I’m sure this is true for most games that were released over the last four or five years, but after taking time to really watch the Horizon Forbidden West gameplay trailer, I couldn’t help but smile and just marvel at how far gaming presentation has come.
For context, I started playing games on a the Nintendo Family Computer (Famicom). Titles like Super Mario Bros, Battle City, Tetris, and many others introduced me to gaming. Over the course of my childhood I also experienced playing on the Game Boy and the Sega Genesis through classmates, friends, and other relatives.
But our next console, which came at the cost of my older brother’s college fund (priorities, right?), was the original PlayStation. This would influence and largely shape my thoughts and feelings towards gaming.
The three Final Fantasy main line titles: Final Fantasy VII, VIII, and IX, had me captivated with the fantastic world-building and deep gameplay and good story-telling. Metal Gear Solid II helped me lived out my action-hero dreams. And Spider-Man by Neversoft and Activision made me love my favorite superhero even more.
I’m a sucker for vast worlds and great storytelling. And the cut-scenes on the aforementioned games that felt like rewards for beating certain sections of the game had me asking, “I wonder what it would be like if the gameplay looked like the cut-scenes?”
Well. We’re here now. We’ve gone from awkward pointed polygons to photo-realistic games. We’ve been here for a while but it’s still a sight to behold.
Horizon Forbidden West
The Horizon Forbidden West trailer began with Aloy speaking with an injured ally. She learns that Erend — a major supporting character in the first game Horizon Zero Dawn — has been captured. She sets out to free her comrade and what ensues is the rest of the gameplay.
From here the trailer showcases a little bit of combat, a little bit of traversal (that holographic hang glider looks hella cool), and a lot of jaw dropping visuals.
The sprawling environment, the robot dinosaurs called Machine, and the beautiful… uhm… horizon, and the dialogue and the voice acting — these all contribute to a game presentation that had me looking back and just appreciating where we are now.
Of course, it helped that while moving around, and even during combat, the game’s HUD was barely there. Leaving us to really soak in the visuals and be immersed in the story.
We’re so spoiled. Games really look like actual CGI films now. And the Horizon Forbidden West gameplay reveal is just the perfect showcase of everything I’ve come to love about story-driven games: fantastic world-building and deep gameplay and good story-telling.
Razer unveils its new Raptor 27 gaming monitor
Higher refresh rate, and more RGB to boot
During Day 3 of E3 2021, Razer kept their announcements simple and straight to the point. Apart from the new laptop and portable charger, the company also unveiled a new iteration of their gaming monitor. If you’re a big fan of RGB setups, the new Razer Raptor 27 might just be the monitor for you.
The new Razer Raptor 27 comes in a similar form factor as its predecessor, with an RGB base at the bottom. Unlike its predecessor, it now comes with a 165Hz refresh rate and a 1ms response rate. For competitive gamers, this is a huge plus to capture higher frame rates without missing a beat. Also, with a 95 percent DCI-P3 color gamut, you can expect more vibrant colors suited for creatives, as well.
Another feature that creatives will also appreciate is that the Razer Raptor 27 is now THX-certified. This means that the 27-inch IPS display will project stunning picture quality according to how creators intended them to. Along with Razer’s Synapse 3 software, you will also be able to control its settings for your preferred viewing experience.
The Razer Raptor 27 will be available early Q3 2021 at US$ 799.99.
Nintendo announces the arrival of Metroid Dread
After sixteen years of lingering, Samus Aran is back
Nintendo kicked off the final day of E3 2021 with a ton of game releases on deck. Apart from a couple of games getting ports for the Nintendo Switch, there were a handful of new releases to watch out for. One of these is a return to the old days of 2D-style movement and the return of Samus herself in Metroid Dread.
The game serves as the mainline series’ fifth installment, following Metroid Fusion. Although, it suffered through sixteen years of “development hell” since its inception in 2005. Originally, Nintendo planned Metroid Dread for a Nintendo DS release but the technology had its limitations at the time. Now, under both Nintendo and MercurySteam, it will return for the Nintendo Switch nineteen years after Fusion‘s release.
In this game, Samus sets on a mission to uncover a mystery behind the supposedly surviving X Parasites from the events of Fusion. Initally, the Galactic Federation dispatched a unit of E.M.M.I. robots to investigate, but disappeared upon arrival. Samus’ adventure rages on as Metroid Dread will be available on October 8, 2021.
Zelda: Breath of the Wild Sequel trailer breakdown
The trailer has fans guessing
Remember Breath of the Wild? I don’t know. Just the single most amazing open-world game Nintendo published? Yeah, well, we’re all collectively getting a sequel come 2022 with Nintendo tickling us with their The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 (Not the official title yet, by the way) trailer.
Nothing screams new and improved like a new hair-do. The trailer features Link’s sweet new hairdo, abilities, enemies, and corrupted arm.
Familiar place, new arms
After a shot of ominous red and black goop and a foreboding shot of Zelda falling, Link sky-dives between clouds into floating islands that look just like the last game’s Skyward Sword Skyloft. The scene cuts to him gliding into the Slyloft-like structure at night and him running on a floating islet at sunset.
A sneak peek into Link’s right arm appears from this falling and gliding sequence. Whereby, the arm is reminiscent of the classic Fullmetal Alchemist mechanical arm but with Sheikah technology.
New skills for familiar targets
Link’s new abilities are closely tied to his corrupted arm. And, Nintendo shows these new abilities off by first showing new targets. In the next scene, Link glides by Bokoblins hanging out in a fort built on top of a Stone Talus. Which, effectively combines two enemies in the previous game, into a hellish moving enemy target.
Nintendo then decides to tease us with a quick look-see of Link’s green-glowing corrupted arm. The scene skips to Link mid-climb with a group of enemies sending a spiky ball his way. He quickly reaches out with his corrupted hand; freezes the ball; and rewinds it back up the hill. All while taking out some Bokoblins along the way.
Sheikah Slate, who’s she?
Link’s new abilities build upon his Breath of the Wild skills. From freezing objects (instead of time) to a quick shot of a flamethrower arm, to swimming through obstacles.
We get an allusion to his new abilities with a drop of water ripple back into a droplet. Whereby the shot is of Link swimming through a stone structure and out the other end. We’ll have to wait to see if the arm augments other powers like Magnet, Remote Bomb, and Cryonis. But, so far, Link looks to be bending objects if not through them.
Nintendo is looking to release the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild some time in 2022.
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