Sony: How to steal E3 and make everyone else your bitch in 60 minutes

Sony’s conference was music to my ears, literally, they had an orchestra playing the music of every game live. There’s no doubt that Sony’s conference has been the best yet, straightforward game previews and little to no tomfoolery. With only one more conference left, Nintendo, it’s going to be hard to beat what the Playstation 4 has to offer. What went down?

First off we were revealed that Kratos is back, this time in Norse mythology as there is a reboot to the God of War series. It shows Kratos teaching his son to hunt with the hunting knife given to him by his deceased mother. The son has much to learn at the beginning due to being impatient and misfiring. Kratos isn’t ready to give up and the two go to find the dear but come under trouble from enemies and a troll. Here Kratos’ gameplay is revealed with the use of an electric bow and spartan rage to attack enemies. There’s plenty of fighting in store that’s for sure. Following this, Kratos and his son find the dear and the boy shoots it (oh he also shoots his father and not the troll as well). To finish off he needs to end the deer’s life with the knife and the two do it together with Kratos uttering: “now you are ready.” Like farther, like son, the two will have plenty in store in this new open world title.

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Kratos’ big reveal.

Next came a new zombie title that mashes up Sons of Anarchy and The Last of UsDays Gone showcases another zombie title but this time with a lot more raw emotion. The main character’s wife is deceased and there are hoards of zombies to be fought against. The gameplay revealed fast motorbikes in a world stripped of human resources, bunkers, wolves and horrifying creatures. The protagonist is seen parkouring through a bunker area shooting zombies with multiple weapons before being cornered on a tall metal canister with zombies at the foot of a bridge. This looks like to be a respectable zombie title which you can really get stuck into.

Following this we were treated to a short cinematic trailer of The Last Guardian from Team Tri. It is a game that has been in the works for a long time and one I have anticipating for quite some time. You play as a boy with a an animal which combines many species and the two develop a connection in which the boy uses Trico through speaking to it. Like other Tri games, this one looks set to be emotional with footage showing fighting against enemies and other huge beasts like Trico and ends with the boy asking the creature if his wings are broken. Oh yeah, we finally have a confirmed release date. October 25th is the date you cannot miss.

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The feels: The boy looks to be comforting Trico who is hurt.

One of the most exiting and interesting games for 2017 was up next with Horizon Zero Dawn. The title appears to be a fantasy adventure type which instead of animals has creatures that are robotics. In a post-apocalyptic world the player can harness electricity from these creatures to benefit from and use as weapons. These creatures can be manipulated into being ridden like a bull-type creature (a broadhead) the female protagonist rides on and they can also be ‘corrupted’. This means the creatures are seen to be red and attack villages and other creatures. The player can identify the weakness of the creature such as fire and then use that against them. There are tons of weapons and traps to choose from and players can use grapples to tie down enemy creatures before finishing them off.

Carrying on with technology, the next title shown was ‘Detroit: Become Human‘ which continues with a similar theme I am seeing in other games where you can change the way you play and repeat moments. This has been seen in South Park: The Fractured But Whole and Dishonored 2. You play as an android called Connor who in the game is in a conference building after people have been murdered by a woman’s mad husband who also appears to be an android. This crime game lets you choose the fate and build your own stories. You face the consequences of your actions and reoccur through the same scenes. Targets could die, live or kill more (even you). One of the interesting elements was that these androids who are supposed to serve and seem to have emotions also have blue blood.

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A new main series Resident Evil title, will we see a return to the quality of IV?

Playstation have been working on a new VR headset which is looking to be a big player in this ever expanding virtual reality scene. The next list of games were said to be compatible with the headset and they’re not just small indie titles, oh no, these are some huge names.

The first started with a very eerie house and a man receiving a phone call telling him to get out or ‘they’ will kill him. The man slowly walks through the darkened house before having multiple flashbacks of how he got there and horrifying events occurring. It looked terrifying to watch at half 2 in the morning but all we know is that we have the seventh Resident Evil title set to release January 24 2017.

The headset will sell at $399, very pricey. Next keep a small preview at a rock/dust world in space which looked like one of the screenshots from Mass Effect: Andromeda. However, it wasn’t. It was a title called ‘Farpoint’ which had huge tarantula-like creatures and two protagonists called Eva and Grant. More information will come about as it happens.

Next we found out that Star Wars: Battlefront and Final Fantasy XV will be VR compatible. The trailer showed characters wearing the headset and also riding on well-rendered Chocobo’s. Adorable. Adding to the VR roster, it was announced that a Batman Arkham title would be coming October this year and you can finally see through the eyes of the bat and say “I’m Batman.”

