If You Need Me, I’ll Be in My Trailer

With Gamescom starting this week, the world of video games is starting to get hit with the usual tech show barrage of trailers. While I prefer good old fashioned gameplay demonstrations and hands-on previews, trailers offer a high level of entertainment value, if nothing else. However, if you pay close enough attention, you can sometimes cut past all of the stylized cuts and unnecessarily enhanced graphics to actually tell something about the game underneath.

With that in mind, here are five of the biggest trailers from the week, and what, if anything, we can take away about the games they represent from them.

Remember Me

Analysis: While I’d like to have a beer with the designers of “Remember Me,” as they’ve clearly watched “Blade Runner” and played “Deus Ex” as many time as I have, I just don’t trust Capcom as much as I used to. This is a slick debut for “Remember Me,” and cyber punk noir games will always be welcome, but it does have the misfortune of going up against the similarly themed, and soon to be released, “Dishonored.” And right now, “Dishonored” is looking better. Unless Capcom has something more in mind than the “me too” looking third person action on display in pieces here, I’m just not that excited right now. It also doesn’t help it shares a name with a Robert Pattinson movie.

Star Wars 1313

Analysis: Ok, let’s assume that Lucas Arts is obliged to churn out a new “Star Wars” game every year until the end of time. Let’s also assume that “Battlefront 3” isn’t going to happen (and believe me, it’s not). If that is the case, then I’m at least happy they are considering options in the “Star Wars” universe outside of the usual suspects of the series. However, is this a game that really needs a teaser like this? Is anyone just so jacked up for the next “Star Wars” game that a one minute and thirty-four second trailer, with about 4 seconds of gameplay in it is going to make them rush to their computer and set the hype pyre ablaze? I doubt it. At this point, until Lucas Arts has something more substantial to show, the vague chance that this game might not suck, and actually be original is the best thing they have going for them. They don’t need to ruin that with more of these generic trailers.

Crysis 3 – Multiplayer Hunter Mode

Analysis: I had zero interest in “Crysis 3” before this trailer, and now I want nothing else. This looks highly reminiscent of “Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory’s” Spy vs Merc gameplay, in that it combines two different styles of play into a unified concept. The multiplayer in that game is highly underrated and virtually unduplicated to this day, and it’s about time someone re-explored it. Also, this looks like the “Predator” game we were never going to get, which makes me more excited than I feel I can freely admit. If it can even come close to combining those two things together into a cohesive, balanced multiplayer experience, I might have to allow myself to actually use the word ‘epic.’

Tekken Tag Tournament 2

Analysis: First of all, “Can’t you tell where I must unleash this awesome power” is now going to be exactly where I tell every cab driver I’d like to go. Second, how long was he sitting in the back eerily glowing before the driver asked him where he wanted to go? Was the driver hoping he’d just disappear the next time he looked? Finally, as far as debut trailers go, if you’re going to avoid showing gameplay, this is about the best way to go. “Tekken” was always at its best when it was just having fun, and this is a fun trailer. If Namco doesn’t try to screw with the formula too much, and sticks with that loose and easy motif, I’d say the time is right for the next King of the Iron Fist Tag Tournament.

Assassin’s Creed III Naval Warfare Trailer

Analysis: As I mentioned, it’s going to take a concentrated effort for the next installment in the “Assassin’s Creed” series to suck. Ubisoft has proven they’re not scared to explore new ways to expand and improve “Assassin’s Creed,” and while the results have been mixed in some cases, I see no harm this naval gameplay could cause the franchise. Plus naval combat in this time period is rarely explored, and so far this game looks to actually be doing the idea right instead of treating the concept as an afterthought. As for the trailer itself, it features that perfect mix of style and intrigue that you expect from the series at this point, and keeps the well-oiled hype train this game is running well on track.


MOBA competitors are gunning for LoL

This isn’t exactly fresh news, but I do think it’s interesting to see some of the tactics employed to unseat League of Legends as king of the MOBA world. As you probably heard, Heroes of Newerth went free-to-play over the weekend. The rollout included some interesting ads on various gaming sites. One such ad encourages players to “stop laughing” and “get serious.” I can only imagine that’s a dig at the LoL acronym everyone is using for League of Legends.

The more serious threat is obviously Valve and DotA 2. I wasn’t surprised to hear that the game would be unveiled at Gamescom – there had been rumors about the tournament for weeks – but the prize purse for the tournament shocked me. For those who aren’t up to speed, Valve is flying the top 16 DotA teams to Germany to compete for a $1 million prize purse. Yes, again, a million bucks. That’s not buy-a-new-computer-and-pay-for-college-supplies money. That is life-changing money, money that could support a professional gaming career into the forseeable future. The benefit to Valve for making that commitment is obvious – they want every competitive team to come play DotA 2.

Will it work? Absolutely. I cannot imagine any of the top teams in competitive strategy games not taking a crack at DotA 2 with that kind of prize purse available. As for HoN, well, I think the game has enough barriers to entry that players entrenched in other games are unlikely to leave.


DotA 2 coming “soon” – will you be playing?

Valve quietly mentioned that DotA 2 was fast approaching just yesterday. The message appeared at the bottom of a press release about the Steam content delivery system. “Soon, Dota 2 will be delivered using [the new system]” was all it said, but there’s a little more info circulating the web. Apparently MYM, one of the most popular DotA teams in the world, is headed over to Germany during Gamescom along with several other European and Asian teams, supposedly to play in a promotional tournament at the event.

It’s no secret that Europe and Asia both have exploding esports scenes, particularly with regard to the MOBA genre. Gamescom seems like an excellent place to showcase the most anticipated entrant in the MOBA field. As for release dates, Valve hasn’t said anything, but Gamescom runs from August 17-21. I would imagine we won’t see the final product for at least another month, which puts us at late September, early November, just like roughly every other game you’ve been hearing about for the past three years.

Personally, I’m excited for DotA 2. I really enjoy Valve games and I have faith in what they can bring to the genre, especially with regard to multiplayer features. As much as I enjoy League of Legends, the game is way behind in terms of social features. If Valve can deliver core technical features players have come to expect, it could see incredible growth and visibility in this sector of the industry.

That said, I also think DotA 2 could miss the mark with a lot of casual players. The strength/agility/intellect system from those games feels opaque and archaic, even as someone closely familiar with the game. I could absolutely see people who are accustomed to the AP/AD system get frustrated with learning a whole new system for categorizing champions and choose to stick with LoL.

Will you be playing DotA 2?


Diablo III Will Be Edited In Certain Regions

Diablo 3 Barbarian.It’s hard to avoid Blizzard news during pretty much the entire month in which Blizzcon takes place. It’s a huge event, and Blizzard has one of the most rabid fanbases around. That’s a recipe for crazy rumors, crazy news leaks, and even crazier rumors.

Now we’re past Blizzcon, though, so most of what we’re hearing has come straight from the horse’s mouth, and this is no different (though it actually comes from GamesCom). Diablo III developer Jay Wilson spoke with Wired regarding the level of gore in the upcoming dungeon masher. Apparently some regions tend to frown on exploding body parts, to say nothing of most of the parents in the rest of the world. As such, certain regions will be getting an edited version of the new game – one that’s been cleaned up for the prudes of the world.

The game will also be shipping with parental controls for those nitpicky parents who think it’s okay for their son/daughter to be cleaving through the minions of hell, so long as they don’t bleed.


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