E3 PC Gaming Recap and impressions

  • This post is based on the badly made notes that I took during the conference. And there was a lot of them.

    Now, Lets get one thing straight! A lot of people will skip this post simply because it is titled PC Gaming. But let's clear something out right now: This... was my favorite conference this year. WAIT, wait wait.... hold on there. I said favorite, not the best. Sony had the best one, everyone should do it like that. But there were so many things to like about the PC conference, if you are ready to let go of the cynicism. Let's get right to it.

    They started big. Not as big as other press conferences, but the Dawn of war 3.
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    It just looks bananas. Everything is happening here. It's a Huber game. Spectacular. It looks like it's supposed to and from what I've seen, it plays like it should too. The game is supposed to come out sometime in 2017

    Next game was Oxygen Not Included, by the creators of the Don't starve. Not anything special, it looks like Fallout Shelter 2.0 with Don't starve art. But that's not necessarily bad, but it's not impressive.
    Next one is though. Ark: Survival Evolved. The game initiated with mixed reception, so I didn't pay much attention to it for a long time. But it really seems like the game has evolved (pun intended) since then. And with these many updates, it will only get better:
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    You can get a GIANT dinosaur that has a fort on. Think about Those giants elephants in the Lord of the rings, but even bigger. The sight of that is both intimidating and admirable. In addition, Ark is adapting mods as an official thing, now presenting possibilities for better trading system and becoming an animal, implementing breeding, raising a pack and competing against the island's inhabitants through any means necessary. All of this is coming this year. Now, that is Hype!

    Giant Cop is a VR game that is.. interesting. It's one of those not fully fledged VR games that work more like a demo. Here, you can jump into this visually appealing world and just loaf around. The game was very well presented through trailer and I hope the game will be close to being as comedic as the trailer. Coming out 2016.

    Next game seemed really important to me: Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord
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    In short: a castle siege simulator. But much more entertaining that it sounds. Along it, it will feature full mod support that will hopefully open many possibilities. While not an extensive game, it sure looks exciting.

    Next is a game about which we could have many discussions about. The creators of the Lords of the fallen are making a new game: The surge. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KJ22PCQ6gU

    Now, Lords of the fallen were considered heavily as a dark souls clone. While I don't oppose this statement, it is also impossible to agree with it. The two games are so similar and yet so different through narrative and fighting responsiveness but they are still too much alike to be a coincidence. I guess this has become some sort of a Souls genre. The surge shakes up the situation though. I think that one of the biggest reasons that Lords of the fallen was so heavily compared to Dark souls, was the medieval fantasy setting. Making The surge go into space is a bit step for preventing that. I mean, in worst case, you end up with space souls, which sounds like an exciting concept. But after the trailer I went to watch some pre-alpha footage, and it seems like the combat is quite different now. It maintains the dodge and patience features of Dark souls, but the movement seems really different. It also has a lot of slow motion footage that could either be a good thing or not. I think that rightfully so, this game won't and should't be compared to Dark souls and it still offers that one on one combat excitement.
    The trailer was bad though. The game deserves more praise than that trailer implies.

    Next is another game I am very excited about: Lawbreakers.
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    Let's just go ahead and compare it to Overwatch, since it's probably inevitable. Like in previous case, this is imo a matter of the king of the genre that is only starting to really define itself. They are both FPS's but from here, the floor gets slippery. Where are these games different or do they lack any substantiation amount of difference to be be evaluated without comparison. The key difference with Lawbreakers it's probably the faster pace and some mechanics like grappling hook and back shooting. And while overwatch seems more centred around pure fun gameplay, Lawbrakers is more directed towards pure action.
    At this point I want to give some praise to the host. He made the show to flow nicely and asked questions that were really interesting and challenging for the guest. And Cliff Bleszinski's answer was really encouraging: comparing them and Overwatch like Mortal combat and street fighter. And right after when I started to think about the answer, he drops the anime bomb.
    Sigh. Let's just move along. Really excited about the game though. Looks great. The game is supposed to be free and it's entering free alpha stage.

    This was followed by a montage about Yahoo eSports. I guess it has place in this show, but if you are not into it, they just wasted your time. I was also disappointed that Ben was not in the video.

    Next was the presentation of the new AMD graphics cards in the Polaris family. A lot of people roll their eyes at hardware presentations during a conference, but I really think that they have a place in them. I'm always excited for new console and part, progression of technologies and possibilities they bring.
    This lady knows her stuff and although she talked too much for such an even, there was something appealing about it. We got shown new Radeon RX 470 and RX 460. The supposedly most cost efficient cards right now. Also we got shown a VR backpack, which practical purpose I can't comprehend, except for a sight of Huber wearing one. Also teased were the new AMD Zen cpu-s. Nice!
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    Next was a game that I didn't know I was excited about: Vampyr
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    Also we saw some juicy gameplay.
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    It was during this gameplay that I almost lost my shit. while I was probably more excited because I watched this wit EZA, I really liked it. Let me just quote my notes:
    Nice music
    BLOOD MAGIC!!!!!
    SO GOOD!!!

