As a video game fan, E3 is one of my favorite times of the year. It gives me a sneak peak of the power of today’s technology and what will be entertaining me in the near future. The majority of the games that are shown off blow me away in some way, whether that be because of amazing graphics, intense action, or a killer story idea.
2013 was no different. The highlight of this year’s conference outside of the games was a preview of the next-generation console battle. Both Microsoft and Sony are releasing new platforms in 2013, the XBOX ONE and the Playstation 4, and E3 was their chance to try and win customers over into buying theirs for the holidays. Microsoft especially was under a lot of pressure because a lot of features were not very popular with the public (you must be connected to the Internet to play, you cannot trade in your game without the publisher’s permission, along with a number of other things).
Now that the conference is over, critics agree that Sony came out on top as the winner of the duel. The Playstation 4 will be $100 less expensive than XBOX ONE ($399 compared to $499), there will be no issues exchanging or playing used games, and it will not require constant Internet access. The XBOX did have some nice features, including a souped-up entertainment system, an improved Kinect, and other technological advances, such as the idea of “family sharing”. However, when Sony does ads like this and this, followed by Microsoft saying things like this, there could be some issues down the road for the new XBOX.
NOW, onto the games! There were plenty of exciting announcements throughout this week’s festivities. Games returned to the stage, newcomers showed their faces for the first time, and classic series decided to make a return. Here are my Top 10 games from E3 and I will be looking forward to when all of these are released (in alphabetical order)
- Battlefield 4: When Battlefield 3 was announced at E3 a little while ago, I was absolutely floored by the direction the series was taking. It looked absolutely stunning and intense. I truly did not think that any other release by DICE could floor me like that. And then, at EA’s press conference, they showcased the multiplayer gameplay… oh my goodness. Stunning graphics and framerate, expansive maps allowing for up to 64 players in a game, and an interactive environment (they showed a skyscraper crashing) were some of the features. I am definitely looking forward to when this comes out in 2013.
- Destiny: The last game to be brought up at Sony’s press conference, Destiny seemed to be the counter-attack to Titanfall (mentioned later). Destiny is a action game from Bungie (creators of Halo) and Activision that has an MMO style of gameplay to it. As you complete your campaign, you will come across other gamers throughout that are working through a mission and you might have ot help them win at some point. This seems like a very cool and innovative concept and with that kind of a team behind it, I look forward to seeing where this game goes!
- Forza Motorsport 5: The super-popular racing series exclusive to XBOX is back and does it look beautiful. The first thing I, and many other viewers, noticed when this game was debuted at Microsoft’s press conference was the stunning visuals and incredible realism. The cars looked just like their real models and drove like them as well. Another cool feature to the game was the idea that Forza will essentially remember your style of racing (where you’re conservative, where you try to go for a lead, etc), and play on XBOX Live for you even when you’re not there! While creepy, that is a great way to consistently gain awards, experience, and other perks.
- Kingdom Hearts 3: Yes, it was simply a trailer. Yes, the game is “in development”. But I grew up on Kingdom Hearts and just the fact that there was simply progress being made toward a game that many have been expecting. The segment of the game showcased, while prerendered, was done with beautiful detail and you can tell it’s a step up from prior releases. I expect a LOT more from Square Enix on this game at next year’s E3. This is probably the game announcement I was the most excited about out of any of the games.
- Metal Gear Solid V: Microsoft started their press conference with the new Metal Gear Solid game from Kojima and it looks fantastic. Think Metal Gear meets Red Dead Redemption, one of the most well-received games of the last few years. The story looks just as dynamic, Snake looks just as awesome, and I look forward to playing it when it comes out.
- Super Smash Bros 4: Out of the major players of E3, Nintendo was the one not getting as much attention as Sony and Microsoft. But when they held their press conference on Tuesday, they announced a whole bunch of great games. One of which was the addition of a BRAND NEW Super Smash Bros for WiiU and Nintendo 3DS. This will include a whole new look of gameplay and 3 new characters: Villager from Animal Crossing, Mega Man, and the Wii Fit personal trainer. SSB is one of my favorite games and I cannot wait for this to come out!
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt: Debuted during Sony’s press conference, The Witcher 3 is an open-world, mythical RPG that looks absolutely beautiful to the gamer. According to the development team, this will be longer than some of the largest games in this genre, such as Skyrim. The action also seems to be just as great as the previous games. While I am not super familiar with the series, I would still love to play this game and become immersed in what looks like will be an epic tale.
- Titanfall: The end to Microsoft’s press conference was the showing of Titanfall, a futuristic first-person shooter that looks to revamp what is, to me, a slightly mundane genre. In the trailer and in the beautiful-looking gameplay, the soldiers can do a number of different functions as well as control large mech robots. The maps look quite expansive, the gameplay looks intense, and I am sure there will be just as nice of a campaign. Looking forward to this!
- Tom Clancy’s The Division: The Division made the same impact in 2013 as Watch Dogs did in 2012. Ubisoft creates this game that surprises everyone and is truly a “next-gen” idea. The Division is a 3rd-person shooter MMORPG in a futuristic, post-apocalytic New York (at least in the trailer). It’s open-world and you work in teams with your friends. The environment is extremely interactive (the character is shown closing the door of a car naturally in gameplay and bullet holes shooting through windows like they would in real life). Characters gain experience. It is an open world so it has plenty of possibilities. In my opinion, this was the BEST GAME OF E3 and I cannot wait for this release!
- Watch Dogs: With all of the issues surrounding the NSA and our privacy, Watch Dogs becomes that much more intriguing. Ubisoft’s best game of 2012’s E3 returns with a new trailer and an expanded look at its gameplay. The graphics still look just as pretty and this showed the main character doing new functions, such as blacking out a section of the city, hacking into building electronics, and driving vehicles. This game looks to be out by the end of 2013 and it looks outstanding! I plan on getting the game as soon as possible.