Every year I try to watch the E3 conferences (Electronic Entertainment Expo) to know what news and announcements companies in the videogames and technology industry have to show. This year I saw the conferences a few days after the E3, but since then I haven´t written anything about it.
For the ones that don´t know what E3 is, it is one of the biggest video game conventions of the world (together with the GamesCom in Germany and the Tokyo Game Show in Japan), to which only reporters (older than 18) and people of the industry are invited and have access, and where the biggest companies make their announcements in software and hardware. I honestly don´t find all the conferences of the same interest and the following is a summary of what I found most interesting of each.
I want to point out that I liked every game from Bethesda I played. Some more than others, of course, but I can´t remember any game which I didn´t like. And it is a company that I do like a lot and therefore I was really looking forward to their conference. This year they made some exciting announcements, of which one really stands out.
To start with I loved that they introduced a new Doom, with a trailer of the story mode, which I really liked. Doom was one of the first First Person Shooters I played, and I think it´s great that they decided to develop a new one, but will it be able to be as good or better as the classic? They also showed some enemies, demons, and a bit of the multiplayer mode, which made the classic that famous. All this with graphics that I found amazing, and viscera, lots of viscera! At the end they showed a new map editor, where anyone can create any type of map and upload them to Bethesda´s servers. All players, from PC and console, will have access to maps made by other players on either of the platforms.
The next game that caught my attention was Dishonored 2. I played the first one on Xbox 360 and I loved it, because of the story, the world and it´s versatility in terms of gameplay and actions, letting the player resolve different challenges in different ways. They showed a striking trailer and they introduced the new main character, some new abilities and enemies.
The biggest announcement they did was Fallout 4. It was widely noticed that it was the most expected title by the fans, and I think I´m not wring when I say that Fallout is one of the most famous franchises of the last decade. In this new release we´ll start BEFORE the bombs but because of some circumstances we´ll wake up 200 years after that event. Fallout 4 will have a completely open world, in which the player will be able to go wherever he wants from the start of the game, do what he wants and be who he wants to be. They showcased a construction system which will allow us to build forts or camps with the materials we´ll find in the world. They also introduced the weapon construction and modding system, which will allow us to create a large variety of weapons.
With Electronic Arts it´s different than with Bethesda. There are games that I loved, and other that I did not like. Personally I think that EA focuses too much on it´s sport franchises, of which I am personally not interested in any.
For me the biggest announcement of this conference was the new Mass Effect Andromeda. They played a trailer which sadly did not show as much as fans would have liked, and they did not give much information about the game claiming that there would be more news with time. But still, they caused quite some Hype for me, and I really want to see know more about it. I completely played all previous games on my Xbox 360 and I loved them. It´s a series I would repeat without doubt and which I recommend to anyone.
I also want to mention a new game in the Need for Speed series. I´m not a big fan of racing games (Forza, Gran Turismo, Drift, etc), but I´ve played or tried most of the Need for Speed games. I stopped liking them when they took away the free movement in the cities focusing on what seemed to be more “legal” races. This new game in the series introduces again a enormous map to explore, and in the game we´ll have to gain respect from other racers in five categories: Speed, Style, Build, Crew and Outlaw. I also found the new tuning system really interesting.
I generally like Ubisoft games, or at least I think they´re good, but I have the feeling that they “squeeze” their established franchises too much (for example Assassin´s Creed). But Ubisoft´s conference was interesting, and they introduced some new franchises which caught my attention.
In first place I found For Honor very interesting. It´s a new rol and action game were we´ll take control of a Knight, Viking or Samurai in big battles with a large amount of enemies. Games will be formed by two teams that will battle each other and each team will have four players and hundreds of computer controlled enemies. I find the way player vs playter combat takes place really interesting, with a fight system that´ll allow us use different attacks in different directions and in the same way block depending on what the other player does.
Ubisoft also spoke about The Division, which was introduced last year. They assured us the game is not dead and that we´ll soon receive more news about its launch date. They also introduced the Dark Zone, which is a zone in the game were no laws rule and where we won´t be penalized for betraying and killing our friends and stealing their equipment. Every person in this zone can become an enemy at any time. I liked the idea and it´s a game I really want to try out.
And obviously no E3 can happen without Ubisoft showing us a new game of the Assassin´s Creed Saga. This year they introduced Assassin´s Creed Syndicate, which will take place in London in 1868, in the middle of the industrial revolution. It will include new weapons, gadgets and a really nice recreation of London. I think it sounds really interesting but since multiplayer was introduced in Assassin´s Creed and Ubisifot started squeezing too much out of the saga I lost interest. I prefer a great game every two years than two mediocre games each year.
A new game that caught my attention was Ghost Recon Wildlands. A new IP in the Ghost Recon world that introduces an incredible and enormous open world, with what seem to be amazing graphics. The game will task us with completing a large number of objectives, which don´t have a specific way to be completed. We can complete them destroying everything, infiltrating without being seen, making the enemies kill each other, creating traps and ambushes. As we wish, as long as we finish the objective.