Finally on the VR list was an interesting space title which had space vehicle battles and the infiltration of an enemy base which included opening hatches to send people flying and plenty of gun fire. There also appeared to be anti-gravity games to use on enemies which seemed highly beneficial. What is this game I hear you ask? It was Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. The footage shows there might be hope for the series, especially with the sneak peak at the remaster of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.

Then the news everyone has been wishing for a decade, and finally no more teasers, Crash Bandicoot, 2 and Warped are getting remasters. Crash will also be coming to the next Skylanders instalment: Imaginators.

The fun didn’t stop there because a new trailer for Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens was revealed and the title will be releasing at the end of this month. It is typical Lego humour with plenty of cuts from the movie and lots to make fun of Kylo Ren a lot. Perfect.

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Our lord and saviour Hideo Kojima is back.

Mr Kojima walked out and fans went wild. The former worker at Konami and creator of Meta Gear Solid revealed that he had a new title in the works. And no it is not a new Metal game sadly.

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The sweet rendering of Norman Reedus’ buns. Will he be fighting zombies this time?

Death Stranding was as spooky as a typical Konami Silent Hill title with tons of dead fish and crabs. Normal Reedus is the star of the show and appears to be holding a recently birthed child on this grey beach. The child disappears and Norman’s hands are covered in black and black hand prints appear on his legs and walks up the beach. Norman stands up and looks up at five mysterious figures in the sky. This looks very exciting indeed and with a great ambient soundtrack from Low Roar.

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Spiderman has a white spider on his suit…why?

Finally, Insomniac games revealed that they are releasing a new Spiderman title which is separate from the series. I really hope this title is good and will like any typical Spiderman game with plenty of fighting and swinging. I really hope this is a throwback to good 90’s PS1 Spiderman titles. Fingers crossed.

Well Sony didn’t need much description and just got on with the show and really that is all you need. There are so many great titles coming our way and the show was just shock after shock. I think I know which console most of you will be playing this year.

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Ubisoft: A steep incline to something better

Ubisoft opened their event with Just Dance 2017 which will becoming to all consoles, PC and the Nintendo NX next year. We were treated to a dance performance which included a dancing giraffe. Like a dancing giraffe it could stumble a lot and have to keep getting itself back up, however on this occasion, constant humour aside, Ubisoft pulled off some sweet moves. Let’s find out what went down.

Comedian and actress Aisha Taylor was back to present for the fifth year running as the company celebrated its 30th anniversary. The next game on show was the 14th instalment in Tom Clancy’s: Ghost Recon series. ‘Wildlands‘ was announced at last year’s E3 and this time we were treated to plentiful gameplay. The game takes place in Bolivia where a Mexican drug cartel has taken over the area and are harvesting cocoa to sell, making Bolivia a narco-state. You the player in Ghost Recon fashion will be playing the role of the ghosts who aim to cause chaos and bring down the system.

The game is action packed and full of high speed chases, plenty of vehicle switching, stealth and  co-op switching between characters to infiltrate bases. The mission that was shown was to take down El_Pozolero. The game focuses around teamwork in order to take down the base and will result in you attacking from all angles which will certainly be great for multiplayer. One player could be attacking from a helicopter, another via a getaway vehicle, one simply walking in and another sniping. The game will hit shelves March 7th next year.

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The Fractured But Whole is a superhero theme after its predecessor  was fantasy.

Now it looked like we were going to be treated to Watchdogs 2 early in the show with a trailer reminiscing hacking and code. However there appeared Eric Cartman as superhero ‘The Coon’. Trey Parker and Matt Stone came out to talk about the next South Park instalment: ‘The Fractured But Whole’ which takes influence from previous title ‘The Stick of Truth’.

It is the next day in South Park and the children are now playing as superheros, so everything you achieved at the end of the first game is pointless and to everyone you are a ‘douchebag’ again. The game takes a big influence from Marvel with the children aiming to set out a movie series and how there will be a ton of films and spin offs. Certain characters are under appreciated and create a separate faction causing a civil war between the children. Marvel isn’t alone as J.J. Abrams and DC comics are also the butt of jokes.

Cartman helps you create your class which can be from a brutalist, blaster or speedster and each child is given a backstory to their character. The game is also full of typical toilet humour that is familiar in the series, but the game itself has seen many improvements. The game concentrates on space as unlike the previous title, you are not restricted to being in one place and so can use certain attacks to your advantage to progress through the game. The combat system has also improved and you can push and pull characters into objects or other characters for extra damage points. Farts were used as an attack in the first game and this continues however, they are super powerful and can rip the fabric of time. This aids a player in remaking decisions in the game.

If you pre-order the title now you can get The Stick of Truth for free. The game will release on December 6.

