With a series of exclusive games announced for Sony and Microsoft’s new systems, E3 saw the first shots fired in the next generation console war. Even Nintendo, which has been pretty quiet since the launch of the Wii U last year, looked ready to fight back against Sony and Microsoft with the announcement of several exciting first party titles.
With so many great games unveiled, it’s been incredibly difficult to narrow it down to just 10, but after much deliberation in the office, here are our picks:
Titanfall – Xbox One / Xbox 360 / PC
Already receiving plaudits from many quarters as the game of the show is Respawn Entertainment’s futuristic mech-warrior action FPS, Titanfall.
Whilst you could be forgiven for thinking that this is just another online multiplayer-only, competitive shooter in the same mould as the CoD and Battlefield series – you’d be wrong.
Titanfall looks set to inject new life into the tired genre by blurring the lines between solo and multiplayer games, injecting single player elements like a storyline, narrative and NPCs into the multiplayer experience.
Players can chose whether to play as a hulking Mech, or as a solo human on the ground, and the interaction between the player classes looks really impressive, and should open up some great opportunities for new tactical gameplay.
Destiny – PS4 / PS3 / Xbox One / Xbox 360As an added bonus, the voice acting was particularly good, and includes an appearance from Game of Thrones star Peter DinklageWe we’re really impressed with Destiny, a post-apocalyptic “shared-world” online shooter from Halo creators Bungie that looks to incorporate MMO elements into the FPS genre.
Visually, this was the game that showed off the potential of the new consoles, with beautiful lighting and textures that really bring the post-apocalyptic setting to life. The art style owes a lot to Halo, as does the story, which focuses on a future mankind struggling to survive against the alien threat.
The gameplay reminded us more of Borderlands, with a focus on open-world shooting and looting, and a huge number of different guns available.
As an added bonus, the voice acting was particularly good, and includes an appearance from Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage.
Super Smash Bros – Wii U / 3DS
With sharp visuals, and the largest ever selection of playable characters, including the debuts of Mega Man, the Wii Fit Trainer and the Animal Crossing Villager, we’re really excited about the 4th generation Super Smash Bros.
Set to launch some time in 2014 on both 3DS and Wii U, each version of the game looks to include exclusive stages, and features an individual visual style.
Whilst we don’t expect the latest instalment of the franchise to be particularly ground breaking, it will almost certainly provide the tried and tested mix of frenetic, addictive multi-player action that has made the series so successful.
Mario Kart 8 – Wii U
Nintendo proved once again that it is still king of fast paced multi-player fun by revealing the first playable demo of it’s eagerly anticipated racing game, Mario Kart 8.
The big new feature for this release is the inclusion of antigravity sections of the track. In these sections, the wheels on each of the karts are turned horizontally, and can stick to the sides of the course, opening up a new world of gameplay options, like vertical ‘wall of death’ style courses and upside down racing.
It looks fantastic, running at 60fps, and in addition to all your favourite Nintendo characters and weapons, the game also features expanded online play which allows for 12 player races!
Battlefield 4 – Xbox One / PS4 / PC
Scheduled for release this October, Battlefield 4 looks to push the boundaries of competitive team-based shooters. Whilst it’s more of an evolution than a revolution, it does promise fantastic visuals and tactical combat on an unrivalled scale.
One of the biggest additions to the franchise is the truly destructible environment. Whilst you’ve been able to damage buildings in previous titles, Battlefield 4 takes it to a new level. Players can now take out whole floors of buildings, and even bring whole skyscrapers to the ground if they’ve got enough firepower!
The additional capabilites of the Xbox One and PS4 means that console owners will be able to experience Battlefield in its full glory for the first time with massive 64 person battles, at a super-smooth 60fps!
Fantasia Music Evolved – Xbox One / Xbox 360
Artistic, beautiful and spellbinding, Fantasia Music Evolved gets our vote as the most innovative of this year’s E3.
Taking inspiration from Disney’s 1940 classic film Fantasia, it’s a music rhythm game that utilises the Kinect, and sees the player bringing desolate levels to life by moving in rhythm with licensed music from more than 25 artists.
Created by Harmonix Music Studios, the developer behind the Rock Band, and Dance Central Series, Fantasia reinvents the music rhythm genre, and focuses more on the creativity and art behind music rather than high scores.
Super Mario 3D World – Wii U
Although we got a sense that this was a bit of a stop-gap title before a successor to the Super Mario Galaxy series arrives in 2014, we were still impressed with Super Mario 3D World.
It features everything you’d expect from a classic Mario platformer, with a few innovations. Our favourite new feature is the Cat power up, which enables the characters to climb vertical walls, and to perform new attacks.
Taking a leaf (mushroom) out of Mario 2’s book, the four playable characters will all feature their individual quirks. Mario is the all rounder, Luigi’s extra height means he can jump higher and further, but is more prone to game ending slip-ups, Peach can levitate, and Toad is smaller and faster.
Set for release by Christmas this year, it’s sure to offer bags of competitive, family friendly fun.
InFAMOUS: Second Son – PS4
A follow on from the PS3 series, InFAMOUS: Second Son follows the story of a new main character, Delsin Rowe, as he struggles to fight against the oppressive Department of Unified Protection.
Set in Seattle, gamers can expect the same decision-making mechanics of the first games, along with super human powers and the ability to manipulate the environment around them.
With impressive visuals, and a new location, it should appeal to both fans of the series and a new audience looking for a new spin on the action-packed open world adventure genre.
The Division – PS4 / Xbox One
Set in a near-future New York, Tom Clancy’s The Division is a third person action role playing game three weeks after a deadly global pandemic which has decimated the city’s population and infrastructure.
Players are tasked with saving the remains of the city in a four person, squad based tactical shooter that takes place in an online open world. Unlike many post apocalyptic titles, the world of The Division feels like it is dying, rather than dead and decaying, with the remnants of the population and old world still there for you to see and interact with.
With level based RPG style progression that enables you to build your character’s skill-set to match your play style, The Division looks really promising, and we’re keeping a close eye on its progression ahead of an expected launch in 2014.
Mad Max – PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC
If ever there was a post-apocalyptic world overdue for a quality video game port, it was the Mad Max universe. Avalanche Studios reimagining of the franchise looks to finally change that, with an open world game that focuses heavily on car combat and third person melee.
Drawing on their experience from the Just Cause series, Mad Max looks promising, with high-paced, ultra-violent combat and loads of potential for vehicle customisation in a dusty, post-apocalyptic setting.
Only time will tell whether the game can do the excellent source material justice, and we’ve got a few worries – Avalanche have changed Max’s accent from Australian to the generic, gruff American twang, and may have moved a little too far away from the fuel-scarce world of the films.
Whilst they didn’t quite make our top 10, here are some other great titles that are worthy of a mention.
- The Elder Scrolls Online
- Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain
- Killzone: Shadow Fall
- Fifa 14
- Forza Motorsport 5
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