E3 is coming up fast! Now let the gaming mayhem begin! There is so much news coming that Konami had to have a Pre-E3 show. So, what do were the highlights of the show? Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, PES 2014, Castlevania : Lords of Shadow 2 and another new high-tech game engine, this time aimed at football.
So, first up, Social gaming.
Konami has signed up indie dev KungFu Studio to develop games for iOS. Konami’s director of Digital publishing, John Coligan also briefly discussed MLB Live Challenge by BCS Studio whose combination of light fantasy mechanics with team management represents a title “never before seen on Facebook or iOS.” Lastly, Coligan explained how the Orange County Development Studio is making Konami’s jump into social casino apps, with titles such as Slot Revolution and Casino League.
Next up was PES Creative Producer Kei Masuda, who talked about PES 2014. He spend most of the time here discussing the new engine, Fluidity. The name, Masuda explained, was derived from an analysis of football, which is characterized by fluid, constant switching of positions.
Originally based on the FOX engine, Fluidity was created exclusively for PES 2014, and is centered on six key elements, though Masuda only discussed three. The first of these is Trueball Tech, which allows more intricate and advanced ball control. Players will now be able to control player and ball separately, which Masuda hopes will lead to a more instinctive style of play.
M.A.S.S – Motion Animation Stability Studio – simulates body contact with “animations that flow seamlessly in play.” The studio, Masuda explains, didn’t want to just add a bunch of flashy moves and animation: they wanted to bring real play and real tactics to the game through advanced physics.
Lastly, Masuda spoke about heart. This, he says, captures the essence of both home and away games. As you play and do well, your entire team’s morale will improve; influenced by home and away environments. As their morale improves, their personal motivation and abilities will also grow stronger.
Personally, I feel that all these features are amazing but ‘heart’ seems a bit like an arcade game.
Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain
Next up was news about the latest installment in the hit series Metal Gear Solid!
The biggest announcement concerning Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain was that David Hayter will not be playing Snake this time around. Instead, Sutherland will take on the role.
MGS Creator Hideo Kojima announced that the theme for the game is quite different from all the other games in the series. This time it focuses on race and revenge. He said that in light of this, they wanted a more subdued performance from Snake, with emotions conveyed through subtle facial expressions and tone of voice rather than dialogue.
Phantom Pain takes place in 1984, Naked Snake is 49 years old. So they wanted someone who could speak with their facial expression.
Kojima also talked about Konami’s emphasis on realism in this iteration; “we want to see just how far we can go in creating a truly believable, living and breathing incarnation of Snake,” he explained. Further, Kojima continued, they’ve embraced a more open-world game design, which he hopes will bring players a more intense experience.
Castlevania: Lords of shadow 2
Dracula is the protagonist, sporting three new abilities which players can see in the demo. The combat cross has been replaced with the blood whip (though the latter is very similar in function to the former), while Dracula’s Chaos Claws will allow him to shred through enemy shields and armor. Lastly, the Void Sword allows Dracula to cleave through his foes and regain health in the process.
The world design has changed quite a bit from the previous entry, as well. The Mercury Engine has been adapted for the next generation of games, Konami wanted the levels to grow organically rather than on a level-to-level basis so, like MGS: Phantom Pain, a greater emphasis was placed on open-world design with a free camera.
The most notable change is that this will be the first Castlevania title to take place in the modern day!