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!

Solo: A Star Wars Story Review

I think Solo was overall a good movie. Like Rogue One, the the Force took a backseat in the storyline. Jedi are awesome, but there’s nothing like a good blaster at your side! There was obviously lots of character building for Han, like why he shoots first, and just WTF a Kessel Run is. The actor playing Han Solo, Alden Ehrenreich, did a good job, although at times I felt like he tried to talk his way through a little too much. Harrison Ford is a hard act to follow though.

SPOILERS AHEAD

The movie opens on Corellia, my favorite place in the Star Wars galaxy. When the lightning flashes, you can see what looks like a Victory Class Star Destroyer under construction, which I have a problem with. Corellia is famous for it’s starships, but Star Destroyers are made elsewhere. Also Corellia isn’t supposed to be Imperial occupied, but that’s pre-Disney lore so I digress. It’s hard to un-learn things that you’ve embraced, so little things like this are hard to overlook. Young Han being owned by a gangster was fitting, and I loved the diversity of aliens involved.

As Han escapes into the welcoming embrace of the Imperials, getting his Solo moniker was kind of dumb moment I thought.  I also couldn’t help but wince at the ‘Three years later’ trope. The Solo movie is supposed to be a backstory, so why skip backstory during a movie about backstory? I would really have liked to see more of Han in the Imperial Navy. Han Solo is an excellent pilot, yet we really don’t get to see how he got there.

Meeting up with Chewbacca was bittersweet for me. You know the two are going to become friends, so that kills a lot of the suspense, but I thought Han speaking Shyriiwook was silly.  Like several parts of this movie, the scene felt a little forced.

Meeting the mercenaries, and participating in the heist was all great. Lots of close calls, blaster fights, and daring stunts in an awesome setting. I’m a sucker for snow, but something about barren landscapes in general juxtaposed with high-technology feels Star Wars-y. I like that we lost some of our ‘heroes’ because Star Wars has an over-abundance of plot armor. A dash of Game of Thrones will do it good.

Finally getting to meet top dog Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany), and being reunited with Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) is where the movie actually started for me. Another long-shot plan is formed, and the stakes are raised when Vos puts Qi’ra’s neck on the line as well. Best of all, this leads to Lando Calrissian, arguably the best performance of the movie. You can hear Billy Dee Williams’ swagger in Danny Glover’s voice! I’m very much looking forward to seeing more of him in future movies. The famous sabacc games, and introduction of the Millenium Falcon were very well done I thought.  Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s L3 was hilarious, and another great addition to the legacy of droids with personality. Her full designation of L3-37 was quite fitting I think.

The Kessel assault and rebellion was new, but I’m not sure I enjoyed it. I loved getting to SEE this infamous section of space, and just how a Kessel Run is made. I just feel like this was another forced scene in that it really didn’t seem well guarded enough. The initial subterfuge seemed predictable. Also when Chewie ran off to help his family, I feel like it could have been done a little better. I got hit in the feels when Chewie left his family to stay with Han, and I think that moment would have meant a lot more if it had been elaborated on more initially. I think the escape scene from the black hole went on longer than it needed too.

The final showdown with Enfys Nest was a surprise. Although for the longest time I thought they were called Infest-Nest. Again, mind-boggling to skim over backstory in a movie about a backstory.  Anyway, I knew at this point that Enfys Nest was going to be the Rebellion. The Qi’ra vs. Dryden showdown was a bit meh, though the Teras Kasi reference was awesome. Han gunning down Beckett in cold blood was also a surprise, and I think will end up going down as one of the highlights in the franchise given all the ruckus about who shoots first in A New Hope.

At first I wasn’t sure it was Darth Maul in the hologram. I had to come back and start reading some spoilers before it clicked. I always thought killing Maul was a waste of an amazing villain. I feel mixed because I really don’t see how they can bring him back (yes, I know they did in the Clone Wars cartoon, but I never watched that, and it’s still a cartoon). I am willing to see their ideas though, because I really enjoyed what little I did get to see of Maul as a villain.

The final scene where Han wins the Falcon from Lando is another winner. I think it was at Maz’s castle? I was a little disappointed when he and Chewie rode off into the proverbial sunset straight to Jabba. I feel like, again, you’re cutting backstory out of a movie meant to fill in backstory. I wish they’d explore a little bit more of the unknown with Han Solo and Chewbacca before they rushed to meet their destiny.

