E3 Day Zero: Press Conference Madness

Posted June 10, 2014 in ,
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E3 Day Zero
Dragon Age: Inquisition
E3 Day Zero is essentially comprised of back-to-back press conferences from the gaming industry giants, showing off their latest wares to the public. 2014’s Day 0 was no different, with Microsoft hitting the stage at 10:30 a.m., promptly followed by Electronic Arts, then Ubisoft and finally Sony, who closed out the day. As the conferences rolled on it became quite apparent that gaming is in a weird transitional state more so this year than any year before. With next gen only being on the shelves for the last 7 months, the day was full of incredible looking titles that we may see in the near future.As Microsoft’s Phil Spencer took the stage, the demeanor was evident of a company that has learned from the last year of PR debacles. Thanking the fans for feedback and thanking the competition, he began to move into the titles we can expect to see. Starting off with Call of Duty: Advance Warfare, viewers were treated to downtown New York City being destroyed by mechanized weaponry and soldiers desperately trying to retake control. Next, Dan Greenawalt took the stage to announce that gamers could finally race on the Nürburgring track in Forza 5 starting immediately at no cost. He then stepped up and showed off the dynamic weather system of Forza: Horizon 2, which is aiming to drop this fall. Next the assault began as viewers were shown Evolve, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Sunset Overdrive, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Fable Legends, The Division, Project Spark, Halo: Master Chief Collection, Halo 5, and finally, Crackdown.Of the aforementioned announcements the two biggest were definitely Return of the Tomb Raider and Halo: Master Chief Collection. Return of the Tomb Raider is going to continue the saga that Square Enix began last year with the reimagining of Lara Croft. Being one of the best games that very few people played last year, this sequel has everything going for it. The announcement trailer shows a suffering Lara Croft discussing her blatant PTSD with a counselor while the game cuts to her extra-curricular activities. This is a great reason to own a next gen machine.

The next bomb dropped was the Halo: Master Chief Collection. While rumors of a Halo remaster have been floating around for quite some time this is the first time we’ve seen how far Microsoft is willing to go, to propel the success of their flagship system. This title will include Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3 and Halo 4. All 1000 multi-player maps will be available and run on their own independent engine. The game will launch on November 11, 2014, which coincides with the Halo 2 ten-year anniversary. Because of the anniversary Halo 2 will be getting a visual update to wow the masses. The final piece of information worth noting is that the game will allow you to play level “playlists.” Players can simply choose the types of levels they would like to play and then jump into playing every level of that type from the various titles. You could simply ask for every Warthog level Halo has ever provided, and your wish is the game’s command.

After the spectacle brought by Microsoft it was time for EA to show what they have in store for gamers across all platforms. Luckily, EA stuck to their usual equation and began with their sports titles. Madden 2015 was highlighted followed by a tribute to Bruce Lee who will be featured in the new UFC releasing next week. While it looked as if Bruce was balanced to work correctly with the other fighters, I find it hard to believe that any MMA fighter of our generation could stand up to him at all.

Next they rolled out Battlefield: Hardline, which is being developed by Dice, and Visceral Games. This multi-player cops and robbers has you smashing downtown L.A. while completing objectives, or stopping the opposition. The engine from Battlefield 4 known as Frostbite is being utilized in all of these titles and its incredible diversity was shown throughout the trailers.

Notable entries were the new Golf 2015, which is now lacking Tiger Woods as a mascot, and Fifa 2015. If it is any notion to how seriously EA takes gaming, it should be after realizing that their best visual engine is being applied to all sports titles. Far and above Hardline stole the show on this one, especially with the beta being made available to all PS4 Battlefield 4 owners and to PC Gamers lucky enough to pass the screen.

After a slight break to grab some food it was time to watch Aisha Tyler and Ubisoft bring the house down. It’s crazy to imagine that there is real internet hate towards her hosting the Ubisoft show, as I found her stunning, hilarious, and passionate. Ubisoft rolled out some of the family friendly stuff with Just Dance 2015 which will now allow anyone with a smart phone that can see the screen to participate. Please, for the love of god people, put a case on your phone before using it for Just Dance.

Next we were treated to an in-depth look at Assassin’s Creed Unity, which touts 4-player coop for the first time in an AC title. The interesting backstory of the French Revolution and the ability to have friends help you assassinate is something that will set this apart from the rest of the series.

The next announcement is something so near and dear to me that I actually left my chair in excitement. After 6 years of waiting, Ubisoft is finally in development of a new Rainbow Six title. Rainbow Six: Siege, was shown with classic game play elements as well as some new tricks. The ability to breach any wall or ceiling along with destructible environments made the squad v squad objective matches so much more dynamic than most shooters. During the demo the outside sniper had lost line of site due to barricaded windows; the inside squad shot through the windows to provide the sniper with a kill shot on the enemy. They then had to breach a room from above to reach the hostage, and came in guns blazing.

Lucky for the team behind The Division Ubisoft finally spilled the beans on the premise behind the title. Before that it looked like your average 3rd person shooter, and nothing had me wanting to jump in. After Ubisoft went into detail, it moved to the list of twenty games I want to see more of. Bundle that with Far Cry 4 and Ubisoft was quickly heading into winning the day.

The final conference of the night was Sony, which was sure to be the longest and have the most discussion about numbers, sales figures etc. Sony, came out swinging showing off titles like: Mortal Kombat X, The Last of Us Remastered, Uncharted 4, GTA V, Batman: Arkham Knight, No Man’s Sky, Entwined (available immediately), and a slew of indie titles. If you’ve been gaming a while then the announcement of Grim Fandango being remastered for PS4, PS Vita should have induced screams of joy. Of everything shown, that day I feel that No Man’s Sky, definitely showed the incredible talent that indie developers bring, along with the amount of creativity that users can bring.

Years like this at E3 always leave the viewer feeling overwhelmed, and at times unimpressed. There is so much software hitting shelves in the next two years that gamers should be chomping at the bit. Take into account we still haven’t seen Nintendo, or the releases from other developers such as Capcom, Konami and more.

Keep tuned to SLUGMAG.com as we’ll bring you the hot and heavy as quickly as possible.