E3 2013 – Nintendo Direct

Nintendo

News came out right before E3 that Nintendo would not have a present conference this year. Instead the company has decided to release a E3-special video for Nintendo Direct giving you some information on upcoming titles. The game manufacturer known for their first-party game franchises released the Wii-U console late last year, being the first hardware from the eight generation of gaming consoles on the market.

The Nintendo Direct video starts of with a trailer for upcoming Pokémon X and Y for the portable gaming device Nintendo 3DS. This latest edition to this ongoing RPG-series introduces a new Fairy type as well as a tamagotchi-like mode called Pokémon Amie. The game is set to release October 12th.

A follow-up to the 3DS title Super Mario 3D Land for the Wii-U was given a trailer. Super Mario 3D World will be coming out this December and this Mario title features four player co-op play. And the latest addition to this game is a new suit for Mario which let’s Mario dress-up as a cat.

That’s not all from Nintendo’s flagship character but a new Mario Kart was also given a trailer, showing off the impossible gravity breaking level layout for Mario Kart 8. This latest game in the classic Mario Kart racing-series will be coming out on the Wii-U console in spring of 2014.

There were also two trailer shown for Wii Party U and Wii Fit U, two titles which originally were suppose to get released during the spring/summer period of this year. Due to some unforeseen events after the release of the new console an apology was given out together with a new release. The release of Wii Party U got pushed back to October, and Wii Fit U to December of this year.

For all the creatively talented Nintendo fans out their who has shown their love and appreciation for the company through different paintings posted to Mii-verse, the Nintendo social network, there were a new paintings app announced. Art Academy will give all the Nintendo fans better creative-tools.

A whole list of third-party supported games as well as a list of Nintedo E-shop games were also presented during the video. Approximately twenty different titles coming out for the two devices were shown and given released dates for the coming future. Games such as Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag, Batman: Arkham Origins and Sonic Lost World.

A trailer for the HD-remake of the beloved Game Cube Zelda-game Wind Waker was also shown. With a new graphical make-over and improved Tinkle Tuner-features this Wii-U game might be something to look forward. The game is set to be released this coming October.

The Wonferful 101 was a Wii-U game which got revealed during last years Nintendo E3 press conference. The features a small army of super-powered beings fighting from a top-world view against attacking enemies. You control this army and direct their attacks by drawing on the Wii-U touch-pad controller. The game is set to release on September the 15th.

Donkey Kong is one of the key characters in Nintendo’s line-up besides other characters such as Mario or Zelda. The latest 2D side-scrolling platformer Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze, featuring the monkey, will be coming for to the Nintendo Wii-U console this coming November.

The witchcraft empowered female witch Bayonetta will be coming to the Nintendo hardware in the sequel Bayonetta 2. This gun-heeled equipped bad-ass developed by Platinum Games in this trailer shows of her new costume and hair-cut. This raunchy Wii-U title will be available sometime next year.

An unexpected surprise game to the Wii-U games line-up was presented through a new game trailer. The game developed by Japanese game studio Monolith Soft shows of mecha gameplay set in a open-world game environment. A name for the game hasn’t been announced but the game trailer hinted at a 2014 release. So look forward to be picking this game up at a game store near you in 2014.

And lastly a new trailer for the upcoming game in the Nintendo fighting game Super Smash Bros. was shown. It’s a true-to-form game now available for the Wii-U as well as the Nintendo 3Ds-console. Some new additions to the character select-screen includes the main character from Nintendo management game Animal Crossing and Mega-man from the famous platformer series with the same name.

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E3 Press Conference 2013 – Sony

E3 2013
concludes this years press conferences with PlayStation. Sony revealed the successor for the current PlayStation 3 back in February with their own PlayStation 4 event. Then they talked at length about the power of the machine and showed new games coming for the next-gen machine without giving us a release date, a look at the console or a price for it. So it was with high expectations, and with the Xbox One information given at Microsoft’s conference that we sat down in front of the PlayStation stage at this years Los Angeles E3-event.

After the opening montage came to an end the PlayStation spokesperson told us about how popular the PlayStation Vita is and about all the different games available for the portable gaming device and the many games still on the way.