I realize after writing this that I had a lot more problems with the movie than I realized. It’s almost like they wanted Solo to be two different things. The start of a series of movies exploring Han Solo’s history, or just in case it didn’t work out, a single movie to tell the story of Han Solo. They tried to do both, and didn’t really didn’t do a remarkable job of either. Still, I liked Solo better than The Last Jedi for several reasons I won’t go into. Suffice to say I feel like I’ve discovered a bias towards non-Force based movies. Han Solo is also my favorite character, which I think gives me a more critical eye, as well as rose colored space goggles. I’d place Solo in my top 5 favorite Star Wars movies. I most enjoyed the screen time Chewbacca got. While Han Solo may be my favorite, I’m quickly coming to appreciate what the wookie brings to the dejarik table.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Review

Spoiler Filled Review of Episode VIII

Last warning of SPOILERS.

Ok, now let’s get into it. I spent three days over Christmas in a group text discussion with friends about what we liked, and didn’t like, in this movie. I’ve had a lot of time to think about it, and several good points were made. In the end though, this is going to be a very critical review of the movie. I did not like the movie, and rank it 4th from last in the series (including Rogue One). If you loved the movie, and don’t like reading opposing viewpoints to your own, I’d suggest moving on now.

Two And a Half Hours of Finger Wagging

All that social commentary. Businesses are evil, selling to both sides to make money! Save the animals, we may need them some day! Men are useless! I felt like I was being talked at the entire movie. I hate political or social commentary in any movie or any form of entertainment for that matter. This is Star Wars, and I just want to watch some epic lightsaber duels, thrilling space battles, and solve a galactic mystery. Keep your political and social agendas out of my movies. Ramming it down my throat doesn’t make me sympathetic to your cause.

Useless Men

It was really disappointing to see every male character portrayed negatively. Poe turned out to have a god complex, only trusting in himself and his ideas. In the end causing dozens of Rebel lives to be lost. The movie really went to great lengths to dump on poor Finn. He was yet again the cowardly lion from The Wizard of Oz. Why was his attempt to leave treated like desertion? He was trying to save Rey, and potentially Jedi Master Luke Skywalker who she was bringing back to help! Why could’t Rose and Finn just tell Poe how they met? Or why not just explain to Admiral Holdo why Finn needed to leave? Next, Finn is portrayed as naive because he didn’t know that Canto Bight was funded by the Imperial war machine? I’m pretty sure that no matter where you live, you have a pretty good idea of who your country’s enemies are. Not to mention, he was in the First Order and probably had more access than the average galactic citizen about who The First Order’s allies were.

Meanwhile every female character gets a solid, positive portrayal. Leia is the strong leader, Holdo is the brave sacrificial hero, Rose is the undervalued, hidden gem. Even Phasma wins the fight against Finn, only to lose when Finn catches her by surprise. Strong, positive female portrayals have never been a problem. Women have always been in charge of the good guys in Star Wars. Queen Padme was always ready to get into the trenches and fight herself. Leia was entrusted with the Death Star plans. Mon Mothma was in charge of the entire Rebellion (though only showed up on screen during Return of the Jedi). Jen Orso led the Scarif assault team during Rogue One. My only problem was that the gender line was used to determine who was heroic, and who needed to go sit in a corner and think about their actions for a little while. What does it say that the greatest portrayal of women in Star Wars to date comes only when every single man fails spectacularly? Can’t women look good and strong alongside equivalent male roles? How do you set the bar for women’s equality when men aren’t even participating? This isn’t a zero sum game. Men don’t have to fail for women to succeed, and vice versa. If Chewbacca had gotten more than 7 minutes of screen time, this wouldn’t have bothered me so much.

