How a New IP Won E3 for Me
I spent most of E3 itching for news of Fire Emblem Fates. Anyone who knows me knows that the Fire Emblem series is by far one of my favorites. I do love Kingdom Hearts and the Final Fantasy series, but my excitement for their presentations came and went. I had my own agenda to chase and no intentions of slowing down.
I did slow down though. Imagine my surprise when the game that did the trick was one I didn't even know existed:
It's not very often that a brand new IP completely vacates my brain. I, like many people, often succumb to the human tendency to compare things. The Horizon Zero Dawn trailer was able to override that process.
Many trailers nowadays are oversaturated with fanservice, whether it be nostalgia or nudity. The expectations of the gaming populace command this reality, which is why it thrives. Give the people what they want, right?
New IPs are not bound by this rule, though. If a bar hasn't yet been set, everything is limbo. As such, we find ourselves like children, waiting for the helicopter to land. This spoonfeeding is necessary for us to properly acquire new tastes – and that's the best time to serve up some prime backstory.
The game's world has been described as "post-post-apocalyptic," being set during the flourish after the fall of mankind. This is the realization of our humanity: all things new are built through destruction. Is it an original concept? Not at all, but, then again, what is? The execution here is what made all the difference.
The beautiful landscape, tribal music, mechanical fauna, and thoughtful narrative came together in a commanding rush – and one I haven't felt in a while. Aloy, the heroine, has a voice weighted with a sense of reverence and responsibility. One of her lines, "Sorry, little one, but I couldn't let you call for help," really stood out to me. It challenged my own civilized survival instincts.
Guerrilla Games has most definitely gotten me with this one. I'm excited to see them trying their hand at RPGs, especially if this is the direction they're taking. Video games are a conglomerate of multiple artforms, where skimping on any piece is disenchanting of the whole. Speaking as someone with an extensive background in the arts, I'm pleased to say that I currently have no arguments here.
Keep an eye out for Horizon Zero Dawn, coming exclusively to PlayStation 4 in 2016!