On to the current PlayStation 3, we got a look at a hand-full of trailer for titles exclusively coming to this, soon to be prior, gaming hardware. First out was the critically beloved The Last of Us, one of the games which made us excited last years at E3. The game will be coming out this coming Friday (06.14.13).

Second out of the gate was the Japanese developed Puppeteer which is set to release in September. Rain, a game to be published through Playstation’s online store, should be coming out sometime this fall. Quantic Dream’s latest game Beyond: Two Souls featuring movie-actor Ellen Page, and Willem Dafoe was given a spot to show us a trailer, the game will available to purchase this October.

And lastly the racing game Gran Turismo 6 which might be released later this year, though looking back at Gran Turismo 5 you never know. There were also a new trailer for Warner Bros. Games Montreal’s new game Batman: Arkham Origins featuring batman villain Black Mask. The game is set before the other games in the Arkham-series made by Rocksteady Studios. It will be available this October, with exclusive Batman skins only for PlayStation.

Lastly to close of the PlayStation 3 section there will be a console bundle with Grand Theft Auto 5 and a Headset for $299 for the release of the highly anticipated open-world game, this September.

Moving on to the next-gen console the PlayStation 4 was finally shown. I think it looks ugly with the tilted front and back portions, although it seems to be a bit smaller than I expected.

PS4

A short trailer was shown for a new video game IP exclusive to the PlayStation 4. The Order 1886 seems like it could be a four player co-op game set in London. Not much more than what’s said in this trailer is known as of this moment.

Four titles told to be available exclusively for the PlayStation 4 back in February at the consoles reveal event has been given four new trailers and estimated release dates.

Killzone: Shadow Fall a first person shooter set on a distant planet will be a launch title for the console.

Driveclub a game which will be made available at the launch of the console and made free for the first year to all PlayStation Plus-subscribers.

inFamous: Second Son is a Superhero action game which will be released for the console shortly after its release in early 2014.

And Knack a third-person adventure platformer, another launch title for the next-gen PlayStation console.

Here’s where they told us how PlayStation also will be an open platformer for Indie-developers to be able to self publish their games. And a list of indie-games we can expect on PlayStation 4 included Jonathan Blow’s latest game The Witness and Supergiant Games, the studio behind Bastion, new game Transistor. Aswell as eight other games (Don’t Starve, Mercenary Kings, Octodad: Deadliest Catch, Secret Ponchos, Ray’s the Dead, Outlast, Oddworld: New n’ Tasty & Galaxy) that will have their console debuts exclusively on PlayStation 4.

The console release for Diablo 3 was mentioned

And trailers were shown for Square Enix’s upcoming titles Final Fantasy Versus XIII, Final Fantasy XV, Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy XIV.

Two Ubisoft games were “performed” on stage, one for upcoming Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag (which crashed) and the other for Watch_Dogs. I think Watch_Dogs looks great and fun but it’s been shown so many times and is so close to release that I don’t care, really.

Some video for upcoming basketball-title NBA 2K14.

Elder Scrolls Online, the MMO game in the Elder Scrolls series was shown a trailer for and given a release period, spring 2014.

And finally the fucking last trailer of Sony’s press conference was for the Mad Max video game developed by Avalanche. I’ve chosen not to include them all because there’s nothing interesting anyway, if you want to see them then go Google it.

During their press conference Sony also made a point of PlayStation being a used games friendly device. Their shall be no restictions for the consumers who want to buy their games used for a lower price. The console doesn’t need to be connected to the internet and validate your disc for you to play it. This was such a big middle finger pointed at Microsoft, who’s made a statement for being against used games. You can read more about it and watch a mocking video from Sony at: E3 HIGHTLIGHT: THE WAR.

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As I’ve been expecting you’ll have to be a PlayStation Plus subscriber to be able to play multiplayer games online on PlayStation 4. The subscription is for $5/month and will besides grant you access to online multiplayer also give you access to one free game per month as well as being able to play the racing game DriveClub for free for the first year. Other games included in the so-called Instant Game Collection will be the indie-titles Don’t Starve, Outlast and Secret Ponchos.

