Category Archives: E3 2014

Battlefront Inspires Nostalgia, Hope, and Just a Bit of Fear

When the name Star Wars: Battlefront is mentioned, a wave of childhood dreams slowly follow. From being able to fly an X-Wing around Cloud City, to piloting an AT-AT in the Battle of Hoth, from playing as the wise Jedi Yoda, to crushing the Rebellion with Darth Vader; you were able to become one with the Star Wars universe and turn the tides of the battles that we all grew up watching on the big screen.

Both Battlefront games have left a legacy that have placed them as two of the greatest Star Wars games of all time, but could that legacy be lived up to in Battlefront 3? Not much is known about the third installment of the Battlefront series, not even a release date. The DICE design team have been hard at work taking visits to the Skywalker Ranch and to many of the filming locations that were seen in the movies. The only content that we have seen is a teaser trailer from DICE that illudes to that battle of Hoth. The dev team did make a trip to the filming location for the Battle of Endor for their research of the game. Other than these two bits of information we are unsure of what other content will be in the game.

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It is unsure when the game is planned to be released, or if it will have new content from the new movie. Both games that were released had content from nearly all of the movies in the Star Wars saga. If content from the new movie will be in the game then it is more than likely that the release will be in 2016.

Whatever the date of the release will be, it is certain that the diehard Star Wars fans, young and old, will want to purchase the game. For those fans that have played the two previous games it will be one more installment of a great trilogy of games as memorable as the original trilogy that started it all.

-Tanner Hall

E3 2014 Press Conference Review: Sony – Strong Points Dragged Out

PlayStation had some of the best announcements this year at E3, like Hello Games’ No Mans Sky, GTA 5 Next-Gen reveal, Uncharted, and the White PS4 Destiny Bundle, but numbed the excitement of these strong points by including too much filler in the show. Here’s our review!

First Party Throw-Down

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The thrill of the PlayStation shone best through the first part exclusives, from HD remasters to brand new IP’s. Insomniac Games is re-imagining the very first Ratchet and Clank to be beautifully rendered in HD on the PS4, a very unique move considering Insomniac’s current close ties with Xbox One through Sunset Overdrive. Here’s what Insomniac had to say about the Ratchet and Clank Project.

In 2015, we have the rare (actually, for us, unprecedented) opportunity to expand Ratchet’s universe simultaneously in two forms. We’ll continue our involvement with the Ratchet & Clank feature film. And we’re excited to announce that we’re also developing a game that shares the film’s vision of Ratchet’s origin story. As featured in Sony’s press conference, the game re-imagines the original Ratchet & Clank, with updated gameplay and completely new visuals built from the ground up for the PlayStation 4.

The Order: 1886 had an awesome stage demo, showing the dark and vulnerable side of the game, but was quickly dismissed as the show went on. Entwined entered in PlayStation’s strong indie presence with another on-stage demo, but did not capture the excitement PlayStation needed to bridge the briefing. Bloodborne, a very dark and inclusive RPG exclusively to PS4 also fell short of the expected limelight, but Bloodborne is very early in progress, so I expect it to have a much larger stage presence at next year’s presser. LittleBigPlanet is getting its third installment, introducing brand new “sack” characters like Toggle, Swoop, and OddSock.

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Wrapping up first party, the Infamous universe continues to grow with a brand new digital title, Infamous: First Light. First Light follows the story of Abigail “Fetch” Walker, a fan favorite character introduced in Second Son. Nearing the final moments of the conference, Sony unveiled one last 1st Party Exclusive that fans have been absolutely waiting for, check out the teaser below to see for yourself!

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One of the bigger moments of the conference was the unveiling of the Destiny PS4 bundle, that comes with retail’s first ever White PS4.

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Destiny (easily E3 2014’s most hyped game) also had a huge presence at the Sony conference, with a rather extensive trailer showing off some new details about Bungie’s new FPS. Check it out below.

