E3 Day 1; The Console War!
Another E3 has once again arrived and the first day has blasted it’s way to the front page of a lot of tech news as we see the `Console War` progress and possibly climax with its next victor.
The first day of E3 was split into 4 major talks, Microsoft, EA, Ubisoft and Sony to round off the day. So lets dive into the first section.
Microsoft started out their obnoxiously green talk with a little surprise from Konami & Kojima by showing the highly anticipated Metal Gear Solid 5, and open world Afghanistan based game with a plethora of transport options from horses to tanks. The open world mechanics present in the next MGS allows for far more play options for both stealth and aggressive maneuvers and is definitely something to look forward to.
Next up was a surprising announcement that the Xbox 360 would receive another redesign. So from the original 360 we then got; The Elite, The Slim and now this, designed to a similar standard as `The One`, as I call it. This new design is supposedly more sleek and quiet than its predecessor and has possibly been released due to part of the gaming community calling out for blood with the new Online check-ins and such that Microsoft is integrating – On a side note, something that I find very odd everyone is complaining about, these are people with smartphones and tablets yet they hate the idea of having to have their console have an internet connection?
Anyway here is the new 360 and god knows what its name is, 361?
Microsoft then went onto talk about Gold memberships and the changes to be made there, first off 2 free games are going to be given away each month to everyone new and old to Xbox Gold starting with Assassins Creed 2 and Halo 3, Gold will now having sharing capabilities within your household so that if your child/spouse/friends have a silver account but you have gold then they get access to many gold features. Also there will no longer be the old fashioned 100 friends cap, it has been removed entirely allowing you to make more friends with people you don’t know.
Before launching into games I’ll just round off other news brought to light; Xbox now has a partnership with Twitch.Tv so you can stream gameplay on The One, something I personally find interesting as during the holidays I do enjoy streaming with friends; Microsoft will no longer be supporting Microsoft Points but instead purchases will be made with your local currency. A new tool called Upload Studio has been implemented where you can personalise clips, give them thumbnails, edit them (although to what degree wasn’t shown in detail) and then upload them for all your friends to see, this works much like the Share button that the PS4 implemented.
Now to list off all the games that Microsoft showed at their talk, remember this is not a full list of Microsoft games, many are exclusives and I will try to say which ones are and are not. So here we go;
SpliterCell blacklist which has been shown everywhere for a while – for more info there will be a later post on the Ubisoft talk in the future
Batman Arkham Origins – The MS talk didn’t show this game off that much but this was readdressed in the PS talk later on and it looks to be one hell of a gritty fun Batman game even though Rocksteady aren’t involved in the 3rd of this epic trilogy. it does however I feel fall prey to the issues of many prequel games which is; It has much better awesome gadgets (because the game series has progressed, users need something new) but it’s better and more advanced so why isn’t it in the `future` games.
Grand Theft Auto 5 which is coming out soon in September.
World of Tanks is coming from the PC now to Xbox so fans of this apparently big hitter may be glad to see a port over to consoles. EXCLUSIVE
Max: Curse of Brotherhood – you play as a child who banished his brother to another realm and must save him, with some quite nice cartoony graphics it looks to be something fun and light to play.
DarkSouls 2 – The epic trailer to this game merely made me even more sad at the fact i’ve still not played let alone finished Dark Souls 1.
Ryse – you play as a Roman Soldier, the gameplay showed off real time fighting but with quick time events thrown in to finish off enemies, I worry this may get a little repetitive and boring as the game progresses. Also I’m sad as originally this game was meant to be a kinect heavy game where as now its rumoured that it’ll only be kinect enhanced, whether that means voice commands I don’t know. EXCLUSIVE
Killer Instinct – This is the game that is being streamed above, a standard fighter with a similar art style to StreetFighter I feel, all the same looks incredibly fun. EXCLUSIVE
SunSet Overdrive – This is a heavily stylised FPS with Openworld that has a cool cartoon look to it with very vibrant colouring, it sounded like the game would be updated frequently with things like daily challenges and other treats to enhance gameplay and change the way you think constantly. EXCLUSIVE
Quantum Break – In this game time freezes and slows in confined areas, meaning you could walk in on an event that had frozen such as an explosion, this game supposedly blurs the line between TV and Games (which in my personal opinion isn’t good, games are their own medium and shouldn’t be trying to copy old technology). EXCLUSIVE
Spark – A game where you can create a world with kinect or smartglass, even villages and enemies. You can even give personalities to items such as giving a rock the personality of a pet, so that whenever you are in a certain range, it bounces and runs toward your character. It was presented in an odd manner but the gameplay stood out and looked amazing, definitely one to buy. EXCLUSIVE
Deadrising 3 – You play Nick Ramos in an open world with absolutely no load times (such a fun perk in games), the same on the fly weapon customisation is still in place and smart glass plays a roll too by allowing for help from other players online. Definitely an awesome game and hopefully there’s plenty more to be revealed.
Witcher 3 – A huge free roaming, 100+ hour game with kinect voice commands to help with quick swaps of equipment or even saying incantations for magic spells.
