A year ago, my coverage of E3 was, well, less than enthusiastic. It seemed as though the desire to design, develop, or generally direct attention at women and female characters was lacking. This, perhaps, was most clearly seen in Ubisoft’s excuse that it was “too hard” to animate female bodies, but exhibited also in the lack of women on stage to present the games they couldn’t see themselves in.
Well, here we are again – eagerly awaiting this year’s biggest event for video game news, reveals, and upsets: the Electronic Entertainment Expo. As always, there are some amazing things to look forward to, some suprises expected, and some inevitable disappointments. Every studio, every developer will be frantically trying to steal the spotlight and outdo the competition. So, what are the top things you should be keeping an eye out for? Read on to find out!
It’s dawn. A hawk glides past the inspiring edifice of Notre Dame and over restless crowds of revolutionaries. Four figures emerge from the smoke of gunfire. They have three things in common: they’re all Assassins, they’re all fighting on the side of “liberté, égalité, and fraternité”, and they’re all male. In Assassin’s Creed: Unity at least, the ‘brotherhood’ part of the Revolution’s maxim apparently counts more than calls for ‘liberty’ and ‘equality’. The upcoming title in Ubisoft’s ever-popular franchise comes with a new option for four-player co-op, but the four characters are really just one; all consist of variations on the protagonist Arno Dorian. A common question thus returns to the conversation: when introducing an option for players to customise their protagonist, why was a female not available for that choice?
Every year, I start my E3 journey with a confident estimate of how much it is possible to cram into a two-hour live presentation. Every year, I totally forget that I started with an estimate, revel in the glow of gameplay trailers, and then, realizing I’ve forgotten my estimate, decide scientifically (judging by the exponential growth in giddy levels) that it’s been blown out of the water. E3 2014 has not broken this pattern. The presentations of Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo all satisfied and surprised their respective audiences, though there may have been a few unexpected bumps along the way (I feel for you, Conker fans). Without further ado, let’s see what each has brought to the stage thus far:
Over the past semester I’ve been working on a project for a class that I’ve been taking. In this class, the Hero’s Journey, we studied the comprehensive comparative theories of the universality of mythology, from Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth, the American Hero, the Feminine Hero, Final Participation, to Mythopoeia. All semester we’ve been reading stories that have spanned thousands of years; we’ve discussed movies and books and I happened to be assigned the project relating mythology to video games. I’ve been preparing for it all semester by reading extensively about different games and in-game lore, doing actual historical research regarding locations in games that are based on fact, attending PAX East (both for fun and for increasing my general and specific knowledge regarding certain games), and probably most importantly- playing a whole new set of games I had never dabbled in before.
With all of the press and excitement surrounding the release of Assassin’s Creed: Unity footage, you may not have heard that France-based games studio Ubisoft is also releasing an RPG in the style of Final Fantasy and Grandia. Child of Light is a interesting experiment that combines the sidescrolling exploration of a platformer and the turn-based combat of an JRPG, but that’s not the only reason you should be intrigued . Take a look at the gorgeous trailer below and I’ll talk more about the game’s importance after the jump.