Thursday, 9 June 2016

Pre-Release E3 News and Leaks

Nothing's sacred anymore. E3 used to be the place where the big games companies would outline their plans for the year and announce the big new games. Now we gave companies doing their own event before (EA Live), announcements of games with promise of gameplay in E3 itself and leaks. So many leaks. I, personally, like to know about a game when it should be announced not a couple of days before - it loses hype. Sure, a leak about a game a couple of months before is all right but a couple of days or hours before the actual announcement? What's the point? Anyway with my rant over, the amount of information which has come out just before E3 is enough to warrant a little catch-up post, which, if you read the title, this post is going to be on. Enjoy (unless this post was already leaked to you before I wrote it...).

Watch_Dogs 2:
First up we have the sequel to Watch_Dogs, now set in San Francisco, and with a decidedly different tone to the original's mildly depressing story. You play as Marcus Holloway, a teen who is part of the DedSec organisation, a team made to stop the CTOS and act like the Watch_Dogs equivalent of Anonymous. Watch_Dogs 2 seems to promote player choice a lot more, with a full stealth playthrough available (one of the complaints in my review was the lack of actual choice) and even more hacking options. You also get to control a drone, RC car and 3D print your weapons, putting the game thoroughly into this decades technology, which could be seen as mildly disconcerting as the game tries to show the security risks attached. The game also seems a lot brighter visually than the original with the vibrant Silicon Valley being a focal point. It will be interesting to see how the game actually turns out and if Ubisoft fixed some of the problems of the original. You can pre-order one of the six (!!) pre-order editions from a variety of stores for PS4, PC and Xbox One, but to get your own, personal, robot (in real-life) you have to buy from the Ubi Store. Set to release November 15th, 2016

Destiny: Rise of Iron Expansion:
Just like the Watch_Dogs 2 trailer, this was leaked a couple of days before the actual reveal, this time via a Snapchat video. Anyway, we now know that the expansion will add not only new weapons, armour, gear, missions and a new raid but also a new social space, 'The Plaguelands Zone', more Crucible maps and a new enemy faction. If you pre-order it you get a bonus gift of a black version of the Gjallarhorn. Rise of Iron will be released September 20th.

Injustice 2:
Yet another game, leaked by a day, Injustice 2, the sequel to Injustice: Gods Among Us, the DC fighting game, will be released in 2017 for PS4 and Xbox One. After a pretty awesome cinematic trailer, I'm actually pretty excited about this game as I completely missed the last one. Characters, as like in the trailer, can equip gear to increase their stats and change their appearance, with gear being dropped each time you play. Confirmed characters include: Batman, Superman, Supergirl, Aquaman, The Flash, Red Lantern Atrocitus and Gorilla Grodd. Locations include: Metropolis, Gotham City and Atlantis. In terms of story, the superheroes are busy restoring order and attempting to stop people who would like Superman's oppressive regime from the first game to continue while a new Earth-ending threat presents itself.

Deus Ex Go:
Another iteration in the Go franchise (that seriously makes me want an action-packed Just Cause spin-off), Deus Ex: Go combines the Go series stylised graphics and simple, touch friendly gameplay with the hacking, augments and stealth the Deus Ex games utilise from invisibility to hacking turrets. There's also going to be a level-editor some time in the future which will be pretty cool. Out some time in the summer to coincide with the release of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, the next game on the list.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided:
This game was meant to be released in February this year, now it's set for August and it looks like the improvements are all for the better. The city-hub of Prague was shown off, as were the graphics which in my opinion were a bit two-sided. On the one hand, we have the gorgeous lighting effects and backrounds and on the other we have the not-to-detailed textures of some of the objects, for example, the sheets on Jensen's bed or his clothes. I know, that the art style benefits strong, solid colour but it was a bit odd to see such a difference. More hacking abilities were shown as well, with voice control seeming to play a big part and story details were divulged, although I won't be going into them now as some people don't like the spoilers.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided: Breach Mode:
An arcade style game where you play as a Ripper, a hacker who controls a VR person who can go into servers and extract data from servers of corrupt organisations. To do this, much like the actual game, you have to augment your weapons and person to tip the scales in your favour against some very high tech AI and firewalls. This seems like a really cool concept and the ability to challenge and beat friends highscores as well as a global leaderboard is always good, if they can keep the real life hackers and cheaters out of the game that is. Also, that art style is awesome.

Kingdom Hearts 2.8:
This reveal was simultaneously great and bad for KH fans. Yes, we got more gameplay of the Dream Drop Distance remaster (the final game in the series to be remastered for Playstation consoles) and some gameplay of 0.2 A Fragmentary Passage, in the new, KH3 engine, (which looks awesome by the way) and we got details on the film Back Cover, which looks to be a proper CGI KHfest AND a release date for December 2016 but that also means no Kingdom Hearts III for 2016. Oh well, I'm sure 0.2, which is said to be the size of one world from a normal Kingdom Hearts game, will tide me over until the eventual release of Kingdom Hearts III sometime next millennia.

Kingdom Hearts: Unchained X:
In a Tweet from Kingdom Hearts, it was also confirmed that Unchained X, the mobile Kingdom Hearts game Japan and North America has had for a while now, will be coming to Europe soon. Still no release date however.

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age:
Final Fantasy remasters/ports have been coming in thick and fast over the past couple of years before Final Fantasy XV and Final Fantasy XII is the next game to be redone. Set to release sometime in 2017 for the PS4 with the updated graphics expected of a remaster. Also, the subtitle of The Zodiac Age suggests a Final Mix of some sort?

Update (10th June 2016):
The PS4 Neo (codename) has been announced! A high-end tier of the PS4, able to play 4K graphics onto 4K TV's made for hard-core gamers. It will be costlier than the normal PS4 but most, if not all of the PS4 games made from now on will be able to run on both the Neo and the normal PS4. Sadly we won't get any news at E3 but it will be interesting to follow in the coming months.

Update (11th June 2016):
Halo Wars 2 beta has been leaked to start the week of E3 on Xbox One with support of up to six players in a match. The game will also be released on PC. More information should be revealed at Microsofts E3 conference on 13th June.

Update (12th June 2016):
We're close now, with EA's conference happening today but first we have some Ubisoft news in the form of Star Trek: Bridge Crew, a VR game set in the Star Trek universe. Up to 4 players can choose roles in the Aegis as you explore the Abrams timeline universe, searching for a new home in for the Vulcans. Player's can be any gender or ethnicity and can either be captain, engineer, helmsmen or tactical officer.

That's it for this post guys, if I missed any information or games please comment below and stay tuned for our E3 coverage which will hopefully not be too late after E3!

Thanks for reading, Satamer.

Thanks to IGN, Engadget, Polygon and Gamespot for some of the info.

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