My E3 2018 Notes

I had a lot of fun co-streaming all the E3 events on Twitch. It will definitely be something I start to do more of in the future. I saw a lot of new games I’d like to give a first try. I’ve taken notes on what I found most interesting at E3 2018. I think Bethesda had the best overall show, but Ubisoft was a close second. I’ve highlighted my favorite announcement in each category. Let me know what your favorites were in the comments!

  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order – Singleplayer open world RPG. Play as a Padawan that escaped the initial purge/Order 66.
  • Battlefield V – Pretty standard lobby shooter. Large scale area control mode coming, but no details.
  • Battlefont II -New squad system, thank goodness. Starfighter mode where you dogfight with hero ships! A new large scale sandbox where you capture command posts & attack/take out capital ships?! Sounds awesome!
  • C&C Rivals – Decent looking RTS mobile game.
  • Play to Give – ? Never heard of this before? Money gets donated to charities based on player hours played.
  • Anthem – Feb 22, 2019 launch. Open world, 4 person co-op. You wear Iron Man looking suits called Javelins. You can change javelins so you are not locked into a specific class. Only monetization is cosmetic, no loot boxes.

  • Doom Eternal – Further details in August at Quakecon! Takes place on Earth. I’m hoping for open world and co-op!
  • Fallout 76 – Open world! All humans are players! West Virginia setting, the good old south! Can co-op with your friends on servers filled with dozens of players. Can transfer servers anytime. Launches November 14. Preorder now starting at $59.99 USD.
  • Elder Scrolls 6 announced. No details. Open world and co-op could make this my first venture into the Elder Scrolls universe.

  • The Division 2 – Better graphics than the original. Boss’s armor falls off gradually as you do damage? 8 person raids coming. The Division 2 is set in Washington DC. Launches March 15 2019.
  • The Crew 2 – Open beta June 21st, June 29 launch. Preorder now for $59.99 USD. Open world across the entire United States! I really liked driving in Ghost Recon, could be a match made in heaven.
  • Skull and Bones – Takes place in the Indian ocean. You can Co-op PvE to take down enemies, then turn on each other to fight for the reward!
  • Rainbow 6 Siege – 35 million players! Parabellum is a free update.
  • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – Singleplayer, but looked very interesting. Battle scenes looked very realistic, and doesn’t look like a lot of stealth gameplay. Male or female character. Releases Oct 3, 2018.

 

  • Jurassic World Evolution – Take control on micro scale! Pilot the helicopter, drive the jeep, fire the darts! Sickness systems gives the game some complexity. I received a copy from the devs at Frontier Developments and will have it on stream!
  • GTFO – 4 person horror co-op shooter. Stealth gameplay is a big part, making melee weapons important too! Very intense looking whether you’re sneaking or fighting. Only 2 maps so far, that’s how careful they are about level design! Wow! Baddies have kind of a Silent Hill type horror look.
  • PuBG – Massive War Mode? No details but might be good.
  • Mavericks: Proving Grounds – New (lol) Battle Royale game, but! with 1000 players?! Massive chaos could be a good spin.
  • Hunt: Showdown – New weapons, and a new monster – THAT YOU FIGHT IN THE WATER?!
  • Maneater – Play as a shark! SharkPG?! Emphasis on roleplaying as a shark! Open world ARPG where you stalk Florida’s waterways.
  • Satisfactory – Welcome to the new Factory Survival genre! First person gameplay, similar to a survival game where you gather materials and build. You (and friends if you bring them) build industrial complexes instead of bases. Kind of an economy sim.
  • Resident Evil 2 – Remake of original RE2. No other info beyond a release date of Jan 25, 2019.
  • Just Cause IV – 3rd person, open world shooter. Multiplayer for the first time in the series! December 2018 launch! Sounds just like Wildlands!

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales 2017

Games I Want

  • Rainbow 6 Siege – Tried the free weekend and liked it, but missed the sale due to work. [PURCHASED]
  • Warhammer End Times: Vermintide DLCs – Love this game so far, but I don’t like to replay maps over and over so this DLC really needs to be cheap to be worthwhile. [PURCHASED]
  • Gloria Victis – This game was $10 not long ago and I passed on it. It’s a medieval MMORPG, buy and play.

Games I’m Watching

  • Star Wars: Battlefront 2 – All the drama could mean a hefty cut to boost sales. I’d buy it at the right price.
  • Destiny 2 – Never played the first one, but the second one was recommended by a friend. It’s also a Blizzard/Activision game, and I love to support Blizzard.
  • Dawn of War III – I enjoyed Dawn of War 2, but 3 is focused on base building. Still, it’s Warhammer 40k so we’ll see.
  • Lawbreakers – Had fun on the free weekends, but a little leery of the low population killing the matchmaking quality.

