By reading this blog, you would get the idea that I game a lot in my spare time. That would not be an inaccurate statement. What would be an inaccurate statement would be that gaming is all I do in said spare time. I do engage in activities that take me out of the Xbox sphere and into the real world. Sometimes those activities take up so much of my time, these blogs get pushed back a bit and delayed. I'd be lying if I said I've thought about moving the schedule for these around, but for the time being they are staying right here. Maybe one day they will move.
I mentioned last week that we'll be taking a quick look at E3 before the actual event itself. For the second year in a row, EA will not have floor space at the actual convention itself, instead going for their standalone EA Play event. Expect to see booths at this event from the usual suspects of annual sports franchises, like Madden NFL
. Also expect to see a large showing from their recently-confirmed Need for Speed Payback
, who seems to be taking the 'revenge' plot arc this time around based on the reveal trailer. There are only so many ways to mix up a driving franchise.
There will also be a large showing for the upcoming Star Wars Battlefront 2
.. no, not that one. The new Battlefront 2
. This is confusing as we already had games with those same titles. There needs to be some sort of gaming commandment put in place, led by Phil Spencer, Shigeru Miyamoto, and the collective brain trust that runs Sony. If you're going to reboot a franchise in any way, keep the numbering consistent as to not confuse people and actually acknowledge the existence of previous entries in whatever series is getting a fresh new release.
This should be Battlefront 4
we are hearing about now, and Battlefront 3
should have been the game released in 2015, not the reboot we got which lacked pretty much any single-player aspect. Taking the Titanfall
route doesn't always work, but this one did enough to get a sequel. Take a note from Bethesda, who kept the numbering on the Fallout
franchise for its console debut with Fallout 3
in 2008, and that was great. Not only the game, but the franchise kept its numbering and no one is confused. The same thing happened with the Elder Scrolls series and again, no one whined or complained.
With that said, what is Bethesda planning for E3? Two new games and/or franchises, that's for sure. Sort of. This image
was released last week of 'Bethesdaland', a theme park made up of areas designed after the publisher's main franchises, including Fallout
and Elder Scrolls
. Two of these park areas are boarded up as 'Under Construction', which indiactaes either new entries in franchises not depicted in this image or new franchises altogether. It could be one of both, or two of either. Whichever is the case, we'll just have to wait until June 11th and see what Todd Howard brings to the stage this year.
There will be more coverage leading up to E3 later this week before the main event itself. In the meantime, here's a review for a game that didn't need to exist, but we're glad it does.Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare
Micro-Review: The original Plants vs Zombies
was a grid-based tower defense game where you plant all manner of garden flora to fight off waves of the undead. Unsurprisingly, the game was a smash success for PopCap Games, due to its simple gameplay mechanics, smooth graphics and animation and overall being a really fun game. So of course the logical next step is to be bought by EA and spin your franchise into a third-person shooter with little single-player content with a heavy emphasis on multiplayer. Stay with me here.
Garden Warfare is every bit as crazy as you may think it is, but it's all grounded in relatively simple controls, enough character diversity to keep everything fresh, and a variety of game modes to fir your desires. For the first time you get to play as the Zombies in competitive modes. Each side has four classes, each with their own unique skills and abilities, relatively analogous to the classes you would expect to find in a game like this, including tank, support and sniper. Along with different strengths and weaknesses, they can complement each other well on the battlefield.
The usual slew of game modes is on offer, from straight-up Team Slayer, called Team Vanquish here, to control point defense, capture the flag with tacos, and assault with bombs strapped to garden gnomes. The sense of humour and timing here is just as funny as the original game that spawned this title, and is a welcome relief from the endless waves of gritty modern shooters, of either first or third-person variety. The story isn't much to speak of, since there isn't one. Highly recommended regardless, for both fans of the original tower defense game and those who want something fresh from a shooter. 8/10
Coming up on Friday: a blog probably not on Friday, and more E3 previews.