E3 has blown into town, dragging along hordes of game designers and fans in its wake. Along with the mad mania of booths hawking upcoming buggy, DRM-laden releases are press conferences from the major game companies, including Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony.
I took two hours out of my day and watched the 90-minute Microsoft XBox One presser (“Buffering Video” is a bitch out here in the slow-Internet sticks), which was all about the games. Seriously. The games, just the games, nothing but the games.
Some random observations:
• Everything is 4-player multi-player. Because, apparently, Microsoft owners crave the verbal diarrhea of 12-year-old racist, sexist, foul-mouthed dickheads <Irony Alert!, two paragraphs down.>, or their gaming experience just isn’t complete. (And multi-player without any single-player is stupid as shit. Titanfall, I’m looking at you.)
• Fable’s implementation was at least unique: one player is a sorta-GM, setting up traps and monsters for the other players to battle through. Finally a role for griefers to glom onto, and leave the rest of us alone.
• Seriously, Ubisoft, you want us to take the side of the mass-murdering masses of the French Revolution, chopping off the heads of tens of thousands of Enemies of the People? Finally a game where you get to play as mass murdering scumbags! So in Assassin’s Creed 17, set in Tripoli in 1942, do we get to help the <Godwin Alert!> SS conquer the world and liquidate suspect subhuman populations? And then a game set in 1930’s Ukraine where we can starve kulaks to death, or 1970’s Kampuchea where we can stack skulls in the Killing Fields? Awesome! Seriously, fuck you, you motherfuckers.
• The Metal Gear Something Something Something trailer made it look like a ripoff of Red Dead Redemption. And the stripperiffic sniper hasn’t gotten any better.
• As I once said, Microsoft learns from their mistakes, especially since they dumped the embarrassing Matrick, who’s busy overseeing the decline of Zynga. They’ve also dumped the Kinect and used the extra 10% processing power freed up to boost the performance of games. (Though they have to be written to take advantage of the new graphics capabilities. Which is to say, no help for what’s out now, or for anything on the market in the next year or so, but hope for the future.)
• The press conference confirmed my “wait a year to buy a newly released console” theory. There really are few games for the PS4 and XB1, and very few good games. That should change in the next six months or so, especially with the release of the Master Chief Collection. (Which, oddly, omits the single best Halo game, Halo: ODST. Wait, that’s not right. Halo: Reach. Yeah, that was it.)
• Also GTA V, the best GTA game ever.
• And maybe Skyrim, right Bethesda? Hint, hint, you failed-MMO bastards?
• And Fallout 4. Right? In 2-3 years? Get moving.
• Dragon Age Inquisition (and a new Mass Effect)? Not a chance, you greedy, arrogant, narcissistic bastards. Nothing for you. Never, ever, ever again. Not a single penny.
With my recent “Screw this!” to the Playstation (Cloud deleting my saves again, including my %100 Completed, $1.2 billion-dollar GTA V playthrough), I’m once again in the market for an XB1. I could buy a used 360 for $120, but that’d amount to renting the console at a rate of $10 a month (assuming I waited for a year to buy the XB1) or $20 a month (assuming I bought one in the fall). It’s a waste of money.
The Kinect-less XB1 just went on sale, and it’s better to buy in summer than wait for the long lines and months-long delays of Christmas console purchasing. Which pushes up my buying schedule to… What?! Next Friday?! Well, shit.
So, though none of these new multi-player centric games are yet on the shelves (other than Titanfall, screw you assholes), it might be best to buy one soon. At least I can play Dead Rising 3 until something good comes out. (Like Call of Duty: Half-Assed Sci-Fi! That’s the ticket!)