The HD remastering trend was industry wide this year, and PS4 has some of their own exclusives to contribute, like the aforementioned Ratchet and Clank, and The Last of Us: Remastered. Sony also had the privilege of dropping the bombshell everyone has been waiting for, the announcement of GTA V for current-gen consoles! GTA V looks amazing on PS4 and Xbox One, here’s a comparison image to show you  just how good it looks on PS4, compared to PS3.

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Last but not Least

Sony didn’t miss the chance to champion their close relationships with indie developers either – Broforce, Not a Hero and Titan Souls all got their debut at the show, but the Hello Games’ exploratory sci-fi game stole the show, and almost the entire expo.

Hello Games’ No Mans Sky is a “science-fiction game set in an infinite procedurally generated universe”. Here’s what Hello Games’ has to say about their upcoming game.

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Whether a distant mountain or a planet hanging low on the horizon, you can go there. You can fly seamlessly from the surface of a planet to another, and every star in the sky is a sun that you can visit.

Where you’ll go and how fast you’ll make your way through this universe is up to you. It’s yours for the taking.

Explore uncharted solar systems and catalogue unique new forms of life. Every planet’s landscape is different from the next, and populated by species never before encountered. Find ancient artifacts that could reveal the secrets behind the universe.

Choose whether to share your discoveries with other players. They’re exploring the same vast universe in parallel; perhaps you’ll make your mark on their worlds as well as your own. Every solar system, planet, ocean and cave is filled with danger, and you are vulnerable.

Your ship and suit are fragile, and every encounter can test your skills to the limit. From dog-fighting in space to firstperson combat on a planet’s surface, you will face foes ready to overwhelm you. And one mistake could see you lose everything. In No Man’s Sky, every victory and every defeat has lasting consequences. Whether you want to explore and see things never before discovered, or directly set course for the centre of the galaxy, how you play No Man’s Sky is up to you. But you cannot take your voyage lightly. You’ll need to prepare. Collect precious resources on the surfaces of planets and trade them for the ships, suits and equipment that will take you to your destiny in the stars.

So far, I’ve explained everything that Sony did right in their media briefing. Based on the above content, they had a chance to blow away the crowd, and ultimately “win” E3 2014. But they didn’t capitalize on all of this amazing content – they dragged out the conference to a whopping 105 minutes, including unnecessary filler and/or poorly expressed content. For example, PlayStation Now is an innovative service to bring some of “yesterday’s” best games to the players of today, but instead of building on that excitement, they shot down the thrill with an extended and almost unnecessary speech. PlayStation TV and the upcoming show, Powers, unfortunately suffered the same treatment.

Ultimately, Sony missed their chance. Crowd winners like GTA V for PS4, Uncharted, the White PS4, and No Man’s Sky were some of the best announcements across the industry this year, but Sony injected far too much filler, and lost the thrill somewhere in the mix.

Score: 7/10

– Caleb Stiles

E3 2014 Press Conference Review: Ubisoft – Started Big, Went Bigger

Ubisoft came into E3 2014 swinging, and finished even stronger. Starting off with the villain debut of Pagan Min in Far Cry 4, Ubisoft continued to roll out amazing presentations and surprises all conference long, and wrapped things up with the epic announcement of Rainbow Six: Siege. Here’s the review!

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Ubisoft entered the media briefing with a cinematic from Ubisoft Montreal’s upcoming Far Cry 4, and introduced viewers to Pagan Min, the main protagonist. Starting off strong with Far Cry was a solid move by Ubisoft, but it pressured them to continue to amaze for the rest of the presser. Up next was Just Dance 2015, and the introduction of Just Dance Now, a smart phone app that allows players to connect and dance anywhere a game is running. Holding phone in hand (to sense motion), players will be able to join the fun almost anywhere, and up to 20,000 players can compete at once! For example, if a concert were to iterate Just Dance into their show, the entire stadium could participate, dance and compete to win! Ubisoft then moved on to Tom Clancy’s The Division, where NYC has become a hostile place in mid-crisis where tragedy is invisible to a turned eye. NYC was transformed through the pandemic that hit the towering city in a stunning cinematic trailer. Ivory Tower then continued the climax of the show with a “Coast to Coast” trailer of The Crew, Ubisoft’s upcoming open-world racer. In this cinematic, Ubisoft and Ivory Tower show off the true power of next-gen by driving across the entire nation, from Miami to Los Angeles, without loading the game a single time! The Crew promises to be the most expansive and shared driving experience the industry has ever seen! Check out both trailers below.

