The Thin End of E3

Well, I don't normally just comment on videogame news, but this year there are actually a bunch of things showing at E3 that I care about. Also, I've just come off a session with the Too Human demo, and I'm beaming about that.

First up, Too Human. I've been clinging onto a belief that this game - despite the general negativity and naysayers surrounding it - would scratch a particular itch I have. The PSO itch. While it's not quite that, it's certainly scratching an itch I never knew I had. It's kind of a cross between a Diablo-style hack and slash and a twin-stick shooter, weird as that sounds. It works, though. The demo is a little rough around the edges but it is a demo after all. Graphical polish is the last pass a game gets before it ships out. The core gameplay is solid, and I can imagine it getting very intense as things progress. In the demo you are limited to a single character type and a small number of upgrades and abilities. There's even a story in there, and given the soft spot I have for mythology I'll probably lap it up (you'll find a female character named Freya in pretty much any RPG party I've made).

Day one purchase on that one, then.

Dragon Age has finally begun a steady leak of information. After four years of lurking on the Bioware message boards there's finally something to speak about, though the reveal was less a grand unveiling and more a stumbling drunkenly into view - an announcement of the official site opening that yielded nothing but another announcement that a trailer was coming. The trailer showed a pretty uninspiring battle cutscene. Luckily it's been followed up now by some ingame shots, and the first thought that popped into my head was that it looks like The Temple of Elemental Evil. This is a Very Good Thing. Apparently combat can take place in a tactical overhead view, while the majority of exploration is from a more traditional over-the-shoulder third-person perspective. Mass Effect worked for me in that regard so I'm fine with that.

One thing I'm not so fine with is Bethesda FPS-ing Fallout into oblivion *chuckle* Even if it turns out to be a worthy successor to the originals, it's doubtful I'll be able to play it. Unfortunately the presentation didn't show much in the way or movement in the third-person mode, so I'll have to wait and see. Also, the VATS combat animation cutaway seems incredibly wonky and jarring.

Tomb Raider Underworld media will be hitting the end of the week. A teaser trailer is on the cards, though that could mean anything. Worst case is 20 seconds of logos followed by 20 seconds of Lara Croft looking determined and mysterious, followed by 20 seconds of fade out and release date. I really want to see some gameplay footage though.

Oops, I almost forgot about Geometry Wars Retro Evolved 2. Today is a happy day.

Neverwinter Nights, how I love thee...

Linu Lo'neral: I am Linu Lo'neral, an elven priestess of Sehaine Moonbow. I was hoping to meet you, but I figured I missed you while I was changing my clothes.

Me: Changing your clothes?

Linu: Oh, when I came in here a waitress spilled some drinks.

Me: She soaked your clothes?

Linu: Well... no. I bumped into her and when the drinks crashed down I leapt backwards into a dwarf, knocking over his ale and stew.

Me: So that messed you up?

Linu: Um, no, the food and drinks landed on the floor, but the dwarf crashed into a halforc, causing the knife he was eating with to slice open his cheek. That's when the brawl started.

Me: And you wrecked your outfit in the brawl?

Linu: I managed to stay out of the brawl, hiding under a table and feeling awfully guilty. When the fight was over I felt I should help clean up the mess.

Me: So you got dirty cleaning up?

Linu: No, I wore an apron and managed to stay pretty clean. Then I stepped outside for a breath of fresh air and slipped in a mud puddle. So I had to go change.

Me: Why didn't you just tell me you slipped in a puddle from the start?

Linu: I... I didn't want you to think I was clumsy.