Best of 2014 – The Richie Report: RR3chE3 REpo3t Sp3cial

First Published: Jun 13, 2014
Voted For By: Lorna
Reason(s) For Vote:
“In all honesty, I could have picked any Richie Report. They are a great semi-regular feature and reading one is usually more amusing (and satisfying) than the thought of watching Nigel Faragefall down an escalator. So, in light of my pathetic indecision, I picked the one I remember cracking up at when I was supposed to be editing it during E3 season. I don’t need to watch the E3 streams, it is far more entertaining to turn Richie up to eleven and give him the space in which to channel his inner Rik.” – Lorna

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. E3 is back, bringing with it the promise of new games, hardware reveals, the chance to call Microsoft pricks, and plenty of opportunities to laugh at Nintendo as they broadcast their conference from a van parked around the corner from the venue. Now, while Mark, Chris, and Ed were out there fucking shit up, Max Cavalera style, the best bet for those of us left behind was to watch a slew of press conferences and make a snap decision as to how fucked or good each party is now. Luckily for you, that’s my speciality. Unfortunately, for people like me, we’d just had our youth kicked in the nuts with the sad news that the People’s Poet was dead – RIP Rik – but we faked just enough enthusiasm to watch the streams.

Microsoft led the way at E3 2014. Unfortunately, that was only chronologically speaking. At 5.30pm, UK time (as we’re smart enough to just have one timezone), Phil Spector emerged from death row to tell us that we’re all wrong about the Xbox One. Actually it was Phil Spencer, a man who looks like what happens when a college bully in an 80s movie grows up. He’s here because perennial Microsoft fucker-upper Don Mattrick is off fucking up Zynga – a billion dollar company that appears to make nothing of value.

Now even Microsoft have to acknowledge that they ruin everything they touch, and so what they needed to do was come out with a huge exclusive. They came out with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, which isn’t exclusive at all (apart from some early access DLC packs). The footage made me weary. You know the drill… gunfire. Helicopters. Shouting. It was so very boring that if it had gone on a minute longer that press conference would have been like the video from The Ring. Thankfully it did eventually fucking stop and was replaced by… Forza. Oh fuck me, Lord. Well, anyway. Forza. Cars. Driving. Roads. Forza. Xbox One. This wasn’t a new Forza though. This was the announcement of a free track. Yes, really. Forza Horizon 2 did follow up though but nobody cared. At this point even the hired shills in the audience were forgetting to cheer. Notably, during the Forza Horizon 2 spiel, they made a point of mentioning the 1080p graphics, which was only interesting because presumably every other game is running at 900p like most Xbox One games. Not that I cared.

Evolve by 2K games got a quick trailer. It’s a sci-fi shooter by the Left 4 Dead guys and it looked like that sounds. There was a great deal of Alien-type imagery as a shadowy alien was revealed, but then it had a stupid old man face and looked shit so I stopped being interested. You can play as the alien though; presumably his story involves sitting alone in a pub doing crosswords. Assassin’s Creed: Unity made sure that even those of us hopped up on coffee would need to staple our eyelids open to make it through the fucking bullshit. It was Assassin’s Creed but in revolutionary Paris. Unfortunately that was the only revolutionary thing about it. There was talk of setting up your own brotherhoods or whatever. Because yeah, we all know loads of people stupid enough to buy this shit. Then a new Dragon Age game showed up. I’ve not played the other two after I was told the second one was shit. Microsoft didn’t reveal much but EA would later on.

At this point, whoever the new Bill Gates is probably got into someone’s earpiece and said ‘if you don’t put some fun games up I’m going to have you all killed’ and things got a bit better. Sunset Overdrive looked like a sort of hyped up Jet Set Radio. The main character seemed like a cunt but the game undoubtedly looked like all the fun. Hmm. Then they announced a fucking mental old-school arcadey Capcom mad thing DLC pack for Dead Rising 3 that, again, looked like a lot of fun. It seemed to be taking the piss out of cosplay bullshit so that’s good, although lesser gaming sites may readily disagree.

A scary mortician called Alex Rigormortis or something came out to either collect souls or announce some Disney Fantasia game. I was too scared to look at the screen to see what it was about. Fable Legends followed, looking like a hack and slasher XBLA game with co-op larks that seemed to be a straight rip-off of Dungeon Defenders. Meh. Project Spark, some game making nonsense, had a disgustingly twee promo that told us very little but you can be sure it’ll be taken over by clever people who will make it self aware. Did you see what those overly-clever fucks did with the Trials editor? Expect huge things from Project Spark.