Assassin’s Creed Unity followed The Crew, with a great cinematic trailer and extensive gameplay demo. Assassin’s Creed Unity takes place at the dawn of the 18th century, where Paris is at its darkest moments and revolution is whispering through the air. Unity focused its impressions on “groundbreaking” 4-player co-op, a debut feature for the series.

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Coming to a close, Ubisoft showed off their Kinect support once more with Shape Up, a fitness game that features 90-second challenges that turns the drag of working out, into a fun-arcade style experience. The stage demo was actually very entertaining, and got me excited to play the game at the Expo. Ubisoft then quickly moved through Valiant Hearts: The Great War, a “unique” puzzle platformer following the emotion World War 1 based tale of 4 characters and their canine companion, as their story is told. Valiant Hearts is being developed using UbiArt Framework, the engine that made games like Rayman Legends and Child of Light possible.

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Ubisoft saved their lost slot for a reveal gameplay trailer that nobody saw coming. Rainbow Six makes its comeback with Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege. Siege holds true to the series with extreme realism, but introduces destructible environments and a much heavier multiplayer focus. The gameplay debut on stage featured a hostage rescue scenario that absolutely blew the audience away. Check it out below!

Ubisoft came into E3 2014 media briefing with guns blazing and held the pressure for the entire 60 minutes. Host, Aisha Tyler, pulled the whole presser together with charisma, wit and a healthy dose of vulgarity that seemed appropriately fitting. We’ve got the entire conference below, so watch it for yourself, and enjoy! Hit that follow button if and only if you have enjoyed this article, and head to the top of the page to check out our other networks!

Score: 8/10

– Caleb Stiles

Win E3 2014 Exclusive Trapped Villain “Riot Shield Shredder”

Update: The contest has officially come to a close, and a winner has been selected and will be contacted shortly. Thank you all very much for participating and keep your eye out for our next giveaway! – Caleb Stiles

Last week Dope Since the 90’s had the absolute privilege of attending E3 2014, and we want to share some of the exclusivity with our best fans, by giving away some E3 2014 Exclusive Merchandise! If you are a Skylanders fan, then you are already aware of Activision’s standing tradition of bringing an exclusive Skylanders variant to the Electronic Entertainment Expo, and that tradition continues with Riot Shield Shredder, a variant villain trapped in a Life Trap (pictured below). Skylanders Trap Team debuts this October 5th, introducing a brand new gameplay mechanic, giving players the power to trap defeated villains with a physical trap, and then play as those villains to defeat and trap Kaos! Riot Shield Shredder is a variant of Shredder, sporting a new suit of armor and a “blazing red weapon”.

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E3 2014 Exclusive Trapped Villain, Riot Shield Shredder

*To enter this giveaway contest, all you have to do is head down to the comments section, and tell us who your favorite Skylanders Trap Team villain is, and why. For example, my favorite villain is Painyatta, because he is the goofiest character in the Skylanders series to date!

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Painyatta

Don’t forget to head to the top of the page and subscribe to stay up to date on our contests (bottom of page if on mobile device), and follow us on Twitter for updates! So head down to the comments, leave your entries, and good luck to all contestants!

– Caleb Stiles

*Contest runs from Sunday, June 15th, to Sunday June 29th, 2014 – must be a U.S. resident to participate!