Even if you chose not to be a Playstation Plus subscriber you’ll still be able to use the console to access apps such as the movie streaming service Netflix.

Formerly known for the development studio behind the Halo series, Bungie came on stage to play a demo-section for their upcoming first-person shooter Destiny. The Activision published title will be released next year. In this demo a group of friends travel through earth far into the future.

Sony ends this years last E3 press conference with the price for the new console. Hundred dollars less than  Xbox one this generation Sony goes for being the cheaper alternative.

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E3 Press Conference 2013 – Ubisoft

E3 2013
moves forward with the french video game publisher Ubisoft who has chosen to let Alice in Chain-guitarist kick off the show by endorsing the next set in the music-game genre, Rocksmith 2014. Ubisoft’s the only company still putting out these music rhythm games, right?ubisoft logo

The actor Aisha Tyler has returned to host this years Ubisoft conference as well. I mostly know her as a voice-actor from the fantastic tv-show Archer. She’s on stage rocking a t-shirt marks #girlwood to show of her enthusiasm. I find her to fit very well on stage taking us from one trailer to another, with maybe some glimpses of short European video game developers, and I hope she’ll return to host next years Ubisoft press conference as well.

The only experience I’ve had with Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell is with 2010 Splinter Cell: Conviction, and to me this trailer doesn’t say much more than that Splinter Cell: Blacklist will be available this summer.

I want to bring up the Rayman: Legends because I found it rather disturbing. This trailer has been rated PEGI-7 and it features some weirdly bouncy bosom physics and even some cartoon deep cleavage. I can’t say anything about the game though, I haven’t played a Rayman title since the ’95 released version.

The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot is a new IP that’s online and free-to-play. You build a castle to store your loot in, and put out a defense to try to secure your epic loot. Then you’ll go out into other players castles and try to steal all their epic loot. It’s a hack-and-slash game, in the vain of Diablo. It’s right now in closed beta though you can go over to their website and sign up for an invite if you want. They also showed a silly little mocumentary trailer for the game filled to the brim with bloopers and gag-reel material.

Last year during the Microsoft press conference they broth out Matt and Tray on stage to present South Park: The Stick of Truth, that was nice.
“Coming this holiday season, or some holiday season hopefully kind of soon. You know how video games are.” – Eric Cartman

So now’s the time for some next-gen gaming and Ubisoft’s driving game The Crew (you’ve got to have a driving game) makes the whole of America available for you to drive through. It’s an online centered driving experience where you can call in your friends for help without any need for lobbies. It’s fast and it’s vast, was the kind of impression I got from it.

A trailer for Watch_dogs, the game which stole E3 for a lot of people last year. It’s set for release to the current generation hardware this november and will come to the next-gen Xbox one and Ps4 afterwards. This looks like it could be a really cool game and one of the core reasons to buy a next-gen console early.

They also showed us their new idea for an interactive Raving Rabbids tv-show. A cute little show where your kids and watch and play, I don’t know how it would work. But it looked cute and those “rabbids” seems to be quite entertaining to the same effect as those tiny creatures in the Despicable Me-movies.

Assassin’s Creed 4: Black flag is the sixth (not counting the DS and PSP-games) major game in the series which started with the first Assassin’s Creed back in 2007. In this game you’ll take control of a pirate and be an assassin of the sea, i guess. I know the basic premise behind the game and beyond that this series seems to have thrown sense into the trashcan so that you can be a pirate instead.

Trails is a series of motocross game that’ll now get two versions. There’s Trails Fusion for the big living-room gaming consoles and there’s Trails Frontier which you can play on your smart phone.

The Division is an massively multiplayer game set in post-apocalyptic New York City. It’s been developed by the Swedish video game development studio Massive Ubisoft stationed in Malmö, Sweden. I think this game looks great, the empty streets look so beautiful and I would really like to explore this abandoned city. This Tom Clancy game reminds me and looks a lot like Watch_Dogs. There are two details I think you should look for in this video, the flashing back-light of the car glowing through the sewage steam, and the way the character closes the car door as he’s crouch behind cover. I love details like these, it makes the world feel alive.

