Welcome to E3
The moment that gamers have been waiting for is now – E3 is finally here and has kicked off in spectacular fashion. There are a huge amount of announcements, trailers and updates from the first day and there’s no doubt that there will be more, so here is everything in a quick link-heavy E3 Day 1 Rundown.
Microsoft kicked off E3 with a gamer-focused conference. First of all we had gameplay footage of a campaign mission from Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and the news that Call of Duty DLC will still be a timed exclusive on XBox platforms. Microsoft talked a lot about Halo, officially announcing Halo: The Master Chief Collection containing the original games, remastered and will run at 60 fps in full 1080p, with dedicated online servers. The Master Chief Collection will also contain a beta code for Halo 5: Guardians. They moved on to give Rise of the Tomb Raider its world premiere, although details are thin on the ground at present. Assassin’s Creed: Unity was shown and it was confirmed that the game will have the option for 4 play co-operative play – it looks heavily detailed and the on-screen body count was very impressive.
Microsoft showed off another new gameplay trailer for XBox One exclusive Sunset Overdrive – it has been compared to the Tony Hawk skating games with added guns, and it looks beautifully good fun. Forza Horizon 2 was displayed and release date announced. Microsoft briefly discussed ID@XBox, announcing a stealth title by the creators of Limbo, called Inside. There was some gameplay footage from RPG The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on show during the MS show. There will be a Phantom Dust reboot in the near future. Crackdown 3 was formally announced simply as Crackdown and looks as crazy as ever in a trailer. Platinum Games were announced to be working on an XBox One exclusive called Scalebound – it looked like it had borrowed from Monster Hunter and Demon’s Souls – there were some huge dragons in it! There were also updates on Project Spark, Fable: Legends, some new gameplay footage from The Division and some more footage of Dragon Age: Inquisition.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare | Halo: The Master Chief Collection | Halo 5: Guardians | Rise of the Tomb Raider | Assassin’s Creed Unity – Cinematic Trailer | Assassin’s Creed Unity – Gameplay | Sunset Overdrive | Forza Horizon 2 | Inside | Phantom Dust | Crackdown | Scalebound | Dragon Age: Inquisition
Electronic Arts Conference
EAs conference went pretty much as expected with its annual sports games sprinkled throughout in between other massive games. They kicked off talking about Star Wars: Battlefront which will be released in 2015 and is the “Star Wars game we always wanted to make”. Some concept art for the next Mass Effect was shown, but no trailer and/or gameplay. The Sims 4 promises to offer “Smarter Sims. Weirder Stories” and went on to showcase some new additions. Burnout dev Criterion showed bits of footage from it’s un-named new IP which seems to be a mixed extreme sports package including wingsuits, helicopter and snow mobiles – this looks like a really refreshing new idea and could be great fun.
Battlefield Hardline was shown as well as the announcement of the beta for PS4 and PC that went live during the show. New multiplayer cops vs robbers gameplay was shown. EA showed some art and sprinkles of gameplay from Mirror’s Edge 2 although focused on it much less than anticipated. EA Sports showed new NHL, PGA Tour, Madden games alongside Fifa 15 which will include some pretty cool new features like player memories – they will remember if you keep fouling them which could make on field action more heated. Oddly, Titanfall wasn’t mentioned at all.
Ubisoft came out strong with a solid E3 pre-conference. It kicked off with the opening 5 minutes of footage from Far Cry 4 – the lead enemy in the game appears to be totally unhinged; the game already looks like a must-buy. Just Dance 2015 was announced with an updated tracklist – Just Dance Now was also shown, a smartphone app allowing you to play without even a console. Interestingly, Just Dance Now allows players across different platforms to play in sync which, if it works, will be an amazing feature. A new trailer for The Division was shown, although it’s still not clear how much is pre-rendered and how much is realtime gameplay, it does look beautiful though. We finally got some news on MMO racer The Crew with a release date, news of a beta and a trailer.