E3 2014 Press Conference Review: EA – Missed Potential

EA has some incredible games coming just around the corner, and even better titles still early in concept.  As EA took the stage for their E3 2014 Press Conference, we didn’t know what to expect, but our fingers were crossed for more info on titles like Star Wars: Battlefront, Mass Effect, and Mirror’s Edge. EA took an interesting approach this year, and focused almost half of their conference on games that were early in concept or prototype, a direction they don’t typically pursue. Here’s our review!

Star Wars Battlefront Early Concept
Star Wars Battlefront Early Concept

EA started off  strong with Star Wars Battlefront, and even went as far as to show off early in-engine footage of the game (pictured above). Battlefront is primarily being developed by EA’s DICE Stockholm, a group of enthusiastic developers that all grew up with a burning passion for the Star Wars Universe.  the DICE Stockholm team traveled to the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum to show their enthusiasm and commitment of “staying as true to the films as possible”. While Battlefront is still very early in development, it was very nice to see some follow up detail from last year’s teaser, and welcoming evidence that they are taking this hyped title forward with the necessary steps. EA’s press conference then continued to one of the game industry’s best storytellers, BioWare. The BioWare team kicked things off with a great musical introduction of Dragon Age: Inquisition, then moved on to a very short concept preview of Mass Effect and a completely new IP.

Mass Effect at E3 2014 (EA)
Mass Effect at E3 2014 (EA)

EA then had a very slow middle portion of their conference running through games like Sims 4, UFC, and NHL 15. UFC was introduced with the iconic Bruce Lee “Be Like Water” speech to much applause, but Sims 4 and NHL 15 failed to gain as much excitement from the fans in the conference. Continuing their long line of concept/prototype announcements, EA’s Criterion Games then introduced a brand new extreme vehicle racer IP, featuring vehicles and extreme sports ranging from ATVs to squirrel suits and helicopters!

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Criterion Games’ Extreme Vehicle Racer IP

After Criterion’s IP announcement, EA then flew through PGA Tour, Madden 15, and their new two-lane MOBA, Dawngate.  With only three titles left to show, EA finally attempted to pick up the pace with the much hyped Mirror’s Edge sequel, but failed to deliver by only showing off some more prototype “early-engine” gameplay. EA then touched on FIFA 15, promising a much more intelligent AI presence, promoting a “living  and breathing pitch”. The stadiums are also getting a major overhaul, ushering in FIFA 15’s tagline, “Feel the Game”.

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FIFA 15 – Feel the Game

EA and Visceral Games pulled their final trick out of their hats, Battlefield Hardline. I thought I would never be pulled back into Battlefield after all of the BF4 server issues during the console launch of last year, but Visceral has blown me away with Hardline, along with everybody else. Starting off with the blood-pumping “Into the Jungle” trailer, executive producer Steve Papoutsis then introduced us to a gameplay demo, introducing Hardline’s “cops and robbers” 32 player Heist mode. Hardline successfully does everything that Battlefield traditionally does wrong. Expanded spaces and 64 player matches put their toll on the servers in BF4, but Hardline meets a happy medium with smaller maps and 32 player focused matches. 64 player matches may still be in Hardline, but the primary Heist Mode focuses the multiplayer on smaller more controlled matches, a welcoming change to the Battlefield series. Visceral games promises to completely change the impact the campaign has on Battlefield as well, with a much more immersive  and convincing campaign, that feels much more like a “crime-scene drama” than a traditional shooter campaign. Check out the official trailer below!

EA had the absolute potential to blow gamers away this year with game-changing titles like Battlefront, Mass Effect, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Mirror’s Edge and Battlefield Hardline, but unfortunately missed their chance. The excitement for these titles just wasn’t present on or off the stage, with the exception of Star Wars: Battlefront and Battlefield Hardline. A great introduction and conclusion fueled EA’s conference with the right potential, but a weak and rushed “filler” between these highlight lost the excitement of the press conference, and those on stage even seemed to represent the lack of thrill. With tons of great games in concept or prototype stages, EA has exactly what they need to blow fans away year after year, as long as they learn to capitalize on that content in the future.

