Welcome back comrades. I'm still here, so I guess no gypsy curse has befallen me. Buena suerte for me I guess, but if I ever see that woman again, so help me God, I'm buying her a liter of cola.
I have to admit. I hadn't done my homework for last weeks debut post. I claim to be the über nerd and I completely passed up the opportunity to make some E3 2014 predictions. I've got a fairly occupied mind these days, despite the fact that my job doesn't consume a lot of processing cycles. Regardless, there were certainly some highlights for me from E3, and I feel like sharing.
Microsoft was the first conference out of the gate, saying that they were going to make their presentation this year all about gaming (whereas it was mostly about the hardware last year). The first game shown was Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. I've sat out the last few generations of Call of Duty, regular and Black Ops iterations. Seeing their take on what the future could hold for warfare technology.
They moved on to Forza, the addition of the Nürburgring to Forza 5 and the introduction of Forza Horizon 2, an open world racing game kind of more in the spirit of Midnight Club, but with serious performance vehicles. I've kind of set Forza 5 to the side, but I'll pick it up again to test out my rides on the Nürburgring.
Evolve was next, and dang...it looks awesome. Made by the same people that made Left 4 Dead, it's a multiplayer game where four people of different skill sets work together to take out a huge monster, played by a fifth person. It sounds kind of unbalanced, 4 on 1, but with as big, fast, and powerful as the monster is, it actually looks like a pretty even match if the 4 "Hunters" can actually work together.
I'll be picking it up this Fall, or holiday season...whatever.
Let's see...Assassin's Creed Unity; set in the French Revolution with 4 player coop, Fable Legends; also with 4 player coop and what looks like a Omniscient mode for the 5th player playing as the opposition, and...ooh Halo!
They didn't so much talk about Halo 5...as they really introduced this nameless Spartan IV (I'm guessing) who has to track down the Master Chief. He has to go through the Chief's history to do so, and as such...they introduce Halo: The Master Chief Collection. That is Halo CE, Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo 4, all in one box, as well as Halo 2 getting the same graphic update that CE did in the Anniversary Edition. Also...multiplayer, every map ever released, running in full 1080p and at 60 fps (if you actually like that...I'm a film guy, it looks too smooth for me), as well as a new set of dedicated servers and 4000 gamerscore worth of achievements for the set of games. Again, all in one box...well, not the servers...I'm sure 343 has those.
As big of a Halo fan as I am...I'm kind of iffy about this one. I already have all 4 games...not running on Xbox One of course, but have them none the less. We've also learned so far from other games that when there 2 iterations of a game such as with GTA V, running on both the 360 and the X1, that they are mutually exclusive. Meaning, you can get achievements for the 360 version, and also rack up the same achievements for the X1 version. What I'm getting at here is that all the achievements/unlocks/accolades/ranks/stats...none of it carries over to the Xbox One versions...you've got to earn it all back. I did say 4000 gamerscore worth of achievements...I hope you didn't think I meant new achievements.
Anyways...been there, done that, read the book, not sure if I want to see the movie. We'll see. I know it's going to be expensive. Regardless of how old the games are, it's a 4-pack, and a lot of work has gone into optimizing and remastering the titles. So yea, but I didn't mention that the Halo 5 beta will open this holiday season. I'm guessing you have to have the Master Chief Collection to access it, so there's more reason to go pick it up.
Microsoft threw out a small slough more of games after that, the only one that had me at all interested was Rise of the Tomb Raider...what a horribly named game. Good looking, but horribly named.
EA kicked off their leg of the conference talking about a game they've had ambitions for, for quite a while...Star Wars Battlefront. The in-engine footage they were showing off was some of the best game graphics I've ever seen. They made no mention of what consoles they would be releasing for, but I'm praying for some love for Microsoft.
Bioware then announced in a not-so-bombshell fashion that they were in the early design stages of a 4th Mass Effect game. That's absolutely fantastic news to my ears, but also news that I've seen coming. They confirmed that they are departing from the Shepard and Normandy Crew story arcs that the previous 3 games have followed so that some new life can be breathed into the franchise. I'm happy with that news too. I feel like everything that I wanted to be resolved by the end of the Shepard trilogy had been dealt with. Many were unhappy with the end of the 3rd installment, but it was good enough for me.
They also announced Mirrors Edge 2, and showed some pre-recorded game footage. It looked pretty cool, but I don't have any history with the first game. Hopefully, if it's cheap enough, it's something that I can jump into fairly quickly...whenever that is, no release date was mentioned.
EA also debuted their new Battlefield game...Hardline. It's urban warfare...cops and criminals at the highest level imaginable.
I've been pretty standoffish towards Battlefield games in the past, but this one has caught my interest. The beta is open now for owners of Battlefield 4, and the game itself is set to launch in October.
The Ubisoft conference was hosted by Aisha Tyler, which...awesome. That woman is hilarious, and a huge representative for gamer chicks. Perfect choice for an emcee.
