E3 last week and there were tons of different video games to preview and play. Below are some of my first thoughts on some of the ones I was fortunate enough to demo.
Megaman 11 is the latest installment in the Capcom series and will be released on October 2 of this year. For those familiar with the franchise, you will find the controls very familiar for the side scrolling action game. The titular character is easy to control and has a slide maneuver and his faithful companion Rush to aid him in his journey. A new feature introduced is the Double Gear system which can allow the player to slow down time or increase the power of his blasters. Don’t rely on these features too long because they are in limited supply. The playable level for the demo was for Blockman and the graphics and backgrounds were clean and crisp with extra details and sharpness for the boss at the end. The level itself was a bit challenging requiring tricky jumping technique but like its predecessors, I’m sure the level difficulty will vary dependent on stage. Overall, Megaman XI is a worthy addition to the series.
OVERKILL’S THE WALKING DEAD
Overkill’s The Walking Dead is a joint venture between Starbreeze, Skybound Entertainment, and 505 Games. It is a co-op first person shooter (FPS) in a world inspired by the Robert Kirkman comic series. There are four different characters, each with their own abilities and weapons. In generic terms, there is a scout, a medic, a tank, and a sniper. The gameplay really stresses team work between the players as you perform missions. In the playable level, not only did you have to avoid and battle walkers but you had to recover water filters stolen by a rival human encampment. The gameplay, for the most part, is comparable to other FPS’s.
One aspect I found interesting was a noise gauge you had to keep a close eye on. When you used your guns, the gauge would increase and the more it was filled, the greater the chance you had to attract zombies to your location therefore it was usually beneficial to be stealthy rather than go in guns blazing. It was also really difficult to kill the walkers since they could only be put down by head shots. Sometimes you think you’ve hacked away at one enough to kill it but a second later it is crawling and attacking you. Despite this, I was really immersed in the game while playing and the half hour demo blew by so quickly. I wasn’t able to ask questions about the story mode as I was curious if there was some crossover with characters from the comics series or the Telltale game. If you like The Walking Dead Universe and enjoy FPS’s, then this might be a good pick up when it comes out November 6, 2018.
TEAM SONIC RACING
There has been a fair amount of multiplayer racing games that star some of your favorite video game characters. Crash Bandicoot and Diddy Kong have had their own titles and of course there is the gold standard of Super Mario. Sega’s most recognizable mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog, has had a couple of his own and will be receiving a new one, Team Sonic Racing, in the fourth quarter of this year.
Unfortunately, I didn’t find that much that stood out during the demo. The controls and gameplay were very much like Mario Kart except with the Sonic roster of characters. One new aspect is the focus on team play where you can perform team speed boosts, share items, and perform ultimate moves. During my race, I didn’t really spend time next to any of my teammates nor did I know exactly how to perform any of the team up maneuvers. Maybe over time with some practice I could master the team play and it could add another dimension to the game, but right now I wasn’t that impressed with it. The game is still in development and could have some changes when it is released, but maybe I would pass on Team Sonic Racing as it doesn’t do enough to stand out amongst other racing games.
(Video footage shot by Grégory Chabal)
DRAGON QUEST XI
I’m a sucker for RPG’s so I was excited for some hands-on play with Dragon Quest XI, from Square Enix. I’ve enjoyed previous versions of the series so I was familiar with the mechanics and controls. The game is still a turn-based RPG, but they have eliminated random encounters. You can see your enemies coming and can even stalk them to gain an advantage if you choose to engage. Graphics-wise the characters and settings are very beautiful and it is a very expansive world to explore. The one boss battle you could play with a full party showed a very imposing figure. I also enjoyed the music and soundtrack that accompanied the game as it helped accentuate the feeling of adventure. The game also allows more freedom of movement allowing you to jump but the controls aren’t as smooth and it comes off a little clumsy. A lot of what made the Dragon Quest series so popular is still there so if you like the series, pick it up later this fall.