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E3 2015 Highlights

written by Chris Poirier June 19, 2015

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E3 2015 has officially come to a close, and save for the disappointing lack of a surprise Beyond Good & Evil 2 revival, this year’s expo delivered. A strong blend of new titles, sequels, and franchise reboots were showcased.

Now that the dust has settled, here’s a rundown of some of this year’s biggest reveals.

Bethesda
In spite of accidentally leaking the existence of Dishonored 2 to the world on Twitch the night before, Bethesda had a strong showing at their inaugural E3 press conference. Gameplay footage for Doom and Dishonored 2 was revealed for the first time. Dishonored 2 introduced a second protagonist, former Empress Emily Kaldwin, and Doom will feature an innovative new SnapMap editor allowing the player to create custom game modes in multiplayer. Additionally, an extensive 30 minute gameplay demo of Fallout 4 was shown, showcasing the game’s just announced creator mode. For the first time in series history, Fallout 4 will feature a fully voiced protagonist. Despite rumors to the contrary, both male and female characters will be playable.

Microsoft
Of all the things we thought we’d never see on the Xbox One, backward compatibility with Xbox 360 games was very high on that list. After all, the Xbox 360 and Xbox One have substantially different chipsets, and native backward compatibility just couldn’t happen. Fast forward to now; through the magic of software emulation, a limited number of Xbox 360 games are playable to select Xbox One users, with more to come in the months ahead. No special programming on the publisher’s end is required, and Microsoft will be taking player requests into account for future games, with the titles receiving the most votes being considered first.

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Other, less surprising announcements included the reveal of Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, a 30 game Replay collection from Rare, ReCore, a new action adventure from the creator of Mega Man, and a HoloLens enabled Minecraft Demo from Mojang.

Sony
Three of the biggest E3 reveals of the show came from Sony. Team Ico’s long-delayed (and presumed dead) third title, The Last Guardian, is now in development for the PS4,  Final Fantasy VII is receiving an HD reboot, and Yu Suzuki announced a kickstarter campaign for Shenmue III. While some sharper eyed fans may lament the lack of first party exclusives for the rest of the year, Sony had a strong showing overall. Timed exclusive content for Destiny’s new expansion was announced, along with a marketing partnership with Disney, and in a franchise first, PS4 will receive new Call of Duty maps before the Xbox version. Also of note was Horizon, a new open world action game from Guerrilla games, and a No Man’s Sky gameplay demo.

EA
Taking a mostly safe approach this year, EA deviated little from established franchises, focusing the majority of this year’s presence on sequels and series reboots. Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst and Plants vs. Zombies 2 were demoed, the next entry in the Need for Speed franchise was dated for November 3, and Mass Effect: Andromeda was teased for a Holiday 2016 release. Star Wars: The Old Republic fans have a new expansion – Kings of the Fallen Empire to look forward to this fall, and a 10 minute Star Wars: Battlefront gameplay demo was shown. On a non Star Wars note, we can’t wait to play the indie inspired platformer Unravel, featuring an adorable protagonist made of red yarn named Yarnie.

Ubisoft
Any time we hear Ubisoft mention they’re revisiting a beloved franchise, some of us nostalgically start hoping for a Beyond Good & Evil 2 reveal. Sadly, not this year. What we did get, however, was a cheekily titled South Park sequel called South Park: The Fractured But Whole, For Honor: a new third person melee combat game, new Rainbow Six Siege and The Division gameplay footage, and a surprise reveal of an open world Ghost Recon game. Both The Crew and Trials Fusion are set to receive new expansions this fall, the latter promising off the wall elements like kittens and unicorns.

Nintendo
Always the wildcard of E3, Nintendo had an eclectic group of games on display. Unsurprisingly, no new information was provided on the progress of Zelda U – but Zelda fans will get a new 3 player co-op game this year; The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes for 3DS. On the Wii U side, new game reveals were somewhat sparse. Xenoblade Chronicles X was dated for December 4, a new Mario Tennis game was teased for this Holiday, and an October 16 release date was given for Yoshi’s Wooly World. The latest entry in the Starfox Franchise is now officially known as Starfox Zero, and is being co-developed by Nintendo and Platinum Games. Look for Starfox Zero to hit stores this holiday. Ironically enough, Nintendo’s biggest surprise did not come from their Digital Event, but instead from a Treehouse Live reveal: Fatal Frame Maiden of Black Water has been localized, and is coming to Wii U this fall.

Square Enix
Last, but certainly not least on our list is Square Enix, who, like Bethesda, opted to have their own press event this year.  Bombastic open world action game Just Cause 3 was dated for December 1, a brief behind the scenes on Rise of the Tomb Raider was shown, and most notably, a new Nier title was teased. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and Hitman were also featured prominently throughout E3 – the former, slated for release next spring, the latter coming December 8. An all too brief gameplay trailer for Kingdom Hearts III teased us of things to come.

There you have it folks! What was your biggest reveal of E3? Who do you think had the best showing this year? Sound off in the comments below!

 

 


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