Microsoft E3 2015
Yesterday was a huge day of E3 shows with Microsoft, EA, Ubisoft and Sony all strutting their stuff with big press conferences. While I still stand by my statement yesterday, that Bethesda software is winning this E3, everyone involved had some interesting things to show off. Mainly for me this is the year that Microsoft figured out how to do a relevant press conference. The past two years since the announcement of the Xbox One have provided extremely awkward and disconnected moments, but for the most part Microsoft nailed it this time around. They provided a wide scope of games to appeal to all genres, and while I don’t believe in their exclusivity after seeing titles appear on steam months later, I do feel like they are trying really hard to wrap up a large stable of winners as far as software goes. The big title that I am interested in is the new Tomb Raider game, which makes me realize that I really need to finish the last Tomb Raider game.
I’ve never been a huge Halo fan , but even I have to admit that the Halo Guardians demo looked pretty amazing. The title I was most amped about seeing again however was The Division, since we had not really seen much since the last E3. It seems like now we have a pseudo release date and a beta beginning towards the end of this year. My big concern was with the lackluster showing of Destiny so far, that this title might have simply quietly been cancelled. Thankfully that is not the case, and we will be exploring a new action role-playing game setting early next year. The video that takes the cake however for Microsoft is the Hololens demo showing off a special Hololens version of Minecraft. The more I see of Hololens the more I think it is going to be a real force in gaming, and not just another gimmick hoping to find a Market. Virtual Reality headsets extract you from the world, and Augmented Reality keeps you interactive with the world… I think that is going to make a big difference. The little I have played with the Occulus Rift was cool, but I suffered a pretty massive headache and was dizzy as hell as my mind tried to readjust to the “real world” after being in the unit for only around fifteen minutes. I cannot imagine what it would be like after some of my marathon gaming sessions.
EA and UbiSoft E3 2015
As good as Microsoft did with their press conference, EA doubled that effort in the opposite direction. The entire thing was this awkward and disjointed mess trying to play towards too many different demographics and just coming off as frustrating to I believe all of them. The biggest frustration for me personally was the fact that this press conference was about one thing for me… getting to see the new Mass Effect game. We got a minute and a half trailer… and that was quite literally all we saw of Mass Effect. Similarly with Mirrors Edge Catalyst… the game so many people have been amped to hear more news about… we got a two minute trailer. It seems that all EA actually cares about is peddling the new years edition of the same damned sports titles they have been selling for decades. From what I can tell roughly an hour of the presentation was tied up in these sports titles with blips at the beginning and the end about something interesting. I do have to say though that Star Wars Battlefront still looks amazing, however I have had that on preorder from the Playstation network since the Fan Fest announcement. They didn’t really need to sell me on that title, but I am looking forward to it all the same.
UbiSoft on the other hand unleashed a whole bunch of interesting stuff. We are apparently going to colonize the moon in Anno 2205, which looked amazing. They are releasing a version of Trials Fusion where you apparently play a cat that rides a flame breathing unicorn. We got to see even more staged footage of The Division, this time centering around the “Dark Zone”PVP area. The game I never thought I would be interested in however was Ghost Recon Wildlands, which for all intents and purposes seems to be their answer to the Just Cause franchise. Big open world game where you take on drug lords in whatever fashion you see fit. It looks like it is going to be extremely fun in the same way that I lost serious amounts of time to Just Cause 2. The real triumph of the show however is that Aisha Tyler is amazing, and I want her to host every press conference from this point on. Additionally they brought out Angela Basset at one point, who is the absolute badass mocapped leader of the new Rainbow Six. While there was not a whole lot that I was extremely interested in, it was nonetheless a good show or at least looked amazing as compared to the train wreck that was EA.
Sony E3 2015
Finally we wrapped up the night of E3 events last night with the Sony Press conference, and honestly even hours afterwards I am not 100% sure how well it went. They dropped some massive bomb shells on the crowd, but it only really plays to the folks who were already PS4 fans. Ultimately the goal of an E3 press conference for both Microsoft and Sony is to sell hardware, and at the end of the day I end up with the same equation. Most Xbox One exclusives also come out on the PC, and I own a fairly solid gaming PC. Most PS4 exclusives don’t, and as a result that is the hardware I chose to buy. This years game conference only serves to give me more reasons to be happy with my decision. The show lead off with finally giving a date to a game many had just expected got cancelled… The Last Guardian. This game was originally slotted for the PS3, and it was questionable if it had survived the generation hop. The big reveal of the night however is that Final Fantasy 7 is in fact getting a Remake. It was glorious to see at least glimpses of Cloud and Barret as they moved past the camera in all their ps4 glory.
The title that both came from out of nowhere and stole the show for me however was Horizon Zero Dawn from Guerilla games. This apparently ushers in a brand new breed of post apocalyptic storytelling, that manages to do so without weaving in a zombie premise. We live in what seems like a Clan of the Cave Bear like setting, until we see the first giant robot roaming the landscape. This is Turok the Dinosaur hunter, meets Last of Us, meets Zoids. We get to see the female bow hunter protagonist take down a giant robot t-rex like creature. As Tam commented during the stream, we have apparently gotten really good at making fighting giant monsters seem awesome. Had I not already purchased a PS4, this would have been the title that sold me the console. I am really hoping this ends up being a vast open world landscape that lets us wander around and explore, hunting the big game and unfolding what happened during “the darkness” that lead to the machines roaming the earth. There were of course other titles announced that looked great, and that I will likely play, however at six in the morning… the day after the show… the Sony conference was all about FF7 and Horizon for me. You can check out the full show trailer below.
Source: Tales of the Aggronaut
E3 2015 Day Zero