It's E3, hooray! The big 3, EA and Ubisoft have all lifted their lids on what's going to excite us in
late 2014 errr, 2015... ah, screw it, soon enough - so let's celebrate new games! What are you excited about? Who are you rooting for? It's time for Tuesday Game Room!
Honestly, I've not played anything this week. An exam right before E3 does that to you, but this week will be spent watching oodles of trailers and conferences. That said, after Sony's presser I'm now praying to the Traveller above that I can get into that Destiny alpha weekend. Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease.
It's E3: Like, nothing comes out this week. Okay, some things are coming out this week. Not a lot though!
Your banner release is, err, How To Train Your Dragon 2 out on basically everything but the next gen platforms. It's even out on Wii!
It's joined by Enemy Front, a new World War II FPS (man, been a while, then this and Wolfenstein come along at once!) from the team behind the Sniper Elite games, out only on PS3 and Xbox 360 today, with the PC version landing on Friday.
These two are joined, surprisingly, by some E3 announcements. Gorgeous indie title Entwined, seemingly about the relationship between a fish and a bird, hit the PS4 store during Sony's press conference, and Capcom stealth-released some Capcom-nostalgic Dead Rising 3 DLC during Microsoft's, with the greatest goddamn name ever: Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX Plus Alpha.
This is usually where I'd post some News from the last week, but who needs that when he had ALL THAT INCREDIBLE NEWS FROM E3!? Instead, here's a recap of what went down at each of the big pressers:
- Games Games Games! MS 2014 edition! - Microsoft's laser-tight focus on games this year - not even just their games, but third parties, indies, the whole shebang, lead to 90 jam packed minutes that went for game after game after game. Kicking off with a gorgeous gameplay slice from Call of Duty Advanced Warfare, which looks a lot, lot prettier than it has any right being, we drove through reveal extravaganza: Fable Legends Gameplay! Phantom Dust (I have no idea what that game is, because it was original a Japan only title, but this is a reboot, right?)! Scalebound! Rise of the Tomb Raider! AC Unity co-op! Crackdown! It arguably culminated in the hotly rumoured reveal of The Master Chief Collection, gathering all 4 mainline Halo games and fancying up Halo 2. It was a fantastic showing, even if the latter half devolved into nothing but CGI trailers showing games over 2 years away, but Microsoft hammered home their crucial point: They've listened, and the Xbox One is a game-packed games console.
- But what's the vision for the Xbox One? - My only real complaint about Microsoft's presser is that we heard nothing about the state of the Xbox One, and where Microsoft were taking it in the future. For many, that'd be a good thing - who wants to hear about Media apps and service updates and dashboards at a Games conference? - but to me, especially in the shaky year the XB1 has had on the market, I wanted convincing that finally, Phil Spencer had took the reigns of that confused, split-messaged division and had a plan for the future of the Xbox One in a world where despite its constant, great changes, it's still suffering from last year's E3. A lot of games-focus is great, but it doesn't really deliver that vision for me.
- A meandering conference... Sony's longer presser let them extrapolate on some of their other branches of media, like Powers coming to PSN and the Ratchet and Clank movie, but after Microsoft's superbly paced presser, this felt bloated in comparison, even if there were just as many great games. Speak of which...
- ... Games Games Games! Sony Edition! Oh my god, so much stuff I loved here! I think I was definitely more excited about some of the stuff Sony showed than I was Microsoft's, third parties included. Destiny getting an Alpha this weekend (applied so hard I thought I'd broken several keys on my keyboard), GRIM FANDANGO REMASTER!!, Bloodborne revealing itself as
Victorian SoulsProject Beast's real title, The Order looking great, LittleBigPlanet 3, some sublime Arkham Knight batmobile gameplay, and stunning, beautiful views of some smaller titles: namely the epic Sci-Fi indie game that rocked the world late last year, No Man's Sky, getting a stellar second outing, and Abzu, the gorgeous underwater game from some of the team behind Journey. There was a great mix of big and small, third party and first, that was capped off by that glorious teaser for Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, hinting at the last outing for Drake and Sully. Also guys, quick question: Did older Nathan Drake totally look like Pedro Pascal, aka Oberyn Martell? I think we just found our star for that Uncharted film.
- The Vita TV is coming West: I CAN FINALLY PLAY PERSONA 4 THE GOLDEN AND I DON'T HAVE TO BUY A VITA FOR IT, YES. Thank you, Sony.
- Where the hell was Playstation Now Europe? Announcing Playstation Now's open beta was a pretty big deal for Sony, especially proliferating the massive back catalogue it will bring to the PS4 and other Sony devices, but I was very concerned that there wasn't even a murmur about Non-US/Canadian releases. Is it really as far off over here as the rumours claimed?