Next up was a better look at Tom Clancy’s Division’s new expansion: ‘Underground‘. You work in a team against dangerous threats under the streets of New York. No two missions are the same and there is a big replayability factor which has better rewards the more you play. The expansion which releases on June 28th will receive three exclusive skins from fellow Tom Clancy series’ Ghost Recon, Rainbow Six and Splinter Cell. It was also announced that another expansion is on the way called ‘Survival‘ which takes place in a ferocious blizzard that has ruined New York and sets everyone against each other. The point of the game is hunt or be hunted.

VR is everywhere these days and Ubisoft has two titles in the works. One is a Star Trek title where you can control the Starship Enterprise and work in teams fighting against enemies. The trailer showed celebrities including for Next Generation actor for Worf, ‘LeVar Burton’. The second was a title where you play as eagles in a capture the flag style game in France. Eagle Flight is about teamwork where two teams, red and blue, work to get bait to certain points.

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In For Honor you can play as a viking, samurai or knight.

Probably one of the most exciting hack and slash titles in a long time, For Honor lets you play as three different classes with different back stories. From the viking perspective you are trying to rise up from the ashes and make your people great again by infiltrating the samurai’s and claiming the area for your own. From a trailer that looked like the end of season 2 of Game of Thrones, the game has multiple weapons and enemies with quick progression from ocean to land to climbing to duelling.

The game which launches February 17 revealed epic fights and endless replayability. Definitely a must for multiplayer.

One of the more colourful titles, Grow Home was up next with the revealing of its sequel Grow Up. Here you play as Bud and you are no longer under the watchful eye of mother. Using seeds and plants it is your aim to get Bud to the moon. The game will release in August on Xbox One, PS4 and PC.

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Every Ubisoft game should get a Blood Dragon makeover.

Like Far Cry, Trials is the next Ubisoft game to get a Blood Dragon makeover. The trailer showcased a gimic-like 80’s GI Joe commercial with toys and bright psychedelic colours. The game seems very similar to the Far Cry title and has plenty of rides and fast-paced vehicles, but also certain tracks which include none at all. This is definitely one of the most fun and layed back games to get stuck into!

Finally, it was the game we had all be waiting to see, Watchdogs 2. You play as Marcus a new hacker for DedS3c who will take down corporations and social media as humans are fixated with technology. You’re not alone in taking back control of the establishment as you will be working with ‘Wrench’, ‘Sitara’ and ‘Josh’. Each character plays an important role in Marcus’ hacking and infiltration. One of the most exciting parts of this game is that in San Francisco, you can pretty much hack anything from TV’s, cars and any old household equipment. This can be used to help get to your goals and mess with those around you.

There are also a lot of gadgets to be used including robots and drones which are a nice touch to a modern game and can be used as mobile cameras to see who is in the buildings you are infiltrating. There’s plenty of shooting to be had too but, this title seems to have a better grasp of what Watchdogs should be unlike its predecessor. The game will release on November 15.

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We thought it was all over, but Ubisoft wants us to socialise and get a little extreme.

One more game was revealed and my word through their own engine, Ubisoft has made one of the most strikingly beautiful titles I’ve seen at this event yet. ‘Steep‘ is an extreme snow/winter sport title including base jumping, snowboarding and paragliding. There is a big social aspect to the game as well where you share stunts, crashes, maps and who knows what else.

The aim of this is to play with other players and invite them into your game. You can set challenges with your own rules such as jumping off of a certain cliff that you think is particularly hard. You can replay a lot of material, save it, set tracks and watch any other user’s performance. The beta will be available soon if you register and the game is set to launch in December.

I really recommend checking out this title as it will be something special and is a game-type that is unheard of! Sure Nintendo might have 1080 Snowboarding and Pilotwings, but trust me it is nothing like this. Ubisoft might not have the impressive stage Microsoft and Sony have but that doesn’t mean they don’t have plenty of great titles in the works.

Xbox One: We’re not worthy

So Xbox and Microsoft have pretty much stolen E3 which a huge amount of game, social and technology announcements and there has been a lot to take in. Plenty of great game titles are coming back and cross-play was a t the forefront of most titles mentioned. So what happened?

First off we were treated to the new Xbox One model which was leaked the other day. The console known as ‘S’ for slim will be 40% smaller than the previous model, have 4k ultra video, HDR gaming, a 2TB hardrive and will have a new controller with new textures. It was also revealed that the base price will be $299 so think of that in pounds, it’s going to be good money. Oh and head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, says it will also release in August this year.

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The new Xbox One model: ‘S’

The Coalition studio head, Rod Ferguson, kicked off the show by showing gameplay from Gears of War 4, one of the most anticipated titles of this year. The game is part of Xbox’s new ‘play anywhere’ which combines Windows 10 and Xbox One gameplay across all platforms and when you save on one platforms you can resume where you left off on the other at no extra cost. The title was shown through co-op cross-play on both platforms in a scenario following the abduction of character Kait’s mother by the swarm who are a new enemy.

