E3, by far the largest gaming-related event of each year, was particularly interesting this time around. Dozens and dozens of incredibly innovative and unique games and expansion packs were unveiled, and several new gadgets as well as updates to existing gadgets were talked about. But while that’s all well and good, so many things with some sort of wow-factor were showcased that it’s often hard to determine what’s big news, and what’s just another semi-interesting announcement that will fade away into people’s memories after a few short weeks.
If you weren’t feverishly following all of the announcements at E3 2015 like many people have been, you may just be wondering “Well, what even happened that’s of interest at all?”
So, I’ve decided to compile all of E3 2015’s major, noteworthy announcements into one easily readable list, so you know just what to be excited about. Without further ado, here are the 16 biggest announcements (not in any particular order) from E3 2015.
Xbox One Backwards Compatibility
When Microsoft’s 8th-gen console offering was first shown back in 2013, people were initially disappointed, as the Xbox One seemed inferior in many different ways to Sony’s 8th-gen console, the Playstation 4. But the flaw that garnered the most complaints was the lack of backwards compatibility with Xbox 360 games.
While Nintendo’s Wii-U offered full backwards compatibility with Wii games, and in January of 2014, Sony announced their PlayStation Now service, which allows some PS3 games to be streamed to the PS4, no Xbox 360 title could work with an Xbox One unless the game developer made it a point to port it over.
Apparently, the hardware found inside the Xbox One is by no means completely incapable of playing 360 games, and a simple software update is going to do the trick, allowing almost all 360 games to work with the Xbox One. As the monstrous applause that followed this announcement confirmed, the day of Microsoft’s E3 keynote was a great day to be an Xbox One owner.
The Xbox Elite Controller
While most people in their right minds normally wouldn’t even so much as consider spending $150 on a controller, Microsoft’s new Xbox Elite controller that was shown off at E3 has many people stashing money away.
The controller reportedly comes with high levels of precision and accuracy, hair trigger locks, additional “paddles” on the back, and swappable components, which should all work together to create an infinitely better gaming experience.
The controller also has advanced customization options, including optional re-mapping of the XBYA buttons, thumbstick sensitivity curves, and trigger minimum/maximum values. That’s not even everything, and most people who were able to get their hands on the Elite at E3 said that just from holding it and fiddling around with it, it seems well worth the hefty price point if you can afford it.
An addition to the fallout series has been incredibly high on many people’s list of highly anticipated games, and at E3, those people got an exciting look at Fallout 4. There’s not really much I can say that does the epicness of seeing the trailer or footage from the game a justice, so here’s the full 3-minute trailer (rendered entirely in engine):
Need for Speed
The newest addition to EA’s Need for Speed franchise isn’t just another Need for Speed title. It takes all of the greatest aspects of previous Need for Speed games. According to the the announcer at the EA keynote, the latest Need for Speed game, titled simply “Need for Speed”, will include the customization options of Need for Speed Underground, elements of the world of Need for Speed Carbon, the narrative style of Need for Speed Most Wanted 2012, and the visuals of Need for Speed Rivals. The Need for Speed franchise is notorious for often introducing great features in one title, and not including them in the next, which many people have expressed being completely fed up over in the past couple of years. This new title is set to fix all of that and bring new life into the series, however.
Need for Speed is set to be released November 3, 2015.
Star Wars: The Old Republic, Knights of the Fallen Empire
2015 is quickly becoming known as the year Star Wars took over E3. With Star Wars movies VII-IX on the horizon, many video game studios are looking to capitalize on the Star Wars Brand, and snatch up a little bit of the billions of dollars to be made over the next 4-6 years as each new episode hits theaters. The most impressive out of all of them, however, was an expansion pack on the already released game Star Wars: The Old Republic, called Knights of the Fallen Empire.
The new expansion pack from EA answers many Old Republic players’ calls for more story rather than action. Knights of the Fallen Empire adds a new, player driven story arch, where choices influence what happens in the game. It’s a bioware style RPG in the Star Wars universe. I can think of very few things more awesome.