E3 Press Conference 2013 – Electronic Arts

E3 2013
continues with another press conference, this one being from the big video games publisher EA presenting the future and viewpoint for their games going forward. Peter Moore comes on stage letting us know we have eleven brand new games to look forward to during this presentation.

Popcap gets up on stages after showing a  trailer for their latest third-person tower-defense game Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare. Plants vs Zombies is getting a sequel, just got a Facebook game and will now also be on the next generation gaming consoles with this silly multiplayer spin-off. They ended their part of the conference with just screaming Peggle 2 and running off stage.

Titanfall being given a lot more time during Microsoft’s press conference. EA shows you a video featuring a bunch of members of the development team at Respawn studios talking about the game. The emphasize was very obviously on being a fun game. I wonder if this could be the point where we stop being all about the gritty realistic triple A titles and start having a little bit of fun.

EA also wanted to share with you the fact that they mostly use two different video game-engines for all there games.

Ignite

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being used in their EA-sport titles and

Frostbite 3

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developed by Stockholm based DICE, powering pretty much everything else. Why this was something important to share with everyone I don’t know. I guess it could be nice for the developers of EA to have two standard engines to be working with.

Afterwards there came a short concept trailer letting us know that DICE is working on a new Star Wars: Battlefront game. EA got an exclusive game license from Disney to make all the Star Wars games for them. What I want to see is a Star Wars skin for Battlefield pretty much, I don’t think you can mess that up.

Also, leave it up to the Swedes to give you a snowy Hoth battle.

EA’s driving game series Need For Speed gets a new game with Need For Speed: Rivals. Here they told us a lot about blurring the lines between single and multiplayer, how the player will start a race in singleplayer then get chased by a cop through multiplayer. There were also a mention of tablet support for the game having friends help you out from their tablet.

Aaron Paul (aka Jessie Pinkman) entering the stage declaring his love for gaming. Aaron Paul is also the lead actor in the upcoming movie based on the Need For Speed, which they showed a little making of trailer for here. I won’t embed it though, don’t wanna waste your time.

A new trailer for upcoming Bioware game Dragon Age: Inquisition which is set for release this fall doesn’t really tell me much. Fans of this role-playing fantasy series probably get more out of it, although it doesn’t seem to be anything too exciting.

The EA Sports section of the press conference was full of sport, promises and celebrities. Starting of with a spoken word performance to segway into the dribble of the basketball in the NBA-games and how the team has improved this detail of the game. Then over to the movement of the players in Madden and how the AI needed to be more smooth. Here is where famous rapper Drake appears. In newest Fifa they’ve put a lot of work into the audience to make them behave realistically (let’s hope theirs a hooligan mini game). Here is where Dana White held a monologue about two men violently beating on each other being the first sport ever. Then some developer expressing what’s new about this years edition of UFC.

Two employees from DICE take to the stage to show us some gameplay from Battlefield 4. Here it’s much more open than it seemed to be during the Microsoft’s press conference, a 64 player multiplayer game set in a modern city. One of the players is equipped with a tablet and can over-see the map and give commands to the other players in his team.

With that skyscraper hitting the ground DICE ended their live multiplayer demo for Battlefield 4. Although this wasn’t all EA had to show from the Swedish developer.

E3 Press Conference 2013 – Microsoft

E3 2013
kicks off with Microsoft’s press conference. This year is special due to the new generation of gaming-consoles (sorry Nintendo) being just months away. A new line of machines from all the big manufacturers and new marketing lines being spread to the consumers ears, trying to weigh them towards spending their hard-earned money on their products. And here we have Microsoft pushing their upcoming console the Xbox One, the one (it’s actually the third console in Microsoft’s line-up of gaming-systems) stands for being the ONE system you’ll need as it bring together all the entertainment needs you’ll need into one box.

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Opening up with Konami’s famous stealth-franchise Metal Gear Solid 5 we get introduced to the idea of Solid Snake riding a horse. Kojima has always been influenced and tried to unashamedly bring his love for movies into his games and here we see what happens when the incoherent Metal Gear story goes to the wild west.

