Monday, June 12, 2017

(E3 2017 Coverage) BioWare's New IP, Kingdom Hearts 3 and Microsoft's Project Scorpio!

Video Games, they’ve become a widely loved form of entertainment, interactive entertainment. What once was 8-bit blocks bouncing a smaller block back and forth have evolved into expansive, breathtaking and incredible adventures. (Pong was pretty breathtaking but I digress.) We’ve gone through many generations of Video Games and we’re stepping into a new one as we speak. The Video Game industry and the businesses who occupy it as well as the amazing developers who make those businesses survive are always hard at work to pump out newer and better games every day. Of course with all this development and fan demand they have to announce and advertise it all at some point and for most developers E3 is that time. E3 has been around since 1995 (In a response for how badly the Consumer Electronic Show treated the Video Game industry publishers.) and we’re now in the thick of E3 2017!

As of this blog E3 has been going strong for two days with the EA and Microsoft conferences as well as some other reveals here and there. Some years of E3 don’t really feel impactful but this year already seems to be off with a bang. Today marks a two day possibly three day coverage from ZAK Entertainment! I wasn’t able to make it sadly this year but that hasn’t stopped me from consuming every bit of news I could. (I was out most of the weekend too, so that made this pretty tough.) I’m not going to be able to go fully in-depth on everything revealed at the two conferences, it’s too much for me to shove in to one blog but I’ll be mentioning as much as I can.

Without further ado EA hosted it’s conference last Saturday and while most of the news is pretty much of games already announced they have revealed some new details regarding these games. For those unaware these games are Star Wars Battlefront II, A Way Out, Need For Speed: Payback, Battlefield 1 (Which is already released, they’ve just announced new maps though.), FIFA 18, Madden NFL 18 and NBA Live 18. 

This is EA so a lot of sports games is to be expected but new information regarding Star Wars: Battlefront 2 is here as well as a new gameplay trailer!

As well as some more insight on the gameplay they have revealed that Star Wars Battlefront 2's DLC will be completely free! Yes the new maps, modes, weapons, vehicles and characters released will be completely free, which is surprising. This means there won’t be a season pass but the content will still be released in “seasons”. As far as what content to actually expect the first batch of content will be based on the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Two characters will become playable in the form of Finn and Captain Phasma! This is pretty damn awesome if you ask me. Oh yeah that planet featured in the teaser trailer I talked about before, named Planet Crait, will be a map available to download with this content release. Sounds like Star Wars: Battlefront 2 will be much more expansive then it’s predecessor so be on the lookout for this game if you’re a Star Wars fan! It’s releasing Nov 14, 2017 for PS4, Xbox ONE and PC.

Two new IPs were announced from EA’s subsidiaries as well. The first off coming from BioWare, the guys behind Mass Effect, Dragon Age and Jade Empire (Bet you don’t remember Jade Empire, eh? Actually you probably do, it was a good game.), are going to be releasing a new IP in the form of Anthem. (BioWare has actually been teasing this game for years now.) Anthem is going to be coated in Sci-Fi goodness and you play as a freelancer who lives in a walled city, which protects humanity from the dangerous and overgrown nature beyond. (Did Humanity piss off Mother Nature again?) Throughout this game you’ll be traveling outside these walls (In a third-person perspective.) wearing these exo-suits called Javelins, which are fully customizable to look and play anyway you please with many different types of exo-suits included in the game. Looks like the game will be a online shared world action-RPG which immediately springs Destiny to my mind, though this might blow it out the water with possible deep storylines and amazing graphics.  In Bio-Ware fashion the game is wonderfully cinematic and the characters look like they took actual actors and stuck them in the game. Anthem will be releasing in the 2018 Fiscal year, which could actually mean it could release in early 2019, but I can’t find any source saying what platforms it’ll be releasing on aside from Microsoft’s Project Scorpio (Which I’ll get into in a minute.) and I assume PC. Check out the Anthem Gameplay Footage here!

The other new IP revealed by EA is a co-op action game called A Way Out from studio Hazelight who created the game of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. “Brothers” was also a co-op game but not in anyway like this game. A Way Out is a splitscreen co-op game (Haven’t seen one of these in a bit.) that’s played co-op at all times, basically if you’re wanting to play solo this isn’t the game for you. You play as these two convict dudes who are, well in jail. You and your co-op buddy break out of jail and get into some crazy hijinks along the way. This game will be releasing Early 2018 for Xbox One, PS4 and PC.

Before I move on from the EA conference, EA’s online gaming service called Origin as of now is having a Free Access week, Xbox One and PC players will be getting access to some awesome freebies and PS4 some free trials, so go check that out if you use Origin.

