I remember when the PC Gaming Show started I was bit a young man, a child even. Many winters ago I was naive to the dangers of a lengthy E3 presentation, the dead legs, the sore arse, the energy drink shakes. But now that I have completed the trial of the PC Gaming Show, I am a man. Basically the PC Gaming Show was super long and very strange. The format was completely different from any other E3 presentation, taking on the style of a late night talk show more than anything else. There was a much more relaxed atmosphere than the professional, occasionally hyperactive publisher press conferences.
It was good, with a lot of interesting stuff coming out of what were mostly chats between host Sean Plott and the various developers and executives that graced the PC Gaming Show stage. But it dragged a bit, considering it was on from 2AM and lasted two and a half hours. I mean, even two of the attendees started an IndieGoGo fund to help save their asses from the hard chairs they had been sitting in for hours.
Because of the way that everything was presented not every game that came on stage had a substantial trailer or video, so my coverage of the show is going to be slightly different, and not punctuated by videos for every game.
The PC Gaming Show kicked things off with Tripwire Interactive, whose President John Gibson was on hand to chat about the developer’s current Early Access first-person shooter Killing Floor 2. He talked about his company’s experience with Early Access, and was quick to note that Tripwire has been, and will continue, releasing a steady stream of free content that will add things like new maps, perks, classes, weapons, zombie types and more. He also revealed that player stats will not be reset when Killing Floor 2 leaves Early Access and is fully released.
Gibson then went on to introduce Tripwire’s next game; Rising Storm 2: Vietnam for PC, with the trailer embedded below:
Next up we got a video message from Cloud Imperium Games CEO Chris Roberts, who couldn’t attend E3 but wanted to record a message of thanks to everyone who is supporting his upcoming title Star Citizen. With b-roll of people in mo-cap suits doing flips and jumps and stuff for…reasons. AMD were next to take to the stage and talk about the reveal of their new line-up of graphics cards, which had taken place earlier that morning. Richard Huddy, AMD’s Chief Gaming Scientist, showed off a couple of the new AMD models and talked about the impact DirectX 12 will have on gaming. Spoiler alert: it’s going to be HUGE.
Jean-Francois Dugas and Johnathan Jacques-Belletete arrived from Eidos-Montreal to talk about Deus Ex: Mankind Divided on PC. The talk was mostly about the level of detail and lighting that has been achieved in the company’s brand new Dawn Engine, built specifically for the new Deus Ex game. However the video that was shown was also the first gameplay we’ve seen of Mankind Divided since it’s announcement in April. So dig into that video embedded above for your first look at Deus Ex: Mankind Divided gameplay.
Next up Creative Assembly came on stage to talk about the history of the Total War franchise, and to tease some alpha concept art for Total War: Warhammer, with Sean Plott asking the best question I’ve ever heard at E3; why didn’t they call it Total Warhammer?
Next it was Phil Spencer’s turn to arrive on the PC Gaming Show couch and bring with him several developers and announcements. First off he talked about Windows 10 and the decision to make it a free upgrade for everyone with Windows 7 & 8, which was driven by a desire to keep as many consumers in the same ecosystem to make things simple for game developers. Spencer also admitted that Microsoft had “lost its way” with PC gaming, but was on a path to set things right.
Then came the announcement that Killer Instinct would be coming to Windows 10 at some point in the future, and would feature cross-play with players on its Xbox One counterpart. We also got a bit more information on Microsoft’s upcoming third-person MOBA Gigantic, a little bit more about Fable Legends and then Rod Ferguson, studio head at The Coalition, came on stage to reveal that Gears of War: Ultimate Edition would be making the move to PC, completely remastered from the ground up with visual improvements, 4K resolution support with DirectX 12 and no framerate cap.
There was then the announcement everyone had been waiting for from the PC Gaming Show; SCS Software announced American Truck Simulator, follow up to the strangely popular Euro Truck Simulator. It was then CCP Games’ turn to dash my hopes of a new game set in the World of Darkness yet again by talking more about EVE: Valkyrie, a game which was designed from the ground up around virtual reality, along with the video footage seen above.
Dean Hall came out on stage to talk about Ion, a game that will feature realistic organ simulation. He also talked his favourite bug in the game so far, wherein if you clicked on another player all their organ’s fell out and killed them. Sean Plott then got together with the guys from Pixel Titans to perform a live gameplay demo of upcoming first-person shooter Strafe (which I’ve tried and failed to find a video for), a game which is a throwback to old school shooters like Quake and Doom. Obsidian Entertainment were on hand next to showcase their upcoming Pillars of Eternity expansion; Pillars of Eternity: White March Part 1, with the trailer embedded above.
