E3 2014 lacked the hype and anticipation of the previous year, as the PS4 and Xbox One had already come out. But perhaps we would see strong lineups announced for them, which would help them further build upon the decent launches. And Nintendo would likely reveal whether they would finally deliver the long-expected powerful first-party support for the Wii U.
As usual, you’ll get the important facts from the conferences in bullet point format. The ones in bold are the biggest things in each conference, in my opinion.
- Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare shown. Comes out November 4th. Xbox One will get the game’s DLC first
- Forza Horizon 2 – will feature 200 cars, clubs can be made with up to 1000 members, game will be in 1080p
- Evolve gameplay shown – you can choose among 4 classes – Assault, Tapper, Medic and Support. Or you can be the monster and try to destroy the 4 taking on you!
- Assassin’s Creed Unity gameplay shown – up to 4-player co-op, set during the French Revolution
- Dragon Age III: Inquisition trailer – several classes shown. Coming out October 7th
- Sunset Overdrive – interesting new IP by Insomniac, over-the-top action game with comic book-style SFX text. Comes out October 28th
- Dead Rising 3 gets an arcade mode DLC where you can kill zombies dressed up as Street Fighter’s Ryu and other Capcom characters
- Harmonix’s Dance Central Spotlight, a download-only title, coming this fall
- Fable Legends, a Fable game focus on online co-op – you can also be the villain and sic various creatures at the heroes. Multiplayer beta this fall
- Project Spark – game creator tool for Xbox One and Windows… Your games can be in different genres – action, 2D platformers, racing games, etc. Conker is involved, too
- Trailer for Ori and the Blind Forest – a stylish 2D platformer
- Halo: The Master Chief Collection – truly huge, containing all Halo games, all multiplayer maps – practically everything, even access to the Halo 5: Guardians beta
- Inside – new game by Playdead of Limbo fame. Again a platformer, features a boy in heavily monitored prison-like environment
- Various indie titles coming to Xbox One – Keiji Inafune’s Mighty No. 9 among them
- Rise of the Tomb Raider trailer – coming Holiday 2015
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt gameplay – looks quite solid
- Phantom Dust trailer – a sequel to the Xbox game is apparently coming to Xbox One
- Gameplay of Tom Clancy’s The Division. DLC will come to Xbox One first
- Hideki Kamiya presents Platinum Games’ new game Scalebound – a trailer is shown that features a headphone-wearing young guy and his dragon fighting other monsters
- New Crackdown shown – to be Xbox One exclusive
A pretty solid conference from Microsoft. They had the focus where people want it – on the games. While there wasn’t anything particularly amazing, the Halo collection is a huge thing that will sell millions – I know many gamers will love remastered Halo 2 multiplayer, among all the other stuff. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of game the new Phantom Dust will be, and the same goes even more strongly for Scalebound, which looked absolutely epic. All in all, it seems Xbox One may start to pick up steam.
- Star Wars: Battlefront trailer – game expected in Spring 2015
- Dragon Age: Inquisition combat shown, as well as the ability to switch to a “tactical” overhead camera view, where you can pause the action
- BioWare Montreal is working on the next Mass Effect, taking into account fan input – some conceptual images shown
- BioWare Edmonton is working on a new IP, set in contemporary times
- The Sims 4 – you can define psychological traits of your sims (like curiousity) along with the physical ones
- Bruce Lee shown in the upcoming UFC game – comes out June 17th
- NHL 15 – “almost everything is changing”
- Criterion game – looks like an open-world racing game
- PGA Tour – will implement “fantasy courses”, coming out in Spring 2015
- Madden – you’ll be able to choose in which direction to tackle opponents
- Dawngate MOBA – will supposedly feature an epic story
- Conceptual prototype of Mirror’s Edge 2 shown – a real shame that Faith looks less pretty
- FIFA trailer – focus on trivial details like the corner poles moving when the ball hits them
- Battlefield: Hardline – cops and robbers gameplay footage. Beta starts on the same day on PC and PS4
A boring presentation from EA – practically nothing exciting, aside from the concepts shown for a new Mass Effect, and Mirror’s Edge 2. Obviously, both games are still quite early in development. I doubt we’ll see anything before 2016. The rest was mostly the well-known EA franchises, the new versions coming with slight improvements compared to before.
