Well, E3 2015 has finally come to a close, and while I really enjoyed my time at the convention this year I have to admit that I’m glad it’s over. There is only so much awesome that a person can take in with only a few hours of sleep each night. If I had to describe this year’s E3 in one word it would be “hype.” There was so much hype this year surrounding so many different types of games that it’s hard not to be excited for the next 2-3 years to come. There have been years in the past where major gaming conventions haven’t lived up to expectations and showed relatively few good titles, but this year at E3 there were great games from indie developers all the way up to top-tier AAA titles. Furthermore, there was an excellent balance in terms of game variety, and it looks like there will be some really cool games coming out for both single-player and multiplayer.
While there was definitely an excellent showing for both multiplayer and MMOs, I feel that the single-player category really took the win this year. There was an excellent showing from both Bethesda and Square Enix with amazing legacy titles like Fallout 4, Deus Ex and Doom. At the Bethesda showcase, I’ve never seen a crowd get as excited as they did when Fallout 4 was announced. From what they showed of the gameplay it looks gorgeous and takes us into a part of the Fallout universe that we’ve never seen; before the nuclear strikes. Now players will get a chance to truly immerse themselves in the world that they’ve only seen in ruins. The upcoming remake of Doom will clearly feature multiplayer aspects, but the key to the series has always been a strong, single-player campaign. What they showed off in terms of gameplay looked how a Doom game should look. It’s edgy, bloody, aesthetically pleasing and features some bad-ass weaponry.
Although it appears that Fallout 4 really stole the show this year, Square Enix definitely dropped some bombs. The announcement of a Final Fantasy VII remake has spread like a virus across the Internet and I doubt there’s a single Final Fantasy fan that hasn’t heard the good news. Final Fantasy VII is a favorite for many series fans, myself included, and this is an announcement that they’ve been anxiously waiting for a long time. While Final Fantasy VII didn’t have any actual gameplay, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided did and it’s truly visceral. The series has been sort of known for getting involved with obscure social issues and Mankind Divided is giving conspiracy theorists something to talk about by pitting transhumanists against the Illuminati. The combat looks sleek as ever and there’s still the option to play the entire game without taking a single life. Obviously there are all kinds of awesome new upgrades and augments for Adam Jensen to play around with. Other great-looking single-player games included Starfox Zero, Mighty No. 9, and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.
A SOLID SHOWING FOR MMORPGS
Even though MMORPGs weren’t the biggest focus of E3 2015, there were plenty of excellent titles on display and a number of great announcements for the genre. Three of the biggest, Western MMORPGs are getting expansions in the near future and E3 provided a decent demonstration about what to expect from each. Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward was the only one actually playable at the convention and it showed off its new classes with style. The Astrologian, Dark Knight and Machinist all look like a blast to play and current players of the game should already know what to expect with the upcoming expansion. Early access to Heavensward is already underway and can be obtained by pre-ordering the game.
The biggest surprise, however, was The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire announcement, which will be a free expansion. The expansion will increase the level cap to 65, but it will also include a level 60 character, which will allow players to immediately experience the new content. Unfortunately no actual gameplay was shown, but it’s unlikely that there will be any major changes in that respect. Although Knight of the Fallen Empire was a little bit reluctant to show content, Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns gave a thorough explanation in regards to the new guild systems. You can read all about Guild Wars 2 in my interview with the development team. Additionally, Destiny’s newest expansion, The Taken King, will provide a new campaign, sub-classes and areas to explore. It has been confirmed that The Taken King will officially launch on September 15th.
SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN
There are plenty of games with excellent multiplayer that don’t quite fit into the MMO category, and there were a lot of exciting ones at E3 2015. EA’s Battlefront clearly drew the most attention to itself and managed to win, or be nominated, for multiple awards throughout the show. There was definitely a ton of hype built for the game during the EA press conference, but the game does seem to deliver on what it promised. After waiting in line for 30 minutes, and then another 30 minutes inside of the Hoth tunnel replica, I was able to get my hand on Battlefront for about 10 minutes, or one complete match. The game is gorgeous and the combat is fun, whether you’re playing the rebels or the empire. The controls are fluid and players have access to a number of skills and weapons for each class. You can even complete certain objectives in order to pilot a mighty AT-AT or X-Wing. Although I don’t believe it was the best game shown at E3 this year, I do believe that fans of the Battlefront franchise won’t be disappointed.
Other great multiplayer games included Battleborn, Supernova, and Sword Coast Legends. Battleborn truly feels like the next-generation Borderlands game, but has a much more interesting array of characters and abilities. Not only does the game feature excellent co-op play, but PvP modes are also in the works. It’s every bit as flashy and over-the-top as we’d expect from Gearbox. Supernova is an upcoming MOBA, currently in the alpha phase, that incorporates much deeper RTS elements than we’re generally used to seeing. For more information check out my interview with Producer Jason Schaefer. Finally, Sword Coast Legends incorporates a typical D&D playstyle with an incredibly in-depth dungeon master system. Not only can the Dungeon Master basically do anything they want, from quest to character construction, but they can also adapt each dungeon on the fly while narrating through voice chat in real time. Those of you who love to roleplay, or just create really sick dungeons, will definitely want to check out Sword Coast Legends.
Overall, I would have to say that E3 2015 was a huge success for everyone, regardless of what types of games you might enjoy. It seems that there are big titles coming out for just about everyone and the hands-on game demonstrations where phenomenal. Please stay tuned to MMOGames as we go through our notes and go in-depth with everything that we managed to see this year.
Related: Destiny, E3, E3 2015, Final Fantasy XIV, Guild Wars 2, MMORPG, Star Wars The Old Republic