So something rather intriguing happened this week. It would appear this new fangled “next-gen” officially kicked off. Well, unless you count the Wii U next-gen, which you’re completely allowed to (inversely, I get to call you wrong). That’s right, Sony finally ripped off the wraps on the PlayStation 4. Fast, socially integrated, the ability to stream games, two separate cup-holders — Sony’s future proofing their brand and the attempt is, surprisingly, not a laughable disaster.
You can find my initial reaction to the hardware’s specs hereabouts, but we’re dialing back the technophilia today and also focusing on something more important than even a brand new, highfalutin’, Facebookin’ console: the games.
Hit the jump to check out what’s in store for gamers next generation; a generation right around the corner. Oh, and welcome back to the Roundup.
Greetings and hello’s, friendly gaming readers not phased by this block of text. Welcome to a very special morning edition of the Roundup. Once again, the Roundup serves as a gathering of news and happenings that The Red Herb missed out on because I’m a terrible human being. And boy howdy, did I miss out on a lot of shit. After a slew of conferences Monday, the E3 show floors filled with attendees yesterday — most united under the pen of journalism — ready to get their mitts on the hottest upcoming games and the newest innovations in video game technology.
Me? I was at work. The Herb’s not exactly what’d you call a “paying gig,” so I had to while away the hours not streaming E3 goodness directly into my brain. Because of my plight, I wasn’t able to cobble words in real-time and throw them at all the awesome, stupid, and stupidly awesome things we saw yesterday. But don’t think I’d let that bastard news get away from me. I may be late to it, but I’d sooner die face down, naked in a ditch than let these announcements go another second without me being mildly sarcastic about them.
I’ll have to be brief; my assholey-ness bitterly succinct. Here goes — welcome to our first ever E3 Roundup (TM).
If You Haven’t Heard About Watch Dogs, You Need To
Even though Ubisoft tried to sabotage themselves during their own conference by laying the awkward on cringe-inducingly thick by hiring Tobuscus to ruin everyone’s day, the publisher left a huge impression on gaming pundits by committing the unthinkable: revealing a new IP.
Preceding the reveal, a video was shown that described the unsettling concept of massive networking leading way to the ultimate dehumanization of society; a world in which we leave “digital shadows” that can be accessed, assessed, and used against us even if we never learn anything happened to us.
Watch Dogs picks up the ball with what could have easily been another entry into the cyberpunk genre yet opts to distinguish itself by tethering this grim hacker tale to our modern reality. The game’s biggest draw is that, unlike other open-world titles, you can harness the city and its technology as weapons. We see our Jensen-channeling protagonist create an opening by using his smartphone to burn out all other phones in his radius to distract a crowd. More deadly, we were also privy to our not-so-hero manipulating traffic flow to cause a catastrophic pile-up, boxing in his prey. Of course, such an action had unforeseen consequences, calling into question if morality comes into play.
A bigger surprise yet than the game not having a number following its name was the news that some form of co-op multiplayer runs concurrently with your single-player quest; online companions taking on support roles while indirectly affecting your mission…meaning you may not even know that anyone was helping you.
Watch Dogs is hours old in our minds but even still, Ubisoft’s IP has earned our rapt attention.