By Leif Conti-Groome / June 14th, 2016
There are a lot of B3s during E3; games that tend to get overlooked by their AAA brethren and are just relegated to the eyes and ears of those lucky enough to be on the showroom floor. I want to highlight a few of these possible hidden gems and let you the reader see what other games make it to the Electronic Entertainment Expo. And since everything has to be in threes here (E3, triple A, no XXX allowed) I will be showcasing a trio of games that caught my eye for each segment of B3. Here are my first picks.
Inside (Xbox One, PC)
Some of you might have seen this game since it was shown during the Microsoft presentation yesterday. But with all the flashier shooters and, er, Minecrafts, it was easy to forget about this indie platformer. It’s a shame, too, since there’s a lot that stands out in Playdead’s (Limbo) latest outing since 2010. This is the world’s most uneventful trailer; it’s almost like an anti-trailer. And that’s the great thing about Inside, the mystery of the mundane. Even the more action-packed E3 2014 trailer is vague in so many ways. The YouTube description reads ‘Hunted and alone, a boy finds himself drawn into the center of a dark project.’ This still doesn’t explain anything, really, and it maintains the subtlety that Limbo is famous for. So, come June 29 we’ll be able to revisit the dark atmospheric storytelling of Playdead’s newest work.
Hue (Xbox One, PS4, PC)
The title here is perfect for Fiddlestick‘s ultra retro platformer with a cool color manipulation gimmick. In the world of Hue, everyone can only see monochrome until a scientist by the name of Anne fixes that. Her color ring allows anyone using it to see and change the tint of objects around them. Something goes terribly wrong and the chroma-creator disappears. Her son, of course named Hue, sets out to find his mother with boxes, lasers, and the usual obstructions in his way. The game looks like Super Meat Boy combined with Runbow, but reduced to a saner speed. The trailer shows the inside of some pastel wallpapered buildings; a nice departure from the standard nondescript block rooms found in indie platformers. Hue currently has no release date, but those ZX Spectrum colors will be unleashed one day.
Brut@l (PS4, PC)
So, a bit of an incredibly truncated history lesson here; the term “roguelike” comes from an old computer game called Rogue. This was before fancy graphics, so everything was made from letters and symbols (what’s known as ASCII in computer language). The developers at Stormcloud Games were obviously inspired by this history when making the modern day dungeon hack-n-slash Brut@l. You can pick between a mage, ranger, warrior or amazon and jump into a D&D-like world where you can hunt for loot and brew potions. Your main goal is to fight through ‘squads’ of enemies that have their own strengths and weaknesses. You can attempt this with a friend in co-op mode, but it won’t help you much through those dangerous and procedurally-generated halls. This gorgeous game (which perfectly mixes old and new) does not have a release date yet, but it’s looking mighty shiny to these eyes.
And there you have it; three games currently at E3 that you’d have to dig deep to find. I might even get some of our staff that are at the show to try out these games. But this won’t be the last B3 as I came across a whole smorgasbord of interesting titles during my research. So stay CCC, my friends (cool, calm, and collected), and soon you’ll be poring over another three games that are definitely the best bypassed bits. Until then…