Games I Recommend

  • Foxhole – I love this game! It’s probably my game of the year.
  • Ghost Recon Wildlands – Another amazing game, probably my #2 for the year.
  • Company of Heroes 2 – My all time favorite RTS.
  • Warhammer End Times: Vermintide  – This game is probably going to be really cheap and worth picking up if you don’t have it yet. Only the party leader needs the DLC!
  • Space Hulk: Deathwing – Like Vermintide, but set in the Warhammer 40k universe.
  • Battlefleet Gothic: Armada – An RTS using capital ships, also set in the Warhammer 40k universe. Should be REALLY cheap considering a normal sale put it at $10 not long ago.
  • *Total War: Warhammer II – I recommend this if you have the first one. It’s a really amazing game. Loads of fun, and a super value if you own the first one (mortal empires campaigns).

Legitimate Websites to Shop

I only recommend licensed key resellers.

  • Some publishers/developers are giving decent discounts already through their launchers (Ubisoft Uplay, Blizzard launcher, etc).
  • Amazon – Might have to wait a day or two for a physical copy, but might be worth it.
  • Humble Bundle – Sales have already started.
  • Fanatical (Formerly Bundle Stars) – Sales have already started.
  • Indiegala – Sales have already started.

 

Steel Division: Normandy 44 Review

A Wave Styled World War 2 RTS

I don’t know how, but I forgot to review Steel Division. As I was reading through all the news about the upcoming free DLC, along with the Second Wave DLC, it just kinda dawned on me. This game comes from the makers of the Wargame franchise, but I’ve never played any of those either. This was a completely new experience for me, and I’ve enjoyed over 58 hours to date. This is easily one of my top three favorite strategy games to date. As usual, I never touched the singleplayer campaign, and went straight to multiplayer.

Steel Division: Normandy 44 Breakdown

For just $39.99, you can own one of the best World War 2 RTS titles out there. Steel Division: Normandy 44 is from Eugen Systems, the creators of the Wargame franchise. You get to play from the division level, commanding one of the historical armies that battled in western Europe during 1944. That includes the United States, France, Great Britain, and Canada on the Allies side, facing off against Germany on the Axis. Each country has multiple divisions from mechanized, to infantry, to mechanized infantry and more. The Second Wave DLC is coming soon, and is adding several more divisions for various countries. There are several different maps to play on, forcing you to make choices on what you bring and how you fight. Not every map will favor armor, for example. The standout feature of the game is it’s battle phase system. This is a three phase system where you are giving a strict point allowance to bring forward troops. Each phase that allowance can change based on your division and its historical performance. Some divisions may start with lots of points and scale down while others may start small and build up.

What Makes It Fun

Wow. Where do I even start? Probably my favorite part about this game is it’s adjustable scale. You can scroll in and out of the map to whatever scale you want. You can either watch the battlefield unfold in a series of icons, or scroll all the way in to watch your MG mow down enemy soldiers as they try to cross an open field. An adjustable view is phenomenal for those games where the fixed view is too close. The 10v10 games are AMAZING! They are HUGE, chaotic, suspenseful, and incredibly fun! I like the variety of different divisions. If you want to play an infantry division, paratrooper, or even with tanks, Steel Division has it all. I also am madly in love with their battle phase system. This actually starts while you’re setting up your forces, and deciding which phase you want troops and equipment to start arriving. During games, it gives that feeling of ‘desperate hope’, trying to hold out until reinforcements. When your troops come under attack, just before the next wave is able to deploy, there’s a rush that follows as reinforcements arrive to push back enemy forces! Another great feature is the sound effects; It actually sounds like a warzone. The machine gun fire, artillery, planes – it stands out more to me than in other games. It also increases and deafens as you scroll in and out, which is a nice touch.

What Makes It…Not

I only have one complaint about this game. Not all of it is the fault of the game either, so I wouldn’t weigh this as a full strike against Steel Division. When you get into the 10v10 multiplayer mode, whichever team drops the most player connections loses, and there is generally at least one or two. The team that wins is generally decided immediately. This is quickly followed by other players tilting and/or rage quitting. This of course leads to a 10 versus 7 or 8 if you’re lucky. The connectivity is hard to blame on the developer completely, some people just have terrible internet. The tilting is completely on the shoulders of the players though.

