E3 Roundup – The Evil Within

The Evil Within Extended Gameplay Demo w/ IGN 

Day 3 of E3. Everyone looks unnerved or as if they’ve seen a ghost. At the Bethesda E3 booth, we’ve actually seen that look all week from folks terrorized by our demo for The Evil Within.

Susan Arendt at Joystiq had shown concern that the game would not be scary enough. In her latest playthrough, her only worry concern was not completely freaking out from the game:

“Moving from room to ruined room, I found a few notes left behind by the previous inhabitant, who was engaged in some kind of experiments. Mad scientist, sure, I can work with that, wait, why are all of the faces in that portrait slashed except for the young boy? Ok, no problem, I get it, the boy’s the survivor, wait oh my god what is that thing trying to kill me shotgun shotgun take its head off GAHHH it turned into some guy in a hood that’s coming right at me and my bullets are doing nothing and GAHHHHHHHH.”

Meanwhile, resident survival-horror writer Tim Turi at Game Informer played the game and stated, “The Evil Within feels like an alternate reality where the Resident Evil franchise doubled down on tense combat, scares, and creepy environments rather than fun, over-the-top action.”

Who else braved our E3 demo of the game. Check out more highlights below…

IGN – “So how many ways are there to die in The Evil Within? Well, in my 20-minute hands-on play session, I had a pickaxe lodged in my chest, was strangled and bit, had my skull crushed by a hulking ghoul’s meaty foot, and got blown to bits by a tripwire bomb. ”

Gameranx - “… Shinji Mikami and his team at Tango Gameworks have made a game that promises to embody the dread and suspense the way only a survival horror game can.”

God is a Geek - “…it is shaping up to be the purest and most varied third-person horror experience in years.”

Shacknews – “Head shots don’t always kill enemies, and downed creatures don’t always stay dead unless you light them on fire with matches (another scarce item).”

HorrorMovies.CA – “I think this game is on track to satisfy those old-school horror cravings you might be having. ”

EGMNow — “There’s a great balance between puzzles and action, with both having a flair that you’d expect from a team like Tango.”

After the break, see more video features taken from the E3 show floor.

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Weekend Update: Polygon previews The Evil Within

We’re only two weeks away from E3, but there’s already plenty of folks sharing their hands-on experience with The Evil Within. This weekend Polygon has a new video preview featuring Griffin McElroy and Mike McWhertor discussing the latter’s hands-on experience with the game. Watch it above, and check out more previews from our Tuesday roundup.

As a reminder, The Evil Within is arriving this October – releasing on October 21st in North America, October 23rd in Australia, and throughout Europe on October 24th, 2014. With your pre-order of the game, you’ll receive The Fighting Chance Pack. 

Hands on with Wolfenstein: The New Order

Last week we shared release date information for Wolfenstein: The New Order. This week we’re excited to share new hands-on impressions based on early chapters from the game..

We start at Polygon, where Michael McWhertor reveals that it was some of the game’s dark moments that surprised him most about the game. Here’s an excerpt:

“MachineGames has described its take on Wolfenstein as ‘a dark-roasted blend of drama, mystery, humor,’ but it was the game’s injection of horror that stood out most during Bethesda’s recent preview. And it reignited my interest in The New Order.”

Learn more about the game’s dark humor, mature storytellling, and old-school gunplay (it’s Wolfenstein after all) in our extensive roundup below…

IGN — “After three hours with Wolfenstein, I feel comfortable saying this: It seems like a solid shooter with lots of action and fun stealth mechanics.”

Game Informer — “Wolfenstein: The New Order asked me to shoot pistols, man turrets, and quietly knife guards to avoid detection. But it also did something I wasn’t expecting. It made me feel something.”

New Gamer Nation — “Overall, Wolfenstein: The New Order presented beautifully and offers a promise of something great. The game looked amazing visually and controlled perfectly which are the hallmarks of any great game.”

