So, the PC Gaming Show at E3 2019 event came and went just recently. Well, as a showcase for the best games on the best gaming platform currently available, you would think there would be a bit more pizzazz put into this show…But unfortunately not (and we didn’t get to see anything from “Half-Life 3” either! – Just joking, Robin).
Taking a strictly preview followed by a chat with the developers (although at one point they had somebody from Samsung talk about one of their products – more on that later) format, which (whilst wasn’t terrible) did feel forced (and you could certainly see that some of the developers were quite uncomfortable about talking in front of an audience).
To be honest, it also felt as though some of the audience members didn’t really want to be there either.
The hosts (Sean Plott and Frankie Ward) were pretty okay, although the rather false smiles from both were cringe-worthy. They also had little interaction with each other (and no real banter), making the two hours for this segment rather dry.
However, the show isn’t about hosts or interviews, but about the games (and monitors and gaming chairs), so what was on offer?
To start with, those wanting a sequel to the (now) old Evil Genius game can look forward to a brand new game with “Evil Genius 2“. As awesome as that might sound though, it remains to be seen what the actual gameplay looks like…
And why is that? Because only a cinematic trailer was shown for “Evil Genius 2”. Nevertheless, “Evil Genius 2″will probably continue to be an isometric adventure game again just like the previous game.
There was also the “Ghostbusters”/”Deceit” type FPS (possibly) game “Midnight Ghost hunt“. Again, very little actual gameplay was shown from the said game (something of which was a common theme throughout the whole show…).
However, from what the developers stated about the game, “Midnight Ghost hunt” is a 4 V 4 game, with an interesting twist in that if the ghostbusters don’t get all the ghosts by midnight, they all come back much stronger than before.
Next we got a new gameplay trailer for “Vampire : The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2” (which is coming to PC and consoles in Q1 2020). That’s very nice of course, if it hadn’t been for the fact that very little was shown…
As a matter of fact, it was more a case of discussing the game story, which, by the sounds of it could be rather intriguing.
Oh well, moving on! “Chivalry 2” was actually a game that did show a fair bit of gameplay, and it looked a fun hack-and-slash medieval game where you can be as un-chivalrous to the native peasants (and enemies) as you like (by chopping people into little bits with your rather large sword).
According to the developers, it’s a game to be taken as seriously (or not) as much as you like, and at least 50% played the first one whilst drunk.
So, what’s next? Well, that would be Joris Dormans “Unexplored 2“! Which is an isometric exploration/puzzle/roguelike game, and is apparently the sequel to the original small indie game.
Well, “Unexplored 2” looked very colourful with no doubt, but whilst some of the gameplay was shown, in overall it seemed to be quite a standard game. I sure hope that I’m wrong on that part though (time will tell!).
Next up we got “Starmancer” (the game is coming to PC via Steam very soon), which is an isometric adventure game that’s set in outer space. Other than that, the trailer had us know that along with your explorations, you meet friends and enemies.
In other words, it’s probably wise not to let your guard down if you intend to play “Starmancer”, since space is anything but a friendly and comfy environment.
Anyways, then came the first hardware review – and the first unintentional mic problem, as the poor chap from Samsung had trouble getting his message across about their new 27” curved monitor.
Not that it mattered too much though, as monitor reveals aren’t exactly the liveliest products to showcase…
And matters got even less exciting when the Samsung chap reeled off the technical specifications (3000:1 color contrast, by the way). My point would be that the monitor is not particularly cheap being under 400 USD.
The second hardware review (or whatever you want to call it) was for a gaming chair. Long story short, very few seemed to be interested in the gaming chair review…And I can’t say that I can blame them, because I feel the same way.
Funcom was up next to show off some of their games, which includes “Mutant Year Zero: Seed of Evil” (which seems to be a mixture of isometric and first-person, and plays a lot like “Fallout”, but features a talking moose), “Conan Chop Chop” (it’s a 1-4 player action-adventure game with rogue-like elements, and the game is coming to PC on September 3rd) and “Conan Unconquered” (which is another isometric game and looks like “Age Of Empires”).
“Planetfall” gets an extension whilst Zombie Army gets a new game (hopefully as an FPS this time). “Remnant: From the Ashes” was the next game, and looked like just a standard FPS (at least by the looks of it).
