After persistent rumors and a few leaks Watch Dogs 2 was finally revealed just before E3 2016, moving the franchise from the urban jungle of Chicago to the sunny skies of San Francisco. With a new locale comes a new main character in Marcus Holloway, a hacker working in collaboration with the Anonymous-esque group called DedSec from the first game. Both the new face and the new digs bring a lot of improvements to the previous game, as my hands-on demo at Ubisoft’s booth can attest.
Today in 1998, players took their first steps into the fantastic journey of Banjo-Kazooie.
Absolver is not your average fighting game. The term “fighting game” normally elicits two immediate thoughts: 2D fighters like Street Fighter or 3D brawlers like Tekken. While Absolver looks like it should fit the 3D fighter mold, this is a game that acts more like Journey than it does a typical fighter. That sounds like a strange combination but it absolutely works, and my time with the game at Devolver’s E3 parking lot jamboree has planted Absolver firmly on my most anticipated list.
At E3 2015 Ubisoft debuted For Honor, a brand new action game focusing on the brutal art of swordfighting. The knights, vikings, and samurai of this war-torn world dazzled me during that show, giving me high hopes that this year’s E3 would give me even more epic sword battles to feast upon. Ubisoft happily obliged, introducing a brand new chapter in the game’s campaign mode and letting me once again take up my sword against the enemy hordes, and I left E3 2016 just as high on For Honor as I had the year before.
After achieving super-stardom thanks to the popular Saints Row franchise Volition has decided to introduce a brand new group of fearsome fighters. They are the Agents of Mayhem, an elite squad charged with keeping the world safe from whatever threats may emerge. This new team is less Third Street Saints and more GI Joe, although the trademark Volition attitude and humor is still very much intact. Agents of Mayhem is a step in a new direction, and so far it’s shaping up nicely.
The Gulf Coast is home to some of the most beautiful scenery you'll ever witness. Sunsets just look a little bit more majestic in the southernmost parts of the country, and Hangar 13 has managed to capture that stunning quality quite well for its upcoming action game, Mafia III. Most times, 24-hour day/night cycles in open world games are merely perfunctory displays, with little thought to the vibrancy of nature's palette. Driving on a coastal highway or even through the bayou, it's hard not to stare in awe at the majesty Hangar 13's been able to capture for this sequel.
Nintendo’s E3 was all about The Legend of Zelda. Literally. Its booth in the Los Angeles Convention Center was transformed to look like a locale straight outta Hyrule, and the only title on display was the next game in the decades-old action/adventure series. Nintendo is putting a lot of eggs in one basket with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, making some big changes to the classic Zelda formula. I was worried that the massive open world and Link’s host of new abilities (he can cook!) would make Breath of the Wild feel less like a Zelda game, but after spending some time in the reimagined Hyrule, I’m no longer afraid of change.
Deus Ex may not have single-handedly changed the way we think about choice in games, but it arguably opened the topic more thoroughly than any other game before it.
How do you take one of 2015's most successful and fan-favorite games and improve on it for a sequel? Well, if you're Lego Dimensions, you just don't make a sequel. Instead, you spend all that time just adding to the formula that got the original incarnation of Lego Dimensions so much acclaim and attention. In addition to implementing some slight tweaks to the foundation you built less than a year ago, you go bigger and more outrageous with the content as well. Not only is Lego Dimensions bringing the same tested gameplay back, without the need for new portals or game discs, it's also adding a crazy number of new characters and worlds to the base game without skipping a beat.
I worried a bit about Koei Tecmo taking on Attack on Titan. The publisher’s previous foray into the anime realm, two games based on Fist of the North Star, really underwhelmed me with monotonous gameplay and rehashed ideas. I went into my hands-on demo for Titan expecting to write about more of the same things I’d played before, but I left the demo completely surprised. Attack on Titan is a bold new direction, and if it pans out it could be a new era of success for the company.