Electronic Entertainment Expo (or E3) - an annual exhibition dedicated to video games, developers and people from other fields, all related to the gaming industry. The exhibition took its start back in 1995 and today is the largest event in said industry. In connection with the latest trends, the gaming market is gaining momentum and has already rivaled the movie empire, which is why the interest in E3 has only strengthened. This year the exhibition celebrates its 20th anniversary with great hopes for 20 more.
Sunny Los Angeles welcomes people from all over the world with a light breeze and a pleasant atmosphere. E3 begins with great press conferences from the biggest developers of the best games. It is here they announce their future Games of the Year and show off their landmark projects in all their glory. And this year was no exception.
Bethesda’s presentation was held in the Dolby Theater. It was immediately clear that this presentation was approached with special attention. At the entrance, people were given free popcorn and all kinds of drinks. The room itself was decorated with different replicas of Bethesda games to to take pictures of and chat around.
The start of the presentation was hot! On stage came the Executive PR Director Pete Hines and after a brief entry opened the conference with the long awaited game DOOM.
DOOM just blew our minds with high quality graphics, while maintaining the old-school shooter feel with a sea of blood. The speed of the gameplay added to the experience, becoming more like Unreal Tournament, and the similarities with Quake were visible to the naked eye. Responsible for the graphics engine is Id Tech 6 or, as Hines joked, Id Tech 666. Finding a fault with the game was just not happening, everything was very dynamic and beautiful. Detailed weapons are gorgeous; everything was thought out down to the smallest detail. Multiplayer looked fresh and colorful, which made me consider pre-ordering right there. The game is set be released in spring 2016.
DOOM was so overwhelming that I didn’t know what to expect next in the presentation. We were shown a new online service: Bethesda.net where you will be able to find all Bethesda games and a new trailer for BattleCry, which left a lot of questions. But that all changed when the familiar guys from the French studio came to the stage and shocked the audience with a loud announcement for Dishonored 2!
Honestly, I did not expect to see this project, too little time has passed since the first game. No gameplay was shown, only a CGI movie made in magnificent style, strongly taking influence from French art house. I would not be surprised if I was told that Alfonso Cuarón had a hand in this game. Of the features: two characters and, apparently - a new engine.
Then, submitted for our approval, The Elder Scrolls Legends - a card game that came off just lazy. Obviously a commercial project, and is intended to attract new audiences while maintaining the image of the series. At this point, silence fell over the audience, somehow we all knew this next announcement was the one we all came here for.
Thunderous applause thanked Executive Producer Todd Howard as he introduced us to Fallout 4. After the strange trailer before E3, nobody knew what to expect. But after the gameplay demo many fans were divided by the graphics’ quality not being up to the standard people have come to expect. However many people have regarded the gameplay with high praise and no skepticism (I, by the way, was one of them). Bethesda showed us something incredible. Despite the fact that the engine is old, it was pumping out gold. The physics in the game simply stunned and in some ways compensated for the lack of frills and outdated graphics animation.
Of the features we have a dog that runs wherever you tell it, and can fetch anything to your liking. Also, more than 700 (!!!) weapon mods. This is incredible! Just how how many playthroughs will it take to try them all?! Howard mentioned that the game has been in development since 2009. Now the game is all about crafting things, the construction of buildings - that's innovation! We did not expect this, so everyone just screamed in incredible delight from every word and listened with trepidation and waited for the new goods.
Bethesda hit the bullseye - this was one of the best conferences I have ever seen. The incredible scale, the attention to detail and time-consuming work showed what a real gaming studio is all about. On the way out, the guests got their very own collectible figurines from Bethesda games like DOOM, FALLOUT and DISHONORED.
The conference began with the presentation of new gameplay for Halo 5. And I must say, without studio Bungie, the company has had a hard time with the franchise. The game looked good and the style was familiar and pleasant with tactical innovations. Multiplayer was as hardcore as ever, that gives us hope. But there was a noticeable lack of power from what we’ve seen before on the Xbox One, the level of graphics could be much, much higher.
Next, a title has been announced with a new IP, an exclusive for the Xbox One - ReCore. We were shown a CGI trailer. The atmosphere is quite reminiscent of borderlands, but it looks pert and original. Hope to learn more soon.
All the best often happens suddenly, and something happened that no one expected - Microsoft introduced backward compatibility for 360 games!
It is not clear exactly how it works, but there is speculation that the internet will be needed to download an emulator - with its help you can run your old games on your brand new Xbox One. And all the games that you have purchased will be transferred to the new console!
Then Microsoft decided to debut their new Xbox Elite Wireless Controller (which I like to call the Pineapple because of how prickly all the new buttons make it feel). From a short trailer it was clear that a special emphasis was placed on fighting games and shooters. In the controller there are additional triggers on the grips and a removable base with counterparts in general - it's just a holiday for you!
Forza Motosport 6 looked great, but somehow, looking back at her, I still think she looks like the Gran Turismo of the new generation.
The familiar Todd Howard came back to the stage. He announced that the new beauty Fallout 4 would have full support for PC mods on Xbox One. Hallelujah! We should fully expect the number of mods in the year after the game’s release to exceed all reasonable limits.
Then it was time for teasers and trailers. For example, a beautiful CGI teaser for Dark Souls 3. A look at Tom Clancy's The Division reminded me how tired I am of all the procedure, despite the fact that the game looks great. Tacoma - a new quest with good graphics, can be made to support the Oculus Rift, because it will somehow play into the full game.
