EA decided to change the conference hall set up by having what could only be described as a wedding reception. I’m not sure how to feel about this set up but then again that’s not what we came for, we want games and EA is a publisher so will provide. I say provide, but in all fairness EA opened with a documentary which I’ll get on to in a moment. The man EA sent out on stage to quote Jim Sterling, looked like an evil wax figure brought to life. What made this even more surreal is that it said EA was putting the gamers first, which as well as being another check on the E3 bingo card is laughable. Continue Reading
This year I was hoping Microsoft would open with a well thought out apology. They would apologies for all the issues they have had to correct, issues that were of their own doing, the latest of which was selling the Xbox One without Kinect. To my infinite sadness this did not occur. Continue Reading
With a new console generation upon us and all the major hardware companies announcing their latest ranges, many PC gamers and enthusiasts alike will be considering upgrading their system to keep on top of the hill when it comes to computer tech. Depending on your price range there are plenty of options in all component departments, so with that being said I have decided to construct a list of recommendations for those with a budget but still want a powerful system. Once that is done I shall also begin work on a list for the ‘money no object’ enthusiast who wants a system with enough computing power to launch their own space program. Continue Reading
Well that’s what you may be led to believe. Me being as cynical as I am like to think there was a more consistent reason for why Microsoft decided to change their policies on DRM in regard to the Xbox One, rather then the insentient shouts from forums and angry tweeters. Yes after what can only be described as a PR train wreck Microsoft has finally realized that people are not yet ready for an always online future, Leave us with our disc based media it gives us a sense of ownership, even if it seems somewhat outdated in this future world Microsoft envisioned for us. Continue Reading
The EA press conference can be considered a fresh start for EA. They had to do a similar job to Microsoft this year, which was to recover from a PR nightmare from earlier in the year. Yes, just because you decided to be quiet about the whole fiasco, doesn’t mean we forgot about it. Whilst I do consider EA to be somewhat evil they do have some good IP in their library and that showed this year with the announcement of some good games to look forward to in 2014. Continue Reading
With all four Press conferences from E3 being in one day, we shall look at the in order, creating a publisher sandwich so to speak starting with Microsoft, enjoying the delights of EA and Ubisoft and topping it of with Sony.
So Microsoft. In order to combat the rumors and negative PR gained after their reveal event, they had to hold nothing back, and so they began to climb the hill of progress with what we wanted to see in the first place. Games. Yes opening with the cinematic trailer styling of wannabe film producer Hideo Kojima, Metal Gear Solid 5 is coming to the Xbox One, Not exclusively as Microsoft’s Major Nelson accidentally tweeted. It does seem strange that Microsoft would open with a non exclusive title, but then again, being a Kojima game it speaks for itself in terms of a cinematic experience and showcase graphical potential. Continue Reading
I’m not surprised, at how Microsoft’s little reveal conference played out, as well as being cynical I’m also somewhat pessimistic and after Sony’s reveal my expectations were in negative figures. I’m somewhat concerned how far Microsoft intends to go down this road they have chosen.
It started off well enough, we actually got to see the new console, which was a pleasant surprise after Sony’s mystery box, but then they told us the name, a name so stupid I thought they were joking. They weren’t. The Xbox one as they have called it is apparently the ultimate gaming platform, an EA executive has even been so bold as to claim that both the new Xbox and the PS4 are a generation ahead of the PC, at this point I can’t help but laugh. So how does Microsoft showcase the supposedly amazing abilities of this next-gen power house? with live streaming features and Kinect functionality of course, oh and don’t forget Internet Explorer and Bing, because you know, most people don’t just install Chrome or Firefox rather than use that disaster of a browser combo.If you draw your mind back to E3 last year you may remember some similarities in Microsoft’s objectives during their press conference, a conference where the focus seemed more on Kinect and features then it did on games. Talk about misunderstanding your audience. Continue Reading
So EA announced Battlefield 4, well when I say announce, I mean confirmed another of the industries worst kept secrets since the unveiling of the PS4. If your not skeptical about this announcement then you should be, EA has confirmed that it is planning to release a new FPS every year and since it drove the Medal of Honor franchise of a cliff into shark infested waters during a maelstrom caused by the end of the world it leaves the Battlefield franchise with the back breaking burden of yearly releases.
