You’ve Got Jack: E3 Day One: Microsoft, EA, Ubisoft, and Sony

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The first day of E3 is always the biggest with the heavyweights throwing their weight around.  Last year saw Microsoft completely shit the bed with their anti-second-hand and daily check-in insanity that they later recanted.  This year Microsoft has to come back from that and Sony has to do more than just mock their competitor in order to pull a win.  I’ll be coming back after the major press conferences to talk about what, to me, are the most interesting things.  The game titles will link to videos of the games.

9:30 AM PDT – Microsoft’s “Xbox at E3 2014”

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Rather than wasting half their conference on the TV integration features no one asked for, Microsoft focused on Games this time around. They had a chance to make an impression but instead opted to start their show with their sure thing and promoted “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare“. It’s more of the same that we’re used to with CoD with a few graphical prettiness additions and more of a feel of the old “Tom Clancy’s Advanced Warfighter” game.

The only legitimately new IP games were 2K’s Evolve which I’d liken to taking the boss battle from any Borderlands game and making that the entire game.  Not very interesting in my opinion, but it seems more designed for the pro/competitive gamer circuit.  The other interesting new IP was Insomniac Games’ Sunset Overdrive.  Imagine the leaping and awesomeness of your favourite platformers with the over the top gunplay and weaponry of Borderlands and you’ve got one of the most awesome games I’ve seen in a long time.  Easily the only thing that makes me regret not owning an XBOX One.

Other things of note:

Watch the whole conference here!

12:00 PM PDT – Electronic Arts’ “EA at E3 2014”

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First things first, Star Wars: Battlefront.  Ever since Disney’s takeover of Lucas Properties, games have been a huge question mark because like all movie property games Star Wars games have been amazingly great (Knights of the Old Republic, Shadows of the Empire, The Force Unleashed) or embarassingly bad (Star Wars: Obi-Wan, Star Wars: Kinect).  Since LucasArts is no longer in primary control we get to see what other companies will be able to do and first up is DICE.

Dragon Age: Inquisition.  The last game felt like a major step back in the Dragon Age series as it scaled down a game from an entire nation, to one city.  The story and gameplay was decent it just felt like we weren’t having as major of an effect on the universe as we had previously.

Mass Effect 4: Billed as a completely new IP in the Mass Effect Universe, we’re going to get to see a whole different part of the universe than we’ve seen previously.  New locations, changing weather, dynamic environments, and new tech.  This could be awesome.  I’d be even more excited if the environments were damagable or destructable.

Mirror’s Edge 2: I loved the original Mirror’s Edge on my PS3 and I’m super excited that another one’s coming for next-gen.  If this game proves to be completely open world and allows me to freely run across the city at my whim, picking up runner missions as I go, I would be in heaven.

Battlefield Hardline:  As a fan of the Battlefield series, I was excited to see Gameplay and it was badass.  Ziplines, car chases, gunfights, it had it all!  The biggest announcement was the announcement at the end of the EA conference that the Hardline Closed Beta was open to registration as of the end of the conference!  You can be sure I got my name in there for the beta!

Other items of note:

Watch the whole conference here:

3:00 PM PDT – Ubisoft’s “Ubisoft at E3 2014”

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Far Cry 4: The previous games have always been incredibly well done and this is no exception.  While it’s just the first 5 minutes of the game, it looks beautiful and the voice acting is spot on.  I’m looking forward to seeing more of this game in the future.

The Division again: This link in the game title will take you to a fairly impressive trailer from Ubisoft that grabs in much the same way as trailers for games like The Last of Us did.  It sort of humanizes the game and adds emotional investment that the earlier gameplay from Microsoft didn’t.

The Crew: Besides describing it as an MMO Racer, Ubisoft didn’t do much to differentiate their IP from other popular game series like the aforementioned Forza. 

Assassin’s Creed: Unity: This time with Gameplay!  While it looks beautiful, it just feels like more of the same formula from the previous games just with Co-op.  Not that that’s a bad thing, and really what else can you do as far as the mechanics and gameplay go?