    I understand that most probably aren't so enthusiastic about this game, but this was the most exciting moment of E3 for me, outside of Sony press show.

    And now: and obvious fact: You want Talos Principle 2. I want Talos Principle 2. But in the meantime, Croteam is revisiting its previous game, Serious Sam. Full on VR!
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    Serious Sam: The last hope. CroTeam apparently refused a lot of money to make it an Oculus exclusive. Backdoor shady deals right here. At the surface, this is another decent VR game, that looks more like a demo. But at its core it's a really fun VR game if you want full shooting amusement in nice environment against creepy and intriguing opponents.

    This is followed by killing floor 2 and its new update: Bullseye.
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    This is the point where I go "Oh, another zombie game. Guess what I won't be playing." But still... tthe trailer appealed even to me. If you are into this kind of game, I encourage you to check it out. More than Anything, they announced that the game is FINALLY coming out of early access sometime this fall. Finally!

    Also, it's getting a VR version: Killing Floor Incursion
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    Double-wielding guns and/or knifes? Hell yeah. More than Anything i want to see Huber freak out while playing this. It looks promising, but I would need to see more to make a better opinion. It's hard to present a VR game, without actually playing it.

    Ok, I really want to talk about this game: Superhot VR:
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    I extremely enjoyed Superhot as a game alone, so this is quite tempting reason to buy a headset for me. Also, it won't be just original game in VR, but a bunch new content. I simply can't see how they could possibly fail at making this. Definitely worth checking out.

    Here comes an RPG by Obsidian. Interested yet?
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    Apparently this is a highly anticipated game. There was not enough gameplay in the trailer for me to be sold on it, but as far as the narrative goes... i'm intrigued. If you are looking for a good narrative trailer, this is an amazing example.

    Remeber Layers of Fear? That horror game, that had great ambient and a decent horror part and everyone played it? Well, it's creators are making a new one, and they seem to have improved on both aspects:
    This can be a great game if it looks like the trailer. i'm interested in some concepts it present, so I advise to keep an eye on this one.

    There was an RTS game: Dropzone. Honestly... not into it. It barely showed anything different from the games we had for a long time. Another news come from Bohemia about ARMA 3.
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    I checked of it for some time now, and I don't remember it looking so good. I mean... it looks REALLY good. If the game plays and looks as good as the trailer, then we are up for a treat. This update called Apex will bring new vehicles and a new area. They have also released a build to create mods that could be adapted in the official launch.

    The next game is aimed for the Ians of this world. A puzzle game called The Turing Test:
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    It's one of those Talos principal-ish and Portalesque sci-fi puzzle games that don't seem to get old. And why should they? The game looks interesting and if you like this kind of games and If you enjoyed the Wittness, this could be for you. Also I really enjoed the music in this trailer. I really hope it's in game. This trailer is brought to you by Fatburger (No it isn't).

    There were just a bunch of (for whatever reason) interesting games at this conference. So is this one.
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    Now, before you go on ahead and say "This is just a No man's sky version 0.5" to which I would agree. But even if it was true in entirety, that would be fine, because No man's sky is my most anticipated game of the year and I intend to play hell out of that. There is a couple of differences however. You remember when I praised the host for his attitude and critical questions? He does it again. He wants the guest to reveal larger plans for the game, how will they fit among other games. the difference among games like this is that thisis more focused on building, both your ships and structures alike... or even cities, with other players as citizens. Also the game is supposed to present "a single-shard universe" which means that all players are in the same game at the same time. At least that is what they said. to me this only means that this is smaller than No man's sky. And as No man's sky, this game is taking its time for development, as it will only enter its alpha early next year.

    Next game was simply bad. It featured poor textures and models, and lame voice acting. Day of infamy does not look good. So let's jump into a game that I'm highly anticipating: Mirage: Arcane warfare:
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    While the opinion of allies is split, it looks spectacular to me. Sure it may seem like Chivalry (maybe because it's made by the same people), but I find this game to be really attractive. Visually seems great, it will offer more playstyles and the famous verticality. It just seems fun, and that is enough to be a good game. Look at Overwatch. the game comes out in fall this year and you can sign up for beta right now.

