E3 2014: The Review

For many, including myself, E3 gives gamers that “it’s almost Christmas” feeling, even though we are over the age of 12! A few days of pure jaw dropping “Oh my godder, did you see the look of that” gasms and the “oh… another CoD game that offers new things that kids can use whilst hiding in corners and ruining games for the rest of us who work hard to buy them and then get fucked off as under aged gamers ruin everything that should make a game enjoyable… rant over.

It only feels like a few weeks ago since those lovely people from Microsoft and Sony teased us with what we can expect from the next generation consoles and some might argue that we are still waiting to be blown away. Hopefully this year E3 will have settled some nerves and given us all that excited butterfly feeling back in our stomachs.

I for one, as an Xbox One owner, held my breath and waited to see if Microsoft would come out swinging with games news galore or would they come out with more “lets make the future of entertainment…” shite, whilst also keeping an eye on the noisy neighbors over at Sony to see if they could make me feel dirty by wanting to trade in my Xbox one for a PS4.

Just as I get myself ready to take some notes and do a lot of much anticipated research and video watching, I remembered the forgotten cousin Nintendo. Do I really care what Nintendo do? Do they really have anything to bring to the table amongst the giants of Sony and Microsoft? Does the world need another Mario or Pokémon game? Only time will tell.

I decided that I wasn’t going to do “sections”, like Xbox One, PC, PS4, Nintendo… I am just going to write about the games I’m excited about, the ones that made me jealous I don’t have a PS4 and the “holy shit-that-looks-amazing” games.

Batman Arkham Knight (looooooves the batman games), finally got some game play time after what looks like an impressive bit of cinematic, but as we all know, an impressive animation sequence doesn’t always lead to an amazing bit of game play (insert list of amazing game trailers and disappointing games here!). The game looks like it has the feel of the previous Batman Games, but it moves quicker and slicker, oh and there’s the fucking Batmobile! After gliding through the sky and smashing a few baddies, the caped crusader hops into the Batmobile and it turns into a tank. It also looks like one of my favourite batman villains will be heavily involved in it too, the Scarecrow. The way this flows is just pant wetting and I for one cannot wait to get my hands on this title.

Halo 5 and the Master Chief Collection. for me, the granddaddy of all FPS games is the original Halo on Xbox and the fact that they are releasing all the Halo games on the Xbox One, with a nice touch up on the graphics and not to mention all the multiplayer maps available! That’s about 100 maps!! I feel that I might have to book 2 weeks off work to get my fix on this, but I do worry that this alone will not have what it takes to help assist Xbox One sales. Do people really care about Halo and the Master Chief anymore and would time and money be better invested in Bungies Destiny? That I guess is down to gamer preference, I for one will probably spunk too much money on all these games and whine about how jumping kids this time, are to blame for all that is wrong with multiplayer games. With the likes of Titanfall breaking ground with their excellent campaign mode ideas, is there still a want for Halo? You can make a play list of all your favourite Halo moments and play them. Halo 2 gets a full anniversary edition make over and allows you to switch back to “classic mode” as you play and has the original Halo 2 multiplayer, everything from 10 years ago! The collection will run at 1080p and have dedicated servers and also boasts a massive 4000 achievement points available. That brings me to Halo 5: Guardians. The opening footage shows Master Chief skydiving from space, plummeting towards a ship holding a spiky bomb as a moody voiceover explains things. Bonnie Ross of 343 studios has said that Master Chief is on a personal mission after the events of Halo 4. Although there wasn’t any game play for Halo 5, I’m still excited. I almost forgot Halo Nightfall TV show appears to be impressive leading you up to the events of Halo 5, Ridley Scott of Alien and Blade Runner fame produces it.

I apologise for the bulk of that being dedicated to an old franchise being rehashed, but I loved it and I had so many happy gaming memoires associated with it that it got me excited in E3.

