With the Electronic Entertainment Expo — E3, parishioners — just a few days away, we’ve still got a few more games to preview. Welcome to Day Nigh!
***DAY NINE, June 10th — THE LAST GUARDIAN, NHL 17, DESTINY: RISE OF IRON***
“BROTHER” MYKE LADIONA @onemyke
THE LAST GUARDIAN (Sony Interactive Entertainment, genDESIGN – PlayStation 4 – TBA 2016) – Despite the surprise appearance of Fumito Ueda’s long awaited follow-up to Shadow of the Colossus at least year’s E3, it would bare no surprise if The Last Guardian was a no-show at this year’s Sony Conference. It’s easy to get used to delay announcements when you’ve been waiting for a dev’s product for 11-years. Yet it seems, with all the gameplay previews being shown to the major media outlets, that the bird-dog and his new friend will indeed make appearances at multiple game conferences, and inevitably retail outlets, all year this year. While the demo from last year offered hardly any new info about what the game would be, this year we’ll be finding out a whole lot about the story, the characters we’ll be following, and the gameplay mechanics we’ll be using to get through the many puzzles — which are already starting to sound immersive and impressive. The most interesting aspect of the game is going to be Trico, the creature you will be trying to save in the game.
(cont.) Ueda, in a preview Q&A, talked at length about Trico, saying, “This creature isn’t like the cute pets that exist in other games, or an ally that’s really useful. The role of the creature is ambiguous; that’s something we wanted to express in the game, and it doesn’t always do what you ask it to do. That’s one of the themes of The Last Guardian. It’s something that’s difficult, and completely different. I want to create the next thing – an experience that people have never had before”. He then went on to discuss the technical feat of creating Trico, “The amount of code is very large compared to AI in conventional games. We’ve given this creature its own desires, so depending on what action it wants to take, that affects everything, including its animation. It’s not like a normal humanoid character.” We’ll have to see if Ueda, and his team at genDESIGN, can really translate these promises into another interactive work of art that can be proudly mentioned in the same breath as Ico and Shadow of the Colossus and we’ll get major hints at just that at this year’s expo.
“PASTOR” BILL AMMON @BammonB
NHL 17 (EA Canada – PS4, Xbox One – Fall 2017) – Call me pumped. Despite fan criticism and lack of mega changes (“If it ain’t broke…”), there’s no doubt that EA Canada is making every stride possible to make the game better every year. The addition of EASHL last year was a huge jump for the community, and–although that doesn’t seem the focus for NHL 17–I am sure there will be some welcoming improvements. The new World Cup of Hockey mode (something many fans wanted in their FIFA games, but had to buy a separate, every 4-years, FIFA World Cup game for) pushes international hockey to the forefront, and will deliver some extended teams along a variety of slick jerseys that are welcomed at all level of gameplay.
(cont.) Finally, puckheads will be able to enter Draft Champions (Madden‘s latest uber-popular mode) into NHL. In this mode, you’ll be able to draft (for 15-rounds, online or offline) and use players you’d normally have a tough time snatching in Ultimate Team. Franchise Mode, despite its disappointment to some (Moody, you’ll never get your pre-and-post-game, and halftime show, so get over it!), your Puck Pastor has always had a 100 mph blast with it, despite how silly it seems for EA to not have it connected as they do with Madden and FIFA. But with new uniform and arena relocation and customizing, there’s plenty for players new and old to indulge. Net Battle physics are a new element you’d think would be par for the course for years now, but at least it–along with some enhanced goalie gameplay–will add some new challenges to the already great EASHL mode. Fans have also asked for a better training option and EA promises to deliver. More to come at EA Play!
ADAM “THE ADVOCATE OF AL’AKUL” BOWERS @chefadambowers
DESTINY: RISE OF IRON (Bungie/Activision – PS4, X1, PC – September 30) – So, I just watched the Twitchstream for Destiny‘s latest expansion coming out in the Fall. First things first, the price was revealed ($30) and what consoles it will land on (up above). Bungie will reveal at a later date how PS3 and 360 owners can upgrade (but, seriously, don’t you think it’s time?). For everything you get, thirty dollars seems lke small and reasonable fee: new Crucible maps (PvP), new social space, new strikes, a new RAID, new light level, new weapons and armor, new questlines, new missions, new campaign, new patrols and public events, and The Gjallerhorn (in Swedish, Yallerhorn). In the immortal words of Keanu Reeves… “Whoa”.
(cont.) Look. As a lifelong Destiny player–OK, so 2+ years–The Gjallerhorn is one of the most sought after weapons in all of Destiny: Year One. It was powerful, it was rare, and it was majestic…”but why would you waste an exotic slot for a heavy weapon?” (inside Destiny joke). Since, The Taken King, the Destiny Community has been asking.. NO PLEADING for the Gjallerhorn to return and it has; in one of the quests, you find peices of old Iron Lord gear and create your very own Gjallerhorn. How cool is that? Next, the new social space is the original Iron Lord tower; first, you have to fight and clear out the enemies, then and only then can you reclaim it for the Guardians. Finally, the new enemies are Fallen, but have been taken over by “The Plague” called Sheeva. So, they have new tech and new abilities. Let’s just hope they aren’t as boring as The Fallen have been. And, lastly, the Lore of the Iron Lords will be revealed. One tid bit is Jolder, whose name is enshrined on the Rocket Launcher (Jolder’s Hammer). Can’t. Frackin’. Wait.