He’s now able to hang of the side of the fully equipped horse in full sprint and hide from his enemies. We also get to see a lot of Kojima studio’s gameplay ideas for the new installment. Some of the stuff could be cool but if this is anything like MGS 4 you’ll make it all the way through the game without even touching any of these “filler” gameplay ideas, such as the iPod or the ungraspable (at least I thought it was) melee-system.

MGS V: Phantom Pains has also been quite a controversy due to the fact that the old voice actor David Hayter has been replaced for movie/tv-star Keith Sutherland.

Afterwards they took it a step back to talk a bit about the soon to be retired Xbox 360 and why it’s not retiring quite yet. A new version of the system will be in stores and purchase-able right now. Lower priced, quieter and with a new look the newest 360 version could be a gateway for the families who haven’t tried Microsoft’s product yet or as a stepping stone for those who want one.

They are also upgrading the Xbox Live Gold-subscriptions, now offering two games per month for free to everyone starting off right now with 2007’s Halo 3 and 2009’s Assassin’s creed II. Sony also offers something similar to their Playstation plus-subscribers. I think it’s a nice addition, though I doubt they’ll be play-able after the month is over.

Games won’t be taken away from the old system to be released on the new either with some 360 titles being shown. The multiplayer tank-game World of Tank will be free-to-play on the system. Also a new franchise Max the Curse of Brotherhood, a platformer wherein Max must go on a journey for his lost brother. And a sequel in the morbid RPG-action Dead Souls series, now with more sword-wielding armors and deaths. These three games could be fun, they don’t seem to out-there with a nice free-to-play European made tank-game, kid-friendly platform-game and the third game in a proven hardcore franchise.

Now with all the 360 behind us we can look forward into what games will show of the performance and power of the X-box One. Starting with a launch-title Microsoft presents us with, Xbox one exclusive, Ryse: Son of Rome a new brand of melee third person game. The level they showed shows the Romans storming the beaches of their enemy, invading their castle. It’s a Crytek developed game and the team known for their graphics-heavy games seems to have put a lot of thought into the facial attributes of these ancient warriors. The game continues with the warriors pushing forward until they reach a wall and have to take defense positions to protect themselves against incoming arrows, fight and command. Moving forward carefully to not get hit they eventually invade the castle and massacre everyone inside.

Then they presented us with a short teaser trailer for an upcoming reboot of the mid 90’s fighting game Killer Instinct.

Insomniac takes to the stage and presents their upcoming title Sunset Overdrive. A colorful cartoon-looking fast-paced parkour-shooter. This one seems interesting and original, shame that we didn’t get to see anymore of it right now.

With elegant music playing in the background and a car from McLaren on stage, one of the developers behind upcoming Xbox exclusive racing game Forza 5 talks about how nice it feels to drive in this new installment. The cars look and feel real and you’ll be able to drive cars, in real-life, only driven by a hand-full of people.

New features for the fifth game in the series now takes your stats and transforms it into a “drive-atar” (they put drive and avatar and mashed ’em up for some reason) which will populate other players games. You will no longer simply be playing with AI, but AI enhanced with stats and driving performances of other players. Your drive-atar will also win you races while you’re not playing.

Microsoft wants to let you know they haven’t forgotten about all them smaller indie-titles you love so much. Even though they have all these grand titles they also make time for smaller less-known games. Introducing the Xbox one edition of Minecraft, now with bigger worlds.

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Finish development studio remedy (known for Max Payne and Alan Wake) gives us a look at an upcoming new title, Quantum Break. In the sequence the player walks through a space where time stands still, walking past a cloud of broken glass towards a girl suspended in air.

Also a short trailer for a cell-shaded Japanese developed D4 let’s you know that Microsoft isn’t all about the western world but brings games from all over the globe to one console.

Project Spark is a game where you can make your own world. Fully Smart Glass and Kinect integrated you can make a world in minutes and jump in and play around in it within seconds. It’s a very fantasy style game, looking like Fable. In the world that you’ve built you can give different objects different traits, the player in the live demo on stage made a rock come to life and help him in his battle against some attacking goblins.

