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Sunday Times - - Gaming - WORDS BY Sylvia McK­e­own

Thou­sands of gam­ing geeks de­scended upon Los Angeles for the Elec­tronic En­ter­tain­ment Expo, or for those with their fin­gers on the X but­ton pulse, E3. Each year the stu­dios outdo them­selves as the games and trail­ers be­come more beau­ti­ful, more graph­i­cally mind-blow­ing, and all with sto­ries that chal­lenge the genre. Most peo­ple queued to ex­pe­ri­ence some of the big­gest games this year. These in­cluded Black Ops 4, Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Last of Us II (all of which look amaz­ing) — al­though

Fort­nite still ran the show. Here is a tiny slice of a few games that de­buted at E3.

Be­yond Good and Evil 2

Nine years ago we were promised a se­quel to a 2003 game that was tech­ni­cally a com­mer­cial fail­ure at launch, but that turned out to be an im­mensely fun cult game. It fol­lowed a pho­tog­ra­pher pi­rate lady called Jade and her pig-man friend as they found them­selves hav­ing to save the world.

Now, the se­quel is fi­nally here. Every­one was de­lighted when Ubisoft ended its pre­sen­ta­tion with a cin­e­matic trailer. All the orig­i­nal crew are back with a me­nagerie of half-hu­man an­i­mal crea­tures. And to in­clude fans of the orig­i­nal, Ubisoft has ex­panded its “space mon­key pro­gram”, where fans can have a say how the game is made, by part­ner­ing up with ac­tor Joseph Gor­donLe­vitt’s HitRecord to pay fans to make art and mu­sic for the game.

Death Strand­ing

Hideo Ko­jima’s new­est game af­ter the leg­end closed the door on his Metal Gear legacy prom­ises to be a game changer. In its fourth mys­te­ri­ous trailer, we find ac­tor Nor­man Ree­dus (pic­tured, Walk­ing Dead) as a post-apoc­a­lyp­tic de­liv­ery man who tra­verses bar­ren waste­lands with cu­ri­ous pack­ages — some of which are ba­bies in ar­ti­fi­cial wombs. The world Ko­jima has built ap­pears vast and iso­lat­ing, but that doesn’t mean you’re alone. There are cameos from ac­tor Léa Sey­doux and the ghost of Lind­say Wag­ner, but not all those who roam the waste­lands can be seen — es­pe­cially the things that want to eat you. Never have hand­prints in mud been so men­ac­ing.

Cy­ber­punk 2077

CD Project Red (CDPR) — the same minds be­hind the mega-smash Witcher — is a strong can­di­date for top game pre­sen­ta­tion at E3. CDPR has left the Ger­rald’s mag­i­cal past be­hind for the gritty un­der­belly of the fu­ture with a game whose aes­thetic is a bright play­ground wrought into a neon hy­brid of Drive, Blade Run­ner, Fifth El­e­ment, Judge Dredd and En­ter the Void. This first per­son shooter ap­par­ently breaks the mold of game­play thanks to the use of aug­men­ta­tion where your char­ac­ter goes be­yond the sim­ple “up­grade” gam­ing trope and be­comes all the more im­mer­sive just as it would if you your­self were choos­ing how you would up­date your own body. Your de­signed char­ac­ter is a small mer­ce­nary cog in a much big­ger ma­chine of un­ruli­ness and de­bauch­ery in a city where ev­ery build­ing is prac­ti­cally a city unto it­self.

Cy­ber­punk 2077

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