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E3: Year of the Yarn

E3 has come and gone again. It’s like Christmas in June for “nyrds” around the world. The annual glimpse of the next Call of Duty installment. What new features can Madden continue to bring to the table. Throughout the day I listened/watched the Live Steam on Youtube. The main pressers were Xbox, EA, Ubisoft and Playstation. Nintendo had a brief moment in the spotlight during the afternoon but not much was revealed. The main focus of these gaming innovators appears to be gearing towards Virtual Reality. It’s difficult to tell how close they are to actually putting out games and hardware but it just seems like the next natural step until Skynet is born.

The highlights from the Xbox presentation were focused on their mainstay, Halo 5. Though I’ve never played the Halo series, it graphics and history are undeniable. It looks amazing and what will continue to drive Xbox sales. Though not a huge fan of racing games, Forza 6 looked incredible. Gears of War 4 was announced, but again a series I have not played. But the big announcement that appeared to be met with great enthusiasm was backward compatibility. The ability to play games bought on previous platforms is a huge mark up for Microsoft, perhaps Sony will take note.

EA took the stage next. NHL 16 trailer was amazing as always and perhaps their most impressive simulation annually. Though Madden is where their money is at, NHL always seemed to be their passion project. Not much was revealed except the reintroduction of the EASHL and with it, hopefully the ability to play with your friends online. NBA Live 16’s big splash was the ability to scan a picture of your face with your mobile device and then render that on a player in the game. Though Madden and FIFA were talked about, the main buzz was saved for last: Star Wars Battlefront. A game a long time in the making, teased for quite some time now. Conspiracy theorist in me thinks they delayed this game to release alongside Star Wars VII: Force Awakens. In any case, the game play and graphics did not disappoint. It was easily the highlight of the presser, if not the day.

Ubisoft started with a good laugh from the South Park boys as they introduced their new game: The Fractured But Whole. They still haven’t lost their edge. If you want to watch the creepiest presentation of the day, look no further than the For Honor presentation. The game itself doesn’t look bad, but Jason Vandenberghe was scary. Tom Clancy’s The Division has been in the works for some time now, not sure when this will see the light of day. For the fans of the Rainbow 6 series, Siege was announced and with it the most excitement for the Ubi presser.

The night ended with Playstation. They are moving into the VR arena with Morpheus. They are taking the red pill and going all in with it. We’ll see if it ends up like PS Move. A big announcement was the expansion of PS Vue. The teaser being an A La Carte TV service which allows consumers the ability to pay for only the channels they really want. It appears they may be moving in that direction, but subscription packages were still described so pay per channel isn’t here quite yet. The Last Guardian trailer was interesting. The graphics were incredible, but what the game truly was in all honestly was difficult to understand. Think Never Ending Story but on a next gen console. A new Hitman installment was shown. I wasn’t a fan of the game play on previous installment but the cut scenes and trailers for the games were always high quality. Dreams from Media Molecule looks like it could be amazing or a bad acid trip. The throwback game of the day goes to Street Fighter V, pure nostalgia (runner up goes to Transformers: Devastation – think 80’s cartoon with next gen graphics). Star Wars is being given the Disney Infinity treatment. Lastly, game play of Uncharted 4. The glitch wasn’t something Sony probably wanted for their grand finale, but aside from that, they ended on it on a “THAT WAS BAD ASS” moment.

The most odd trend of the days events was the focus on thread games. Nintendo introduced Yarnball Yoshiand a developer revealed a game called Unravel that’s title character is a doll made of thread. Only to be topped by a game in which a gun toting cat was riding a fire breathing unicorn. Go ahead and read that twice and then watch for yourself: Gun Cat, Fire Unicorn. An exciting day of what’s to come in the world of video games. As Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar would say, “GAME ON!”

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