Tagged "E3"

Sony E3 2014
Jun 10
By Adam Philbin In Blog No Comments

With last year’s E3 conferences all about the new consoles, this year the games were the centrepiece. Sony were keen on showing us quite a lot of them.

If E3 was a fight – and it sort of is, let’s face it – Sony once again stepped it up. Microsoft’s Xbox conference was an improvement on last year’s disaster, but with few particularly stand out titles. Sony’s show on the other hand, was more or less a non-stop stream of games to make the audience go “I want that!”. Although in both cases, new IP was a little lacking.

Sony’s core message was “look, games!”, with a strong focus on “Jesus, that’s very good looking”. Where to start…

Oh yes, Grim Fandango!

grim-fandango

Yes, that’s right. Tim Schafer’s Double Fine Productions are pulling LucasArts’ classic into the modern age as Grim Fandango Remastered, initially for PlayStation 4 and PS Vita. That will probably go down as the most unexpected announcement of E3.

In terms of brilliant but non-exclusive titles, Activision’s Destiny, Ubisoft’s Far Cry 4 and Deep Silver’s Dead Island 2 all looked kind of brilliant, with Far Cry 4 in particular looking really stunning. The gameplay sequence on show highlighted the freeform gameplay, wrapped up in brilliant little cinematic moments.

Remastering seems to be a theme at this year’s E3. Grim Fandango aside (and Microsoft’s Halo), Sony also presented The Last Of Us Remastered, now due for an August 1st 2014 release, and GTA V for PS4 (as well as Xbox One and PC) due this autumn. Oh, let us not forget Ratchet & Clank Remastered – don’t all rush out and buy it at once!

The big new IP unveiling came in the form of Bloodborne, from Dark Souls developer From Software. It looked pretty gruesome. The trailer seemed to involve a dark character lurking in the shadows, slicing apart zombie-like corpses and hounds. Probably not exactly the type of game that’s lacking in the world, but the developers have a good track record and Sony seemed excited so we won’t be too harsh.

Another original, PlayStation exclusive game on show was The Order: 1886, again. Last year we saw the trailer, this year some gameplay of a moustached man walking in the shadows. It’s due for release in February 2015.

In a rather casual manner, Media Molecule came on stage to show off LittleBigPlanet 3. Needless to say, that can only be a good thing. Whilst it looks very similar to previous games in the series, new characters have been introduced with a bunch of special abilities. You won’t have to wait too long to play it, as it’ll be coming to both PS3 and PS4 in November.

BROFORCE  PS4Once again, indie titles were a big part of Sony’s offering. There are frankly too many to mention, but we’re glad to see BROFORCE (a retro-style side-scrolling shooter where you play as 80s action heroes smashing through destructable terrain – there’s a prototype online that’s worth a play) and Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number coming to PS4 and PS Vita.

Journey developers Giant Squid are also working on something new – the mildly pretentious sounding Abzû. We’re not sure what the game involves (although it’s mostly set underwater), but it looks very pretty. Expect hipster gaming sites to fawn over that one for awhile.

Guildford-based four man development studio Hello Games (of Joe Danger fame) properly unveiled No Man’s Sky. Whilst shown as part of the indie gaming section, that might be doing it a disservice – it’s genuinely one of the highlights of the show, and one of the most interesting games we’ve seen in a long time. Getting over the fact that this Triple A worthy title is being made by just four men, the concept itself – exploring an online infinite universe full of randomly generated planets, packed with alien life and space battles – is just amazing. Look, here’s the gameplay trailer below. Look at it. Look at it! Does that not have the potential to be the best thing ever?

Landing back on Earth, Sony announced that the PlayStation TV (released in Japan last November) would be coming to the US and Europe soon, for £99. It’s essentially a PS Vita chipset that you plug into your TV and control with a Dualshock pad. It plays PS Vita games natively, and also allows for remote play of PS4 and PS3 titles, as well as eventually playing streamed PS Now titles, once the PS Now game streaming service comes to Europe (it’s coming to the US and Canada this summer, but no mention about a release over here yet).

uncharted4

Sony closed the show with a sneak peak at Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. The footage, whilst running on a PS4, didn’t tell us too much, other than the fact that it looks very pretty. It’s Naughty Dog though, so we’re confident it will be amazing, when we finally get to play it next year.
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e3pressconf2014
Jun 09
By Adam Philbin In Blog No Comments

It’s that time of year again. As most of you know, somewhere in America the annual gaming expo known as E3 (pronounced “eeeeeeeh!”) is happening. Specifically in Los Angeles from June 10-12th, but what does that mean for us British folk?

The big publishers are all holding press conferences to showcase their new titles today and tomorrow. We’ll report on the aftermath of each conference, but if you want to know where and when to watch each one (in sensible UK time), just look right here.

Who? When? Where?
Microsoft Monday June 9th at 5.30pm GMT Watch it here
EA Monday June 9th at 8pm GMT Watch it here
Ubisoft Monday June 9th at 11pm GMT Watch it here
Sony Tuesday June 10th at 2am GMT (Monday night) Watch it here
Nintendo Tuesday June 10th at 5pm GMT Watch it here

As usual, we won’t be there, but we probably will be sat at our computers, watching the live press conference streams, bitching about it on Twitter and writing up our thoughts here. Exciting!

