E3 2014 – Callum’s Favorite Games

Entertainium was at E3 2014 and we hope you’ve been reading our ongoing coverage directly from the Los Angeles Convetion Center. We also had our own personal picks from a variety of publishers, as well as indies.

Here are a few of them, from Callum’s personal list!

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Bloodborne

So many aspects of Bloodborne seem to fly in the face of those lifted from the Souls series. Combat is supposed to be more active instead of passive; you’re supposed to take initiative in battle as opposed to waiting for the right moment to strike. It sounds like a complete overhaul of the core concepts of Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls.

Which is precisely why I’m excited to get my hands on it.

In the same way Dark Souls expanded on Demon’s Souls concepts, Bloodborne looks to be the next step in revolutionizing those core concepts us Souls fans have come to love. It wasn’t playable on the show floor, but the theater presentation I attended was more than enough to satiate my appetite. Everything I saw looks incredibly promising. Spring 2015 can’t get here soon enough.

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Ori and the Blind Forest

If you ask anyone what drew them to Ori and the Blind Forest, they’d probably answer the art. And how could they not? It’s a stunningly beautiful game. Most of my time with Ori was spent gawking at how gorgeous the art was. It’s all hand-crafted, and it definitely shows. What impressed me most, however, was that there’s nary a reused asset in sight. Everything is drawn uniquely, apparently, which is quite a feat.

That Ori played splendidly as well certainly didn’t hurt either. I don’t know what I was expecting based off the trailer, but a “metroidvania” certainly wasn’t one of them. It was a pleasant surprise, since that just means I’ll get to explore its lush world more than I originally thought. If things like this are a sign of what’s to come from Microsoft’s own indie game outreach, I can’t wait to see what else they have in store.

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Elegy for a Dead World

The IndieCade booth has always been a bastion of unique ideas and unadulterated creativity; a refreshing change from the loud, bombastic displays that litter the rest of E3. It offers a chance to see more experimental or just plain fascinating games, as well as a chance to talk to the very creators of those games themselves. It was by far my favorite appointment of the show.

But of all the games I saw there – including, but not limited to, a game where you guide a newborn star through the cosmos by singing to it, one in which you cultivate a tree in real-time, and simple game of cops and robbers – the one that continues to stand out is Elegy for a Dead World from Dejobaan Games. In it, you play a writer who accompanies a research team tasked with exploring an abandoned world. Only, the rest of the research team didn’t make it, leaving you to do the job yourself. You do this by either filling in blanks in pre-written lines or by erasing the mad-lib lines and writing a story of your own creation. Basing gameplay around writing is a marvelous idea. Very curious to see how it all pans out.

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Last Life

This wasn’t actually at E3 proper. On Tuesday night, several blocks away from the convention center, an event known as “The MIX” (Media Indie Exchange) was held to showcase a variety of indie games from studios big and small. Folks like Double Fine, Capybara Games, and even Majesco’s Midnight City label were there showcasing their wares. Everyone was relaxed and highly approachable. It may have been a press event, but it sure didn’t feel like one. Felt more like a casual get-together of people who really love games. It was a fun event, a perfect way to cap off the first day of E3.

Out of all the games I saw and briefly played, Last Life is the one I remain curious about. A point-and-click adventure game with a noir tone, Last Life follows Jack Parker, a detective who’s out to solve his own murder. No, he’s not a ghost – he’s been 3D printed back into existence. Souls are digitally stored in this world, allowing the dead to continue living so long as they’re willing to pay for their new bodies. It’s a fascinating premise, one I’m very interested in seeing more of.

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