Ubisoft continued forward showing off a new fitness game, exclusively for the Xbox One and using Kinect called Shape Up – the game aims to make fitness more fun and more of a game than usual fitness titles. There was also an update on the up coming World War game Valiant Hearts. Ubisoft showed a cinematic for next-gen console game Assassin’s Creed Unity, although no mentioned of the rumoured Comet game for PS3 and XBox 360. Unity looks to be pushing the series forward, especially in terms of rich detail. Ubisoft finished off with the stellar announcement of Rainbow Six Siege and showed off great multiplayer footage with some phenomenal destructible environments – Rainbow Six is back!!
Sony were last to the stage but came out and finished the day extremely strong. They kicked off with new Destiny footage, announcing that a glacier white PS4 bundle would be available with a 30 day PS+ code for Destiny’s launch on Sept 9. They also announced that this coming weekend, gamers will get the chance to try out the Destiny Alpha build. They moved on to show some gameplay footage from The Order 1886 – it looks highly atmospheric and jumpy and could be a great new IP for Sony and the PS4. Sony went on to showcase Entwiined – the new game from the Journey devs which went straight onto the PSN store to buy during the show for PS4 with PS3 and Vita cross buy following later.
Sony announced Infamous: First Light – a standalone DLC package which does not require the original game to run. Despite saying they would not attend, Media Molecules came on stage to announce and show LittleBigPlanet 3 – Sackboy is back, along with a cast of new friends and will launch in November 2014. Sony stepped it up a notch, officially announcing Project Beast as an extremely dark game called Bloodborne. They moved on to show the first Far Cry 4 gameplay footage which showed off the Kyrat location, grappling hooks and a wingsuit as well as elephants and helicopters – it looks amazing! A friend can join your Far Cry 4 game co-operatively – even if they don’t have the game!! Moving on, Sony showed the announcement trailer for Dead Island 2 – the trailer is almost as good as the iconic Dead Island trailer. There will be a 30 day exclusive beta on PlayStation for Dead Island 2 as well as an exclusive character class.
Sony kept on moving with news that on PS4, Diablo 3 will have monsters from The Last of Us included. There was also world exclusive gameplay from Battlefield Hardline on show. Sony have a partnership with Disney to offer an exclusive character, the Hulk, for the next Disney Infinity. Grim Fandango is being rebooted in HD for the PS4 and PS Vita which will please many. Sony showcased forthcoming releases as part of a deal with Devolver Digital including Hotline Miami 2. Suda 51 are making a PS4 exclusive game too – it looks kind of like an indoor Battle Royale with crazy fights and heavy weaponry called Let It Die. No Man’s Sky – the procedurally generated and infinite universe exploration title contains dinosaurs and will launch exclusively on PS4. The Last of Us Remastered was dated for July 29th. The leaked new trailer for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was shown in full, it looks gorgeous too. Grand Theft Auto V will be coming to PS4 this fall.
Sony discussed PS Now and PlayStation TV – which is coming to America and Europe this year. They focused on working with devs to bring fresh new content, as well as originally TV programming starting with “Powers” – an adaption of a graphic novel. Sony went into the final furlong firing hard – the first Mortal Kombat X gameplay footage, new Batman: Arkham Knight gameplay showing the Bat Tank and finishing with another teaser for Uncharted 4, which may very well be the last game in the series based on the trailer and looks absolutely phenomenal!
Destiny | The Order 1886 | Entwiined | Infamous: First Light | LittleBigPlanet 3 | Far Cry 4 | Dead Island 2 | Bloodhorne | Devolver Digital showreel | Let It Die | No Man’s Sky | The Last of Us Remastered | Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain | Grand Theft Auto V | Mortal Kombat X | Batman: Arkham Knight | Uncharted 4
So there you have it … Day 1 conferences pretty much covered. Stay tuned for more E3 news throughout the week!