Did you miss E3 this year? Did you want to check out a specific conference? The Tea has got you covered!

Did you happen to catch E3?  Ya know the largest gaming press conference here the US?   Well if you did awesome!  For everyone else who may have been a tad bit overwhelmed by the sheer amount of games, announcements, and trailers don’t panic because I’m going to break each press conference down for everyone, by focusing on what I personally considered to be the most important and interesting aspects at this year’s show.  Here’s your special cup of E3 Tea!  Remember to sip slowly…

How this recap guide works:  Everything here is all presented in chronological order depending on when the press conference took place and what was announced or shown off.  If you’re looking for information on a specific conference just skip down to whatever show you’ve missed.  I unfortunately couldn’t cover everything, but structured this in a way that covers what I believe to be the most essential stories of E3.  I’ve also skipped the PC gaming show because it was 4 hours long and from what I heard painfully boring (my apologizes to the PC crowd).

I’ve also created some awards for games I think that stood out this year at E3 at the end.  Enjoy!


A very wise Julie Andrews once suggested that we should “start at the very beginning”, and I couldn’t agree more because it’s a marvelous place to start.  This year at E3 Bethesda held their first ever conference for the event, and did they make one hell of a first impression.

You may have heard of a little game back in the day of 1993 called Doom, which is often regarded as being the mother of the first person shooter (FPS) genre.  The game has a strong history amongst the gaming community, and brought many pivotal aspects to the genre such as immersive 3D environments, ability to mod a game, competitive/cooperative multiplayer, and of course the gore.  The game is also one of the six titles recently inducted into the World Videogame Hall of Fame this year, so it’s kind of a big deal.

Developer id Software was the first out at the conference to show off the newly designed reboot of the classic shooter.  Doom is all about demons from Hell invading a human space station on Mars.  Between a massive amount of obnoxiously destructive weapons at your disposal, and hordes of demons constantly coming at you, what else could you possibly want?  The game is crisp, extremely highly detailed, and like the original is extremely fast paced.

The game also showed off some of the multiplayer as well, but more importantly is what Doom is bringing to multiplayer.  The game is introducing a user creator tool called Doom Snapmap.  Snapmap will allow players to build their own custom maps and design their own game modes in a very simple and direct way.  This feature will also support cross-platform sharing, so players will be able to play all user created maps regardless of system of choice.  Doom will be released sometime of spring 2016, for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Had enough of Dishonored?  How about a sequel?  You got it!  Dishonored 2 has been announced and takes place many years after the original installment in the series.  This time around though you won’t just be playing as Corvo Attano, because little Emily Kaldwin is all grown up and not quite so little anymore.  You can play as either assassin, which will feature differences in narrative perspective and gameplay abilities.

The game remains similar in spirt with the original by allowing players to either become a bloodthirsty killer eliminating everyone in his/her path, or to play the game much more stealth oriented.  The developers also confirmed that it is possible to complete the game without killing anyone at all.

If that’s not enough though, developer Arkane Studios also announced that the original Dishonored will be re-released for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 with enhanced graphics and will come with all of the game’s DLC.  There is no official date for Dishonored 2 at this time, but the game will be released for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.

Doom and Dishonored both brought a lot to the conference, but the highly anticipated Fallout 4 completely stole the spotlight.  The Fallout series asks what a futuristic America would look like if nuclear bombs were dropped during a sci-fi variation of the 1950s.  The result is a desolate wasteland, filled with mutants, horrific monsters, and other survivors just trying to make it another day in the brutal world.  Until last month Fallout 4’s existence was unknown to the public, but has actually been secretly in development for 4 years now!  Bethesda’s game director, Todd Howard, came out to show off just what the studio has been working on all this time, and the game is nearly done!

One of the most impressive things we were able to see from the presentation was how intricately you’re able to design your character.  Players will no longer need to create their character by using a traditional sliding scale, but instead you will use a cursor to modify just exactly how your avatar will look down to the smallest detail- all character models were designed using this same tool as well.  Playing as a female also returns to the game as well.

The game begins before the bombs were dropped, and then jumps 200 years into the future.  This time the game will take place in Boston, as you emerge as the sole survivor of Vault 111.  Along your journey you will encounter a loveable German shepherd, who will act as your main companion for the game.  Your K9 companion will aid you in combat, along with being able to give him commands- like telling him to “fetch” items for you!

The game is very supply heavy by encouraging players to scavenge for anything and everything out there in Fallout 4’s world.  Everyday items like lamps, tires, and even children’s rocking horses can be dismantled to give you raw materials to make something new.  So just what can you make in the game?  Of course custom weapons are a given, but what about your own personal settlement!  You can build several garrisons around the city of Boston, where other NPCs will come and stay there.  Some will even open up shops for you.  You’ll also need to defend your fortresses from attacking raiders by building walls and placing turrets to keep you and your settlers safe.

Fallout 4 will be released for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on November 10 this year.  There will also be a collector’s edition called Fallout 4 Pip-Boy Edition, which will come with a wearable Pip-Boy that can hold many popular smartphone models.  Bethesda will also be launching a downloadable app that will allow your smartphone to operate like an actual Pip-Boy.