By this point it was clear that Microsoft’s strategy for the evening was to pretend that they listen to the fans. They kept saying the fans ‘inspire’ them to do what they do. This is despite last year’s E3 presentation being like a Nuremburg Rally against gamers for them. The crowd were slightly roused by something that looked like a new Halo but it turned out to be four old Halos remastered for the Xbox One. Halo 5 was mentioned but not really shown. At this point, Microsoft decided to focus on indie titles despite currently having a reputation for being a nightmare to work with for indie developers. A slew of indie-looking games with indie-looking gameplay were shown, with only Cuphead looking interesting thanks to its striking 1930s cartoon artwork.

Miserable ruins-botherer Lara Croft turned up in a therapist’s room in a trailer for the new Tomb Raider before showing her managing to not die in several implausible ways. I hate Tomb Raider so much that I’m not the guy to ask, but on a scale of cunt to cunt, I give this a fuck off. A new Witcher game was shown off, even though no-one really likes that series. It looked okay, if very generic. To be honest no-one is ever going to improve on Kingdoms of Amalur so they should just archive this entire genre anyway.

Ken Lobb who is in some way responsible for that Killer Instinct remake went on and on about remaking games he loved, and this led to him going on about his new project which turned out to be a remake of Project Dust. Yeah. Me neither. The Division looked incredible last year but now we know that it’ll just be another Ubisoft game and they all play the same. Still, it looked like what would happen if Tom Clancy got his hands on Fallout. It’s still on my radar anyway.

It wasn’t a great showing by Microsoft with little in the way of exclusives that anyone cared about, but they brought out the big gun right at the end with a trailer for a new Crackdown. It didn’t show off any gameplay footage but hopes will be high for this one, even if Crackdown 2 was total dogshit. Not mentioning Kinect was a wise move, not mentioning the Xbox 360, however, wasn’t. People still have problems believing in the Xbox One and most gamers I know who have leapt forward a generation have moved into Sony’s camp while keeping hold of their 360s. Still, it wasn’t Microsoft’s worst E3 ever.

EA may be on a lifelong mission to strip out everything interesting and honest about gaming but Star Wars fans, a thing I’m not, went a little bit mad when Star Wars Battlefront was presented. With the power of the next gen consoles behind it, this could be a pretty epic game. They followed up with Dragon Age: Inquisition, which was, for some reason, accompanied by a woman on a cello. It all seemed to be a bunch of cutscene nonsense, but luckily they showed some gameplay footage afterwards, including a battle with a dragon that actually looked pretty fucking good and which should consign that bullshit Skyrim to the dustbins of gaming history.

A new Mass Effect was teased with a lot of chat and a little bit of concept art. A new IP was also mentioned. It had trees in it. More on that whenever. The Sims 4 had a run out and we were told how realistic all their personalities were. This is how Terminators get their AI. Fuck you, EA, I don’t want to eat rats and watch nothing but flames on my TV.

Now, I’m a huge fan of the UFC and Bruce Lee. Not sure those two things go together but EA don’t give a fuck, and they decided to whore out the departed martial arts legend while getting Jon Jones to talk about how much he thinks he’s like him (he’s not). It was all to reveal what we already knew – Bruce Lee will be a playable character in the new UFC game, a demo for which is already out and it’s not that great, so… whatever.

They followed up with NHL 15, Madden NFL 15, PGA Golf 15 (no longer Tiger Woods because we all hate him for having a bad penis) and FIFA 15 which, like every FIFA before it, promises more emotion and more physics. You still buying into that line? Fuck you. Lose my number. In between all that, Criterion (of Burnout Paradise fame) came on to tell us they’ve been fucking around with boats, buggies and helicopters – their new game promises to have all that in it. It could be a fantastic vehicular playground or it might be Need For Shit. Either way, we’ll find out. Dawngate, a MOBA (massively obviously boring arse) game, was revealed. The dev team mentioned not ripping off other MOBA games so often that I’m expecting a perfect clone of some guy’s MOBA game. Mirror’s Edge 2 looked like more runny-jumpy-avoidy action. Not much was said about the gameplay except that you’ll have more choice of where to go; most of the time was spent about how coloured bits of clothing equal ‘attitude’ and how Faith has a fucking tattoo on her eye.

They closed out their presentation with some Battlefield Hardline nonsense and then announced the beta is live and the world and its mum swooped on PSN and left it face down in Michael Barrymore’s swimming pool with a Dual Shock 4 up its arse.

