E3 2014: Highlights From Day 1

The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2014 is well under way and the reveals range from the amazing to the ‘OMG I NEED THIS NOW’. So what are the big names and what do you need to know about? Before Day 2 begins, here’s a quick round up of everything noteworthy from Day 1.

Microsoft:

Microsoft was the first to take the stage and considering it’s been playing catch up with Sony ever since the reveal of XBox One, going first in this Expo was both a blessing and a curse. Sadly, it looked like more of a curse for them. Their presentation began by them stating their entire presentation would belong to their games. Though great in theory, this idea just led to them being blown out of the water even faster by Sony’s closing presentation.

microe3

With reveals of Assassins Creed: Unity Co-Op, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and more, there was a lot to be excited about. Although none of the games were actually Micorsoft properties. For example, Assassins Creed and the Tomb Raider reboots are owned by Ubisoft and Square Enix respectively; and both companies have a much closer relationship to Playstation. So was there anything of note with Microsoft’s presentation?

The big hitter was of course – as always – the announcement of a new Halo game. They debuted a brief clip of Halo 5 (pre-rendered), but that won’t be released until 2015. They then turned that clip into a teaser for Halo: Master Chief Collection which will hold all the past Halo games on one disc and bring them to the Xbox One. As with all package sets, this isn’t actually anything exciting. Sure all missions and the things you loved about the old games are there – and already unlocked -; and its even great that they give out some Halo 5 Beta with it; but its basically at best a place holder. At worst, its to make up for the awful none-existent backwards compatibility that the Xbox One screws users out of.

EA:

EA was up next, and although we didn’t get many big hit trailers for their upcoming games, we did get behind the scenes looks at the creation of these new games. Battlefield: Hardline will be a cop vs robber spinoff of the popular series; but that wasn’t the only major named game in the works. Star Wars: Battlefront 3 and Mass Effect 4 are both in the works and gave people a look into what the studio is planning and how they are trying to make these games give gamers the experience they’ve always wanted from these games.

Ubisoft:

Now onto what was in many ways the main event for Day 1 of E3, the Ubisoft panel. From the quality and quantity of games they presented to even having the amazing, funny and all around awesome Aisha Tyler host the conference, Ubisoft just hit every nail on the head.

Needless to say their biggest reveal was the trailer and gameplay for Assassins Creed: Unity which brings the time tested franchise to new heights. As a long time fan of the series, this was obviously the biggest thing for me; but I found myself falling in love with all their other games as well. From the dance craze Just Dance Now to the exploratory and shooter games such as Far Cry 4 and The Division, there were games that even people not familiar with those genres would enjoy. They even debuted a new workout game that actually helps you train as if you were in a video game.

Aisha Tyler E3 Ubisoft

Though despite all of these amazing and varied titles, when Co-Founder and CEO Yves Guillemot took the stage there was only one more thing he had to show: Rainbow Six: Siege. There hasn’t been a Rainbow Six game in years, so this was definitely a welcome finale note for the conference; and unlike other cops & robber games that had been revealed earlier – ie: Battlefield: Hardline, etc – this wasn’t just some small teaser trailer, this was actual game footage that demonstrated the tactical height that this game can offer players.

Sony:            

It was finally time for Sony to close Day 1 – much like how its rival opened it -; and as I hinted at before, Sony dominated its competition. Of course they went on to reveal some new additions to their staple games such as Little Big Planet 3 – so many sock puppets – and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, which picks up many years later and shows a decidedly older Nathan Drake on possibly his final mission.

There was even a reveal about one of their famous titles getting a movie. The Ratchet & Clank series will not only get a feature length film that will reboot the origins story of this dynamic duo; but will also get new games for the PS4 in the future. The panel itself then closed with gameplay footage of the upcoming Batman: Arkham Knight, which teased fans with amazing game footage and special Scarecrow missions.

Uncharted 4

Though the biggest wins for this presentation came in the form of all the reasons Playstation 4 was hailed as superior to the Xbox One. For starters, unlike the Microsoft panel, Playstation spent a great amount of time showcasing all the indie games that had been developed for their system and then went on to thank everyone for their work. It wasn’t just a brief ‘yah, we got these too’ like Microsoft put forward; but rather an actual love and respect for all those that honored Playstation by creating their indie game on their platform.

As a final nail in the coffin that is Microsoft, Playstation went on to detail some new Hardware and Software available for the PS4. Playstation Now will arrive July 31st and give players access to over 100 titles via renting games from $2.99 to $19.99 – although it is not yet known how long the rental period lasts. In addition this this, Playstation unveiled Playstation TV which for $99 allows players to expand their PS4 experience to a second TV which will grant Remote Play for the player’s entire PS4 library on their original system.

With Day 1 behind us, it’s time to begin Day 2. So Happy E3 everyone, and may the games be ever in your favor.

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