E3 is a crazy old time, combining the most anticipated of the industry into one event across two halls far too big for two people to cover. Ben Salter and I made the trek across the Atlantic to be in Los Angeles for the conference, and while we didn't get to see everything, we each got a fantastic insight to the future of games.
We split many of the games so I saw many things Ben didn't, and vice versa. Here's what I loved (and didn't).
Forza Motorsport 5
Turn 10 community manager Brian Ekberg gave one of the most detailed and passionate presentations of E3, and while I didn't get to go hands-on with the game, it looks to be one of the Xbox One's definitive titles at launch. This game simply looks stunning, with many an impressive new aesthetic feature added to make it an even more visually appealing title.
Keep a look out for our interview with Brian in the coming days.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2014
Ben may be the undisputed MMGN HQ PES champion for 2013, but I'm certainly the "hardcore" PES player of the team ... and I can't live that loss down. I now have the leg-up for this year's new title, and I must say it's shaping up to be an absolutely stunning title. The team at Konami are using a developed version of the Fox Engine to incorporate all new physics and gameplay features, and I was blown away but how detailed the animations were.
I had a chat with creative producer Kei Masuda and Akana Oyagi from PES productions. It's a fantastic interview and PES fans should keep a look out for it in the coming days.
This is a series I would love to see get back up and going in the FPS genre. Going by what I saw at E3, it's shaping up to be one the series' entry that reinvigorates it. This fresh take on the Wolfenstein series is quirky, cheeky and firmly has its tongue plastered in cheek, with great action and outstanding weaponry to boot.
Keep a look out for a preview soon.
Batman: Arkham Origins
You probably expected this one, right? This new Arkham title takes place before the first two games in the series, yet strangely Batman has been advanced weaponry. That obvious misstep aside, the game looks fantastic, and the new features -- including onw that allows you to track a crime from beginning to end, Minority Report style -- add another layer of depth to the fantastic series.
More to come!
What I saw behind-closed-doors at Activision wasn't exclusive at all -- it was the exact same demo you would have seen during Sony's E3 press conference -- but it did delve a little deeper into some of the game's visuals and gameplay features, and Destiny is shaping up to be a fantastic next-gen co-op shooter.
Murdered: Soul Suspect
This detective game has the polish of LA Noire and the horror of Alan Wake, blending complex investigating gameplay with survival elements that provide a unique and tense experience. This original game puts you in the shoes of a dead detective determined to the find his killer. Clues are scattered throughout the game world, and combining what you find will help solve the many mysteries throughout the game. It's slow, but thankfully balanced, with spontaneous scares and sneaky stealth gameplay. It's shaping up to be a must-have for fans of point-and-click and horror games.
I still want to see more of it though, and I'm curious about its pacing over the course of the game.
From the folks that made Dead Island, Techland, comes a new open-world zombie game published by Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment. It looks very much like Dead Island but with a few more neat gameplay features and aesthetics, although I want to go hands-on with it before making a final call.
I've being praising of this game ever since I saw it released back on February 22, but I was disappointed when going hands-on at E3. It looks colourful and has some nice effects, but it's certainly a launch title, and one with PS2-era gameplay at that. That's disappointing, because it seems like a great idea, and a wonderful way to introduce people to the PS4, but I walked away underwhelmed with what I'd seen so far. More to come on that in the near future.
Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z
This game is definitely one of the biggest surprises, because it manages to mix up the traditional Ninja Gaiden experience with some flair and style, although it was a little too on the crazy side for me. It's kind of an on-railes zombie hack-and-slash, and its design, while cool and quite stunning, often made it difficult to keep track of the character while blood spurted out everywhere. More to come.
I'm not sure what to think of Thief. It seems like a game unsure of itself, not knowing whether it wants to take notes from series predecessors, and from games that, ironically, try to be the Thief series. I'll delve more into that soon.
Total War: Rome 2 / Company of Heroes 2
Both of these SEGA-published strategy games are really starting to look the goods. The latter appears to have gone through visuals improvements since the beta released earlier this year.
Saints Row IV
The Saints Row series has transformed from a Grand Theft Auto clone into a unique open-world series hellbent on turning the genre on its head. The series is renowned for its outrageous gameplay, and Saints Row IV will certainly be no exception. What started off as street gang warfare has slowly transitioned into sci-fi battles, with the Saints' street gang leader now the President of the United States. The story makes no sense, and quickly into my E3 preview I found myself shooting down aliens in the appropriately named "White Crib" (as opposed to White House). The game is crazy fun, blending outrageous weapon design with slick visuals and offbeat humour.
NBA Live '14
I am admittedly an NBA Live fanboy, and seeing this series come back is something I really want to see happen. I went hands-on with a very limited demo -- it only had Cavs star Kyrie Irving in an empty stadium demonstrating the game's new dribbling physics -- but I must say the game handles superbly (so far). A producer on hand said they are working hard not to promise too much, or to show too much without being certain of a release, so it may yet still be a year off release, but it's nice to see EA Sports work to reinvigorate the series with new ways to control the ball. There will be a short preview in the near future.
Keep an eye out for Ben's best and worst of E3 soon -- he saw Nintendo and Ubisoft -- and many previews and interviews in the coming weeks!
@OllyEbbz said: Did you get to try DriveClub out?
I haven't heard the best things about the title with supposedly there being framerate issues and lots of jaggies to not very clear graphics?
Also does it even feature a singleplayer career mode? again i hear its purely an online racer....?