Finally Bethesda showed off a new iOS game called Fallout Shelter, which is about developing your own personal Fallout shelter.  You will build rooms, train your inhabitants, send them out into the wasteland to collect supplies, repopulate your vault, and even defend it from outsiders.    The game is currently out for iOS for free.

Check out the in-game Pip-Boy, Fallout Shelter, building your own settlement, weapons crafting, and gameplay below:

Other things covered by Bethesda: The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited, and Elder Scrolls Legends (a new strategy card game for iOS, tablets, and PC).


Microsoft opened up their press conference with Halo 5: Guardians.  Bonnie Ross, the studio head of 343 Industries, came out to present some gameplay from the campaign.  We were able to see a sample of the 4 player cooperative action featuring Spartan Locke and another familiar face to the series, Gunnery Sargent Edward Buck.  Both Master Chief’s and Locke’s teams will have a total of four players throughout the game, which means you and your friends won’t ever miss out on the fun.  The game will also support seamless drop in/drop out multiplayer for players to come and go as they please.

The game is also supporting a new type of multiplayer called Warzone.  Warzone is a combination of PVP and PVE, where two teams of 12 players each go at each other on the battlefield attempting to secure as many points as possible; a team wins once they achieve a 1000 points total.   But there’s a twist: there will also be computer controlled NPCs on the field attacking both teams at the same time.  So you won’t just be fending off real players, but Covenant and Promethean AI as well.  Players can also capture bases for their team in order to receive bonuses such as stronger weapons and access vehicles.  Halo 5: Guardians will be released November 27 of this year, exclusively on Xbox One.

An interesting new IP came up at Microsoft’s press event titled ReCore.  We don’t know much about the title yet, but it seems like the game is about utilizing different robots to help you on your journey through a strange land.  ReCore is being developed by Keiji Inafune and many members who made Metroid Prime, and will be exclusive for the Xbox One.  Check out the trailer for yourself:

Probably one of the biggest announcements to come out of this year’s Microsoft conference (and E3 in general) was when the head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, announced that all Xbox One consoles will begin to develop backwards compatibility for Xbox 360 games:

"Your Xbox 360 games, the games you've invested your time and money in, and the games you want to continue to replay will be playable natively on your Xbox One.  Our goal is to deliver the largest games catalogue on Xbox.  And Xbox One backwards compatibility allows us to do just that."

This means that whatever games you own will automatically be downloaded digitally to your Xbox One system when you insert a disk- note that you will have to keep the disk in the system to prove that you own it.  Digital games you own will also be able to be redownloaded as well.  We were able to see Mass Effect being played through the Xbox One’s emulation system, and it actually looks better than before.  The only downside to this feature is that every publisher must give Microsoft permission to allow their games to become playable on the new system.  Aside from that, Microsoft plans to add over 100 titles when the program goes live and will constantly add more in the future.  The feature is currently available for Xbox preview members, and will be available for everyone else in the fall.

I’m a sucker for narrative heavy games, especially when Fullbright (the company that developed Gone Home) showed off their newest game, Tacoma.  Set in outer space, you play as woman investigating an abandoned lunar space station.  But where is the crew?  What happened here?  The trailer is only about a minute long, but I assure you that you’ll be instantly intrigued.  Tacoma is set to release sometime in 2016 as a timed exclusive for Xbox One.

Beyond Eyes is a simple yet elegant game where you play as a young blind girl named Rae.  The art style is simply breathtaking in the way the game utilizes its pallet of water colors, and enchanting orchestration.  I’m very interested in seeing how the game develops.  The game will be released in spring 2015 as an Xbox One timed exclusive.

Microsoft had some impressive things to show this E3, but the developers at Crystal Dynamics certainly weren’t afraid to show off what they were up to in their latest game, Rise of the Tomb Raider.  It seems since Lara’s last trial that she has realized her potential and accepted her destiny as an adventurer.  The game feels like a very traditional Tomb Raider by having Lara survive in against insurmountable odds.  From navigating the wilderness, discovering a mystical lost city, and a facing a constant rush of action, this may be one of the most impressive Tomb Raiders I’ve ever seen.

On top of that, the game is visually mind-blowing with the amount of detail put onto every leaf, snowflake, and texture of fabric.  Lara feels so lifelike by watching the way her entire body moves especially as she leaps from tree to tree, or when she’s crouching to not be seen by her enemies.  She is voiced by Camilla Luddington, who also did motion capture for this game and the previous Tomb Raider.  It’s difficult not to empathize with what Lara is going through and Luddington completely understands her character by bringing so much humanity to her.

Rise of the Tomb Raider is a timed Xbox One exclusive, and will be released November 10, 2015.  Wait isn’t that the same day as Fallout 4?  Well…that’s awkward…I wouldn’t be completely surprised if one of those title’s release date would be adjusted just to avoid the competition with each other.

Videogame compilations seem to be a very popular these days.  From the Mass Effect Trilogy to the 2K Essentials Collection publishers will try almost anything to make sure older titles are still producing a profit, but that’s not necessarily a terrible thing for consumers either.  Microsoft announced Rare Replay, which is a collection of 30 games produced by developer Rare over the company’s 30 year history.  The collection will include such hits as Battletoads, Perfect Dark, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, Viva Piñata, Banjo-Kazooie, and many more.  The collection will also have a total 10,000 Gamerscore, so if you love achievements this might keep you very busy.  The collection will cost $30, and will be released as an Xbox One exclusive on August 4 this year.

