Tuesday, June 12, 2012

E3 2012 Demos

Hey Everyone

Hope you all are doing well and have plans for the summer ahead of all of us! Planning to paint more miniatures? Looking forward to summer movie releases? Or gallivanting through Sanctuary in farming/leveling exploits? We'd love to hear from you!!!

The E3 Expo (June 5-7) has just ended and there have been mounds of news and videos about video games! I've tried my best to keep up with them, and I have to say that there are a few videos that have caught my eye. For some reason, trailers and demos leave me wishing the games were already made, and yet at the same time...the overwhelming hype coupled with a disappointing release has killed many a title.

Tech Demos:

Computer technology has consistently progressed, and I feel that we're already at the stage where 360/PS3 graphics are generally considered obsolete. Only a few years ago were the 360/PS3 considered close to top-of-the-line graphics. While PC gamers may already be enjoying the current generation of graphics (eg. DirectX 11), the next generation of gaming consoles is almost around the corner.

Square Enix and Unreal have shown demos of their engines in E3, both depicting fantasy-ish settings with not much to go for storylines. Granted, these are tech demos which are only meant to showcase engine capabilities (eg. dynamic lighting and particle physics), and not full-feature movies or trailers to capture one's attention. Obviously, graphics-wise the engines deliver, and I wonder what kind of graphics will we be enjoying in 2/3 years?

These videos are best viewed full screen with HD quality.

A Couple of Games:

Also, a couple of games (from the plethora on display) captured my attention, primarily for their interesting settings and backstories. I'd love to hear from you other games that you are following!

Naughty Dog, famed for their Uncharted series, is currently developing The Last of Us, a  post-apocalyptic game that is like none other. It features a very unconventional duo: 40 year old black market smuggler (Joel) who smuggles 14 year old Ellie out of the quarantine zone as a promise to a dying friend. The story is rather intriguing as they are fleeing from the US military while facing the horrors of the wasteland (hostile survivors, infected humans). You can read more about the back story here.

(the song in the trailer is Hank Williams's "Alone and Forsaken", a song with rather gloomy lyrics about a girl who spurned a man)

From what I've seen so far, Naughty Dog has seriously delivered on the game atmosphere and it seems that game mechanics might prove interesting too...having a girl help you in innovative ways. Knowing the quality of the games that Naughty Dog is renowned for, do keep an eye out for The Last of Us, it may prove to be a great hit.

The other game that caught my eye is Ubisoft's Watch Dogs, which is set in the near future where a lot of human life has become digitized. I am generally not a big fan of Ubisoft's releases, but Watch Dogs looks set to be awesome.

Something akin to the awesome Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Watch Dogs is a cyberpunk game that sees you play as  Aiden Pearce, an anti-hero hacker extraordinaire of grey morality who uses both wits and hacking to get the better of his enemies. Not to rain on the parade, the supposed 2003 Blackout presented in the trailer contains both truth and fiction (more on the fiction side).

The eerie thing about Watch Dogs is that what is happening in that game...is already happening today. London is already slated to test out a city operating system, while cyberwarfare may become the next super weapon of the near-future. I feel that technology itself is neutral and its progress cannot be stopped...and the best we have is how we respond to such advances and how we use it as individuals.

I might be stating the obvious, but privacy is (or has already) becoming a thing of the past, and who knows how our lives will be changed by future information technology?

To quote from Albert Einstein from Red Alert...perhaps time will tell, sooner or later, time will tell.