E3 2017: Nintendo Wants All the Biggest Third-Party Games on Switch

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Nintendo plans to keep a steady flow of game releases for the Nintendo Switch.

If it’s a major third-party game or franchise players have been asking for, then Nintendo also wants it on the Nintendo Switch.

“We want every high-quality game to have an opportunity to be played on Nintendo Switch,” Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America’s president and chief operating officer told IGN in an interview at E3 2017. “Every single one. Fill in the blank of third-party, high-quality game really wanted on Nintendo Switch; the answer is yes.”

In addition to maintaining the flow of first-party releases for the Switch, Fils-Aime said Nintendo wants to supplement that schedule with great third-party games.

“We’ve been very thoughtful in making sure we have a strong cadence of launches that are going to keep our fans engaged, going to drive hardware, and continue to propel us forward,” Fils-Aime said. “And certainly as we think back to Wii U, that’s one of the things that we didn’t do as effectively.”

Fils-Aime also explained how Nintendo is trying to make third-party development for the Switch more inviting, starting with “a large, active install base.” So far, Nintendo seems to be meeting that goal with its 2.74 million Switch units sold in less than a month and the Switch reigning as the best-selling console in April.

“Second, from the development tool standpoint, we need to make it easy, and that’s why we have Unreal 4 capable for Nintendo Switch. That’s why we have a full suite of development tools there for the teams,” Fils-Aime said. “We’re working on those specialized [and studios’ internal] game engines and making sure the developers see a path.”

This E3, Nintendo has already revealed several game collaborations with third-party developers for Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim for Switch, and cross-platform multiplayer support for Minecraft on Switch. Fils-Aime said in the interview that there are more third-party games close to being announced for the Switch too.

For every announcement and interview from E3, visit IGN’s E3 2017 event hub.

Miranda Sanchez is an Editor at IGN. You can chat with her about video games and anime on Twitter.

E3 2017: State of Decay 2 First Look: A Traditional Sequel, and That’s OK

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The zombie-survival sequel is best categorized as “Bigger, better, more.”

The traditional video game sequel gives you more of the original, but bigger and, ideally, better. Sometimes this results in a stale product that doesn’t recapture the magic of the original. But other times — like with State of Decay 2, the follow-up to the open-world zombie survival action-RPG — the sequel’s refinement helps the concept live up to its full potential.

State of Decay captivated so many players because it successfully blended so many gameplay elements and systems into its own unique amalgam. The downside was that the technical execution was, well…messy. State of Decay 2 adds to the formula with deeper character systems (read: more traits and emotions), deeper base-building, and a 3X larger game world. And the move to Xbox One — along with more expertise, a new game engine, and what is no doubt a much larger budget  — will hopefully help make this sequel the best it can be.

You invite friends into State of Decay 2 by firing a flare gun into the air.

The gameplay demo I saw behind closed doors at E3 would be completely familiar to anyone who’s played the original — in a good way. In our procedurally generated group were Tiffany, a groundskeeper with a gardening expertise who has guilt issues but never gets sick; and Matt, an action choreographer who’s great at fighting but causes noise and sleep deprivation for the rest of the group because he snores. His skill, work schedule, gives a bonus to your HQ’s available labor.

In order to take advantage of Tiffany’s gardening ability — which meant we could build a farm that would give a boost to our community’s Food stat — we needed seeds to build our farm. Into town we went. And yes, I said “we” because the demo featured two-player co-op (the final game will be four-player through online only; no split-screen is supported). You invite friends into State of Decay 2 by firing a flare gun into the air; anyone on your Xbox Live Friends list who’s set themselves to be available in State of Decay will be brought in.

We began construction on the farm, but that put our noise level into dangerous territory. Sure enough, a horde attacked our base.

We drove into town, searched a few buildings (remember that you can search slowly but quietly or quickly but loudly, the latter of which risks drawing a zombie horde), and finally found the seeds. Then we cleared out and reclaimed the nearby police station as an outpost — a home away from home that, again, will be familiar to anyone who played the first SoD. Seeds in hand, we began construction on the farm, but that put our noise level into dangerous territory. Sure enough, a horde attacked our base.

