E3 Round-Up – Looking Ahead to the Next Big Games

E3 2015 has come and gone, giving us lots to look forward to, with sequels, reboots, and some exciting original titles all set to vie for our cash over the next year. Sony, Ubisoft, Bethesda, and more all shed light on their upcoming titles – let’s take a look at the biggest revelations.

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Bethesda Softworks

While a look at Fallout 4 was inevitable, the footage we saw was amazing, promising to deliver the same exciting, action-packed gameplay so many of us loved in the third game, with plenty of new features.

Advanced weapon-crafting and settlement-building are both sure to enhance the Fallout experience, allowing players an unprecedented level of freedom and immersion. Of course, a dog-sidekick, mutants, and the Brotherhood of Steel all return, with the action now taking place in and around Boston.

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Bethesda also announced a new mobile game, Fallout Shelter, which puts players in control of their own vault – and its inhabitants. Cunningly, the team had already released the game by the time they made their presentation, so eager E3 attendees could download it immediately.

Doom, a new instalment in the beloved, hugely-influential FPS franchise, also made an impact at the show. Featuring the same blood-soaked run-and-gun action of previous instalments, this brings the franchise into the new generation of gaming – it’s unlikely to revolutionise the genre, but it should receive a warm welcome from fans.

Dishonored 2 was another big reveal for Bethesda, a sequel to the hit steampunk action game, with another dose of stealth and magical sword-play. Moving the story on several years, this allows players to switch between two characters, each with their own particular set of skills.

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The Elder Scrolls: Legends also made a brief appearance – bearing similarities to such iconic games as Magic: The Gathering and Hearthstone, this is a card-based game set in the rich world of the Elder Scrolls series. Bethesda promised to reveal more details over the next few months.

EA (Electronic Arts)

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Star Wars: Battlefront was one of the big titles most people were excited to see more of at E3 – and the footage definitely didn’t disappoint. While there have been many, many Star Wars games over the years, the Battlefront titles are some of the most successful and acclaimed. DICE have been tasked with rebooting the series for the new generation of consoles, recreating the fast-paced, squad-based gameplay fans love with today’s technology.

Reactions to the game have been mostly positive, though the lack of space-battles and a full singleplayer campaign have drawn some criticism. The footage presented at E3 looks incredible, with the Star Wars universe right there on-screen thanks to beautiful graphics and authentic audio (blasters, screams, and the iconic music have never sounded so good in a game). This hits the market on November 17th – so there’s still plenty of time for our appetites to be whetted even more!

Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst is a belated follow-up and prequel to the parkour-based original, presenting the origin story of protagonist Faith. First-person platforming sounds like it should be an exercise in extreme frustration, but EA made the original work brilliantly, and Catalyst looks to offer more of the same. Faith’s preference for martial arts over guns helps to bring another refreshing element to the already-innovative gameplay.

Need for Speed is described as the “definitive Need for Speed experience”, combining various elements from the series’ 20-year history. Featuring an open-world design (in the vein of NFS: Rivals, but at twice the size of that game’s map), this allows the player to explore, challenge fellow racers, and take part in different types of events. It looks like a fitting way to celebrate such a huge milestone – one that few series get to reach.

Square Enix

While Square Enix presented Just Cause 3, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Kingdom Hearts 3, and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, the highlight of their slate for many was the announcement of Final Fantasy VII Remake.

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Hailed by many as one of the greatest games ever made, FFVIII was a massive hit when it first exploded onto the market way back in 1997, and a remake (or even just a remaster) has been demanded for years now. The reveal trailer showed us only glimpses – but seeing such familiar locations and characters again, in gorgeous new graphics, this was incredibly powerful. Here’s hoping the remake is everything the original was, and more.

Sony

During their E3 presentation, Sony revealed Shenmue 3 – a long-demanded sequel to the groundbreaking games from 2000 and 2001. Within two hours of the Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign starting, Shenmue 3 had received $1 million – and then reached its $2 million target within nine hours. This is absolutely staggering, and makes Shenmue 3 the holder of a Guinness World Record for being the fastest game to reach $1 million on a crowdfunding platform.

This game definitely has a lot to live up to, but at least fans know it’s definitely happening.

Nintendo

Star Fox Zero was announced, which appears to be a re-envisioning of the series so far, featuring classic characters, enemies, and vehicles. Hyrule Warrios Legends is coming to the 3DS, a refined version of the hugely-popular Wii U title, with two new characters.

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Mario Tennis Ultra Smash was showcased, which puts a Mario-spin on the sport as all the beloved characters take to the court. Metroid Prime Federation Force is set to be a mission-based four-player co-op game, based in the classic sci-fi shooter’s distinctive world.

Other big announcements include:

BioWare announced Mass Effect Andromeda, the fourth entry in the fantastic space opera series: this will focus on a new team of characters, with a new storyline unfolding in a new galaxy.

Ubisoft announced a new South Park game, following the success of The Stick of Truth. South Park: The Fractured But Whole will put players in control of another New Kid teaming up with the boys to fight crime.

Sony revealed footage from The Last Guardian, a new game from Fumito Ueda – director of the much-loved PS2 classic Shadow of the Colossus. This focuses on the friendship between a young boy and his giant friend, and looks as unique as Ueda’s previous game.

Unchartered 4: A Thief’s End was another big title in Sony’s presentation, with six minutes of footage showing Drake in action once again.