Aren’t pirates great?  Such a shame that pirate games are so few and far between.  Fortunately, developer Rare is currently producing an original new game called Sea of Thieves.  The game is a first-person MMO, where players play as pirates.  Not much is exactly known about the game yet, but from the gameplay trailer it seems that a lot of focus will be on player interactions.  You’ll be able to have a ship of your very own, as you travel the sea with your crewmates.  Careful on the ocean though, as other rival ships may attack you…but what’s to stop you from attacking them first?  The game will be released sometime in 2016 for Xbox One and Windows 10, and will support cross-platform gameplay allowing players to enjoy the game together.

Microsoft’s Virtual Reality headset, Hololense, was shown off and what we saw was simply amazing and completely unexpected.  The Hololense is being powered by Windows 10 technology, and showcased a way to play Minecraft like never before.  Hololense could potentially forever change the way people play games like Minecraft by literally offering a new perspective of first-person gameplay.   Words wouldn’t do justice to what was shown, so you’ll have to see it for yourself to get a clearer understanding:

Microsoft also announced that they are forming a new partnership with Valve, and is ensuring that Windows 10 will be the most ideal platform for Valve’s Vive headset.  This news comes out just a week after Microsoft announced a similar partnership with Oculus VR, which will take full advantage of the company’s Oculus Rift headset.  Owners will be able to play Xbox One games on Windows 10 PCs while utilizing the Oculus Rift.  Nobody knows for certain what the future holds for such an emerging technology, but it’s clear Microsoft is very invested in the potential of virtual reality.

Finally Microsoft closed out their event by announcing the world premiere Gears of War 4.  The game is currently being developed by The Coalition (formerly Microsoft Vancouver and Black Tusk Studios) and expected to arrive the holiday season of 2016.  Not only was the game announced but Microsoft had actual gameplay to show:

Furthermore, Coalition is also developing Gears of War: Ultimate Edition for Xbox One and Windows for August 25 this year.  The game will include 5 unreleased chapters from the original game, and will also give players access to the Gears of War 4 beta.

Other things covered by Microsoft:  Fallout 4 mods (exclusive to Xbox One),Elite Wireless Controller for Xbox One, EA Access (subscription based service for EA’s games), Tom Clancy’s The Division,  Rainbow Six Siege (ships with Rainbow Six Vegas and Rainbow Six Vegas 2), Gigantic, Fable Legends, Forza Motorsport 6, Dark Souls III, Ashen, and these following indie games:Rise & Shine, Cuphead, The Mean Greens: Plastic Warfare, The Flame in the Flood, Phantasmal: City of Darkness, The Solus Project, Westerado:  Double Barreled, Sword Coast Legends, Outward: The Adventure Life Sim, Goat simulator: Mmore Goatz Edition, Game 4, Below, Ark:  Survival Evolved, Recruits, and Superhot.

Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts (EA) typically leaves a sour taste in a lot of peoples’ mouths, and honestly for some decently good reasons.  They may have been voted the worst company in America by the public two years in a row on the Consumerist’s website for 2012 and 2013, but they promise to do better.   Granted they didn’t let over 200 million gallons of oil spill into the Gulf of Mexico or kill the last black rhinoceros in the world, but they tend to not have the greatest relationship with videogame consumers either.  So for a videogame publisher to be presented with such an award seems a tad bit overdramatic in my opinion.

But once in a while they do something that will allow the fans to forgive them for their questionable business practices, especially if that little something is a new Mass Effect game.  While it’s been rumored for a while now that the next entry in the series would be announced sometime soon, they opened up their press conference by announcing Mass Effect: Andromeda.

Almost nothing is known about the title at this time, but the game will take place in an entirely new galaxy called “Andromeda”.  Players will once again be able to play as either male or female, and from the trailer we are able to see that the Mako will make a return to the series.  The game will utilize the Frostbite 3 engine, and is slated for a holiday 2016 release.  The game is coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

If traveling the galaxy and fighting aliens isn’t your thing, you may be interested in something a bit more cuddly and loveable.  Swedish developer, Coldwood Interactive, has been working on new original game called Unravel.  The game is a puzzle platformer where you play as Yarny, an anthropomorphic creature made entirely of yarn.  As you progress though the world, Yarny will slowly unravel and leave a trail of yarn wherever he goes.  Players will utilize yarn by swinging from branches, creating tightrope-walkways, and lassoing onto animals to get you where you need to go.  Think of it as a more wholehearted and colorful version of Limbo.

Lara Croft isn’t the only powerful female to grace our presence this year at E3, because Faith Connor will be returning in the long over-due Mirror’s Edge sequel, titled Mirror’s Edge Catalyst.  Developed by DICE, Catalyst will take place before the events of the original game as it explores Faith’s origins.  The game will also run on the Frostbite 3 engine, and will feature a completely open world with no levels or loading screens.