GameTrailers — Watch their new three minute preview based on the game’s early chapters.

Associated Press – Learn five ways Wolfenstein is being reinvented by the team at MachineGames.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun — “Machine Games can do well-written, well-animated cutscenes that, amazingly, I didn’t want to skip.”

Xbox Achievements – “It’s a fun game, with great set-pieces, a diverse set of experiences, clever level design, enjoyable shooting and worthwhile stealth.”

Push Square – “Wolfenstein: The New Order is shaping up very nicely indeed. It’s managed to expertly blend older and newer gameplay mechanics to create an extremely satisfying experience.”

Tech-Gaming — “Either way, first-person shooter fans should keep an eye out for Wolfenstein- it’s one of the rare entries in the genre where the storyline isn’t disposable.”

Joystiq — Sinan Kubba discusses how the game’s tone, pace, and charisma could offer charm similar to one of the action genre’s greatest films, Die Hard.

PlayStation Blog – “Old-school in all the best ways”

Gamerzines — “MachineGames’ reinvention of Wolfenstein is the most inventive and emotionally-charged first person shooter we’ve played since Valve unleashed Half Life 2 way back in 2004.”

PC Gamer – “The game is loud. Guns crack and Nazis bellow, cover collapses, robots leak flaming oil and explode. Drone enemies buzz like someone receiving a text on a chainsaw set to vibrate. ”

Capsule Computers – “…a meaty FPS experience. ”

CVG — “Thankfully, there’s a sardonic wit about The New Order which saves it from becoming the excruciatingly po-faced video game it could have been. The speculative sci-fi setting allows MachineGames to have a lot of fun with the environments and plot, and there are cute nods to the enduring appeal of the Wolfenstein series, especially when an old Polish man excitedly summons you to “kill everyone”. Wolfenstein is a series about killing lots of Nazis.”

PCGamesN — “… a confident and competent shooter that recognises precisely what’s appealing about the subject matter of robotic super Nazis and bionic dogbots, and presents it with total conviction. Wolfenstein: The New Order is bound to be one of this year’s best shooters.”

The Sixth Axis — “What delighted me at every turn was the plot, script and characterisation. The jump forward in time is a clever one, allowing MachineGames to shift the game away from the occult and supernatural elements of before to the retro sci-fi stylings of this alternate universe, with robots, mechs, lasers and more to hand.”

GameFront — “Mixing tragedy with triumph and making a variety of gameplay styles and mechanics all viable options could make Wolfenstein: The New Order a standout among shooters.”

And after the break, check out a few of the most recent video previews to go live.

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Pre-E3 Roundup: The Elder Scrolls Online

The Evil Within. Wolfenstein: The New Order. Now… The Elder Scrolls Online.

Below is a sampling of online coverage for ESO from our recent Pre-E3 showing.

Game Front – “There was a palpable sense of danger, as if a trap door had opened up and dropped me into a very dangerous level of a dungeon I was exploring, and I had to fight my way back out to the safety of the open world.

It was the kind of moment that I play games for. ”

Game Informer – “As you can tell by my impressions here, [The] Elder Scrolls Online’s storytelling has left an impact on me. I was more impressed with this brief quest chain than I ever was in my hundreds of hours playing World of Warcraft. Star Wars: The Old Republic’s waning community proves that players need more that good storylines to keep them engaged with an MMO, but I’m hopeful for [The] Elder Scrolls Online.”

Ten Ton Hammer – “The concept of public dungeons isn’t new by any means, but it may seem so to today’s modern gamer. It’s been a very long time since we’ve seen their implementation and I can’t wait to see their return in The Elder Scrolls Online. There’s nothing like the thrill of being in a knock-down-drag-out fight to the death deep in the bowels of some horrific dungeon and seeing a friendly adventurer come around the corner at just the right moment to turn the tide of battle.”

