E3 2014 is in the books, and it’s time to look back on what announcement’s got me the most excited at this year’s show. I’m keeping these announcements to new titles that were announced at the show, and that showcased gameplay. Sure, I got excited by Scalebound’s reveal trailer, but their is very little to go off of to get very excited. I got even more excited by Spider-man’s inclusion into Disney Infinity, but the sheer amount of money that game will draw from me had me leave it off the list. Anyways, without further ado, here are my Top Four announcements from E3 2014.
4. Rainbow Six Patriots Siege gives me the tense, tactical shooter I’ve been craving.
When I’m playing multiplayer, I love to play competitive and tactically. There’s a reason I got so heavily into the MLG scene for games like Halo and Starcraft (granted I’m god awful at Starcraft). Rainbow Six Siege seems like it’s going to combine all of the tactics of classic Rainbow Six games and add a level of competitive play that the series has only dreamed of before. Ubisoft showcased Siege in their classic style of “Oh and we have one more thing”, and it worked to the game’s benefit. Up until then, we had only really seen one potentially competitive multiplayer match shown (Halo 2 during Microsoft’s presser), and it sold that this game’s focus is the multiplater The tense, atmospheric gameplay we were shown set the mood perfectly. It’s the final round. Your team has to save the hostage in order to win the game. You discuss with your allies what the best approach should be, and finally agree on what you think will work best. It encapsulated just how human multiplayer can be, with your teammates missing shots, getting killed unexpectedly, and finally just how crazy one player going clutch can seem. Siege certainly has a lot of work to do in order to draw the world’s multiplayer fans, but this focus on tactical and competitive matches certainly has me excited.
3. Splatoon could be my new multiplayer addiction
If there’s a few things I didn’t expect to see from Nintendo this E3, they were new IPs, shooters, and competitive multiplayer games. Nintendo just said fuck it and combined all of those together and made the colorful and magnetic Splatoon. Breaking free from the traditional shooter objective of win by killing, Splatoon’s objective has players covering the map in their team’s ink in order to win. Oh, and did I mention you are a human/squid hybrid that can morph between squid and human forms at any time? And that reloading is done by diving into your team’s ink in squid form? Because that’s how much this game breaks from the traditional shooter philosophy. This game isn’t going to ship until 2015, but that didn’t stop Nintendo from having a few maps fully playable at their E3 booth. On top of that, Nintendo streamed the game for a number of hours during their Treehouse coverage on Twitch. This gameplay showed just how simple, and yet inexplicably deep of a game Splatoon can be. Player quickly learned strategies like hiding in a single dab of their own ink to ambush their opponent, and would move faster by rapidly swapping between forms. It’s just a very impressive showing for something I never pictured Nintendo creating. Teamed with Smash, Mario Kart and Zelda Wii U, and the Wii U becomes hard not to buy.
2. The Legend of Zelda Wii U is open world, and the possibilities are endless
Confession time: I’ve never played through a proper Zelda game. I know. I’m literally the worst. I just have never gotten around to playing it, or really understanding just why Zelda gets so many gamers excited. Seeing that Zelda would come to the Wii U was really no shock at all. If I’m not mistaken, it’s been on every Nintendo console besides the Virtual Boy, so this is no surprise. The real excitement around this news came from the confirmation that Zelda Wii would be returning to the game’s open world roots.
As a non-fanboy of Zelda I was like, oh cool. I love open world RPGs like Skyrim and The Witcher, so this’ll be neat. At this point, I wasn’t overly hyped, but soon became that way because of one thing: Nintendo fans. The sheer excitement over the possibilities that we could see in an open world Zelda had fans losing their minds, and dissecting every frame of the trailer. I watched two massive Zelda fans, Michael Damiani and Kyle Bosman, lose their freaking minds over the possibilities that this presented while dissecting the trailer for over an hour and thirty minutes, all while still being incredibly interesting to a non-fanboy like me. Zelda games always seem to have that special magic to draw fans in and keep them for years, but it may well be that fandom that hooks me into the series. (Note: A Link Between Worlds is currently sitting in my cart on Amazon)
1. Halo: The Master Chief Collection is real, and better then I could have possibly imagined
In the many months leading up to this year’s E3, Microsoft had more leaks then the Iraqi Navy. The leaks that got me the most excited was the confirmation of the existence of a Halo 2 Anniversary. All I wanted was to once again be able to play Halo 2 online with my friends, complete with the weapon balancing, glitches, and netcode that made the game so special. Fast forward to a few weeks before E3, and Microsoft’s alleged Master Chief Collection is confirmed by Engadget. Being naturally pessimistic about this sort of stuff, I presumed that the collection would just be for the campaign.
Boy, could I not have been more wrong. Microsoft decided to blow me away by announcing that not only would the series’ fantastic campaigns be remastered in full 1080p/60fps HD, we would be getting each entries’ multiplayer in their original freaking engines. For the first time ever, all four Halo game’s multiplayer will be playable online on one console. It will also mark the first time I three shot pistol someone over Xbox Live. On top of that, gamers get six Halo 2 maps remastered to Xbox One level graphics and gameplay, including Lockout, Ascension, and Zanzibar, as well as the entire Halo: Nightfall tv series and access to the Halo 5 Beta. 343 Industries knocked this one out of the park, giving Halo fans new and old exactly the games they want to play. This will be the game that draws many classic Halo fans onto the Xbox One, and what could really cement Halo’s return to multiplayer prominence. by, Bobby Marquardt