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E3 2019

Devolver Digital’s Big Fancy Press Conferences

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Devolver Digital E3 conference

Every year, developers from around the world gather in June to showcase their most secret and anticipated projects. In the months leading up to E3, gamers witness the spectacle of influencers and industry veterans discussing the rumors of what might be, further fueling their desired announcements come to life. In the spirit of fun and excitement, E3 allows for the passion of gaming to be broadcast on a world stage and recognized for its influence on the entertainment industry.

Now that the industry is approaching the eve of E3, OnlySP is counting down the days remaining in a segment we like to call ‘12 Days of E3’. Please join OnlySP in celebrating an event that can be described as Christmas for Gamers, as we come together in anticipation for E3 2019!


Devolver Digital exploded onto the E3 stage, quite literally, for the first time back in 2017 in one of the most bizarre yet brilliant conferences of the entire show, check-a-look.

Nina Struthers, played perfectly by Mahria Zook, leads the charge as the charismatic, and often scary, spokesperson for Devolver Digital. The entire show cuts between actual gameplay and trailers for the company’s projects and hilarious sketches.

Devolver pulls no punches and target every controversial cliché synonymous with AAA game companies including the publisher’s own introduction of “Lootboxcoins”. However, not even independent developers are safe as Devolver unveiled a brand new early access platform titled Earliest Access described as “a revolutionary way to hastily rush unfinished game content out to consumers.” Devolver also pokes some fun at the gaming community by allowing Comment Created Content, a way for players to actively change a title by voicing their grievances in online forums. Each introductory speech is littered with dozens of technical nonsense words designed to impress the audience without actually meaning anything.

The whole performance feels like a well-executed Saturday Night Live sketch complete with industry cameos such as Japanese game designer Goichi Suda and IGN’s Jessica Chobot. Nina Struthers returned for the 2018 show by immediately calling out battle royale games and the recent nostalgia-fuelled trends. Devolver once more calls out those ugly trends that make E3 a double edged sword, such as “live” gameplay footage that clearly comes from a very scripted scene that will mostly likely never be included in the final release (here’s looking at you Anthem and Rainbow Six Siege). One disappointing aspect about the 2018 show is that the first game announced by Devolver at the event is ironically a Steam Early Access survival game.

Despite how well executed both shows are, they almost did not happen. The entire show was conceived only a month prior to the event. Devolver had approached Imagos Films with the idea after previously working with them on Get Ghouled and other live-action projects. Once given the script, Imagos Films had just three weeks to produce the footage for the outrageous 15 minute sketch. One of the charming aspects of the show is that the time and effort that goes into the jokes and jabs ultimately comes from a place of kindred spirits. Despite the deep cutting jokes, Devolver never comes across as malicious or as if it, as a publisher, is above the others. The very fact that the company attend E3 demonstrates that, in a way, the company is not afraid to poke fun at itself.

While the shows do not offer much in terms of actual gaming content, they offer a refreshing breather from the monotonous spoon feeding from some other studios. Initially, audience members could be forgiven for believing that even the gameplay is an elaborate ruse due to the insane nature of Devolver Digital’s projects.

So be warned, avid E3 viewers, as Devolver Digital’s Big Fancy Press Conference will return in 2019 and it can only get crazier from here. Stay tuned for more of our 12 Days of E3 by following OnlySP on FacebookTwitter, and YouTube. Also, be sure to join the discussion in the community Discord server.

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E3 2019

Biomutant is Vibrant, Unique, and a Hell of a Lot of Fun

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biomutant

THQ Nordic had a bevy of games available to play on the show floor at this year’s E3. While some attendees eagerly lined up to play Darksiders Genesis (as our own Michael Cripe did), others sought to finally get their hands on Experiment 101’s highly unique Biomutant for a hands-on, 30-minute demo. Thankfully, Biomutant’s E3 demo is more than enough proof that the will end up being something truly special.

After selecting their preferred language, players were given the option to recode their mutant’s DNA, serving as Biomutant’s version of a character customizer. The customization options were satisfying. A circle graph appears on the screen with five key skills the player must find their preferred balance between: strength, agility, intellect, charisma, and vitality. A sixth skill, luck, was also present, but it was not one that the player could influence from the circle graph. This graph not only influences the player’s mutant’s skills but it also directly changes the mutant’s appearance.

Other customization options included determining the mutant’s fur length and primary and secondary colors. Once these options were set, the demo thrusts the player into a mission that begins with riding a hot air balloon  while the narrator speaks of the excitement of an adventure. Enemies begin firing to bring down the hot air balloon and the player is dropped into the action.

Biomutant

The world of Biomutant immediately pops, as the colors were sharp and invoked thoughts of Ratchet &Clank with a slightly more comic-book style. The visuals reflected the conditions of the area, too, with vibrant reds representing intense heat being a memorable example. The first thing that stood out about this sequence was how great the combat felt. Similarly to Insomniac’s Spider-Man and Rocksteady’s Arkham series, sliding through an enemy’s legs while kicking, punching, and shooting felt tight and familiar. In some instances, the game slowed down when a knockout blow was dealt, which was a nice cinematic touch.

Progressing forward saw the player in an area with additional enemies with a larger, more intimidating foe acting as the main objective. This section introduced the Super Wushu attack, which varies depending on the equipped weapon. The most rewarding of these attacks was with the Klonk Fist which was obtained later in the demo. The Klonk Fist offered huge gauntlets that could pummel multiple enemies by mashing the action button.

The key to unlocking the Super Wushu attack involves stringing together combos which felt fairly easy to do. I do not recall ever losing my combo to an enemy attack, as I obtained the special attack fairly often. The combat allowed for those who wished to mash the melee or firing button but also rewards the players who are more tactical in their combos while mixing in shooting with melee attacks.

Biomutant

With the tutorial for the demo out the way, the game continues by having the player go to a different part of the planet. This new area showcased the vibrant greens and life that contrasted the overheated reds from the previous area. After some platforming, the demo descends the player down into the world where Gizmo the Greasemonkey resides.

Biomutant NPC dialogue is spoken by the narrator from the beginning of the demo while the player’s character makes vague sounds during the conversation. This exchange felt a bit underwhelming for the action-RPG as options did not hold any consequences for how the next section plays out and can be skipped without missing out on much of the story or mission objective.

After descending down and exiting an elevator shaft, the player enters a dark, oil-spilt area. The color palette here reflected the same pop to its visuals as the other sections. A mech suit, which was required to clean up the oil, controlled fine, though combat definitely felt better out of the mech suit than in it.

A final enemy awaited which served as the boss fight for the mission. This fight contained three phases with the enemy adding a new attack method from in the second. The third phase, however, took place inside the creature. After taking him down from the inside, the planet’s Tree of Life becomes more alive as indicating a reversal of destitute for the planet.

The demo confirmed the anticipation OnlySP had for Biomutant. The combat felt great and the visuals really popped. THQ Nordic and Experiment 101 may something special on their hands if the rest of the game plays as the demo did.

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