NintendoE3T
Jun 11
By Matt Gander In Blog No Comments

If we were asked to describe the special E3 Nintendo Direct in one word, that word would be “safe”.

The itinerary read like a list of everything we expected, with very little in the way of surprises. That’s unless you count Bayonetta receiving a new haircut, anyway.

Pokemon X & Y started the pre-recorded exposé off, with the announcement of an 18th Pokemon type – fairy. Giggle all you want – this new type is super effective against dragons. The lovely looking sequel will also have some virtual pet elements that let you feed and play with your Pokemon to “form a bond” between them.

Mario3DWorld

No time was wasted introducing the promised Super Mario 3D World for Wii U. It’s a continuation of the Super Mario 3D Land series, viewed from a very similar perspective. A few people on our Twitter feed even mistook it for a new 3DS game, due to it sharing the chunky visual-style. Iwata drew a comparison with Super Mario Bros. 2 – four different characters are playable and each has their own unique skill, including Peach’s ability to float. Mario can also don a cat costume that allows him to run along walls and pounce on enemies. If Nintendo doesn’t bring back Mouser for one of the boss battles then that would be something of a missed opportunity.

MarioKart8

Mario Kart 8 was another title Nintendo had previously promised to show, and the Kyoto giant really delivered the goods with this one – it looks superb. Visually it’s very appealing, plus there’s a sprinkling of innovation – the karts (and bikes!) can transform into futuristic-looking vehicles that are able to drive along walls and such. Underwater and gliding sections feature too, as per Mario Kart 7. Nintendo claimed that the online modes will be far greater in number than ever before. The bad news? It’s not out until next year. This is something of a blow – if there was one game almost certain to make the Wii U fly off shelves this Christmas, it would be this.

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tomclancy_thedivision_ubisoft_top
Jun 11
By Adam Philbin In Blog No Comments

On the console front, Sony clearly gave Microsoft a bloody nose last night. However, both the PS4 and Xbox One were slightly lacking in amazing new first party titles, so it was left to Ubisoft to come up with one of the most impressive new titles of the show.

Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s The Division is an online open-world co-operative shooter/RPG, set in a future New York after a deadly pandemic. The Swedish Ubisoft Massive are at the healm, having previously worked on World in Conflict, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and Far Cry 3.

The gameplay combines cover and shoot style mechanics with an MMO style party system, with groups of players shooting both AI bad guys and opposing human teams. Visually it looks rather stunning, with an incredible attention to detail. Watch the video below for the full presentation of the game. Who’d have thought a Tom Clancy game would be a contender for best of show.

ps4hipster_top
Jun 11
By Adam Philbin In Blog No Comments

There are high expectations for this year’s E3 conferences. Microsoft filled in the blanks surrounding the Xbox One, and now it’s Sony’s turn to elaborate on the PlayStation 4. Specifically, what will it actually look like, and how excited should we really be?

You can watch the video stream of Sony’s E3 conference below, which goes live at 2AM GMT. Below that may be some words if we stay interested and awake enough to liveblog it all.


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MSE3
Jun 11
By Matt Gander In Blog 3 Comments

Microsoft didn’t so much pull a rabbit out of the hat for their E3 conference, but rather a whole warren’s worth of them – the return of franchises new and old, and surprises galore.

Apart from a short SmartGlass demo, the conference was solely about software and began in the best possible fashion – in-game footage of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, which showed of Konami’s new FOX engine with style. Snake’s latest has been revealed to be an open world affair, set in a very sand environment presumed to be Afghanistan. Snake makes his appearance riding a horse – which thus lead to Red Dead Redemption comparisons – with other modes of travel including tanks and jeeps. The demo ended by revealing a line-up of new characters, including Skullface – a ghost sniper.

NewXbox360

The next announcement was rather unexpected – a new model of Xbox 360 is being released today across the US, Canada, UK, Ireland and Australia. The sleeker new design is intended to resemble that of the Xbox One, but it won’t cost any less than the current model. Three different “editions” are being released – 4GB, 250GB, and a 4GB Kinect bundle.

Sticking with announcements for the current Xbox, Xbox Live gold members will receive two free full game downloads a month from 1st July until 31st December. This would appear to be a knee-jerk reaction to PlayStation Plus, which has proven to be more than slightly popular. The first two confirmed freebies have been aren’t exactly the freshest of faces – Assassin’s Creed 2 and Halo 3 – but decent titles nevertheless.

Xbox Live gold members will receive two free full game downloads a month from 1st July

Fable III is also available for free, this month only. Eagle-eyed gamers spotted this early this morning, where upon first glance it was understandably thought to be a glitch. It’s about time Microsoft gave gamers a little bit back in return for their subscriptions, especially seeing that countless adverts are creeping onto the Xbox dashboard.

The freebies don’t end there – global hit World of Tanks is coming to Xbox 360 as a free to play title, albeit for gold members only. We very much doubt this is because Tank! Tank! Tank! is now a free download over on the Wii U eShop.

