The Electronic Entertainment Expo is a trade event that is only open for attendance to those who are in the industry. I’m not a stranger to conventions, but the chance to attend E3 had eluded me for years. I have been trying to attend the E3 for years and I finally had the chance to attend my first E3 thanks to AMD. Being part of AMD’s RedTeam+ has given me many opportunities to be part of the gaming world, such as this one.Now that I’ve had the weekend to rest, I can summarize my thoughts about the experience and what I saw. While at the convention, there was so much to see that it was sensory overload. I was able to see many friends and industry acquaintances. There were a ton of great games and experiences. I’ll cover some of the favorite things I saw at my first E3 below.
PC Gaming Show
The PC Gaming Show took place on Monday June 13 and was put on by PC Gamer and sponsored by AMD. We got to see a number of reveals and game premieres during this second annual event at the Ace Theater in Downtown Los Angeles. The PC gaming show too place on press day and was basically a combined presser of all the PC gaming news at E3. If you missed the show, you can watch the whole show here http://www.pcgamer.com/how-to-watch-the-pc-gaming-show-live/
Early in the show, we found out that Boss Key’s Project Bluestreak finally got a name, Lawbreakers http://bosskey.com/news/boss-key-news/lawbreakers-alpha-announced We saw footage of a near-future “Santa Monica” multiplayer arena featuring zero gravity areas. An Alpha of multiplayer was set for 6/18-19.
AMD’s CEO, Dr. Lisa Siu revealed the whole Polaris GPU lineup. First we saw the RX 480 http://www.amd.com/en-us/press-releases/Pages/radeon-rx-480-2016may31.aspx, which made waves during Computex when it was announced that it would launch at a $199 price point. The RX 470 was also revealed along the 460 which is the lower end model geared towards e-sports titles. The RX 480 is releasing on June 29 with the 460 and 470 soon after.
An Alienware VR Backpack was also modeled by my friend, Renee, on stage. The backpack is a self-contained VR-Capable computer that includes a RX 480 GPU when paired with a headset providing untethered Virtual Reality fun. There are no specific plans for release yet. The backpack is still in the planning stages.
Speaking of VR, we saw a couple of titles revealed. Serious Sam is getting a VR adaptation titled Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope (http://store.steampowered.com/app/465240/), that looks like a AAA title that we need during this first generation of VR games. We got a little bit of gameplay footage and I can’t wait until I can play during early access this summer.
Giant Cop: Justice Above All (http://store.steampowered.com/app/451080/) is another indie VR game that caught my interest. You play a Giant Cop who polices the town by grabbing crooks off the street. You can play a voyeuristic detective and peer through peoples windows to make sure everything is running fine. You can pick through the crowds
Killing Floor 2 http://www.killingfloor2.com – We saw more of the final version of Killing Floor 2 which I got to play several different levels of soon after the show. It’s just as scary as I remember. An additional Killing floor title was announced, Killing Floor Incursion VR. I can only imagine how scary Killing Floor in virtual reality will be.
Observer_ http://www.pcgamer.com/see-the-first-trailer-for-cyberpunk-horror-game-obesrver A creepy, cryptic teaser for this scary matrix-like game called >Observer_ was shown. The trailer ends with the player “plugging” into the mind of a person that is already strapped into some giant machine. I learned later that you play a member of a special police unit that hacks memories.
The Turing Test http://www.theturingtestgame.com The Turing Test is a first-person puzzler that takes place on one of Jupiter’s Moons, Europa where you take on puzzles that only a human can solve. It looks like a Portal-type game, just without the portals. The Turing Test has a planned release in August 2016
Dual Universe (http://www.dualthegame.com/) open world MMORPG where everyone exists in the same sand-box universe. Players can freely edit the shared world and build anything they like. You can also build your own ships from scratch and maybe sell the designs to others in the world. I’m used to playing MMOs. but all have been set on different servers. It’ll be interesting to see how everyone will interact in a single universe. An Alpha release is expected by the end of 2016.
