Hello again gamers! There is little more than a month left of summer, but that only means we are that much closer to getting our hands on some of the goodies we saw at this year’s E3. Like many of you, one of the things that bothers me most about games or movies or any sort of entertainment, is more of the same; the same old stories with the same old characters, and the same old gaming style. People have become too comfortable with the monotony of entertainment, and the people providing that entertainment know that you don’t really want something new, you want something familiar that seems new. For example: Call of Duty, but in space, Kirby’s Epic Yarn, but with Yoshi, Assassin’s Creed, but with more hoods. The list goes on and on. You want a franchise that can be molded to fit whatever is popular at the moment. Well I say to hell with monotony!—to hell with the same! The focus of this article will be three games that aim to be different, and with a focus on multiplayer. First up, Evolve. Anyone who hasn’t seen Turtle Rock Studio’s newest title at this point has been living under a rock. Not to be outdone by their original demo, which featured four on one multiplayer against a beast called the Goliath, Turtle Rock’s newest E3 demo blew the minds of everyone who got their hands on it and then some. The demo features all new hunters and a new beast that they call the Kraken. The Kraken is vastly different from the Goliath in both look and feel, and so is the map that it inhabits in the demo. Using it’s vertical advantage and electric powers, the Kraken can play offense or defense from a height, and a distance. Meanwhile the new hunters have abilities that enable them to heal and track from a distance, which helps balance the encounters.
Another new and significant feature in the game is the ability to level up the beast’s powers up to three times each. This allows players to formulate their own strategies more thoroughly, and decide which play style works best for them. If you want to know more about Evolve and it’s new features, check out more here. Next up, Battleborn. Now I have to say that when I first saw the trailer for Battleborn, I was unimpressed. To me it seemed like a game that didn’t know what it wanted to be. I felt like it was trying desperately to mix every genre to try and appease everyone, and there is definitely and element of truth to that. However, I could not have been more wrong about the game not knowing it’s own identity. After Gearbox’s showing at E3, I feel like there is a massive amount of depth to Battleborn in both the gameplay and the story. Not too much has been revealed about the story, but without even having played it I can say with comfort that the developers have poured a lot of thought and passion into this game, and that alone warrants interest. If that wasn’t enough, the gameplay promises to be like nothing we have seen before. Starting off, there will be a five on five MOBA style game mode called Incursion. Gearbox has taken MOBA format and put their twist on it by making it first person, as well as adding other features. The campaign is also five players and has a cast of colorful characters that they plan to add to in the future via DLC, much like League of Legends or DOTA. There are five factions in the story, each with their own unique cultures, methods, and motivations. There are currently nine playable characters that represent the factions in their struggle for dominance around the last star in the universe—this is where the genres come in. Each character has a unique style of play to offer players a variety like Gearbox has never presented. You like lightsaber-katanas? —Battleborn has it. You want to carry a gun that’s bigger than the people you’re shooting at? – Battleborn has it. You like futuristic weapons, robots, Elf-like archers, upgrades, and telekinesis? – Battleborn has it! It seems like Gearbox has managed to retain all of the fun loving violence and imagination that they’re known for while telling a rich story in a vast, and more importantly, new environment. Personally, I can’t wait to get my hands on this game! If you want to know more about Battleborn, and it’s features, check out more here. Last but certainly not least, I have to talk about No Man’s Sky. This one has been on my mind ever since I saw the original trailer where the ship flies through the atmosphere of a planet and into space. Visually it was stunning, but as a gamer I knew that it was much more significant than even the trailer let on. For anyone who hasn’t been keeping their finger on the pulse of space-related-games, No man’s Sky is the newest title from Hello Games. It has been in the works for a while now and it still doesn’t have a release date, but with a game as ambitious as this, rushing is not what you want to see. As far as the story of the game goes, all I know is that the point of it is that players will start off on the edges of a procedurally generated galaxy and work their way towards the center. Honestly, that’s all I need to know. This game is special because it doesn’t put an emphasis on a familiar and contrived story to lead you through a few hours of mediocrity at the cost of sixty of your dollars.
This game promises the one thing all of us have wanted since we looked out at binary suns with a young man on a desert planet, and that is a true and thrilling exploration. Players will travel around a galaxy– not a map, not a world, not a few worlds glued together with loading screens, but a galaxy of pretty much infinite exploration. As well as player-to-player interaction, there will be many things to see and discover on each world. My favorite thing about No Man’s Sky is that they aren’t conforming to the story telling formats that have come before them. It seems to me that instead of coming up with a narrative and building a game around it, Hello games just built the game and said let the narrative be up to the player—let them get lost in No Man’s Sky for as long as they want, and have it happen a little more organically. If you want to see more of No Man’s Sky go here. I chose these three games specifically because they were worth the mention, but more importantly, they are challenging us as gamers to raise the bar and break away from the monotony. Games like these remind us that video games are a creative medium that has influence on the hearts and minds of millions. They remind us that we are sitting at the crossroads of technology and imagination, and that gaming is still a new frontier that isn’t bound to the confines of what has simply worked before.