No doubt the Playstation 4 owners will have already got the alpha of Destiny and will already be rubbing it in the faces of Xbox owners like me about how amazing it is, in fact if you want to share your views of it, or any other reviews, please feel free to contact me via twitter. My first impressions were – WOW! The game looks stunning. Big landscapes, impressive views and the classic sounds of a Bungie epic. The background being that humanity has colonised the solar system and that there is only a few peeps back on earth guarding the last city and a giant floating orb. The scope of the game is massive and looks to bring highly detailed worlds to life for you and your friends (they can drop in and out any time). Public Events just happen at random in the story with drop ships of baddies falling in from the sky to make a linear game feel more exciting. The races, role-play and interactive possibilities also look like an exciting feature too, but I’m really excited about the weapons and how different parts from accomplishing different things can be utilised in the weaponry. Adding to that the character creation and the wide range of baddies, it looks like a lot of fun discovering how’s best to take them down. The replay-ability from what I have seen on this game, the depth of the story and universe makes this a standout game in an already crammed market of First Person Shooters. In Bungie we trust.

Star Wars Battlefront (one of last years trouser bulges), released yet another teasing trailer with the DICE team telling us how much they love the movies and how they’ve gone back to the roots to capture the vehicles, environments and props to add into the game. After the farce of Battlefield 3, I really hope that they get this right.

Hunt from the Cyrtek, a kind of 4 player zombie, Resident Evil 4 style game with the demo expected in 2015.

That’s only to name a few games. When I started to read up and look into the games that were being showcased, I knew I was in for a long night!

Bloodborne (which was leaked under the name Project Beast pre-E3) the PlayStation 4 exclusive, words that I think will haunt me for the next few years. The trailer for it looks so, so good, I found myself glaring at my Xbox One and cursing it under my breath. It paints an atmospheric portrait of doom and gloom, with zombie style villagers with torches walking around a cobbled, foggy street… you get the idea. It had me with the character with a shotgun and a massive surgical saw thingy that gives the game a kind of Devil May Cry feel. Only time will tell if I need a PS4 or just straight up want one.

Sunset Overdrive, when you hear that the influences for this game are the Tank Girl comics, I Am Legend novel and The Young Ones TV show you know it will be something special. The trailer made it look at the start like another Marine FPS sort of game but you would be very, very wrong. This could be one of the most fucked up, fun and whacky games when it’s released and I think that’s what a lot of games are missing nowadays, fun elements. With the idea behind a contaminated energy drink turning everyone into mutants (the under 17s in Salford would be the first to go), this zany, 3rd person, parkour, shooting fest looks and feels like it has been lifted from the pages of a comic book. The footage of this colourful shooter/jump off things/don’t touch the floor game looks like it will have an array of achievements and trophies for some spectacular kills and combos, like Zombie Land meets Skate on acid. This doesn’t look like your average platformer that has a lot of humour.

The Evil Within, although I am a bit of a shitbag when it comes down to watching horror movies, survival horror games are ones that I enjoy the most. Dead Space on the Xbox 360, Resident Evil 4 on the Game Cube to the original Silent Hill and Resident Evil games on the PlayStation, they all had a formula that made me love and fear playing a game. This is where my excitement for The Evil Within comes in. Done by the mind behind the 1st Resident Evil game, Shinji Mikami, the game play has everything you can expect from the survival horror legend. The game looks like it has toned down the action and gone back to psychological scares, shocks and traps! It has atmosphere, puzzles and a grizzly upgrade system, the creatures after you have an eerie feel about them and noticeably Ruvik who stalks the main character Sebastian, a detective who has to solve a murder and gets thrown into this messed up world, through the game. The camera has the 3rd person over the shoulder feel of Resident Evil and If you have the chance to check out the trailers and game play footage, I suggest you do and put this top of your wanted list!

 Battlefield Hardline. After the utter disappointment of Battlefield 3 (words can’t describe the dread and upset I feel towards this game for being so broken and enjoyable) I have a bit of a love/hate feeling towards this title and just like its older brothers, the first impressions from early footage and trailers are breathtaking, but as I watched the cops and robbers action unfold, all I could think of is “it’ll be fucking incomplete and broken, not interested”, which is a shame as I feel the battlefield franchise has taken a massive hammer blow and it’s dented my confidence in the product, just like FIFA 14 makes me die inside a little every time I play it. Battlefield 2 has some of my favourite FPS memories with me and my mates all working together to try and crush evil… ah, those were the days… but back to Hardline. The usual joys of a Battlefield game seem present, destructible environments, realistic weaponry and vehicles to fit the environment. With the multiplayer I saw being a Cops and Robbers chase with an armoured van being hijacked in the streets of LA in broad daylight, the fans of the series shouldn’t be disappointed. The footage I’ve seen has that rough, gritty, battlefield feel to it and I might give this series another crack of the whip… after my mates have purchased it and told me it’s not fucked. Sticking with FPS, I would like to talk a little more about the new Tom Clancy game…

