Yep, it’s the time of the year when the gaming world zooms in on Los Angeles as E3 gets underway. The big conferences start on Monday 4th June, but as ever some eager developers want to get their offerings out there as soon as possible, and therefore today we have had a steady flood of news from the expo floor. As with last year, I aim to do my best as an amateur games journalist to try and sum up the biggest news over the next few days. So, to kick things off, here’s the big news that has been revealed today:
- For all you Konami lovers out there, the company has already showed off what they have to offer via a pre-recorded video. You can access the full 30 minute video here to get more information on the latest PES, Castlevania, Zone Of The Enders HD and Metal Gear Revengeance amongst other things.
- The reboot of Tomb Raider now has an official release date of March 5th 2013. You may remember that Crystal Dynamic’s new take on the classic series made its debut at last year’s E3, but was delayed in order to put the finishing touches to it. I have high hopes for this one it must be said.
- There will be a new Gears Of War game revealed on Monday – a piece of artwork showed off by Game Informer shows a shadowy character bound by handcuffs and flanked by two COG guards, sparking rumours that we may be getting a prequel that deals with how Marcus Fenix ends up in jail at the start of the original Gears Of War. Apparently, Bulletstorm developers People Can Fly will be at the helm of this one rather than parent company Epic Games. Expect a full announcement in Microsoft’s conference on Monday.
- Dead Space 3 is officially happening – not that we didn’t know that with all the leaks and images floating around over the last week or so. EA are yet to confirm whether the game will feature co-operative play, but I would bet my dog on it being revealed at EA’s conference on Monday.
- Another E3, another Star Wars game. I will put this bluntly – it’s not Battlefront 3. Instead, LucasArts have announced the oddly named Star Wars 1313, which has an 18 rating and is looking to aim the universe at a more mature audience it seems. Initial details indicate that you will be playing the role of a bounty hunter, taking out scum and villainy in the subterranean parts of the galactic capital Coruscant. It’s an intriguing idea; and surely it can’t be worse than Star Wars Kinect.
- Alongside the upcoming Hitman: Absolution, it appears we will be getting another of my pet hates – a HD collection of Hitman games, featuring Silent Assasin, Contracts and Blood Money. It seems Agent 47 is having a surge in popularity once again.
- Valve may not be any closer to giving the world Half Life 3, but we had a nice surprise today as it was announced that DOTA 2 is going to be free to play when it gets released later this year. The free to play strategy has worked beautifully on the likes of Team Fortress 2, so here hoping for another success.
- God bless Travellers Tales – for years they have managed to make fine games using the Lego franchise, and now Lego: Lord Of The Rings has been officially confirmed. Combining three of the best films of recent times with the excellent gameplay of the Lego games is set to be a sure fire winner. The game will be released on all platforms this Autumn.
- Breaking news as I write this article – EA have confirmed that Criterion will be revealing the next Need For Speed game at E3, and it will be picking up on the ‘Most Wanted’ name (which was my favourite game of the series by far). Perhaps my long wait for a decent non Formula One racing game is over?
- Finally, not exactly E3 news but we finally have more details on the first piece of DLC content for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The trailer for Dawnguard shows us that the DLC will be focused around vampires, perhaps offering players the chance to turn into the winged creatures of the night depending on whether they side with the blood suckers or not. It will cost 1600 MS Points and is set for release in the summer. Check out the moody trailer via this link.
So that’s a quick update on the news; if you would like footage and more detail on the stories, it’s best to consult the big gaming websites (you know, the ones who actually have reporters in LA to comment on things by the second). To round off this article however, I’m going to throw in a quick list of the five things I am most in anticipation for at this years E3
1 – Playstation All Stars Battle Royale
I fully anticipate that this game will be one of Sony’s big titles in their 2am conference, and what I am waiting for is two things. Number one, I want classic Crash Bandicoot confirmed for the roster. Number two, I want to see more of this game in action – the Super Smash Brothers games didn’t just sell well because of a great roster of characters (which has been the main point of discussion over this game – who can Sony get the rights to to feature them in game); it’s the gameplay that attracts people to them. I am still unsure that this game can deliver the same thrill, and so it’s up to Sony to prove me wrong.
2 – Grand Theft Auto V
Rockstar have already said they don’t have plans for E3, but that doesn’t stop me hoping that something more will be revealed about this game. Even a new trailer with no gameplay would suffice, just don’t leave us in the dark please
3 – Far Cry 3
I can’t help but notice that Ubisoft are pushing the advertisement of this game very, very heavily; which is usually a sign that they are hiding something. I genuinely want to believe that this game will be able to correct the mistakes of the second game, but there’s something nagging at me. Perhaps another good demonstration will put my fears to rest.
4 – Final Fantasy Versus XIII
Seriously, it’s been six years since this game was first announced, and we have heard a minute amount of details on it since. Pre E3 hype suggests that the game may be getting re-branded as Final Fantasy XV – I’ll take anything at this point to be honest
5 – Nintendo And The Wii U
A year has passed, and I’m still not sold on the idea of the Wii U. You’ve got to think that Nintendo will have the console up and running at E3 if they hope to have it released by the end of the year, and I want proof that the tablet screen will actually work as a reliable games device. Any details on what we might be getting at launch would also be appreciated – if they somehow reveal the next Super Smash Brothers game is ready then it would be the coup of the decade.
That’s your lot for today – expect a few more articles over the next few busy days. As for me, I’m getting back aboard the hype train…