The week of E3 is filled with so many games, it's often hard to find a way to stand out from the crowd. Sure, there are major sequels fans have been waiting for and splashy new titles from respected studios, but it takes a special kind of game to be heard above the traditional noise. One way to accomplish that is by doing something completely unexpected, say like teaming Mario up with the Rabbids. That only gets your foot in the door though. By making that mash-up a quirky tactical-strategy game in the vein of XCOM, you don't only get into the room, you take over the conversation.
The cold was getting unbearable as the storm rolled in. What's worse, all the snow and winds had made it harder to know whether our quarry was lying in wait, or quietly stalking us without our knowledge. As we made our way through the shrinking arena, a feeling of creeping dread washed over us. Suddenly, we were struck from behind. That dastardly opponent had been with us the entire time, biding his time for the perfect kill. Fortunately for us, the Director had other plans, and our battle on The Darwin Project was only just beginning.
For years, writers have struggled with the idea of artificial intelligence growing into something that is more than the sum of a bunch of circuits. Science fiction is filled with tales of robots wanting to be more than their coding, and the concept has filtered down from the likes of Pinocchio to Blade Runner to I, Robot and more. In all that time, we've rarely been given an opportunity to step into those robotic shoes ourselves, and that's where Quantic Dream's Detroit: Become Human starts to get interesting.
Admittedly, I was skeptical about Call of Duty: WWII when it was announced. Sure, it looked pretty, but we'd been here before. A lot. While Activision's more recent turns into more fantastical military shooters may not have been grounded in gritty realism of historical encounters, they at least offered the multiple Call of Duty dev teams the chance to tell stories we hadn't seen before. After sitting down with Sledgehammer's Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey for a demo of Call of Duty: WWII's story, I can say I'm more intrigued than ever for a Call of Duty game.
The last 20 years have seen more games released than we could possibly count, but one sports franchise has stood out above all the rest. We're writing about it now, so you already know where we're going with this. Everybody's Golf (formerly known as Hot Shots Golf outside of Japan) arrives this year to celebrate the anniversary milestone, and it's not a moment to soon for devoted fans. It's been six years since Hot Shots has graced a PlayStation console, but this year's entry is not only the best looking, it's also been revamped from the ground up to be even more accessible to newcomers than ever before.
The annual release schedule for Madden NFL has typically left the development team at EA Sports with little room for improvements beyond technical adjustments to the way we play on the gridiron. However, with Madden NFL 18, the game isn't just switching engines from the sports-focused Ignite to the DICE-developed Frostbite, it's also taking some calculated risks with new gameplay elements. As much as the Madden-head in me is interested in the physics and football-related improvements Frostbite is bringing, it's the new single-player story mode that has my attention.
Whatever your opinion of 2015's Star Wars Battlefront, DICE crafted a multiplayer experience that truly made you feel as if you were part of the action. The scope may have been limited, but the battle between the Imperial army and the Rebel forces gave us the impression we were the unseen heroes of the Galactic Civil War. With Star Wars Battlefront II, that feeling once again returns. After going hands-on with Battlefront II's multiplayer at E3 this week, it's clear DICE has crafted a deeper experience that gives actual weight to the battles beyond a kill count.
The Star Wars franchise is no stranger to strong leading women fighting for the Rebel Alliance, but it's a bit more uncommon for the Empire's female allies to get the same recognition. Villains like Asajj Ventress and Doctor Aphra have become fan favorites not just because they're women, but because they show a side of the galactic conflict rarely seen. After seeing a brief portion of the Star Wars Battlefront II single-player campaign in action, it won't be surprising at all to see Commander Iden Versio join those memorable ranks this fall.