Like clockwork, the Electronic Entertainment Expo hits Los Angeles each June, bringing one of the world’s biggest gaming events to the city. And as per usual, this year’s expo pulled out all of the stops on gaming goodies. Join us, as we’ve got everything from Halo to Assassin’s Creed, the return of Crackdown, Uncharted 4, Ratchet and Clank and more, all from this year’s jam packed E3. Let’s see if our predictions were spot-on, shall we?
All things Microsoft
Microsoft kicked off its E3 conference with games galore, packing its keynote with brand new franchises, a fresh take on old classics, and a first look at some of the biggest games to touch down within the convention centre walls. Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, hit the stage to announce that this year’s conference is all about the next-gen games, and he certainly delivered.
We’ve been treated to a look at Sledgehammer Games’ take on Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, the latest game in the series set in the near future – replete with a digitized Kevin Spacey smirking it up in the bad guy role. Take a peek at gameplay from the Induction campaign level, set in the battlefront of Seoul, South Korea, where things get very heated, very fast.
The latest Assassin’s Creed game has been one of the most anticipated game reveals of this year’s show. Thankfully, Ubisoft and Microsoft delivered the goods, with a stunning first look at Assassin’s Creed: Unity. Set in 18th Century Paris, the next-gen title plants you in the shoes of Arno Dorian, who can team up with his own brotherhood of assassins, each played by your friends on Xbox Live, letting you all sneak and parkour your way through the streets of Paris in unison. The game looks absolutely massive, with huge draw distances and hundreds of characters on-screen at once, making this easily the best looking Assassin’s Creed game to date. Mark your calendars for October 28 – as that’s when Unity hits shelves.
CEO of Insomniac Games, Ted Price, hit the stage to announce that Sunset Overdrive, the upcoming over-the-top Xbox One exclusive action title, is on the way to consoles on October 28 too, bringing plenty of mayhem to your TV. Your job is to clean up the city after its citizens have been turned into mutants, and that’s through any means possible. Throw in ridiculous weaponry, fast and fluid platforming, and even an eight-player co-op mode known as Chaos Mode, and you’re looking at one of the most intense titles to hit the Xbox One this year.
You know you’re in for a Halo flavoured treat when its iconic theme tune kicks in, and 343 Industries’ Bonnie Ross was quick to deliver on the Master Chief goodies. While we’re not getting a look at Halo 5: Guardians, Ross showed us something that longtime Halo fans will surely get just as excited about. It’s called Halo: The Master Chief Collection, and it packs in every Halo game from Halo: Combat Evolved, all the way up to Halo 4, each remastered in true 1080p, 60fps glory on Xbox One. It’s all in one seamless package too, meaning you can curate your own dream playlist of your favourite single-player missions from each game. On top of that, Halo 2 is getting the full Anniversary treatment, complete with a HD makeover and the option to switch between original and new graphics. Multiplayer fans will also be pleased to hear that Halo 2 Multiplayer is also shipping on the disc, and it promises to be exactly as fun as it was when it first launched 10 years ago. Every map from each game is also fully playable in multiplayer, while there’s also a whopping 4,000 achievement points to unlock. All in all, it looks to be the perfect set for Halo fans. It’s out on November 11, and also includes beta access to Halo 5 in time for Christmas.
Microsoft wrapped up with a one last surprise: a blast from the past in the form of a full on reboot of Crackdown, the series that helped define the open world genre. Dave Jones, the original creator of the franchise, is also back to lead the team on the new game, while the short trailer showed us the humour, action and over-the-top weaponry we’ve come to expect from Crackdown. Consider us excited.
Games galore with EA and Ubisoft
Publishers EA and Ubisoft also held press conferences to show off their latest games, ranging from brand new sports titles and Battlefield: Hardline from EA, to a closer look at Far Cry 4, Assassin's Creed: Unity and even a brand new Rainbow Six title – Rainbow Six: Siege.
