It is known, Khaleesi, that in the year 2013, a great war was fought. It would go down in the history books as “The Console Wars” and many were the Internet arguments. And lo, was E3 the great battleground, upon which Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony gathered to do battle.
E3 2014, by contrast, had much less fanfare and frenzy. Most of the games announced did not come as a surprise, and it seems that the vast majority of announcements were about sequels to already popular games. Indie games were a nice breath of fresh air thrown into the mix.
You can read all of the announcements and watch all of the trailers here, but the main takeaway from me was the continued reliance on white male protagonists. Plenty of folks took to Twitter to announce their disappointment with the lack of female and minority protagonists, but AAA game companies have proof that we don’t actually need them to be creative: We’ll buy Halo 15 because it’s a Halo game, and they’ll make Halo 15 because we’ll buy it.
But enough of all that; you want to know what I thought of the games! This article got really long so I split it up into two articles: indie games and AAA games.
Below are some of my thoughts after playing the indie game demos at E3:
A black, female protagonist, skydiving, and dragons. What else do you need to know? This handpainted roguelike runner is a feast for the eyes and will launch first on the PS4 and then on other mobile platforms.
I’ve talked about Secret Ponchos before, but they’ve finally added the character I’ve been waiting for: Matador. In fact, as soon as I approached the booth, they actually remembered me and said, “oh man, we finally added that character we think you’ll like.” Matador uses spears and a sword instead of guns, making her very interesting and unique within a game of gunslingers. I love that her outfit is no different than what a male matador might wear. She hasn’t been overly sexualized, and I really want to cosplay her!
Starwhal: Just the Tip
I actually first heard of Starwhal after watching a hilarious episode of Friendzone. I’m happy to report that it’s just as much fun to play as it is to watch! I’ve been complaining lately about the lack of games I can actually play with real-life people over at my house, so I’m quite pleased that this quirky game is coming to PS4. I should really describe this game to you, but I think you should just watch the trailer below.
Nidhogg is also coming to the PS4! Nidhogg is a fencing/fighting game that I’ve had the chance to play before, but I wasn’t very good at it. That all changed the moment I picked it up with the PS4 controller. The game really felt much smoother and I finally had a fighting (haha, pun) chance. Actually, I’m being modest, I kicked my friend’s butt. Okay, he beat me sometimes. But I won the most!
Don’t Starve: Giant Edition
Don’t Starve is coming to the Vita! The Giant Edition features the original game plus all the updates currently released on PC, including the Reign of Giants Expansion. If you watch my streams, you know I’m pretty addicted to Don’t Starve. Having this baby be portable is going to be the worst thing to happen to my social life since cats. The controls felt very comfortable and similar, although I don’t think I had the touch screen capabilities on at all. This edition will also feature another playable female character.
I was delighted to be able to play a female character in each of these games (except possibly Nidhogg, if we can even tell what gender they are) and they’re just an example of what I love about indie games: the freedom to be creative and to take risks.
There were tons of other indie games at E3, including many at the IndieCade booth, but alas, I was unable to play them all. Have one you really want me to check out? Tell me the name and I’ll reach out to the devs!
Be sure to go read my thoughts on the AAA games of E3 2014 later today!