By Melissa Platero, CCNN Writer
This week, from June 10-12, the world’s top video game creators, fans, and news sites gathered for the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) at the Los Angeles Convention Center, where companies showed off their latest hits and upcoming titles.
Now that next-gen is in full swing with Sony’s Playstation 4, Microsoft’s Xbox One, and Nintendo’s Wii U, gamers were excited to see what kind of AAA and indie games were waiting around the corner.
Just like last year, Sony dominated Microsoft with its emphasis on top-notch games, new technology, and exclusive experiences, while Nintendo had a surprisingly decent lineup.
At E3 2013, Microsoft stumbled with its attempt to force gamers to purchase the unpopular motion-activated Kinect controls, gave off all kinds of mixed messages about why the Xbox One forced people to be online, and basically ended up changing their entire console strategy to copy Sony after months of gamer outrage at unfair policies. Even the much-anticipated first-person shooter, Titanfall, wasn’t enough to recover Microsoft’s bungled momentum this year, and while Sony recently announced that it had sold 7 million PS4 units, it’s all quiet on the Xbox front about their sale numbers. Nintendo’s Wii U, meanwhile, has struggled due to its total lack of major titles, and only recently started generating some buzz with Mario Kart 8’s release.
So, coming into E3 2014, it was really Sony’s to lose, but they kept the crowd roaring and knocked it out of the park again! Although Microsoft said they were going to talk about games, their major reveal of Halo 5 was just a 60-second premade clip and smaller indie titles were barely shown for longer than a few seconds.
Even with the usual suspects of Forza and Fable making an appearance, it was ironically the Master Chief Collection (which packages 4 of the older Halo games) that drew the most excitement.
Sony, on the other hand, unveiled its mega platformer LittleBigPlanet 3 and third-person shooter Uncharted 4, some incredibly imaginative smaller titles like the space exploration game No Man’s Sky, and then revealed exclusive content for Destiny, easily the most highly-anticipated cross-console game. Oh, and you can get it as part of a bundle with a sleek white PS4! Sony also dropped big news on its “play anywhere” service Playstation Now, with a release date of July 31, and then they followed that up with the unbelievably cool Playstation TV streaming box, which will cost a mere $99 and allow people to play games on it with a controller.
Nintendo’s conference was big mainly because of one title – the new Wii U Zelda game. Basically, it’ll be as vast and open world as Skyrim, and the graphics look gorgeous. Link riding on his mighty steed has never looked so good. Unfortunately, it won’t be out until 2015 at the earliest! The zany action game Bayonetta 2 also earned some hearty applause, with its angel-fighting witch warrior busting out over the top skills during the demo.
If there’s a single cross-console game that looked ridiculously awesome, it’d have to be Batman: Arkham Knight. The Batman: Arkham series has always delivered great stealth play, brutal hand-to-hand and gadget combat, as well as darkly animated worlds in which to deliver some Gotham-style justice.
Starting with Arkham Asylum, followed by Arkham City and Arkham Origins, the series has evolved with every release. Now, not only will fans get a world that’s 5 times bigger than Arkham City’s open-air prison, they’ll finally get to drive around in the Batmobile. Oh, and did I mention it can turn into a tank?!
For those lucky PS4 owners (and just because Sony wanted to really make sure it won this year’s E3), you’ll get access to exclusive Scarecrow content, as the Dark Knight faces off against the master of nightmares himself.
E3 2014 might not have been the exciting rollercoaster ride that last year’s event was, especially since the next-gen race is already in full motion and nothing terribly shocking was revealed, it was still wickedly awesome to see what this year has in store. No matter your favorite system, everyone has some fantastic titles to look forward to.
Featured image courtesy of Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) Facebook. Image of Xbox One titles courtesy of Microsoft. Image of Wii U Zelda courtesy of Nintendo. Image of Batman: Arkham Knight courtesy of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.