Day of Infamy (http://store.steampowered.com/app/447820/) is a new independent FPS based on the popular WWII Insurgency Mod. This game is coming in July.
Deus EX: Mankind Divided https://www.deusex.com/ – We got a first look at a new Dubai level during the PC Gaming show. The game give you choices of equipping lethal and non-lethal weapons. You can play stealthily or go in with guns blazing. Square-Enix had playable demos on the show floor. There was also a themed Bionic Arm on display that guests could interact with. Fans of the series are excited for this one. Release date August 23, 2016
Warren Spector came out to end the show by talking about how it’s a great time to be in PC Gaming as we are in a great transitional period to see great things happen, especially with VR.
Star Trek: Bridge Crew https://www.ubisoft.com/en-GB/game/star-trek-bridge-crew/ – Star Trek Bridge crew shows what co-operative VR can be like. I’ve always wanted to be on the bridge of the Enterprise and man the Command, Helm, Tactical, and Engineering. All four players need to work and communicate with each other to succeed. Most of VR development has concentrated on single player experiences. This VR experience looks like it’ll be the one to catapult multi-player co-operative VR play and is coming cross platform to Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole http://southpark.ubisoft.com/game/en-us/home/ – On the heels of South Park: The Stick of Truth’s success, Trey Parker and Matt Stone said that they were open to doing a sequel. E3 showed us a playable demo. In this game, all of the South Park kids are playing superheroes and start a civil war over who should be in what films they produce. The player controls the new kid in the game and this time you can choose to be a girl. Who knows if the South Park boys will treat you differently if you do choose to be a girl. This game will be released December 6th on PC, X-Box One, and PlayStation 4.
Resident Evil 7 http://www.capcom.co.jp/residentevil7/ – Capcom’s booth featured a giant, scary looking house with the Resident Evil VII as part of their display. We also found out that one can play RE7 entirely in VR or on TV. Many people who tried the demo did feel a little bit sick and nauseated. Not much is known yet about the game. We do know that there will fewer, but more meaningful enemies. A Demo is currently available on the PSN Store (https://store.playstation.com/#!/en-us/games/resident-evil-7-teaser-demo-beginning-hour/cid=UP0102-CUSA04772_00-BH70000000DEMO01). The full game will be released on Jan 24, 2017.
Titanfall 2 http://www.titanfall.com/ Titanfall this time around not only has multiplayer, but now a single player campaign as well. There are also new mechs and new pilot abilities. The grappling hook is a new pilot ability that will definitely up ones movement game across a map. One big revelation for Titanfall 2 is that all future DLC will be free of charge. That’s a big deal in a world where a game’s DLC may end up doubling the cost of the game itself. Titanfall 2 is set for an October 28, 2016 release on PC, PS4, and X-Box One.
FF XII The Zodiac Age https://store.na.square-enix.com/product/404023/final-fantasy-xii-the-zodiac-age-ps4 – I never got to play Final Fantasy XII the first time around on the PlayStation 2. I’ll be picking up this HD remaster that includes enhancements that made older JRPGs feel slow. One great enhancement s a new 2x/4x speed increase option. Another great feature is autosave; no more searching for save points. This game launches in 2017
Final Fantasy XIV: Sephirot – A Sephiorot Battle Challenge was offered to players at E3. No that’s not a Sephiroth misspelling, it’s the name of a new Primal. As an avid FFXIV player, I was very excited for this opportunity, but alas the long lines have failed me. If you beat Sephirot, you could have earned a shirt that says “I Beat Sephirot Battle Challenge.” It’s ok though, I’ll have plenty of opportunities to do so in-game. I’ve been playing FFXIV for over 2 years now.
Final Fantasy XIV Fat Chocobo Photo Op – I was actually surprised to see this in the lobby on Day 1. When I picked up my badge on Sunday, it wasn’t unpacked yet. Final Fantasy XIV is one of my favorite games. Fortunately, I was able to take a picture before the show floor opened and long lines appeared.