Awful Endings For The Old Cast

I also did not particularly like Leia’s depiction. She was always looking just so tired and ready to be done with everything. The Leia I remember was a fighter. Leia talked smack to Darth Vader and a high ranking Imperial about the Death Star, Leia grabbed a blaster and blasted her way into the trash compacter, Leia demanded Lando turn around to save Luke while the Millenium Falcon was being chased, Leia volunteered for a risky mission on Endor. I would never picture Leia just sitting around, no matter how old or worn out she was. There were exactly two moments when the old Leia popped up. First was when she stunned Poe Dameron, and second when she had the blaster rifle in the hanger as Finn and Rose came sliding in with the Imperial shuttle. Showing her as resigned to her fate like this really tarnished the character for me. Much the same way they did with Luke, but a lot more kind. Poor Luke Skywalker was portrayed as a coward and a quitter. Once Kylo ran off to Snoke, WITH OTHER STUDENTS, Luke just gives up, and let’s a Sith Master start his own little academy of doom, WITH LUKE’S OWN FAMILY. Wow.

I also thought the scene where she gets back to the ship using the Force was awful. Great idea, using her connection to the Force to save her and inspire the troops, but terrible execution. It was very over the top and tacky.

The Small Things

Where are all the aliens among the good guys? There was like one token alien, and a few minutes of Chewbacca, and a few seconds as Ackbar was sucked off screen into space was it. Half the freaking Jedi were aliens in the prequals. Yoda, Chewbacca, Nein Nunb, Admiral Ackbar all played important, albeit largely secondary roles during the original trilogy. “Many Bothan spies died to bring us this information.” Remember that? The Force Awakens had Chewbacca and Maz, but in this movie, there’s that one token alien in a couple scenes. Are the alien races now siding with The First Order?

There was a lot of humor in the first half. Rey broke something, the keepers got mad. Porgs, porgs, porgs. Sea cow milk. There has always been humor in Star Wars, but I think they went a little too overboard early in this movie.

How many names are the good guys going to go through? They change their names like they change their clothes. The Republic, The Rebel Alliance, The New Republic, and now The Resistance? But they still call themselves the Rebels? The names change, but the mission and people never do. It’s really dumb. This also really adds to my social commentary conspiracy theory with the whole #TheResistance vs Donald Trump thing on Twitter. Again, leave your personal politics out of your movies.

When BB8 got in that AT-ST and started firing, I about lost it. Droids cannot kill people, unless they are war droids. Which, if you’ll notice, have gone the way of the dodo. BB8 is not a war droid, and should not be killing anyone, stormtrooper or not. If droids could kill people, why do you need pilots for starfighters? Or AT-ATs?

Star Wars on a Treadmill

Nothing happened in this movie that progresses the Star Wars story. Rey started untrained, and she finished untrained. We hoped Luke would train her, and we still hope Luke trains her. Kylo started the movie conflicted, and ended conflicted. The First Order started the movie winning the battle against the Rebels, and finished the movie still winning the battle against the Rebels. It’s going to take a lot of work for Episode IX to justify The Last Jedi. Otherwise, you could just watch The Force Awakens, followed by Episode IX, and The Last Jedi will have been a monumental failure.

The Good Stuff

There is a lot of negative in this review, but I want to end on a positive note. I may not have liked the movie as a whole, but there were still some good things in the movie. I loved the Porgs. You see them nesting in the Millenium Falcon, so I hope we see them in the future. I think it’d be a cool little change to have the Porgs start injecting some of the humor that the droids did previously. I also liked that Rey’s parents were inconsequential. She’s not from royalty, she’s just a regular person like you and I. Or at least me, because maybe someone with royal ties may be reading this. I also like the little plot twist where Luke’s momentary impulse to kill Kylo resulted in pretty much everything going downhill. Even though the impulse was fleeting, and Luke ultimately decided not to kill Kylo, the entire Republic started to fall because of that misunderstanding.

Summing Up The Last Jedi

The story this movie tried to tell was good, but thanks to awful storytelling, The Last Jedi holds zero consequences for the Star Wars universe. The biggest thing that happened were the deaths of all those Rebels aboard the transport freighters. All those off screen deaths of nameless Rebels. Do you even remember what any of them were wearing? If any of them survived would it have changed anything? If all of them survived would it change anything? How about that blazin’ lightsaber battle amirite? Where TWO JEDI defeated a bunch of guards? Bet you never saw that coming. Who were those guards anyway? If they were still alive, what would they be doing? This movie did have some character building and arguably even some world building, but it was all just background reference material. Chewie and Rey remain my favorite surviving characters. I just wish they had gotten to go somewhere in this movie.

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.

 

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