The gameplay showcased a ferocious storm and a ton of enemies to fight through including drones and turrets which were tactically removed through co-op play of a catapult and shooting objects. Players will have to destroy swarm nests in a huge lightning storm and take on huge beasts. The game is set to release on October 11th.

This was followed by an old favourite, Killer Instinct, whose game has seen some character additions recently including Rash from Battletoads. It was revealed that General Raam from Gears of War will be added to the cast and will be free-to-play this week.

Up next was popular car racing title Forza Horizon 3, which takes place in beautiful Australia and graphically it was depicted well showing a nice mixture of off and on-road driving. Ralph Fulton of Playground Games showed off the world gameplay premier with a mixture of fast cars and off-road vehicles all merging together from different cross-play platforms. One of the big additions is how players can drop into other’s games at the click of a button and their surroundings will automatically adjust to the host. The game will release September 27th.

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ReCore: Another Inafune classic in the works?

A sneak peak at Keji Inafune’s next title ‘ReCore‘ was showed instantly after which introduced different characters such as Joule, Mack, Seth and Duncan. The game includes a lot of robotics, space like weapons and scenery and a connection between the characters through the use of orbs. A very promising title to come your way.

Square Enix were next up and presented some co-op gameply from the new Final Fantasy XV game. It was a four-way battle against a titan including characters: Noctis, Prompto, Ignis and Gladiolus. The demo didn’t grasp too much excitement for a game releasing September 30th but will surely feature more intense battles against huge creatures.

Next it was announced that Tom Clancy: The Division will be getting an expansion called: ‘Underground‘ which takes place in an urban underground which will have randomly generated missions and tons of battles.

Mike Ybarra of Xbox Live had plenty to tell us and said they are listening to players and are creating a faster, more reliable network and incorporating cross-play that begun with Rocket League. In Autumn they will be releasing ‘Clubs’ which is creating communities, ‘Looking for group’ which is for multiplayer and ‘Arena’ where you can play solo or with friends in tournaments.

Playing on from the mention of cross-play came Minecraft. For those who are fans of the ever-growing series this will surely be a favourable addition. Cross-play will connect Xbox, PC, iOS and Android together where players can play on other servers and realms how, when and where you want. The update to the series will be called ‘The Friendliest update’ as it is bringing everyone together. Oculus Rift will also be incorporated to the game which has been shown already; it makes mine cart rides looks extra thrilling. Finally, Minecraft texture packs will be coming to PC and mobile where players can customise characters and scenery to however they want. This update will be coming in Autumn.

A sneak peak was given to ‘Inside‘ which is from the creators of Limbo and once more creates that eerie grey atmosphere, but this time in what seems like a workplace environment. This game will release June 29th. This game follows and endless list of cross-play indie games that are coming soon including Cuphead, Yooka-Laylee, Outlast II an Deliver Us The Moon. 

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We Happy Few – don’t be a downer.

One of the more interesting titles was then revealed to us which was called: ‘We Happy Few‘. It takes place in Britain in 1964 and has a psychological 1984 feel to it. Characters have white faces and take a drug called ‘joy’. Those who don’t take it are called ‘Downers’ and it seems that this isn’t allowed in this totalitarian world. Definitely one to look out for.

A Witcher card game was announced called ‘Gwent‘ which is based off of the card game that was played in taverns in the Witcher series of games. Fans repeatedly requested CD Projekt Red and their prayers were answered. Like Hearthstone and Elder Scrolls: Legends we have a new card game.  It is a cross-play title which which has four factions of cards. Players will begin with ten cards and through campaign the player will be immersed into the game as well as the cards. Seeing as there’s only ten, players will have to think smart and bluff their way to victory. The beta will be available soon if fans register.

We were then treated to one of my favourite game series’ Tekken and Tekken 7 their new game coming early 2017. Gameplay which also jumped to and from cinematics depicted two characters ‘Heihachi’ and ‘Akuma’ fighting it out.  There will be a new story mode and Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is available for free download to Xbox Live Gold users.

One of the games I have been waiting for was finally shown after leaking the other day. Dead Rising 4 returns with war photographer Frank West whose camera appears to have turned into a smart phone. Oh yeah, the game is also at Christmas in the holiday shopping mall season. There is a big Christmas theme to weapons and will definitely be a favourite when it releases this holiday on PC and Xbox One. One of the most interesting weapon combinations was a triceratops head which was also a flamethrower.

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An interesting new concept mixing man’s relationship with dragons.

Probably one of the most interesting games to come about in a long time and one of the most exiting for next year, ‘Scalebound‘ takes on the relationship between dragons and humans to fight against huge beasts like a crab-like creature in the gameplay shown.The game from platinum games has multiple weapons such as bows, lightnings and bombs. Players can ride their dragons in a four-player co-op experience to take on beasts. More info will definitely be coming soon.

