Videogames highlights - June 2016
June 2016 was the month of E3, the Los Angeles fair where the new games soon to arrive are traditionally shown. A place where a lot of good stuff usually comes out, but also (mostly?) guilty for a series of dumb trends for an industry that always succeeds in fooling itself. But this past June was rather important for the Brexit, an event that will substantially affect video games development in the United Kingdom too, and for the celebration of the 11th anniversary of the Nintendo 64 arrival. An historic event as well, all things considered.
The first project of Hideo Kojima after the rough parting with Konami was full of expectations, and what was shown by the Japanese designer and his new personal development studio (Kojima Productions) at Los Angeles surely satisfied the aforementioned expectations as far as surprise is concerned: right now Death Stranding doesn’t have either a plot or some small details about gameplay, yet the enigmatic trailer released at the E3 shows that the next game from the creator of Metal Gear wants to say something new by exploiting the hardware capabilities of the machines from the latest generation. Norman Reedus’ childbirth simulator will be released many, many years from now on PS4, and likely on PC at a later moment.
The developers at Arkane Studios have almost finished working on Dishonored 2, the sequel to the game that redefined the concept of “stealth” applied to the traditional action-adventure formula which will be now set in Karnaca, the Jewel of the South, where the enemies of usurped empress Emily Kaldwin and royal protector Corvo Attano are about to experience the new powers of the masked assassins together with many new ways to die. The game should last between 12 and 20 hours, Arkane says, and this without taking into account the chance to replay the campaign from the double perspective of Emily or Corvo. To be released on November for PC Windows, PS4 and Xbox One.
God of War
When game developers grow up, and maybe they have children, even the most brutal characters like Kratos have to face the need to rise their offspring other than destroying ancestral beasts and deities. Not that in the new God of War there will be no chance to brawl or slaughter the myths, of course, because the developers at Sony are promising a lot of fresh meat coming from the Norse mythology after the Olympian extermination happened in the previous titles of the series. Both contexts, the Norse one and the Greek one, should coexist without issues according to Sony. To be release on PS4, eventually.
Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom
It’s quite likely that Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom will miss the 30th anniversary of the Wonder Boy saga (2016) coming out only the next year, but according to what the developers say the spiritual heir to the most classic of the arcade games (at least for yours truly) will offer the players a lot of exploration opportunities thanks to the six available transformations. It’s like having six different perspectives on the same game, the folk at Game Atelier say, hoping that they will stop with the new ideas sooner than later and will complete the development works. To be released in 2017 for PC Windows, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
In the effort to regain the appeal lost because of a rotting and unrecognizable gameplay, Capcom decided to radically change direction with Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. The new encounter with the survival horror saga gives up on the bio-apocalyptic storylines of the latest chapters with a return to origins of sort, where a lone hero will have to face the “evil” residing in a single mansion while he is searching for his missing wife. It almost sounds like a ghost story but it isn’t, the developers say, zombies will return to bite players’ heels and the experience will be “immersive” - both because of the first-person perspective and complete support for Sony virtual headset. Words that need to be proven, in any case. RE VII will arrive on PC and consoles on January 2017.
Indie developers have the luxury to experiment with things never tried before, and Scorn is exactly the result of one of these experiments: the new biomechanical-gaming nightmare is openly inspired to the works by H. R. Giger and was created by Ebb Software, a Serbia-based indie studio which promise a mix of adventure, action and bio-shootings in a non-linear world, full-body awareness for the character while interacting with the game’s world and a limited inventory management. Scorn will be split in two parts, with the first one (DASEIN) expected to arrive on PC in 2017.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
There is a renewing atmosphere coming from the choking gaming industry of the Rising Sun, and besides the aforementioned Capcom even Nintendo seems willing to try something new while taking inspiration from the classics: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild follows the adventures of a Link just awoken after a centennial sleep, in a different world that wants to be “wild” and open to free exploration starting from the title. Breath of the Wild is the first true RPG of the LoZ saga, Nintendo explained, with many new ideas merged with the traditional action-adventure setup designed to engage the player but also to let they feel at ease. To be released at the same time on Wii U and Switch in 2017.
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