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E3 E3 2012

159 comments

  • Bloodstorm - June 8, 2012 6:43 a.m.

    I find this whole article hilarious. First off, I'd like to just point out that as a society, in the history of humanity, we are more sensitized to violence, death and the like that any other historic society. Over the course of human existence, we only become more sensitized. Second, you talk about context, and I saw nothing but context with most of these E3 demos (well, except Watch Dogs, but I'm excited to get that context later on). Last of Us, it is the freaking zombie Apocalypse, they just tried to kill the main characters, and it is a kill of be killed scenario. If the world is already full of zombies, last thing you want is to let live opportunistic humans that wish to make the lives of those they come across worse. Context. No one wants to see the bit of a game being demoed that are the slower, methodical parts. It doesn't excite within the 10 minute window that it is given. There was nothing any more violent about any of this. I'm been cutting people in half with chainsaws, killing people up close and intimate and everything else that was shown here for the last decade and a half. Its hardly new, and a bit late to suddenly get worked up about.
  • Hobogonigal - June 8, 2012 8:11 a.m.

    I think that the point about the article is that while we are accustomed to violence these days through movies, videogames and even the daily news; we should not celebrate and take pleasure from desperate and dehumanised violence. Hey, I'm was thrilled to see Leon's head get sawn of by a chainsaw in Resi Evil 4 but I did not get any enjoyment or happiness from this experience. tbh it scared the crap out of me at first which is the appropriate response for a horror game. The problem is that whilst killing up-close and personal has been in videogames for ages; did you count how many games this feature is in now? Splinter Cell-breaking necks. Last of Us- turning a head into goop using a table. Watch Dogs- cracking a security guard's head with a baton. Even Tomb Raider- ripping a guy's throat open with an arrowhead. Whilst these acts of violence are to show us the desperation that events can place humans under, are we supposed to laugh and cheer when we see this sort of violence? This probably isn't the best example because my knowledge of films is rather sub-par, but when watching a Saw film I don't think the appropriate and intended response is to be happy, supportive and celebrative of the brutal acts that people must go through in these films. The same logic applies to videogames and the situations that they display. Sorry for the long post but I just wanted to add my thoughts to yours so that you could see my point of view.
  • Bloodstorm - June 11, 2012 9:29 a.m.

    Maybe so, and sure I don't think swooning over the guys head exploding is the appropriate response, not exactly. Personally, I had no problem with his head exploding, it didn't make me cheer, it did make me react with a simple "aw" but I was impressed by it from a technical standpoint. But, I also don't condemn those who reacted with cheers, because I've played my share of video games where getting up in the face of an enemy that has caused me problems and pump a shot into their heads, or saw them in half with an extreme sense of satisfaction because they had caused me turmoil, and I have enacted just consequence, and I can imagine that if I where playing that demo, and was greeted with the same enemy begging for mercy, I'd have done the same and felt quite good about it.
  • ParagonT - June 8, 2012 8:33 a.m.

    Agreed. Desensitized* (your welcome)
  • kyle94 - June 8, 2012 8:35 a.m.

    Does no one read the articles? His problem wasn't the violence. His problem was that people were cheering after the acts of violence.
  • KidKatana - June 8, 2012 6:40 a.m.

    God that's depressing about the Watch Dogs demo. I remember seeing that particular bit of text pop up, because my immediate thought was that it was an unusually bold and intimate detail to include in such an offhand manner, and it reinforced the impression that the NPCs around you weren't just cut-copy character models, deepening the sense of immersion in a world. I feel extremely disappointed if a roomful of journalists treated it as a joke.
  • jackthemenace - June 8, 2012 6:39 a.m.

