With E3 here and gone we are left in the wake of all the big news that was announced at the numerous conferences.
What we aim for in this article is to sum up as much as we can.
After having watched a full day worth of light shows, loud music and the odd new game here and there, the tiredness kicked in – after all the Sony conference was at 2am….. – this years E3 was all about the games, and it showed quite clearly that the shift in console power has truly changed.
First up was Microsoft – I know what your thinking, where is the Bethesda, but in all honesty I missed the footage, although Fallout 4, Doom…yes!!! – I missed about half of the Microsoft conference, but from what was seen, I don’t think that anything major was missed. Yes a new Forza was announced with a Ford GT being dropped from the ceiling, a new peripheral called a Hololens was shown off whilst playing Minecraft, thats great…why dont you show off a piece of kit that makes playing one of the most popular games out there cool. How many parents have now had to put aside hundreds of pounds just to make sure they get one for their kids when it eventually gets released?
The announcement of backwards compatibility seemed a bit of a panic move for Microsoft, why wasn’t this put onto the console from the beginning, it could have been a major selling point for Microsoft, but they left it out and after being behind on sales they decide that now is the time to bring it to the masses. FAIL!
Next was the EA conference, this one was a top watch for me, being a massive Electronic Arts fan I awaited news of the first golf game to be released on the current generation of consoles, and what did I get….a slightly longer trailer than what I have already seen. This almost made me cry…after all we are only 4 weeks from release and having no gameplay makes me worry that there is going to be a last minute delay on the game.
Then came Unraveled…EA announced that they were showing off a new game, in a genre that nobody would have thought, and they were right…They introduced Martin Sahlin, visibly shaking, and he in turn introduced us to Unravel. You play a ball of yarn (string) called Yarny, the game itself is a physics based platform puzzler where you have to get him to the end of the level safely by using your yarn to swing across dangers. In the trailer for the game we see gorgeous scenery a sense of realism with Yarny’s movements.
The usual splattering of sports releases were shown off, a few different Star Wars games were announced, and then the big one…Star Wars Battlefront, we were shown some more footage of what may be one of the most eagerly anticipated games of 2015 (it better not get delayed) The gameplay trailer showed us what a full scale battle would be like, and the backdrop…Hoth! We started the trailer by running through the tunnels as Han did on Empire Strikes Back, we get outside and there are Tie Fighters, X-Wing, Snowspeeders, AT-ST’s and AT-AT’s all going around the area, the footage was frenetic but never seemed there was too much going on at one time. The sounds were just like watching the films, tears started filling my eyes as boyhood dreams of flying a Snowspeeder, deploying my tow cable and taking down on of the most feared ground vehicles in Star Wars history. Suddenly we get greeted by Darth Vader on the battlefield…force choking a poor unfortunate rebel, but its ok because in the next breath Luke Skywalker comes to town and the gameplay ends with a minute lightsaber battle between the two.
Afterwards I had a little while to wait for the Ubisoft show which allowed me to calm down and bring back my fan boy under control. Ubisoft greeted us with Aisha Taylor, a self-professed gamer and one of the voice actresses in Watchdogs, Halo Reach and Gears of War 3 as well as being the host of the Ubisoft press conference since 2012. We were greeted with some new footage for The Division, and the game is looking awesome, giving gamers the freedom to work with or against other players you encounter in this open world. Ghost Recon was given a new game in Wildlands, and having played a lot of the Ghost Recon games, this got my taste buds tingling, set in Bolivia in the near-future the trailer showed many different methods of taking down a target. This game is going to be great if you have a group of you that can work together.
Then came Rainbow Six: Siege, where everything is destructible, we watched the game mode Terrohunt, and follows a group of armed operatives taking a building by force, and securing a package. This game will be hard, it will be tense and it will be brilliant…I am putting my neck on the line and stating that when this game is released next year it will be massively popular among the FPS world.
There were a few other games that got shown to us, a new update for The Crew, a Minions based mobile game, the newest Assassins Creed Syndicate…but the game that made me sit up and take notice was For Honor, a 4v4 battle game which attempts to give you the feeling that you are in the battle. Feeling the weight of the weapon in your hand, and the force that your shield gets struck with. It looked glorious, and the demo that was shown to us had a nice bit of decapitation on there as well. When this gets its release it might be one of the hidden gems on show at the whole conference.
Next up, and the final press conference I got to watch was Sony. I will start by saying that I own a PlayStation4 and was very excited to see what Sony brought to the table, and was in general left unfulfilled. The highlight of the press conference was the new game franchise from Guerilla Games, Horizon. From what we saw it is a post apocalyptic game set in a world that has been overrun by vegetation, its almost a caveman era all over again but with the addition of robotic creatures that you have to defeat. Not much was determined about the story line but we do get to see the fighting in action and it is glorious. The colours are a far distance from the standard grey pallet that Guerilla have used in their previous Killzone games.
We got an extended example of the massive adventure game No Mans Sky, showing us how big the universe is within the game and the general game mechanics, allowing you to take part in epic space battles, or just go around the planets and discover all the flora and fauna included in the game.
On top of all this we got news of a Final Fantasy 7 remake, a Kickstarter campaign for Shenmue 3, new Hitman, some more Uncharted 4 footage, and a new expansion for Destiny. Sony as always chose to focus on the games, I meant that is why we buy a console afterall.
Aside from all the press conferences there has been an abundance of footage of different games and one that has stood out for me was Mad Max, the open world game based on the Mad Max era, where cars are king and water is a commodity. Avalance Studios showed off 10 minutes of gameplay and it definitely wets my appetite, the Batman-esque fight mechanics, the awesome looking vehicular battles, and then comes the customisation. The game is not based on the latest Fury Road film, but it is based around the same time. The open world albeit sandy and vast is not without its appeal, and with Avalanche Studios revealing how they made the open world by creating a living world with oil rigs, refineries, financial districts, residential areas and then they basically ruined it, I’m sure that other game developers may well use that method in the future.
Possibly the biggest part of the conference was the fact that Sony now have the early access to Call of Duty DLC when Black Ops 3 gets released later this year, its not a great innovation in the gaming world, but it does show the shift in power from Microsoft to Sony.
So, E3 has now gone for another year, and it leaves some big ripples in the gaming pond that might eventually turn into big waves. Nothing too ground breaking, but alot of great games coming to the people.
What were your best its of E3, leave your comments below.