Monday, June 23, 2014

A Quick Recap If You Didn't Catch Sony's HUGE E3 Press Conference!

There is a reason why I'm the huge Sony fan boy that I am. I've had a PlayStation, a PlayStation 2, a PlayStation 3, and am currently dreaming of the day I purchase my PlayStation 4. Sony has always delivered in terms of their technology. While I might not be the biggest fan of Xbox, I can still respect a worthy competitor. This year's E3 event was nothing short of spectacular, as it is every year it seems. I know for a fact that there is a reason why both Sony and Microsoft have the "hardcore" systems. They've both proven their worth, time and time again. Seeing as how I'm all about Sony however, you can bet that I had to recap their press conference just because it blew me away that much. It's always hard to say which brand/company won E3, as it's not really a "competition", but I'm always rooting for Sony, and I'd have say that they won this year for sure.

Let start soft. For those other Sony fan boys out there, you may know a little game called Ratchet & Clank. Well, this franchise has done so well, that now there is a movie currently in production that should come out sometime next year. I've always loved the crude humor and cartoony action of these games. Developers, Insomniac, are always sure to deliver a bevy of outlandish, crazy guns for you to blow things up with. To coincide with the release of the new movie, which will be CG and NOT live-action, they've announced a new game to help the promotion of the series. Normally a franchise like this wouldn't be worth mentioning. The only difference is that we are talking about a franchise that has seen success since the PS2 days, so to hear more announcements for the movie and the PS4 version of the game (complete with updated graphics), is nothing short of a highlight.

The next thing I want to bring up is a game that has had everyone talking or a while now; Destiny. This game comes from the same people who brought us the outstanding "Halo" franchise. This game will also see its first Open Beta testing on the PS4 and PS3. Starting July 17th, we Sony lovers will be the first consumers to get to play the game, even if it's just testing it. Needless to say, however, that both Sony and Microsoft will be benefiting from having this game released.

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The last thing I can really talk about is all of the crazy announcements that went on during the conference. Sony's conference time itself was very long in comparison to the other gaming companies, but the best part about that is that there never seemed to be any dead time. We saw a new Uncharted 4 confirmed for a 2015 launch date. I'd be lying if that alone didn't get me excited. But that wasn't all. Both "The Last Of Us" and "Grand Theft Auto V" are both coming out on PS4, and both will have the touched up remastered graphics. I've already seen footage for the new GTA V on PS4 on a commercial, and I thought I was watching a vacation ad for a moment. The Little Big Planet franchise will be making a return as well. LBP 3, is coming Sony fans, don't worry.

This is probably the biggest reason why I love Sony as much as I do. They cater to their exclusive titles, because they know they have a very loyal fan base for them. Just about every game that they talked about during their conference was an exclusive title, and even more exclusives were being announced. The company is looking towards more bundle packages to help move product sales along, and to be honest, I'm sold. Sony knocked it out of the park this year, and if you've yet to watch the full conference, what are you waiting for? Greatness awaits.


5 Big Games Revealed At E3 2014

E3, the biggest gaming convention and event of the year, recently concluded, inundating gamers and gaming professionals with tons of new games, tech and all things awesome. Since the next generation of consoles has been released, this year's E3 was a fresh return on focusing almost entirely on games. The three big companies - Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo - didn't have to worry about throwing lingo and jargon out about their new consoles and instead focused on the games you should buy for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Wii U. As a result, we has gamers were given an in-depth and inside look into what could possibly be the best year for games in history.

Most of the games talked about here are first-time reveals from E3 or games that we have heard about for some time but have never received anything solid on them. Regardless, here are some of my top picks for this year's E3 214!

Assassin's Creed: Unity

The Assassin's Creed franchise has always been one of my favorites ever since it was first released on the Xbox 360. The parkour free-running movement and the seamless combat made the game fun and entertaining and I don't think anybody could forget the first time they climbed to the tallest building in Jerusalem and did a leap of faith right into a wagon full of hay. Since then, the Assassin's Creed games have evolved. The free-running has become more fluid, the combat is more brutal and new features keep the game feeling fresh. The latest installment, Assassin's Creed: Unity, is the second next-gen release for franchise and adds one new element that is sure to have a lot of people talking: 4-player co-op.

In the demo shown at E3 gamers were shown a new Assassin's Creed that allows you and 3 friends to do story-based missions together. Multiplayer has been a staple of the Assassin's Creed franchise since it was introduced in Assassin's Creed: Revelations but that was left strictly to online PvP combat. This new mode marks the first time players will be able to team up and hunt AI targets in a single-player setting.

