The Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, is the biggest video game trade show in the world and as a result a meeting bazaar for a multitude of different developers and publishers all seeking to blare their own horn for the community. They throw giant press galas, strut along broad stages, and strike bold stances in front of screens stories tall for awed audiences.
We at GameOgre sent our own Ogre on the Spot (in the form of Ogre Man) to E3 in order to see all the sights, take a few pictures, and possibly club a game developer rep or two—and take their swag. In fact, Ogre Man proved so intimidating and charismatic that he’s coming home with some interesting gear and quotes for everyone to enjoy.
In the meantime, I’m going to cover what we saw at E3 2011 from the MMO industry, free-to-play and pay-to-play alike.
World of Tanks
By far the biggest Russian MMO ever to hit the global theatre, World of Tanks managed an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records—and since opening up to Western markets have beaten their original record. Only one big reveal for WoT at E3, but they did have a booth and some lively conversations.
Well, to say one big reveal is to set it a little bit too lightly for this massive free-to-play squad-based tank warfare simulation game: World of Tanks unveiled a teaser for their upcoming Clan Wars expansion.
As an expansion, this adds a guild-concept to the World of Tanks that dives up the European theatre into regions that clans play on a RISK like game board moving their tanks across the world. As clans vie for control they roll their tanks into each others territories and the victor is determined by a battle between tank squadrons. The game map will also enable clans to make diplomatic parlay, set treaties, tributes, and forward their own designs by forging alliances (or break them) as they fight for control of the map.
“Build your own steel empire to dominate the World of Tanks.”
As a next-gen free-to-play MMO, TERA’s teaser videos have portrayed a beautifully rendered world full of cute-but-vicious monsters. From what we’ve seen, it’s not-your-usual-Korean-MMO with a lot of affects reminiscent of Square-Enix properties with a hint of an animé style. Developed by Bluehole Studio for publisher En Masse Entertainment, this fantasy MMO (already released in South Korea) is expected to go into European and North American release before the end of 2011.
The game features an active combat system using the player’s intuition to pick targets and dodge incoming attacks in real time. This leads the game trailer to claim, “TERA: True action combat.”
No doubt. From the teaser trailer we’ve seen a lot of spectacular special effects, giant well-rendered monsters, and a lot of reasons to look forward to this game at the keyboard.
Perfect World Entertainment is making a huge debut at E3 2011 with the presentation of three titles, the first, Rusty Hearts, is an MMO that lives up to its cognomen as it has a lot of heart. From the teaser trailer shown on the trade show floor, we’ve been able to gather quite a few glimpses into this free-to-play game’s approach to breaking out of the usual 3D MMO mold.
Developed and published by Perfect World Entertainment, Rusty Hearts features a lot of intense, isometric game play set with a 3D rendering engine that promotes an arcade-like experience. From the game play footage, it looks a lot like a cell-shaded comic book come to life with players battling over dungeon-floors with wits and weapons leading the way.
Building on the universe of Blacklight: Tango Down, this free-to-play MMO developed by Zombie and distributed by Perfect World Entertainment thrusts players into a sci-fi universe filled with powered armor, pulse weapons, and a strong hankering to shoot someone with a laser. Get ready for sci-fi gun-and-run firepower with a little mech action mixed in (according to the magnificent debut teaser.) It maintains many of the core mechanics of Tango Down and also engages a thickly designed customization system for both the player’s costume (armor) and weapons.
Aside from the usual sci-fi guns-on-the-battlefield, Retribution also features player piloted mechs called “Hardsuits.” They’re a feature earned mid-match by players and can be catapulted from orbit to wherever the player desires. Once deployed, players climb inside and wreak mayhem on the battlefield. They also feature a great deal of customization (from weapons to look) and will become a core part of game play.
We’ve come to understand that Blacklight: Retribution will run on the Unreal 3 rendering engine and come with DirectX 11 compatibility for those who might be running Windows 7.
Developed by MAIET Entertainment for distributor Perfect World Entertainment, RaiderZ is a free-to-play fantasy MMO that purports to be all about the hunt—hunting giant monsters that is. The debut trailer for RaiderZ voices the plight of a world overrun by hulking monstrosities and notes the particularly cantankerous disposition of said monsters.
RaiderZ will gather players together into epic hunting parties to scour the land and locate colossal boss creatures. They will have to work together, coordinating efforts in decoy and assault, cooperating to bring down not just big game—but alien horrors who threaten the countryside.
“I fear, if we do not hunt together; we will die alone.”
Star Wars: The Old Republic
The greatly anticipated pay-to-play MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic was demonstrated on the trade floor of E3 to the gushing of adoring fans everywhere. It’s hard to sit still for a game like this—Bioware is a tried-and-true developer who have done great things in the past and this LucasArts property is something we want to revisit. Since the ultimate failure of the otherwise good beginning of Star Wars: Galaxies it seems like many players have been soured on a Star Wars MMO; but from the look of it, SWtOR may rekindle that anticipation.
The game is highly cinematic, with fully voiced characters and deep, developed narratives that lock in decision making—the path your character takes will be defined by how they approach the game world. We see this game as becoming an altaholics paradise (Bioware had better make a lot of character slots available.) One of the more interesting elements of the narrative is that these decisions can be made in groups, when a mission plot-point is hit, a single member in the group may become the pivotal player.
Demonstrations of raids also show a totally different approach to game play that diverges a little from other properties. They’re escaping a little from static stand-and-fight and puzzle-based boss battles in raids and are aiming for a sort of squad-based objective and mayhem-of-the-battlefield to reflect the cinema effect of past Star Wars movies battles. So we really look forward to putting boots in the dust with a lightsaber in hand and scythe through foes whilst leading the charge.
Still scheduled for a 2011 release, we hope that it doesn’t get delayed, because we want to be in this game the moment it hits the shelves.