E3 has always been the staple for developers to showoff all their exciting games they have in the pipeline for consumers who are constantly hungry for the next big game they need to get their hands on. Whether it be graphical fidelity, intuitive game-play, or even dynamic social capabilities. This year’s expo is giving everyone a taste of what’s to come in big ways.
Before I move forward I have to mention that Microsoft did nothing but impress me this year compared to most of Sony’s offering later in the day. The biggest reason why was the show of force in their game lineup. In fact, the briefing was entirely about the games which for a hardware manufacturer is pretty hard to do as we’ve seen in past conventions. I’m not saying that all of the game were as high caliber as Assassin’s Creed Unity. But you can see that Microsoft still knows what it takes to please their continuously growing fan base.
Call of Duty Advanced Warfare
It was no surprise that the game of choice to start the show with was Call of Duty Advanced Warfare. While the game did have some impressive graphics, it’s the same old game-play and pacing that we’ve seen in every release for the franchise. Most of what was shown at the briefing was pretty much covered in the most recent leaks along with a full length article by Game Informer a couple months ago.
Call of Duty has been known to take pages out of Michael Bay’s playbook to create an intensified experience that was once again apparent in Advanced Warfare. Flying drones, exoskeletons, smart grenades are a few new items at the players disposal, but again, a one trick pony. We’ve all seen this before. No multiplayer footage was shown and it won’t be till around August time frame till we see more, so let’s just hope that Sledgehammer will take this franchise to new heights in the game mode that matters most and is the driving force behind their bread and butter.
Continuing the tradition with all previous Call of Duty releases, Xbox head Phil Spencer announced that the Xbox One will have exclusive access to all add-on content first.
Forza Horizon 2
Back in 2012 Forza Horizon launched on Xbox 360 to to fans and press that immediately knew that there was finally a game that could breakaway from the norm of racing games. Since that time, fans have been hoping for a sequel to this critically acclaimed title. Forza Horizon 2 is coming to Xbox One and Xbox 360 and looks absolutely amazing.
September 30th was revealed as the release of date so this is one racing game that should be on a lot of people’s watch list for gameplay footage as we inch closer and closer to that release . The game features an open world that works in conjunction with what is a seamless online connectivity experience by the developer. There will be over 200 cars available in the game. Sadly one of the highlights that needed to be pointed out was that the game would be running at a full 1080p at launch. This is another great step for Microsoft’s growing list of full 1080p games along with the most recent revelation that the Xbox One has increased performance with the Kinect sensor disconnected.
This one was quite interesting. Footage of Evolve has been floating around the interwebs for months now so anyone that calls themselves a gamer should know about this game. But the interesting part was that the game wasn’t showcased like most AAA titles are. This is a game that’s on everyone’s radar and for Microsoft to be the only one to be showing footage most would assume they would allocate more focus towards it. It ended up being the contrary which was a little disappointing. It came and gone with the wind. But I must say that the trailer was still impressive.
Turtle Rock’s E3 trailer for Evolve showcases what it’s like to play as either an assault, trapper, medic or support class, along with the ability to play a behemoth monster. Watch as you and your three live, companion hunters get stalked by an apex predator, with another person online playing as the beast. The trapper class is able to stalk and follow the main beast your team is hunting and will try to keep the beast contained so it doesn’t escape once your party engages it. The assault character will mainly focus on damage dealt to the beast. Medic classes will heal party members while sniping from afar. Meanwhile, the support character will help with ammo, tanking, and offering shields to other party members.
During the brief trailer the only new tidbits of information given to us was that the game would release with exclusive Xbox One content and that there is a beta launching in the fall. This is shaping up to be the next Left For Dead so it’s another to add in the list of “must haves”.
Assassin’s Creed Unity
WOW. The Assassin’s Creed franchise has a huge following among gamers and the showing today was nothing short of spectacular that left everyone in the Galen Center with their jaws dropped. I’ll let the videos below do most of the talking for me. This game comes with stunning graphical fidelity along with amazing game play fluidity. But it’s important to remember that what was shown was initial game footage and additional details will be added in and refined later. Though despite that the game still looks beautiful. As we expected, Assassins Creed: Unity truly puts you in the middle of the fires of rebellion that was the French Revolution. With guillotines and severed heads on pikes, this certainly looks like a much more vicious game than past installments.
Dragon Age Inquisition
Electronic Arts has released the ‘Lead Them or Fall’ trailer for Dragon Age: Inquisition, the third major game in BioWare’s fantasy role-playing series. Dragon Age: Inquisition is due for release on October 7.
A cataclysmic event which plunges the land of Thedas into turmoil forms the backdrop to the game. It then falls to you and your party of legendary heroes to restore order as you lead the ‘Inquisition’, hunting down the agents of chaos. I thought all the Dragon Age: Inquisition footage would be showing up at the EA press event, but I was incorrect. Microsoft managed to wrangle a teaser-ish trailer for the game for their show as well.
Halo Master Chief Collection
Let’s start with what’s important here: you get four Halo games in one – Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3 and Halo 4, each with their full single-player campaigns and multiplayer offerings intact. Plus, various new prologue and epilogue cinematics will be used to bridge the narrative between each game, as well as set up the events of Halo 5: Guardians, coming in 2015. Those cinematics will come courtesy of video production firm Blur Studio, which previously provided the massively impressive CGI cutscenes seen in the RTS spin-off Halo Wars.
The game will be released on November 11th exclusively for Xbox One and will come packed with access to the Halo 5: Guardians beta. What is unknown are the plans for digital distribution, resolution and frame-rate, or if the games will surface on other platforms as well. Personally I’m hoping for a PC release.
The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a story-driven, next-generation open world role-playing game, set in a fantasy universe full of meaningful choices and impactful consequences. In The Witcher 3, you play as Geralt of Rivia, one of a dying caste of monster hunters, and embark on an epic journey in a war-ravaged world that will inevitably lead you to confront a foe darker than anything humanity has faced so far—the Wild Hunt. Seeing an extended gameplay demo on Microsoft’s stage came as a happy surprise despite knowing how unhappy the developers were that Microsoft had decided to delay the release.
Microsoft had shown a laundry list of games during the hour and a half event. Of all the games previewed, three titles stood out the most. The first two were adventure based games Assassin’s Creed Unity and The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt. But one shooter that stood out as undeniably the most next-gen was Tom Clancy’s The Division. The new gameplay footage is entirely composed of multiplayer gameplay, with plenty of teamwork and coordination involved.
The Division is a third-person tactical shooter based around an online world. This trailer does a great job of describing what the game will be like to play, instead of the more teaser oriented trailers of the past. Ubisoft is investing a lot into the idea that open-world games are the future. Both Assassin’s Creed and Watch Dogs have paid off, so this isn’t all that surprising. So this is set to be one of their more ambitious upcoming open-world games that was unfortunately recently announced to be delayed to 2015. But that’s ok as long as they only improve the game and not tear it apart like we’ve seen done to many games in the past.
Thanks to IGN and Gamespot for providing the included videos.