We're just hours away from the start of E3 2014, and this year will be amongst the biggest yet, with a majority of Xbox One and PlayStation 4 games being shown off. There will also be a fair share of smaller titles, and Nintendo has plenty of surprises in mind as well.
However, when it comes right down to it, there will be eight titles that will be the ones to watch at this event. Whether it's newly announced features for them, or finally confirming a release date for them, these are bound to be talked about over the course of the week. Let's just hope they live up to the hype, eh?
Without further ado, here are the elite five…
Nintendo's next Zelda title
Don't get us wrong, we absolutely enjoy The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD, even months after its release. However, let's be frank – ever since Nintendo released that "HD Zelda" demo at E3 a few years back, we've been wondering when the real Link adventure would arrive for the platform. This week, we should see some form of announcement for it, although it's not likely to arrive at retail until sometime in 2015. No matter – we just want to know that it's coming, and if it'll be as beautiful as that demo was.
Ever since its official announcement last year during the Spike VGX Awards, the new Uncharted has been talked about quite a bit, with a definitive change in tone that could very well be Nathan Drake's biggest challenge to date. At E3, Sony should have some sort of gameplay video for the title, showcasing just what Naughty Dog can do with the new hardware. Of course, you can expect plenty of action as well – after all, that's Drake's forte, isn't it? Look for this to be a highlight at the Sony press conference, with a like 2015 release window.
Activision has a lot of money – and development time – riding on its 10-year Destiny project, and this September, it'll launch with a bang. The company will waste no time in giving the game big presence at E3, with a huge multiplayer set-up that players will line up for hours to take part in. You can also expect plenty of new gameplay footage, and deeper explanation of the single player/multiplayer integration. Expect a few surprises as well, such as a final date for when the beta will kick off. Count us in!
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Warner Bros. will have a lot going on at its booth this year, including Batman: Arkham Knight, Lego Batman 3, Dying Light and others. However, the real highlight will be the astonishing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Ever since its original unveiling last year, the game continues to look better over time, with its latest trailer, seen above, really showing what the title can do. Don't be surprised if this one ends up on a number of "best of" lists at the conclusion of the show. We're already looking forward to it.
Halo 5: Guardians
Even though it won't be arriving until fall 2015, the return of Master Chief will be a big one for Microsoft. With Halo 4 developers 343 Industries back at the helm, and the power of the Xbox One serving as the leading tech for the franchise, Halo 5: Guardians could easily be the best game in the series to date. Throw in new, definitive multiplayer features and a number of fun gameplay options – like dual-wielding, again – and you have a sequel that shouldn't be missed. Here's hoping it's playable to some capacity on the show floor.
Assassin's Creed: Unity
Seeing as how Watch Dogs is already living up to the hype, we're already glancing ahead to Ubisoft's next great project – Assassin's Creed: Unity. This next-gen marvel takes place in an all-new location, France, and revolves around a new character who has his hands full, trying to avoid the guillotine while taking on a variety of targets. While we'll miss the pirating waters of Black Flag, Unity definitely resembles a classic in the making. The secondary Creed project, Comet, should also get some noteworthy attention at Ubisoft's press conference, too.
Star Wars: Battlefront
After handing off the Battlefield franchise to Visceral Games, DICE has one major project that it'll be working on moving forward – Star Wars: Battlefront. Any number of players will tell you the vital importance of this series' return being just right, and if anyone can bring the excitement of the original games to next-gen, it's DICE. Expect plenty of new gameplay footage from the event this week, and a release date that should coincide with the release of Star Wars: Episode VII next year. The Force is strong with this one.
Kingdom Hearts III
Square Enix will have a busy time at its booth this year, between the forthcoming Final Fantasy XV, the latest project from Tomb Raider developer Crystal Dynamics, and a number of other projects. However, Kingdom Hearts III will no doubt get the most attention. Although it won't be playable on the show floor, the publisher will have tons of new footage from the game, introducing familiar and fresh characters to the franchise. It may also hint at some form of a 2015 release date, which is a long time to wait – but, hey, Disney magic doesn't happen overnight.