Now, Ubisoft usually steal these shows but people are beginning to get wise to their promises. It doesn’t matter what they show you, it’s basically always a variation of Far Cry, but with EA basically boring the shit out of us and Microsoft still being public enemy number cunt, hopes were still high that Ubisoft would have something special up their sleeves. They opened with Far Cry 4, which seemed to be the usual mix of running around and shooting that’s made the series so popular with accountants over the years. Aisha Tyler came out remarking that the smoke in the venue made it seem like ’4/20 in this bitch’. She’s in feisty form as she goes on to basically tell the internet to fuck itself. Good girl. I don’t care what anyone says, she’s ace as fuck.

Just Dance 2015 was shown. Good to get the stupid shit out of the way first. Apparently it can handle an infinite number of people dancing together using their phones as controllers. That’s all very clever and whatever but then they proved the point by filling the stage with cunts. Things got serious with The Division which showed off more typical Ubisoft gameplay and visuals. That is to say you run around an open world while shit is projected all over the place, cluttering up your screen.

The Crew, another previous E3 favourite, was given some air time as they explain that, using magic, the game has the entirety of the US in it. It’s a frightening prospect but a cool one. A UK version would be fun, although fuck those winding roads around Carluke. On the minus side, it looks online-heavy, so expect to lose constantly. Assassin’s Creed came back with a pointless CG trailer showing the storming of the Bastille from the viewpoint of a smug prick in a hood. There was some gameplay too, though but it looked like all the other Assassin’s Creed games. Why are you still buying this shit, people? And why is everyone in the game British?!

Aisha Tyler came back and started talking about fitness. Fuck. It’s Kinect time. Shape Up was shown. It’s an exclusive Xbox One title that tries to make it fun to get fit by letting you punch elephants or something. It looked bright, breezy and silly but fuck off am I doing a push up during my gaming time. Valiant Hearts, a World War One themed cartoon tale of misery, followed and looked dreary as fuck. Aisha Tyler pretended to get emotional about it. It was like watching Japanese people try to express feelings. I’m not buying it (in either sense).

They closed up with Rainbow Six: Siege, which looked like your standard squad shooter, however, you can destroy walls and floors which is a very cool feature indeed and it appeared to work brilliantly and, indeed, seamlessly, in the demo. Unfortunately, I still remember what they did to Ghost Recon so I’m expecting this to be equally shit.

The Sony conference started out with what sounded like a generic 80s movie score before switching into lilting piano music, and then the screen came alive with some Mars landing CG trailer, which all looked a bit Halo to me. There was talk of ‘the light of the Traveller’ and you being a Guardian. It was sci-fi 101 with stompy mechs and spider mechs, and turned out to be Destiny. I didn’t care. Andrew House, the King of Sony, showed up looking like Holly Johnson but not as awesome, and talked about Destiny. First on PS4, apparently; beta July 17th, and this Thursday will be a first look the Alpha – crikey. They gave a URL to sign up at. It crashed instantly.

Holly Johnson then went on to reveal a new bundle – a white PS4 (looks very nice) with Destiny chucked in. September apparently. Hit me with your laserbeams, Holly. The first PS4 exclusive was then mentioned. 1886: The Order looks pretty good even if it is just your standard ‘guy with torch in the dark’ action game. The guy in the gameplay footage walked around for what felt like a fucking year before running into a big ape beast and shooting at it, which only seemed to piss it off. I’ve seen better trailers but the game has promise. Entwined was revealed next and appeared to be a sort of Rez game with a fish and a bird in it. It looked elegant and swish but then the dev told everyone that you control each character with a separate analog stick. That shit never works properly but it might be alright. Then he mentioned that it’s out and it costs ten dollars or something and I was suddenly tempted. Curse you, Rez, for making me this way.

Infamous, the PS4′s most interesting game, had some DLC announced and, interestingly, you don’t need the main game to play it. Kind of odd but I like that, even if I don’t really understand it. Little Big Planet 3 was introduced by a big dude with a voice like Mark Lawrenson. A lady played a bit of it, very poorly – apparently wall jumping is very difficult. At least we know it was real gameplay, as they would have got an able-bodied person to create the footage. As more characters were introduced it became apparent that the game is basically Lost Vikings. It ended with four of them playing poorly but it looked like fun. Sort of. I own two, maybe three, Little Big Planet games. I really should fucking play them.