Players will be able to go wherever they want, and explore the city however they want.  The game will also remove the weapons mechanic from the series, forcing players to rely solely on Faith’s parkour abilities and hand to hand combat to deal with her enemies.  Faith is often viewed as a revolutionary who wants to save her city and the oppressed inhabitants who live there.  But does that mean one ordinary woman can make the impact necessary to help her people?  We’ll find out when the game releases on February 23, 2016 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.

EA decided to save the best for last by showing off the highly anticipated Star Wars: Battlefront.  The game is also being developed by DICE and will run using EA’s Frostbite 3 engine.  The developers were given direct access to Lucas Arts’s personal vault collection of concept art, where every character design, location, and blaster is being authentically recreated for the game.  The gameplay is intense, exciting, and feels like you were dropped directly into the movie.  You can play as either on the side of the Rebel Alliance or the Imperial Army, where you will win the game by achieving different goals.  From X-Wings and TIE Fighters, to AT-AT walkers and AT-STs, the game brings a lot to the battlefield.  Even Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader make an appearance as playable characters.  Here’s some footage of pre-alpha gameplay showing off the Hoth level:

As you can see it’s a very busy game with a lot going on.  The game will allow a total of 40 players to play together online across 12 different maps.    The game will also support both single player and offline cooperative split-screen modes as well.  Star Wars: Battlefront will be released on November 17, 2015 in North America and November 20, 2015 in the UK.  The game will be released for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Other things covered by EA: Need for Speed, Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire, NHL 16, Rory McIlroy PGA Tour, FIFA 16 (able to play women’s league for the first time), NBA Live 16, Madden NFL 16, Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2, Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, and Minions Paradise.


Ubisoft always seems like the wild card of the E3 conference.  They could either be really great or quickly very forgettable by the constant recycling of same franchises year after year.  Their saving grace though is the always loveable Aisha Tyler, who is more than willing to give us a few worthwhile laughs throughout the conference.  Tyler has hosted the event for the past several years now, and it feels appropriate because she is a gamer herself.

The first game shown off at the conference caught a lot of people by surprise, when South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone came to the stage to present their new game South Park: The Fractured But Whole.  Information on the game is very scarce at the moment, but we do know that the game will pick up directly where South Park: The Stick of Truth left off and is expected to have a very similar RPG style to its predecessor.  This time around it seems the kids have forsaken their fantasy game, in favor of playing superheroes.  You will once again play as “the new kid”, as you spend time in the town of South Park with its unique cast of characters.  There is no release date yet, but the game is currently being developed by Ubisoft San Francisco for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.

The Tom Clancy series is a very extensive franchise, with several games coming out on a pretty frequent basis.  I’m personally not a fan of the military/tactical shooter genre, however once in a while there is a game from the series based around such interesting concepts it’s hard to overlook it.  When Tom Clancy’s The Division was announced last year at E3 I was automatically drawn in.  The game poses the question, “what would happen if New York City was stricken with a deadly virus that wiped out most of the population?”  The Division answers that question, but does so in a direction I wouldn’t have initially thought of.

The Division is an online open world third person action RPG shooter (by George I think we’ve invented a new genre!), where players come together as cooperative groups to survive the dangerous NYC.  Ryan Barnard, the game director of The Division, gave us a peek at a new area of the game called “The Dark Zone”.  It is a quarantined area around Times Square, which is filled with various types of enemies and other wandering real world players.  What makes the Dark Zone so interesting are the ways people can interact with each other.

So what happens if you see other players while in the Dark Zone?  Well you either can work together as a larger group to take down stronger enemies, or you can decide to hunt each other in hope of stealing other players’ loot.  Like any typical online RPG one of the mains goals is to obtain better gear to make your character stronger.  You can choose to play it safe and try to avoid players as much as possible, or you betray each other at the last moment to try and take everything for yourself.  But be cautious, if you die while in the Dark Zone you lose whatever you’ve earned.  It’s a giant social experiment where no one can be fully trusted.

Is it better to always travel in a large group or is survival about learning to make it on your own?  Tom Clancy’s The Division will be released on March 8, 2016 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.  A beta for the game will begin early next year before the launch.

The Division isn’t the only Tom Clancy game we’re seeing this year at E3.  Last year we got one hell of an impressive gameplay demo of Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege as we watched a competitive multiplayer match between a SWAT team and hostage takers barricaded inside a house.  Siege is a multiplayer tactical team based first person shooter filled with objective missions.  This year we saw a demo showcasing a team of five players attempting to disarm a bomb, while being rushed by the terrorist team.

As you can see the game focuses heavily on planning how to complete your mission.  Players will have bulletproof protective shields, remote-controlled surveillance robots, and even sledgehammers and explosive C-4 to rip through walls.  On the opposite side, players will attempt to build a fortress secure enough to stop the invading team from accomplishing their mission.  Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege is being developed by Ubisoft Montreal, and is expected to arrive October 13 of this year for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.

It just wouldn’t be an Ubisoft press conference without a yearly installment of Assassin’s Creed.  For a little context, Ubisoft is often criticized for making sure that a new Assassin’s Creed title is released around every holiday season; last year they actually had the courage to release two at the same time (Assassin’s Creed Rogue for last gen and Assassin’s Creed Unity for current gen).  Rogue received mixed reviews, while Unity was considered to be “broken” due to the fact that the game was released with so many technical issues and bugs.