Frontier Developments’ David Braben took to the stage to reveal the studios next game, Planet Coaster Simulation Evolved with the announcement trailer above. The game is something that Frontier have “wanted to make for a long time, a revival of a great genre.” ArenaNet were on hand to show off some footage from the next expansion for their popular MMO; Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns and talked some about the guild halls the expansion will add; including the ability to decorate and customise the halls, and invite other guilds over for battles.
There was some talk with IO Interactive developers on how the upcoming Hitman was an evolution of the contracts that players could issue in Hitman: Absolution, along with some PC footage of the game due out later this year. AMD CEO Lisa Su then took to the stage for graphics cards round two, as she showed off the Radeon R7 and R9 series that had been announced earlier that day, as well as showcasing the strangest looking PC I’ve ever seen (that was being used to power demo’s in AMD’s E3 booth) and the dual-GPU Fiji card, which is coming this Fall. Bohemia Interactive then took to the couch to talk about their next terrain expansion to Arma 3, which will be a 100 square km jungle, due out in the first half of 2016.
Sherida Halatoe was next up on stage to talk about the awesome sound design in Beyond Eyes, and to show off a trailer for the game, which is due out this summer. And there was an awesomely tongue-in-cheek trailer for the funny, currently available online shooter Dirty Bomb.
Steve Gaynor, co-founder of Fullbright Games, came out to talk about his first-person exploration game Tacoma, and how the space station setting of the game allows zero gravity to be used to create a “fully three-dimensional playground for exploration.” As Gaynor said, traditional exploration games are limited to essentially two dimensions, but in Tacoma you’ll be able to push off from walls, walk on the ceiling and generally access perspectives you otherwise would be unable to.
Frictional Games then joined in the fun to make sure everyone watching would have nightmares with a quick gameplay trailer for Soma, due for release on September 22. Then Brian Hicks, project lead on DayZ, made an announcement that gave me my strongest reasons yet to jump into the zombie survival simulator. Bohemia are currently working on a single-player, offline mode for the game, as well as planning to release the tools needed for players to create and host their own servers. No release window was given for these features, but once they drop, expect Couch Co-op Plays: DayZ to follow shortly thereafter.
There was then a quick video to remind us all that relaxing exploration game Take on Mars still exists, before Cliff Blezinski came out to talk about leaving his extended holiday to head a new studio, Boss Key, and chat a bit about their upcoming, free-to-play shooter currently known as Project BlueStreak. He talked about his main influence, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and how the team at Boss Key are trying to ensure their five-on-five MOBA will be different from the deluge of MOBA’s the games industry is currently facing.
Sean Plott then joined Dave Crooks and Joe Harty of Dodge Roll (listed on the screen as Dodging Enthusiast and Gun Historian respectively) for some live gameplay of the upcoming Enter the Gungeon. Inspired by Dark Souls, Dodge Roll have created a top down, pixelated cross between The Binding of Isaac, Bullet Hell and The Legend of Zelda, and it looks absolutely fantastic. Check out the gameplay above.
Blizzard were then on hand to talk about their upcoming expansions to two of their most popular games; Starcraft 2: Whispers of Oblivion and Heroes of the Storm: Eternal Conflict. Whispers of Oblivion is a completely free mini-expansion for the strategy game, which is set to add three prologue missions to bridge the gap between Starcraft 2 and the upcoming expansion Legacy of the Void. Heroes of the Storm: Eternal Conflict is set to add Diablo content to the free-to-play MOBA, with the Butcher and Monk classes set to join the action, as well as King Leoric the Skeleton King. Eternal Conflict is due in a couple of weeks on June 30.
While not the Half-Life 3 reveal almost everyone was praying for (and given how this E3 has gone it wouldn’t have been unprecedented), the final guest on the PC Gaming Show was Sean Murray of Hello Games with No Man’s Sky. He brought with him a short trailer, and the news that everyone has been waiting for; No Man’s Sky will release on Playstation 4 and PC simultaneously, despite Sony trying their hardest to make the game seem like a PS4 exclusive. As far as “megaton” announcement’s go, that one’s not too bad…