News: E32014 – The Highlights

MICROSOFT Press Conference

They weren’t lying. We got wall to wall games. Both live demos and trailers. Not all our wishes were fulfilled, but what we’re getting will still make most fans of the Redmond console happy.  Missing was anything new from RARE and Black Tusk studios still have nothing to show.  Black Tusk (for those not aware) are currently working on a new game in the Gears of War franchise.  There was also no word from Phil Harrison.  We were hoping to hear more about what new work is coming out of his experimental studios in Europe.

  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection
    • Available holiday 2014 for $60, includes all the following:
    • Halo 1-4 including every multiplayer map and achievement. All remastered including new cutscenes created by BLUR studios.
    • You’ll be able to switch back and forth between the original graphics and the remastered graphics. Underlying game engines are untouched so, you’ll be able to play each of the games as they originally played. This is particularly good for online multi-player fans who didn’t like some of the changes in later games.
    • You’ll also get free access to the Ridley Scott produced Halo tv series.
  • Returning Classics
    • Phantom Dust
      • One of my favourite games from the original XBOX console.  Imagine a Magic the Gathering style card game mixed with Dragonball Z superpowered fights, but without literal cards. You assign what would be a card’s abilities to a button and switch between the abilities on the fly.  Card gameplay, but in realtime.  This remake/reboot will be coming in 2015 from an unnanounced developer.  Microsoft assures folks that the developer is the perfect choice though and the original game’s creator is involved in some capacity.
    • Crackdown
      • Microsoft hopes to showcase the true power of cloud processing with this persistent world remake of the original title.  The world will be fully destructible on a scale never before seen in gaming.  Even beyond titles like Battlefield 4.  Imagine destruction that’s permanent in a world that’s huge!
  • New IP
    • Scalebound
      • Platinum Games (Bayonetta, Vanquish) will be making the ultimate dragon fighting game.  Think Monster Hunter meets Pokemon, but for adults.
    • Sunset Overdrive
      • Insomniac Games has made my must-own action 3D platformer of 2014.  It’s Jet Set Radio Future with fast running zombies.
  • Sequels
    • Rise of the Tomb Raider
      • A sequel to the last Tomb Raider game.  Had no interest in playing the last whine-fest, but I might just reconsider this franchise now.
    • Dance Central Spotlight
      • Loved the last couple dance central games. Both showcased how to properly implement Kinect capabilities.  This one is a no-brainer purchase.
    • Forza Horizon 2
      • Running on Forza 5’s excellent driving engine, but in an open world and with weather effects. Where do I sign up.
  • DLC Available Immediately
    • Forza Motorsport 5 Nürburgring track
    • Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition
    • Project Spark + Conker
    • Killer Instinct Season 2 TJ COMBO + CINDER
  • Indie Games
    • Ori and the Blind Forest
      • Beautiful platform adventure game featuring a Miyazaki-ish forest spirit.
    • Cuphead
      • It’s just like playing a Max Fleischer cartoon.  Too awesome.
    • Inside
      • From the creator of LIMBO comes another great looking title with a child protagonist.  Looks a bit like 1984 with a pre-teen as protagonist.


EA and UBISOFT Press Events

Both companies had very solid presentations and even had some pleasant surprises.  Ubisoft probably edged out EA by showing actual gameplay, but EA had some really sweet looks at the new Star Wars Battlefront game, as well as concept work from Mass Effect and the next Mirror’s Edge titles.

  • Electronic Arts
  • Ubisoft
    • THE CREW
    • STEP UP

SONY Press Conference

A number of things impressed during this press event.  Probably the highest on the list was the new Mortal Kombat game which appears to be a 60fps brutal, brutal, oh so brutal return to the roots of the series.  The final Batman Arkham game looks very slick with some seemless (Titanfall-like) transitions from areal to vehicle combat.  Even just moving around the environment looks way improved from prior games. I hope these guys take on further superhero games after this because they simply know how to do it right.  Justice League anyone?!  The next Uncharted was only shown in CG form, but looks very intriguing.  Pirates and death seem to be the theme.  We like.  Again, Sony gave a lot of love to Indie developers and they had a great deal of good looking games to impress with including the next title from the developers of JOURNEY.

  • THE ORDER: 1886
  • ABZU (from the creators of JOURNEY)
  • UNCHARTED 4: A Thief’s End

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