It’s been a long wait gaming fans, but E3 has finally come and passed and our hopes have been renewed in regards to just how much money we’ll be dishing out for some enthralling, immersive gameplay. Games have been announced, consoles unveiled, and wars taken to the next level all in the name of good, old-fashioned sportsmanship. The biggest battle fought so far has been Microsoft versus Sony, and their respective consoles, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Compiled here is an entire log of both competitors’ E3 unveilings with details, game synopses, and more.
Microsoft, and the Xbox One:
However, back at E3 they had an uphill battle ahead of them after their questionable Xbox One debut only a few weeks back (24 hour online requirement, no traditional used game sharing) but their game presentation was pretty much on point. Here’s the rundown:
The first game shown in this conference (and arguably, the one with the most discussion potential) is Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Unlike previous installments of the Metal Gear franchise, this time creator Hideo Kojima opted for an open world format, something never before seen in Metal Gear games. While giving the player a more realistic experience, it also serves as a medium of creativity as the player utilizes his space to their advantage. Another major change is the shortening of cutscenes; where the previous Metal Gears were like films, Kojima states that Phantom Pain will be more like a television show with episodes since the open world format will stagger the occurrence of cutscenes. MGS will be an Xbox One exclusive; no release date confirmed.
Here’s the trailer:
A clip of high quality gameplay:
Extended gameplay trailer (warning, graphic/disturbing imagery):
The next game featured at the Microsoft reveal was a World of Tanks console reboot, sure to please fans of the internet-only, free to play game. The game is an Xbox exclusive; the beta is scheduled to be released on the Xbox Live Marketplace soon after E3.
A brief glimpse at the infamous Dark Souls sequel, Dark Souls II reveals fun game play and a similar look and feel to what we’ve come to love from the dark franchise. No word on whether it will be an Xbox exclusive or a specific release date.
Next on our lineup is a title that was simultaneously intriguing and worrisome all rolled in one. Ryse: Son of Rome looks like it could be terrific fun, is very aesthetically pleasing, and is a relatively new concept. Worrying me however, is what seems to be an endless barrage of quick time events. Literally almost every combat motion showed in the demo was accompanied by a button command, and that seems endlessly tedious. Ryse will be an Xbox One exclusive and is slated for release with the system debut in November.
And now for one that will make many old-school fans rejoice: Killer Instinct (!) is coming back as a free to play day one Xbox exclusive! Something that may not make the fans rejoice: Killer Instinct will only have Jago as a playable character. All other characters will need to be purchased. Sorry, fans.
Forza 5 was announced as an Xbox One exclusive and pushed the boundaries on what next gen graphics can aspire to look like (with an actual car on stage at E3 to compare the graphics to). Innovative cloud integration is also pushing the envelope as the game will take advantage of the cloud to bring players the most customized experience available in the Forza universe.
Minecraft will also be coming to the Xbox One as it has rapidly become a worldwide fan favorite. No release date scheduled as of yet.
A super brief glimpse of Xbox One exclusive Quantum Break looks very promising. No more than a few teaser trailers have been released as of yet. Currently slated for release in 2014.
Announcement Teaser Trailer:
A new game Microsoft unveiled as an exclusive for Xbox One, 360 and Windows 8 is called Project Spark—a brand new take on the sandbox mentality of Minecraft with intensive features designed to give the user complete control over creation. It was definitely a refreshing addition to the Xbox One lineup, and looks very promising. It will be free to download and will be available at Xbox One launch.
Gameplay demo at E3:
Crimson Dragon was also showcased as an Xbox One exclusive. From the creator of Panzer Dragoon (creator Yukio Futasugi’s most famous work), the game seems much more promising as at its original release, the game was meant to be a Kinect feature. Now, the game is being controlled primarily with a controller (utilizing the Kinect for “intuitive gestures”) and looks very fun as the premise is to fight battles between flying dragons. The game is scheduled to be released at Xbox One launch.
One of the bigger announcements made at Microsoft’s presentation was the introduction of Dead Rising 3. The familiar zombie hack and slash meets a new character, Nick Ramos, who’s ready to kick some zombie tail. New abilities mentioned in the presentation were the ability to create combo weapons out of available materials in-game, as well as what looked to be like some sort of insane air-strike via SmartGlass functionality. As always, it’s an Xbox exclusive, and is slated for release in November with the Xbox One console.
Another fan favorite, The Witcher 3, was announced for the Xbox One. This is supposed to be the final installment in a three part series detailing the plot of the already existing book series of the same name. The graphics and gameplay look just as promising as the previous releases as well. Witcher 3 is slated for release in 2014.