The New Adventures of Lara Croft has been titled Rise of Tomb Raider, to be released November 10, 2015 (same day as Fallout 4). The trailer showed our heroine scaling an icy mountain with a partner. The game looks fine, especially the physics - snow particles beautifully scattered around Lara’s feet. One of the most anticipated games.
Microsoft managed to surprise and melt the hearts of many disgruntled fans who were getting turned off by the Xbox’s arrogant policies. The new retro games brought smiles to thousands of faces. It seems Microsoft finally read their fanboys’ tweets. If you were waiting for the right moment to buy a new Xbox One, it’s time.
The presentation began with a loud announcement of Mass Effect: Andromeda. The CGI trailer shown was incredibly beautiful, Hollywood scale, looks insanely expensive. Given how important this title is for EA, we can expect the game will be just as cost worthy. We probably won’t see any gameplay footage until next year since it’s slated for the 2016 holiday season.
Marcus Nilsson appeared on stage and introduced a new Need For Speed. The series took a break last year, for the first time in a long time. After that EA’s motto was: “Not without Need For Speed.” And a new part of this comeback was a stylish soundtrack! The graphics were of the highest detail. The game will come with a tremendous amount of opportunities for tuning and customizing cars, uncontrolled races in the city and everyone’s favorite escape from the police! Here it is, the new Need For Speed! The game is scheduled for release on November 3, 2015.
Then, on the stage, Bioware began to talk about their new addon Star Wars: The Old Republic - Knights of the Fallen Empire. Emphasis was placed on the story in the trailer and new fans were asked to listen to hardcore fans to get a better idea of what to expect of the Old Republic franchise. All the action and spectacle is usually different from the gameplay and someone who wants to see the beautiful graphics and some crazy gameplay will be shocked to find an interesting story.
The surprise was the game Unravel. Creative Director Martin Sahlin was so nervous, his hands were shaking from being there representing his 14 member team in Sweden, and I understand very well, as for myself a trip to E3 was a long cherished dream. After a brief introduction, we were shown the gameplay footage. It looks like a clever platforming game with great graphics and, as Sahlin said, is full of heart.
Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 pleased with fun gameplay. On the face of progress, compared with the first part, but it is still just a game to have fun arcade nights with friends - nothing more.
EA Sports would have been sluggish, if not for the onstage appearance of Pele himself. He was there to present FIFA 16.
People jumped out of their chairs and gave standing ovations to the athlete. As for FIFA 16, the most significant innovations - animation and advanced protection. Graphics have also become very nice looking.
Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst was greeted with shouts and applause. Finally, we have gameplay footage, and even the release date, February 23, 2016. Action will take place in an open world, but the open world is to be filled with side missions. Chasing the dollar is the bane of the industry. As soon as there’s a trend, all games begin copying each other without worrying about the final quality of the product. The game looks great; the developers have kept the atmosphere of the first. While they’re promising a focus on character and fluid combat, we’ll have to wait and see. Still, the new Mirror’s Edge looks great!
Star Wars: Battlefront was announced, which was expected since the absorption of Lucasarts by Disney. And though the news was met with skepticism, because Disney announced the game with a lower age rating, this company has the money. Disney has been in the entertainment market a long time, and knows how to make a quality product. Then, a license to develop the games, that was sold to Electronic Arts, changed the rules - now all know that good games based on the Star Wars universe are to be.
The new Star Wars look gorgeous. The atmosphere makes you feel as if you're watching a movie directed by Lucas (before the prequels), and all because the people responsible for the development of the game - Star Wars fans. We’ll hopefully get more details about the game, as we explore E3.
Sony closed press conference day, and as always, we expected a lot. The event started with a pre-party at which people were treated to free food, drinks (including beer). A DJ played nice music, joyful journalists hanged out, socialized, all shared in the anticipation. All major projects have been announced and only the Japanese company remained a mystery to all.
It began with the presentation of the long-awaited The Last Guardian, which was announced back in 2007. The short video melted all our hearts. Eyes were fixed on the huge screen and no one wanted the demo to end. The video does eventually end claiming a 2016 release year and the developers say that the game is in the final stages of development, but to be honest, no one knows what to believe. However, we continue to wait patiently, because the game is going to be a masterpiece.
New IP Horizon Zero Dawn, from the makers of Killzone, pleased with beautiful graphics and breathtaking world design. Horizon’s trailer smoothly transitioned into gameplay and the audience rustled with pleasure. A short battle with a robot T-Rex dazzled with special effects and non-trivial moves by the protagonist. It is an ambitious project; in the authors of Killzone we trust and expect much from their resume of high-quality work.
New Hitman was announced with a CGI trailer, so we do not really understand how the game will look like nor what the plot will be yet.
A very strange move was made with the announcement of Shenmue 3, - after a brief excursion into the history of the series, the developer asked for people to sponsor the game on Kickstarter (at the publication of this article, the funding goal has already been reached). It is not clear why Sony could not allocate the $2 million investment in this attractive project.
No Man’s Sky looks very good. The whole universe is filled with procedurally generated worlds, and you can create your own spacecraft to explore every single galaxy! We won’t have long to wait with a release date sometime in 2015, according to the creators.
Media Molecules announced their project called Dreams, and while the trailer is surreal, so far it is not clear what the game will be.
Sony closed with the announcement that they still have not finished Uncharted 4 A Thief’s End yet. The trailer they showed set a 2016 release year, but praise is not necessary, it was clear to all that it will be an amazing game. Some were unhappy, as they were expecting a new IP for the closing, but, alas, that did not happen. So ends the Sony conference. Keep up with HFI to hear what happened on the 2015 E3 showfloor.
Editor: Roman Howell