A company that hasn’t made a real game in a long time, Rare are back with ‘Sea of Thieves‘ that was revealed at last year’s E3. A favourite company of mine shows off what a real multiplayer should look like with a neat pirate theme. There are endless exploring opportunities where players can find treasure and be attacked by other players. It was shown with gameplay from their fan base how players can attack other ships with cannons, steer ships and explore open seas in a real pirate experience.

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Following this came two sneak peaks at State of Decay 2 and Halo Wars 2 both coming in early 2017. Halo Wars will have new enemies Banished with leader Atriox who has a massive army. The beta is live to play on Xbox One right now.

And to round off, Xbox are working on a new console called ‘Project Scorpio’ which has plenty of high-powered specs which incoporates 4K graphics and VR techonology. It will surely be a phenomenal experience…but don’t  PC’s have better technology?

 

Bethesda: A mixture of disappointment and awe?

What everyone was hoping to see at Bethesda’s conference was obviously some appearance of The Elder Scrolls VI. However, we didn’t see such thing and that doesn’t mean Bethesda are not working on plenty of content as last night proved they’re still a company with plenty of great experiences waiting for fans. So we didn’t see the next Elder Scrolls title, what did we see?

I guess we were disappointed from the offset with another poor panel once again before the conference even started. We were constantly shown content from last year’s E3 and commenters consistently say that it was a cringey experience.

However, we didn’t remain disappointed for long because the first clip of the conference was the announcement of a new Quake title! It has been a long time since a Quake title was released and there’s no doubt the popularity of Doom last month increased the need for a return to arena shooters.

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All the characters shown in the trailer look like absolute tanks.

The title is named: ‘Quake: Champions‘ and id Software executive Tim Willits says more content will be shown at Quakecon in Dallas in August. What we know so far that the game is for PC and will be a competitive arena style first-person shooter before online and offline.It aims to be fast and will run on 120hz unlocked frame-rates and has a catalogue of badass characters, all with their own attributes and attitudes. There was also mention of Quake being an eSports game. Quake: Champions looks very promising as it is a series I very much enjoy and are glad to see back.

Following this game, Global UP and PR of Bethesda marketing, Pete Hines and he gave us a look at the Elder Scrolls card game ‘Legends‘. The title which looks similar to Blizzard’s Hearthstone has been described as a ‘deep strategy experience’ with a compelling story from the perspective of the Moth Priest – Kellin. It revolves around him and is the story of a forgotten hero who changed the very course of history. The game will be coming to open beta for everyone who creates an account at Bethesda.net. The game will also be coming to tablet and mobile.

Next up came Fallout 4 and the series is still being kept alive. The game recently saw a DLC update: ‘Far Harbour’ and that is not the only thing being added to the game. There will be additions to the Workshop including: elevators, conveyor belts, sorting machines and gun racks. Players can also build their very own vault which sounds interesting and is basically like playing Fallout Shelter on the big screen. The update is due in July

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Fallout Shelter will also be coming to PC.

The other Fallout title: ‘Shelter‘ released for mobile and tablet upon the end of Bethesda’s E3 conference last year was an incredibly popular release with around 50 million downloads. The game was announced to be getting updates including: new locations, new characters, sending dwellers on quests, new enemies and a new combat system. The game will also be coming to PC which is very exciting.

Then came the big reveal. We all thought that it must be Elder Scrolls VI. It had to be right? Wrong. It was announced with that nostalgic theme that for current-gen consoles, Skyrim (Elder Scrolls V) would be getting a remaster with majorly enhanced graphics. I do not know where I stand on this announcement because obviously people will be over the moon for this special edition announcement, but mods have already made Skyrim look great on PC. The game itself was pretty solid to begin with. To be fair it’s only fair that consoles get to use mods like Fallout 4 and enhance their gameplay which is seeing enhanced shaders and in depth detail. I’m wondering if there could be alterations to controls, who knows at this point to be fair?

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There is a striking difference between the previous and current console graphics.

The final Elder Scrolls addition was updates to their Online game which will see a Japanese release on June 23rd and DLC based off of Oblivion called ‘The Dark Brootherhood‘. No one is safe apparently and the trailer portrayed a lot of stealth and melee action. Another update is coming called ‘One Tamriel‘ which means once completing the tutorial, players of all levels can group freely with whoever they want and go wherever they want. A really nice edition to a positive series which has never been done before.