I did not have any hopes of any news what so ever involving Kingdom Hearts 3 but you know what? Square proved me wrong once again, funny enough this wasn’t even a part of E3 it was something Square Enix just threw up online. In all of its glory Square Enix has released a Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer to show how far this game has progressed! Might as well throw the entire video up on the blog for you guys, luckily I found the subtitled version but for those who can’t watch this below click this link:

Absolutely crazy, after over a decade of waiting Kingdom Hearts 3 is looming closer and closer. This trailer showed off the new gameplay mechanics, which looks like a combination of the original two mixed with elements experimented with over the past 10 years of side games and some new mechanics. Most of this trailer I assume is taking place in the Olympus Coliseum world going by the fact Hercules and Hades are present as well as the environment. Maleficent and Pete are making their grand (Can you call anything Pete does grand? I’m not sure on that.) reappearance and seem to be looking for these “Black Boxes”. We also see Sora taking on a giant rock monster, which I completely forgot was Lythos the Rock Titan from the first two Kingdom Hearts games as well as the actual Hercules movie, forgive me it’s been too long. I assume this rocky fellow will be the boss of Olympus Coliseum, or at least a boss. Finally we see the re-appearance of Xemnas and Ansem (Who are part of the new Organization 13 which is COMPLETELY spoilers for those who haven’t played Dream Drop Distance so I’ll shut my mouth now.) who proceed to tell Sora the only way to bring Roxas back is to open his heart to darkness, so that’s a thing now. That was a pretty awesome trailer and apparently not the end of this year’s Kingdom Hearts news. At D23 Expo 2017 (Basically Disney Con) next month Square Enix will be revealing a new trailer finally featuring a new world, so let’s get hyped for that! That’ll be happening July 14th-16th at the Anaheim Convention Center, which is in Anaheim, California, its namesake.

Back on track with E3 it’s time to discuss the big boy, the Microsoft E3 conference!

I had to wait until late in the evening to write just blog because of how long this went on for so you know they revealed a lot. The name Project Scorpio has been floating around for awhile now, two years I think. Well Microsoft has finally dropped the mic and revealed what Project Scorpio is all about. Project Scorpio has officially been named Xbox One X, making it an upgraded (Like 10 times upgraded I’ll get to that in a minute.) version of the currently released Xbox One instead of a completely new iteration, which was a better move considering the Xbox One only released not that long ago in 2013. Check out the reveal video by clicking this link:

All your Xbox One games and downloads will work on this new console. Anyway when I say upgraded I really mean upgraded, they’ve shoved so much into this simple box, which is actually slimmed down compared to the chunky original Xbox One. Xbox One X will be 4K Ultra HD Compatible (Do many people even have a 4K TV? I’m just curious not hating or anything.) and run at a much higher frame rate then the original Xbox One and Xbox One S in HDR. This baby has a GPU (The processing unit that, well processes the Graphics. It’s what makes smooth ultra graphic 3D gameplay possible) that packs a massive six teraflops (though it isn’t a flop by any means.) of graphical performance. This sounds all handy dandy until you realize it’s going to be releasing at $499.99 USD, that’s pretty damn pricey for an upgraded machine that you need to fork out even more money to get a 4K enabled TV for, yeah this thing will be useless unless you have a 4K TV. This upgrade isn’t necessary however as the games coming out in the near future are going to be available for the normal Xbox One, you just won’t get as smooth of gameplay or 4K, which I don’t even have a TV built for 4K. I don’t mean to diss this big reveal but it’s going to cost a lot of money once you buy this and a 4K TV to even play the machine on. You can read more about the XBOX One X at this awesome article from Techradar! (Giving Techradar a shoutout because I love those guys.)

Now the fun part, the game announcements/reveals. Aside from more Anthem news they revealed the next iteration in Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed series, Assassin’s Creed Origins, which is going to be set in Egypt. Is this going to be some sort of origin story of the entire series? I’m afraid I’m not too well versed on this series. Can I just say that it looks like they're taking some gameplay inspiration from Dark Souls and Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild? Or is it just me? Look forward to this game releasing on October 27th, 2017. 

Next up the popular PC MMORPG Black Desert will be coming to Xbox One as a console launch exclusive, I’m actually confused by what they mean by this, its going to be released for Xbox One the normal Xbox One but it’s being classed as a Xbox One X Console Launch exclusive I don’t know. Anyway this will be releasing in early 2018.

The third iteration of the Crackdown series is finally here! Yeah they announced this game forever ago, years ago but the new destructive, car throwing, blaster slinging sandbox (While cracking down on crime hence the name.) action game is here, Crackdown 3. To hype the game up even more they cracked out Terry Crews to pump everybody up. Not just that Terry Crews will be voicing a character in this new game, basically just buy it because of Terry Crews, haha. Jokes aside this game will finally be releasing November 7th, the same day the Xbox One X releases.

