I’m ecstatic to see all three console companies come out swinging this year. I’ve always said let them fight it out, and let us reap the fantastic games! I was extremely happy to see that games were the primary focus this year. We still had interesting accessories like Sony’s Project Morpheus and Nintendo’s “toy-to-life” Amiibo line, but games were the core of what the console makers are pushing this year.
With games like No Man’s Sky, Abzu, Broforce and Hot Line Miami 2, Sony has continued pushing some amazing indie games, which seem to be some of my favorite in this neoteric console generation. I was also blown away by the vast and immersive worlds of The Witcher 3 and Metal Gear Solid V. The rich detail and open-world gameplay of both those games impress me.
Assassins Creed Unity made some tremendous changes to it normal formula, adding four player co-op, larger and denser crowds and seamless transitions into buildings. After last years fantastic Black Flag, it’s good to see the series continuing to make some much needed upgrades.
We were also given some great impressions of things to look forward to in the future, such as some first glances of what the world of the new Zelda game will look and feel like and what the tone of the next Uncharted will be. It was a great E3 and I can’t wait to dig into all the games.
DUSTIN (Attended E3)
I will say that I have mixed feelings with this year’s E3 and it was mostly due to me being blown away with presentations at the show. In one stance I really loved what I saw and what I played, it was some of the best games E3 has ever threw at me in recent years. The bad news is that almost all of these games were not ready yet. I don’t know if it was just a change in E3 plans or what, but instead of letting people into their booth to play a game, almost everything had to be played for us.
WB for example had 4 different lines for 4 awesome games (Batman, Mortal Kombat, etc) and once inside it was basically a 15 minute trailer with gameplay. We had to wait an hour and half just for them to show us the new Mortal Kombat, and there were no screens to just try it our self. It was like this at almost every booth we went to. There were less screens and controllers, and more lines and waiting, unless you spent a lot of time pre-planning visits. Konami for example normally has a rather large booth filled with screens and a huge display for some upcoming game. This year they had a booth like WB’s, but smaller. It consisted of their standard PR table to check in, then you were sent to a line that would showcase a game.
This was all mostly due to the fact most of these games were not ready and won’t be releasing till next year. Mortal Kombat for example had a few hiccups like the user missing his fatality due to it not accepting the combo, and Metal Gear was all pre-planned to demonstrate just how big it really is and still had some tense moments due to a slight error. So basically was I blown away? Yeah for sure, but I was disappointed because it was still all so far away. Besides Destiny and a few others, games that were announced for late this year were not anywhere close to as cool as the ones coming out later. A great example is Ubisoft. They showcase awesome games like Rainbow Six, but what is coming first? Another Assassins Creed. Great news for Assassins Creed fans, but I want Rainbow Six! I’m just getting a little tired of waiting to actually use my PS4, thus the reason I’m taking my sweet time beating Wolfenstein…..
Elsewhere in the show some interesting things I noticed. For starters, indie games were not being an attraction this year. Last year Sony used a lot of indie titles to showcase the PS4 for the first time, so each little station had a line to it. This year most of the indie booths were empty a majority of the show, just like they would be if they were attempting to stand on their own. AAA titles like Driveclub or Destiny had hour long waits, but indie titles between them had empty spots. Minecraft for example had a total of one person go to it the entire time I was in the area. This includes both Sony’s stand and Microsoft stand for it. The reps advertising the game were trying to pull people over, but nobody wanted to waste time on a game they already seen.
Vita, while it felt pushed aside, was still a big attention grabber on the floor. Each booth had tons of people checking it out, but most people were excited about RPG games like Disgaea or similar titles. VR was an obvious grab as we went straight to it when the doors open and they already had a wait time past 2PM. When we arrived at our 2PM appointment they were already turning people away because they didn’t have enough time left in the day to get them in.
Switching to the opposite side, Microsoft seemed to be faring extremely well this year as well. Their booth was jam packed, but their major winner felt like Sunset Overdrive. I don’t know if people have seen their booths layout, but basically this game was in the back corner and had a line rope that was rather long. The entire show the line surpassed that rope, went down the back wall, and out of the booth. Every person that waited to play it left the demo smiling. The only line that I personally saw come anywhere close (besides Morpheus) was the line to see Batman. Microsoft was also one of the few booths that was showcasing awesome games that WILL come out this year.
And for conferences, I was rather impressed but felt the same way as the show floor. Great games, but why is nothing ready now? I’m just thrilled to finally see a hockey game on PS4, I’ve been waiting forever for that! One suggestion I want to make to Microsoft though, pick a better venue! We got there an hour early and couldn’t find a parking spot anywhere and combine that with the brutal LA traffic, yuck! Overall there are a few titles coming out this year that are amazing, and the entire show was filled with a higher level of gaming. I was really impressed with the variety of titles, the classic style a lot of games are bringing back, and overall just impressed with how well done almost every game was. I think gamers are in for a treat, but they just have to wait a little longer to see it. This generation, especially next year, is going to be amazing!
I have to say, that this year’s E3 was one of the better ones I’ve seen in a while. All of the companies came out swinging and brought us information on a TON of games. For me, that was the most exciting aspect, and something I hoped to see. People needed a reason to get the new consoles, and the amount of games they showed, definitely provided that. Honestly, I’ve had no interest in getting an Xbox One, but after seeing Microsoft’s press conference, I suddenly felt the need to do so. It’s bringing forward some games that look different, offer up new styles of gameplay. Ultimately, it showed me some of what next-gen gaming can be.
Sony’s conference felt similar and there were several moments during their presentation that genuinely surprised and delighted me. Ending on the Uncharted 4 trailer was pure awesome-sauce, and it looks amazing. Metal Gear Solid V looks equally awesome, and so did several other things. Nintendo came out like a boxer with something to prove and they dominated. While every press conference showed me games I wanted to play, Nintendo by far offered up the most games I wanted to play.
As for specific games, these are what have me excited right now: Uncharted 4: A Theif’s End, Fable Legends (for it’s 4 on 1 system), Legend of Zelda Wii U, Star Fox Wii U, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Halo 5 (didn’t expect that from me either), The Order: 1886, Batman: Arkham Knight, Captain Toad, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, and Sunset Overdrive. I’m know there are more, but these are the ones that immediately come to mind when I think about E3.
While I’m generally excited and pumped for the games to come, it’s kind of like Dustin said…it’s all happening in 2014. Hell, Bioware and EA’s showings for the new Mass Effect and Battlefront were pretty disappointing as they had virtually NOTHING to show. It was frustrating, and I found myself wondering why they bothered showing anything at all! Still, despite a few hiccups, on the whole, I was pleased with this year’s show and can’t wait to see more!
Well, you’ve heard our thoughts, now it’s time to share yours! What did you enjoy most about E3 2014?
-Cinelinx Gamer’s Club Team