The Electronic Entertainment Expo, more commonly known as E3, took place last week, providing us with our annual dose of gaming news, announcement trailers and viral gifs. Now that everyone has had a chance to wake up from their nerd comas, we present to you our E3 Takeaways: 2015 Edition.
With the constant exposure to different devices and ways of communicating with audiences, it only makes sense that transmedia storytelling would be the goal of every content producer these days. But digital media can only go so far in the vacuum of technology, as it waits for the next big thing to revolutionize the use of a screen. Fortunately, we live in a time where two big ideas can finally intersect, linking our current state of technology back to our childhood years of toy trends. If 10-year old you ever wanted interactive Beanie Babies, 2015 is a magical time to be alive.
Enter NFC (near field communication) toys and figures. Activision first tapped into the market back in 2011 with their Skylanders series. You may have heard of it. If you haven’t, any child in the immediate 5 mile radius will tell you all about it. The success of Skylanders paved the way for Disney to jump on the bandwagon, with its own line of toys under the name Disney Infinity. And most recently, Nintendo came along to take a piece of that money pie with its Amiibos.
The gaming world was taken by storm this fall with the release of Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto V. Gamers had been left without a new major installment of GTA since 2008 (Grand Theft Auto IV), but we’re pretty confident to say it was worth the wait. And we’re not the only ones: GTA V broke gaming records in its first day alone, selling $800 million worth of units, and going on to earn $1 billion in just the first three days. A billion dollars. In three days.
So, how’d they do it? We took a look and created for your viewing pleasure the “3 Simple Steps to Creating a $1 Billion Masterpiece – GTA V Edition”.
Between reviews and trailers online, everyone knows where to find a good game these days. But what happens if you go to the store with just $5 and all inhibitions aside? We’re on a mission to find the best (or worst) retail games worth less than a Subway sandwich.
For our inaugural review, we waltzed into Gamestop and picked up the cheapest console game on the shelf: Duke Nukem: Forever. We had a preconceived idea of Nukem’s less-than-stellar reception by the gaming community, but at four bucks used, we figured we didn’t have much left to lose. Turns out our dignity was still up for grabs, as we approached the register and were met with a judgmental look from our cashier. “Do you… know about this game?” she asked, as though we weren’t the first customers to mistakenly purchase this gem. She informed us we could return it immediately after we played it, and with that final warning, we were on our way to experiencing one of the worst shooters of 2011.
Duke Nukem: Forever was the highly-anticipated sequel to 1996’s Duke Nukem 3D. After 15 long years, this game was meant to be an unprecedented Nukem experience, bringing the series into the modern shooter generation. Unfortunately, 15 years of development isn’t a good look for Duke, as this game rocks some shoddy graphics, unbelievably long loading times, and controls that would make any gamer weep. The dated design and aged feel could be considered a throwback to the style of the older games in the series, but when a game’s mechanics and playability are compromised by irony, the novelty wears off pretty quickly.
As you’ve heard by now, Microsoft announced their next console, the Xbox One, earlier this week. Certainly a hardware upgrade from the 360, the Xbox One was supposed to be the next great thing to come from Microsoft, as gamers tuned in from all over the world to watch the live reveal on Tuesday. We expected promises for greater graphics, revolutionary gameplay, new franchises, basically anything and everything gamers wanted to see in a new console, especially one meant to rival Sony’s PS4.
Instead, we were served a glorified cable box.
We think it goes without saying that here at CloudKid, we love making games. We also love playing games. We even love making sure our fellow cube-mates have seen this video for this really cool game that we’re playing. This one, on my screen. Look here. I’m serious. You need to – no stop doing that, download this game right now.
So, we decided we would share our wealth of information with you…as well as give us an excuse to talk about games.