I don’t think it’s ever fair to blame developers for what restrictions publishers put on a team, especially when more development time could have made all the difference in the final product.  It must be very difficult for a team of people to dedicate years of their lives to something creative and then see it highly criticized because it has to be on store shelves for the holiday season.  I know this following video didn’t come directly out of Ubisoft’s press conference, but I think it’s relevant in understanding a developer’s perceptive before we begin to talk about the next installment in the franchise:

With that said Ubisoft Quebec is currently working on the latest installment, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate.  Set during the Industrial Revolution in London, you play as a set of twins, Jacob and Evie Frye.  Both twins were raised to be assassins and are part of a street gang known as “the Rooks”.  In a city where all the gangs are being bought and controlled by the rich and powerful, the Rooks set out to end the corruption within their city by taking back control of the gangs.

And the Evie trailer:

The team at Ubisoft Quebec must be under a lot of pressure to redeem themselves after last year’s game.  I’m rooting for them though!  Assassins Creed Syndicate is set to be released on October 23, for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

I find racing games terribly boring.  Don’t get me wrong they’re often visually stunning, but it’s a genre that often aims for a little bit too much realism and no pizzazz.  If you feel the same way then you have to check out Trackmania: Turbo.

Trackmania: Turbo is a fantastical racing experience that will have you going at 400 mph on some of the craziest track designs you’ve ever seen.  There are a total of 200 tracks in the game, but there’s also a feature that will automatically generate custom tracks on the fly.  The game is expected to be released on November 27, 2015 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Other things covered by Ubisoft:  For Honor, The Crew Wild Run, Trials Fusion: Awesome Level Max (DLC), Anno 2205, Just Dance 2016, and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands.


Sony’s press conference was one of the most exciting shows I have seen in years.  They had multiple back to back presentations that just left everyone in a state of shock and awe.  They know how to get their audiences’ attention, and started off by showing off The Last Guardian.  The game has been in a state of limbo for many years now after it was shown at E3 back in 2009 (the game itself began development back in 2007).  Since it’s been so many years without any new footage, trailers, or even screenshots, many people assumed that the game was quietly canceled; Sony Computer Entertainment never officially confirmed these rumors, and insisted it was still in development.

This is the first time we’re seeing actual live gameplay footage, and it looks wonderful.  The game’s style is very similar to the developer’s 2001 game Ico, and is a puzzle platformer adventure game.  You play as a young boy who has a giant companion named Trico, which resembles a giant dog/bird creature.  The two will need to rely on each other in order to complete a series of complex puzzles and avoid perilous traps.  There is no exact release date yet, but the trailer announces that the game will come out in 2016.  The Last Guardian is being developed by Team Ico and will be released as a PlayStation 4 exclusive.

Microsoft isn’t the only company that showed off a new IP this year about robots.  Instead of befriending them though, this one looks more like you’re hunting them in order to survive.  Horizon Zero Dawn is a third person action adventure game set in a distant post-apocalyptic future, where members of our modern day society mysteriously vanished.  Centuries later, Earth has been reclaimed by nature and humanity has reverted to a nomadic tribal culture that must learn to live with giant mechanical creatures.  Although the creatures appear to be robotic they seem to convey emotions like fear and anger, and operate within pack-like social structures.  The game is expected to be released sometime in 2016 as a PlayStation 4 exclusive.

One of the biggest games (and I mean biggest) we saw this year at E3 is a game called No Man's Sky.  The game is a first person shooter and flight simulation game, where you play as a distant traveler exploring the furthest reaches of the galaxy.  It was first announced at last year’s E3, but this year we’re getting a better sense of how the game operates.  The game appears to self-generate locations by creating new content as players approach it.  The game’s director, Sean Murray, claims that “most of these places have never been visited.  Many of them never will be”.  As you travel you’ll come across different solar systems, each with unique planets and alien lifeforms to discover.  The game is being developed by Hello Games and will be released exclusively on the PlayStation 4.

Developer Media Molecule has mesmerized us in the past with their creative projects like the LittleBigPlanet franchise, by encouraging players to design their own unique worlds and share their creations with gamers across the globe.  The company’s next game, Dreams, will once again inspire players to design their own surreal scenarios by utilizing a series of tools to create clay-like sculptures.  Once you’re done sculpting, players will begin to animate their creations.  The game’s user interface is designed to be very simple and accessible for everyone by helping make the game appealing towards a large audience.  Co-founder of Media Molecule, Alex Evans, described the how the game works: “…to bring your world to life, you just reach in and grab it.  Performance capture as puppeteering is the most natural way to animate”.  Between its abstract style and pallet of pastel colors, Dreams has the potential of being unique masterpiece.  You have to simply see it for yourself to understand what the game is trying to do:

Dreams will be a PlayStation 4 exclusive, but has no release date at this time.

