Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Aug 132014

Before I get into the main topic of this post, I’d like to talk about something else. This has already been a sad week, and it’s only Wednesday. We’ve lost two major actors in the past two days. On Monday, Robin Williams died. I haven’t seen as much of his work as most people have, but still enough to be saddened and shocked that he’s gone. Then yesterday, Lauren Bacall died. Although it’s unusual for someone from my generation, I’ve seen more movies with Lauren Bacall in than Robin Williams.

Let’s take a moment to remember and pray for these two, along with all others who have died.

Now that I’ve started this off on an unhappy note, don’t worry. We’re going to brighten our moods by discussing something fun–video games! Most of these will be from Gamescom, a big gaming event currently in progress in Germany, but before we get to that, I want to show you the first trailer for A Bird Story.

A Bird Story is a short game, the spiritual follow-up to one of the best games I played last year, To the Moon. This will bridge the game with its eventual sequel, and I can’t wait. If it’s anything like To the Moon, it will be amazing.

Now, onto Gamescom! Gamescom isn’t as big as E3, so my feature for it won’t be nearly as extensive. In fact, I’m not going to discuss every game that was shown, and I’m not even going to go in order. I’m going to discuss the games and news that mean the most to me.

Let’s start with EA’s press conference, which occurred this morning. Believe it or not, I enjoyed it less than their E3 show. They started off strong, with more footage from Dragon Age: Inquisition and a new trailer. I’m excited for this game. I just need to play DA2 already.

Am I the only one who thought of Harbinger during this trailer? …Yes? Okay, moving on.

EA also discussed Star Wars: The Old Republic, which I’m almost interested in (since it’s a Star Wars RPG), but not enough to actually try it. I wish they’d announced a third Knights of the Old Republic game. That would catch my attention.

Then, there was a piece of news that disappointed me. BioWare has been releasing short trailers for something with the tagline “You’ve Been Chosen,” and it looked like it was going to be a horror game. Well, apparently it’s a 4-versus-1 online multiplayer fantasy RPG. Huh. I’m much less interested now–but don’t worry, because we’ve got a lot of great horror news coming up.

Yesterday morning, I missed Microsoft’s show, but I don’t mind too much, since there were only a few announcements that interested me. There’s a Sunset Overdrive bundle, more information was given about the Master Chief Collection and the Halo 5 beta, and new trailers were released for Below and Ori and the Blind Forest, the latter of which interests me the most.

Then the Internet exploded, as Rise of the Tomb Raider was revealed to be an Xbox exclusive, but Microsoft’s Phil Spencer has since confirmed the exclusivity “has a duration.” This means it probably will appear on other systems after all.


Sony’s press conference has been the best for me so far. We got to see more of Bloodborne, which looks delightfully dark. It also reminds me that I need to finish the Souls games. Speaking of series I need to finish before the new one comes out, LittleBigPlanet 3 looks as cute and fun as it did at E3.

More gameplay from Middle-earth: The Shadow of Mordor was shown. I’m interested in that, in part because of its use of Lord of the Rings lore, but I’m not quite sold just yet. For one thing, it’s open world, which isn’t quite my favorite thing.

New trailers were shown for a couple of games I’ve been following for a while–Volume, a futuristic Robin Hood stealth game by the makers of Thomas Was Alone, and The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, a horror adventure game that looks very promising.

I was happy to see that, and I can’t wait to play it! But now, enough of games we already knew about–are you ready for some new game announcements?

A PS4 exclusive called Rime (which apparently was announced a year ago, but it’s new to me) has an art style similar to The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and looks like it could really be fun. I’ve also heard it’s open world, though, so we’ll see.

Next up, Hellblade. Ninja Theory hasn’t released a lot of details about its new game, but the trailer gave off a dark fantasy vibe. I’ll keep my eye on it. Another one I’ll keep my eye on is a cute Vita platform game called Tearaway, which is being remade for the PS4 as Tearaway Unfolded. I don’t have a Vita, so I never played the original, but it looks interesting.

The next game I’m going to show you sounds like the antithesis of games I like. It’s a multiplayer (eh) sandbox (boo) crafting/building simulator (meh, I don’t even play Minecraft). So why am I showing it here even though I skipped over all the other games I’m not interested in? Mainly because, kind of like Tomodachi Life, you need to experience the weirdness of this trailer for yourself.

All right, let the debate begin! Is this pro-Communism, or is it making fun of it through the age-old art of parody? Whatever it is, the trailer has awesome music and is weirdly entertaining. It may be a multiplayer sandbox crafting/building sim, but thanks to GameInformer’s preview, I know it’s also an alternate history in which “projected clones” try to build a town at the same time after a 1960’s era Soviet experiment goes horribly wrong. You can vote for the buildings you want your town to build… and bribe officials to steer the vote in your direction. There are also turret battles with giant monsters. And then you mine the monsters.

I really don’t know what to say about it.

Anyway, enough of that. I promised you some horror! First up, a cancelled horror game is getting another chance. Until Dawn, a horror game based on slasher films, was supposed to come out for the PS3, but it was cancelled. Now, it’s been reinvented for the PS4.

It’s unclear to me if it’s going to be a true survival horror game, or an action game more along the lines of Alan Wake, but I’ll watch for more news.

But now, the biggest moment so far! During Sony’s press conference, they announced a horror game called P.T., by a mysterious developer called 7780s studio. To be honest, it didn’t impress me. Just another first-person horror game that ended with a shot of screaming people to prove its scariness.

There’s a demo out now for the PS4, but I didn’t really care… until I learned the demo was actually a teaser for something else… Check out this footage from one of the first players to finish the demo and learn the truth.

Hideo Kojima? Guillermo del Toro? Norman Reedus (I’ve never seen him, but it seems he’s a big deal).

In… Silent Hill? Wait, Silent Hills, plural? What is going on??

This raises so many questions. What is this about? Why was it hidden in a first-person demo? (I can’t imagine a Silent Hill game being first-person like that.) Is there more than one Silent Hill now? Does Kojima prefer playing little tricks on fans to announce his new games than making big announcements?

And the biggest question of all, will this be an amazing survival horror experience?

Share your thoughts, hopes, and reactions in the comments below, and be sure to tell me if I ignored your favorite Gamescom announcement.

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