Print Edition: June 18, 2014
In the weeks prior to the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), the event seemed to be going the way of theatrical movie trailers. Developers and publishers alike released (or leaked) announcements and trailers prior to E3, which took place from June 10 to 12.
You know how it was awesome seeing movie trailers before the featured movie at the cinema? It was something I always looked forward to, but now, they always come out on the internet first, so the thrill of seeing new trailers in the theatre has vanished.
In the final days before E3, the question of whether the event was on its last legs began to arise in the gaming community. What came out of E3 were few surprises, but even fewer disappointments. The three mega gaming publishers showed a revitalized interest in actually talking about games this year, and while maybe games were sequels or already-known IPs, developers were still able to pull a few rabbits out of the hat.
Microsoft subtly addressed everything they had done wrong with their Xbox One announcements and the lacklustre showing in their previous year. Their opening comment about giving gamers the thanks they deserved continued throughout the event.
While Microsoft unfortunately opened with the uncreative juggernaut that is Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, they did present some new titles: the insanely fun-looking Sunset Overdrive, the incredibly ambitious Project Spark, Playdead’s new creation Inside, and another look at The Division.
EA began with a lighthearted look at the development of the next Star Wars Battlefront. Bioware made a vague announcement for the next Mass Effect game and a new IP. They finished with an insane presentation of Battlefield Hardline, then opened up a beta for anyone to play!
“Available now” was another trademark at E3 — the moment after Sony presented the mystical new IP Entwined, for example, they announced its availability on the PSN.
Ubisoft held a great show hosted again by Aisha Tyler. After an awesome opening with Far Cry 4, they showed off more footage of Assassin’s Creed, Division, and The Crew. They gave a great inside look at the WWI story game Valiant Hearts, then blew the crowd away with the gameplay presentation of Rainbow Six Siege. After a six-year hiatus, the beloved series is finally coming back. The gameplay footage was an example of ridiculous gamer dialogue, but it showed off great graphics, destruction physics, and a new take on level start-up.
Sony ended the day with a showing of exciting games. Many gamers looked forward to the announcement of sequels to games like Infamous, Far Cry, Uncharted, Arkham Knight, Little Big Planet, and Dead Island. It was great to see the new Dead Island trailer reverse the emotional aspect of the acclaimed original.
The big surprise from Sony was No Man’s Sky. What looks like a combination of planet exploration and space-age discovery, this game is sure to be on must-play lists for 2015.
With the financial difficulties Nintendo has been facing, they desperately needed to pull off something incredible. While it wasn’t exactly creative, they certainly pulled all the stops. The extensive list of titles included practically their whole character library — Nintendo is taking the hint that they need to make more games their consumers want. It’s a big gamble, but necessary if the company wishes to pull itself out of its current financial hole.
After repetitive blows against one another during last year’s console wars, it was great to see rivalries set aside this year to focus on gaming; it was definitely what gamers wanted. For now, E3 still lives, as long as developers and publishers keep that focus on what matters.