The anchor of Ubisoft’s E3 2015 press conference was a wild four-player co-op experience, with a team of special agents infiltrating a cartel base. That game was Ghost Recon: Wildlands, and since then we’ve not heard a lot about the game. That all changed at this year’s E3, where the game not only have major stage time during the 2106 Ubi conference, but a playable demo was available at the Ubi booth. A trio of media and I suited up and joined a member of the dev team on a secret Ghost Recon mission, and I’m very intrigued by what I played.
Absolver is not your average fighting game. The term “fighting game” normally elicits two immediate thoughts: 2D fighters like Street Fighter or 3D brawlers like Tekken. While Absolver looks like it should fit the 3D fighter mold, this is a game that acts more like Journey than it does a typical fighter. That sounds like a strange combination but it absolutely works, and my time with the game at Devolver’s E3 parking lot jamboree has planted Absolver firmly on my most anticipated list.
At E3 2015 Ubisoft debuted For Honor, a brand new action game focusing on the brutal art of swordfighting. The knights, vikings, and samurai of this war-torn world dazzled me during that show, giving me high hopes that this year’s E3 would give me even more epic sword battles to feast upon. Ubisoft happily obliged, introducing a brand new chapter in the game’s campaign mode and letting me once again take up my sword against the enemy hordes, and I left E3 2016 just as high on For Honor as I had the year before.
This year's Electronic Entertainment Expo was full of amazing visuals. It makes sense given that most games shown off this year are developed on the cutting edge of console power, pushing the systems to their limits for robust, eye-catching graphics. It takes a special kind of game to stand out from the cluttered crowd, particularly at Sony's PlayStation booth, which was brimming with some of the most talked about games this year. Whether it's the amazing architecture or incredible detail on the repeating structures, there's just something special about Manifold Garden that makes it pop.
The fighting game genre is in full renaissance mode, with Street Fighter V and Mortal Kombat X leading the charge into the newest generation of consoles. E3 2016 was a haven for the next chapters in the genre’s history with Tekken 7 and Injustice 2 featuring heavily throughout the Los Angeles Convention Center, but one particular title seemed to have been overlooked amongst the hustle and bustle of the show. The King of Fighters XIV from SNK Playmore is taking some big strides for the franchise, ditching the hand-drawn sprites of the two previous games for full 3D environments and character models and bringing 50 characters to the tournament this time around. Luckily the action translates perfectly to the new look, as my time with the show floor demo proved to be a ton of fun.
After achieving super-stardom thanks to the popular Saints Row franchise Volition has decided to introduce a brand new group of fearsome fighters. They are the Agents of Mayhem, an elite squad charged with keeping the world safe from whatever threats may emerge. This new team is less Third Street Saints and more GI Joe, although the trademark Volition attitude and humor is still very much intact. Agents of Mayhem is a step in a new direction, and so far it’s shaping up nicely.
There's something dreamy about the world under the sea. While it is a very real place, the ocean is a relative unknown to many. Unless you're a diver or a marine scientist of some sort, there's a good chance you haven't seen much of what's lurking and living beneath the waves. We don't always need to travel to another planet to experience an alien world; we have one right here on Earth that's dying to be explored. That's just part of what makes Abzu such a wondrous experience. Living under the sea --- without the restrictions of actual scuba diving --- swimming with the fish and observing all the ocean's wide expanse has to offer is coupled with a great mystery of a lost civilization only you can solve.
The Gulf Coast is home to some of the most beautiful scenery you'll ever witness. Sunsets just look a little bit more majestic in the southernmost parts of the country, and Hangar 13 has managed to capture that stunning quality quite well for its upcoming action game, Mafia III. Most times, 24-hour day/night cycles in open world games are merely perfunctory displays, with little thought to the vibrancy of nature's palette. Driving on a coastal highway or even through the bayou, it's hard not to stare in awe at the majesty Hangar 13's been able to capture for this sequel.
Nintendo’s E3 was all about The Legend of Zelda. Literally. Its booth in the Los Angeles Convention Center was transformed to look like a locale straight outta Hyrule, and the only title on display was the next game in the decades-old action/adventure series. Nintendo is putting a lot of eggs in one basket with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, making some big changes to the classic Zelda formula. I was worried that the massive open world and Link’s host of new abilities (he can cook!) would make Breath of the Wild feel less like a Zelda game, but after spending some time in the reimagined Hyrule, I’m no longer afraid of change.
Infinity Ward is pitching Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare as a clear cut story about good versus evil. As the first Call of Duty game from Infinity Ward to be developed on Activision's three-year cycle for the franchise, the developer has spent a lot of time thinking about how it can progress the narrative beyond the traditional perspectives we typically see from the franchise. In the upcoming Infinite Warfare, players will no longer be a mere tool of war, they'll be the tip of the spear.