Massively – “Here’s the part that intrigued me: At no point did the gameplay experience resemble an MMO. Sure, players weren’t allowed to run rampant through NPC houses to steal everything in sight, and questing was still limited to “gather such item” or “talk to NPC B because NPC A doesn’t feel like walking 10 feet” (those NPCs can be lazy!), but venturing out into the world felt natural, as if I were in any other Elder Scrolls title. The world is still populated with points of interest that actually generate interest.”

Want more? Check out the full roundup at ElderScrollsOnline.com

Pre-E3 Roundup: Hands-on with Wolfenstein: The New Order

This time around we look at previews (including hands-on impressions) and interviews for Wolfenstein: The New Order.

In CVG’s preview, featuring gameplay shown above, Andy Kelly describes the game as an “old school shooter first-person shotter with modern production values.”

Elsewhere at Eurogamer, Dan Whitehead discusses a tense, story-driven sequence shown to press. Here’s an excerpt:

“It’s a ridiculously camp scene, with kinky Nazi stereotypes right out of ‘Allo ‘Allo – but it’s also surprisingly tense, deliberately echoing the bar scene from Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds for the persistent fear that something horrible is about to happen. MachineGames uses the scene to show off its eye for detail – the coffee sloshes about in the cups as you move – and also its knack for first-person storytelling. Most notably, it’s a scene that leaves you feeling utterly powerless and vulnerable, an all-too-rare feat in the bullish FPS genre.”

For more on the game, check out our roundup below…

Digital Trends — “Wolfenstein: The New Order is a wild, loud, and unapologetic orgy of violence that harkens back to the tone of the original games while creating something new. It’s slightly twisted, challenging, and gives you a continual burst of instant gratification.”

Polygon — “There’s an over-the-top quality to BJ’s arsenal, his gruff action hero language and his ability to dispatch dozens of Nazi übersoldiers and their robot allies. MachineGames is not aiming for realism, Matthies says, preferring to skirt on the edge of believability.”

Game Informer – Feature from Tim Turi shares five things about ‘The New Order’ that make it stand out.

OXM UK – New interview with senior gameplay designer, Andreas Ojefors.

Digital Trends — “Wolfenstein: The New Order is a wild, loud, and unapologetic orgy of violence that harkens back to the tone of the original games while creating something new. It’s slightly twisted, challenging, and gives you a continual burst of instant gratification.”

Game Revolution — “In many regards, some of the retro Wolfenstein elements have been retained. The only numbers and pick-ups the player needs to worry about are for health, armor, and ammo reserves. Any health that goes over 100 gradually drains to Blazkowicz’s maximum health limit, which encourages players to use that temporary health boost in the name of well-timed aggression.”

Digital Spy — New interview with game director, Jens Matthies.

Strategy Informer — “The game feels slick and responsive, but it really is that tonal difference that makes it stand out. With its over-the-top attitude Wolfenstein may well be the perfect antidote to the shooter fatigue I and many others are suffering from…”

Gamer Horizon — Read a new interview with game director Jens Matthies, who discusses both the game and how the project was started. For more, read their hands-on preview.

Eurogamer — “There’s a lot crammed into the demo, from solid stealth to frantic gunfights, and while none of it is especially original, it is all presented with a comic-book flair and old-school energy that is rare in today’s shooter marketplace.”

Game Front –  ”It’s a powerful character moment, not only because of Engel and Bubi, who are intense and unpredictable in the same way as Hans Gruber in Die Hard, but because it seems to really rattle BJ. He’s human, after all.”

OXM UK — “The New Order isn’t only a firefight-a-palooza, though; segments where you’re tasked with creeping through air ducts and slicing through wire fences with a handy, upgradeable laser cutter help break up the nonstop action during our playthrough.”

Venture Beat — “I like what I’ve seen so far. The new Wolfenstein may be a test in the market. It raises the question, are first-person shooters simply in an endless cycle, where a developer can launch a new game with better graphics to satisfy fans? Or will the attempts to deliver an engaging story actually rope in a wider audience? So far, I’m intrigued by characters such as Frau Engel, who offer a lot of potential for the storytelling side of the game.”

