with different subject matter. Even if this game is good, the fact that it's South Park in 2012 makes me have zero interest.

But nicely written piece, Brad!

Online
#30 Posted by triviaman09 (786 posts) -

@Little_Socrates said:

So, uh, I don't think South Park is still funny or relevant, and I haven't for a few years now.

But the game still looks cool and I want to know more.

I could not disagree more. I think it's incredible how funny and relevant it still is, despite its age. It has a few misses here and there but the overall level of quality it maintains is massively impressive.

#31 Posted by vonFlampanker (327 posts) -

Keeping my fingers firmly crossed for EA not to microtransaction/DLC/DRM/Origin-require/forced-social-network SimCity to death. Game looks flat-out great. Being able to choose solo/multiplayer is an encouraging sign.

#32 Posted by Timnoldzim (86 posts) -

I am so, so, SO excited for Stick of Truth. I love South Park, and it's had a really shoddy track record with game adaptations, so the idea of a game from the series that isn't just good, but will probably be great, is exciting to me.

#33 Edited by MeatSim (10773 posts) -

Brad bringing some optimism to the table, I like it.

#34 Posted by Dryzen (3 posts) -

Wow by Brad that was a very neat article thank you very much!!!

#35 Posted by beard_of_zeus (1670 posts) -
@Demoskinos said:
This has the best title for an article.
For sure. Reminds me of an elementary school report - no offense intended Brad, I thought it was funny, and your writing skills are at least at a 20th grade level, so don't worry :)
 
What I Did During My Summer Vacation with My Cool, Cool Friends in LA by Bradley Shoemaker: A+
#36 Posted by Demoskinos (14574 posts) -

@beard_of_zeus said:

@Demoskinos said:
This has the best title for an article.
For sure. Reminds me of an elementary school report - no offense intended Brad, I thought it was funny, and your writing skills are at least at a 20th grade level, so don't worry :)

What I Did During My Summer Vacation with My Cool, Cool Friends in LA by Bradley Shoemaker: A+

Exactly. I thought it was chuckle worthy in a endearing way. <3 Brad

#37 Posted by Brad (2875 posts) -

@triviaman09 said:

@Little_Socrates said:

So, uh, I don't think South Park is still funny or relevant, and I haven't for a few years now.

But the game still looks cool and I want to know more.

I could not disagree more. I think it's incredible how funny and relevant it still is, despite its age. It has a few misses here and there but the overall level of quality it maintains is massively impressive.

Yeah, I'll definitely agree they have their off episodes (and I haven't seen any of the most recent season, so maybe it took a general nosedive in quality). Admittedly, a lot of my ongoing love for that series is couched firmly in the context of "hmm, this really should be completely awful by now."

Staff
#38 Posted by Y2Ken (1078 posts) -

Brad is an excellent writer. I remember Jeff saying as much once, and it's totally true.

#39 Posted by mrburger (100 posts) -

No nosedives, truly. Lately even the off-episodes have at least two or three like deeply, abs-hurtingly funny bits apiece. Trey and Matt still seem to know what makes a South Park episode great, and when they put their best into it (e.g., into the one (1) Emmy-bait episode per season) it's a show worth being there to watch the night it airs. To the haters: it's okay to be a member of the huge population that doesn't like South Park. You are a crucial part of what makes it such a delight to watch.

#40 Edited by Lively (298 posts) -

@mrburger: @mrburger said:

No nosedives, truly. Lately even the off-episodes have at least two or three like deeply, abs-hurtingly funny bits apiece. Trey and Matt still seem to know what makes a South Park episode great, and when they put their best into it (e.g., into the one (1) Emmy-bait episode per season) it's a show worth being there to watch the night it airs. To the haters: it's okay to be a member of the huge population that doesn't like South Park. You are a crucial part of what makes it such a delight to watch.

I don't think it's fair to write us of as "haters" who just don't get South Park. I absolutely love seasons 1-7, and like a good number of episodes that were made afterward. They still come up with great riffs and images from time to time (for instance, the most recent image that still sticks with me is the cancer-ridden men of South Park using their testicles like pogo sticks), but I think they've lost the ability to make well-told stories. Episodes from the older seasons and the movie were well-made from top to bottom. Now, most episodes have one good joke / image, and the rest of it is just listening to Trey Parker complain about politics / pop culture for 30 minutes.

Even if they still know how to make a good episode, it doesn't excuse them being so lazy that they only do so once a year.

#41 Posted by MikeGosot (3227 posts) -
@Abendlaender said:

Assassin's Creed III (which I didn't even bother to go look at, because, come on, who's not going to play that?

Says the guy who didn't play any Assassin's Creed when it came out :P

Always love to read Brad's articles though

I feel like i'm the only one that's not going to play ACIII.
 
#42 Posted by mercury228 (36 posts) -

I agree with this article from Brad, but I have to say that I disagree about the shooting in Watchdogs. I thought it looked way better than most cover based shooters out their. I really hope it will mix the dynamic cover based shooting with the hi tech espionage that was on display. I also highly doubt that was on a PS3 or and 360 cause nothing on current consoles could touch the way Watch Dogs looks.

#43 Posted by yoshisaur (2661 posts) -

As always, Brad article hits all the right spots for me. Loved the the little quip at the beginning with all this non-sense going on.

Also, Last of Us looks like it is going to be amazing, is it a PS3 exclusive? If so, then it may be time for me to go buy one.

#44 Posted by CakeBomb (217 posts) -

More Brad articles please!

#45 Posted by Brad (2875 posts) -

@mercury228 said:

I agree with this article from Brad, but I have to say that I disagree about the shooting in Watchdogs. I thought it looked way better than most cover based shooters out their. I really hope it will mix the dynamic cover based shooting with the hi tech espionage that was on display. I also highly doubt that was on a PS3 or and 360 cause nothing on current consoles could touch the way Watch Dogs looks.

Yeah, I had no problem with the way the shooting actually seemed to play, once it happened -- it's more that I was sitting through that demo at the press conference muttering to myself "please don't be a shooter, please don't be a shooter" and then it... turned into a shooter. I guess you have to include some concessions to popular tastes, but I would've been more excited about this if it had been a pure story-driven adventure game where your wits and gadgets were the only tools at your disposal. Then again, LA Noire is a good example of that kind of game including shooting mechanics but not leaning on them too heavily. and I loved it, so if Watch Dogs can do something like that, more power to 'em.

Staff
#46 Posted by Obinice (273 posts) -
@Little_Socrates I like your avatar.

That is all.
#47 Posted by Jazzycola (662 posts) -

The more I look at Watchdogs the more I compare it to what AC3 would've been if they decided to make it modern day. The hack vision or whatever happens in the club is essentially at it's heart Eagle Vision. Hacking streetlights is like throwing a smoke bomb or distraction in Revelations, though, at a much higher scale. Not to mention the movement at the end of the demo is probably the same movement animations as AC but then again it seems that Ubi is putting that into all their games (see Splinter Cell). This is not a gripe against the demo as I love me some Assassin's Creed just an observation.

#48 Posted by NathHaw (2760 posts) -

Brad, I'm with the other cool people here. That title is one of GB's finest.

#49 Posted by Lord_Punch (138 posts) -

I'm anxious to see more of South Park: The Stick of Truth.

#50 Posted by ThePhantomStranger (353 posts) -

What I really want to know about the last of us is if it's going to be as linear as Uncharted...

Also great article Brad!

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