One of the biggest annual events in gaming, if not thee most significant, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, happened this week. Now that E3 is over, we can look back at all of the announcements that were the most interesting or most exciting. And with this already being touted as the best E3 in recent memory, there’s plenty of gaming news to whet our appetite for the coming year; least of all, the Final Fantasy VII remake, Xbox One backwards compatibility and The Last Guardian gameplay footage. Unfortunately, Kanye West’s attendance didn’t make the cut.
I’ve already discussed Fallout 4 extensively on this very blog. If nothing else, Bethesda’s showcase at E3 got me more amped for the game’s eventual release later this year. But there was some new information, notably that it will be possible to play as a female. It was nice of them to nip that nasty rumour in the bud, but really, it was only logical. Limiting options in a role playing game, regardless of setting or style, is always a bad idea. Other confirmations include the inclusion of Dogmeat, that the East coast Brotherhood of Steel will return to feud with The Commonwealth, and a pre-war tutorial.
Also returning later this year is the new Hitman game, cleverly titled Hitman. Most of the talk was regarding exclusives for Playstation 4 gamers, but the concept of timed missions is far more intriguing. Unique missions such as those, with new added locations, will keep players engaged over long periods of time. It was disappointing not to see any gameplay though, especially for a game that is coming out so soon. But Agent 47, and the open ended style of gameplay hasn’t changed much since its conception, so perhaps they just didn’t think they needed to show any gameplay in the trailer.
Kingdom Hearts 3
Finally. The game was officially announced to be in development back in 2013, but fans have been waiting for a direct sequel to Kingdom Hearts 2 ever since 2005. That’s ten years. Square Enix were good enough to give player some gameplay footage though, showing off the Tangled landscape, Disney theme park ride summons and keyblade transformations. There are a lot of new features and concepts in the new game, and even the underlying mechanics boasts a more dynamic AI. When we’ll get to experience this first hand is anyones guess though, as no release date was given. We hope for 2016, but hey, if they hold out another six years they can beat Duke Nukem Forever’s development record.
Xbox One compatibility
Microsoft shocked almost everyone at E3 by announcing their intentions to make Xbox One’s backwards compatible with previous consoles. In fact, Xbox preview members are already capable of playing both physical and digital versions of their Xbox 360 games. It’s great that Microsoft are allowing players to experience their favourite games on the next generation console, but why now? The representative at E3 said that Microsoft “won’t charge you to play the games you already own.” That’s nice but it’s somewhat fishy considering this is the same company that once planned on restricting and limiting pre-owned sales and sharing. Perhaps it’s still damage control or maybe Xbox One sales aren’t what Microsoft predicted. And, just incase you were hopeful, don’t expect Sony to follow suit.
Star Wars Battlefront
The Star Wars Battlefront trailer demonstrated multiplayer gameplay footage, putting gamers into classic assault on Hoth. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the biggest Star Wars fan but the game does look incredibly fun. There’s a real authenticity to the look and feel of the game and I expect that to be tenfold when actually playing it. Furthermore, the online multiplayer will support up to 40 players in one match. The only disappointment is the lack of space exploration, but it’s a small sacrifice to make.
The Last Guardian
Another game that has been in development for a very long time. Again, like Kingdom Hearts 3, the developers, Team Ico this time, were nice enough to give anxious players some gameplay footage. The style of game is interesting, drawing from buddy puzzle games that require two characters to overcome obstacles. A recent example would be Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, although The Last Guardian differs in that it features a humanoid male child and a large griffin like creature. It looks like an interesting game, although the artwork disparity between the boy and the creature was a little grating. Still, it’s the concept of a willful companion that developments dependant on your method of play that interests me more than graphics. Especially considering that the reason a live demo wasn’t used is because the animal’s behaviour is intentionally unpredictable. No exact release date was given, but it joins the others in 2016.
Final Fantasy VII
This is probably the biggest announcement of E3 specifically because no one anticipated it. While it’s not my favourite Final Fantasy game, Final Fantasy VII has been one of the most popular titles in the series for a long time and lots of fans were pushing to see it remade. We don’t know much at this point but Tetsuya Nomura did note that it won’t be a simple graphic overhaul. There will be new story content. Exciting, although don’t expect to see it on shelves anytime soon. No release date was offered as the same is still in development, but some players are suggesting 2017, to mark the original game’s 20th anniversary.
Those are the main announcements to come out of E3 2015. Unfortunately, this is not a comprehensive list. If I were to go through every single game and the accompanying press reveals, I’d be here until E3 2016. However, if there is a major announcement that you think I’ve missed, feel free to hit me up in the comments below or on twitter.