It’s finally come – the end of E3 2014. By the time you read this, the companies will have already begun breaking down their booths, and hundreds of journalists will have flown back to their miserable home offices. Fret not, though, for day three of the show had plenty of highlights to choose from.
Bring On the Killers
I got started by hitting the Ubisoft booth, where there were a number of high-profile hits being shown. Of course, my first stop was Assassin’s Creed: Unity, which takes place in the French Revolution and, for the first time, introduces a four-player co-op element.
Although the demo was roughly the same as the tech demo shown at the Ubisoft press conference, there were some highlights, including a look at a majestic French hall that the team took an extraordinary amount of time (we’re talking months) to put together. On top of that, the fights were a little more stylish this time around, and the finish, a drop-off from the top of a guillotine post, made revenge all the sweeter.
From there, I got hands-on with Far Cry 4, and…what a ride. Even though the demo was short and sweet, it gave an estimated idea of what to expect from the open world. As before, you can run around and create havoc on enemy bases, but now you can use an animal to your advantage. For my demo, I hopped on board an elephant and rampaged through the front door, then watched him run wild over any guards that shot at him, while I did some damage of my own. It’s like Titanfall…but not. Regardless, outstanding demo, and a taste of what’s to come later this year.
No One Can Hear You Scream
Next up, Sega had a surprise in store with Alien: Isolation. This game isn’t like your usual Aliens affair, but instead focuses on survival horror on a grand scale.
You play Ripley’s daughter, who has to contend with vicious aliens that won’t hold back if they spot her. The game features plenty of hiding spaces to avoid getting caught, as well as an occasional weapon or two that’s best used for distractional purposes. The best thing you can do, though, is run. No, really. If an alien spots you, getting away is really in your best interest. I can’t tell you how many times I saw an alien mash its teeth into my face because I screwed up so often.
It’s a bit frustrating, but definitely a unique Alien experience that fans of the film series will utterly enjoy.
It’s In the Game
Next up was EA, and after getting some hands-on time with NHL 15 (which I’ll break down in a future preview) and checking out what’s in store for UFC next week, I stopped by the Titanfall area to pick up a deck of burn cards (yes, physical ones) and try out the new DLC modes. We’ll talk more about those as they’re available in the weeks ahead.
Following that, it was time for Dragon Age: Inquisition. Fans of the traditional style of Dragon Age games will find a welcome return to form here, as the tech team walked through a 20-something minute demo with some truly epic moments, including a fight with an enormous dragon that was one for the ages. Even though we only saw one character – the mage – it nevertheless left us wanting more, which we’ll get later this year.
Finally, Battlefield: Hardline was on deck, with a 32-player multiplayer demo available after going through a recreation of a downtown police office. The demo essentially has you chasing after money piles throughout the city, and also presents the opportunity to rob from your adversaries directly – provided you didn’t get shot first, of course. Honestly, this presents a nice new wrinkle in the Battlefield franchise, and it’ll be interesting to see how this game comes together in the months ahead. (Plus you can totally hum the theme of Bad Boys to it.)
…And the Rest
Following that, I poked around the Sony and Microsoft booths for the remainder of my time, getting in a good, heated session of multiplayer with Evolve; trying out T.J. Combo in the forthcoming second season of Killer Instinct; and seeing the new PlayStation Now service in action. LittleBigPlanet 3 also holds quite a bit of promise, especially for fans of co-op multiplayer.
That’s a wrap! This year’s E3 was certainly entertaining, and I’ll have more coverage in the weeks ahead with in-depth previews and more. See ya next year, L.A.!