T3's second day at E3 2016 was just as action packed as the first, so let's get straight to it.
Yesterday, in T3's Day 1 coverage, I said that many games will be available only in 2017, with many developers incredibly vague about when their products would actually come to market. Well, another big title that has now slipped to next year is, sadly, Halo Wars 2, which now has a release date of February 2017.
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On the other hand though, today I got to see a very interesting and – in our opinion at T3 Towers – a very underrated game hype-wise. I am of course talking about the latest effort from Castlevania's game designer Koji Igarashi: Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
It has been revealed that the story behind this new game is the spiritual successor to his Metroidvania style of Castlevania, in which (SPOILER ALERT!) the story will take place in the 18th century and, in news that should deinitely appeal to the T3 reader, in England! The game is basically a 2D platformer with a woman as a main character who can fight against demons and who has the power to enter inside other bodies.
No more details have been disclosed today, but a playable demo of the game was shown. And, in this day an age, that is all you can really hope for.
The look of Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is extemely 90s for the pleasure of the Castlevania: Symphony of the Night fans, who even backed the project with $5.5 million on Kickstarter with their own cash, so they should be very happy indeed.
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Igarashi himself confirmed the game will be available from next year (what a surprise! March 2017 to be exact) on every console (second big surprise!) and no 'exclusive' (no words), while the demo will available as early as next week.
Check it out, and don't miss it!
Well, finally after a long wait, the new Gravity Daze 2 (wordwide know as 'Gravity Rush') is here and has been revealed 100%, with Keiichiro Toyama (Project Siren) in attendence in person at E3.
The game, born originally on PlayStation Vita, now after the international success is ready to come back and has been developed primarly for PS4 gamers. And, I can confirm, with Sony securing a higher investment and longer development time for the project to improve the overall game experience, this sequel is simply ASTONISHING.
If you loved this game on your PlayStation Vita, well what I can tell you graphically and technically is its very, very good.
The story will bring you back where the first chapter finished. Raven this time will be at your side and will help you right away in certain critical moments - but as Tokuma said, "it not a co-op".
On release date, nothing is yet official, even if Sony gave assurance that the game will hit the shelves within 2016. But, accoding to the general belief of the press, most probably we will have to wait until 2017 (as for many other games seen today).
Anyway, let's hope for the best anyway, the game is beautiful and if deserves more time so we' ll wait.
Another killer application for PS4 I saw was Detroit: Become Human. This, in my opinion, is game of show.
From the same studio of Heavy Rain, which was originally released exclusively on PlayStation 3, the game is an intriguing futuristic detective story which, from what I've seen, will capture both the casual as the hardcore player. Its dark and deeply intricate story is all about player-made decisions - an example of what I am talking about is that the gamer can not only answer in different way to both friends and enemies in-game, but also even choose our facial reactions. It's a bit like a slower, more adult version of Batman's Arkham series, with crime scenes to be analysed and explored, so if you loved these games, you'll love this too.
As for the story, it is a neo noir about near human robots, where humans are the bad guys and we - the robots - the good ones with detective skill in a storyline that seems mutuated from a Philip K. Dick book: dark, cynical and pulp, with your decisions determining whether your friends live or die.
I wouldn't say we are in front of an another masterpiece like Quantum used to deliver, but believe me it is one of the few titles that made me stay in its queue for almost one hour! Enough said.
Keep an eye wide open on this title, release date unkown, but most probably at the end of 2017.
2K, throughout the day at the fair, kept promoting their new installment of the Mafia series, with a music band playing all across the fair. Sincerly, I am not a great fan of the series (I played the first one, but always prefered GTA San Andreas), so I tried it but did not find any new interesting features compared to the previous chapters.
Only for the fans of the series then maybe. As expected, it is available on any platform (even Apple) from October 7 (yes, one of the few of this year).
Right, now let's talk about another gem of the show: Deep Down from Capcom.
I remember when I saw Deep Down for the first time, when it was presented at the Tokyo Game Show for the PS4's launch (we are talking about 3 years ago, in September 2013).
I remember it so well because I completed the demo inside the dungeon, not just because it was already at the time very difficult, but also because I was one of the few from the international press willing to play it anyway, and wrote about it immediately.
Now, what can I say that haven't said already?
Deep Down is beautiful and you should look to check it out, but when it will be out on PS4, I have no idea.
Oh, and of course, I have to mention Zelda, which I finally tried today (the queues since yesterday have been simply monstrous!). It seems to be a reboot (no weapons at the beginning) with an entire Nintendo booth dedicated to this title.
I am Zelda fan so I cannot say I did not like it, but sincerly I was not happy when I heared that Nintendo had said that what we played there was only 2% of the game! The detail was also officially given by a representative from the Big N at ESA twitch booth during the interview, so this makes me wonder if that February 2017 release date could slip.
And, while we're talking about the Big N, Nintendo today has finally presented 'Pokemon Go', which is basically what we've already played on its handheld systems over the past 20 years but now on smartphones. The AR-style element of finding Pokemon in the real world, while walking around the town, is at least something new.
The problem I see with it, however, is that I'd be bound to get arrested for public disturbances as I roamed around my home city at night looking for elusive Pokemon with my smartphone out (yeah, as in the handheld console games, some monsters show up only at night in specific places). Hmmmm...
The Go Plus add-on for a tag price of $35 (out in July) is an interesting bluetooth accessory with light and vibration that basically let you save the battery of your smart phone while crusing around the city in search of them.
Anyway, let's hope for the best and, as ever, all hail Nintendo.
Now let's talk about EA.
In the US, EA really hits home the idea of what the a multimillion dollar software company can be.
I say this to from a position of authority, as I attend all the industry trade shows around the world (Gamescon, E3 and the TGS), in particular at the Tokyo Game Show, where - and I wonder why - surprisingly this software giant is usually distributed by Sega. Here, it is not just the boss though, but nearly an institution!
This year NFL Madden and FIFA will come out in September (some of the few titles that will definitely come out for your consoles in 2017) and, between them, they are two of the most sold and played games around the world. No doubt EA will introduce huge and new enhancements to the gameplay of both titles.
Using EA studio Dice's Frostbite engine, these cash cows have been modified (a process that has taken two years in the making) and improved with a whole lot of new physical improvements, that could only be achieved with Frostbit. Expect more realistic physics and high-fidelity models. Oh, and a story mode in FIFA 17 has been introduced to pad out game depth in a genre that seems to be evolving in to something similar to Sega's managerial arcade game World Championship Football.
To be more precise, it feels more and more like a game in which you decide - as a football player and manager - what to say or not to say, on and off of the soccer field, that will affect in one way or an another your career.
I am very curoius to see how this improvements will be taken by the FIFA's hardcore gamers, and its future with new real football players' stories as DLC.
Out in september for all the platforms.
Last but not least, the E-sport tournaments: Peter Moore at the EA press conference said EA will improve the 'E-sport' concept on social networks, as with real tournaments all around the world. This is not only because, probably, he has understood it will help spread EA sales and revenues, but also the affiliation of the casual or hardcore gamers to the brand will be strengthened.
EA intend to divide the tournaments in three different stages: Challenger, Premier and EA Major, with $1 million the highest price from this year.
So, in conclusion, Day 2 of E3 brought with it a few beautful games, many promises and some interesting ideas that are still to be finalized.
See you tomorrow for the last part of T3's on-the-ground E3 coverage and some unknown secrets about the new Tekken 7.