Everybody keep calm. Facebook blew up the Internet with Oculus news yesterday, it’s the weekend of the New York Comic Con, and Gears of War 4 is out today (depending on the edition) along with Mafia III and Paper Mario: Color Splash. And I say that because next Thursday is the release of PlayStation VR and the veritable deluge of games that come with it.
Seriously, lock it up. It only gets worse from there and I’m going to need you to keep it together if we’re going to make it through this. You and me, buddy, we’re gonna be okay. We’re gonna be A-fucking-okay.
Just kidding, it’s overwhelming and we’re screwed. Let’s just watch some trailers.
Robo Recall — Announcement Trailer
Well, that’s just absurd. A little over a year ago, Epic Games showed off a little demo at Oculus Connect 2 called Bullet Train, and it was one of the most talked about things to come out of the whole event. And in the intervening time, they’ve apparently turned it into a whole game called Robo Recall.
In that way, I guess it’s not surprising that it looks largely the same. You’re still shooting a bunch of bad guys with motion controllers in virtual reality, but it looks immensely more robust as well. Look at that Devil May Cry-style air juggling! And yes, I would like to smash two robots together with my hands, thank you for asking. Best of all? It’ll be free when it comes out next year for the Oculus Rift with Oculus Touch.
Lone Echo — Announcement Trailer
Here’s a pitch for you: the folks behind Ōkami and The Order: 1886 want to make a sci-fi VR game that solves the biggest problem with VR games. You into it? Thought so. Even though The Order: 1886 was flawed in many, many ways, it built an incredible world and atmosphere. And their idea to remove walking from the equation completely is genius.
All of that adds up to some tremendous promise, not least of all because it looks like Gravity but a game. Who knows if it’ll actually deliver on all of it, but early signs indicate that a modicum of optimism is safe. We’ve obviously been in that situation before, though, so maybe just wait to play it to feel anything. (Ever.) It’ll be out, uh, eventually for the Oculus Rift with Oculus Touch.
Arktika.1 — Announcement Trailer
Those Metro folk sure do like their apocalypses. I’m guessing it comes from being based in the Ukraine, a region of the world that has a penchant for making solemn, dower, and player-punishing games based on expansive and arcane mechanics. Sometimes, like in the case of Metro: Last Light, all those seemingly punitive components come together to be a pretty good thing.
In this case, I’m just not convinced those will translate happily along into VR where you’ll be standing in zombie/robot shooting galleries. I do, however, like the idea of bending bullets like Wanted, which was actually a fairly decent game. Everybody loves bending bullets, right? Anyways, it comes out sometime next year for the Oculus Rift with Oculus Touch.
Psychonauts 2 — Art Test with Tim and Zak
Putting aside all the Fig troubles in getting Psychonauts 2 actually funded, the game itself already looks pretty cool. Granted, it’s all proof of concept and totally nothing to judge the final product on, the general air of the world is pretty fun. It looks abstractly cartoonish, as if it looked as Tex Avery’s career and said yeah, that’s the stuff.
This video also gives great insight into what it takes to make a game. Almost everything that went into making this exceptionally full (if relatively empty) prototype will be scrapped by the time the final build goes through cert and whatnot. Ideas and metrics will stay the same after proving their mettle in this phase, but all this work will blow away like a dandelion. It’s an almost philosophical, meditative lifestyle, being a developer. Anywho, it comes out some time in 2018.
War for the Planet of the Apes — New York Comic-Con Digital Billboard
Against all odds, the 2011 reboot of the Planet of the Apes series was good. Damn good, in fact. And then its sequel three years later in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was somehow even better. Given all that, I think it’s safe to say that expectations for this third movie are fucking sky fucking high.
Okay, maybe not that high, but they’re still up there. The premise is easily the most base of the three. The first one dealt with Caesar’s relationship with humans on a personal level, and then the second one forced him to come to terms with his barbarous side through his tamed exterior. This third one sounds like humans wanting to kill apes and, well, that’s it? But then again, how much can you tell from marketing. It hits theatres on July 14, 2017.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Mega Battle — Reveal Trailer
wut. I’m not complaining. This is just a baffling game. The movie isn’t out until March (and is constantly accruing drama) and this looks like more of a throwback than the actual film. It harkens back to the 1994 brawler Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and eschewing the usual shoddy 3D transformation that often accompanies action-centric properties.
It’s also extraordinarily odd that this was announced with basically no fanfare. The trailer got uploaded to YouTube and, well, that was about it. Did they just forget? Did they not want to compete with more innately exciting news with NYCC this weekend? Sounds more like they wanted to bury it, if anything. It comes out for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC this January.
Dishonored 2 — Daring Escapes Gameplay Trailer
Just. Fucking. Give it to me already. Dammit, Arkane Studios, you tease.
It comes out for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on November 11.
The Shrouded Isle — Announcement Trailer
“The Shrouded Isle is a cult village management simulator.” Now that’s one hell of an elevator pitch. I have no idea what it means, but it sure is provocative. I wouldn’t mind managing a cult village. After seeing The Witch, that actually sounds pretty fun by contrast.
It’s also coming from Kitfox Games, the same studio behind this year’s earlier Moon Hunters. It was a troubled game that reached far beyond its grasp, but it at least built one hell of a world. Here’s hoping that they kept the latter and fixed the former. It comes out for PC this February.
Yomawari: Night Alone — Countdown to Nightmares
Oh fuck this looks good. The premise—a young girl ventures out into a town transformed by darkness to find her sister and her dog—is highly evocative. The art style is simply incredible, blending childlike, bubbly depth with shattering terror that anime does so well. And it seems to focus more on atmosphere than jolting jump scares.
Oh yeah, the scares. This game also looks terrifying as fuck. Sweet jesus I can already tell I’m going to struggle getting through this game, and hopefully because it’s a horrifying nightmare and not because it’s a terrible piece of entertainment. It comes out for the PlayStation Vita and PC on October 25.
Ghost Recon Wildlands — Stealth Takedown Mission
The game itself looks fine. It looks fun. I’ll never say no to shooting things, possibly with buddies in tow. What really sticks out is just how damn good the game looks visually. Look at the lightning strike in the background! Look at that illumination of a far off town! It’s genuinely stunning.
Also, you can’t help but laugh at that helicopter landing in the beginning. That is how every lands a chopper in a video game, right? Just a little rougher than necessary but it doesn’t matter because fuck it you’re on the ground. Oh, and I guess sneaking around and coordinating shots looks neat, too. The game comes out for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on March 7, 2017.