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The crowds at E3 2013 might have waned a little bit on the show’s third and final day, but there was still a huge amount of great stuff to see out there. We kicked things off today by catching up with Guerrilla Games‘ Managing Director Hermen Hulst and Game Director Steven Ter Heide for a closer look atKillzone: Shadow Fall in action.
First things first, it can’t be overstated just how beautiful this game is. The original trilogy’s murky hues and thick shadows have been traded in for rich blue skies, striking silver skyscrapers and lush green geography. The level of detail in the environments is extraordinary – brooks babble over your feet, blistering sunlight glistens and flares off the cityscape and draw distances stretch out over the horizon. It’s a complete visual re-invention for the series, and Shadow Fall wears its new threads very well indeed.
The gameplay has undergone something of a revamp too. It’s still unmistakeably Killzone but there a fresh feeling to what’s on offer here. Aside from more expansive areas to play around in and open-ended level structure, the biggest addition is a companion drone (dubbed OWL) that you can use to distract the enemy, plant zip lines or lay down supressing fire. It opens up some interesting new options – not least of all a greater stealth element.
Remind yourself of the new E3 trailer below for more, and stay tuned in the coming months for additional coverage.
Next up, indie talisman Jonathan Blow walked us through The Witness, his extraordinary follow-up to his breakthrough title, Braid. Something of an unknown quantity going into E3, it will surely emerge as one of the most talked about games on the show floor. Make no mistake, this deeply sophisticated puzzle adventure will not be for everyone, but for those who manage to get their head around its demanding brainteasers and eccentric structure, a bold, brilliant confection awaits.
To boil it down to its core elements, The Witness is a first person adventure game set on a serene-yet-deserted island. You set out to explore, solving sets of mysterious grid puzzles as you progress and unravel the game’s story (Blow was coy on exactly what to expect here). And boy, what puzzles. We won’t spoil the set-up further but prepare to have your grey matter stretched to its absolute limits.
The Witness was one of PlayStation Blog’s highlights of the week – it’s unique, spell-bindingly smart and bewitchingly beautiful.
Similar hyperbole can be happily thrown at Puppeteer – our next port of call. Japan Studio’s deliciously dark platformer gets lovelier every time I set my eyes on it and this week’s showing was no exception.
Creative Director Gavin Moore was in town to showcase the game’s pick-up-and-play cooperative mode, that allows a second player to grab a controller at their leisure and take control of Kutaro’s air-born companion.
Once in control, player two can either help out Kutaro by clearing enemies and obstacles out the way, or hinder him, by ripping off his head and throwing it away (no, really). Great fun, to be sure, and a welcome to addition to what was already a generous proposition.
We’ll be catching up with Gavin again next month, but in the meantime enjoy the new trailer below.
The level that was demoed saw the titular purse-snatcher infiltrating a sprawling, heavily guarded manor house. Some techniques were familiar from past outings – such as the rope arrow – while others, such as the ‘swoop’ feature that allows the player to quickly dart between cover, were welcome additions. It’s early days, but it’s looking like a classy, handsome update to a series that has been absent from our screens for far too long.
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