Meant to get to this earlier, but I’ve been working this new job and it’s been taking up a lot of my free time. The job is dull as dirt, but it pays the bills. I live on my own, so I got a lot more to worry about. But I’m not lamenting the bachelor life. Not completely, anyway. A topic for another day. This year’s E3 was pretty lackluster, in a lot of areas. Microsoft’s conference was boring. The games they announced are the games we have come to expect from them. Aside from the backward-compatibility stuff, there were no surprises. Don’t get me started on Nintendo. If that company doesn’t do some MAJOR course corrections, their time in the console market is done. Though, that might be for the best. Honestly, if they weren’t trying so hard to make consoles, and just ditch that and went third-party and the handheld market, they could make more money. But that’s not what we’re here to talk about.
Sony came out swinging, and their conference burned the fucking house down. From the announcement of the Shenmue III Kickstarter campaign, to the unveiling of a remake (FINALLY!) of Final Fantasy VII, and the exhuming of The Last Guardian from the vaporware graveyard. Any one of those things would have won it for them. But they also introduced a new IP. One that is one of the most gorgeous and unique concepts I’ve seen in a game in a LONG time, and it has got me intrigued, in a way that only Sony marketing can do. For whatever reason, these people do it right. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s see the trailer.
For whatever reason, Sony knows how to do their marketing just right. The first time we hear about a game, it’s done in a teaser. Something to get people talking. Then, there is little or nothing said for a year, and the next E3, we get a gameplay trailer. It isn’t something so huge that it spoils the whole game. These people aren’t Microsoft or Ubisoft. We get a couple launch trailers and TV spots, and the game is out. This formula has been going for a while, and you know what – it works! When I saw that there was a new Uncharted game coming out, I was less than pleased. Didn’t they bring that franchise to a nice conclusion? Why keep it going? Then they released little snippets of gameplay, and I couldn’t help it – I was hooked.
I vaguely recall hearing the name of this game some time ago, but there was little about what it is. Horizon Zero Dawn? Is that a military shooter? What is this? Sony decided to pull out the stops, and give us a nice taste of what looks to be a phenomenal fucking game. Combining Assassin’s Creed style stealth with Tomb Raider platforming and bow mechanics, with a backdrop of a very post-apocalyptic world that is filled with tribal societies and…robot fucking dinosaurs! Robot dinosaurs. A game where I can kill robot dinosaurs already has me. But the cool setting, the AMAZING visuals, and the post-apocalyptic backdrop has me hooked. Plus, this isn’t one of those games where it’s right after the apocalypse. It’s understood that whatever happened to us, it’s long since past. This is generations afterwards, when new societies have grown and live their own way. None of this “we’ll go back to the way things used to be” nonsense. I like that.
But the thing that gets me the most – how new and fresh this feels. This game is a breath of fresh air in a time when the industry needs it. For so long, gamers have been clamoring for games that try new things and take risks. This game is a definite risk, and it could all be a pile of shit. But the fact that the first major announcement for this game is a gameplay trailer, with mechanics as slick as this, gives me hope that this gamble will pay off, and I am planning on having my money ready to endorse it. Let’s hope it’s money well spent, unlike Arkham Knight, which is nothing but wasted potential.
8 out of 10