- A Last Guardian No-Show: Okay, real talk here. I never cared about the Last Guardian, and I say that as someone who adored Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. I didn't care when it lapsed into non-existence, and I fully believed it was a dead as a dodo (or cat-bird thingy, take your pick) after all these years - but Sony's speedy, vehement denial recently of rumours that the game was cancelled seemed to strongly hint at a TLG re-reveal this year, but it was nowhere to be found. TGS, maybe? I still don't think it's happening, despite what they say.
- It's all right for the Wii U...: Nintendo's ailing system got quite the surge this E3, with Nintendo's direct revealing a veritable slew of console games to excite their hungry fanbase. Smash Bros got its dues with not one but two new characters, Kid Icarus' Palutena and the Mii, but there were also reveals of a brand new, Miyamoto helmed Star Fox revival, more Yarn based delight with Yoshi's Wooly world, a goddamn sequel to Kirby Canvas Curse, Bayonetta 2 coming complete with the entirety of Bayonetta 1 (the pain, oh the pain of it all!), the revelation that X is a sequel to Xenoblade Chronicles, hell, even a Captain Toad game! It might not be the most popular current-gen system, but Wii U owners have a lot to be happy with - especially since they can now also make their own Mario game levels with Mario Maker, a Wii U level creator! Lovely stuff.
- ... but the 3DS gets some low blows?: TI am a huge 3DS fan. Some of my favourite games in recent memory have been on that amazing little handheld, and the fact that it's still single-handedly saving Nintendo's butt means it's the home to great first and third party exclusives. But Nintendo seemingly ignored the 3DS for much of its Direct - there was a release date reveal for the new Pokémon Sapphire and Ruby remakes, and there was the reveal of a western port of Level 5's Fantasy Life, but that was it for new stuff. The other big news was, crushingly, that Smash Bros. 3DS has been delayed till October. BOO-URNS.
- Nintendo wants some of that Skylander money: I think Amiibo is a dumb name. But at the same time... I WANT TEENY WEENY NINTENDO STATUE FIGURINES LIKE, YESTERDAY. Psyched.
- Oh, and I guess they announced a new Legend of Zelda: Damn Wii U, hogging the limelight again. The sprawling vista Aonuma revealed implied an open world adventure for Link, but what I'm most pleased with? It's bloody colourful. The art looks great, and almost guarantees Nintendo aren't going with a more Ocarina/Twilight Princess aesthetic, which I can't stand in this franchise. Bring on the prettiness!
- Oh god, we have no new video games! Man, EA were such a disappointment this year - most of their games were sports titles, or 'early conceptual footage' cockteases for games that look great, but are so, so far away. With Cops vs Robbers Battlefield: Hardline being their big 'surprise', the extensive leak that game suffered in the last week or so must've been infuriating for them. I'm super excited for the next Mass Effect, Star Wars Battlefront and Mirror's Edge 2, but they shouldn't have shown that stuff in the state they did. But honestly, if they didn't, what would they have had?
- At least Dragon Age Inquisition looks great: DON'T GET EATEN BY THAT GIANT DRAGON ALSO HERE'S A LADY PLAYING A SICK CELLO ALSO 2.0 HERE'S A PICTURE OF TACTICAL VIEW THERE YA GO ORIGINS FANS PEACE. Please don't delay this game to 2015.
- The age of Aisha might be over: I like Aisha Tyler as a comedian and an actress, and she's been great these past few years as the E3 face of Ubisoft, but I think this year was a lacklustre performance. Bad chemistry with the awkward game devs on stage, an over reliance on 'we're not on TV so we can say fuck and shit OMG SO HARDCORE' humour, and yet another girlwood reference shirt? I think it's time that Ubisoft did something else for E3.
- More of the same, but the good same: Ubisoft are trundling along with some familiar faces - Assassin's Creed and Far Cry returned for some solid appearances (that new CGI Unity trailer is amazing!), Just Dance continued to somehow both still exist and sell a hojillion copies, and return showers The Division and The Crew popped up again. That said, my standout showing from Ubi had to be the gutwrenching trailer for Valiant Hearts, an UbiArt engine game inspired by the letters of Frontline soldiers in World War One. Oh god, I'm going to cry all the tears.
- Rainbow Six Siege fills the now traditional 'One more thing' slot: I thought that was a pretty good reveal! Not as mindblowing as The Division or Watch Dogs were when they helped create this new trope for Ubi pressers, but it was a really cool showing for the game. Hopefully there's more to it than a 'capture the flag/hostage' mode, but this might have been the most intriguing shooter of the conference.
We'll be back this time next Tuesday for more gaming discussion, but for now, sound off in the comments with the games you've been playing, what you're looking forward to this week, and what you thought so far of E3 2014!