Next IP was revealed next. Well, kind of – it was kept very quiet that 2D platformer Max and the Cursed Brotherhood is sequel of sorts to the not very popular Wii/DS game Max and the Magic Marker. The next game on show couldn’t be any more different – Dark Souls II. Production values look significantly higher than the last Dark Souls, although we’re still slightly anxious about the new casual approach.

The next demo bore resemblance to Saving Private Ryan’s famous beech landing scene. Quite amazing seeing that Ryse is set in ancient Rome, without even a rife or gun in sight. When Crytek’s Ryse was first unveiled it was destined for the Kinect, but with Kinect sales on the decline it has now been shifted over to Xbox One and gained joypad controls along the way. Visually it looks impressive, with a very cinematic look to the presentation, but the amount of button-bashing QTEs was rather worrying.

Panzer Dragoon’s spiritual successor Crimson Dragon has made a jump from Kinect to Kinect 2.0 also, making an appearance much later on in the conference.

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need_for_speed_rivals_koenigsegg_cop_car
Jun 10
By Matt Gander In Blog No Comments

Grab a jar of granulated coffee and a spoon – E3 is about to begin, and it should be a corker. Well, better than last year’s damp squib at the very least.

Titanfall

Microsoft kicks off the conferences tonight at 17:30pm (UK, GMT). With the Xbox One already unveiled all signs point to Microsoft focusing solely on software. We hope that’s the case, anyway – we don’t think we could tolerate being told all over again how Xbox One will revolutionise television.

Respawn’s shooter Titanfall was ousted last week as the cover game of the new issue of GameInformer. Expect a big fuss to be made – apparently it uses the Xbox One’s cloud features in new and innovative ways. LocoCycle, Fable Anniversary and Fantasia: Music Evolved are likely to be shown as well, along with more Forza 5 and Quantum Break footage.

Here’s the new, and mildly amusing, trailer for LocoCycle you missed it last week:

Hopefully we’ll also see what Rare have been up to, and discover what has become of Crytek’s Ryse. And maybe the future of Halo as well? We only have a few more hours to go until we find out.

Later tonight both EA and Ubisoft have their conferences, at 21:00 and 23:00 respectively. As well as wheeling out their yearly franchises – including Need for Speed Rivals – it’s has been suggested that EA will unveil plans for their newly acquired Star Wars license. Battlefield: Battlefront, anybody?

Ubisoft meanwhile are rumoured to be showing a new racer entitled The Crew, developed by Reflections. It could potentially be this year’s Watch_Dogs – a genuine show stealer.

ubisoft_e3_peyj

Curiously, Beyond Good & Evil 2 may make a appearance. The piece of art-work displayed to the right was uploaded to their Facebook page over the weekend. We’d love it to be a Wii U-exclusive, but we can’t see that happening after Ubisoft did that massive U-turn on Rayman Legends. That’s unless Nintendo themselves are funding it, a la Bayonetta 2. Stranger things have happened.

Sony’s conference is what you’ll need that caffeine for – it’s not until 2:00am Tuesday morning. Sony played their next-gen card early, showing off dozens of games alongside the new PS4 controller, so we’re not entirely sure how many surprises they left other than the design of the PS4 itself. With a bit of luck though we’ll find out what has happened to The Last Guardian, and maybe get the first glimpse of the next Naughty Dog project. There’s also the mysterious Destiny of Souls. This was once rumoured to be a PS Vita-exclusive Destiny spin-off, but that was soon rebuked when it announced that From Software are behind it.

Then we’ve got good old Nintendo. As you’ve no doubt heard the Kyoto giant are skipping E3 this year, opting for a special Nintendo Direct instead. That’s at 15:00pm on Tuesday. Mario Kart, Sonic Lost World, Pikmin 3, Wind Waker HD, Smash Bros. and a new 3D Mario for Wii U are dead certs to be shown.

SonicLostWorld

You can bet that Nintendo will give the publishers who have stuck with the Wii U during the last six months some limelight too, so expect footage of Assassin’s Creed IV, Batman Origins and Scribblenauts Unmasked at some point. As much as we’d like to see some actual gameplay footage of Bayonetta 2, CVG reports that Platinum will only be promoting Wonderful 101. We wouldn’t be surprised though if Bayonetta shows her face in the new Smash Bros. trailer.

After months of speculation, we should also finally find out what Retro Studios have been working on. A new IP? Something with Star Fox? More Metroid? Whatever it is has been kept tightly under wraps, that’s for sure.

Of course, all the other usual suspects will be there – Activision, Square-Enix, Konami, 505 Games, SEGA, Bethseda, Capcom and more. With Xbox One and PS4 just around the corner, they’ve no doubt got a couple of surprises each.

We’ll be doing our best to provide round-ups of all the conferences in decent time, as well as sniff out the smaller, more curious, games on show. Somebody has to look out for the little guys, especially during the biggest week of the gaming calendar.

Jun 06
By Matt Gander In Blog 1 Comment

One of the more amusing things from Microsoft to be spotted at E3 was this Halo-influenced bar menu:

Apparently the food menu consisted of just two types of onion ring – battered or bread-crumbed.

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