Oh, That Hit Me Right In The Free Time

Holy Jesus.

The amazing and astounding things coming out of, and around, and even near E3 this year are beyond my wildest Dreams. Every expectation that I could have had, if I had ever paid attention to E3 before, were completely blown away. I have gone from lamenting that I had a video game system at all to being overjoyed that I managed to pick one up last year. I have re-joined the Inquisition in full force, and am stoked to get to the end and move on to the next game, something I’ve not had in years.

I’m just going to run through the list by enthusiasm level. While It is not representative of when I heard the list, it is very representative of how gleeful I am at each release.

XCOM 2

Everyone who knows me has to know that this would easily be my most anticipated release. I didn’t even conceptualize that a sequel would come out, let alone be something that took a different and strange tack from where the original sequels lead.

The most gratifying portion of the reveal is that it has the same familiar feel as XCOM: Enemy Unknown, but it takes it in a different direction. I appreciate that in my sequels. Retreading the exact same ground is now relegated to the work of a DLC or some form of add on. Now, you need to take the product you’ve given me and put a spin on it that, given the prevalence of DLC, couldn’t be done in a downloadable manner.

I think that the Cannon XCOM background does that quite well. Instead of putting XCOM, once again, as the Hero’s defending Earth, instead it takes more of a dark, freedom-fighter/terrorist mentality. Ambushing, surprise, sabotage and stealth are skills that seem to be paramount skills in XCOM2, and I don’t think the same strategies that won me the way through the first iteration. This, more than anything else, has me frenetic for this games release.

Fallout 4

This, strangely, was a game that I’d not heard a peep about in a number of years. It had fallen off my radar so badly that I was completely taken aback by its announcement. It definitely is not that Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas were bad games by any stretch, but I’d heard enough grumbling about the bugs in FNV that I had written off another sequel.

Like XCOM2, I think that New Vegas put just enough spin on Fallout 3 to make it a different game, worthy of another complete purchase. Now, however, I have a slight hesitation. What can they do with “Quiet Loner in a Post Apocalypse,” especially in the New England area, and Boston Specifically. Now, I absolutely adore Post Apocalyptic games, and Fallout is among the very best of that genre. The worry still sits, however, and I really hope that they are able to pull out another magnificent game that I play for over 100 hours.

Dark Souls 3

Dark Souls Is a game that I both have great affection for, and completely despise. The first game was a triumph of games. It was an endeavor so difficult, so fraught with impossible tasks and unbeatable odds that simply playing it was a testament to your resolution, resolve and perseverance. It was a game that I thoroughly enjoyed and craved more once I had finished. Dark Souls 2, however, was nearly a carbon copy of the same game. There was no twist, no new skills to use or gameplay to discover. It was even, if you follow the story, the same damned game, repeated.

Now, I know that this was on purpose. I know that it was to show how the world cycles and follows the same patterns, creating a loop of hero’s and villains who struggle eternally against one another in a perpetual cycle. That does not, however, mean that the game should be the same. There are many times that I have spoken of playing Darks Souls as 180 hours. It feels, to me, as one, long, sprawling game that has a great start and drug out in the end. Hopefully, with over a year between Souls 2 and Souls 3, I can come at it with fresh eyes and open mind. But I am not buying this sight unseen this time. I will make sure I don’t put another 60 hours into Dark Souls: the endless struggle.

Mass Effect: Andromeda

This is the last of the “Big Guns” announcements that really made E3 for me. I had assumed, much like Fallout, that the negativity surrounding Mass Effect 3 would have triggered an end to the series. That, and the story seemed pretty air-tight and finished. This announcement brought as much excitement for the mutiplayer, though, as it does for the single-player game. I am going to be setting aside some nights, definitely, for both aspects.

I don’t have a lot to go off of for this game. Bioware did well in making each game feel seperate and different, and I don’t think I enjoyed any one games mechanics over any of the others. They had enough spin, enough change, to make the outright purchase of such games worthwhile. I will likely buy this one as soon as I am able too. Sci-fi is a huge weakness of mine, and it doesn’t hurt that the wife enjoys the game and story as well.

The Others

The rest of these games are super-cool and I am looking forward to playing them for a variety of reasons. I predict that at least half of them, though, don’t make it past one of my filters: Don’t buy a game while your playing a different one.

Heroes of Might and Magic 7 – This game, hopefully, is just a bit better than 6. While I enjoyed the game, I was not particularly happy with the duration that was attached to it. It was a grueling slog that I was glad to be rid of, and that is not how I like my games.

Gears of War 4 – I love Co-op Shooters, and my friend and I have tackled a ton of them together, and Gears of War was one of the first. We made it through 2 and 3, as well, but neither of those games really lived up to the type of game that the first one was. Here is hoping they can pull this franchise out of the dungheap and make a cool game.

Halo 5: Guardians – See above, though with less Dungheap References. Halo, Halo 2 and Halo 3 were a ton of fun. Reach was possibly the best FPS story I ever played through. Halo: ODST was a different and entertaining take on the same world. Halo 4 was a bit of a let down, but still fun, brutal and had the ability to be played with a friend. That matters, and I hope Halo 5 can keep up the story.

Horizon Zero Dawn – This looks just awesome. I don’t really have any other thoughts behind this, because I don’t know enough about the game outside of a little bit of gameplay. Sadly, its a PS4 exclusive, and that is not the platform I have. This, and the last one on the list may change that though. What looks to be a combination of Ygritte, Brave, and Terminator, I don’t see myself giving this up just because I don’t have a $400 toy.

Megaman Legacy Collection – Turns out, I didn’t even know this existed until last week. However, this meant I immediately needed it. Megaman is, nostalgically, my favorite Franchise of games. Each games Bosses lead to a new and different way to play the same game, and give it that twist I am always looking for!

Rare Replay Collection – This is a collection of games from Rare, remastered to be played on your current system. I don’t know most of the games, but there are only two that matter: Conkers Bad Fur Day, and Battletoads. If the Remake of CBFD has the old school local mutiplayer on it, I’ll be amazing and I will buy and play the hell out of it. Return of the Meathunt!

Final Fantasy 7 remake – This. Do I really need to say anymore? Has this not been THE exact thing fans have been calling for for years? A remastered, remade final Fantasy 7 for the modern system. The only thing I hope they change is that painful, awkward 45 minute cutscene in the beginning. It is easily the only reason I’ve not played that game another half dozen times.

 

Man! there it is! My next year or two in videogames, laid out already. Its gonna be a freakin’ blast!