Now we already had Quake, but Doom was not left out of the mix. Snapmap, a tool in the new game will be getting a free update including new weapons and items. There will also be weapon reel style selection in single player and two new multiplayer maps known as Exodus and Sector. The game will also be seeing its first DLC release called ‘Unto the Evil‘ which sees three new multiplayer maps added, new guns and a playable character known as the ‘Harvester Demon’. Some may have been a bit disappointed at the repetitiveness of certain enemies, but DLC can stop that with the addition of more characters. Everyone who owns a PC, Xbox One and PS4 this week will also be able to download freely the first level of the new Doom game and try it for themselves this week only.

Bethesda did have another new title to announce however and this was from Arkane Studios (Dishonored). Raphael Colantonio said that they were working on another immersive psychological thriller. PREY is set in the year 2032 and you play as Morgan who in a futuristic world has been part of an experiment to change humanity forever that goes horribly wrong. The film is set in a space station and one of the interesting features is that for weaponry and tools, you have to use whatever you can on the space station.

The game is set to release next year on Xbox One, PS4 and PC with further information coming at Quakecon.

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Morgan is part of a test to change humanity forever…but it goes very wrong.

There was a quick mention that Bethesda would be working on VR with demos at E3 for Fallout 4 and Doom which sound exciting.

Finally, Dishonored 2 took to the stage and there was plenty of information and gameplay revealed.  Harvey Smith, the creative director at Arkane Studios, walked through different elements of the game and the different attributes Emily Kaldwin and Corvo Attano have. The game is based in a Victorian district with an exotic style of characters. Smith says they wanted a strong sense of place and so extra detail was added to the characters and the city itself. It’s a game that makes you think about people’s lives and the history of a city.

The game has been made in a custom game engine called ‘Void’ to help create a painting in motion and create custom tools to give the best stealth experience. The game centres around the anniversary of the death of Emily’s mother with a now grown-up Emily who is leader.

Viewers were shown gameplay from the Dust District and demonstrated all the moves and skill-sets you will have when playing as Emily. The game also showcased how there are many different ways of completing the game as you can favour one side or none at all, which gives a strong replayability factor. Some of the moves include the shadow walk which demonstrates the mixture of stealth and combat, the power to mesmerise players and connect them together so that they all share the same fate and the timepiece which enables Emily to visit somewhere and jump through to the past to alter timelines. The timepiece was definitely one of the most interesting aspects for me personally.

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The throne room.

The architecture is beautiful and this will be a game to play over and over with new surprises every time. A high recommendation in my book. If you haven’t played the original, you can always pick up the special edition of Dishonored 2 when it released on November 11 which includes Dishonored.

Now we may not have received a follow-up to Skyrim, but for a big fan of Bethesda like myself, there is still plenty of content to get stuck into. Dishonored 2 looks like it is going to be one of the biggest games of the year, there’s plenty of add-on content to Doom, Fallout and Elder Scrolls and we have two new exciting games on the way. I think I might have to get my Nintendo 64 out and crack on with a bit of Quake/Quake 2.

Stay Tuned for further conference news today from Microsoft and Ubisoft!

 

 

 

EA Play: New Experiences, New Stories & Breathtaking visuals

EA Play kicked off E3 like no other with two separate conferences streaming from both London and Los Angeles and demonstrated a lot of interactivity between the two via satellite feed. We were treated to a lot of predictability, but also a lot of new insights into the world of EA (Electronic Arts). EA really stole the show with some promising titles coming up this year, so what happened?

The introduction provided watchers with the phrase ‘It’s time to play’ which really relates to the amount of games that are already here and coming our way. They want people to play and want people to join the 2.6 billion gamers out there.

Andrew Wilson, CEO of EA, said 60 minutes is just not enough to showcase everything they wanted to and so was the real influence for hosting their own event.

First up was Titanfall 2 with Respawn Entertainment CEO Vince Zampella. The series will be coming to PS4 and the trailer showed there will be plenty of first-person shooter content, lots of stealth, plenty of melee including grappling hooks and also moments that looked like anti-gravity was used.

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Your Titan compadre ‘BT’ in the single-player mode

What is new to the series is six new titans all with their own traits and abilities. There will be more customisation but the real show stealer was that this game will have offline single-player gameplay. Players will be able to delve deeper into the world of Titanfall and learn about the connection between humans and titans and how it developed. The game will release on October 28th on PS4, Xbox One and PC.

Next up was sports with Madden NFL 17. The focus was on eSports and competition. Coinciding with EA Play comes three new tournaments. The first is ‘Challenger’ which is where players can create their own tournaments. Secondly, there is Premier which is large scale live events and finally EA Major Events which will be huge events up for grabs on a global stage. In all competitions there will be up to $1 million prize money.

Fifa 17 will be run through the Frostbite engine which is a reoccurring name in the next couple of titles. The game will have a strong single player mode called ‘The Journey’ which takes the life of upcoming footballer ‘Alex Hunter’ and places them in real world football. Football managers will also play a role from the sidelines and upon this mention there came the ‘special one’ José Mourinho who had a bit of banter with Peter Moore in London about the lack of managers in the game.