Check out the entire conference below for yourself, and leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments below. Stay tuned for our other E3 2014 Press Conference Reviews!

Score: 6/10

– Caleb Stiles

Star Fox for Wii U Confirmed Through Shigeru Miyamoto

Just two hours before the E3 2014 Nintendo Direct, Time has released an interview with Shigeru Miyamoto early, confirming Star Fox for Wii U. It’s great to see one of Nintendo’s stronger titles head to the Wii U, and there will be new features, including a helicopter that is cooperatively controlled. Here’s the interview.

We originally began working with Star Fox back on Wii, and we had a small group of people experimenting with it for many years, maybe about six years, but we didn’t find an idea that really brought that together for the Wii. So instead we moved experimentation to the Wii U using some of the same assets. It’s been maybe 6 to 10 months that we’ve been experimenting with it.

…When we were developing a game, I wind up playing it for many hundreds of hours, and so because of that, I tend to get a little further away from the experience people have when they’re playing it for the first time. But that’s something we always pay attention to when we’re developing the game, and in this case I think Star Fox will be a game you spend a little bit of time getting used to the controls, but that once you do, then you’ll understand what’s fun about that experience.

I don’t think it’ll take a lot of play time for people to get used to it. For most people, it’ll take maybe 30 minutes to an hour. So from that standpoint it’s not a game that’s particularly well-suited to displaying at a show like this, where you only have a short amount of time to play, so that’s why we held the event yesterday, to get everyone in to play for a longer period of time than they might normally.

And then I also think that for a lot of people, they don’t have experience playing this sort of dual-screen gameplay, where you’re aiming with motion control and playing across two screens at once, so that also is maybe taking people a bit longer to get used to. But I look at video games as something that people who play them… One of the thing they enjoy is learning the controls, learning to master the game. And once they do, that sort of opens it up for them, they’re thinking about, “Oh, what’s this play style?” And then as they get deeper and deeper into the game and get better at it, they feel that sense of accomplishment having mastered it.

And then once you get used to the play style… I didn’t go into this detail the other night because it starts to get a little bit complicated, but once you get it, you’ll also be able to press a button to switch the view from one screen to the other. So you could play with the cockpit view on the TV and the fighter view down on the GamePad screen if you feel like that’s a better way to play.

…With Star Fox, one thing we’re doing is to make the game feel like you’re piloting your own aircraft. And so in that sense, probably initially one of the best ways to play is to have it up in front of you, in your line of sight from the TV. But also as I’ve been playing Star Fox more and more, what I’ve noticed is that it gets easier to play the game looking at the TV with the GamePad down. So as you get better, you’re gradually able to depart from holding it up.

…With the helicopter, we’ve been thinking of the two-screen gameplay, and so that was one of the early ideas. One of the things we’re considering at this point is making the helicopter so you could have two pilots, two people playing together, and what that’ll allow is you could have one player piloting the helicopter, and another player who’s using another controller to control the robot.

In the case of the Arwing spaceship, if you have two pilots, they’re most likely going to be sitting front-to-back, and you’ll have one piloting, the other able to look around. When you have someone piloting but someone else who can look around, what’s most beneficial to the person who’s looking around is the ability to look down below. In designing the Arwing we couldn’t quite think of a good way to have to redesign it so you’d have one player who could look down below. Thus we decided to create the helicopter.

…One thing I’m thinking is that with this Star Fox we may take a different approach, so that rather than one big title we have multiple releases that are connected through different missions. If I was to describe the Star Fox series up until now as being sort of a movie series, I guess I’d describe this new approach as something that’s more like a TV series for Star Fox.

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Hopefully we will hear a little more during the E3 Nintendo Direct, happening in just a few minutes. Head over to our E3 2014 page to get live updates!

– Caleb Stiles