    Honestly, I'd never thought about a lot of this before. Hell, maybe growing up with violent video games HAS de-sensitized me, at least to simulated violence. But after finally playing through Limbo earlier this week, and being genuinely sickened at a certain point involving a spider's leg, I've started to consciously think more about the violence in games. I might just be doing it out of sticking up for them, but a few of those games, the violence is fairly justified- I mean, Resi 6 is going to be the final chapter, right? so it makes sense that they want to pull out all the stops and make it seem really gung-ho, or at least sections of it. But things like Tomb Raider, what with being a reboot, do they really want to give that impression for the new franchise? And having only seen the trailers for The Last Of US through this site- I didn't watch the conferences- I had no idea they audience had reacted that way to the violence. Even I, and I already mentioned I think I've been pretty de-sensitized, thought that was a little over-the-top, even in a game like The Last of Us; so to say fully-grown men were cheering at it? I'm a little sickened. great work as always, it's definitely opened my eyes. Although, I'm probably not going to stop enjoying violent games any time soon.
  • lordgodalming - June 8, 2012 6:34 a.m.

    Thank goodness someone in the industry is saying this. I'm also not some prude who thinks no game should be more violent than Nintendogs--I own and enjoy all the God of War games--yet still the bloodlust on display at this E3 had me shifting uneasily in my seat. Every big game now seems not only to be super violent, but also contains a protagonist whose "hook" is cold, murderous indifference. Except of course for Lara Croft, whom we are evidently supposed to enjoy seeing brutalized in as many ways as possible in the next TR game. In fact, the only game star who showed any kind of mercy was Kratos, for crying out loud. Ayn Rand would be pleased with all of this, but the rest of us should wonder why these archetypes are our heroes.
  • rob619 - June 8, 2012 6:28 a.m.

    I totally agree, all you see is mindless violence from video games now. Again I think it is due to the shock factor it promotes and gets people talking. The last of us was the worst, he is beginning for his life and unarmed yet shot dead? The Hitman trailer aswell, definatly a shock tactic. I'am definatly going to purchase the games however its to much now
  • tiben36 - June 8, 2012 6:38 a.m.

    well, i guess the guy wouldnt have gave a chance to joel when he was chocking him, am i right?
  • Bullwinkle - June 8, 2012 6:24 a.m.

    I had the exact same reaction during the Last of Us presentation. Watching the gameplay, I found the violence to be disturbing, but clearly intentionally so. I look forward to playing the game and applaud Naughty Dog for the adult direction they've taken things. I can only imagine the designers horror upon hearing the childish reaction from the supposedly mature audience.
  • db1331 - June 8, 2012 6:22 a.m.

    Alright, Dave. This was your best work yet. Spot on with all points. I have noticed the "Everyone is Marcus Phoenix" problem in games for years now. It's so sad. Look at 1313. I was totally digging the demo, until that explosion shat out perfectly placed waist-high walls and it turned into yet another cover shooter. I was really hoping they would take more of an Arkham Asylum approach to the bounty hunter, sneaking around and setting traps, using your jetpack to navigate the environment as Batman uses his grapple. As for the violence itself, I think it works fine in The Last of Us, for the reasons that you said. It's a horribly bleak world, where if you had better be willing to kill someone to survive, because you can bet someone is willing to kill you. It's also great to have Ellie there to add some outside perspective to how awful it is to burn someone alive. Where it doesn't work, however, is in that Tomb Raider demo. Did I really just see Lara Croft rip some dude's throat out with her bare hands? What in the actual fuck? As for the bro whoops in the crowd, that's typical at any large gathering. You can't go anywhere these days, be it the movies, or a sporting event, and not see some group of bros determined to be the loudest people there, so they can get all the attention. If these bros were watching E3 at home, you know they wouldn't get the least bit excited over what they were seeing, but because they are in a crowd, they want to show off by shouting at every pair of tits and every execution they see. "LOOK AT ME, FELLOW DUDE-BROS. SEE HOW MUCH I LOVE TITS AND VIOLENCE?! SHOWER ME WITH YOUR ATTENTION." As for this bit: "...and also detailed open laughter during a behind-closed-doors demo of Ubisoft’s gorgeous-looking Watch Dogs. It wasn’t violence that elicited the reaction that time. Stunningly, it was the revelation that an NPC was HIV positive." I hope that's not true, but I know it is. That is just fucking disgusting. Just based on statistics alone, someone in that room knew someone who was HIV positive, if not themselves. I wonder how that made them feel? Anyhow, great article Dave. Everyone in the industry should be forced to read this.
  • tiben36 - June 8, 2012 6:46 a.m.

    i think the HIV positive thing shows how "easy" it is to get very personal infos on people in that game
  • db1331 - June 8, 2012 6:57 a.m.