Canadian Online Gamers — New interview with MachineGames.

VG247 — Watch their video feature, including gameplay and game director, Jens Matthies.

Pre-E3 Roundup: The Evil Within (Updated)

A couple weeks back, we held an event to highlight our 2013 E3 lineup: The Evil Within, The Elder Scrolls Online, and Wolfenstein: The New Order. Beginning today, you can start reading previews and interviews for all three games.

We begin with The Evil Within — our survival-horror game in development from our Japanese team, Tango Gameworks. In Kotaku’s preview for the game, Stephen Totilo writes:

“The Evil Within seems creepier, more dangerous, more old-school. It might as well be the Resident Evil 5 we didn’t get.”

For more on the game, check out impressions on these sites…

LA Times –  ”The imagery and atmospherics easily recall earlier installments in the “Resident Evil” series, as well as that other survival horror tentpole “Silent Hill” — the abandoned hospital location, the dismembered bodies, the blood-spattered walls hidden in shadow. Here, too, classical music emanates from a gramophone, while the sound of bug zappers and water dripping up the sense of timeless dislocation and foreboding mood.”

Game Revolution — “What translates most about The Evil Within is that it’s by far the best shot we have to seeing the (wonderfully evil) revival of the survival horror genre.”

Games.com — “… Evil Within approaches a more traditional survival horror design.”

Neoseeker –  ”I sat on the edge of my seat, I watched attentively, and yes, at times I was legitimately scared. The Evil Within is an experience to behold, that much is clear to me.”

Destructoid – “The sense of helplessness as you flee the chainsaw monster was thrilling, and oh so very creepy.”

AusGamers — “The game looks gorgeous. It has that Japanese horror feel we love with Western sensibilities built in. There’s a maturity to Mikami’s movement and horror design that beings his style into the new and, potentially, beyond. But most important of all is the greater sense of mystery.”

Polygon –  ”Tango Gameswork’s producer Masato Kimura said the game instills in the player a sense of uncertainty, and it is this ‘subtle, anxious, shapeless, unknowable sort of fear” that the game developers want to invoke.”

Game Informer — “While the base gameplay functions familiarly, the gore, mind games, and oppressive atmosphere have been ratcheted up.”

Eurogamer — “It’s certainly as pure as survival horror gets, with an emphasis on keeping the player vulnerable and outmatched, plus the obligatory side order of confusing mind games and grisly gross stuff.”

CVG — “The Evil Within is a welcome return to survival horror.”

GameZone — New interview with Masato Kimura.

VenureBeat — New preview and interview with producer Masato Kimura

OXM Online — “Though we hope Tango’s maiden voyage into survival-horror waters will pack more surprises than just the overly familiar peek-a-boo homages to scary games past, we jumped out of our seat more than once during the demo like frightened school kids.”

Gamer Horizon — “The graphics are fantastic, the atmosphere is tense and foreboding, and the moments in the asylum were genuinely tense and suspenseful. Coupled with the last moments of the demo, clearly Tango Gameworks is on the right track for making a truly horrific, and scary horror game.”

GameZone — “If you dig the horror genre or consider yourself a fan of Mikami’s work, this upcoming project is one worth keeping an eye on.”

NowGamer — New interview with Pete Hines and Jason Bergman.

Canadian Online Gamers — “Shut off the lights and pick yourself up a bulk sized package of Depends to prevent any unwanted messes and prepare for a terror fest.”

As new coverage surfaces, we’ll update the post. And get more updates on the game’s official Twitter and Facebook accounts.

ESO Roundup

Gaming press from around the globe visited ZeniMax Online Studios last week to play/learn more about The Elder Scrolls Online. Beginning this week, their impressions are making their way online.