There are some games that make such a profound impact on gaming culture, that from that moment of being acknowledged we begin to understand games from a more enlightened and educated perspective.  For many, one of those games is Final Fantasy VII.  The game itself is considered to be a masterpiece of storytelling and singlehandedly redefined the RPG genre.  Sony presented a “technical demo” of just the game’s opening back during their E3 2005 conference.  Many fans automatically went ballistic over the technical demo and assumed that this meant that the game was being remade entirely.  Unfortunately the demo was designed just to show off what the PlayStation 3 was graphically capable of back in 2005.

Years passed since that technical demo was unveiled, but fans were still insistent that the game should be remade someday.  This year Sony announced a “special treat” for their fans and showed this demo:

Everyone once again went ballistic.  Absolutely nothing is known about the game yet, but the game is advertised as “play it first on PlayStation 4”.  We don’t know for sure what this exactly means, but it’s most likely that the game won’t be just a Sony exclusive and will come to other platforms.  There’s nothing really much else to say, so here’s 4 hours of fans reacting to this news.  Enjoy:

Final Fantasy VII wasn’t the only big surprise to make its return to gaming, because Shenmue 3 was also announced at the Sony press conference.  Shenmue has an immense cult following from the Dreamcast era, but never received the proper continuation that fans always needed to finish the story…  until now!  The game’s original director and producer, Yu Suzuki, is back to continue where he left off with the series over a decade ago.  Suzuki announced the game’s Kickstarter, and set a goal of $2 million would be necessary to fund the game.  The Kickstarter goal was met within a day, but now Suzuki is claiming that fans would have to raise $10 million to help fund the game he would really want to make.  Since the campaign’s announcement Shenmue 3’s Kickstarter has officially become the fastest growing Kickstarter of all time.  I don’t know about you, but this sounds like emotional blackmail to get the fans to fund a project without anything more than “a promise”.  The game is expected to launch December 2017, for PC and PlayStation 4.

And finally, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End was the game that closed out Sony’s show.  Developer Naughty Dog showed a demo of Nathan Drake with his buddy, Sully, entering a crowded marketplace, only to be ambushed by a bunch of armed enemies and a very persistent truck with a Gatling gun.  The Uncharted series has always been a very fun one, with each fast paced moment being topped by the next.  The environment is totally interactive, as we see every crate, bottle, and melon explode as bullets rip through them in such realistic fashion.  Buildings are also easy to scale (even more fun to jump from), and I’ve never seen so much suspense from a single car chase.

Aside from the gameplay, the game visually looks spectacular, and sounds even more impressive with its top notch voice acting; Nolan North will once again reprise his role as Drake.  The lines are hilariously timed so well to fit whatever is happening onscreen.  There’s just something about two bickering grown men in life or death situations that comes off very comedic.  There’s also such a rich blend of cinematography and action to the game, which gives you that encouraging rush to always keep a player moving forward.  Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is scheduled to be released in 2016 exclusively for the PlayStation 4.

Other things covered by Sony:  Street fighter V, Firewatch, Destiny (The Taken King DLC), World of Final Fantasy, Hitman, Batman Arkham Knight (exclusive Scarecrow Nightmare Mission), Project Morpheus (Sony’s VR headset), Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, Until Dawn, Disney Infinity 3.0, Star Wars: Battlefront, and four new indie games by Devolver Digital: Ronin, Eitr, Mother Russia Bleeds, and Crossing Souls.


It’s true that Nintendo is a very traditional gaming company, who has made it clear countless times what they’re about and more importantly what they’re not.  They cater to a specific audience and have maintained a business model similar to a Disneyesque vibe, by focusing on their company mascots like Mario, Star Fox, Samus, and Link instead of constantly producing new franchises.  Their genius lies in how they utilize a piece of technology like the Nintendo 3DS’s Dual Screen or the Wii U’s game pad, and build a game entirely around that technology.  With that said it’s important to note that Nintendo doesn’t actually show up for E3, but gives a filmed Nintendo Digital event during the conference just so they’re not left out of the picture entirely.  Their presentation was certainly original and very “fuzzy” by deciding to introduce the heads of Nintendo as actual Jim Henson puppets (rather than their human selves), but other than that I personally feel that the content they presented was actually fairly lackluster.  Nevertheless there were a few cool things that we just have to talk about.

The first thing we were able to see was the world premiere of a new Star Fox game, titled Star Fox Zero for the Nintendo Wii U.  The game is an all new adventure, which allows players to transform their vehicle depending on the situation.  For example, the newly added “Walker” allows players to transform from the “Arwing”, giving Fox more versatility by being able to stand still or move any four directions while on the ground.  The design of the Walker was originally supposed to be in Star Fox 2, but the game was never released.  The game also will utilize both your TV screen to watch your vehicle from the third person perspective, while the Wii U gamepad gives you a first person cockpit view.  Star Fox Zero is expected to be released this December for the Wii U.

My personal pick for this Nintendo Direct event is Super Mario Maker, which is exactly what the title sounds like it is.  You will get to make and design your own personal Super Mario levels, and then share your created levels with other players online.  You’ll have a choice of developing materials from Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World,and New Super Mario Bros. U in order to make whatever you can come up with.  By using the Wii U gamepad, players will be able to design whole levels by one block at a time.  I’m sure there will be some interesting and painstakingly difficult maps in our future.  Super Mario Maker releases September 11 this year for the Wii U.