Battlefield 4 – This actually went wrong at the talk and the speaker nearly walked off stage until luckily the demo started playing – see more later when I talk about the EA talk
TitanFall – A new IP, an FPS game that involves huge Mechs you can get in and control, jetpacks that create a more fun 3d traversable environment and some awesome multiplayer from the looks of the demo, definitely one to purchase. EXCLUSIVE
And Finally HALO 5 – Only a small teaser was shown of the Master Chief walking through a dusty planet before a huge forerunner mech appears from out of the sand. Apparently the first game to run at 60FPS on Console, a definite buy for any old Xbox Fans.
In order; Project Spark (world creation early stage), Titanfall (beginning of a mission), Halo 5 (teaser), Sunset Overdrive (trailer).
Sony started out their talk by talking about the PS Vita, it has 85 titles coming to it including Final Fantasy 10 and 10 part 2, God of War HD 1 & 2, Killzone Mercenary & Tearaway. As an old FFX fan I nearly ordered a vita there and then.
Sony talked alot more about games throughout and left most of the new tech stuff until the end, apart from the PS4 design (hold on, I’m getting there).
They went on to talk about some of the large games coming to the PS3 and Next Gen including Last Of Us which continues to get 10/10 ratings (EXCLUSIVE), Rain which looked an odd and almost depressing game that I wish they’d said more about (EXCLUSIVE), Beyond 2 Souls where they showed Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe (who is just the creepiest looking man even in game), the gameplay looked interesting, showing Ellen going through training before being assigned the mission to take down a Warlord (EXCLUSIVE), and a better and improved Batman: Arkham Origins trailer showing Bane, Deadshot, Deathstroke and Blackmask (EXCLUSIVE CONTENT e.g. Batman Skins).
Sony then went onto answer the major question burning in everyones mind; “What does the PS4 look like?”. Well, a little something like this:
with a slight slant in the design the PS4 reminds me of my old PS2 and doesn’t look that far off The One (which makes me laugh at everyone who said The One looked stupid) in terms of general design. Sony then went onto talk about how Sony Pictures were working on a new plan to bring entertainment to the PS Network including Music & Video unlimited, both of which are available day 1 of release for PS4. Also Redbox will be coming to the PS4 for all their US customers and Flixster will be coming later in Autumn.
The PS4 will be released 399 Dollars/Euros, and 349 Pounds possibly near November along side The One.
From there on out the talk remained focused on games both large and small with a little slip being made that PS will support Self-Publishing Content from Indies and the like and also that the PS4 will use Gaikai to stream PS3 games on the PS4 (providing they stream FFX HD and the Jak & Daxter HD Trilogy I’ll definitely be buying a PS4).
So lets run through the Sony games that were put on display;
The Order – A steampunk victorian england where you play as possibly 4 players against some unknown large gangly creatures (possibly werewolves, I couldn’t tell). EXCLUSIVE
Killzone Shadowfall – With awesome action & gus on display as well as some cool gadgets this game only continued to sell me on PS4. EXCLUSIVE
Infamous Second Son – A cool game where you have supernatural powers that seem to revolve mainly around fire – hopefully there’ll be some other powers later in game.
Knack – This wan’t spoken about much but a little teaser was shown.
Super Giant Games showed off their next hit Transistor – same isometric view as Bastion but with a few new art styles in certain places in the game, it looks to be a hopefully great hit from Super Giant.
Don’t Starve, Mercenary Kings, OctoDad, Secret Ponchos, Ray’s the Dead, Outlast, New n’ Tasty Oddworld (HD remake) and Galax-Z were a bunch of indie games that are also coming to PS4.
Diablo 3 – This wasn’t shown but there was talk about exclusive items from other playstation games which is an awesome little touch.
Kingdom of Hearts 3 – Not much was shown but it has the same cool cartoon-esque graphic style fans will be familiar with.
Assassins Creed 4 – The live demo gave a little look into the next AC and it looks a hell of alot better than its predecessor (which I’m struggling to complete as I hate it), this looks to have some fun Jungles and busy towns (unlike AC3 where there were near no buildings).
Watch Dogs – Another Live demo (something which Sony did very well), it showed driving around the world which was very beautiful, the game looked open with options allowing for some very smart play and also allowing help from Mobile players on their tablets to make your mission easier.
Mad Max – Only a teaser but all the same the game looked cool and had a similar wasteland art style that reminded me of Rage the ID software game.
That pretty much wraps up the major talking points about the 2 warring Consoles and on a personal note I feel that although I’d love some of the Kinect functionality and the Twitch.TV partnership Playstation may have won me over. If I buy a console at all however is another question, as a PC owner Steam wins every time as it’s cheap as hell.
The major feeling across the gaming network however is the same as mine, Playstation seems to have won this Console War, so hats off to you Sony, well done you avoided the pitfalls you made with the PS3, unfortunately Microsoft didn’t.
Thanks for reading and keeping looking here for more on some of the games being shown off at E3. Soon to come Ubisoft & EA talks.