- Rabbids instructing the audience how to enjoy the conference
- Far Cry 4 villain stabbing a subordinate with a pen and taking a selfie with “the player”. Apparently, that was the first 5 minutes of the game
- Just Dance 2015 shown. Just Dance Now app also announced – you need a phone and an internet-connected TV to use it, the phone replaces the camera/Move/Wiimote for tracking your moves
- The Division – story outlined, takes place in a post-pandemic New York, you’re part of a group trying to help society pick itself up after the catastrophe
- The Crew – open-world racing from coast to coast in the US. Lots of help from fans, feedback has been crucial for completing the game. Open beta on July 27th, game comes out November 11th
- Assassin’s Creed: Unity demo – game comes out October 28th. Main character’s called Arno Dorian. Great focus on the open-world aspect, world is big, lots of side missions
- Shape Up – trying to make mundane fitness tasks like push-ups fun
- Valiant Hearts: The Great War – adventure game about World War I, 4 main characters plus a dog
- Rainbow Six: Siege gameplay shown – five SWAT team members against five terrorists, hostage gets rescued
Ubisoft with some beautiful trailers as usual, and overall more interesting stuff to show than EA – even though EA beat them in quantity. Assassin’s Creed: Unity’s scale will be quite impressive, Far Cry 4 also looks great. The Division’s story background makes me care a little bit more about it. Valiant Hearts: The Great War could turn out interesting, too. All in all, business as usual at Ubisoft, much like EA.
- Destiny trailer – beta coming to PS4 first, on July 17th. First-look alpha coming on the Thursday of the E3 week
- White PS4 bundle with Destiny and 30 days of PS Plus. Comes on September 9th, the day of Destiny’s release
- The Order: 1886 footage, game takes place in a steam-punk, alternate-history London
- Entwined – stylish, strange game where you control two “souls” with each of the analog sticks, available the night after the conference
- Infamous: First Light – standalone DLC for Second Son (you don’t need to own the game to play it), out in August 2014
- LittleBigPlanet 3 – Sackboy has new friends – Oddsock, Toggle and Swoop, with different abilities that will enhance gameplay. Game’s coming out in November, and the 8.7 million levels created by players in the first two games will be available in the third, too, with improved graphics
- Trailer for Bloodborne – From Software (of Demon’s/Dark Souls fame)’s new game. Takes place in a city with gothic architecture, a mysterious man with a scythe slaughters zombie-like creatures
- Far Cry 4 demo – game will feature co-op. Apparently, you can invite a friend into the game and they can join even if they don’t own the game
- Dead Island 2 trailer
- There will be a The Last of Us-based dungeon in Diablo III: Ultimate Evil
- Battlefield: Hardline trailer
- Extra goodies for PlayStation Destiny owners – special armour, extra map, extra mission to Mars
- Magicka 2 trailer
- Remastered version of Grim Fandango coming exclusively to PS4 and Vita
- Some indie titles shown – Hotline Miami 2, Not a Hero, Broforce, Titan Souls, etc.
- Exclusive Suda 51 game called Let it Die – trailer features players killing other players in many different ways
- Abzu shown – a beautiful game taking place in the sea depths. Will debut on PlayStation
- No Man’s Sky – impressive indie sci-fi game taking place in a procedurally generated universe, each player will have a completely unique experience
- Share button on PS4 will soon allow users to directly upload videos to their YouTube channels
- Over 25 free-to-play games coming to PS4 and Vita in the next year – among them Fat Princess: Piece of Cake, Destiny of Spirits, Kingdom Under Fire 2 and others
- PlayStation Now open beta in the US begins July 31st
- Over 100 Vita games are being developed – Child of Light and Tales of Borderlands among them. Minecraft coming to Vita with co-op
- PlayStation TV – allows you to play Vita games on TV, costs $99, also $139 bundle with an HDMI cable, a DualShock 3, 8GB memory card and the Lego movie game
- Mortal Kombat X shown – some new characters alongside the classic ones
- Powers – TV show based on Bendis’ comic coming in December to Sony’s video platform. It’s about how superheroes would be treated if they were real
- Ratchet & Clank movie announced – comes in 2015
- Remake of the original Ratchet & Clank game also coming up – will apparently feature industry-best graphics
- The Last of Us graphical update coming to PS4 on July 29th, will run at 60 FPS
- Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain trailer – absolutely amazing, game will likely be quite grim, and will outline the beginning of Outer Heaven
- Grand Theft Auto V coming to PS4 – online progress can be transferred from PS3/360
- Batman: Arkham Knight trailer – PS4 players get exclusive Scarecrow nightmare missions
- Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End shown… Looks beautiful, comes out in 2015
Sony had an impressive showing – easily better than Microsoft’s. The Demon’s/Dark Souls games have captured the hearts of gamers everywhere, and thus Bloodborne is highly anticipated. Grim Fandango remaster is pretty cool, and I was very impressed with No Man’s Sky – the way everything flowed naturally, from the surface and the animals around you, up into space, through asteroid fields and fighting enemy ships, and down to another planet. Not impressed with Mortal Kombat X at all – the new characters look stupid, and the gameplay doesn’t look as tight as IX.
