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Fred here, reporting from the SCEE lounge at E3 2013, where I’m nursing some seriously sore feet after a long day pounding the show floor. First up today was a quick look at The Evil Within, the new survival horror title from legendary developer Shinji Mikami, the man behind Resident Evil. Any gamers out there who haven’t entirely been on board with the genre’s slow creep from ‘survival’ to ‘action’ in recent years will be in seventh heaven here. This is a game built on the exact same foundations that made Resi
such a successful shocker back in the day.
Take the game’s opening stage. There are just three elements at work here: the game’s hero, slowed to a limp by a nasty leg wound; a deserted lunatic asylum, littered with creepy medical apparatus and rusting gurneys; and a grisly seven-foot tall butcher, armed with a chainsaw and out for blood. Familiar tropes, to be sure, but they’re implemented with brutal flair here. It was an effective, tense demo, elevated by OTT enemy design, smart sound editing and enjoyably hammy dialogue.
Next up, Bethesda’s fresh take on a classic FPS with Wolfenstein: The New Order. Developed by some of the same team responsible for The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay and The Darkness, the brief playthrough I witnessed hit all the right notes: pulpy dialogue, an outrageous selection of weaponry and enormous set-piece firefights. Not one for the youngsters, but this looks like good, old-fashioned dumb fun, with an impressive next gen veneer.
From there I grabbed PS4 system architect and Knack designer Mark Cerny for a quick chat – look out for that on the Blog next week – before heading over to the Warner Bros stand for a look at Batman Arkham Origins Blackgate on PS Vita, and Mad Max – the new Avalanche Studios title unveiled at the PlayStation press conference on Monday night.
The former is devilishly handsome 2.5D platformer that does a classy job of transposing the core of the PS3 experience onto a portable screen, while also bringing something new to the series. One to watch.
The latter was a real surprise. It’s an open world action game coming on like a lunatic mash-up ofTwisted Metal and Just Cause 2. Be warned: it’s eye-wateringly violent, but there’s no shortage of ambition here. Avalanche has built an enormous sandbox (literally) to mess around in, and filled it with some stunning sights and chunky combat. We’ll have more on this one soon.
From there, a catch-up with the folks from Guerrilla Cambridge and a fresh look at Killzone: Mercenary. All you need to know here is it’s a thoroughly confident handheld shooter – look out for more coverage next week and check out the new trailer below.
Final stop of the day: Diablo III on PS3. It’s immediately clear how much effort Blizzard has put into bringing their fiendishly addictive action RPG to consoles. The controls have been completely re-tooled, the camera has been zoomed into to better facilitate couch play, the inventory has been torn down and rebuilt for intuitive analogue stick navigation and the multiplayer has been finely re-balanced to compensate for the lack of the original’s auction house. We’ll have a developer Q&A up soon.
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