Every June, the world’s gaming industry fixes its gaze on Los Angeles, for the mighty E3 conference. As one of the biggest, most important gaming events in the world, E3 is the ideal chance for companies to show off their forthcoming releases, whetting our appetites with tasty trailers and demos aplenty.
So, what can we look forward to at this year’s expo?
Microsoft: Sequels, Chainsaws, and Astrological Code-names
Even though E3 runs from the 14th to the 16th of June, Microsoft started things early and held its presentation yesterday morning.
During their event, Microsoft confirmed the Xbox One Slim, which will launch in August for the princely sum of $300. However, they also revealed the Project Scorpio, a new console set to hit the market in 2017, featuring eight cores, a performance of six teraflops for mind-bending 4K presentation, and a whopping 320GB memory bandwidth.
Basically a super-powered Xbox One, this is also set to be backwards compatible with 360 games, and will support VR titles too – all in all, not a bad bit of news!
On their gaming front, Microsoft offered a look at Gears of War 4, which appears to be heading back to the series’ roots with a deep focus on cover and chainsaws, and Dead Rising 4 (original hero Frank West, the plucky photographer with mad zombie-bashing skills, will be back on the scene).
Also confirmed were Forza Horizon 3, Halo Wars 2, and Tekken 7. Other notable titles covered include Sea of Thieves, Scalebound, and ReCore – so there’s plenty to look forward to from Microsoft, who came out swinging to start the expo with a solid line-up.
Sony: Web-Slingers, Horror, and Mystery
Sony also stepped out with a big, bold presentation before the event’s official start. One of the most impressive pieces in their line-up was Resident Evil 7 – Capcom had promised a return to the slow-burn horror of yore, and from the looks of the trailer, they weren’t lying!
The brief video is a stunning showcase for creepy atmospherics and suspense. Starting with a chilling phone call, the piece then becomes a slow exploration of a derelict, cockroach-ridden location. Shadows, sounds, and the uncertainty of what lies around the corner all work beautifully, setting the scene for a real break from the big, explosive silliness of RE6.
Perhaps most intriguing of all, RE7 will be a PlayStation VR title, putting you right into the experience.
As well as RE7, Sony also showed footage of their surprise Spider-Man game. With the character having enjoyed a recent cinematic rebirth thanks to the company’s collaboration with Marvel, there’s sure to be renewed interest in the character’s video games, and this new title looks like the most impressive so far.
Even though we’ve seen a slew of Spidey-centric games in the past decade, with more misses than hits, the web-slinger himself has never looked as amazing as he does here – check out the scene in which he flips, jumps, and smashes his way through what appears to be a department store. No game appears to have captured the hero’s radiation-powered athleticism quite as well.
Want more spookiness? Okay, well, Sony’s definitely bringing the goods again with Death Stranding. This forthcoming game from Mr. Metal Gear Solid himself, Hideo Kojima, stars The Walking Dead’s awesome-but-badly-in-need-of-a-haircut Norman Reedus. The reveal teaser is a beautiful thing, featuring haunting music and powerful imagery – and, strangely, a nude digitization of Reedus himself clutching a newborn baby which subsequently vanishes.
The visuals are incredible, with Reedus’ likeness pretty much spot-on, and the unsettling sense of apocalypse looming over everything is created with impressive subtlety. This is definitely one to watch out for.
Surprising nobody, another Call of Duty is on the way. While Infinite Warfare had already been revealed, Sony’s presentation gave an impressive insight into how the game’s shaping up. One of the most jaw-dropping elements looks to be the starfighting, and the seamless transition from piloting a ship to on-foot combat. Without a single pause, the player is seen climbing from his fighter to conduct a spacewalk on the hull of an enemy ship, engaging in close- and ranged-combat.
This looks to be a major shift for the series, in setting at least, but will it be satisfy long-term and new players alike? We’ll have to wait and see.
Sony also showed more of The Last Guardian and the new God of War, both of which feature some unbelievable visuals. Worth checking out, to be sure.
Over the next few days, we can look forward to seeing more of these (either confirmed or rumoured):
• Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
• Mafia 3
• South Park: The Fractured But Whole
• Destiny 2
• The Legend of Zelda (Wii U)
• Titanfall 2
• Crackdown 3
• Dishonred 2
It’s also worth mentioning that while Nintendo will be allowing attendees to try The Legend of Zelda on the Wii U, their in-development console, the NX, will NOT be appearing at the expo. Maybe next year.
What has you most excited for this year’s E3? Let us know!