Monday, June 23, 2014

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.  

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