Battlefield: Hardline

I don't know if any of you have ever played Payday: The Heist but the game was a 4-player co-op game similar to Left 4 Dead where you team up with 3 friends and pull off various heists, whether it be robbing a bank or a diamond safe or breaking into a drug kingpin's hideout and taking his profits. I personally loved the idea of being bank robbers and having to flee from the police, which is probably why Battlefield: Hardline grabbed my attention so much.

Battlefield: Harldineis the next installment in the Battlefield military-shooter franchise though it isn't a true sequel like Battlefield 4. Instead of playing as the US vs. China or Russia you play as Cops vs. Criminals. The dense jungles and beaches have been replaced by sprawling metropolitan areas with skyscrapers, tunnels, bridges and lots and lot of explosions.

The demo for this game was one of the more impressive ones as it showed a full multiplayer match between cops and criminals and kept switching the camera from one team to the next, allowing you to get both sides of the action. Some of the more incredible scenes included a criminal in a tunnel dropping a bridge on some cops with an RPG thus getting a double kill and opening up an escape route for him and his pals. There was another incredible scene with a crane crashing to the ground (making another escape route), a police sniper picking people off from a rooftop, criminals getting tazered and even a criminal using a baseball bat on the head of a cop. This game promises all the destruction and action of past Battlefield games with a unique spin on the story and setting.

Mortal Kombat X

There were some rumors that this game might be a thing when some posters were leaked online. E3 confirmed that there is indeed another game headed to the Mortal Kombat franchise, much to the joy of gamers. The Mortal Kombat series had become stale, especially after some truly terrible games were released, but that didn't stop it from getting one of the best reboots to date thanks to NetherRealm Studios. The new Mortal Kombat was fresh, fun and added the oh-so-satisfying X-Ray combos that delivered literal bone-breaking moves to the game.

Mortal Kombat X is running along a very similar past to its 2011 predecessor but is also making sure to add in some unique features to the game. Two of those new items come in the form of two new characters, some weird chick that controls bees and a giant/midget combo reminiscent of Master Blaster. In addition to that the interactive environments are back, adding things you can pick up and use to fight with or enhance your fighting abilities. If this game is anything like the last ones diehard fans and new ones alike should find a lot of fun here.

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

The Uncharted series is by far one of the biggest staples for the PlayStation 3. Gamers fell in love with a game that seemed to mix Tomb Raider and Indiana Jones. When the trilogy completed on the PlayStation 3 many gamers thought that Nathan Drake's story had come to an end. Boy were we wrong. The only thing we saw of Uncharted 4 was a visually impressive trailer that showed a (traditionally) beaten and battered Drake on some potentially terrible tropical island face-down in some water. A voice-over of Sully and Drake plays over the images with the two amigos promising one last adventure together.

Uncharted 3 was one of the best games to hit the PlayStation 3 so we can only imagine that Uncharted 4 will follow suit on the PlayStation 4. There hasn't been any inclinations that this game is the start of a new Uncharted trilogy for the next-gen though the voice-over and game's title look to be pointing to the end. All we have is speculation at this point.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

This one took everybody by surprise. Rumors of a Halo 2 Anniversary Edition had been floating around ever since the original Halo got the treatment. Not only was this game confirmed, however, it was toppled with something nobody could have anticipated. Halo: The Master Chief Collection is set to debut on November 11, 2014 and will include (brace yourselves) Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2 Anniversary, Halo 3 and Halo 4. In addition to that, all games will run at 1080p and 60fps. And if you thought that this announcement couldn't get any better, the developers also announced that all 4 games will include their original multiplayer suites in their original form with the added bonus of running on dedicated servers! As an added bonus, you'll also get a free ticket to the Halo 5 mulitplayer beta that will begin in December 2014 and the digital film Halo: Nightfall which is set to premiere on November 11.

Halo 2 is probably the most beloved and cherished game in Xbox history so getting just that game would have been enough. But when you add all the main games along with all their original multiplayer maps, weapons, etc... along with updated graphics and dedicated servers you get something that is almost too much to comprehend. This is truly one of the greatest announcements E3 has ever had.

Well there you have it! These are only a few of the incredible games that I saw at E3. There are some honorable mentions, namely Star Wars: Battlefront, which only showed some very early in-game graphics with the promise of more to come in Spring 2015. There was also Far Cry 4, The Witcher 3, Shadow of Mordor, Metal Gear Solid 5, Evolve, Boderlands The Pre-Sequel, Rainbow Six: Siege, Dead Island 2 and so much more. We as gamers definitely have a lot to look forward to in the coming months and, particularly, in 2015. It looks like 2015 will truly be the year of the next-gen consoles.