 

The Bottom Line

A lot of Steam reviews complain about game balance. I never really noticed a huge problem personally, though I did mostly play co-op versus AI. Those medium AI units were pretty difficult, let me tell you! I have noticed lots of balancing in the patches that have come out since official release, so there may be something to it. I still recommend the game for anyone wanting something fun or just to play casually. If you’re looking for some competitive hardcore multiplayer, this probably isn’t the game for you. If they put out Steel Division: Pacific tomorrow, I’d buy it based on this game alone. While they have a ways to go given that the paid DLC has just started rolling out, a Pacific (or really any other version) is something I really hope to see some day.

Monthly Gaming Intel 2017.4

Twitch Updates

Twitch has added more features to Affiliate status. Affiliates now get a commission when you buy games through their channel. These are going through the Twitch app, not Steam. Be prepared to have more game hubs running in the background! And Affiliates now finally have subscription buttons! You only get one emote as a reward, and I don’t have an emote yet. I’m going to take my time deciding what I want my emote to be. As I don’t expect a flood of subscriptions anyway, I want to have something really unique. Feel free to drop a suggestion below!

E3 Report

I paid more attention to this year’s E3 than any other game convention. I guess the deeper I go into content creation, the more important these things become. There were definitely a handful of games that caught my eye.

  • Strange Brigade: A co-op RPG where you play a team of British secret agents, battling the creatures of myth like minotaurs, mummies, and more! 2017 release.
  • State of Decay 2: I’ve never played a zombie game before. This one is going to be co-op and open world, so it seems like a good fit for me. 2018 release.
  • Monster Hunter World: Lots of my Twitch viewers love Monster Hunter games. This one has dinosaurs, and open world. Nuff said. 2018 release.
  • Anthem: The game I’m most excited about. An open world shooter where you have an Iron Man-type suit to upgrade and fly around in. 2018 release.
  • Battlefront 2: I missed out on Battlefront 1 until recently, but I’m there for this game. It looks at least as good as the first game. 2017 release.
  • Fortnite: Explore the map, scavenge materials, and build a massive fort to defend from alien zombies with your team. A mix of survival, shooter, and tower defense. 2017 release.

Sales

Obviously the biggest news is the 2017 Steam Summer Sale. Literally half my list is on sale. I’ve found it to be better than last year, and so far I’ve picked up a couple of games (Fortified, Left 4 Dead 2) with three more I’m seriously considering (Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak, Angels Fall First, State of Decay). The sale runs through July 5th.

Bundle Starts has an interesting bundle for just $1.49 that includes Guncraft. It seems like a cross between an FPS and Minecraft. You have to build and fight at the same time. I’ve picked up multiple copies (you can get 2 per bundle purchase).  There are a a bunch of games to choose from to fill out your bundle.

Games I’m Playing

Still going strong, Ultimate Epic Battle Simulator continues to be popular content. There were two big updates this month that added 9 new units, 3 new maps, ragdoll physics, and more.

I played several games of Lawbreakers during it’s most recent beta. I had a lot of fun, and actually did well. This is the first FPS that I can remember where I maintained a consistent positive kill/death ratio. That’s the biggest detractor of FPS games to me, being an anchor to my team. I think the Aegis Juggernaut character/class has a lot to do with it. I highly recommend you sign up for the next beta if you haven’t yet.

A couple of tower defense hybrid games have shown up on my radar. Fortified, from the developers of Foxhole, is a 1950s tower defense shooter where you defend the earth from alien invaders with that vintage Sci Fi look. I picked it up for just $4.94 in the Steam summer sale. The other is Orcs Must Die Unchained, a free to play game. Pretty much the same thing but with a high fantasy twist, and a much larger class selection. If you use my referral code/name  ‘ConstantWarfare’ we both get rewards at various milestones.

Games I’m Watching

PvP has finally been added in Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor Martyr. 1v1 and team PvP is now available, with 3 different character classes to choose from. This game is looking more and more appealing to me. I’m mostly holding back because I’m not sure what Inquisitor gameplay would be like as opposed to Space Marine gameplay. Sudden Strike 4, a WW2 RTS, is now available for preorder. By doing so you get beta access and begin playing immediately much like Steel Division. No base building involved as far as I’ve seen, so it’s something I’ll be interested in.

Honorable mentions worth looking at:

  1. Ravenfield
  2. Squids from Space
  3. Crimson Earth
  4. Medieval Kingdom Wars (open world co-op postponed!)
  5. Colony Survival

I applied for keys for these but wasn’t successful. I may pick them up in the future, so they’re staying on my wishlist.