Rainbow 6 Siege, fans of the Tom Clancy epics will no doubt have had their ear to the ground about this one for a while, but I had been more distracted by The Division, that this amazing looking tactical first person shooter had completely passed me by. The game play footage looks great with a lot of emphasis on team work, co-op and multiplayer fun. I can already see me getting pissed off at certain people on my friends list for being too… how can I put it… Rambo-esq. With destroyable environments aplenty, a lot of attention to detail and tactics needing to be spot on, as they do in the Rainbow 6 games, this could be one to keep an eye on. The level shown in the demo is a 2 story house with a basement and you have to save a hostage. It’s well worth a watch, although it’s a FPS, it looks like it has a different feel to Battlefield and Call of Duty.

Alien Isolation, joy… another Aliens game. So this franchise has 2 of the worst movies to go side by side with some of the shittest and over hyped games I’ve ever come across, why can’t anyone get the it right? With bated breath I checked out the trailer for it sometime ago and I did so after being forced to. “Lots of strobes and Marines getting pulled through the roof” I thought, but I was more than presently surprised. So that lead me to the game play, still a little cautious, but when I researching this game, all I could see was how impressed people who have tested it have been. maybe there is hope. It focuses on Ripley’s daughter as she investigates the events from the 1st film by Ridley Scott, straight away the idea of someone who isn’t military trained against a lone, deadly predator starts to appeal more! It looks intense, atmospheric and eerily creepy with shocks and jumps along the way to generally scare the shit out of you! It’s stealthy and strategic where utilising your environment is a must to survive. You will come across other survivors and synthetics who react to the scenarios differently, this adds another danger element to the mix. Weapons are available but, as usual, there are disadvantages. I was very impressed with what I’ve seen so far. I cannot wait to pay this in a darkened room.

Nintendo Amiibo, now where do I start with this, having two god children, who both have brothers and sisters, I think I may need to use them as an excuse to get a Wii, WiiU and then this. I need to hold my hands up and admit that I overlooked Nintendo at this E3 as I didn’t think they had anything to bring to the party, but Nintendo’s version of skylanders and Disney Infinity (both I have invested in for presents for the god children) sees a new line of action figures based on Nintendo legends such as Mario, Link and Pikachu (I think that’s correct) who get brought to life in your computer world and usable in your games, such as Super Smash Brothers and Mario Kart. Then there is Star Fox and the Legend of Zelda.

The Legend of Zelda took my breath away. Nintendo have gone and pulled a blinder, the game looks incredible, beautifully done and had me salivating at the thought of a Zelda/Skyrim love child. If you haven’t seen it or want to know more, have a look at the footage. Regardless of your games system of choice, it looks highly impressive. It has lead a lot of people wondering if this is Link or someone else. Either way, my mish mash of words will not do this justice! Please just check it out for yourselves!

An honerable mention goes to Ori and The Blind Forest, if you loved Limbo, this could be on your wish list. Tom Clancy’s The Division, Witcher 3… the list goes on.

You will notice that I haven’t really mentioned anything by EA or the new Call of Duty game. This is for a few simple reasons.

They don’t try anymore. Same game, dumbed down and more costly. Did you notice that some of the previous CoD games are pretty much scene for scene alike? The fact that EA now have “improved crowd reactions” as a selling point suggests to me that the dead horse has been flogged too much, but saying that, they made FIFA 14 so unenjoyable and arcady that they could probably re-release FIFA 12 or 13 (neither were perfect) and it would be an improvement.

I could vent my frustrations at them for days on end but I would love to hear your views and opinions on anything I have mentioned or failed to mention. So feel free to get in touch, either via the comments below or over on Twitter.

Matt Mutton
Editor

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