The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 were definitely the main event at E3, but there were plenty other interesting reveals at the show. Here are some of our favorites.
Titanfall is a multiplayer shooter with mechs and the first game from Respawn Entertainment, the new independent studio from Call of Duty creators Jason West and Vince Zampella. The gameplay demo, which used Xbox One-specced PCs, was the most thrilling moment of the show for me.
Going into the demo, I was curious to see how the balance between the mech and solo pilot modes would be. I left impressed. The pacing of the game is incredibly fast, and the addition of mini-thrusters and wall-running give the pilots a chance when they’re up against enemy mechs.
Expectations are dangerously high for this title, but West and Zampella have the credentials to pull it off. Assuming that the final version lives up to the promise of the demo, this game is going set the new standard in first-person shooters.
Titanfall drops onto PC, Xbox One and Xbox 360 next spring.
Disney’s upcoming collectible-based cross-franchise game universe might seem like it’s just for kids, but adults are going to love this too. The company isn’t usually one to mash up its franchises (Kingdom Hearts being a notable exception), so seeing all the different characters in Toy Box Mode is a blast.
John Day, a producer with Disney Interactive, described the project as an effort to recreate the “universal truth of fun” that comes from playing with toys. Most of us probably mixed together different figurines when we were kids, and, starting this August, we’ll be able to do that virtually as well.
Starter kits will retail for around $75 and will provide three single-franchise campaigns and their respective figurines: Mr. Incredible from The Incredibles, Sully from Monsters University and Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean. Each character will come with its own 10 to 15-hour single-player campaign and will also be playable in Toy Box Mode.
The campaign mode, which is a combination of action-adventure and platforming, would be a solid standalone game on its own with a few interesting uses of the portal technology, but the real fun is going to come when players begin creating and sharing their own toy boxes. Disney has built a simple trigger-based language that should make for some really interesting possibilities.
The company doesn’t yet have plans to include content from the Marvel and Star Wars universes, but representatives kept it open as a possibility. Mobile integration would also be a nice touch for the platform, but it’s starting out just on consoles.
Electronic Arts wowed at its press conference with its highly-coordinated 64-player Battlefield 4 demo. Things got a little chaotic once gamers started playing the mission, but the ambition and scale of the game is still noteworthy.
There’s still a lot of work that developer DICE needs to do for Battlefield 4’s gameplay to even come close to living up to EA’s dramatic E3 performance. The truth is, though, that my friends and I have a lot of training to do too if we want to pull off in-game stunts like shooting the ground out from under a tank.
Rocksmith 2014 and BandFuse: Rock Legends
I already gushed about these games in a separate post, but Rocksmith 2014 Edition and BandFuse: Rock Legends were a big highlight for me at E3. There’s a rare sense of wonder that comes with playing these titles. It might not be for everyone, but Rush did after all call living in the limelight a “universal dream”.
Elder Scrolls Online
The Elder Scrolls franchise has a loyal enough following that the massively multiplayer entry is going to make some people very, very happy when it arrives. The hands-on demo set in Daggerfall had a traditional RPG feel to it, with the occasional multiplayer coop.
Bethesda did, however, show a clip of a massive multiplayer battle and PvP action, so there’s still plenty of hope that ESO will manage to combine the depth of the single player Elder Scrolls with the unique interactivity of a MMORPG. You’ll just have to wait until next year to find out.
I’m still not entirely clear on how Remedy plans to connect its upcoming time-manipulation game/show, but I’m definitely intrigued. The Xbox One title will come packaged with a season of live-action TV that will morph as you make decisions during gameplay. It’s certainly an interesting experiment, and I hope they manage to pull it off so that we see more projects like this in the future.
Image credits: iStockphoto, EA, Disney