Apart from the terrible start this game had before its unveiling (the trailer refused to play, causing more than an awkward silence and giggles from Sonyboys) Battlefield 4 looks like its geared to make fans just as happy as Battlefield 3 did. And a side note—it will be running at a sexy 60 frames per second on the Xbox One. Battlefield 4 will be available on next-gen consoles and PC on October 29th, 2013.
Next in the list is Below, an Xbox One exclusive that is an adventure game meant to be viewed in a top-down perspective. Players will be able to roam an open world while battling Darkness, an AI controlled character that uses YOUR own Kinect data to change the level based on the room surroundings. Release date is still TBA.
The briefest of glimpses were given of this massively anticipated game yet the audience went wild for the most famous of the franchises in this Microsoft lineup. Halo 5 was announced as an upcoming 2014 title that is, as always, an Xbox One exclusive. Many hopes ride high with this game as longtime hardcore fans are hoping that with a new iteration of this FPS shooter the title can return to competitive venues such as MLG.
Lastly, Titanfall, (a crazy fun looking game by the way) was touched upon ever so slightly with a trailer in the Microsoft conference. More details were offered during the EA segment although it was announced that the game would be an Xbox One exclusive and is slated for release in spring 2014.
New features announced for the Xbox One and other Microsoft projects:
New features announced for the Xbox One and other Microsoft projects:
- Implementation of Twitch.tv streaming service directly accessible during gameplay for live broadcasts
- More inclusion of the Microsoft SmartGlass experience will be seen in games
- Current subscribers of the Xbox 360’s Xbox Live Gold plan will have a free game download every month until the Xbox One release
- Tablet support for extra features in established console ports.
- Xbox One will release this holiday season for $500 retail.
Sony and the PlayStation 4:
After a long and insanely cryptic marketing campaign surrounding the hidden console and its teaser trailers, the PlayStation 4 was finally debuted at this year’s E3. As the current fan favorite, the console delivered exactly what the consumer base wanted doing exactly the opposite of what Microsoft was doing with its Xbox One and offering normal used game support as well as no always-online requirement. In addition to this, their presentation was slightly more hip and engaging than Microsoft’s straightforward and admittedly somewhat “adult” approach. Considering the changes to Microsoft’s plans however, this advantage has now been tossed out the window.
Sony debuted games for their PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 consoles as well as their existing handheld, the PS Vita.
A massive fan favorite, Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate was announced as being a spin-off release for the Vita alongside the PS3 release of Batman: Arkham Origins. In it, we follow a younger, less refined Batman on the run from villains that have targeted him as a threat. Current release date is October 25, 2013.
Extended trailer featuring both Vita and PS3 content:
This next title looks like an incredibly engaging game for those of us into spy thrillers. Counterspy, a fun romp through old school spy themes from the 1950’s and 60’s set during the Cold War, will be coming to PS3 and PS Vita as well as mobile platforms. You play as an agent in a rogue spy agency named C.O.U.N.T.E.R. and dive deep into the midst of top-secret affairs. Currently, the release date is still TBD.
Destiny of Spirits is a gorgeous looking turn-based RPG coming to the PS Vita that will be free to play. Basically, the player’s goal is to build an army of spirits whether via traveling to distant lands and amassing spirits there or befriending players in those locations away from the player. Spirits consist of different elemental compositions such as Fire, Water, Metal, etc. and will have vulnerabilities to opposing elements like Pokémon. Current release timeframe is set for later this year.
Admittedly very different from the other offerings in the presentation, Doki-Doki Universe begins as a free download for the PS3, PS4, and Vita where players can fly around a universe and take quizzes based on their personalities. Included within this free download is a Doki-Doki messenger to converse with fellow Doki-Dokiers (?) and make friends so that should the player decide he or she wishes to land on a planet and game with friends they are able to. Planetary interaction can be unlocked via full purchase of the game which is being marketed as an RPG sim with an interactive twist. Release date TBA.
On a darker note, Killzone: Mercenary will be coming to the PS Vita as a hand held first person shooter. Within this installment you will be playing alongside the ISA (Interplanetary Strategic Alliance), the main protagonists of Killzone. A morally ambiguous title, it lives up to its namesake as you fight your way through difficulties as a hired mercenary. Release date: September 10th, 2013.
Like Doki-Doki Universe, Tearaway is another game that lets users experience things a little differently in gaming than they normally would. The premise of the game is to literally play god to little creatures made of what looks like paper and help Iota (a companion of sorts) deliver a message to you, the player from above via divine assistance. Tearaway is scheduled for release October 22, 2013.
