E3 is off to a running start in LA this week as day zero of the show comes to a close with the titans of the gaming industry dropping huge announcements and big plans for the coming year and beyond. Here are the biggest and best so far.
Bethesda is taking back the Fallout series with their most ambitious game ever. The post-apocalyptic epic brings back the formula that made the game a hit but expands the world, you capabilities and the monstrousness of your enemies. And sets it all in Boston. Sláinte!
Even Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson couldn’t act as franchise Viagra for the movie version of Doom, but it looks like revisiting the classic first-person shooter with a new, fresh look and plenty of over-the-top cannon fodder encounters might be the shot of adrenaline that’s needed to revive Doom.
Xbox Backwards Compatibility
Easily the biggest non-game announcement comes from Microsoft’s corner and it was the move that no one expected (or believed) could happen. Xbox One consoles will now play old 360 games internally. Hopefully you didn’t sell your entire 360 collection when moving to the next-gen because those games will see new life on the new console. Details are still hazy about how this will actually work but it appears that simply having your 360’s disc will make you eligible to download a digital version of the 360 game directly to your XBox One. We’re excited to see this one roll out in time for the holiday season.
Microsoft and the team at 343 studios flexed their blockbuster muscles during the gameplay demo of Halo 5. Superior graphics, a cat and mouse plot between Master Chief and his own Spartans, and a cameo by Nathan Fillion got a huge response from the crowd. Xbox doesn’t mess around when it comes to their cornerstone franchise so expect lots more news coming about Halo 5 as its October 27th launch date quickly approaches.
Star Wars: Battlefront
Everyone knew that Battlefront would be the linchpin of EA’s press conference but nobody knew EA would use it to hold us hostage through the plodding, head scratching “mobile games” segment. It didn’t matter. Battlefront’s gameplay was unveiled in spectacular fashion with classic moments shown off as fully playable in the game with gorgeous graphics. Then Luke crossed sabers with Darth Vader, we got chills and totally forgot everything that was said about all that free-to-play mobile shit.
EA Sports coaches
EA Sports used their stage time to announce new versions of their annual sports franchises, announcements that were not surprising in the least. However, what did have us listening closely was the fact that all of their upcoming games, NHL 16, NBA Live 16, FIFA 16and Madden 16, will all have a new contextual coaching element, an interactive maestro who will help guide you to better play and more wins. When you consider how much Madden we play and how consistently bad we remain at the NFL’s only football game, we’re thinking a coach is what we’ve been missing all this time...and EA Sports agrees.
Maybe it’s just us, but there’s always a moment at the beginning of a major cinematic battle—Braveheart, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones—when the two sides first clash and you can’t help but wish you were on the frontlines. Ubisoft seems to share that feeling with us, which was the impetus for making For Honor. Giving you the option to play as a Viking, samurai, knight or other badass historical brawler, For Honor is all about massive melee battles, pitting your team of four (and a bunch of your minions) against an opponent and letting you fight it out on the field of battle. Now might be a good time to brush up on your Return of the King style pump-up speeches.
South Park: Fractured But Whole
After their much publicized declaration that they would never make another video game, Matt and Trey took the stage to announce that their previous declaration was bullshit and that the incredible South Park: Stick of Truth RPG would be getting a sequel. Fractured But Whole changes gears from the fantasy world of the first game and moves on to the boys playing superheroes. The Coon and Professor Chaos are guaranteed to make appearances but it’s the unexpected parts of the South Park world and organically discovering them that made Stick of Truth so great and we expect more of that in Fractured But Whole.
The Last Guardian
It’s been years since Team ICO wowed us with Shadow of the Colossus, a game so profoundly innovative and sprawling that people were still discovering new things in it years after it launched. Team Ico is finally returning for a follow up with The Last Guardian, a game we’ve all been waiting to see for a very long time. The Sony exclusive adventure was equal parts dreamscape and platforming adventure with a huge griffin-looking beast to help you along. Sony tacked on an ambiguous 2016 release date but we wouldn’t expect to see it until late in the year.
In a live demo that really resonated with the audience (after a quick bug froze it the first time) Sony unleashed the gameplay of Uncharted 4, slated to hit early next year. Nathan Drake’s adventures have captivated fans for years now and, with the game carrying a subtitle of “A Thief’s End” we imagine this is a part of the story that you won’t want to miss.
Final Fantasy VII Remake
After 18 years of fans clamoring for a Final Fantasy VII remake, the gaming gods have smiled upon all of us. Who knows when the game is coming but the official announcement means that it actually is coming and that’s the important thing. Now we have to stop typing because the blood going to our throbbing erection from this news is making us lightheaded.