A Japanese guy came out to talk about Bloodborne or something. From Software are responsible. They are fucking terrible at making games but somehow got lucky with the Demon/Dark Souls series and so now everyone loves them. Hats, beards, manky looking dog monster. No idea what sort of game it’ll be and no idea if its exclusive or not, either. Far Cry 4 got some actual gameplay footage. It was very Far Cry. It had some grappling hook action and seemed to be entirely made out of clever lighting and leaves. There was an elephant. The footage ended with the message ‘fortress liberated’ just in case you forgot it was an Ubisoft game. Adam Boyes will be boys then revealed that you can “invite your friend to play even if they don’t own the game”. He was last seen being ducked into a pool to figure out if he’s some sort of witch.

As was the case for most of the evening, a game character was revealed who was a smug twat. He was sporting a running outfit and a zombie bite. As he ran down the street, zombie carnage was revealed around him. Eventually he succumbed to the bite, became a zombie and was run over by more pricks. The game was Dead Island 2 and the trailer makes it look like it might have a sense of humour.

Sony will never, ever shut up about The Last of Us. As we already knew it’s coming to the PS4 they also revealed a Last of Us infected dungeon in Diablo 3 or something. Battlefield Hardline was revealed yet again and this time it had grappling hooks in the footage. Grappling hooks are the new bullet-time. Disney Infinity 2 was shown and had some exclusive Marvel characters in it. Destiny will also get a map.

It was time for another exclusive game to wake us up and a fun live video trailer featuring an unemployed wizard was shown. It took a while to get to the point but, when it did, it revealed that the PS4 is getting Magicka 2, the follow up to the enjoyable PC RPG. This could be lots of fun. A remake of Grim Fandango was announced (another exclusive for Sony), making the crowd whoop loudly. I really should have played the original.

Sony are a bit more beloved in indie circles than Microsoft and they fired off a quick salvo of trailers for a bunch of indie titles that all looked a bit generic: Broforce looked exactly like Gunslugs, right down to the retro graphics; Titan Souls was a top-down adventure game that might be like Zelda; Not a Hero looked like a stylish, bullet opera 2D run and gunner; Hotline Miami 2 looked violent, but I hated the original so I didn’t really care. The only indie reveal that didn’t have forced retro graphics was The Talos Principle. They didn’t really reveal much apart from some nice visuals and a Tetris-esque mini-game.

Suda 51′s Grasshopper Studios has a real cult following thanks to a bunch of baffling and bloody action games. Their latest effort, Let it Die, looked really fucking good. The graphics looked stunning but it was hard to tell what was CG and what was gameplay. Either way, it’s a PS4 exclusive that looks worthwhile. Fans of twee adventures about feelings or some shit were catered for by Abzu, by the makers of Journey. It looked like a sigh that had been turned into a game. Next up looked, as Ol’ Dirty Bastard might have said, dope as heroin. No Man’s Sky is set in a procedurally generated infinite world and appeared to show you going from land all the way up to space. You can travel from planet to planet seamlessly and it all looks breathtaking. If the gameplay matches the graphics and the ambition of the game, this could be the best thing ever made. Fuck.

Holly Johnson is back. When two tribes go to war, one is all you can score. He got the point though when he mentioned how the PS4 has a camera that gamers can purchase “as a choice.” Ow! Ow! Ow! He mentioned Project Morpheus, their VR headset and told the audience they have demo units in the main building. I fucking hope Mark and Ed have tried one and aren’t blind now.

Shawn Layden, Sony’s American president showed up to talked about all the ‘new tools’ Sony have. He talked about Share Factory and I realised this isn’t anything new. You’re burning conference time, Shawn, fuck off. 95% of PS4s are connected to the network, apparently. Oh, and YouTube is coming. It’s dark and full of terrors. You’ll be able to share your PS4 footage right to it. Nice. He talked about Twitch broadcasting. Who are these fucks viewing ‘Spectate Sessions’ anyway? They are ‘redefining social gaming’ apparently. Twats.

Shawn started chatting about ‘Free To Play” and got no cheers. Well done, crowd. I respect you… for now. Well, at least until Planetside 2 got a mention and then the fucking nerds started whooping it up for some reason. Footage of over twenty F2P games are shown, with a little caption at the bottom: “Certain features available for a fee”. You fucking bet. It all went very dubstep.

