So, nerd super bowl 2016 has ended. Squee! Now that the hype has died down I am able to better get the info on what I am most excited about.
There was a lot of good presenting, but I believe Sony had the best all-around showing with new IPs and hardware then Nintendo giving us a new beautiful Zelda game. Microsoft expanded on its social features and gave us cross platform gaming via Windows 10 along with a few exclusives and system iterations. For a full comprehensive lineup of games and hardware releases go here.
There were a few games that impressed me, mostly new IPs or niche games. I was excited to see some different and interesting types of things going on or games types that I just love delving in to. So let me show you some of that!
Looking at it from a base level it will remind you of Bioshock. It has a similar aesthetic and base premise of a Utopia gone mad.
You’re a resident of Wellington Wells. A town where everyone is a little off but made better because they have so much “Joy” in them. Your character is described as a Downer that has lost his “Joy” and sees everything for what it really is. And you want out.
It’s a procedurally generated world, it’s different every time you play, making each playthrough unique. This also allows for more content and higher quality for an Indie title. Moreover, there are multiple characters to play with slightly varying stories. This combined with the world itself changing ensures that you won’t get bored trekking through identical environments.
With a darker storyline and world and point of view that changes: I’m excited to see this release and play it through.
I mentioned before that Sony had an impressive showing with new IPs. Horizon Zero Dawn was introduced at E3 2015 with a bit of a ho hum. We had seen minimal gameplay but lots of pretty scenery. This time was different.
Horizon Zero Dawn follows Aloy as she leaves her village to discover the secrets of her world: why is the planet overrun by robots, what happened to all the people?
This is an Action RPG where tactics play a large role in how you take down each enemy. Aloy can scout out beasties on her adventures and highlight their week points for faster take-downs or bigger rewards. Being that people and resources are slim you hunt the robo-inhabitants for what you need. Crafting will play a large role in upgrading equipment and keeping up ammo stores. You can also create traps to assist in encounters similar to Monster Hunter.
One feature mentioned is an interesting quest system especially for crafting. Ever play a game where you have almost everything but you’re just short of a full stack of an item: then you have to find where to farm said item which may be in a wholly different zone? No more! You will be able to pick the item you need and a randomly generated quest for your area will spawn with those components! Note to future devs: Steal this idea. Sincerely the entire gaming community.
Check out this awesome gameplay trailer below!
On this list, I am probably most excited for this one. I literally cried when it was announced last year.
Long ago there was a series called Drakengard. It was a dark medieval story that touched on many uncomfortable subjects: lust, incest, pedophilia, cannibalism, child miscarriage. It was not for the faint of heart of intellect. The series seemingly died after that due to low sales and the company was eventually acquired by Square Enix.
Thankfully the thought to revive the series using the old dev team. Nier was created.
In 2013 the original Nier launched to high review scores and a soundtrack that eventually outsold the game. It kept much of the same feeling as the Drakengard series with just as many plot twists. The game took place based on an ending from Drakengard 2 where a demon enters present day and on its death leaves behind an incurable disease. You play Nier trying to save your daughter.
In Nier: Automota you play in the same universe after the events of the first game. The world was taken over by robots and humans escaped to the moon. You play as Android 2B sent to earth to reclaim it for humans.
The original Nier was an action based RPG that mixed up combat styles on the fly. You would switch from hack n slash to 3rd person shooter, to bullet hell style in the same fight. That is carried on in Automata with some welcome adjustments.
With Cavia defunct, development is now in the hands of Platinum Games, of DMC and Bayonetta, and they are huge fans of the original. They seem to have cleaned up the combat and made it just flashy enough while keeping the feel of the series. What we know now is you currently carry around a short sword, greatsword, and gauntlets for basic combat. You also have a small robot companion for long-range shooting attacks and that you can grab onto and float around the battlefield. Being that you’re an android with super speed combat is very fast.
The parts I am most excited about are the soundtrack and story. Nier and Drkanegard have very deep human stories that we rarely get in games. Even though they are in a fantasy realm the story is grounded in how the characters feel and think not the grandiose actions they perform. The soundtracks also kept that feeling going by truly pulling on emotions; click here to listen to one of my favorite Nier tracks to understand what I mean.