The Ratchet & Clank movie announcement raised many eyebrows, but who knows… If they do well with the humour, the series’ most distinguishing feature, it may not suck too much. Uncharted 4 looked impressive, and it figures – Naughty Dog were at the top of their game, graphically, already on the PS3…
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain may be a multiplatform game, but it’s easily what most impressed me during the Sony conference (even if the trailer had leaked and I’d seen it already before it). The trailer was incredibly emotional, giving us a glimpse of the greatness that is to come, and with a great background music to boot. No doubt it’ll be a very dark, grim game… Certainly the darkest in the series so far. I trust Kojima completely to deliver an amazing experience.
- Like last year, it’s a digital event, not a real conference
- Robot Chicken skit featuring Reggie – Nintendo know how to get their fans in the mood
- A super fight between Reggie and Iwata introduces Mii Fighters into the new Super Smash Bros. game – that’s right, your custom created avatars will be joining the fight. There will be 3 types of Mii fighters – brawlers, swordmasters and gunners. Each type can choose 4 special moves among 12 options
- 3DS version of Smash is undergoing testing – it’s coming out on October 3rd, whereas the Wii U version will wait until the holiday season
- Amiibo shown – Nintendo’s version of Skylanders, basically. Games like Smash and Mario Kart will use Amiibos
- Yoshi’s Woolly World – a Yoshi 2D platformer reminiscent of Kirby’s Epic Yarn. Coming in 2015
- Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker – will feature puzzles familiar from Super Mario 3D World, comes out for the 2014 holidays
- More Robot Chicken – Peach won’t let Bowser eat the last donut
- The Wii U Zelda will feature a bigger, more open world. Shows Link fighting a giant monster. Coming in 2015
- Pokemon: Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire coming to 3DS on November 21st
- Robot Chicken skit with Fox and Little Mac – not very funny this time
- Bayonetta 2 trailer, the first Bayonetta will also be included in the physical version of the game
- Hyrule Warriors – Dynasty Warriors with Zelda characters, will come out on September 26th
- Kirby and the Rainbow Curse – coming to Wii U in 2015
- Really impressive Xenoblade Chronicles X trailer – even if Monolith Soft’s character models haven’t moved a iota forward from the Xenosaga days… The game seems to have great scale, will feature interplanetary action. It sure reminds of Xenosaga… If only in style. There will also be a mascot somewhat similar to Chu-Chu – it’s called Tatsu. Game comes out in 2015
- Mario Maker – also coming in 2015. It’ll allow you to create your own SMB1-style levels… Nintendo are kinda late with that one, SMB hacks have been around forever
- Splatoon – first-party team-based third-person arena shooter by Nintendo. Looks kinda like a PSN/XBLA game. You can switch between person and squid forms – as a person, you shoot ink, as a squid, you can swim fast through the ink splattered on the ground. ALSO coming in 2015
- Anime fight scene between Link and Pit from Kid Icarus… When Pit is in trouble, Palutena intervenes, and she is revealed as a newcomer for the new Smash game
- Clip of Miyamoto playing something with the Wii U pad. The screen is blurred, but it’s SO obviously Star Fox! Apparently, a new entry in the series is coming for Wii U
A strong showing from Nintendo, especially if you’re a fan of the company’s games. Practically nothing new on the third-party front, aside from Hyrule Warriors, which is hardly a huge project. Several new things shown – Captain Toad, the Yoshi game, Splatoon. It’ll be interesting to see how the latter turns out, as it’s a rare Nintendo take at shooters… Still, what I saw didn’t look too promising. If this was on PlayStation or Xbox – first-party project or not, nobody would’ve really given a damn.
The next Zelda’s ambitions for scale are a very good thing. We’ll see how far Nintendo go with that… Don’t hold your breath for something anywhere near Skyrim… Not surprisingly, I was most impressed with Xenoblade Chronicles X, however. The trailer gave a pretty distinct Xenosaga vibe, although, knowing how Xenoblade turned out, it’ll hardly be on the same level of depth. Still, it’ll be flashy and fun. It’s rather disappointing how PS2 the character models look, though. Yeah, Wii U hardware is practically last-gen, but still. They could’ve done better.
No clear winner this year – one could argue for Sony, Nintendo, and even Microsoft (especially compared to last year’s disaster). EA and Ubisoft were clearly trailing, which means the big 3 have done something right this time around. But the new generation is still in its early stages. Wii U is the only one that seems to be picking up steam (about time, considering its head start), and if everything promised for 2015 is delivered, it should be a very big year for the system – as big as can be. PS4 and Xbox One are gradually getting some good games, but, if you haven’t already bought one of them or both, it seems waiting another year is a pretty good choice. I expect much better come next E3.
As with the Wii before it, Wii U is definitely worth getting if you’re into Nintendo games, and definitely a waste of money if you aren’t. But, with X, they’ve got something quite significant to lure the RPG fans – especially in today’s age that seems to be severely lacking in quality JRPGs. Acquiring Monolith Soft is probably the cleverest thing Nintendo have done in the last few years.