In addition to these games, The Walking Dead: 400 Days will incorporate Vita into the gaming experience with remote Wi-Fi play options as well as introduce five new characters whose stories all come together in one emotional episode. Release date is still TBA.
PlayStation 4/PlayStation 3:
The Last of Us was shown at the PS4 conference as an upcoming title and is already out in stores currently (available for the PS3). An apocalyptic thriller, you play as Joel, a survivor, and his companion Ellie, a courageous teenage girl. Experience abandoned cities teeming with natural overgrowth, brutal remnants of a dying population of humans, and a brutal degree of realism.
Another left-fielder, Puppeteer is a game that will keep you guessing as you play as a young boy named Kutaro that was magically turned into a puppet. Traverse a massive black castle where your kidnapper, The Moon Bear King, has devoured your wooden head and tossed aside your wooden body. With the help of a magical pair of scissors, find your way through the castle, get your head back, and save the day! Scheduled for release on September 10th, 2013; available on the PS3 as well.
Next is Rain, the story of an invisible world of lost spirits revealed only by falling rain. You play as a little boy who follows the silhouette of a little girl in the rain, only to become lost yourself. Since you can only be seen when the rain falls, you must make sure to make your way to each patch of falling drops to traverse your predicament. Rain is scheduled for release third quarter, 2013 and will be available on the PS3.
Beyond: Two Souls is a game that has been being talked about for several months now, especially considering that its main character is both played by and modeled on the famous actress (and cult following favorite) Ellen Page. As Jodie Holmes, you have incredible powers thanks to your psychic link to a powerful entity which come in handy as you deal with the hardest moments of your entire life. The game will look stunning with the use of a brand new rendering engine, and will be available on PS3. Current release date is October 8th, 2013.
We get another Gran Turismo with the newest iteration of the franchise, Gran Turismo 6. Developers tout bringing forth the most out of the graphics and handling of the game, stating that they have recalculated the aerodynamics of the cars while racing for the most realistic experience yet. Gran Turismo 6 will be available on the PS3 and is slated for release in Quarter 4, 2013.
Get ready for more controversy—Grand Theft Auto 5 will be joining this lineup for the PS3 and Xbox 360. This time around, you’ll be roaming the city of Los Santos in modern-day California. Scheduled for release on September 17th, 2013.
PlayStation 4 Exclusives:
Steampunk fans will particularly enjoy this contribution as this game takes place in a very Victorian-era London that teems with technological advances. The Order: 1886 places the player amidst a group of elite knights fighting a centuries-old war. Release date is still TBA.
To go along with the previously mentioned Killzone: Mercenary for the PS Vita, this installment, Killzone: Shadowfall takes players back to the battlefield for the intense, frenetic fighting action that players are used to. Release date is scheduled for Quarter 4 of 2013.
Racing fans will be getting a new high speed title with Drive Club, a new racer toting its revolutionary level of team based racing. Release date is still TBA.
This next game’s trailer is simply EXPLOSIVE. The impression left by Infamous: Second Son is that this is a game that should have priority on people’s must buy lists. You play as Delsin Rowe, a young man bestowed with amazingly destructive powers in a very oppressive environment much to the chagrin of your responsible brother, Reggie. Since superhumans are persecuted in this game’s universe, you must outrun the Department of Unified Protection and save yourself from being caged like an animal. Release date: TBA.
As a high powered platformer, Knack shows us the possibility of playing as a small creature of sorts in the middle of a massive goblin war. Knack (the titular main character) can change shapes, sizes, molecular state, become invisible and grow to unbelievable dimensions to increase his strength. Scheduled release is still TBA.
This trailer threw many off as it started one way and ended a very different another. Being hailed as a next-gen comedy for the PS4, The Dark Sorcerer hails from Beyond: Two Souls creator Quantic Dream. Release date: TBA
From the creator of Braid comes this puzzle packed PS4 exclusive named The Witness. Players will find themselves alone and disoriented on a strange island filled with odd puzzles every which way. Throughout the game, the user can discover anything from a castle, a laboratory or an art gallery; even peppered around are strange audio samples by an eerie voice that seems to know all about the player. Current release date is still TBA.
Indie Developer Titles:
In Transistor¸ the player takes the role of a young woman wielding an incredibly powerful weapon that was used to nearly kill her. She fights for her life as wave after wave of violent forces come after her for the weapon she now has in her possession, which is a mystery all in its own. Created by Supergiant Games; Slated for release in 2014.
Don’t Starve is a new adventure from developer Klei Entertainment. Within the world of Don’t Starve players will play the game as Wilson, a Gentleman Scientist that has been transported to a strange woodland world by a demon. You must work with the environment as an advantage if you ever hope to return home. Release date is TBA for 2014.
