Friday, June 14, 2013

Star Wars: Battlefront and next-gen Halo announced at E3

It's been an exciting week for the internet. Sony and Microsoft faced off in the next-gen console wars at E3, the country's largest, invitation-only game industry convention.

Comments that many saw as sexist caused anger toward Microsoft, the Science Fiction Writers of America, and on a smaller level, RoosterTeeth. Meanwhile, Nintendo continued to be adorable.

There has been a lot written about all of those things, and anything I say here would repeat words you can find elsewhere with easy Googling. Instead I'd like to focus on the positive today, with news from two of my favorite franchises.

EA announced a new Star Wars game in the Battlefront line. It doesn't have a release date yet, but is presumed to run on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and possibly PC. A few articles that came out after E3 say that the game won't be a carbon copy of either previous Battlefront games or Battlefield; instead this is an "interpretation" and not "copy of someone else's game". Yes yes, originality.

I won't really be interested in this one until we get to see what characters are available to play and how much story there is, but it seems like post-LucasArts Star Wars games will be giving fans some of what they've been clamoring for. (KotOR3!)

This is the perfect teaser: ridiculous and weighty all at once, it nicely sums up what Halo is. It's also not actually Halo 5, or so Microsoft wants us to think. Instead it's a promise that the franchise will return, which, of course it will. It's one of the few things keeping people attached to the Xbox One right now.

So whatever the name of the game will actually be (it will probably be Halo 5), the story is pretty clear: Master Chief is consulting some Forerunners, or running into them accidentally, on the way to reviving Cortana, who fractured and sacrificed herself for him before some mixing of human and digital realities at the end of Halo 4. Both Chief and Cortana have changed after their meeting with the Forerunner Librarian, and they're unusual now even for people who started out as a Spartan and an AI.

Also this:

A quest to revive a fallen friend is a nicely emotional plotline for a pretty testosterone-laden series. Many people have noticed that female heroes were a rare sight at E3. That brings us to the third game I'll be keeping an eye on...

Dragon Age 3 will, like most BioWare games, feature a customizable character of whatever gender the player chooses.

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