E3 2013 came and went in LA this week, bringing with it a slew of new game announcements, trailers, and catty console rivalries. So what looked cool? We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite show highlights for your viewing pleasure. Fair warning: the following post is chock-full of shiny new gameplay and trailer-y goodness, so grab a coffee or two give yourself a few minutes to peruse. Or an hour. Hey, it’s Friday.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the highlights from this year’s E3 conference.
Xbox One vs. PS4.
All eyes were on this heavyweight matchup of console giants—so much so that their respective press conferences kicked off E3. Who came out ahead? Well, according to the intarwebz, it wasn’t even close. Sony’s press conference countered a number of issues gamers had with the Xbox One: the Xbox came out at a $499 price point, the PS4 came out at $399. The Xbox imposes online checks, the PS4 doesn’t. The Xbox restricts use of disc-based games, the PS4 doesn’t.
When pressed again on online checks, Microsoft quite simply stated: “Fortunately we have a product for people who aren’t able to get some form of connectivity; it’s called Xbox 360.”
...ouch. For what it’s worth, early fallout indicates the PS4 is outselling the Xbox One in terms of pre-orders by a 3:2 ratio.
Diablo III on consoles.
We heard some time ago that Blizzard was finally ready to bring their Diablo franchise to consoles via Diablo III. At the time, many fans scoffed at the idea of the ARPG being able to effectively carry over to a console controller—so, did Blizzard pull it off?
By all accounts, yes. Controls and character offense have been rejigged for the ease of console players, and now you can play with 4 buddies on your couch, old-school multiplayer style. Feedback from those who demoed the game at E3 was largely positive; it’s safe to say that Blizzard is well on its way to pulling off a successful console port of Diablo III. While the gameplay depth and the story of the game are key issues they can’t change, at this point at least it’ll play well, and the local multiplayer is a big, big draw.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
What more is there to say of CD Projekt RED’s defining franchise, other than that it looks, as expected, to be absolutely spectacular? Next-gen gamers will once again be able to step into the shoes of the Witcher in an absolute visual and storytelling spectacle. Little is known of the game’s story, but CD Projekt RED has stated that their goal was to take the size and visual prowess of Skyrim, amplify it, and supplement it with deeper story and gameplay. Seeing as that describes pretty much the perfect game... well, if they succeed, suffice it to say that every gamer will know the name Geralt of Rivia. Many are already classifying Witcher 3 as the game of E3.
In our first look at gameplay footage from Bungie’s Destiny, the developer’s take on life after Halo, we see that Earth is overrun, and pockets of humans fight to preserve what remains of humanity. While Bungie appears not to have strayed too far from their Halo roots in terms of gameplay, configuring the game as an MMO is an interesting choice and should allow for some unique genre innovations.
Oh, and in case you’re interested, Tyrion Lannister himself—one Mr. Peter Dinklage—takes on the role of your sidekick, Ghost (no, not Jon’s direwolf) throughout the game. That’s pretty cool.
Star Wars: Battlefront.
EA used E3 as an opportunity to show gamers that they’re taking full advantage of their acquisition of the Star Wars gaming license by officially announcing the development of a new Star Wars: Battlefront game. While the existence of this game was heavily rumored a few months ago, this is the first official confirmation we’ve had, straight from the horse’s mouth. Not many details are known about the game at this early juncture, but stay tuned—we’ll have more as it comes.
If you’ve ever been a fan of old-school 2-dimensional fighters, you undoubtedly spent countless hours hunched over your SNES or N64 playing Killer Instinct or Killer Instinct Gold, respectively. Well, this year’s E3 brought forth some welcome news for franchise fans: Killer Instinct is back as an Xbox One exclusive. The teaser trailer above reveals some familiar characters, including Jago, Saberwulf, and Glacius, with more to come as development proceeds.
As you may have already heard, Outlast is widely considered to be the Next Big Thing in new-school horror gaming, and this trailer shows us why. Asylums, Nazis, night-vision cams, hordes of gamers running screaming from the demo room... what more can you ask for in a horror game? Outlast seems to be taking a cue from the excellent Amnesia in that as far as we know so far, the protagonist is weaponless and the sole goal is escape, which heightens the intensity of the atmosphere.
The Evil Within.
And so we go from the new school of horror to the old school of horror with Shinji Makami’s The Evil Within. The creator of the Resident Evil series is returning to his pure survival horror roots with his latest offering—an asylum-based horror game that opens with Sebastian, a detective, attempting to escape while trussed up in a cell by a massive butcher. Unlike Outlast, you will not be weaponless in Makami’s game, but ammo will be in very limited supply. Naturally, there is a heavy focus on atmosphere via lighting and sound in order to heighten immersion into the game world. Like many of Makami’s offerings before it, this game will not be for the faint of heart.
Remedy gave gamers their first look at the gameplay of their newest Xbox One-exclusive IP, Quantum Break, at E3. Protagonist Jack Joyce has the ability to take advantage of time anomalies after being involved in a failed science experiment. You step into his shoes just as he’s beginning to learn how to harness his powers. Remedy claims to be amping up the interactivity of the game, hoping to ship it in a state comparable to that of an interactive action TV show. While we still miss Alan Wake, we suppose we’ll be happy with any Remedy offering released in the interim while Alan Wake 2 (hopefully) percolates.
Fans of Shogo, MechWarrior, and Hawken rejoice! Mechs are going next-gen with Xbox One-exclusive Titanfall—a game that looks to be part Hawken and part Crysis, all rolled up into one spectacular-looking trailer.
Super Smash Bros. 4.
Finally... Super Smash Bros. 4.
There were several other games worthy of note at E3 this year, including the impressive Watch Dogs and Jonathan Blow's The Witness, but at this point, we turn it over to you, dear reader. What were you most intrigued by at E3 this year, and what are you most itching to play in the next year or two? Let us know below!