Undoubtedly the coolest new (new as in not being a sequel, remake or built out of an already existing franchise) game is Unravel. It’s a physics-based platformer-of-sorts, in which you have to find your way around obstacles using yarn. One very simple example would be, when you come across a gap, tying your yarn to a tree branch and swinging across.
You have to try to escape enemies such as crows and driving cars, and navigate through treacherous terrain as well. The game looks absolutely beautiful, as you can see in the gameplay below.
EA’s Other Notable Games: Plants VS Zombies: Garden Warfare 2, Fifa 16, and Mirror’s Edge Catalyst
First off, the sequel to Plants VS Zombies: Garden Warfare looks so absolutely beautiful, I didn’t recognize it as a Plants VS Zombies game at first. Rather than taking place in a suburban setting like the first installment, Garden Warfare 2 takes place in a dystopian future, where zombies have taken over. Suburbia is now “Zomburbia.”
The game, in addition to the slightly less cartoonish futuristic setting allowing for even better looking graphics, (which, while I have nothing against cartoony graphics, looks incredibly sick) has tons of new characters, weapons, and combat options that is sure to reduce to the productivity levels of lovers of the first Garden Warfare to almost zero for a few days after its release.
Next up, Fifa 16 has two main functions that makes it the most interesting Fifa in years. First off, it comes with a new “Fifa Trainer” that trains you to be better at the game, in both the defense department and scoring goals, whether you’re a beginner or a hardcore Fifa master. Secondly, for the first time ever, female teams are available to play. Generally I don’t take that much interest in Fifa games, but this one I might pick up.
Finally, Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst is the origin story of Faith, and when the announcer introducing the game calls it a “revolutionary action-adventure”, she wasn’t just using buzzwords to sell the game. It’s the first story based truly free roaming game, with a story arch, but no levels or loading screens. That alone makes it incredibly interesting.
Ubisoft’s Announcements: A New South Park Game, The Trials Fusion Awesome Level Max Expansion Pack, Just Dance 2016, and Assasin’s Creed: Syndicate
First and foremost, Trey Parker and Matt Stone are back again with a sequel to The Stick of Truth. Even though the first South Park based title arrived to positive reviews, they say that the undoubtedly hilarious sequel to the hilarious first RPG will be better because they “[actually know] how to make a video game” now.
As for the Trials Fusion Awesome Level Max expansion pack, I have no idea exactly what it is, but the teaser shown showcases a cat riding a unicorn, holding a desert eagle, with a rainbow in the background, and explosions surrounding it. I don’t think anymore information was needed to get people hyped.
Just Dance 2016 is like any other new Just Dance game, but with the notable new feature this time around of being able to have your dancing tracked using a smartphone, instead of having to spend money on say, an Xbox Kinect or a Wii Remote.
Lastly, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate takes place in the middle of the industrial revolution, meaning that this is the first “Modern” Assassin’s Creed game. Not much else was revealed, but that alone is sure to make this one of the most interesting Assasin’s Creed games yet. You can start playing the newest Assassin’s Creed game now, by signing up at assassinscreed.com.
The Final Oculus Rift
The final Oculus Rift has a higher resolution and wider field of view than the development kits, and it’s stylish and and not as bulky. It comes with an Xbox Gamepad, but controllers that can sense hand motion and gestures called “Oculus Touch” will be sold separately. According to some lucky people’s experience, however, the Gamepad works just fine.
We know that the Oculus Rift comes out in Q1 2016, with Oculus Touch likely not coming out until Q2. The prices of both are unknown as of yet, however.
So, those are all of the noteworthy things that came out of E3 this year, which was truly the best E3 in years. Hopefully you found this list helpful in making it clear exactly what the best things out of E3 2015 were. If you did, make sure to check back with iTechTriad on a regular basis, as well as follow me on Google Plus below for more editorials like these.