EA also mentioned that they will be hosting charity events for five charities: Special Effect, Code 2040, Code.org, He for She and Women Information. In games such as Battlefront, Battlefield: Hardline and Fifa 16 players will be able to compete in missions and give donations to charities.

mass effect
An Asari was shown in the trailer, how many new alien species will we see?

Mass Effect: Andromeda which is being made through the Frostbite engine showcased spectacular visuals of space, creatures of all sizes (some huge) and ships. Andromeda is a whole new adventure in an aim to find a new home for the humans. CEO of BioWare Aaryn Flynn said this game would let imaginations run wild. Players will be treated to a whole new cast and plenty of freedom with the trailer depicting a women waking up from deep sleep in a spaceship and saying: “we made it.” We did not get to see too much from the trailer or be told much in general and for a game releasing in a few months it is a little disappointing to say the least.

One of the most popular games from last year’s E3 was Unravel which showcased one of the most beautiful graphical side-scrollers to date. Patrick Soderlund of EA informed us of how the company is working with indie developers to support, fund and provide security. He said that all profit made will go back into the hands of the developers.

The first title to come out of this programme is ‘Fe‘ by Swedish company ‘Zoink.’ For me personally, this title takes home the biscuit and shows that we haven’t done everything in video games. The idea of the game is that you wake up as a cub and the idea behind it is to develop a relationship with nature due to our longing aim to be one with the world. The most interesting part of this game is that there is no dialogue and the game is not going to spoonfeed you the answers. You have no idea of who you are or how you got here. Every creature you find is connected by their own language and this is where sound is incorporated and is used as the mainframe of the game.

Throughout the game you can learn about this communication and use it for its purpose with those species. In the end the character will learn the secrets of its  own kind, but not without learning about and defeating the enemy: ‘the silence’. The game has an ambient soundtrack, mixtures of dark colours and tons of creatures you can ride on, but you can even fly yourself. A must to check out in my books.

Star Wars
Behind the scenes development on a new Star Wars game.

One of my favourite franchises, Star Wars, has a ton of video games and the train keeps rolling because it was revealed by EA that multiple companies including Respawn, Dice and Bioware are working on titles. One example is that we have a new Battlefront in the works. I was said by Jane Raymond that EA is listening to the fans, adding what the fans want and this includes content from the new films.

Visceral will be creating an original narrative with new characters and Respawn are looking at a different Star Wars era to create a third-person action adventure title. All of these companies are working with Lucasfilms and are aiming to do what hasn’t been done before to create a authentic Star Wars story. The trailer also showed the use of the Playstation VR which leaves endless questions for the potential of these games.

tank
Actual Battlefield 1 gameplay with striking early 20th century architecture getting a real feel for the time.

Finally, it’s the one game that we’re all waiting for Battlefield 1. This and Titanfall 2 could cause the end of Call of Duty.

Battlefield is a series with 60 million players and the company knew they could not make an ordinary game. In one late night in Stockholm it was decided that a World War I concept would be their next main series title.

Patrick Bach of Dice said that no battle will be the same as there will be dynamic weather which will be unpredictable causing players to have to adjust their gameplay to the conditions, more intricate destruction and more natural gameplay. To show off the game, viewers of the Twitch stream were treated to the new online deathmatch campaign which has a total of 64 players in a 32 v 32 team at any point. The teams included famous YouTube gamers such as Achievement Hunter’s Gavin Free along with popular music icons such as Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa.

There was a look at vehicles including the new behemoths like blimps which when brought down, can fall anywhere and cause plenty of destruction. The carcass of the blimp does not de-spawn and so players have another obstacle in the vast surroundings. There are plenty of gun classes, weapons to use against tanks such as special grenades and airplane battles. Basically, there is a ton of stuff going on in this game – no two games are alike. There are rocket guns for assault, signal flares for snipers and syringes for medics. The game has plenty of content.

The main message in the trailer sates: “We’re gonna change the world” and in terms of gameplay, Battlefield might do just that.

EA look to have a lot of promising ideas and titles in the mix for the rest of this year and have set themselves as a strong contender for the rest of E3. Their EA Play has proved a fun idea and it wouldn’t be surprising if during E3 next year we see more personal conferences by other companies.

EA Play: What to expect & What to know

An interesting breakaway from E3 tradition and perhaps the beginning of the end for E3-type conferences, EA (Electronic Arts) is the first to kick off their conference at their ‘EA Play’ events in London and Los Angeles which will be hosted by CEO Andrew Wilson and Chief Competition Officer, Peter Moore.

The games I am expecting to see include Battlefield 1, Fifa 17, Mass Effect: Andromeda and Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall 2.

