The Electronic Entertainment Expo, more commonly referred to as E3, is the biggest press conference in the gaming world.
All of the high profile video game companies head to Los Angeles to show off their biggest plans and games to the press and fans. For gamers, this event is like Christmas in June.
Each of the bigger companies, including Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, hold a press conference presenting all their best games and news. While the event is not open to the public, anyone can watch from live streams on various websites.
Here I discuss the news and announcements coming from each of the companies’ conferences.
This was Bethesda’s first press conference at an E3 and turned out to be one of the strongest.
They displayed the first public gameplay footage of the new “Doom,” which is a reboot of one of the oldest and most prolific shooting games.
Bethesda also announced a sequel to the high quality stealth/action game “Dishonored.”
The big news was the “Fallout 4” gameplay reveal. “Fallout 4” is the sequel to one of the most high quality and popular games in the previous generation of video game consoles, “Fallout 3.” Bethesda presented the way the game looked as well as some interesting new customization options. This reveal was the best of all the conferences and was a very strong finish to its own.
Microsoft came out strong with content from its new game in its highly praised flagship franchise, “Halo.” In the new game of the series, “Halo 5: Guardians,” we were shown a co-op mission where four players worked together to defeat alien foes and advance through the level.
Microsoft presented a myriad of games including “Gears of War 4,” “Fable Legends” and “Rise of the Tomb Raider,” as well as a new game called “ReCore.”
The biggest news was not about games, however, but about new technology in the works. Microsoft introduced the new Xbox Elite Wireless Controller targeted at hardcore gamers. This controller gives you extra button inputs as well as customizable parts including swappable joysticks. Admittedly, it looks fantastic.
Microsoft said coming later this year they will be upgrading their Xbox One console to be able to play all the older games on their previous console, Xbox 360. It is cool idea that makes playing those old games even better on Microsoft’s newer console.
The most impressive announcement was a live demonstration of the Microsoft HoloLens.
This is a form of virtual or augmented reality. They are goggles allowing holographic images to appear off your screen and directly in front of you. These holograms are fully interactive through using voice commands or your fingers to touch them.
Further on in the demonstration, a person used the goggles in a game to take a small town that was on the screen and move it to a table. The town was then built into a 3-D hologram, as if you took a scene from a movie and built a small version of it on your kitchen table. The 3-D town was then fully interactive for the user as if he was playing on his TV.
More commonly referred to as EA, Electronic Arts had one of the weaker conferences, but still managed to announce some impressive games.
They started by revealing the name of the next installment in their epic sci-fi series “Mass Effect Andromeda.” They did not show any gameplay, but it is good to see the game moving along in its development process.
EA also presented a gameplay demo of the new “Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2” and the rebooted “Need for Speed.”
Thrown into the mix was a trailer for the sequel to the cult classic “Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst.” EA then released a thrilling trailer for the next big expansion pack for the online game “Star Wars: The Old Republic.”
The biggest reveal was the public gameplay of the highly anticipated “Star Wars Battlefront.” While little was shown, what we did see was enough to pique our interest for the game’s release in December.
Ubisoft came out strong announcing two unexpected games.
First was a sequel to last year’s surprisingly good “South Park” themed game entitled “South Park: The Fractured But Whole.”
They also announced the new game, “For Honor,” which has you pick a role of one of three classic warrior types in human history: knight, samurai or viking. The players are pitted against each other in a very intense multiplayer sword fight.
Another notable announcement was seeing more gameplay for the upcoming shooting games “Rainbow Six Siege” and the hotly anticipated “The Division.” They also released a gameplay trailer for the next installment in the immensely popular “Assassin’s Creed” series called “Assassin’s Creed Syndicate.”
They ended their conference by announcing the “Ghost Recon” sequel “Ghost Recon: Wildlands.”
This conference was interesting because they announced many unexpected games but failed to give gameplay demonstrations, leaving viewers knowing little about them.
An announcement that stood out was the slick, new expansion pack trailer for the very popular game “Destiny” entitled “Destiny: The Taken King.”
We were able to see some gameplay of “Street Fighter V,” “Uncharted 4” and the greatly anticipated “No Man’s Sky.” A trailer for the next “Hitman” game was shown, as well as a surprise announcement of a new “Final Fantasy” game dubbed “World of Final Fantasy.”
Speaking of surprises, Sony revealed gameplay of “The Last Guardian,” a game announced in 2008 that most of the industry believed would be cancelled. The little demo was intriguing, but the mere announcement of it greatly overshadowed the content of the gameplay.
Another surprise was the announcement of a sequel to the cult classic “Shenmue” series.
The biggest surprise was a game fans have awaited for years: “Final Fantasy VII HD Remake.” A remake is taking an old game and touching it up, or in this case rebuilding it, so it has modern graphics and gameplay. Think of it as taking a black and white movie and giving it color as well as high definition sound and resolution.
Nintendo’s conference was by far the most disappointing. They have some games in the works that would have been great to see, but unfortunately we did not get too much worth talking about.
Nintendo’s biggest news was the gameplay reveal for the new “Star Fox Zero,” a series long overdue for a sequel.
We were also shown an underwhelming addition announcement to the “Metroid” series in “Metroid Prime Federation Force,” a mutiplayer game few seem interested in.
Nintendo provided some information on the new “Super Mario Maker,” a game that lets you create and upload your own levels along with a slew of trailers for different types of Mario games such as “Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash” and “Mario and Lugi Paper Jam.”
Despite unnecessary amounts of talking during its conference, the Square-Enix conference was overall pretty solid.
The biggest news was the gameplay trailer for the long overdue and very popular Disney and Square-Enix developed “Kingdom Hearts 3.” The game looks gorgeous and seeing those characters again after 10 years was fantastic.
Most of Square-Enix’s conference was displaying different trailers and gameplay for games we had seen earlier at E3 such as “Rise of the Tomb Raider,” “Hitman” and “Final Fantasy VII HD Remake.” They did announce a few new games as well including “Nier 2” and “Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness.”
At the end of the conference, Square-Enix revealed a great new trailer of the futuristic game “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.” This sequel looks better every time it is shown and looks like it will live up to the original.