Final Fantasy XV http://na.square-enix.com/us/games/final-fantasy-xv – Final Fantasy XV was everywhere during this E3. One could see Final Fantasy XV signs around LA even before arriving at the LA convention Center. The expanded universe of Final Fantasy XV includes the game itself on Xbox One and PlayStation 4, a theatrical release of Kingsglaive: Final fantasy XV, and an anime series, Brotherhood Final Fantasy XV. Game play was available on both consoles. I watched people play, but didn’t participate myself. I’ll be playing the game soon enough as it releases September 30, 2016.
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue https://store.na.square-enix.com/product/289787/kingdom-hearts-hd-28-final-chapter-prologue-ps4 – This is the 3rd Kingdom Hearts Compilation leading up to the release of Kingdom Hearts III. Included are Kingdom Hearts Dread Drop Distance (originally released on Nintendo 3DS), remastered in HD, Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth By Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage -, a playable episode that takes place between the events of the original PSP Birth By Sleep and KH III. Also included in this compilation is Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover, a new HD movie that tells the mysterious story of the Foretellers and connects to the earliest parts of the series’ history. I can’t wait to play through this to satiate my thirst for all things Kingdom Hearts and keep me at bay until KH3 is released. Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue will be out on December 31, 2016.
Gears of War 4 – The fourth major installment of the popular Gears of War series developed by The Coalition after Microsoft purchased the rights to the franchise from EPIC Games. Gears of War 4 is slated for release October 11, 2016.
Battlefield 1 – Battlefield One had long winding lines at the Microsoft Booth. Battlefield 1 is pretty much the same as the previous titles in the series, but the series brings it back to the roots of modern war by taking place during World War 1. Battlefield 1 is slated for release on October 21, 2016.
ReCore – Recore bills itself as a being “from the makers of Metroid Prime.” That alone was enough to sell itself to gamers. The cores refer to the power cels in each robot friend/foe that can be taken out and reinserted into another friend/foe to re-power them again. Recore is being deisgned by Comcept (the development studio headed by Keiji Inafune, of Megaman fame). ReCore is scheduled for release on September 13, 2016.
God of War https://godofwar.playstation.com – God of War was a big surprise. We saw Kratos as an old man, and as a father. I was able to see the extended gameplay in one of Sony’s theaters on the show floor. It’s seems that Kratos has moved away from Greece in the new game. He now uses an (elemental) axe as his main weapon and is teaching his bow-wielding son how to hunt. People online have been speculating that Kratos and (unnamed) Son may be Odin and Thor. Others place the boy as Ullr, not Thor. Who knows? Hopefully Sony drops more hints down the way. The release for this is still TBA.
Days Gone https://www.playstation.com/en-us/games/days-gone-ps4 – Despite the developers insisting that this game is not a zombie survival game and the “Freakers” are just infected humans, it is definitely a zombie game. The game takes places in the Pacific Northwest. I was able to get into another small theater live gameplay demo of this game. There was a little more of the game shown than the one shown during the PlayStation Keynote. The release date is TBA
Horizon: Zero Dawn https://www.playstation.com/en-us/games/horizon-zero-dawn-ps4 – Horizon Zero Dawn was shown to us at E3 2015. It was a very unique reveal that has held my interest for the past year. How can one not be interested in low tech hunting of robotic dinosaurs? Aloy, the main character, lives in a futuristic era where humans have long fled because robots have taken over. Aloy can loot creatures she has killed for parts and energy which she can use to craft other items. I can’t wait until the game is released. Horizon: Zero Dawn is slated for release on Feb 28, 2017.
Below is a video of a Watcher Cosplay from Horizon: Zero Dawn. This was probably the best costume at E3. It even had a live broadcast on the PlayStation website of what it was seeing with its camera/eye.
