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E3 Briefings Recap

 

E3 brought us a lot of great moments as usual. Ubisoft had another surprise at the end of their show, plenty of sports games, and even the reveal of Grand Theft Auto V for PC, and next gen consoles. So read on for a recap of the highlights of the opening day.

A list of games that impressed me at this years E3 include FIFA ’15, Battlefield Hardline and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege which was announced by Ubisoft last night at the end of their conference (much like TC: The Division was last year).

Along the way of watching the conferences I made a list of games I was impressed by on a steno pad, much like last year and it is about 20 games deep, so I won’t get to them all I am sure in this post, but I will try to by the end of the week. Plus I will attempt to get all of the media assets that I have collected up on the site as well.

Lets now go over the best games of each show, like I said, I won’t go over my entire list of games, but I will go over a good chunk of them right here as we progress.

Microsoft

Microsoft’s show didn’t really get my attention over the first some odd hour into the show, outside of the Call of Duty Advanced Warfare trailer which was really good. The rest of the first hour seemed to lack substance.

Then something happened, something profound. It got a little more interesting to me, a game called Sunset Overdrive had a trailer and it was intriguing to me, it kind of reminded me of Infamous: Second Son at first which that fresh kid character who is supposed to save the city. It has a character like the fresh kid from Infamous: Second Son mixed with the fantasy visuals that actually sort of reminded me of Crazy Taxi on the old Sega Dreamcast. You can check out the trailer here:

One of the other notable things from the Microsoft show had to be the announcement of Halo: The Master Chief Collection, which to me, is awesome because if I ever purchased an Xbox One because it has Halo’s 1-4 on one package and all will be in 1080p according to an IGN preview piece. The games appear to be their original games including the online suites also mentioned in an IGN preview piece.

Microsoft also got a stage demo for Tom Clancy’s the division which was pretty cool because it was a nice little shootout on Christmas day set in a disease struck New York City.

Overall though, for all the games at the conference I wasn’t wowed by Microsoft’s showings, it was a lot of cartoon stuff and not so much great games.

The game of the show here was Crackdown 3, it looked like a lot of fun, if Microsoft was ever to have a game that sells consoles this year Crackdown 3 is probably the Microsoft exclusive that does it.

Grade: C+

Ubisoft

Ubisoft had a so-so show too in my opinion, games like The Crew, Tom Clancy’s The Division and TC: Rainbow Six: Siege were the highlights in what was for the most part, not so spectacular showing for Ubisoft.

And even of the highlights only Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege really stood out because of the gameplay trailer they showed of the PC version of the game (which was evident because of the on screen prompts) and they had to break into a house in the Boston Suburbs and rescue a hostage from 5 men trying to hold her against her own will, and the game looked good and fun, and I loved the strategy part of A. finding out where she was in the house, B. figuring out a point of entry and C. Figuring out a gameplan on how to take the bad guys down. The trailer was over five minutes long and it was filled with a lot of good action, might have been the best showing of the show.

Another thing that excited me was the fact that it was a Rainbow Six game because I remember Rainbow Six: Vegas and it was a stellar game to play, so it is nice to see the game coming back to the forefront.

But still Ubisoft despite a few impressive showings, was pretty underwhelming to me, maybe I am more critical than I used to be, but overall I was hoping for that holy crap moment from them and they did not really deliver.

Grade: B-

EA

EA to me had a good showing, I don’t feel like they had any real stand outs from their show, even Battlefield Hardline didn’t drive it home to me, I expected a little more mainly however because of the show they put on last year with Battlefield 4.

But even still the showing was very good highlighted by FIFA ’15 which to me was their best game of the show, which is surprising since I am not at all a soccer fan, but the game looked good, and the presentation to me was pretty well done.

NHL ’15 and Madden both looked really good, but were not really talked about in depth like FIFA ’15 was so I also had to take that into consideration when I write this.

Though on the EA website there were a lot of new features unveiled for Madden ’15 which include detailing all of the different features. To see the list of features start with this post and at the bottom you will have the chance to discover more features at the bottom of the page.

EA unfortunately mismanaged the promotion of NHL ’15 in my mind, they had a chance to promote it heavily but I feel like the game is lower on EA’s priority list, which is a shame since the game has a strong foundation to build on.

Now I mentioned the Battlefield Hardline trailer and on stage demo, and it had a really good showing, but overall I was not overly impressed, it looked like a game I have already played before. While I love the cops and robbers concept, I have a hard time saying this is a brand new game, it really looks like BF4 with a new concept and improved destruction.

EA also showed off The Sims 4 and the game looked decent, but as someone who is not a big The Sims player, it did little to excite me to play it.

EA had a good showing, which included a lot of concept pieces which included another Mirrors Edge concept piece. The show actually started with a Star Wars piece which was pretty cool, they explained how they went out and captured the original Star Wars items from the movie and saw the locations which should make for a much richer experience. EA had a great show overall and if you missed it, it would be worth digging it up on one of the gaming websites you visit.

