This year, Maximum Games has a full host of new games they’re releasing, in a surprisingly large variety of genres. While I didn’t personally get to try them all out, I was able to get my hands on a couple, and it was quite the experience.
The first of their line up, and the one I enjoyed the most, was Road Rage. Imagine a GTA-like open environment, add real world physics, and then give yourself a motorcycle and heavy melee weapon of your choice. The game has various levels, some purely racing (and beating people up with your weapon) while other levels are closer to time trials, just to name a couple. There’s also plenty of room to just free ride, and beat up pedestrians. The graphics are nice, and everything has a very satisfying feel to it, even occasionally wiping out. Well, especially wiping out, if you manage to do so on purpose; there’s something fulfilling about finding yourself head-over-spokes knowing that you totally nailed that annoying pedestrian who was in your way, and that it was totally worth crashing into a fire hydrant as a result. And while the game is still in development, it promises a lot of features to come: a host of various motor cycles, makeovers and upgrades for said bikes, a bunch of costumes for yourself, and of course, a lot of different weapons to choose from.
Taking a similar theme, but in a different direction, is the upcoming Mack McMorris Infinite Air, an all-new breed of snowboard game. While racing is certainly a part of this game, there’s much more that it has to offer. For the first time, we’re being handed a snowboarding game with not only procedurally generated courses, but entire mountains. Better than that though, you can actually define how the mountain builds itself using filters and a course builder. Want a section (or an entire run) of the mountain to have no trees, because trees are the root of all evil and have a habit of jumping right in front of you from out of nowhere? Done. Want a full trick park with all the rails, half pipes, and jumps than you can throw a snowball at? Done. Want to make a replica of your favorite real world courses and mountains? Done. And not only is your trip into the snow fully customizable, but your character and board are too, featuring a host of current snowboarding all-stars that we’re totally not allowed to tell you about yet.
The last of the games I tried my hand at is in a different genre altogether. Troll and I is a folktale-like story where, if playing alone, you alternate between characters (a troll and a boy) or, if playing with a friend, you each control one of the two characters. The graphics for Troll and I are simply astounding, and at some points quite visceral, considering the almost childlike nature of the game. The pace is fairly slow at first, but speeds up soon after. That said, some of the puzzles are fairly tricky to figure out, so be prepared to do some creative thinking. If nice relaxing games with beautiful environments are your thing though, this is certainly the game for you.
All things considered, Maximum Games came to E3 with a lot to offer, and they certainly didn’t disappoint. And while they might not currently be seen as one of the giants in the game industry, it’s easy to see them getting there from here, if they keep up their quality and diversity in games. If you haven’t been following them yet, now is an amazing time to start.