The Last Guardian https://www.playstation.com/en-us/games/the-last-guardian-ps4 – After years of waiting we finally get to see the spiritual successor to Ico and The Shadow of Colossus as a game. The game has been in development since 2007 and was delayed and moved from the PlayStation 2 to the PlayStation 3 due to hardware difficulties. It was originally planned for a 2011 release, but here we are in 2016. We will finally see this game this year. The demo was not open to the public, but was playable for certain members of the media behind closed doors. It is finally releasing on October 25, 2016
100 Ft Robot Golf – I’m not gonna lie, but I’ve been so excited about this game since seeing it previewed on screen at PlayStation Experience 2015 in San Francisco. I was finally able to play it on PlayStation VR at E3. Although I only got to play one hole, it was enough for me to know that I want the game on release on October 13, 2016.
Batman Arkham VR – This is a new Batman story set in the Arkham universe. PS VR will allow one to actually be Batman. Who wouldn’t want to explores Batman’s world as Batman? This VR experience will let ou be the detective that you’ve always wanted to be. This new Batman experience will be released October 13, 2016 alongside the PlayStation VR.
Farpoint – Farpoint is a great looking space shooter set on an alien world. You can play this with the new PS VR Aim Controller which is something like an upgraded PlayStation Move Sharp Shooter, but looks more like a Wii controller.
Final Fantasy XV – It was revealed during the PlayStation 4 Press conference that Final fantasy XV would be PS VR compatible. The demo that PlayStation had available had you play as Prompto during a boss battle. While the other players flight close-up with melee combat, you can shoot from afar. You can shoot and jump around the leve, but that was about it. It was pretty shallow and gimmicky. The demo ended with a car ride alongside eye-candy Cid. Hopefully there will be a better VR experience when the game releases.
Star Wars Battlefront: X-Wing VR Mission – I am so excited about this, even if it’s just a short mission. I’ve played EVE: Valkyrie VR and that was a satisfying space simulator. You pilot the ship, but can look around to find your enemies. Being able to look around independently of which way your ship is pointing can help show you the sheer scope of the environments you are flying in. Best news of all is that this is FREE to Star Wars: Battlefront owners. This mission is exclusive to PS VR. I cannot wait to play this!
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – When Nintendo first announced that they were only brining one game to E3, they were met with lots of criticism from pro and anti-Nintendo fans aloke. But with Nintendo being Nintendo, they actually stole the show. As soon as the show doors opened, fans actually ran to line up to play. Most knew they would be standing in line for hours. The whole Nintendo experienced was housed in an enclosed booth with walls that ran all the way up to the ceiling. The experience allowed 20 players in as well as 20 non-players into a small theater at a time. After the video, the door on the screen would lift and reveal an entrance into the massive booth. Players are led up to their stations where they can spend about 35 minutes of playtime with the game. As big as the map was in this demo, players were only able to play about <1% of the entirety of the world.
There were also lots of picture taking opportunities inside the booth. There were life-sized statues that included Link and some Moblins. There’s also a cathedral in one of the corners of the booth. The Nintendo is hands-down, my favorite booth at E3. Nintendo proved that you can come to E3 with just one game and still have the longest lines. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is scheduled for release in 2017 on Nintendo Wii U and Nintendo NX.
I braved the long line and here’s a 360° from inside Nintendo Booth.
Nintendo also had some new amiibo to show off. There were new characters in the super Mario Series as well as Breath of the Wild amiibo shown.
There was also a little blurb about Pokemon Go and Pokemon Go Plus. Pokemon Go is currently in beta, but was revealed to be released in July on iOS and Android devices. Pokemon Go Plus will be released in late July for $34.99
I had a blast with my first E3 experience. It was all I thought it would be and more. I loved that I was able to enjoy this event alongside friends and coworkers. Next year, I ‘d like to be able to attend some of the press conferences as well. Sony, Microsoft, Ubisoft, EA, and PC Gamer all had great showings. I’m probably gonna be scheduling more meetings for private demonstrations as well. Every booth I went to had a great showing. My gaming schedule for the next year is looks to be packed! What will you be playing?
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