The Legend of Zelda series is one of the most iconic and celebrated games in the history of the world.  The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes takes that same classic top down Zelda gameplay you know and love, and adapts it into an all new cooperative multiplayer experience.  You play one of three “Links”, each claiming to be the true hero of the land.  To prove your worth all three of you must venture out together to save the day.  You can either play the game as a three person co-op experience, where you’ll rely on teammates to help you get through a dungeon, or as solo experience, where you’ll control one of the Links and switch to the other two when necessary.

The game also heavily focuses on a fashion theme, where what your character wears influences the kind of special power up he will receive.  For example you can wear one outfit that will allow Link to lift extremely large bombs, or you can wear one that may nullify any damage based on “luck”.  There’s also a Princess Zelda dress that just to die for!  It’s more than likely that there will be many other cool in game costumes that pay homage to the Zelda series.  The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes is planned to be released exclusively for the 3DS for fall 2015.

If that’s not enough Zelda for you then you’ll be happy to know that the Wii exclusive title Hyrule Warriors is planned to be ported for the Nintendo 3DS, under the title Hyrule Warriors Legends.  The port is being described as a “reimagining” of the original version with a few added bonuses.  The 3DS version will include all DLC released for the original game along with adding a few new characters from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.  There will also be some new levels based around Wind Waker.  The port of Hyrule Warriors Legends is being handled by the original creators, Team Ninja, and will be released early 2016.

Spinoffs are always a tricky territory with fans, but regardless, publishers keep on producing them.  Metroid Prime: Federation Force is a 4 player cooperative first-person shooter set in the Metroid universe, where you play as a Galactic Federation Marine.  There’s no Samus Aran to be found in this title, but the game does offer a 3-on-3 mode called Metroid Prime: Blast Ball.

Look I just report the news on these games, I don’t make them.  The video for the trailer on Nintendo’s YouTube page currently has over a 90% dislike rate, but I guess you can’t judge a game until it’s here.  Come on Nintendo…surprise me.  Metroid Prime: Federation Force is planned to be released sometime in 2016, exclusively for the 3DS.

Fire Emblem Fates may have been released in Japan this past week, but Nintendo showed a very colorful and beautiful trailer during their Digital Event.  The game is a Japanese RPG, which focuses on elements like strategy and micromanagement.  The game will be available in two versions, Birthright and Conquest, and will feature different storylines and battles.  In-game characters can also choose to marry other characters of the same-sex, depending on which version you play.  Fire Emblem Fates will be released some time during 2016 for the Nintendo 3DS.

Nintendo has certainly kept Mario and Luigi busy the past 30 years between the brothers’ shares of golf, go-karting, basketball, and various party games.  But it looks like they’re due to save Mushroom Kingdom yet again.  This time though, worlds will collide in Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, which will bring together the traditional Mario and paper Mario universes in one game.

The gameplay seems to offer itself in the form of various mini-games, where you will control Mario, Luigi, and Paper Mario in order to overcome your enemies.  We also got to see a cool moment where the trio constructs a giant paper Mario in order so squash a giant paper Goomba.  Yes seems adorable, but hopefully fun as well.  Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam will be released for the Nintendo 3DS sometime during 2016.

Other things covered by Nintendo:  Skylanders Superchargers, Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, Xenoblade Chronicles X, Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival, Yoshi's Woolly World, Yo-Kai Watch, Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash, and news about Nintendo’s Theme Parks.

Square Enix

Square Enix is a company that has a very fascinating history.  They initially began as Squaresoft, but the company later merged with Enix in 2003.  Before the merge, Squaresoft was highly regarded for their Japanese role-playing games (JRPGs) and created one of the most popular franchises in the history of gaming, Final Fantasy.  Enix was another gaming company, but also produced Japanese manga and anime.   Since then the company has been rebranded as Square Enix, and has experienced a series of ups and downs.  Even their signature series, Final Fantasy, hasn’t been as commercially well received in recent years.  Square Enix hasn’t personally made an appearance at E3 in several years now, although their games have.  For the most part the company keeps trying new things with their RPGs, but without straying too far from why fans love them- which keeps them admirable in my opinion.  But once in a while we see how Square can publish terrible mobile games laced with microtransactions as a way to cash in on heavily beloved franchises.

I’m personally a very big fan of Square, and as a result I had extremely high hopes for their show.  Between the announcement of Final Fantasy VII being remade at Sony’s conference and the fact they were willing to hold their own conference when no one was expecting them to, I felt like I was saving the best for last.  Instead I was forced to make my expectations become a bit more realistic.  Nothing that they showed was terrible, just a lot of things that either didn’t seem interesting enough or maybe they were holding back the goods for a later date.

Probably one of the most anticipated games this year at E3 was Kingdom Hearts 3.  The Square and Disney mashup features a collection of Final Fantasy and Disney characters across several pieces of media adapted into this awesome franchise.  This may sound like an odd combination, but the series demonstrates how an unlikely concept can produce something well written with heartfelt themes, while still catering to a younger audience.  This will be the third entry into the main series, but there have been many spinoffs since the last main installment from 2005.