We raced home to help. We managed to fend them off, human co-op players fighting alongside the NPC allies of the community, with no serious injuries. We only suffered fatigue, which limits your overall stamina until you can sufficiently rest. We’d put everyone at risk in order to construct the farm, but the reward was a Food boost for the entire community. It was a classic State of Decay kind of role-playing/survival encounter.

Meanwhile, the UI has been completely redone, the Community screen now shows head-to-toe models of your community members rather than the little portrait cards like the first game, and, according to Undead Labs studio head Jeff Strain, “inputs and outputs in State of Decay 2 are a lot more clear,” i.e. it’s more obvious what is affecting what. It’s a usual assortment of sequel improvements, but that’s all State of Decay 2 needs. That, and the polish the first game lacked. The former is well on its way. Hopefully the latter will have stepped up its game for the sequel too.

Ryan McCaffrey is IGN’s Executive Editor of Previews and Xbox Guru-in-Chief. Follow him on Twitter at @DMC_Ryan, catch him on Unlocked, and drop-ship him Taylor Ham sandwiches from New Jersey whenever possible.

E3 2017: Agents of Mayhem Introduces New Villain, Gaunt, and New Area, Ark

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The overwhelming wealth of customizability and personality will be Agents of Mayhem’s strength.

Deep Silver’s Agents of Mayhem will be coming to a console near you in just two short months, but the publisher revealed a few more of the open-world adventure game’s secrets during a preview appointment I attended at E3 2017. The primary focus of the demo was to give a general sense of the game loop; if earlier previews had focused just on missions in Seoul, this opportunity to view Agents of Mayhem wanted to give a full sense of the gameplay experience, which we previously described as a blend of Overwatch, Saint’s Row and Crackdown. But I also got to meet August Gaunt, a newly unveiled member of Legion who is a particular fan-favorite of the staff.

I started my demo in the Ark, which is where those who play Agents of Mayhem will find themselves spending a good chunk of their time. This is the common area, and it’s where every modification between missions can be made at the Ark’s various stations. There’s a vehicle bay, armory and “Wreck Room,” which comes complete with a “VR room” that allows you to test out various agent team loads. There’s an agency upgrades station, research and development area (replete with a Cabbit throwback to Deep Silver’s Summoner days) and the intriguing Global Conflict station, which allows you to send out the agents you aren’t bringing in your squad on their own solo missions to earn new items and unlock dungeons.

The Ark seems like an area I’d sink way too much time into, and felt like I barely scratched the surface of it during my demo. The preview I played already had all the stations unlocked, offering an overwhelming amount of customization opportunities for the various agents available. But that is one of the downsides of trying to get a full sense of a game loop during a one-hour demo.

I talked a bit with producer Kate Nelson about how the areas in the Ark will roll out during a normal playthrough, and she described Agents of Mayhem as being designed to slowly introduce these areas. You’ll start with the armory and Persephone’s station unlocked, and throughout the game will also get the Wreck Room, Vehicle Bay and later Global Conflict stations opened. It seems like each addition will feel a lot more seamlessly integrated into Agents of Mayhem; by the time you hit level 10 and can start sending agents on Global Conflict missions, for example, you’ll probably have a few extra agents in your arsenal who aren’t a part of your core crew who you want to keep busy.

There was plenty to explore in the Ark that I didn’t get a chance to dig into. I could have spent the entirety of my hour playthrough just watching all of the agents’ animated cut scenes that introduced them and told snippets of their personal stories. I saw one, which introduced me to Hollywood, the “face” of the Agents of Mayhem — or so he liked to remind everyone. This is where the personality of Agents of Mayhem shines through as it hearkens back to its ’80s cartoon inspiration.