So how do you announce one of the greatest multiplayer shooters? With a single player demo of course. It seems EA is determined to continue to shoe horn a single player element into a game that, historically speaking, has been multiplayer focused since its origins. Yes it looked impressive, the Frostbite 3 engine really shows what it can do in this environment, but you get the feeling that this is what this is all about, showcasing the engine. The singleplayer element is not there for your benefit, it is there to show off what D.I.C.E’s latest engine can do, with some fancy set pieces and scripted events creating a sense of awe, you get the sense that this would be better used in a film, yes it’s pretty but did anyone come here to see a rendered building collapse or did they come here to look at what would hopefully be a Battlefield game that is going back to what it does best
Battlefield 1942 and Vietnam got by fine with no single player campaign and Battlefield 2 is still considered by some to be, in terms of gameplay, better than Battlefield 3. Personally my favorite is still 2142, it has mechs and what war game wouldn’t be improved with the addition of mechs? Plus the addition of the Titan game mode which adds a whole new element to objective gameplay. Each Battlefield game had something about them that made them memorable, from the beach landings of 1942 to the sky diving off of a Titan in 2142, 100% of the development time was focused on making a pure multiplayer game and it showed. All this history seems to be disregarded by one of the people presenting the unveiling, saying “Social persistence to increase replay value… A single player game true to the Battlefield franchise.” I assume you jumped into the Battlefield series around the time of Bad Company then, either that or you are suffering from a serious case of selective amnesia.
All in all I think we may end up seeing the death of the Battlefield franchise and judging by EA’s current track record it may make it a certainty. In pursuit of the success of Call of Duty, EA has sacrificed one franchise in the form of Medal of Honor and is looking at doing the same to Battlefield just for the sake of earning more money and pleasing the investors, Battlefield is not Call of Duty, so stop trying to make it like Call of Duty, we already have one and personal I’m not too fond of it.I’m okay with the fancy graphics, just cut the singleplayer crap, get rid of the yearly release plan and focus on what a Battlefield game should be, a well crafted large scale multiplayer game.
So the Playstation 4 got announced, sort of. we got to see what the controller looks like, what first and third party games are hopefully being launched with the console and we got to learn about the architecture of the system, but most importantly we didn’t actually get to see the console. This is where I imagine the console as the Mystery box. You can have anything you want or you can trade it all in for what’s in this box.
So what do we know, well in terms of specs the console will be utilizing an 8 core x86 set up, meaning that in terms of development the games made will be optimized a lot sooner than previous iterations thanks to the fact the system uses a more PC style architecture. this is both good and bad, on the up side PC ports should be a lot better quality thanks to the similar system structure however the console may have a short life span as games will reach their full potential out of the hardware far sooner and thus will not be able to advance in terms of graphical fidelity or complexity. the system is also running 8GB of GDDR5 RAM, I don’t know why Sony has chosen to use graphics RAM to run the system but 8GB is more than enough when compared to the PS3’s lackluster 512MB.
The only piece of hardware we actually got to see was the controller, which had been leaked earlier, but otherwise it was nice to have a solid confirmation of what it looked like and the features it had. all in all it seems like a revised version of the standard controller we are used to, they have made it a bit chunkier to quell the complaints of the PS3 controller being too fragile.
We also saw a further integration with social media, if you don’t enjoy your Facebook page being updated with Farmville notifications your probably not going to be too enthused about the PS4 notifying you of your friends achievements either.
So once again it was pretty much a press conference devoted to telling the press that yes we are making something. So sit on your hands until E3 I guess, when we may, if we’re lucky get to see the console and probably a price if Sony’s feeling generous.
Just as a side note some retailers have already started taking pre orders for the PS4, despite it not having an actual price tag yet, which means retailers want to jump on the band wagon early or they have a time machine and know what will happen in the future.