Pre-E3 Hype

E3 LogoE3 is only a couple weeks away, and we’re already seeing a few glimpses of the games we might be seeing this year. I expect Evolve to have a really great showing – they’ve been playable at a few conventions already this year, using the feedback to keep tweaking the game, which is a really good sign. Destiny will have a playable booth at E3, I’ve already talked about how excited I am for that game, so I’m really looking forward to hearing how people react to it. Arkham Knight got a new gameplay trailer last week, I wouldn’t be surprised to see that have a real big showcase booth this year.

Of course, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare will be there, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see the last Ghosts DLC news announced there either. I would also expect this year’s Halo game to be officially announced and trailered, now that Halo 5: Guardians has been confirmed for next year. No surprises there. I think we will also see some new Titanfall news, perhaps the next DLC announced. Battlefieldwise it gets a little interesting. Just today they announced Battlefield: Hardline, which looks to be cops V. robbers, and is developed by Visceral Studios, the developers of Dead Space. All the info so far points to a fall release – the choice of developer has me intrigued, Visceral is better known for single player games, so this could be a Battlefield game more in the vein of Bad Company. We’ll know more I’m sure as E3 hits. Also today a 15 minute clip of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel footage hit, which I also see having a big showing this year.

Borderlands PreSequel

In terms of “surprises” at this year’s show, I think they’re all fairly predictable. They have said that Star Wars: Battlefront 3 is in development, I fully expect a big trailer and maybe even a playable build, along with the Visceral developed single player Star Wars game. Don’t be surprised to see Mass Effect show up this year, although whether or not it’s called Mass Effect 4 remains to be seen. I also expect to see Fallout 4 finally get confirmed and trailered, along with the next Mortal Kombat, and hopefully Dishonored gets a sequel too.

All in all, I have a hunch that this year’s E3 is going to be a crazy show. Last year was the year of the console announcements, this year, we get a ton of killer games to check out and start prepping for. I could see a few games slated for 2015 making early appearances too, a la Final Fantasy XV or Kingdom Hearts 3. We just have a couple more weeks to wait – then it becomes a longer waiting game as we wait for the release dates.

Let’s Talk About Destiny (The Game)

Special Friday post this week, mainly because I was still totally in vacation mode on Monday, but it ultimately worked out, since there was some pretty big news this week. Before I get to Destiny, I thought I should touch on the news of the week, as well as the TitanfallDLC. First, the big Xbox news – Kinect-less Xbox One and a $100 price drop; part of me is kind of upset about the price drop, just because it comes so soon after the initial launch, but at the same time, there’s a part of me that is somewhat prideful of being a Day One adapter for the Xbox One still. As for the Kinect becoming optional, I kinda thought that would be inevitable, now we just have to see what benefits that will have. The other nice bit of Xbox news is that they are changing the Gold membership a little bit, making entertainment apps no longer require a paid subscription. Again, I’m not totally surprised by this move, nor the extension of the Games with Gold to the Xbox One along with Deals with Gold. It all just makes total sense for subscriber retention and helps maybe bring people on the fence on over.

Titanfall Expedition

The first Titanfall DLC dropped Thursday as well, the Expedition map pack, bringing three new maps with it, along with Title Update 3. I’ve run through the three maps, and I have to say, each map plays really well within the Titanfall playstyle. The parkour options on each map are varied, but they really feel smooth, making moving around the map really easy and fun. And playing in a Titan totally works on each map really well too, with good sight lines and options for some real good fights.

Destiny

Now then, I want to talk a little bit about Destiny, since the Devil’s Lair gameplay trailer came out before I went away. First – the day that the trailer dropped, I saw a headline from one of the gaming blogs saying that they felt that Destiny looked “boring.” Having watched the Devil’s Lair trailer about 5 times, as well as the new ViDoc about the loot process, I disagree totally. Instead, what I think is happening here is that people are still going in expecting a new Halo style experience. I think it’s very clear now that Destiny is much closer in style to Borderlands. As for the trailer, it’s a bit slow because it’s the first real chance we’ve had to see the gameplay in action, so it’s showing off the environments, just as much as the action. In terms of the action they showed, it’s presented totally without commentary, which I think is both a good and bad thing – good is that it keeps the focus on the gameplay, bad is that some of the details might get lost. For example, we have to just infer which classes are being featured at any given point – it’s not terribly difficult using the info we know about each class, but still, a little direction would have been nice. The actual gunplay and action looks very solid so far, and definitely reminds me of Borderlands which is in no way a bad thing. The other thing that struck me is the scope of the game – as the trailer begins and shows all the different areas in the game, it got me thinking that there must be a number of different zones in each different planet to explore, making me think the game is going to be massive. And combined with Bungie’s support after launch I have a hunch that Destiny will end up being a giant game. Really looking forward to July when I can play the beta, and for the September launch.