Rainbow Six: Siege: After a 6 year break in the franchise, it looks like they’re coming back strong!

Other things of note:

  • Shape Up: Kinect-based exercise like the Wii-Fit titles.
  • Just Dance: New year, new music.  Now there’s a multiplayer mode featuring mobile apps.  The synch tech used could revolutionize other titles.

Watch the whole conference here:

6:00 PM PDT – Sony’s “PlayStation at E3 2014”

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Destiny: One of the most awaited titles on next-gen is Destiny, from the creators of the original Halo Trilogy, Bungie. Destiny White 500GB PS4 Bundle. Also announced is exclusive equipment and content ONLY on PS4.

The Order: 1886: All new game-play shows off some of the graphical awesomeness and mechanics of the new game.  Unfortunately, it’s now been pushed back to 2015.

Entwined: An awesome arcade-style game with a simple concept made complex.  Takes the standard “going down a tunnel” type game and adds the simultaneous control of two characters at the same time.  Looks beautiful and hypnotic, much like Flower was for PS3.

inFAMOUS: First Light: An all new DLC for inFAMOUS: Second Son featuring one of the characters from that game, Fetch and her neon powers.  The coolest bit?  You don’t need Second Son to play the DLC.  The first of two “you don’t need to buy this to play this” announcements.

Little Big Planet 3: I was SO excited when this started!  I loved all the previous LBP titles and this looks even better.  Not only are there 4 playable characters that promote playing with friends, but you can play the entire back catalogue of user-created levels from EVERY Little Big Planet game!!

Bloodborne: I assume that this is Project: Beast, otherwise known as the spiritual successor to Demon Souls II.  It looks very cool and the game-play looks much like From Software’s previous titles.

Let It Die: A new game from Suda 51, the creators of Lolipop Chainsaw and Shadows of the Damned, and Killer7.  This game looks a lot more serious, though.

Project Morpheus: Sony’s new VR Peripheral.  Will it make Facebook’s newly purchased Oculus Rift go to Microsoft?  Who knows!

Powers: Sony is producing it’s own series.  The first of these is Powers. Based on the popular comic series of the same name, Powers follows a homicide detective that investigates deaths involving super-powered individuals.  Big news is that the ENTIRE SERIES is free to PS+ Subscribers.

Uncharted 4: The trailer was taken directly from PS4 system video and as short as it was I’m just as excited as ever!

PlayStation Now: A rental-based service that looks to make Sony’s ENTIRE back-catalogue eventually available.  The games will be rentable for a period of time and then expire.  The cool bit?  If you don’t own a PlayStation console, you can always buy a Sony TV and sync a Dualshock 3 controller with it and play PS3 games right there!

SonyTV: A new peripheral, the Sony TV hooks into the HDMI of your tv and syncs with a controller and has an ethernet port.  Using this, you can play PlayStation Now on any television or use it to remote play your PS4.

Other things of note:

  • Far Cry 4: This time with gameplay!!
  • Diablo III has exclusive The Last of Us themed stuff.
  • The Last of Us Remastered: Speaking of The Last of Us, the remastered edition looks SO beautiful!
  • Dead Island 2: More of what we’ve come to expect.  This time in San Francisco!
  • Magicka 2: EVERY Paradox Studio is working on PS4 exclusive titles and this is the first.
  •  Grim Fandango: A classic adventure series gets a complete face-lift and revamp.
  • Devolver Digital: releasing a BUNCH of PS4 ports including BroForce and HotLine Miami
  •  YouTube Functionality coming to PS4’s share button!  Something that I think will help broadcasters like PewDiePie, Tobuscus and Seananners finally make the PS4 jump easier. WHOOOO!
  •  Grand Theft Auto V is coming to PS4 and you can port your profiles from Grand Theft Auto Online for both PS3 AND Xbox360!
  • Batman: Arkham Knight Gameplay
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Gameplay
  •  More Vita games and connectivity showing that they’re not leaving their mobile platform out in the cold.

Watch the whole conference here!

Well, that’s about it for the first day of E3.  Awesome stuff!

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