Upcoming Games

The game I mentioned earlier, Fortnite, hits July 25, and is available to preorder now. If you do preorder, you get a head-start release date of July 21st. I’ve seen a lot of interest in this game, and I plan to preorder as well. A few other games I’ve applied for keys for are Solstice Chronicles:MIA (top down shooter), Starway Fleet(space sim), King of the World (RTS), and Panzer Killer (vehicle shooter).

IRL

I saw the Transformers movie and wasn’t impressed. The story was such a great idea, but the way it unfolded was just supremely mediocre. Don’t get me wrong, Transformers: The Last Knight was an OK movie. It’s just not going to restore the franchise back to its original fanfare. It also needed loads more dinobots.

I’ve started assembling my Warhammer 40,000 Dark Imperium starter box. I’ll probably do some kind of an unboxing post in the future, but suffice to say its going well. I’m really enjoying how easy it is to assemble. I’m not sure if I want to sell off the Chaos portion, or assemble them for a friend to play with in the future. The extra money would be nice right about now.

June 2017 Gaming Stats

Monthly Stats

 

Top Picks for the 2017 Steam Summer Sale

My Recommendations for Best Value in 2017 Steam Sale

I’m changing up the release day for posts back to Tuesdays. That’s when I get the heaviest traffic to the site, so it just makes sense. As you may or may not know, the Steam summer sale is in full swing. I had 26 games from my wishlist on sale, which is about half. I’m honestly surprised it isn’t more. I decided to take a look back over the past couple of years, and go through the games I already owned to see what was on sale. I picked out the best games with the best discounts that I simply can’t recommend enough. There were quite a few surprises considering the age and heavy discounts of some of these games.

Battlefleet Gothic Armada: $13.59

Probably the biggest surprise because of the HUGE discount having only been out for a year. This is one of the most beautiful games I have ever played. A strategy game of capital ship combat in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. The campaign part of the game gets lots of praise, but I really enjoyed the skirmishes versus AI. The multiplayer queues are a bit slow, and imbalanced, due to the small population. That might change with this sale though.

Fortified: $4.94

This is probably the surprise hit of the sale for me. I’ve been playing a lot of Foxhole lately, so when I started checking out the developer I found this game. This is a third person shooter style game where you build up your defenses to defend from an alien invasion. A different style of tower defense game. It all takes place with vintage 1950s science fiction stylized graphics. It has a hint of humor in it too. While you can play solo, I really recommend you have a friend along for the ride. The devs have been pretty quiet for almost a year so the game may be ‘finished’, but it is a lot of fun for less than five dollars.

Helldivers: $9.99

I wasn’t much for top down shooters, aka twin stick shooters, until I found Helldivers. It’s heavily influenced by the movie version of Starship Troopers. You fight bugs, cyborgs, and robots alongside up to four friends. All your missions take place on procedurally generated planets. This is another of those must-have-friends games to get the most out of it.

Sniper Ghost Warrior 3: $24.99

While I don’t normally play singleplayer games, this one really surprised me. It’s an open world stealth shooter, meaning 90% of what you do is going to be sneaking and sniping. Taking place in modern day eastern Europe, it’s a great story about an American sniper and his brother. The game has great graphics and great sniping kill cam effects. A huge discount too considering it just came out this year.

Total War Warhammer: $20.39

If you missed the Humble monthly sale, this is the next best thing. A Warhammer fantasy strategy game done by the Total War team. There is tons to do in this game if you enjoy battling with the available factions, even without the DLC. It will also add to your campaign world if you purchase the upcoming Total War: Warhammer II. All of the DLC is on sale as well if you want to pick up a little something extra.

Space Hulk Deathwing: $23.99

This game is a Warhammer 40,000 first person shooter. A colossal failure when it first launched, but 6 updates later this game is amazing. The dark and gothic environment visuals are on point, as well as the weapon effects. If you enjoy horde-mode style games, blasting away at waves of enemies with your friends brothers, this game is for you.

Company of Heroes 2: $4.99

This is probably the best deal on Steam right now or ever. World War 2 era RTS with no base building. This is my favorite strategy game, and for this price you won’t find anything better. This game has a campaign, multiplayer, and even a mod community for all kinds of new maps. The devs outlined an 8 year lifespan for this game when it launched, and there’s a good 4 years left to go.

DOOM: $14.99

Yet another game that has just plummeted in price being just barely a year old. It dropped to $16 during the Black Friday sales, but now the legendary first person shooter is even cheaper. A great Sci Fi experience, battling demons with the baddest weapons mankind has to offer. There’s plenty of player created maps as well thanks to the easy to use SnapMap editor. While it is a reboot of sorts, this is a great addition to the DOOM series.