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E3 2017: Agents of Mayhem Introduces New Villain, Gaunt, and New Area, Ark
E3 2017: Agents of Mayhem Introduces New Villain, Gaunt, and New Area, Ark
E3 2017: Agents of Mayhem Introduces New Villain, Gaunt, and New Area, Ark
E3 2017: Agents of Mayhem Introduces New Villain, Gaunt, and New Area, Ark
E3 2017: Agents of Mayhem Introduces New Villain, Gaunt, and New Area, Ark
E3 2017: Agents of Mayhem Introduces New Villain, Gaunt, and New Area, Ark
E3 2017: Agents of Mayhem Introduces New Villain, Gaunt, and New Area, Ark
E3 2017: Agents of Mayhem Introduces New Villain, Gaunt, and New Area, Ark
E3 2017: Agents of Mayhem Introduces New Villain, Gaunt, and New Area, Ark
E3 2017: Agents of Mayhem Introduces New Villain, Gaunt, and New Area, Ark
E3 2017: Agents of Mayhem Introduces New Villain, Gaunt, and New Area, Ark
E3 2017: Agents of Mayhem Introduces New Villain, Gaunt, and New Area, Ark
E3 2017: Agents of Mayhem Introduces New Villain, Gaunt, and New Area, Ark

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E3 2017: Agents of Mayhem Introduces New Villain, Gaunt, and New Area, Ark

“We’ve had so much fun playing back to our childhood of ’80s cartoons and Saturday morning cartoons, but taking that mature spin on it,” Nelson told me. “It’s a more mature theme, so we like being able to explore that. Sometimes when people see it, they’re like, ‘Oh, it’s a cartoon. It’s for children.’ It’s like, no, your children should not play this game. It’s for you for nostalgia, but even for people who didn’t grow up with Saturday morning cartoons, there’s still that love of the humor and the cheeky characters and the over-the-top themes.”

But there was more to do beyond just exploring the Ark: I had to assemble my team and start Operation: Star Power, because it was finally time to go after Gaunt.

There are 12 agents total, and part of the replayability concept of Agents of Mayhem is learning which agents each individual player leans towards and wants to pair with one another. In this playthrough, I opted to go with the three agents selected for me: Hollywood, my soldier; Hardtack, my tank; and Fortune, a hacker whose play type is most similar to a rogue. These are the first three agents you’ll have access to. In-game, Hollywood has dubbed this squad the “Franchise Force,” but in reality, they’re one of several of Agents of Mayhem’s squad teams, or pairings that are especially balanced.

Our mission was to track down August Gaunt, a technology-happy pop musician who the “youths can’t get enough of” and who is effective as an agent of Legion despite his “extravagances.” (He’s also one of Nelson’s favorite characters in Agents of Mayhem.) In Seoul, I tracked him down by using Fortune to hack into one of his car warehouses and stealing his favorite ride, Tiffany, and then tracking him back to one of his exclusive parties where he was using his VR-like tech to control his rabid fans’ minds.

Swapping between my three agents led to different opportunities throughout the mission. By using Fortune, I was able to circumvent the hacking minigames needed to get through some of Gaunt’s tech, but I tended to rely on Hardtack and Hollywood for the bigger fights. And cycling through them allowed for each of their personalities to shine through. As Nelson told me, “We wanted these personalities to be able to clash with the over-the-top personalities on the Legion side.”

The Operation: Star Power mission was one small segment of the “critical path” core storyline, which is taking around 20 to 25 hours for players to work their way through. But there’s plenty of supplementary content to explore, like each agent’s two personal missions, all of the Global Mission options and the later Legion dungeons that can be unlocked. Then, of course, there are the many hours you can sink into fiddling with the many options available at the stations in the Ark.

It becomes clear once you get a small amount of time to engage with Agents of Mayhem that this is a game which will reward replays. It’s not something that you’ll fully be able to absorb in a single playthrough — and especially not a single hour demo session. The personality of Agents of Mayhem will shine through once you get into the nitty gritty of mixing and matching characters, or tweaking equipment and weapons, or completing every Global Mission so you’ll unlock the ultimate Legion dungeons. The overwhelming wealth of customizability and personality will be Agents of Mayhem’s strength for those people who commit the time to learn its language.

