Tokyo Game Show 2013 Highlights Part 2
The Tokyo Game Show may not have had the headline grabbing game announcements that the likes of E3 and GDC enjoyed this year but there was still plenty of opportunity to get to grips with some great upcoming titles. We already looked
at the likes of Deep Down, Yakuza Ishin and Dark Dreams Don't Die (D4) in part one of our highlights, but what else caught our eye?...
Namco Bandai's PS3 exclusive Ace Combat: Infinity is the series' first outing in the free-to-play space and one that's shaping up rather nicely. Before we look at the gameplay, let's just get the business model aspects out of the way. Infinity will be monetised through players purchasing 'Sortie Fuel', a limited resource that you must be spent to undertake missions. Once you've run out of Sortie Fuel you can either wait for it to build back up (no word on how long that will take) or spend real money to refill it instantly (no word on how much that will cost).
The promise is that none of the game's planes, weapons, missions etc will ever be linked to real money purchases. Hopefully, that remains true once it's released later this year. Okay, finances covered. Gameplay...
Co-op is the focus of Infinity, with the bulk of the game's initial launch content centred around missions which see you team up with other human pilots in teams of up to four players. These missions throw a number of squads together onto the same map, with your goal being the first group to complete the objective - i.e. destroy a particular NPC aircraft or take out an enemy base. There will be no competitive multiplayer, although producer Kazutoki Kono did tell me that he is open to introducing it later down the line if players ask for it in high enough numbers.
I'm told that the reason for focusing on co-op is that - this being a free-to-play game - Namco expects a lot of players new to the series to sign up and, as such, they want to foster an environment in which rookies don't feel overwhelmed by the skill of others. Kono explained that he wants veteran Ace Combat players to train and teach new players, rather than simply prey off of them in a bid to improve their own standing in the game.
Two levels were shown, one focusing on dog fights and the other on assaulting a ground base. Everything feels incredibly similar to the Ace Combat we know, which is the very reason the game is looking so promising. Other than the structure, there really isn't anything here that series hasn't done before. With so many retail games compromising on what makes them appealing when attempting to assault the F2P realm, it's refreshing to see a newcomer attempt to provide an experience grounded in the same principles as the core entries.
On the other end of the spectrum was the full-retail Xbox One exclusive Dead Rising 3. Like Inifinity, the focus of the demo was co-op - although much less emphasis was placed on sophisticated teamwork. If you were one of the people put-off by how serious Dead Rising 3 looked when first revealed earlier in the year at E3, then this showing is the answer to your prayers. It's pants to the wall crazy, beyond the point of ridiculousness, with 'serious' seemingly a dirty word.
Unlike previous Dead Rising games, this third instalment allows you to play co-op without the limitation of a game clock pressuring you to push on and complete objectives before it ticks down to zero. While that feature is still available in Dead Rising 3's 'Nightmare' difficulty, by default you're able to explore the world and wreak havoc at your leisure.
As a result, the team at Capcom Vancouver has been able to put more focus on allowing players to just have fun. Every weapon and vehicle in the game is able to be combined with others to create super editions of themselves. Combine a steam roller with a motorcycle and you get the Rollerhog, a contraption that looks like a sadistic ride-on lawnmower of sorts. It's also got a flamethrower attached, because... why not?