Blood, gore, dark comedy and 80s film references – of course, what else would you expect from Devolver Digital? Well, they certainly had some interesting games to show…
Devolver Digital knew they had a tall order to fill after last year’s surprise (and surprisingly funny) pre-recorded press conference. It began like any other keynote: an executive type in neutral color business attire standing before a crowd of cheering people. But as the cheering continued, it gradually became clear that Devolver’s presentation would be anything but normal. (You can view the conference below, but be aware it carries trigger warnings for violence, body horror, gore and language. I’m really super serious on this. You have been warned – ed)
The following 15 minutes has been viewed nearly 400,000 times on YouTube for good reason: Nina Struthers (played brilliantly by Mahria Zook): Chief Synergy Officer for Devolver Digital and her assistants mocked concept of conventions like E3 viciously with a devil-may-care glee.
It was a treat to see amidst several days of actually stuffy performances read off of teleprompters or rehearsed beyond sounding genuine. But then Devolver decided to do it again, fully aware that the element of surprise would not work in favor of their performance. True to form, the leaned into it during this year’s lead up.
Devolver Digital E3 Press Conference 2018
Sunday, June 10 @ 8PM Pacific
Apologies in advance. pic.twitter.com/z22K4L0bC1
— Devolver Digital (@devolverdigital) May 18, 2018
And so, after usurping her spot from a battle royale-happy poser, Nina Struthers and her assistant Margaret took the stage for a second time, teasing not just the crowd, the developers, or the conference – but also themselves for seemingly having the audacity to bottle lightning twice.
Oh, and they also revealed some games.
Scum Makes You Work for Your Freedom
Scum, developed by Gamepires and produced by Croteam, throws 64 players as condemned convicts onto a remote island. They have two objectives: remove the brain implant that makes escape impossible, and then make good on that escape. A number of systems for achieving that goal involve earning fame points by completing challenges, tracking different biological stats like vitamins and calories to improve interactions like carry weight and speed. On a more… visceral layer, your characters will need to handle normal bodily functions, but doing so will leave behind very trackable evidence for your foes.
No release date was announced, but the game is planned for Steam Early access later this year.
Take Violent Directions from a Banana in My Friend Pedro
Developed by Deadtoast Entertainment and produced by Devolver Digital, My Friend Pedro is a beautiful choreographed dance of murder and mayhem. Watching the player character pirouette across tables, tucking their arms to their side as twin submachine guns eviscerate the five goons inside the room, is almost hypnotic.
This is not a game about ducking for cover, peeking out only to madly spray bullets before hiding again. Nor is this a Doom-esque run and gun where any moment not spent sprinting towards your next foe is a moment wasted.
No, My Friend Pedro almost looks like a 2D platformer wherein your understanding of the environment and game physics is the most important skill. In the short but beautiful demo, heads were removed and then punted into another body; bullets were reflected down and off a hanging metal plate, cutting down the enemies a floor below in a fashion that would make your high school calculus teacher proud; a frying pan was shot up a shaft and then bounced with more bullets, sending them skittering about the room above in a deadly ricochet pattern.
My Friend Pedro looks like a treat to play and watch, and I can already imagine the sick feats players might be able to pull off, all at the behest of sentient banana with a vaguely Spanish accent.
An Inscrutable Classic Returns to PC, PS4 and Xbox One
Days before E3 began, Devolver Digital tweeted out a photo that, to most, made no sense.
— Devolver Digital (@devolverdigital) June 8, 2018
I looked like a darkened version of the presidential seal at first blush, but it was actually artwork used for a 2004 XBox game that would later reach cult classic status – Metal Wolf Chaos.
Released in Japan only by From Software before they made the Souls games and Bloodborne, Metal Wolf Chaos featured mechs, a ludicrous take on American politics (with eerily similar undertones), and hilariously overacted voice work.
Now, developer General Arcade and producer Devolver Digital are remastering it, saying it will include “upgraded visual fidelity, refined controls and gameplay, a new save system, and 4K [and] 16:9 support for modern displays.”
Players wanting to step into the role of Michael Wilson, usurped 47th president and ace mech pilot will get their chance when Metal Wolf Chaos XD is released later this year.
But what, I hear you ask, of the story of Nina Struthers? After the announcement of Metal Wolf Chaos she confidently informed the crowd that that was it, and the show was over, and turned to leave the stage. Before she could, however, she was accosted by the unfortunate soul who lost an arm in the 2017 conference. He had a small arsenal of weapons and a cross to bear, leading to a pitch-perfect Robocop parody in which we are assured that, against all odds, Nina Struthers will return… At E3 2019.