Grade: A

Sony

Sony had an amazing show, including the reveal of Grand Theft Auto V towards the end of it. But their games on display included The Last of Us remastered, and Batman Arkham Knight.

The Sony conference wasn’t all that and a bucket of chicken, in fact, there was some down time, but it is hard to fill up a 90 minute show with all greatness, and was obvious. Sony did it’s darnedest to make sure that it had a good showing though, announcing Playstation TV and Playstation Now, however they failed to really add any substance to PSN in general.

As for the games, there were a good amount of indie games shown which was hit and miss, I actually kind of liked the 8 bit looking games over some of the more current looking games, it brought back some memories of when I was a child and it was all 8 bit games which was the late 1980’s and into the mid 1990’s when the 8 bit games were still very much alive, it wasn’t until PS2 did the games really take that next step graphically.

Far Cry 4 was also a nice looking game and seems to be a good game overall, it is still too early to tell for sure, but I have no doubt that it will be well perceived if the gameplay looks as good as in the demo.

Lets talk about The Last of Us Remastered, because that looks better visually, and it is going to get The Last of Us DLC, so if you have not already gotten it and plan on getting the PS4 version it might be a wise idea to hold off on the DLC, unless of course you have the money to spend, then it doesn’t really matter. The game drops on July 29th.

So lets start with GTA V because I feel like that was the best news of the show, especially if you wanted it to come to PC or PS4/Xbox One. According to the intro post on the Rockstar site the game will feature across-the-board graphical and technical improvements to deliver a stunning new level of detail. Among them are increased draw distances, finer texture details, denser traffic, and enhanced resolutions all work together to bring new life to the cities, towns, deserts and oceans of Rockstar North’s epic reimagining of Southern California. To see the game in action see the video I uploaded of the game which is approved for general audiences.

[videojs mp4=”http://www.enforcingthecode.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Produce_5.mp4″ width=”800″ height=”600″ preload=”true”]

You will get more info on Grand Theft Auto V in the near future according to a post at the bottom of the news story on Rockstar’s site.

Grand Theft Auto V is expected to be out in the fall on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

Batman Arkham Knight was probably the best of the show with great graphics, looks like a lot of fun overall. But admittedly I am not a batman fan of any sort, I never liked the Comic Books, TV series(s) and because of this I have never given Batman games much of a chance. However since I did like the Movie Batman The Dark Knight I have tried to be a little more open minded to Batman overall. The game is due out in 2015 so there will be plenty of time in between now and then to make up my mind on whether to buy the game or not.

Overall Sony had a great display, which featured a lot of news and reveals. It was probably the second best of the show outside of EA’s conference. I can’t say it was the best of show because the biggest announcements weren’t even console exclusives.

Grade: A-

E3 Misses

You can’t do this and not have a list of misses on top of it, surely you can say all you want about how great the conferences were, but there were a few let downs. Listed in bullet points below.

  • No NFL 2k
    This is disappointing because of the rumors that the series would be making a come back with EA’s NFL exclusive deal being done reportedly. In fact I don’t think there were any 2K games.
  • Lack of blow your mind announcements
    Outside of Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege there were no real shockers, I guess GTA V for PC and next gen consoles, but that was sort of expected at some point. I am surprised a little it was E3 only because Rockstar Games usually doesn’t make a huge splash at the conference, so that sort of bucks the trend a little bit. Crackdown 3 (as I call it so far until we have a confirmed name) was a nice surprise however as well.
  • Returning Franchises feel repetitive
    This is true for Assassins Creed Unity, and The Sims 4. I didn’t get excited for either of these games.
  • Continued lack of substance for Vita
    Partly because the handheld can do so much, but having more games on the handheld could make it a worthy buy, but with no real incentive to buy out outside of it’s second screen function, it doesn’t seem worth it
  • Take Two was quiet
    Outside of GTA V, take two I don’t think had any games at the show which is disappointing since they could have showcased NBA 2k15 without any competition from NBA Live. And they could have showcased WWE 2k15.

So there it is, a recap of how I saw E3 2014, and what stuck out most to me. Certainly there are other gaming sites that will get excited for games I did not list, especially on the Nintendo side of things.

Regardless though, E3 2014 was a massive success for EA in my mind. Ubisoft came in and had a solid, yet underwhelming showing. Sony and Microsoft evened out I think, with Microsoft scoring the biggest blow in terms of exclusives with Crackdown 3.

Hopefully next yet we really get to see what the PS4 and Xbox One are really made of, because at this years show, it seems sort of par the course with companies playing it safe.

Game of the show for E3 2014

I choose Crackdown 3 because it just looked awesome and a lot of fun, and if you combine the two elements together and you have what should be a great gaming experience. Last year I choose Battlefield 4 and it turned out to be a great game, not the best game of 2013 thanks to the gem called Grand Theft Auto V. However I don’t think Crackdown 3 will have that issue unless it comes out this year with with the PC, and Next Gen versions of Grand Theft Auto V coming out, but can I really name that the game of the year, or even The Last of Us Remastered game of the year when the original versions came out in 2013? I have a hard time believing that to be the case.