    Next game comes from a popular franchise. I'm talking about Halo wars 2. We've seen something at Microsoft conference, but it's still an interest conversation. about the game. The host again offers good questions. The key feature of this game that will hopefully stand out is the diversity of modes that you'll be able to play so that it may accommodate huge playerbase. You can check the whole conversation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWeUvxiTw1U

    Next game is Mages of Mystralia:
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    The game may look simplistic, but crafting your own spells really speaks to me. It's not highly anticipated, but it looks nice and I'm sure it will find its fanbase somewhere. it may be wise to wait for reviews to come out, but for now, I quite like it.

    Next one is a bit tricky to explain. Do you know Warframe? That game that somehow made it to the top of steam charts, free to play space ninja action game? Well it sounds cool, so it may not be really surprising that it's successful. But It is also supposed to be due constant improvements that the developers had put into game.
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    It would appear that Warframe has joined up wit Rocket league. So, take all the space ninja thing an join it with weird mode of soccer and quidditch. Ok, this really has no way of sounding bad. But still not convinced? Then I advise to check this clip, if not for anything else, to see the swift movement of this game.
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    Next is probably the biggest thing of this conference DeusX: Man kind divided. They explained some gameplay mechanics and showed first level: Dubai:
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    I mean... It's Deus X. Not much can be said. We are all hyped about the game. And luckily, it's coming on august 23th.

    This was supposed to be the crunch. But they had to bring Warren Spector! The man that is a legend in the industry, making games like the original DeusX. He talked about gaming overall and gave some insight on the present and the future of PC. He seems like a nice man and he had a nice speech. But goddamn, was it too long. You destroyed a great ending for the conference.

    Bottom line:
    I said that this was my favorite conference of E3 2016. And it really was. They had a great host, and a great program, even though it went in other way compared to other companies. A talk show mode might not be the best way to have a conference, but it had certain charm and we gained some good insight on the games and hardware. And I don't think that they have to change. Sure, it will never be as great as Sony was this year, but the sheer improvement they achieved compared to the last E3 is staggering. It was game, after game, after game. And some talking and hardware in between, fine. Sure it may not have many famous titles, but the games have quality. A majority of the games presented, I like, which could not be said for Ubisoft, and EA, and it had a better pace than Bethesda did. And sure it may not be as shiny as Microsoft, but it had its own charm, that very much appealed to me. This conference was a success but they need to improve it even more to prove that they can be consistent and attract additional fans. Also, if they change the starting time of the conference, even more attention will be on it. Hope to see you next year PC Gaming.

    4/5 stars

  • Nice recap :smiley:

    I've cycled back and forth between PC and console over the years and I'm currently more into PC right now. DoW3 looks fantastic and I like the direction that they're going in. DoW2 was more squad based and I enjoyed it, but 40K to me was always about massive armies colliding in a storm of steel, blood, and fire. I can't wait to try it out.

    Aside from DoW, only Deus Ex and Tyranny really made me go "I have to play that". Ark made me grin from ear to ear but I know I'd lose interest pretty fast, just not a genre I'm really into. But hearing "dinosaurs" will always get my attention.

    I'll keep an eye on Surge... reading "Space Souls" made me tingle all over.

    Lawbreakers: ANIME WINS. Sorry Cliffy.

    Halo Wars 2: Could you imagine if the PC version of this required a controller? I remember trying out Halo Wars on 360 and it was... okay to good... but RTS just needs a mouse and keyboard. Loved Deserts of Kharak and I see similar vibes in terms of keeping things simple/streamlined and up tempo.

    As for the presentation itself, I thought it was so much better than the year before (for obvious reasons). The presenter was great and everything was kept nice and tight for the most part. I do like your point about how the presenter asked questions to the developers so they could elaborate more on their game, but I still prefer no commentary gameplay with maybe a link to a website at the end that could tell me more if I was interested. Still, with a limited budget and the work of having to get together all these various developers, they did a great job.

    :star: :star: :star: :star: /5

  • Well-written recap!

    Yeah, I honestly don't get the flack this years pc gaming show got. The host was great, they showed many games with a lot of variaty, it had good pacing and fun guests.

  • Great writeup!

    For me, the biggest draw from the show had to be Mount & Blade 2. Having plunked down over 120 hours into Mount & Blade: Warband and achieving the heralded accomplishment of unifying the entire continent, I can safely say that the series is ADDICTING! For those who do not know what this series is, imagine Sid Meier's Pirates! set in the Dark Ages. The game has a great mixture of realistic, simulated combat, political intrigue and an open world filled with an amazing amount of content. Do you want to work under a kingdom and rise the ranks? Want to depose a king and place the, "Rightful," heir? Maybe even make a claim for yourself and start up your own kingdom? Want to be a bandit and terrorize everyone? Go right ahead! That is the beauty of this game and I am even more excited to see what Mount & Blade 2 brings to the table to enhance the experience.