Here are my hot takes on unreleased games, judged on marketing videos, that caught my attention because I finished my law exams. So now you have to deal with my bad opinions.
Watch Dogs Legion
This is a sequel I did not expect.
Oh, I expected a sequel to Watch Dogs 2, but I didn’t expect one where there’s no central character but where everyone is a playable character, with branching narratives created dynamically. Where you can play as anyone from a streetwise brawler with a stereotypical appearance and voice to a pensioner with engineering skills that can barely climb a barricade. It looks fancy as hell and I’m very impressed if they pull it off. The creators not afraid to state their politics and take the bold, controversial stance that *checks notes( totalitarianism is bad.
My issue: The devs say you can play as anyone since anyone has a reason to join the resistance. But totalitarianism is not maintained by only benefitting the powerful few; it is also sustained by its reflecting underlying bigotry held by the powerless and the many. It cannot be that everyone has a moral compass aimed in the same direction even when systems blatantly poison their lives: Ask men who mock notions of toxic masculinity and berate feminists who point it out; ask people of colour who love Hitler.
The master stroke of totalitarian control is the conducting of hums of hatred into symphonies of fascism. It cannot be the case that everyone has a reason to join the resistance, even though this may be objectively true. I hope the devs confront this nuance: Something like attempting to recruit someone who’d rather rat you out than join.
Despite a toxic fanbase, CD Projekt Red’s games have done a lot for me: The Witcher 3’s world is one I return to when I find myself overwhelmed. The characters are familiar to me and I relish in spending time with Geralt. A lot has happened in my life since I started playing it only a few years ago and it felt like a rock to hang on to.
But, CDPR’s other departments have been gross especially toward trans people. Kotaku’s Heather Alexandria spoke to CDPR about it and they said “mistakes happen”.
With regards to Cyberpunk, not much was really shown. We got a fairly generic pre-rendered cutscene ending with the coolest man in the world. I didn’t really pay attention to it. We did get a release date, though.
I’ve never understood the Halo franchise: I tried the Masterchief Collection on Xbox One and was bored to tears. So this was meaningless to me. I hope it’s good?
Look, I really enjoyed Doom (2016), but… it got stale very quickly. It’s strange to me that a game that’s so furious in its action, grand in its setpieces and self-aware in its metal machismo could bore me but there’s always a point. I’ve tried three times to play this to completion and just could not. Doom Eternal looks chaotic and nothing but an expansion on Doom 2016: And given how good that game felt to play, I’m not sure there’s more we could ask for. Oh: Actually there is and they gave it. Fighting in Heaven. So there’s that.
Star Trek Jedi Fallen: Orders
What an absolute yawn fest they showcased. It was generic as hell – yes, it was extremely beautiful and the robot was absolutely adorable. But it was uninteresting. I’m not sure what the selling point was. Some generic white lead protagonist, waving a sword around. Yay.
Look, The Evil Within 2 is one of my favourite games of all time. In top 5. So this from the same folks, lead by Shinji Makami’s protégé, Ikumi Nakamura, has me excited. But we got no gameplay and no details. It could be a spiritual sequel to The Evil Within 2 or it could be a spiritual copy of Metal Gear Survive for all we know. Hesitant optimism.
The Elder Scrolls: Fallout
I have long, nurtured, deep abiding hatred for Bethesda’s RPGs. They’re all boring, broken nonsense. It was baffling watching Bethesda’s crowd yelp in joy at crappy mobile games with predatory gambling mechanics; it was weird to see them cheer the addition of assets that should’ve been included in that disaster called Fallout 76. It’s like celebrating a chef not burning food. It was a weird presentation with creepy “fandom” pulsating through my speakers in reaction to the most bland, generic games that belong in some bargain bin marked “PS3”.
I adore Arkane so was very happy to see they have a new IP with the great name of Deathloop. The concept is Spy v Spy meets Edge of Tomorrow and the trailer showcased two black leads! We didn’t get any gameplay details, but considering it’s Arkane and they emphasised intricate level design, I’m extremely extremely interested. More. Of. This.
Which did I leave out that’s not Final Fantasy or an MMO or sports or driving or Tom Clancy?