The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) has come and gone, leaving in its news-filled wake delighted gamers who now know what the next 12 months has in store for them.
Want the short version? Here’s a quick roundup of all the best news from E3:
So many games from Sony
Sony wowed audiences with a huge number of games currently in its line-up. Highlights included Bloodborne, a new game from the studio behind the Souls series that looks just as brutally difficult, the gorgeous The Order: 1886 and a new Uncharted that’s coming in 2015. They also announced a “glacier white” PlayStation 4 that will be bundled with Destiny which comes out on September 9, and the arrival of the PS4 version of The Last of Us on July 29. Sony’s bottom line is the steady stream of games we’ll see from it between now and the holiday buying season.
Microsoft’s renewed focus on games
After a disastrous E3 back in 2013 that seemed to focus on everything but games, Microsoft has turned things around under Phil Spencer’s leadership and its E3 show has been all about the games. Big announcements included the Halo: Master Chief Collection that has all four of the franchise’s main games in a single package for the Xbox One, the new Fable that will let gamers play as the villain, and the Xbox One exclusive Sunset Overdrive will have eight-player co-op and is coming out on October 28.
Nintendo’s NFC-enabled Amiibo figurines
This year’s E3 saw Nintendo unveil its own take on the whole “toys that double as videogame accessories” trend kicked off by Skylanders a few years back. In true Nintendo fashion, they’ve been given a strange name: Amiibo, and the initial line-up features some of the company’s most iconic characters like Mario, Princess Peach and, for some reason, the Wii Fit lady. The figurines have embedded NFC chips that let them communicate with the Wii U GamePad, so they don’t need a separate USB platform in order to be drawn into the game.
Not quite Battlefield
EA did really well this year, showing off a compelling line-up of games that included the gorgeous Dragon Age: Inquisition and the long-awaited sequel to Mirror’s Edge. However it really stole the show with its new Battlefield spin-off game starring cops and robbers called Battlefield: Hardline. It mixes Battlefield’s excellent multiplayer mechanics with the idea of modern-day heists that has cops trying to stop a gang of robbers from stealing stuff. The video they showed E3 audiences featured explosive combat that ran through the various stages of a heist-in-progress. Expect the game on October 21.
Assassin’s Creed Unity is the stuff of dreams
The French publisher blew Assassin’s Creed fans away with news of the next game in the franchise, Unity. It’s set in Paris during the French Revolution, and because it’s a next-gen title only, the developers have gone to town with ludicrous levels of detail and realism that make it look jaw-droppingly good. The new assassin is named Arno, and he can be joined by up to another four assassins in separate co-op missions. The action looks even smoother and more natural than it did in AC4, and a new climbing mechanic gives you greater freedom to move about the city.
Grand Theft Auto for PC and PS4
That mack daddy of sales record holders, Grand Theft Auto V, is coming to PC and the PlayStation 4 “this fall” (our autumn) according to its developer Rockstar. But more importantly, saved games from the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game will be compatible with the PS4 version, allowing you to bring across all of your progress from your initial playthrough rather than being forced to start a new game should you be one of the millions of gamers that bought it back in September.
Far Cry 4 game-less co-op
Far Cry 4 is out later this year, and will have a unique feature that Ubisoft is probably hoping will make it a hit with cheap gamers: co-op play that doesn’t require everyone to have a copy of the game. All that is needed is one legitimate copy of the game, and other players can join a multiplayer game in progress by downloading and using an app that has been created just for that purpose.
The Legend of Zelda is resurrected for the Wii U
Zelda fans the world over just about cried in relief as Nintendo unveiled a brand-new Legend of Zelda game that’s in development for the company’s struggling Wii U console. The company promised a return to the series’ open-world roots with the new game that features the biggest and most lush-looking Hyrule yet seen in a Zelda game. Rolling hills and a faraway horizon that invites exploration are the hallmarks of the new game, and should Nintendo get this right, the game could prove to be the system-seller the Wii U so desperately needs.[Images – Ubisoft-press.com, Nintendo.com, Rockstar.com, Xbox.com, Sony.com, EA.com]