Sports fans will be pleased to see FIFA 15 revealed, the latest in the series, which brings a brand new focus to the game. By gifting each player with what developer EA Canada is calling “emotional intelligence”, the developers have ensured that players will react to what’s going on during a match – from getting frustrated at missing shots, celebrating when scoring, and even getting angry at hard tackles. Look forward to getting your hands on it on September 26.
EA also officially revealed the latest Battlefield game, which sounds a lot like an incredibly tooled up version of cops vs robbers. Dubbed Battlefield: Hardline, the game plants you into the cities of Los Angeles and Miami, and lets you live out your fantasy of being either a cop or a criminal. Whether that means robbing a bank or stopping the heist, you’ll find plenty of ways to play Hardline, complete with destructible environments, airborne vehicles, and lots of gadgets too.
Ubisoft kicked off its press conference with a first glimpse at Far Cry 4, the latest in the open-world first-person shooter franchise. The focus? A first look at the game’s setting of Kyrat, along with its almost certainly crazy antagonist: self-appointed king and dictator, Pagan Min. It looks like it’ll be your job to take him down, and we can’t wait.
Ubisoft rounded off its show with one last surprise: a return to the tactical world of Rainbow Six. We’ve not seen a new game in the series for six years, and while we’ve not heard a peep about the previously announced Rainbow Six: Patriots for a while now, it looks like we’re getting Rainbow Six: Siege instead. The game looks like it puts a strong focus on tactical multiplayer, letting you plan the perfect mission with your friends, and the early footage we’ve seen looks like a pure throwback to the original games.
With Microsoft showcasing games galore, Sony certainly had a tough act to follow. But the Japanese electronics giant had plenty of tricks up its sleeves, including more details on its PlayStation Now streaming service, and even the previously Japan-only PlayStation TV microconsole.
Sony kicked things off with a huge announcement: Destiny will be hitting the PlayStation 4 first, well before any other console, by way of an exclusive multiplayer beta, which launches on July 17. Sony is also launching a slick white PS4 and white DualShock 4 bundle to go with the full game, which hits shelves on September 9.
Dark Souls developer, From Software, has revealed an entirely new exclusive PlayStation 4 game, known as Bloodborne. Previously hinted as Project Beast, the action role-playing game looks incredibly dark, filled with zombies and all sorts of mythical creatures to battle against, and if it’s anything like the Souls series, you can bet it’ll be hard as nails.
Sony has outed a launch date for its streaming service in the US and Canada, with the PlayStation Now open beta hitting PlayStation 4 on July 31. That means you’ll be able to stream your favourite games straight from the cloud, while PlayStation 3 and Vita versions will follow shortly thereafter. You’ll be able to play over 100 games, including Dead Space 3, Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, Ratchet and Clank: Into the Nexus and Ultra Street Fighter 4. Sony has also revealed that its previously Japan-only PlayStation TV microconsole, which launched last year, is on the way to the US, Canada and Europe for $99. A bundle - including a controller, 8GB data card, HDMI cable and a copy of The Lego Movie Video Game – will hit shelves for $139, letting you enjoy PlayStation Vita titles from the comfort of your couch. Even more importantly, you’ll be able to use it for remote play from your PlayStation 4 in the same house, making it the perfect PS4 extender for the bedroom.
Rockstar Games’ smash-hit Grand Theft Auto V is on the way to PlayStation 4, as revealed on stage. It’s also set to hit the Xbox One and PC in the autumn, bringing even better graphics and enhancements. Upgrading? Worry not: you’ll be able to port over your GTA Online characters to the new consoles.
Sony finished up its conference with the next game in the Uncharted series: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, which is set to launch on PS4 in 2015. Set several years after his last adventure, the trailer stars an older, more graphically impressive Nathan Drake, waking on the shores of a mysterious island. Developer Naughty Dog promised that the game will run at 1080p resolution at a solid 60 frames per second, and the incredibly beautiful trailer is captured entirely from real time gameplay footage. Excited yet?
What was your favourite moment from this year’s E3? Was it Assassin’s Creed: Unity, a new Rainbow Six title, Grand Theft Auto V on next-gen or the latest on Uncharted 4? Let us know what you think below!
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