Aztecs versus E3: Day Three with Cody Franklin

by Cody Franklin

Courtesy of Entertainment Software Association
Courtesy of Entertainment Software Association

Electronic Entertainment Expo 2013 went out with a bang for the Aztec Gaming crew. On previous day’s we saw just a handful of games, but Day Three brought us to 11 different games. Note for future E3 attendees: stick around until the end for big opportunities and TONS of swag giveaways.

“Mad Max”

The newest game from Avalanche Games, the creators of the “Just Cause” series, was slightly disappointing. I’m not a huge fan of wasteland games as they tend to feel boring and uninspired, and “Mad Max” didn’t break that tradition. However, if you like fast cars and vehicular manslaughter, this will definitely be a game to keep on your radar. The Magnum Opus, Max’s new ride, has an astonishing amount of customization to be unlocked by players. Every singl

e addition or subtraction from the vehicle directly impacts the weight, performance and feel of the Magnum Opus as it goes cruising for a bruising. I still hold out hope for the game, as the footage that was shown was very early pre-alpha. “Just Cause 2” was a spectacular game, and with more polish, “Mad Max” may very well end up leaving players quite happy.

“Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn”

When “XIV” first released it received a great deal of disdain from players and the press. Thankfully, Square Enix took the game back to the drawing board and remade much of what is now available in “A Realm Reborn.” I was thoroughly impressed with everything I saw of “A Realm Reborn.” I got a chance to try out the Archer class in a battle versus the terrifying Ifrit and felt right at home, even though I was playing on a PS3 (something I am usually terrible at.) Indeed, the PS3 controls are a stroke of genius; I’ve long wondered how a true MMO could work on a console and Square Enix has answered that question in spectacular fashion. As a long-time MMO player, I actually might pick up the PS3 version when it releases later this year, rather than opt for my usual trusty mouse and keyboard.

The Elder Scrolls Online

Leaked footage from a few weeks back put a sour taste in the mouths of many would-be “TESO” players, including my own. However, having gotten a chance to play at the Bethesda booth I can now say I am excited for this upcoming MMO. Combat looked and felt better than what I had seen in the past and I found myself becoming very immersed in the story, much as I did when I played “Skyrim” religiously. Unfortunately the build on the show floor was a few months old, I was told, and thus it lacked certain features such as the newly-shown first-person camera combat that I longed to try. I was told by one of the developers that there would be weapon swapping at level 15, which made me very excited as it is hard to find MMOs that incorporate that feature any more. The cinematic trailer released a few months back left my envious of the ranger-like character that stole the show, and it appears “TESO” will have all the elements to make that action a reality.

“Wolfenstein: The New Order” 

Finally, I got the chance to watch a developer demo the newest “Wolfenstein” game and I was quite impressed. In a world where the Nazis won World War II, technology is quite different. Robot suits and lasers abound in this Hell of Hitler. Gameplay wise, it looked and felt much like most shooters these days, but the setting adds a lot of interesting detail that sets it apart. How often do you get to fight giant Nazi robot death machines? As often as you like, once “Wolfenstein” releases. On a side note, Wolfenstein’s beautiful cinematics provided the perfect display of just how incredible game engines are able to look on the new consoles. I was constantly surprised with how detailed every cinematic scene was at E3, and the tense conversation between a Nazi officer and the main character I witnessed could have fit in “Inglorious Bastards” without feeling terribly out of place.

That’s it for my coverage of E3, but be sure to check out the rest of Aztec Gaming’s E3 coverage; you won’t want to miss Jordan talking about “The Evil Within.”