It felt a lot like Microsoft’s version of Little Big Planet. You’ll be able to create your game and adventure through it in the characters third-person view. Ending on a montage of different created games one different from the next spreading over multiple genres.

Xbox live is now enhanced with the addition of Microsoft’s tablet support Smart Glass. You will with Smart Glass be able to, while your playing one game, search for other people to play multiplayer with in another. Then when Smart Glass has found a match for you, you can jump directly from your current game and start playing multiplayer in the other. The example they showed on stage was a player playing Ryse, telling Smart Glass to set-up a versus match in Killer Instinct.

You will also be able to see yours and your friends different stats and compare how far you’ve come and what you’ve accomplished. Microsoft’s Live component also gets an upgrade in that your game will be recorded through, what they called, Xbox-DVR, making it possible for you to share your gaming achievements with your friends. They also announced that with a partnership with the game broadcasting site Twitch, can stream your gaming live.

Microsoft are also leaving their virtual currency for real money. So you don’t need to re-fill your points anymore.

Crimson Dragon is a rail shooter where you, mounted on a dragon, fly and shoot different targets and objects. The game was online shown with a trailer, which had the misfortune to get viewed without any sound at the press conference. A release date hasn’t been mentioned yet.

Latest addition to the zombie action game series Dead Rising, who’s landmark features has been packing in a lot of zombies for you to kill with your hand-made weapons. Dead Rising 3, doesn’t seem to differentiate itself too much from the previous two games in the series, with the exception of it now being set outdoors in a city. There are no more load times, you’ll be able to walk, or drive, from one point of the map to the other without any loading time interruptions, which from what I’ve heard is a huge improvement for the series. The demo for the game finished with the player using Smart Glass to call in an airstrike to help him clear a bridge of zombies. It will be available for the Xbox one only this holiday season.

The third and final part in the Witcher story-line was shown with a trailer. This is a huge game with hundred of hours of gameplay value with in a huge open-world game, or so they told us. I’ve never been a fan of the series or tried them out. What I now about them is being a PC-oriented game with advanced graphics. Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is scheduled to come out next year and will have exclusive Smart Glass and Kinect integration only with Xbox one, so in other words also available on PC and maybe Ps4.

Another none exclusive title with history as a PC-only game is Battlefield 4. Stockholm based DICE’s next game will be coming to consoles as well as PC and will have a time exclusive early access map-pack for Xbox one. The speaker also promised 60 frames per second graphics.

The demo they showed of during the Microsoft press conference wasn’t anything exciting, in my opinion (not nearly as exciting as what they showed during, spoilers, ea’s press conference). There where lots of corridor shooting and huge scripted set-pieces, which isn’t what I associate with the Battlefield series.

A trailer for the sequel to the indie mobile/tablet game Superbrothers: Swords and Sworcery was shown.

Another short trailer was shown for an untitled exclusive game from Black Tusk Studios was shown.

Yet another trailer showing of a cloaked figure wandering the desert was shown. Later it was relieved that the mysterious figure where no other than Master Chief the main character from Microsoft’s flagship, the Halo series. The game series is getting a Spielberg produced tv-series in the future though we can relax because the game series won’t stop with the 360 but will carry over to the new console. Enhanced with cloud support and 60 fps the game will get released in 2014.

Now, the thing you’ve been waiting for. Here comes the thing we wanted to hear. $499. €499. £429. This november! If you didn’t watch the press conference then just imagine a silent room filled with people. There were no applause, none. So to elaborate the new Xbox one can be purchased this coming November for $499 in American, €499 in Europe and £429 in Britain (probably 4999 kr in Sweden).

And to close the press conference Microsoft invited Respawn studios to show off their new game Titanfall. Titanfall is a multiplayer-only mecha first-person shooter. You can play either on foot or in a giant mecha-suit. They are to different play-styles being put on top of each others inside a closed arena. When your on foot your character is fast and can jump really long distances, it has a parkour feel. When you’re in a mecha though you are a huge treat to everyone on foot, but you can’t bother too much with them as there are other mechas for you to do battle with. The demo looked really great and it looks like a fun game. It’s coming spring 2014 exclusively to Xbox one.

And so the Microsoft E3 2013 press conference ended.