Agents of Mayhem is available for pre-order now. For more on Agents of Mayhem, check out the complete guide to its pre-order bonuses, including where you can get the 13th Agent of Mayhem, Saint’s Row’s Johnny Gat.

Terri Schwartz is Editorial Producer at IGN. Talk to her on Twitter at @Terri_Schwartz.

E3 2017: PS4’s Spider-Man Understands What Makes a Great Hero

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“A story about the man behind the mask as much as the man in it.”

It’s a classic Spider-Man scene: Peter Parker is chasing after a bad guy. The dude has a decent head start, but Peter is slowly closing the gap. Web over web, turn after turn, he’s catching up. He’s going to get him.

Then, SNAP!, a huge piece of debris disconnects from a building, hurtling toward the streets below. Peter can stop it, but the guy he’s chasing will get away. If he pushes ahead to catch the guy and ignores the debris, hundreds of people below could be at risk. He has to decide what to do. Now.

Decisions like that have always defined Peter Parker, and the choices he makes define the type of hero he is. The mantra has become a cliche, but with great power does come great responsibility. Peter Parker doesn’t take these decisions lightly. And Insomniac isn’t taking them lightly either.

In a behind closed doors demo of Spider-Man at E3, creative director Bryan Intihar explains that this is Insomniac’s own unique Spider-Man universe, but one that respects the legacy of the franchise. “We want to surprise people, but I don’t want it to be so foreign that this isn’t the Spider-Man I know,” Intihar says.

Peter Parker’s identity is a major part of that legacy. In Insomniac’s Spider-Man, Peter has been doing this for eight years. He’s become a master of combat and traversal; “like an elite athlete at the peak of his career,” according to Intihar. But he’s still just a 23-year-old, figuring out his life, balancing being a hero with being a good man. “We don’t want to make him so powerful that you can’t relate to him, because relatability is so important for this character, a sense of vulnerability. Half of his jokes come from that, and we want to make sure we retain that,” Intihar explains.

Relatability is so important for this character, a sense of vulnerability.

“We talked a lot about what makes the best Spider-Man stories, and it’s when Peter’s world and Spider-Man’s world collide,” he added. Even in our demo, that conflict comes to light. Peter is chasing after Martin Li, the head of a gang called the Demons and a man destined to one day become the villain Mister Negative. But only half of Peter’s mind is on taking down Martin Li as a villain; the other half is thinking about Martin Li as the man who runs a homeless shelter — the homeless shelter where Peter’s Aunt May works.

“This is a story about the man behind the mask as much as the man in it. Expect to see a lot of Peter in this game,” Intihar says.

Spider-Man will indeed be open-world, though once you accept missions such as the one shown in Sony’s E3 conference, there will be fail states for not completing certain objectives, such as not catching up with an enemy in time.

We talked a lot about what makes the best Spider-Man stories, and it’s when Peter’s world and Spider-Man’s world collide.

Intihar confirmed that there’s a logic to web-slinging, and webs will actually attach to buildings rather than arbitrarily shooting into space. “When it comes to traversal, we know this character is identified by his swinging. We want to deliver that, plus deliver things you haven’t seen before. This idea of parkour elements makes it so there are no obstacles in the environment you can’t get around.” Peter’s webs aren’t organic; they’re something he built, and while managing webs won’t be something you have to worry about while playing, Peter’s mastery of technology is something that will come into play.

Finally, Intihar addressed the quick-time events shown in Sony’s conference and emphasized that they’re meant to punctuate blockbuster moments rather than define whole sections of the game. “The superhero experience isn’t fully there unless you have those big set pieces that only someone like Spider-Man can survive,” Intihar says. “For us, that can’t be the game, but you have a sense of spectacle. Sometimes we are going to do things that even break the core of the traversal or the combat. It’s not something we rely on, but it’s something we’re going to use to our advantage.”