“Griftlands” on the other hand (which was the next game after “Remnant), is a deck-building strategy fighting card game. Well, “Griftlands” looks like it could bring something new to the genre, but it looks a very mobile-orientated game.
The “Planet Zoo” game was next, and from my point of view, “Planet Zoo” looked like any of the other myriad management games on the market. However, the developers did promise that you’ll be learning as you play.
So, what about highlights then? Well, one of the two highlights of the two hour show was the appearance of Yu Suzuki (who helped design many of the early arcade games , arcade games such as “Space Harrier“, for example), and who came on the show to talk about “Shenmue 3“, which looks like an interesting (if graphically simplistic) fighting/adventure game.
Next, we got to see “Songs of Conquest“, which is a very old-school adventure strategy game. Again, like most of games shown here, nothing was seen of the actual gameplay.
On a more positive note though, “Warhammer: Vermintide 2” is getting an update, where you can (finally) play as a lackey of the Chaos Gods, and be the rat that you’ve always wanted to be.
Simply put, this is a player versus mode (much in the style of “Left 4 Dead”), so it’ll be interesting to see how popular it will be.
So, what’s next?” That would be “Per Aspera“, which is (another) a strategy game. However, “Per Aspera” is set and based on Mars, and from what little that we saw from the trailer. The game looks somewhat sparse (naturally), and possibly a bit too basic.
Nevertheless, we should find out for sure once the game launches for PC in 202).
There was also FMV game, called “Telling Lies” (believe it or not, those haven’t died out yet), which may be okay, if you like those sort games. You see, this is one of those games where you watch videos to help solve a murder.
For those who play “Warframe”, a new update was reveled, and comes complete with micro-transactions (yay…).
After “Warframe” we got to see “The Big Bang,” which is a weird abstract monochrome game, set before, during and after the Big Bang.
We then got to so a rather cool looking game called “El Hijo” (which is an isometric stealth-em-up game about an abandon boy wanting to return to his mother for some reason, even though she purposely gave him away). The gameplay seemed decent enough, although the cinematics did seem rather basic.
Other games that were briefly shown included: “Ancestry” (where you play an original humanoid from 10 million years ago), “The Pathless” (which is a 3D platforming shooter in the mould of Crash Bandicoot), “Untitled Goose Game” (which is a game about chasing a goose, I think), “Atomic Croppers” (a top-down twin-shooter game, as if we don’t have enough of those already), “Rune II” (it’s a sequel to Human Head Studios old Viking 3D adventure/action game from 2000), “What the golf !?” (which is a “comedy” golf game).
We then got to se”Phantom Brigade”, which looks like a pretty interesting Command And Conquer-like type of game (and the PC gaming scene is desperately in need of something like that).
“CrisTales” was shown as well, and the game looks to be an interesting 2D (and 3D) adventure game.
A rather “different” game was then shown in the shape of “Maneater“. The game seems to be based on the various shark eating adventure games that are available on handheld devices. So hopefully, when “Maneater” does come out for PC, it won’t include micro-transactions.
One of the biggest let-downs with this year’s edition of the PC Gaming show was the absence of any showing of “Borderlands 3“…As the host put various user-submitted questions to the developers, but that was the only real mention of the game (that despite bits of the game being shown in the “title sequence” for this presentation).
So, let’s wrap things up shall we? Well, in overall, the 2019 edition of the PC Gaming shows wasn’t too bad (it was somewhat average and a bit bland though), and could really be regarded as one long commercial.
I mean, there was certainly a lack of AAA games being shown, and the show veered more towards indie ones, which was probably why the audience didn’t seem to be particularly happy and warm to most of what was being shown.
It also didn’t help that almost everything that was shown was a cinematic trailer and not actual game-play footage….
Entertainment Value: 3/5
Verdict: 3/5 (C-)
With no real surprises (aside from the “Ghostbusters” tribute game, a quick monitor and gaming chair review), there was nothing to raise the show from being average.
The hosts worked with what they had, but it wasn’t a great line-up of games, with few of them being unique in any sort of way. It also didn’t help that little in the way of game-play footage was shown, with just trailers and cinematics doing the job of selling the games.
Robin Ek – Editor and co-writer.
This is a personal opinion of the writer, and it doesn’t necessarily represent the other writers (nor The Gaming Ground´s) opinions.
The Gaming Ground
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