If you have the wonderbox that is Sony’s PlayStation Vita, today is a very good day for you. Just don’t plan to get much done for the rest of this month.
It’s Free (with subscription) Games time again. Let’s see what goodies are being thrown at our feet this month.
Want some new games? Of course you do. Check out September’s offerings for the two competing subscription services.
This week has seen the big names in gaming gather in Germany for the annual Gamescom conference. Though not as likely to contain the kind of news bombshells that are a basis of E3, it’s still a good opportunity for the mayor players to add detail to their upcoming rosters, and even throw in a few surprises. Also, once again Nintendo opted to not hold a conference but instead had their most recent games running in a booth to try and maintain the WiiU momentum.
Here we go! The last of today’s big conferences. Let’s see what Sony has in store to counter this morning’s strong show by Microsoft. Come on in!
HEY YOU. Do you like Assassinating some Creed? Do you like Watching some Dogs? Do you enjoy the odd bit of Far Crying? You do? You’re in the right place. It’s time for Ubisoft’s E3 conference!
The biggest event in gaming kicks off tomorrow when E3 2014 begins its week of hyperbole, broken promises and overbearing dubstep. Microsoft, EA, Ubisoft and Sony will be holding their conferences on the first day, and I’ll be liveblogging every single one of them! Take note of these times and get the kettle on.
Hang on, I just need to set my watch by the *Call Of Duty* release schedule. Activision has just released the first full trailer for *CoD Advanced Warfare*, their latest entry in the FPS juggernaut due out as usual in November of this year.
“But how can we make people care about this one?”, scream the marketers.
Two words: Kevin. Spacey.
Little more interested now?
Shinji Mikami is a man involved in redefinitions. He created the modern horror genre with *Resident Evil*. He defined third-person stylish action with *Devil May Cry*. He followed these by redefining action games with *Resident Evil 4* and made the funniest, most hardcore brawler ever in the sublime *God Hand*.
Then he took a look at one of the staples of Western game design – the third person cover shooter, popularised by *Gears Of War* – and casually made a game that bests all of them. That game, *Vanquish*, isn’t just a standout moment of the generation, but is also one of my all-time favourite games. And it’s really down to jawache.
I had to go full circle with *Mirror’s Edge*. It took two returns and three purchases to finally become friends with DICE’s parkour adventure. First, there was love at the sight of the first trailer; blue skies and scrubbed white buildings as a playground for first-person running. Next, obsession with the demo, learning the quirks and characteristics to try and get the best time. But, then came the full game.
The extra power of the PS3 and Xbox 360 generation heralded an important development in gaming: the dreams of matching the cinematic narrative style so prevalent in Hollywood could finally be realised. In hindsight, this strictly linear approach had arguably more failures than successes – for every *Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare* there was a *HAZE*, every *Heavy Rain* matched by a *Turning Point*. It was clear that pure power wasn’t enough – it had to be utilised not only by expert coders, but also by writers and directors who understood the need for deep, compelling characters in an exciting story.
And the absolute peak of this new wave was Naughty Dog’s expertly constructed *Uncharted 2*.
Ah, *Heavenly Sword*. Yes, the PS3 launch game commonly derided for being too short, too shallow, a pale shameless reflection of *God Of War*. One of the *great moments* of the PS3 generation?
Team Ico has been noticeably absent for the PS3’s life so far. A force to be reckoned with on the PS2, *Ico* and *Shadow Of The Colossus* frequently feature in many all-time-greatest-games lists. Team Ico’s PS3 title, *The Last Guardian*, was announced during Sony’s E3 2009 conference but then disappeared into development hell amid reports of technical problems, lack of direction, and lead designer Fumito Ueda quitting in the middle of the process. So, with the primary developers of outstanding emotive interactive experiences dragging their heels, who could fill the void?
Well, that’s it.
As of 12:01am this morning, as Microsoft released the Xbox One to counter Sony’s one-week PS4 lead in the new generation, our shiny home consoles that have been the source of much gaming pleasure over the last eight years officially became last-generation technology. It’s hard to predict just where the new consoles will take us (and probably we won’t really know for another year or so), but it’s a great time to reflect and take a look at what the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii added to our gaming lexicon.
The first time I completed my all-time favourite game, Sega’s astounding *Rez*, it was on a semi-stolen projector. I mean, *stolen* is probably too strong a word, but it’s definitely safe to imply that I shouldn’t have had it hooked up in my games room instead of being tucked up safely in a dark recess of my work office.