Battlefield 1 is the first World War I title in the Battlefield series and the first in the main series since 2013. This game is said to give players more choice and variety in terms of paths and completing along with more open land. battlefield

What is already known about Battlefield 1 is that it will release on October 21st this year and there will be six different gun classes. These include shotguns, SMG (sub-machine gun), LMG (light machine gun), semi-automatics, sidearms and sniper rifles. Along with frag grenades, there will be incendiary and smoke (mustard) grenades and for melee weapons you can attach a bayonet to a gun. DICE who EA have been working with also introduced shovels, sabres and trench clubs as melee weapons. There are a various amount of vehicles which players can take control of including: armoured vehicles, tanks, biplanes and battleships.

There have been rumours that multi-player will be shown off and will be titled: ‘Battlefield Squads’ which is said to have a 64 man deathmatch… which is unheard of. If shown this will be the first look at gameplay from the game and reveal how the game differs itself from ‘Hardline’ and ‘4‘ and potentially how similar it is.

Aaryn Flynn, General Manager of BioWare said the company were wanting to give players more freedom, an unprecedented level in fact. ‘Andromeda’ is the new galaxy that the game is heading and has left behind the Milky Way. This means the game will have new enemies, new worlds and new allies. I’m expecting to see a great storyline with some great third-person shooter action displaying the motives of the game and the difficulty of the gameplay and enemies.

mass-effect
The Frostbite engine will surely give us striking images.

What I am hoping to see from EA Play is plenty of visuals so we get to see how Andromeda diversifies itself from the original series. The game has been developed through the Frostbite engine and I want to see the breathtaking imagery of space that Frostbite does all so well. What we’ve seen so far includes grasslands, dust worlds and swamps. We’re sure EA will explore these vast worlds come the conference.

For me personally, Titanfall 2 was a very exciting concept when it started. I am a big fan of mecha-type themes and the multi-player gameplay seemed extraordinary where you could player in or out of titans in a traditional online campaign. After a month on the shelves, everything about Titanfall and the hype before its release started to then disappear and lose its popularity like Watchdogs.

The game was very successful nonetheless and incorporated large multiplayer battles and fun space themes. What can be expected is a further influence of these ideas and made for a better competitive aspect. I feel there needs to be more gameplay features and longer gameplay modes. What everyone loves with robots is weapons and that is a definite desire in the follow-up. I guess what I’m trying to say is taking what the first game did but expanding it in every direction should be what is shown at EA Play. This will make Titanfall 2 very favourable in my books.

With two potentially great shooters coming our way, is this the end of Call of Duty?

Stay tuned for my piece on EA Play later on tonight.

 

Introduction

Greetings,

I have decided to set up a post-university blog to try and find my place on the internet. I aim to incorporate my journalism skills that I have learned and use them to talk about all the things I have a buzz around. I will try to include as much multimedia in my posts as well.

This blog constitutes mainly of pop culture areas such as video games, anime, movies, music and whatever else I find entertainment (or not) in and feel it should be written about.

Want to know a little about me? 

1. I am Travis Ward, 22 and from Sheffield.

2. I am a video game collector and collect for all console post-NES (Nintendo Entertainment System)

3. I am a musician and play guitar and bass. I try to dabble with other instruments, but the best I’ve gotten at is with ukulele. I might post any relevant music work I have on YouTube on this page.

4. I finished my three year degree in BA Journalism Studies at Russell Group: University of Sheffield in July 2016.

5. I work at HMV and are still pursuing work in journalism (It’s bloody hard in South Yorkshire). Because of this I have set up my blog to continue my journalism.

6. I love music and listen to a vast mixture from classical to emo to indie to experimental rock.

7. I am a big video game fanatic and hope to be a professional video game journalist.

8. I try to read as much as I can: Currently reading ‘Down and out in Paris and London’ by George Orwell.

9. Media I enjoy:
Games: Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario Bros. 2, Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, Super Mario 64, TLOZ: Windwaker, A Link To The Past, Doom, Splatoon, Pokémon Gold/Silver/Crystal, Mega Man 2, Kirby’s Adventure, Donkey Kong, Croc: Legend of the Gobbos, The Simpsons: Hit & Run

Film/TV/Anime: Wayne’s World, The Breakfast Club, Star Wars series, Lord of the Rings, most superhero filmography/television, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, The Terminator, Alien, Predator, The Simpsons, South Park, Twin Peaks, Game of Thrones, That 70’s Show, Dragon Ball series, Attack on Titan, Code Geass

Music: The Smashing Pumpkins, Weezer, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, American Football, Sunny Day Real Estate, Modern Baseball, Led Zepellin, Pink Floyd, Neutral Milk Hotel, Placebo, The Velvet Underground, The Doors, Radiohead

10. I hope you enjoy my work.