The only Nintendo consoles I´ve ever had were the Super Nintendo and a GameBoy Pocket, and I´ve never been a big fan of any big Nintendo Franchise (Zelda or Mario for example). Therefore the conference was not that interesting in my eyes and I was deceived by Nintendo since they didn´t even show up in person. I though a company as Nintendo could do better.
The only title I would be interested in is the new Xenoblades Chronicles X. They introduces an enormous world to explore, new creatures, monsters and characters. Apart from that they introduces a new Star Fox and a new game in the Metroid saga.
Square Enix is a a company that always stood out. They have a lot of great franchises and most of them are not as squeezed out or used as the ones from other companies. I liked almost every game I played from Square Enix, with a few exceptions and normally if a game does not seem really appealing I don´t even try it.
This year I really liked Square Enix´s conference. They shows some amazing stuff that really caught my eye.
First off they showed the new Just Cause 3, with its explosions and its enormous open world. I only played the first one and it did not convince me in the end. They also introduced the new Rise of the Tomb Raider, with a trailer that was shown online before the E3. They also showed how much detail is put into Lara´s character and how it changes with time, environment and injuries.
One of the big announcements of Square Enix´s conference was the remake of Final Fantasy VII. They showed a short trailer were we see Cloud and Barret walk down an alley in Midgar. They didn´t give much more detailes nor anything about the launch date, but they said we would have more news this winter.
They also announced Kingdom Hearts III. It is a really loved franchise by the fans and they waited years for a sequel. Finally the fans can see themselves rewarded. Square Enix showed a trailer which included actual gameplay and the fans loved it. The game is under development and there is no release date yet.
One of the biggest announcements in my ayes was the new Star Ocean Integrity and Faithlessness. I played Star Ocean 4 on my Xbox 360 and I loved it. I think my saved game has around 700 hours of actual game played. They showed a trailer and explained that in the timeline this game would be between the second and third Star Ocean games. They also announced that parties in battles will be bigger and that transitions between game and battles will not have cut-scenes but will happen in real time. The bad news is that it´s only announced for Playstation.
Lastly I want to take a peak on Deus Ex Mankind Divided. I really loved Deus Ex Human Revolution, and this one will probably wall in my hands too. We´ll play 2 years after the previous game and the story will focus on modified people, being outcast and seen as diseases in society. They showed a trailer that left all of us speechless.
Microsoft does not only focus on video games, but also on consoles. Personally, if it’s about consoles I do prefer the Xbox over the other ones (call me fanboy) and Microsoft’s conference is one of the most interesting for me.
Microsoft finally announced in it’s conference that the Xbox One will receive backwards compatibility and will allow playing Xbox 360 games! Players have been asking for this for a long time and finally it’s here. Microsoft starts this year introducing around 100 games, and will increase that number with time. The games will be exactly the same as on the previous console, but with the extras the Xbox One brings along such as game capturing, streaming, etc. We won’t need to re-buy the 360 games we already own physically, just insert the DVD and download a digital copy.
They also showed the all new Halo 5 Guardians. This new release will include a long campaign and immediate coop functionality. Any moment any of your friends will be able to join o quit the coop game without going through waiting lobbies and without affecting your game. Multiplayer will include larger maps and a new game mode called Warzone was announced, where two teams formed of players and IA will engage in large battles.
One big announcement to mention is the new Dark Souls! I played both previous games and I loved them. And Microsoft announced that Dark Souls III was under development. They did not give a lot of information about the game, it will be set in a similar but different world and some game mechanics have changed a little bit.
Microsoft also announced that they associated with Oculus Rift and that Xbox One games will be compatible through Windows 10.
The also showed two new franchises called ION and Recore which seemed really interesting, but since not much information about the games were given apart from some video scenes, I can´t say much more.
Finally, I want to mention Gears of War Ultimate Edition, a remastered edition in 1080p and 60fps of the first game in the Gears of War franchise. Altogether, they announced that Gears of War 4 is under development and showed a trailer with new monsters and enemies.
Generally I´m not a Sony fan, and I don´t really like the their console. I had a PS1 and a PS2 which I barely touched. But Sony´s conference is one of the most important of the E3 and I like to know what they show. There have been 4 titles I found interesting, while for me the rest was not really something to mention.
First off I liked that they showed actual gameplay of The Last Guardian, a game that was introduced a couple of years ago and that everybody thought dead. They showed really nice gameplay footage and said the game was not dead.
One new title that caught my attention was Horizon Zero Dawn, which looks incredible and of which they showed a trailer that explained that most humans have disappeared and the few that are left organize in so called “tribes”, fighting against the machines (which look a lot like dinosaurs) to survive.
No Man´s Sky, another jewel which is being developed exclusively for Sony´s console. It was firstly introduced last year and they showed us a new really interesting video of the game. I think it´s a shame that it´s only being developed for one console, not even for PC. But maybe that´ll change in the future.
Finally, Sony showed the same Final Fantasy VII trailer Square Enix showed but also did not give any further details about the game. They also showed Shenmue III, which was loudly received by the attendants, even announcing that for it´s development it was looking for help on Kickstarter.
If you want to see the trailers and videos of all games shown this E3, you can use the following playlist: