PC Gaming is dead. Or not dead. Resurge! Crash! Whatever your personal opinion AMD decided to pony up the cash to run another PC specific showcase during this year’s E3.
So what was on show? Quite a lot, actually!
Hosted by Sean Plott, better known as Day the show kicked off with the first gameplay footage of Dawn of War 3. Said to be a mix between the first game’s focus on base building, the second game’s heroic units and some new twists. It looks stunning, with giant fricking lasers crashing into the ranks of soldiers on the ground.
Next is a short reveal of Klei Entertainment’s new game, Oxygen Not Included. It’s a Space Colony Simulation with a similar art style to Don’t Starve. The release date is not yet set in stone with a clever graphical glitch having it alternate between late 2016 and early 2017.
ARK: Survival Evolved is next on stage. The developers have been so impressed by the work of modders that some of them have been hired to work in the studio on some in-house mods. Coming soon to the game is a new biome, with lots of rivers and waterfalls. And a new dinosaur, the Titanosaur. They’re huge, armour plated and can have buildings constructed on their backs. Very realistic!
Next up… Giant Cop. Some kind of VR title, where you bust crimes. By throwing petrol tankers at hippies or something. It looked really weird.
Then, Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlords. Prettier graphics, fancier castle raids, still that deep combat that drives everyone wild. Modding will be back as well, with extra effort being put into making it easy to combine multiple mods for ease of use.
Deck 13 are making a new thing called The Surge, said to be somewhat like the Dark Souls series of games, but in a scifi setting. Something I recently said From Software should consider doing themselves. Nevermind! Not a lot of details on this one, just some snippets of gameplay.
Lawbreakers, Cliff Bleszinski’s new shooter, is getting a new map soon. It’s what Cliff wishes Los Angeles was really like, with underground roadways and autonomous cars so that everything above ground could be kept looking wonderful. Lawbreakers has some gravity manipulation elements and the skiing of Tribes and CliffyB also compares it to Overwatch. Overwatch is more for the anime fans while Lawbreakers is grittier and with more adult language. He’s not bagging Overwatch though, says his wife loves it and is great at Mercy. A new phase of alpha testing is coming soon and they want feedback if you get in, even if you also call Cliff an asshole on the way through. Really!
Not spending any time on the AMD product placements that occured here. The only interesting bit is that Croteam have made a version of Serious Sam that works in VR. It looks pretty stupid, which is exactly what you would expect from Serious Sam. Expect it to do well among VR owners, if it sees a proper release.
Don’t Nod show off a small snippet of Vampyr, a third person action adventure RPG blood drinking hybrid of a thing. Could be interesting, hard to tell as details are very scarce.
Killing Floor 2, still in Early Access and having a free weekend on Steam, is getting some new weapons, a new character to play and a new perk/class, the Sharpshooter. TripWire man dramatically pulls a phone out of his pocket, pokes at it a few times and then announces this new update is available now. It’s a slightly amusing bit of theatre as someone somewhere else pushed the actual button to release it, but the effect is the same. If you play Killing Floor 2, or would like to, there’s new stuff in-game now and a lot of fresh blood to play with.
And on a side note, Anna Sweet from Oculus is also on stage to announce Killing Floor: Incursion. A, you guessed it, VR experience set in the Killing Floor universe. It’s not the same as the regular entires, more of a survival horror, but the TripWire developers had fun working out how to model things like recoil in a VR space. Turns out, you do it very carefully.
Also, Superhot VR will be a thing. Probably a very cool thing, as the simplified graphics ought to lend themselves well to VR. One to keep an eye on.
Obsidian Entertainment, makers of Fallout: New Vegas, have a new game on the way called Tyranny. It’s an exploration of what would happen if evil triumphed and you join the ranks of the lawkeepers of the world. Do you go along with the new world order or not? Could mean killing a bunch of people. Another game short on details.
Bloober Team are next and as they have the best name I am giving it a moment to sink in. Bloober Team!
Anyway, they’re making Observer, some kind of creepy futuristic horror show. Jack into people’s minds and alter their thoughts and dreams. But you’re the police? And the world looks very trippy, with Matrix-esque wall ripples and code appearing at random on objects. Mysterious!
Sparkypants are making Dropzone, a competitive RTS/MOBA. Each player controls three characters instead of the usual one and you outfit them with certain abilities before battle. Looked interesting, but I question having that many characters to control in a MOBA-like environment.
Bohemia Interactive have a content drop coming. Arma 3: Apex will introduce new weapons, a new map, new vehicles and missions. And it’s coming July 11th, so if you’re into Arma you don’t have to wait long!
The Turing Test seems to be a puzzler akin to Portal 2, set on the moon Europa. Construct some machines to assist you through puzzles and… get cake?
Finji are making Overland, which looks to be a modern take on the Oregon Trail game. Set out across America in modern times, gathering supplies on the way and avoiding dangerous situations when you can. You can try to sign up for their very limited early access period at www.overland-game.com but when I tried the website was down. Good luck.
Dual Universe from Novaquark sounds really great, but it’s another sandbox-y build all the starships and buildings and things game that is in pre-alpha without even an Early Access date. You’ll be able to play with thousands of other players in the one city on a planet, or expand to multiple planets across the galaxy. If it ever comes out. A lot of these things just don’t go anywhere after generating a bunch of initial hype.
Halo Wars 2 shows up. They have a little more time to talk about it but just watch the Xbox presentation or read about it. Multiplayer, fairly large battles, playable on Xbox One or Windows 10, looks real pretty.
New World Interactive are making a game called Day of Infamy. Day took great care not to reveal the name before the New World Interactive man did so, but I’m still not sure why. Maybe it was a joke on the New World Interactive developer as the game, set in what looked like World War 1 or 2, looked frankly terrible. If it was a game coming to iPad you might forgive the low poly character models, the worse textures and the janky as hell animations. But it’s meant to be coming to Steam! Hope whatever sort of game it is it plays damn well…
In less terrible news, makers of Chivalry, Torn Banner Studios, are making a new game with all the swordplay and fancy footwork of the original but adding in a magic system. The graphics are also a lot more “fun” in nature, but the underlying systems are still those that either frustrated or delighted you. Mirage: Arcane Warfare. Keep an eye out for it.
Borealys are making Mages of Mystralia, where you’ll create your own spells, solve puzzles, fight monsters, probably save the world. Cartoony art style, but very charming.
Warframe! Warframe is getting a sportsball-esque game mode where you have to chuck a ball through a ring at the end of the field. There doesn’t seem to be any combat involved, unlike Grifball or Quidditch, so it may or may not catch on with fans of the game.
“Do we have any Warframe players here?” *long pause* *one guy clapping*
And at last we come to the final game in the showcase! Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. The first mission of the new game bridges the gap between it and the original, with Jensen finally coming to accept all his many augments and making full use of them. A number of times during the clip he falls from a great height, slowing himself with sparkly lightning and doing a superhero landing when hitting the ground. It looks very cool, as do the dynamic weather effects that can change the available approaches to a given situation. Maybe a dust storm blinds someone, or blinds Jensen, or just makes a god awful racket so nobody notices you clomping around behind them.
You’ll get the chance to customise your UI to a great degree this time, letting you hide disused elements, only foreground them when something important happens or turn things on or off for a greater or lesser challenge. Sounds very promising.
The show is capped off with a speech on the future of PC gaming by industry veteran Warren Spector. He doesn’t have a game to reveal, but if you want to listen to what he had to say there should be replays available later in the day.
In all, a much too long show that did provide some interesting morsels of information. Still not sure why it came back this year, not sure why it would come back next year, see you again next year?