5 Games That Impressed at E3 2014
5 Games That Impressed at E3 2014
Now that E3 has drawn to a close it’s time to look back at the games that impressed over the past week. Having not been present in L.A. myself, this list is merely an interpretation, my opinion of what games impressed me the most from demos posted online and trailers during the conferences themselves.
Batman: Arkham Knight
For whatever reason, I had low expectations of how much would be shown of Arkham Knight at this year’s E3 possibly due to the recent announcement that the game would be delayed until 2015. Nevertheless, Rocksteady showed off a new section of gameplay, demonstrating the Batmobile and hints at the scope of Gotham city. The scale and vertical heights of Gotham appears to surpass any other Arkham game previously while the Batmobile is not only a method of travel but an essential part of the game.
The car will follow the player as he traverses the city and can be summoned at a moment’s notice and when driving Batman can be launched from the vehicle into a glide. In addition, it can also be shifted into a battle mode which transforms the car into a dangerous and powerful tank. Other new features included fear takedowns, a method of quickly eliminating multiple guards and a glimpse at a redesigned, truly terrifying Scarecrow. Overall, Batman: Arkham Knight looks like a truly next generation game, taking advantage of the new power available to developers.
Assassin’s Creed Unity
As a big fan of the Assassin’s Creed franchise I understand the frustration of many people who play the games. An overly complex and slow-moving present day story, dated mechanics and sometimes unlikable protagonists are all problems that have come up in the past, some of which have become mainstays of the franchise just as much as jumping into a bale of hay. Nevertheless, Assassin’s Creed Unity looks truly impressive. Set during the French Revolution, the next installment is exclusive to next-gen consoles and promises a truly open city to explore, 4 player co-op and improved mechanics. Unity has been worked on for many years, with the next-gen consoles in mind. The scale and scope of Paris looks incredible with Ubisoft promising that a quarter of the buildings of Paris will be able to be explored inside. The game looks very open-ended, with plenty of side content along the way and optional ways to become involved in the revolutionary atmosphere. One demo shown at E3 highlighted how 4 player co-op will work: 4 players will work together to complete a task in any way they see fit, and assassinating with friends looked great fun. Meanwhile the regular cat-and-mouse multiplayer has been removed entirely.
Other new features worth mentioning include an improved combat system with harder enemies. Ubisoft has done away with easy counter kills and button mashing for a more strategic combat system. There is now a dedicated stealth mechanic involving cover, an easy way to parkour down buildings and a RPG-like upgrade system for the new protagonist Arno. Finally, Unity promises an improved mission structure, while tailing missions may still exist they no longer result in failure if you’re caught and in some cases can be bypassed entirely, it all depends on how you want to play. The game looks impressive and it seems Ubisoft is making a lot of effort to address long-standing issues in the franchise.
No Man’s Sky
Developed by the British indie studio Hello Games, No Man’s Sky impressed me and audiences at this year’s E3. For an indie project this title looks incredibly ambitious and expansive. No Man’s Sky is a difficult game to describe, even for the developers. The game allows you, the player, to explore planets, fly into space, collect resources and upgrade your spaceship. But perhaps the most impressive thing about No Man’s Sky is its procedurally generated universe. Every planet is unique, just as everything you will find on the planet is unique from the animals to the resources to the aesthetic of the world. Although the game is part MMO, players will be cast far and wide in the universe, making it more of a sandbox game.
This procedurally generated universe is based on an algorithm which constructs unique worlds and places for players to explore. The game looks extraordinarily ambitious, and there are concerns on how the game will function and operate once it becomes a final product. However, if Hello Games can deliver on even half of what they’re promising, it looks like No Man’s Sky will certainly be a hit for gamers.
Rainbow Six: Siege
Ubisoft likes to showcase a new title that nobody was expecting at their conference and 2014 was no exception. The long seemingly dormant Rainbow Six franchise made a big return with Rainbow Six: Siege. A gameplay trailer was shown off in which 4 players worked together to plan and execute a rescue attempt of a kidnapped victim from 4 other players whose job it was to kidnap the same victim. The gameplay began with the rescuers choosing their method of entry; in this case via the roof but there were other options such as the garden etc. Once inside it was their job to kill the other players or have the hostage when time ran out and vice versa for the other team.
The level of destruction was very impressive, with the intruders given time at the beginning of the demo to board up and secure certain areas of the house. It was impressive that not only cover and walls could be blown apart in a realistic manner but also the floor, with one player blowing a hole in the floor and shooting through the ceiling to get the drop on the intruders who were holed up below. Fans of the franchise have waited a long time for this game and it looks like it will deliver.
Destiny is a game that looks better every time I see it. While expansive RPG/MMO hybrid games are very popular right now, with The Division set to release in 2015, Destiny sets itself apart with its unique art style, fun shooting mechanics, an upgrade system and very promising universe. The game makes it look easy to drop in, join your friends and go shoot some bad guys to level up and earn loot. The weapons are customizable as is the unique look of your character.
The most impressive aspect of Destiny for me is it’s universe. Described by Bungie as mythic science-fiction, the game is set in a dystopian future with one city remaining on earth protected by the Traveler, a floating moon-like sphere which had, centuries before, enabled humans to reach space. Unlike some post-apocalyptic settings i.e. Fallout, Destiny is equal parts bright and vibrant as it is dark and dismal. Many are excited for this title, myself included, being Bungie’s first project since Halo. In terms of building and sustaining a universe the game is in the right hands.
There are many more games I could talk about but these are just five that impressed me the most at E3 this year.
Honorable Mentions: Far Cry 4, Sunset Overdrive, Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, The Order: 1886, Tom Clancy’s The Division, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Those are my picks of E3 2014. What were your favorite games of E3 this year? Let me know in the comments below
If you missed my highlights of the conferences themselves you can see them here: