Tom’s Hardware E3 2017 Highlights

A Fox Wearing A Tunic

E3 was rife with AAA titles presented by big-name developers. However, the E3 Media Indie Exchange (MIX) hosted a number of indie games that you wouldn’t normally find on the show floor. Out of the dozens of titles we saw, Tunic caught our attention the most. In this game, you take control of an adorable tunic-wearing fox who arrives on a mysterious island. The play style emphasizes exploration and puzzle solving, which is largely reminiscent of the bird's eye-view style of the Zelda franchise’s early titles.

The game was filled with hidden passageways and secrets that you won’t be able to pick up on initially, but replaying the game will let you discover these tucked-away pieces of content.

Use Sound To Guide Your Way

Stifled is a survival horror VR title that throws you into the dark. In Stifled, everything is pitch black, and the only way you can navigate is through echolocation. Using the mic, you can make sounds that will briefly highlight the immediate area; the louder the noise, the more of your surroundings you can see. However, fearsome creatures stalk in the darkness, and you need to be totally silent if you want to sneak by undetected. If the fear squeezes a shriek out of you, probably don’t want to find out what happens next.

The Return Of The Classic RTS

Microsoft dropped a bombshell during the PC Gaming Show by announcing Age of Empires: Definitive Edition, 20 years after its initial release. The upcoming game isn’t just a modern port; it’s a top-down remake. Every graphic, from the terrain, to the character sprites, to the animations have been redrawn to reflect a modern system’s capabilities. Gameplay has been rebalanced so that the metagame won’t be dominated by a handful of units and factions. Even the beloved soundtrack has been recomposed and re-recorded by an orchestra.

Age of Empires: Definitive Edition looks to be a labor of love for Microsoft, and hopefully the much-needed bug fixes and modern aesthetic will bring old players back and “wololo” new players into the fold.

A Race For Revenge

Even though it wasn’t on the show floor, Ghost Games showed its first gameplay video for the upcoming Need for Speed: Payback. The game’s initial trailer made it look like something out of a Fast and Furious movie, but the developers promise more than that. It will put you in control of three characters as they blaze a path of revenge against The House, a dangerous group that controls multiple facets of Fortune City, including the casinos, criminals, and most importantly, the police.

Take To The High Seas (Again)

Skull & Bones, a new game from Ubisoft Singapore, made its debut this week. The naval combat game borrows heavily from Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag in terms of its gameplay mechanics, but the rest of the content is something that the studio will develop on its own. At E3, we tried a player-versus-player mode called Loot Hunt, and when the game comes out later this year, it will also have a single-player experience wherein you’ll travel the ocean in search of enemies (some of which will be other players) and precious loot to upgrade your ship with cosmetic items or offensive capabilities.

The Return Of ‘Metroid Prime’

Before E3 opened its doors, Nintendo hosted an online stream where it showed some of its upcoming titles, one of which was a new Metroid game titled Metroid Prime 4. All we got to see was an extremely short teaser video, but we know that the game is being developed for the Nintendo Switch. The last Metroid game with the “Prime moniker” came out in 2007 with the release of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. Nintendo didn’t provide a release date for the new title, but we can expect more information to arrive at some point in the future.

Mixed Reality Demo Streaming On A Single System

Mixed reality--in this case meaning the act of simultaneously showing viewers both the real world and whatever someone is seeing within a VR HMD--is a technique involving a camera, a green screen, and a powerful VR-capable system. This effectively creates an image of you within the VR world, and as you can imagine, this could be a great source of entertainment for developers and Twitch streamers alike. However, all of the above is an incredibly hefty workload, and 4-, 6-, and even 8-core processors will struggle to handle it while simultaneously streaming.

During E3, Intel showcased the prowess of its upcoming 12-core Skylake X i9-7920X, which was capable of handling a mixed reality demo and stream of Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality without breaking a sweat.

Thin, Light, And Powerful

Nvidia’s Max-Q design, which it announced during Computex, promises thinner and lighter laptops without significant performance compromises. One such Max-Q model was displayed at the Origin PC booth, and it certainly lived up to Nvidia’s thin-and-light expectation: The Max-Q laptop runs about 19.3mm thick and weighs 4 lbs. It can also support up to a GTX 1070, which was previously unheard of for a laptop with those physical dimensions.

  • clonazepam
    I was hoping for some news from Fromsoft. 'Anthem' might be interesting. 'Monster Hunter World' could be too. What's coming up next? Tokyo Game Show?
  • problematiq
    Age of flippin empires 1.. WOO..lolo!