E3 Day Zero
E3 day zero is behind us and with only Nintendo’s Digital Event left, it is time to reflect on what has been seen so far. Microsoft promised to concentrate on games and they did just that. E3 day zero started with Microsoft’s stage presentation where they jumped right into an extended preview of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. The game looks very impressive and had a lot of similarity to Titanfall (without the titans of course). Microsoft continued with other big name titles including many exclusives like Ori and the Blind Forest, Sunset Overdrive, Project Spark, Killer Instinct Season Two, and Scalebound from Platinum games which looked very impressive. It can’t be a Microsoft E3 without some sort of Halo Announcement and Microsoft closed with Halo: The Master Chief Collection which is a remastered version including all four Halo games and all the DLC. Halo 2 multiplayer is also included which is the highlight of this great title bringing back one of the best multiplayer experiences of all time. Overall it was a solid performance by Microsoft as they went back to their roots and proved that they still have solid third party support and have a ton of Xbox One exclusives coming within the next year. There was no mic drop at the end of their presentation, but they delivered the exact performance that we expected with just game announcements and nothing else.
EA and Ubisoft were next in the E3 day zero lineup. EA gave a very lackluster stage performance and it seemed as if maybe they should have taken Nintendo’s route and just done a Digital Event as well. Besides releasing the beta for Battlefield: Hardline (exclusively on PS4) and including a live gameplay demo, it seemed as if they had nothing else really finished and most of their presentation was filled with CGI.
Ubisoft had a very solid performance, besides the underwhelming dance off in the middle of the presentation for Just Dance 2015. However, they have a great line up of games for this holiday season and early 2015. The Division had a new gameplay demo and was just as impressive as last years. Valiant Hearts was a very innovative unique game using the UbiArt Framework seen before in Child of Light. Not much was show about the gameplay, but the trailer looked very impressive and had beautiful visuals. To finish off their presentation Ubisoft showed gameplay footage of Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege which got the crowd very hype. It has been many years since the last Rainbow Six game and it is great to see Ubisoft revisiting that series.
E3 day zero ended with Sony taking the stage. Even though all the Sony fanboys are going to say that Sony won E3 day zero, their stage performance fizzled out about after a half an hour.
Sony did start strong with an epic intro to Destiny. Having a huge partnership with Bungie, they announced their exclusive content which included Alpha and Beta testing which will come to the PS4 before anywhere else. Sony also announced DLC for Infamous Second Son followed by Little Big Planet 3, another PS4 exclusive. Unfortunately, there was a few technical issues when showing off the gameplay for Little Big Planet 3 that took away from the presentation. The game does look great though, and as with all the other installments of Little Big Planet, it should be a great addition to Sony’s library and to the franchise. One of the best exclusive’s that Sony presented was a CGI trailer of Bloodborne by the director of Dark Souls. Even though no gameplay footage was shown there is very little doubt that it will be yet another reason to own a PS4.
This is the point though where Sony’s presentation came to a grinding halt as they spent 45 minutes talking about indie games, Sony TV, and Playstation Now. Playstation Now had a great lineup with MGSV: Ground Zero, God of War: Ascension, and Ultra Street Fighter IV being among the release titles. However, it seems still a little too early for us to be stoked about it since even when released it will be in beta. Sony TV is very exciting due to the small price point and for the possibility of playing Playstation games on your TV without the need for a system. This will be a very sought after product for casual gamers and will be released this fall for $99.00. Project Morpheus was talked about very briefly and it’s going to be amazing as Sony brings VR to the next-gen consoles. Sony will most likely be spending a lot more time talking about this exciting peripheral at next year’s E3.
While Playstation had a ton of exclusive content compared to everyone else at the show they lacked exclusive titles. They of course ended with Uncharted 4 and had a few other exclusives thrown in there, but overall their presentation was filled with games that are available on both Xbox One and PC as well. It seemed that Sony was milking the console wars and basically letting gamers know “we will have the same games as the other guys but ours will look better.” The console wars are very big right now with frame-rate and resolution being the only thing that gamers care about lately. However, in the end quality games are what actually matters. As someone who doesn’t appreciate the console wars and just wants to play games with my friends, this type of salesmanship from Sony was not very classy or professional as they just continued to fuel the console war madness. That being said though, Sony’s presentation wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t as ground breaking as last year’s and I expected more.
That being said E3 day zero was pretty good and most of the big names put on solid performances. It is always hard to follow an E3 after having a console release the year before because that is always going to be more exciting, however, this holiday season and early 2015 is going to be an exciting time to be a gamer. And with some actual true next-gen games on the horizon such as Batman: Arkham Knight, 2015 should bring some truly special games to consoles.
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