PlayStation Now is an interesting idea. People in the colonies are getting access to hundreds of PS3 games via this next month in a public beta. One of the beta games will be Ultra Street Fighter IV, which will be a good test of whether it’s viable technology or not. I hope you’ve got good internet, Internet. Eventually PlayStation Now will have PS1, 2, 3 and Vita stuff on there and you’ll be able to play the games on your PS4, Vita and even your TV (if it’s a clever Sony one). There’s also something called PlayStation TV which is a little device that does something or other and will cost a hundred bucks.

Vib Ribbon got a mention and, for a while, it looked like something good might happen. The world needs more Masaya Matsuura games. Unfortunately, Sony didn’t follow through. Instead it was time to show off some Mortal Kombat X footage. The gameplay looked kind of blaverage but the fatalities appealed to the teenage me in a big way. Face-melty, bone-breaky fun. Okay, fuck it. I’m in, Midway. Maybe.

Some guy from Marvel called Brian Bendis came on, looking just like the fucking Kingpin, to talk about Powers. It’s a TV show or something and I don’t care. There’s going to be a Ratchet and Clank movie too. It’s all exclusive… exclusively shit. There was time for another Last of Us mention. Great. Metal Gear Solid 5 (the real one, not the recent demo they put out as a full game) got shown off. Snake’s beginning to look like a fucking zombie. I have to admit, the last one I played was the PS1 game and I don’t fancy catching up.

Sony threw in the news that GTA 5 is coming to the PS4 (and Xbox One but they don’t mention that). You’ll be able to copy over your PS3/Xbox 360 online progress too. Given that the 360 version is still the best looking game I’ve got (and I own a PS4), this could be some real eye-candy. Not sure I’ll bother though; GTA 5 was fab but I don’t fancy going back. Warner Bros got a cheer because everyone knows that means more Batman. I’m not a fan of the previous games or the recent movies or anything that isn’t Lee Merriwether but the footage looked rather nice. There seemed to be more of a focus on being out in the world in your Super Bat Car 2000 or whatever they call it. This might be good; we’ll see though.

It all ended with one more exclusive. Naughty Dog’s latest Uncharted (Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End) which looks like Far Cry. Still, it’s another exclusive anyway.

Look. I’m not your guy. I had a SNES and fucking loved it but I loved Mortal Kombat, Pilotwings and Rock N Roll Racing on it. I didn’t really give a fuck about Mario or Zelda or fucking Donkey Kong. In fact, Street Racer was a much better game than Mario Kart. There I said it. Reggie and the Japanese Reggie were in some bizarre fight footage that introduced a new Smash Bros game. If that wasn’t uninteresting enough, they’ve made it a lot like an Xbox Live indie game by letting you use your avatars or Mii things or whatever they are. Oh, and you can put in more characters by buying actual toys and scanning them in. Sup it, Nintendo Fans, sup up your own exploitation. Oh and there’s a 3DS version coming.

Yoshi’s Wooly World looked like your typical Nintendo platformer with a tacked-on wool mechanic to it. Apparently Kirby’s Epic Yarn had the idea first, but it felt very Nintendo and fans should lap this one up. A new Zelda game was talked about and they showed some nice looking environment art. Apparently it’s going to be huge because people love taking ages to get to the next bit of gameplay, apparently. I didn’t give any fucks but our boy Ed was on Twitter wanking himself hoarse.

Bayonetta, the Queen of cosplay until Daenerys came along, showed up. This Wii-U exclusive sequel was the first thing on offer that didn’t look like it belonged in a episode of Tellytubbies, so that was something I guess. Hyrule Warriors added some Nintendo flavour to the whole Dynasty Warriors archetype. It’ll be fucking huge in Japan then. I don’t know what the fuck Xenoblade Chronicles was meant to be though.

What Nintendo really need is a proper Super Mario Bros game but, instead, they introduced Mario Maker, which looked like an editor for making your own Mario levels. It might be alright but if those games have one thing it’s good level design, so letting the fans fuck with that might make the whole thing redundant. Splatoon looked like more fun. It was a 4v4 online shooter that used ink as a weapon and a scoring system. Spunk more of your goo over the level and you win or something. It looked okay to me if a little basic.

It all ended kind of strangely with what might have been a blurry tease of a new Starfox game but Nintendo were being coy, which is a great strategy when your newest console is selling like hot piss. So that was E3 2014. After the console announcements of last year, this was a much less dramatic affair. That was probably down to the fact that the new generation hasn’t really got going yet. I liked the focus on indie shit though and the fact that most of the talk was just about games. That’ll do for now. I’ve got balls that need Peggling.

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