Day 1 roundup: IndieCade and MOBAs stand out at E3

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LOS ANGELES — It was a shorter day than the rest of the conference, but our first taste of E3 featured plenty of game samples. More will come in the next few hours, and of course the coming days, but here’s a quick sample of what we looked through Tuesday.

IndieCade’s the place to be

Most of the attention at E3 surrounds the big company’s big releases, and we’ve paid plenty of homage to those titles, too. But IndieCade, an exhibit of independent games from a slew of developers across many platforms, was as fun as any other booth Tuesday.

A player navigates a virtual reality game by Paper Crane Games. Titles at IndieCade crossed multiple platforms and genres, including a special eSports section. | Photo by Sean Morrison

A player navigates a virtual reality game by Paper Crane Games. Titles at IndieCade crossed multiple platforms and genres, including a special eSports section. | Photo by Sean Morrison

There were whimsical games, platformers, virtual reality experiences, sprawling role-playing games and tastes of every genre on every platform you can drum up. IndieCade could keep you pinned down for the entirety of E3 with the number of games in its exhibit, and a few really caught our eye Tuesday. We’ll give a partial indie rundown on Wednesday, but know this: Swordy is a LOT of fun.

MOAR MOBAs

We mention Swordy not only because it’s fun, but also because it’s part of a rapidly growing trend in gaming. Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas are quickly evolving into an easy sell for developers and publishers big and small. Halo 5: Guardians will have a MOBA element to it, for example, in its Warzones multiplayer mode. Swordy is a MOBA of a sort, and the eSports portion of IndieCade featured at least three others. Gigantic for Xbox One is the first true MOBA for the console, and it was announced Monday. Star Wars: Battlefront has MOBA elements. Other developers have emphasized sharing of created content such as maps, competitive gameplay adaptations and other collaborative efforts as well.

The gaming community is full of visionaries, and when a game comes out, the “if only’s” tend to come with it, no matter how high-quality the title is. Developers are starting to realize that by building in ways players can adapt the games other than mods increases replayability and adds to the experience and value of the game. The question now is, what will you come up with?

Sweet hat, bro

Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate feels great. The graphics aren’t quite there yet, in my opinion, but combat options on the alpha are already more diverse and fluid than previous editions. There were a few sprawling battle scenes, and the freerunning experience is as dynamic as ever. Check out some of that in this quick video.

It’s a bit strange that Jacob Frye manages to keep his hat on through all the grappling, flips and blows, but we’re not complaining. That’s a hella cool hat.

Keep rollin’, rollin’, rollin’

Marty Stratton, left, discusses DOOM's combat system during E3 on Tuesday in Los Angeles. | Photo by Sean Morrison

Marty Stratton, left, discusses DOOM’s combat system during E3 on Tuesday in Los Angeles. | Photo by Sean Morrison

DOOM’s Marty Stratton and Hugo Martin took the Bethesda stage and talked a bit more about their gore-filled title. Stratton emphasized the game’s run-and-gun style, which is a staple of the series, with a focus on fluidity and the executions, or “glory kills.”

“Push forward combat is really the notion that if you stop moving, you’re dead,” Stratton says. “It’s really fun to watch somebody play an area because everybody does it differently.”

Uncharted territory

Rainbow 6: Siege spoke a little bit more about its custom map feature, which gives players the option to randomly generate a map for its game modes over and over — and over — again. This feature will help players get a unique experience out of every play-through and help the experience stay fresh and unpredictable.

Choose your Destiny

We got into this a bit Monday, but Destiny‘s expansion, The Taken King, will also add subclasses for each class of Guardian. Now, every build will have all three elements at its disposal. Titans will add a solar class from the expansion, while Hunters will add a void class and Warlocks an arc class. This makes team building a lot easier.

The Hunters, right, get a void bow; Titans get a solar blast; and Warlocks can shock enemies with arc bolts. | Photo by Sean Morrison

The Hunters, right, get a void bow; Titans get a solar blast; and Warlocks can shock enemies with arc bolts. | Photo by Sean Morrison

 

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  1. Pingback: From stream to mainstream: The growth of gaming from a niche culture to a centerpiece of popular entertainment

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