“Swinging around the city, combat, things that you’d expect from the game, that’s all there. But we do use those events from time to time to sell certain moments,” he added.

The game won’t be a success if we don’t deliver on the Peter Parker part of this journey.

Details like the role of Miles Morales, additional costumes, and other Marvel cameos are all under wraps for now, but those details are all supplementary compared to the element that Insomniac clearly understands the best: the heart of what makes Spider-Man a hero. “We talk a lot about delivering a human story,” Intihar says.

“He can’t just be the guy in the mask, because after a while there’s going to be a disconnect. You’ve got to show what he’s going through, what he’s experiencing, what he’s thinking, and the challenges of being Peter Parker. It’s very important to us. It’s got to live on that. To me, the game won’t be a success if we don’t deliver on the Peter Parker part of this journey.”

Andrew is IGN’s executive editor of news and occasionally gets mistaken for a former Spider-Man. You can find him rambling about Persona and cute animals on Twitter.

E3 2017: Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus Is a Sadistic Delight

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Brutal, bloody, and very very fun.

MachineGames has listened to the many who found the opening hours of Wolfenstein: The New Order a chore. The first 20 minutes of Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus are ridiculous fun, a breakneck slaughter peppered with a cast of hilarious – and sinister – antagonists. From my time with the game, it seems that The New Colossus is doubling down on the sense of brutal glee so omnipresent in its predecessor.

The New Colossus opens with a badly broken BJ Blazkowicz. The grenade blast that closed The New Order has left him crippled, barely able to crawl his way to a wheelchair. And you do spend the first 20 minutes of The New Colossus in that wheelchair, desperately blasting your way through a compound full of Nazis with a machine gun that sits limply on his lap (for this reason, I didn’t get a true sense of the combat in The New Colossus as a whole, but even wheelchair-bound it feels as satisfying as it ever did.)

Fortunately, the world is built for BJ’s wheels. Conveyer belts and elevators send him flying through the area, blasting nazis in the face in relative style. Like its predecessor The New Colossus features on-the-rails level design, but it’s clever level design that uses vertical space liberally.

It’s funny, too. As I made my way through the compound BJ meets up with his old friend Set Roth, who explains – in broad Jewish stereotype – that he’s set traps throughout the area. As he talks, we see nazis through the window walking into his microwave traps and getting incinerated. It happens a couple of times, a recurring visual gag as Set frets about BJ’s frail physical state.

The sense of fun continued as I gained control of these traps myself. Nazis are the most disposable of commodities in Wolfenstein games, and the idiot lackeys here were more than willing to chase me through Set’s microwaves, leaving nothing behind but their helmets and guns, Looney-Tunes style.

Once outside the compound (I found some grenades that finished things off quickly), BJ is reunited with lover Anya, and it’s here we’re reminded that what separates the rebooted Wolfenstein from Bethesda’s other shooter series Doom is a beating heart. The New Order was surprisingly reflective, and BJ’s relationship with a now pregnant Anya reminds us that despite his trigger-happiness, BJ doesn’t want to be in this war.

The E3 demo closed with a cut-scene, and it’s here we’re reintroduced to Frau Engel, stepping up as the main antagonist of The New Colossus. Engel is a magnificent baddie, despicable, manic, and as unpredictable as she ever was. There’s an extra layer to her this time around thanks to the addition of her daughter Sigrun, her short, chubby disappointment, who she berates constantly for not living up to her blond-haired blue-eyed beauty ideals.

It’s in this relationship that Wolfenstein: The New Colossus reminded me of just how sadistic the series is, in a good way. At the end of the demo Engel instructs a trembling Sigrun to behead a rebel (name withheld for spoilers), and Sigrun holds the axe, sobbing, begging her mother not to make her do it as she is taunted and laughed at by hulking nazis, their faces masked by enough armour to erase any sense of humanity they once might have had.

Lucy O’Brien is an editor at IGN’s Sydney office. Follow her ramblings on Twitter.