If you hadn’t already worked it out, this week LA is hosting E3: the major hype generator for all things gaming. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get across the pond to attend but I have spent the last few days locked away in my room, munching on rubbish snack food and watching all the conferences as they went live.
Of course, there were the big announcements of sequel games, as expected – Fallout 4 looks epic and I will be getting a Pip Boy, Battlefront and Uncharted 4 gameplay got me all excited and Square Enix are creeping closer and closer with the next Kingdom Hearts – but there were also a few surprises that made me make the :O face.
10. ReCore (Comcept/Armature)
ReCore is a new title announced by Microsoft. The trailer shows a woman and her robotic canine friend roaming a futuristic abandoned desert. They take on some enemy targets and the dog takes one for the team (see, Kaboom). The energy orb that made up robo-dog’s centre is taken and used to wake up a bigger and even cooler robot. Having a hot-swappable robot companion and exploring a post-apocalyptic world sounds like it has the makings of something truly awesome.
There is no gameplay footage as of yet but the introduction of a new IP starring robot battles, cool styling and a cute female protagonist definitely looks like one to keep an eye out for. It’s an Xbox exclusive and is looking to be released in Spring 2016.
9. Sea of Thieves (Rare)
Sea of Thieves feels like the game I’ve been waiting for for years without even realising. Rare have made my dreams come true by developing an online multiplayer pirate RPG in which you can sail away with your friends, explore new lands and take down enemy ships.
It’ll be released on Xbox One and PC (and I’m seriously hoping for some cross-platform play here) in Summer 2016.
8. Xbox One Backwards Compatibility
Microsoft have announced that they have devised a way to make Xbox 360 games playable on the One. They’re aiming at 100 main titles at the end of the year, showcasing Mass Effect on the One at E3 (not exactly visually impressive but it proved the point). You’ll be able to pop in your old 360 discs into the One and download the game to play. As it uses software designed to emulate the old console, you can bring up the old style menu, use all the original features (except peripherals) and still create screenshots/record clips with the new One software.
7. Dreams (Media Molecule)
The makers of Little Big Planet and Tearaway have announced the newest way you can create and discover on the Playstation 4. You can use the DualShock 4 controller to paint, sketch and sculpt your own creations which you can then animate and share with others. Some of the examples showcased included an old man playing the piano, a zombie-fighting teddy bear and robots zooming through space.
6. For Hono(u)r (Ubisoft)
Choose to align with the vikings, knights or samurai in a 4 v 4 multiplayer battle to the death. Need I say more? Check out the trailer below.
5. Ion / Early Access
The creator of Early Access survival game DayZ has announced development of a new game: Ion. The short 1 minute trailer shows an astronaut floating through space. The camera zooms out past various planets, spacestations and solar systems to show a matrix-esque image of a body labelled with ION and seemingly shrink-wrapped.
Ion will be released on PC and Xbox One and heralds the announcement of Xbox Game Preview – Microsoft’s answer to Early Access. Game Preview will allow you to try games that are currently still in development (including this and Hall’s previous game, DayZ) and, unlike Steam’s pay-to-play-early, you can choose after whether you want to financially support the game or not after playing.
4. No Man’s Sky (Hello Games)
No Man’s Sky also brings space exploration to the table but in a massive – and I mean massive – scale. There is no typical story element to this game but it gives you what seems to be limitless planets and solar systems to discover and create your own personal experience. You can break things down and build on an atomic scale; name a planet (which are all actually planet-sized) and all its inhabitants and make your way to the centre of the universe – everyone’s journey through the game will be completely different to everyone else’s.
I can’t find the words to express how expansive this game is so make sure you check out the E3 video below and see. Showcased at Sony’s E3 conference, it will be coming to PS4 and PC.
3. South Park: The Fractured But Whole (Ubisoft)
I shouldn’t be as excited as I am for the release of another South Park game: an RPG which exists solely to mock the existence of the RPG. I really really am, though. The first South Park game was a great mix of the ridiculous humour, recognisable story lines, pop culture references and turned-based RPG combat and I don’t expect this one to be any different. I don’t know how they could possibly manage to make a game even more crude and potentially offensive than the last but I’m sure Trey Parker and Matt Stone will have absolutely no trouble doing so. I’m already chuckling at the name… Plus, it looks like as the New Kid you get to join the ‘Coon and Friends on their adventures and possibly created your own superhero alter-ego and origin story too.
2. Hololens with Minecraft
Naturally I was expected some mention of Virtual Reality during this year’s E3 and it was Microsoft that blew me away – and, surprisingly, it wasn’t mention of their working with Occulus Rift but the HoloLens. Using a specialist camera, they were able to display on the screens what the demonstrator was seeing through the HoloLens whilst playing Minecraft. The 3D block-built world was displayed on the desk before him, allowing him to move through and affect the world and other people playing within it with his voice and movements. I’m not even a Minecraft fan but this looked amazing.
1. Horizon: Zero Dawn (Guerrilla Games)
Horizon: Zero Dawn was the first game to be announced at Sony’s conference and it looks absolutely stunning. Set in a post-apocalyptic world where nature has taken back the futuristic world of the Old Ones, a redhead with a bow (think Ygritte, the wildling) takes down some native robo-animals and dinos. This new world in which humans hunt in tribes, combining of primitive weapons and new age tech will be coming exclusively to Playstation 4. I’d imagine we’ve got a ling wait for this one but I reckon it’ll definitely be worth it.