Mercenary Kings is a delightful action platformer from the same minds that brought us Scott Pilgrim vs the World: The Game, Tribute Games. Within Mercenary Kings, you can amass different weapons to suit your missions and use, some of which are very powerful. Scheduled for release later this year.
For fans of the original Octodad, sequel Octodad: Dadliest Catch is sure to excite and amuse. In this installment, Octodad is having issues with his wife (who now suspects he’s more than he seems, aquatically) and a doomed trip to the aquarium goes awry in the most entertaining of ways. Currently scheduled for release in 2014.
Secret Ponchos is a top down shooter whose shining feature is the need for environmental tactics in order to succeed. Highly competitive, this spaghetti western themed game is a fresh take on the genre inspired by the legendary Clint Eastwood himself. Release date: TBA.
If you’ve ever wondered what you’d do as a newly turned zombie, Ray’s The Dead is the game for you! As Ray, you traverse a whimsical land of the living dead amassing other dead cronies, searching for how you died, and why you came back. Current release date is TBA.
Outlast is the horror title everyone has been waiting for. Taking place in the remote mountains of Colorado, many horrors await the player in the Mount Massive Asylum—an asylum long abandoned and suddenly re-opened only to work in the strictest of secrecy. As an independent journalist following an anonymous tip, you journey into the asylum discovering disturbing truths. Scheduled for release in 2014.
Nostalgia incoming! Oddworld: Inhabitants has been remade into Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty, a modern iteration of the classic PSX game of 1997. Reprise your role as Abe the Mudokon in 2014.
A combination of 16-bit blaster action, classic shooter, physics driven mechanics and open world expanse make Galak-Z one of the more different games of the presentation. If you enjoy deep space dogfights, breakneck spaceship maneuvering and overcoming obstacles, this game may be for you. Slated for release in 2014.
Quick E3 Glimpse:
Major Game Title Afterthoughts of Sony’s E3 Conference:
The infamous Diablo 3 will be coming to PS4 as well. Release date: TBA
Final Fantasy VS XIII, now Final Fantasy XV¸ has you play as a young king protecting the last crystal in his world against a dark order that lies outside his kingdom. Ancient tradition battles modern technology in this thrilling game from Square Enix. Scheduled for release in 2014.
After a long wait, the long anticipated Kingdom Hearts 3 is finally here! Join Sora, Mickey, Goofy and Donald on an adventurous romp throughout Disney inspired worlds. No announced release date as of yet.
Yet another Assassin’s Creed game is coming out later this year. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is tells the tale of pirate captain Edward Kenway, a brutal and charming man trained by assassins. Due to your fearsome reputation, you are drawn into an ancient war that threatens everything you hold dear.
Another of the year’s most alluring titles, Watch Dogs is an intriguing techno mystery brimming with detail and life. As Aiden Pierce, a notorious anti-hero, the player can take control of almost anything with the use of his smartphone and wits. Scheduled for release later this year, 2013.
NBA 2K14—This year, Lebron James is on the cover. Launches October 8th, 2013.
Finally announced has been The Elder Scrolls Online, a massively multiplayer experience that lets users traverse the open worlds of the continent of Tamriel. Set 1000 years before the events of Elder Scrolls V, players can visit their old haunts, including the provinces Skyrim and Cyrodiil.
A surprising addition to the fold is Mad Max, the video game based on the retro movie series of the 1980s. As Mad Max, you must survive in a brutal post-apocalyptic void named The Wasteland versus the climate, gangs of thugs, and savage inhabitants. To escape, you seek the fabled Plains of Silence, a peaceful land shrouded in legend. Oh, and two men enter, one man leaves. Release scheduled for 2014.
A long time coming, Destiny by Bungie studios has finally been revealed. Coming from the creators of Halo and Call of Duty, this game is being set up to be the next great FPS to grace our controllers. The premise of the game is that the world was changed once something called The Traveler arrived. It launched humankind into a Golden Age, where space travel finally advanced enough to allow us to roam the solar system. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to last—a series of hardships cause the fledgling travelers to build a city beneath The Traveler, and as they journey back to their old worlds they find them overrun with enemies. Release date TBA.
New Features and Console Overview for the PlayStation 4:
- Sony will be offering used game support
- No always online connectivity required
- PlayStation Plus Memberships will carry over onto the PlayStation 4
- PlayStation Plus members will get Drive Club free
- PS Plus will not be necessary for online streaming services, as always
- The PlayStation 4 will sell at $400 retail.
There you have it folks!
Which will YOU be choosing come this holiday season?