In their second hands-on with the game, MMORPG.com has posted several new articles — including coverage of first-person controlsquestingcraftingAvA/PvP, playing as a sorcerer, and a new interview with Paul Sage.

At Destructoid, Chris Carter reports that the game’s plans for a fully-functioning first person mode looks “… extremely impressive, to the point where it looked like they were playing Oblivion and Skyrim at times.” In a separate article, Carter declares the game “a welcome hybrid of old and new school MMO mechanics” and shares the following thoughts on the game’s distinct Elder Scrolls feel:

“As the developers at Zenimax were showing off the game, you could tell that they really cared about the history of the Elder Scrolls franchise. It was clear after playing it for an extended period of time that there will be lots of lore here to uncover; perhaps more than any other Elder Scrolls game before it.”

For much, much more coverage on the game, hit the jump below…

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Hands-on previews for The Elder Scrolls Online (Updated)

Last week MMO and Elder Scrolls enthusiasts made their way to ZeniMax Online Studios and became the first to go hands on with The Elder Scrolls Online. With four hours to explore the game and access to key members of the development team, there’s plenty of new info being shared on their sites.

Among those covering the event was The Elder Scrolls Off the Record, and they definitely went on the record with numerous features on the game, including:

Making an MMO Feel Like Elder Scrolls

Finesse, Synergy, and You: How It All Fits Together in Elder Scrolls Online

ESO’s PvP: “Massive and Epic!!”

Your Character Development

ESO Unveiled!

All that plus they recorded their latest podcast while at the event. Listen to it on their site, via iTunes, or using Podkicker.

For more impressions, check out these sites:

MPOGD.com – “Though I got to spend a few quality hours with the game, it wasn’t enough for me, as I wanted to play and didn’t want to stop for lunch, bathroom breaks, or anything; I just wanted more.”

ZAM ”The controls also feel like slipping on a pair of comfortable slippers.  Left mouse for weapon attack — held for power moves — right click for block is close enough to Skyrim et al to feel immediately familiar and engaging.” For more from ZAM, read their Big Picture article.

MMORPGRead their comprehensive preview, plus articles on PvP and social integration, impressions of playing as a Templar, and a write up on ZeniMax Online’s MMO Philosophy.

Ten Ton Hammer ”…the first thing you should know about The Elder Scrolls Online is that it absolutely works as both a game worthy of flying the Elder Scrolls banner, and as an MMOG built for the modern era of our massive corner of the gaming industry.”

Strategy Informer hands-on preview:  “The Elder Scrolls Online is clearly an MMO with ambition but first and foremost it’s clearly an Elder Scrolls game – and that’ll ease the fears of many fans greatly.” In addition to preview, check out their interview with lead gameplay designer, Nick Konkle.

MMO Reporter Video interviews with creative director Paul Sage and game director Matt Firor.

Acolytes Gaming Community In-depth recap of the day spent at ZeniMax Online Studios.

Massively ”TESO captures the spirit of the series’ combat in a way that is better-suited to an MMO environment, and in my opinion, considerably more engaging.”

RPG Gamer “…there are a lot of things here that make The Elder Scrolls Online a compelling experience for both MMO fans as well as those of us who simply enjoy the Elder Scrolls world and lore. And for someone who is not typically an MMO fan, the fact that this game now has my attention speaks volumes.”

Tamriel Foundry An explosion of coverage including interviews with lead PvP designer Brian Wheeler &  Matt and Paul, plus a hands-on report, combat feature, and general gameplay impressions.

RPGFan ”TESO offers a highly polished social experience in the vein of the Elder Scrolls franchise.”

Guild Umbra Interview with Matt Firor

MMO Attack “My time with The Elder Scrolls Online has left me wanting more. The game is successful in bringing the immersive world of The Elder Scrolls to the MMO world to give the genre a breath of fresh air.”

That should keep you busy for today. We’ll share the latest coverage as it surfaces. Until thenthen, we leave you with Guild Umbra’s video showcasing their trip to the event.