Have you noticed that big games at E3 are all sequels or franchises? Battlefield, Call of Duty, Forza, and the like are all extending the tenure of their oligarchy, hogging the frugal commodity that is hype. Is interactive entertainment going the way of Hollywood? All-powerful, cash-grabbing, and completely unoriginal?
For the gamers excited for fresh, new experiences (other than going outside, scary) I present to you these noted, original games that are making appearance at E3 this week.
1. The Witness
Jonathan Blow, the puzzle game maker with a penchant for mystery, returns to the E3 stage with The Witness after over five years of developing this giant enigma on an island. Think a Far Cry setting with Myst-esque gaming, but with more rewards for the truly curious player. Gamers like to be dropped off on a seemingly random, exotic world and figure out just exactly why they are there. If hype is appropriate for The Witness, than expect this game to create that feeling better than any other game on the showroom floor.
Bungie’s new franchise Destiny is the source of no small amount of wanton excitement. Bungie, after all, are the forerunners of Halo. Now that Microsoft handed off this legendary series to the 343 studios, Bungie had the capital and the creative wherewithal to conjure up a new approach to always-on "massively multiplayer" shooter. The idea is to make a seamless single-player / multiplayer experience within the narrative of the shooter.
The stars are aligned for this game. The investors and uber publisher are game for the high-minded, likely expensive attempt to marry a story arc, co-operative and competitive multiplayer, and modern online technology together.
3. Beyond: Two Souls
Another narrative-driven, original game drawing attention is Quantic Dream’s Beyond: Two Souls. Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe are contributing their vocal talents to this interactive tale of about women who struggle with life long depression, homelessness, and suicidal thoughts and actions.
Hardcore gamers insist upon the value of story telling in video games. If this tendency among proper gamers is true, then consider Beyond: Two Souls to be a very interesting property when it finally comes out.
This Indie game is perhaps one of the most talked-about this year. This co-operative, multiplayer-only game for mobile devices is perhaps the most ridiculous idea I've heard of this year. 2-4 players are playing the roles of a crew on a starship on the verge of breaking. In order to prevent the space vehicle's destruction, team members must shout space-themed techno jargon at one another while pressing random buttons. As if we geeks needed an excuse to scream "Lower the hub-modifier!" at one another.