As we see from the trailer the game will feature the three main heroes of the series, Sora, Donald, and Goofy.  The gameplay shows an array of cool abilities, such as new Keyblade functionalities, summons, and team-based character abilities.  We also got to see a little bit of the “Tangled” themed world, and the graphics stay true to the game’s colorful style.  The trailer indicates that there is a war waging between light and darkness, and that eventually one side must give.  Kingdom Hearts 3 is currently being developed for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One with no official release date yet.

Some games are cute.  Some games are just plain cute, and don’t really tell you a whole lot about them either.  During the Square Enix press conference we saw a new game titled World of Final Fantasy, which is catered towards a younger and more family oriented audience (the trailer was first shown the day prior during Sony’s conference).  The game is about a brother and sister who go out and befriend monsters familiar to the Final Fantasy universe and then bring those monsters into battle.  The siblings ride on top of the monsters, and can switch into “chibby” versions of themselves so the monsters ride on top of them.

The game’s director, Hiroki Chiba, claims the game’s goal is to make the franchise more accessible to audiences not familiar to the series.  Now I don’t want to directly criticize Mr. Chiba’s statement (but screw it, life’s short and he doesn’t pay my bills), but almost every Final Fantasy title is a standalone experience anyone can just start at any game in the series and enjoy it.  You don’t need to play the first nine in order to play X, you just start wherever you want.   This makes me wonder is World of Final Fantasy really designed to bridge the gap for a larger audience or a simple way of milking the franchise?  World of Final Fantasy will be released on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita in 2016.

A new Hitman game was announced, and this one is simply called Hitman.  The game will feature an open-world structure where you play as the infamous Agent 47, as you travel across the globe hunting down your targets.  It’s unlike any Hitman game we’ve seen in the past, because not only does the game focus on how you will eliminate your targets but will introduce permanent consequences to player’s decisions and actions.  For example, if you are assigned a target and either fail the mission or decide to not eliminate the target that character will go on “living”.  What that character’s presence does to the game universe is unknown, but it seems like there will be ramifications regardless.  Furthermore some targets will be time sensitive, so once they’re gone you may not get a second chance.  Seems like an interesting concept, but for a game that based around choice I hope the developers will let players turn off this feature if it doesn’t fit with their unique playstyle.  Hitman is currently being developed by IO Interactive, and will be released on December 8 this year for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam.

Star Ocean 5: Integrity and Faithlessness was officially announced a couple months ago, but we’re finally getting a closer look at the game.  The game is an action RPG, and is be developed by tri-Ace in close collaboration with Square Enix.  The game will feature as many as a party of 6 characters, who can all be taken into battle at the same time.  The developers are also aiming for a more “seamless” gaming experience by reducing the amount of transitions between gameplay and in-game cutscenes.  Even battles will automatically be engaged similarly to Kingdom Hearts, but you’ll be able to switch between characters whenever you want.  The game is slated to be released next winter in Japan for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, while North America and Europe will see it on PlayStation 4 in 2016.

If you’re looking for a more mature and gritty action RPG then Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is something you’re going to want to keep an eye on.  The game is set two years after the previous installment in the series, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and looks like it will stay in spirit with its predecessor.  You will once again play as Adam Jensen, a cybernetically enhanced human who has been assigned in dealing with augmented terrorists.  Since the last game there has been a schism between humans and augmented individuals, where the augmented are forced to live in highly surveilled ghettos.  The game’s narrative game designer, Mary Demaro, described it as a “mechanical apartheid”.

The game will utilize a new engine, called the Dawn Engine, and will still encourage players to navigate the game however they want.  You may choose to be more violent than stealthy, but these choices will influence the story and ultimately the ending you will receive.  Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is being developed by Eidos Montreal and is expected to be released for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC “early” 2016.

And finally, the President and CEO of Square Enix, Yosuke Matsuda, announced a new studio called Tokyo RPG Factory.  The company will dedicate itself to producing RPGs and is currently working on new secret IP called “Project Setsuna”.  We know absolutely nothing about the game yet, but we were given a few really beautiful concept art pieces.  Enjoy:

Whatever Project Setsuna really is we’ll see more of it soon, and is expected to be released in 2016.

Other things covered by Square Enix:  Just Cause 3, Nier, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward, Life is Strange, Kingdom Hearts Unchained Key, Dragon Quest Heroes, Final fantasy VII, Triad Wars, Final Fantasy: Portal App, and these mobile games: Hitman Go, Hitman Sniper, and Tomb Raider Go.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my E3 2015 recap.  This was a wonderful (and very time consuming) process getting to cover such an extensive show, and I’m grateful that this E3 has been much more interesting in comparison to recent years.  So here are the awards!

Biggest Surprise: Final Fantasy VII Remake

Best Use of Multiplayer:  Tom Clancy’s The Division (Honorable mention to Star Wars Battlefront)

Most Creative/Artistic: Dreams

Best use of Peripherals:  Microsoft’s Hololense

Consumer Advocacy Award:  Xbox One’s Backwards Compatibility

Best Game of E3: Fallout 4

Best Show of E3:  Sony(Bethesda deserves an extremely honorable mention though)


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