Metro: Last Light is getting a sequel! This critically acclaimed sequel will be Metro: Exodus. It’ll be releasing

Anime based games are definitely nothing new, especially Dragon Ball based games. I’m an on and off kind of Dragon Ball fan. I love the series as a whole but I don’t watch it often, I really need to watch Dragon Ball Super. I’ve never played any of the Dragon Ball Z games but Microsoft has revealed a brand new Dragon Ball Z game during their conference, Dragon BallFighter Z. Instead of the 3D arena fighting games I’m used to seeing from Dragon Ball Z this is actually a 2D fighter like Tekken, Street Fighter, Ect. This game will feature 3v3 brawls, which if you don’t know what I mean from that just think of Marvel VS Capcom and you’ll get my drift. This looks pretty awesome and will be releasing early 2018. (Not many release dates being revealed, huh?)

Now this next reveal was a bit of a shocker and really sets a new bar for the kind of partnerships companies can do for future E3 reveals. When you think of E3 you think of Video Games, perhaps Racing Video Games but with the new reveal of Forza Motorsport 7 (Microsoft’s racing series pretty much.) comes the reveal of something else. Porsche announced the brand new 911 GT2 RS real-wheel drive sports car. A car reveal at E3!?

This blew my mind away. This car is absolutely awesome too with a near 700 horsepower powered by it’s 3.8-liter twin-turbo engine. Apparently up until now the reason why Porsche cars weren’t available in previous Forza or other racing games of its kind was because of the exclusive licensing deal with EA but with that dead as a doornail Porsche will be featured as the cover car of the new Forza 7 game. I do not have a Forza 7 release date yet. (Don't let those articles tell you otherwise, they're clickbait.)

Another crazy mind blowing reveal comes from, Minecraft? Yes if you're unaware Microsoft bought Minecraft out a while back and has brought it to the Xbox One as well as keeping the PC game up to date. That hasn't stopped Minecraft from coming to the Nintendo Switch and this new reveal is incredible. There will be CROSS-PLATFORM play between Xbox One, Mobile, Windows 10 and the Nintendo Switch via Minecraft! This is an absolutely amazing feat in Video Games in my opinion, finally you don't both have to have the same game on the same console to play together. Cross-Platform play is a amazing step forward and perhaps other games will take this same route? I sure hope so but it seems Sony is being left out of this whole ordeal. You can read more here:

Life Is Strange will be getting a new game in the form of Life is Strange: Before The Storm. It’ll be a three-episode series though I’m not sure what the story is going to be able Rachel Amber is going to be in it however. The first episode will release on August 31st of this year.

A bunch of indie games were revealed to be coming to Xbox One! These are:

Cuphead, a platformer game which really caught my eye for it’s art style. It looks so much like an old Disney cartoon I’m talking 1930s, 1940s Disney and well it was definitely intentional.  The entire game is going to have this art style and it looks to be one of the coolest indie games of all time, I’m not joking. You can watch the amazing reveal here: Cuphead is going to be released September 29th.

And Super Lucky’s Tale which looks like a really awesome 3D platforming game that I'll definitely be keeping an eye on.

State of Decay 2 (Not an indie title.) is going to be launching Spring 2018.

The last two announcements was a delay once again for Sea Of Thieves, yes, AGAIN. This game was revealed back in 2015 and it’s developed by Rare LTD. (He’s finally back, to kick some tail.) Despite Rare’s falter since being acquired by Microsoft this game might be Rare’s big comeback. A new trailer has been revealed and more details were discussed but sadly we won’t see this game until sometime next year. Hopefully this game doesn’t have the delay curse. Rare has been known to delay games to oblivion in the past. (Or they become completely different games like… Banjo Kazooie Nuts & Bolts.)

The final announcement is the fact that Xbox One will be getting original Xbox (I’m talking ORIGINAL xbox here.) games added to the backwards compatibility list! Now to me this sounded like you’ll be able to slot in your old Xbox games into your Xbox One but this backwards compatibility list can be compared to Nintendo’s Virtual Console, you’ll have to repurchase your old favorites. Crimson Skies will be among the games launching for this service later on this year.

Well that’s it, I probably missed some stuff but boy is this blog long. As of writing this blog Bethesda has not aired their conference yet so you guys will have to wait for coverage on that. Wednesday however is going to be mainly focused on Nintendo, I’m not biased but I got to say Nintendo is what I’m really excited for, which can be said for every year, I swear I’m not biased. Wednesday’s E3 blog will be covering Nintendo first of all but I’m hoping to cover a bit of Sony’s but if I’m not able to I’ll be doing more wrap up coverage this Friday. Be sure to support me on Patreon if you like the blog! I don’t have many rewards up as of now but I want to keep ZAK Entertainment going full time and this Patreon will help. (ZAK Entertainment will never shut down but I got other jobs outside of this right now.)

Until Wednesday this is ZAK Entertainment telling you to

Game On!

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