    It makes perfect sense in the context of the game, where having knowledge of someone's secrets or records gives you power over them. But for a group of people to laugh because an NPC is HIV positive is just disgusting.
  • gilgamesh310 - June 8, 2012 7:04 a.m.

    "Did I really just see Lara Croft rip some dude's throat out with her bare hands?" No, she used an arrow and shoved it into his neck with her hand just. I agree that the people cheering is just something that happens at large gatherings. I don't think it means anything at all. The issue I have with most of the games on show is that they are all becoming cover shooters. Tomb Raider, Resident Evil and Splinter Cell used to be completely different genres and now they all seem to be turning into one. I don't see why the cover mechanic is becoming such a popular thing in gaming. I mean what is honestly so great about it? It restricts your movement and what you can do and saps the daring and in many cases challenge from a game. And everything simply has to be a shooter. That's what pisses me off.
  • db1331 - June 8, 2012 7:31 a.m.

    Ahh ok, I couldn't see the arrow due to low video quality. That's still pretty ridiculous though. Why is the cover mechanic so popular? Because devs are targeting casual gamers. A cover mechanic with a regenerating health bar is the same as making the player invincible. You got shot? No biggie. Just crouch behind this wall for 5 seconds and try again. Even the actual gameplay is mind-numbingly easy. All you have to do is aim above whatever cover the enemy is using, and he will stick his head up in the same spot over and over, like he wants to get shot. It's like playing whack-a-mole. Mass Effect 3's combat just about put me to sleep. If I ever play through that game again, you can bet I will select the "I don't care about the combat, just give me the story" option at the start.
  • Hobogonigal - June 8, 2012 7:57 a.m.

    Hmmm, I am playing ME3 at the moment and I think that the challenge are actually quite good with flanking techniques, shielded enemies, ranged enemies, charging enemies etc. Maybe this is because I am playing it on the hardest difficulty? But I have to agree with your point that cover mechanics and regenerating health appeal to casual gamers, to be honest I'm surprised CoD doesn't have some form of cover mechanics yet but then again it is a twitch-reaction shooter.
  • db1331 - June 8, 2012 8:16 a.m.

    It's not the lack of challenge that was the problem. It was just boring. It seemed like there were only 8 enemy types in the whole game, and most of them behaved largely the same way. First time through the game though, huh? A word of advice: Look up Marauder Shields on Youtube, and once you reach him, save your game and don't go any further until Bioware releases that update.
  • Hobogonigal - June 8, 2012 8:31 a.m.

    Yeah I see your point regarding enemy types. I do tend to overuse the pull and shockwave powers. This Marauder Shields isn't anything to do with the ending is it? I have taken a strict approach to knowing absolutely nothing regarding the ending of this game so that I can make up my own mind regarding the conclusion. Am I good to look this up without the fear of spoilers? Really don't want it to be ruined as I have played all the way from ME1.
  • db1331 - June 8, 2012 8:51 a.m.

    I'm not going to spoil anything for you. I just really wish I could help you. I was once just like you. Played through all three games on the same imported character. I couldn't wait to see how this whole story ended. How foolish I was. What you are trying to do in going into the ending completely blind to form your own opinion is very admirable. However, you cannot possibly understand just how bad the ending is. Take a minute to think of the worst possible way you could imagine the game ending. Then multiply that by about 10. That might give you some idea. All I can tell you is this. The whole time I was playing through ME 3, all I could think was how I couldn't wait to start a new character in ME 1 and bring him through all the games again, making totally different choices to see how everything turned out. Then I got to the end of 3, and it completely killed my enthusiasm for the entire series. I haven't played any of the games again since the credits rolled. It was that bad. Sometimes we need to make our own mistakes though. As for the Marauder Shields video, here is the link. It won't spoil anything for you, other than one small part of one late game environment. I know I'm just some random guy on the internet, so my word is only going to go so far. But as someone who shares a kindred love of video games, I IMPLORE you to not go past the part in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=467pmIX-oZo

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