After some brief delightful banter, she intro'd Far Cry 4, and yea...that looks amazing. Never played the first 3, know that I should have played the 3rd, so I'll probably end up picking this one up once it becomes available.
After a brief discussion about Just Dance 2015, they moved on to a new, multi-console game called "The Division". Some of the most amazing graphics I've seen in a game. The whole thing almost looked cinematic. It appears like you're a member of a small organization in some sort of post apocalyptic scenario for the U.S. and you're on some kind of mission given to you from some very high-up entity. It all seemed pretty vague, but beautiful, cooperation dependent, and with very good AI. We'll have to wait until 2015 though.
After they showed off a racing game called "The Crew", that looked like it had a high level of customization, they moved on to Assassin's Creed Unity, with an extended gameplay demo from what we saw at the Microsoft conference.
Second to the end was the Sony press conference. Confession; I haven't had a Playstation since the PS2. Ever since the PS3/Xbox 360 generation everything has been so expensive...I had to pick a side, and surprisingly (given my hardcore Apple affiliation) I went with Microsoft.
Sony opened their conference with a Destiny trailer, and it looks like they're getting the big exclusives. Kind of funny, Bungie used to be a division of Microsoft...they've kind of jump the ship there. Eh...we've got a confirmed release date...September 9th, 2014. So after several years of having that preorder, I can finally expect something prior to holiday season this year.
I sound spiteful, but I'm really looking forward to this game. Even though Halo took you all over the galaxy, it still felt like a confined and grounded experience. I always wanted to do more exploring, like you get the opportunity to do in Mass Effect. Destiny is looking like a perfect fusion of Halo and Mass Effect, and I can lose myself in those franchises for hours. Add in what looks like insane levels of customization, and I might not be able to put this game down.
inFamous First Light looks pretty cool, as does Little Big Planet 3, but neither would sell me on a PS4. Uncharted 4 looks pretty amazing, but I'm still not sold on coming back to Sony yet.
Nintendo brought up the rear with their conference. They opened up strong with a chaotic battle between US Nintendo President Reggie Fils-Aimé and Nintendo Worldwide CEO Satoru Iwata. That switched over to a Super Smash Bros. battle between both of their Miis. What they're immediately telling us is that the new Super Smash Bros. is making a lot of additions, including being able to beef up your personal Miis and use them in battle. All the yes. October 19th guys!
I'm excited. This title alone might sell the console on me. I had thought since last E3 that it would be such a shame though to have only one fun game for it, but then this E3 happened and changed that.
They went on to introduce Yoshi's Wooly World, a follow up to Yoshi's Island. They have Yoshi looking like he just jumped out of Little Big Planet with Sock Boy. With his new appearance though comes a lot of new "yarn powers". It looks pretty neat. I might pick it up for the new game mechanics.
They talked about a Toad game, as in Toad from Mario, that looked kinda dull, but then they moved on to the new Legend of Zelda game. Link has had some big spaces to work with in the past, but this time around, he has a completely open world to romp through. If you can see it, you can get there. It might prove to be the most expansive universe since Twilight Princess.
After that, they started talking pokémon, and played a video for the new Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, which are getting the complete X/Y treatment. It's getting fully updated graphics, Mega Evolutions (with new Mega Evolutions for all the starters), and Primal Evolutions for a couple of the legendaries, which is kind of like a reverse evolution. Don't ask me how that's helpful, they're not really explaining what that means yet. Save the date for November 21st.
Nintendo then talked about a new Bayonetta game, and Hyrule Warriors, which is a Legend of Zelda version of Dynasty Warrior...meh. Then they showed another new Kirby game, Kirby: Rainbow curse. I've never been much of a Kirby guy, but if you are, I can see where this game looks pretty good.
Eventually they moved on to "Mario Maker", in which you can design your own Super Mario levels, which you can switch between either classic Super Mario style, or the new style. It doesn't sound like much now, but I feel like this game has the potential extremely cool, especially if your levels can be shared with others, and you can download other people's made levels. We're waiting until some point in 2015 for this one.
After Mario Maker, they introduced a brand new title, called "Splatoon". It looks like a territories game, where you run around using these paint guns to mark your territory. There's a function where you can turn into a squid to move around the map with better mobility, sacrificing your paint gun, and it also looks like as the game progresses, better paint weapons become available. This looks like one of those games that you can play for hours at a time, and never put it down. It'd be a good addition if I end up buying that WiiU this year.
Drop mic...walk away.
Pretty impressive showing...from everyone this year at E3, there's a lot to look forward to. If I ever have the money to spend, or the time to play everything, it looks like there is a lot of fun to be had this coming holiday season.
Okie dokie dominokie...that's probably a heaping mound of information for this week, so I'll leave it at that. Till next week.
Keep your heads up, your minds sharp, and your hearts open.