Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Yager Bombs - One developer doing interesting things at E3

Now, normally I don't take much stock in the trailers for games for E3, especially now pre-rendered ones. I think of them are fireworks displays for a party - very pretty, a good show, but good look in having any useful parts to properly represent the occasion, unless one of the bombs was loaded with roses to commemorate a wedding or something, but I digress. This makes the following two points on interest a bit of a contradiction in terms, but the hell with it.

Now, first of all, Dead Island 2: A series known for pre-rendered trailers designed to tug our heart-strings, only to fall flat on delivery and wind up with a decently functional game with a story-line and mood straight from a B-movie that thinks it's guaranteed an Oscar or two. Taken with a pinch of salt, I got a fair bit of enjoyment from the games, I just wish the developers Techland would realise the improvised weapons and hand to hand combat in the original holiday resort was their strong suit in both mechanics and looks, and I just wish it didn't take itself seriously. Which brings me to the trailer underneath this sentence.

(Credit to Playstation's Youtube channel for the vid)
Now, normally my thoughts would be "Oh, crap, another zombie game, just what we need. And it's Dead Island, so it'll take itself far too seriously". But as trailers go, this is quite a departure, and I feel it's all the stronger for it. Okay, yes, it's pre-rendered, but it looks like it's having a little bit of fun with its setting, and it's almost a little self-aware and even goofy to me. Not quite in a Dead Rising 2 way, but at the same time, the overall vibe reminds me of the opening cut-scene for Borderlands, in an odd but welcome manner, particularly in the choice of music for it. You won't see me oiling my palms for that pre-order button, but I'll keep an eye out for anything else for this. 

The main reason I sense for the sudden yet welcome change in tone? The change in developers from Techland who started the series off to Yager, hence the title of this. I found Spec Ops: the Line fantastic, mainly because it turned my expectations on my head throughout with the way it presented the story throughout. If they manage similar here, we could have something astounding, but I'll hold my breath for now. While this is been played by Sony's hand, I hope the PC version is up to par.

Anyway, moving on to Yager's other project coming up, by the name of Dreadnought. Again, we only have a pre-rendered trailer for this, but again, it's above the typical mire.

My first impressions to this is that it could be a spiritual successor to the Homeworld series, which were an RTS in space with a giant bloody space-ship as your base. I loved those games when I was younger, even if I wasn't very good at them. Again, something I'll be keeping an eye on from Yager, as they look a capable studio going forward.

(Finally, I'll give credit to Adam Smith of http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/ , as it was from his articles that I drew the idea of for this quick post - okay, if it wasn't for those, I wouldn't know these games existed, but what the hell. Let it never be said I don't give credit where it's due)

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