E3 2015: the A-Z breakdown
All the important details about all the important titles from this year's show in one handy place
E3 is finally over and we can’t quite believe it. What a week.
This year has been so busy that some of the most exciting updates could easily have passed you by.
Fortunately for you, we’ve snatched them up one by one and assembled them into one list to end all lists. So here’s the week, as it happened, from A to Z (minus a few letters here and there):
Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate (PC / PS4 / Xbox One)
We’re still not sure about the audio accompaniment for the new Assassin’s Creed Syndicate trailer but ignoring the question of musical taste there was lots for us to feast our eyes upon. Trailers galore! Check out the E3 trailer (above), the gameplay trailer, and the Evie Frye trailer. New bits of information:
- The PS4 version will receive exclusive DLC
- Release is set for 23rd October
- Featured cockney accents may be slightly less abysmal than expected (not in any way guaranteed)
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (Xbox One/PS4/PC) – Updated
With the exception of excruciatingly awful boss fights we gave Human Revolution a big thumbs up. The E3 peeks into Mankind Divided don’t lead us to believe the formula will change a great deal, but that’s okay, it wasn’t broken in the first place.
- Jensen has some neat augmentations up his sleeve including a mounted arm gun and a obsidian defence screen called the Titan Shield
- Events take place two years after Human Revolution and all is not well with augmented citizens. They’re being ghettoised, subjegated, and sometimes killed outright
- The terrific Icarus Drop ability makes a return along with Icarus Dash, allowing Jensen to cover short distances with great speed
- Jensen still wears sunglasses at night because in the future that’s all the rage
Dishonored 2 (PC / PS4 / Xbox One) – Updated
Dishonored was unarguably brilliant and we’re mighty glad that Bethesda has confirmed the development of a sequel. On Sunday night they treated us to a trailer and a few choice details:
- You’ll be able to choose between Corvo, the first game’s protagonist, and Emily Kaldwin, the first game’s damsel in distress, as the player character.
- Emily is all grown up and has some terrifying-looking powers of her own to rival that of her former bodyguard (including stretchy obsidian hands of death).
- The location has changed, Dishonored 2 takes place in the coastal city of Karnaca where evil machinations once again threaten the crown.
Fallout 4 (Xbox One/PS4/PC) – Updated
Slippery Bethesda had us all fooled by keeping Fallout 4 deep within the vaults before E3. How foolish we were; not only is it actually happening, but it’s happening this year.
On Sunday night we were treated to a show that has us chomping at the radioactive bit for the next instalment of our favourte apocalypse simulator. What we know so far:
Related › Fallout 4 preview
FIFA 2016 (PS4 / Xbox One)
Where would EA be without its behemoth of a football franchise? There was plenty to find out about the latest iteration of the digital version of the beautiful game* at EA’s press conference this year:
One of those is not true. You guessed it. Of COURSE they didn’t include women’s football. You silly things.
*Game may no longer be beautiful; blame Sepp Blatter and chums
Final Fantasy VII Remake (PS4) – Updated
Oh tears of joy, how easily you flow! Our favourite and the most iconic of the Final Fantasy games is coming back with a brand spanking new remake for latest gen consoles. We knew that the last 18 years of praying would finally bear fruit.
Rather than bringing you information, as is our job as journalist types, all we can provide are more questions.
What is meant by ‘remake’? Will the plot remain intact or will there be narrative adjustments? Will [REDACTED] still die horribly at the hands of [REDACTED]? Is Tifa still going to strut around in an unsuitably chilly vest? Is the combat staying old school or will FFVII join the FFXV mechanics revolution? Bah, we give up.
Firewatch (PS4 / PC / Mac / Linux)
We’ve had our collective eye on Firewatch for some time. Mystery and murder in the foreboding forest? Yes please.
The E3 trailer showed more of the same vivid visuals and atmosphere that piqued our interest all those months ago. New information is limited, though we can tell you that Firewatch will premiere on the PS4.
Feast yourself on the perfunctory one-minute trailer above and hope and pray that a release schedule isn’t far off.
For Honor (PS4) – Updated
New IPs are the stuff that dreams are made of and Ubisoft has kindly decided to make them come true this year with the announcement of a fresh swordfighting game, For Honor. Some information:
READ MORE › Swing your sword in Ubisoft’s new IP For Honor
Gigantic (PC / Xbox One) – Updated
MOBAs haven’t been around for all that long but we think the genre is in need of a shakeup. Gigantic aims to do exactly that, with a completely fresh take on 5 vs 5 arena combat.
Motiga showed off new gameplay footage at this year’s E3 and it’s made us more keen than ever to get our hands on the beast.
- The Gigantic closed beta will commence in August
- No lanes, no items, just 10 players and some giant monsters
- It’s being headed up by the former lead designer of StarCraft and Guild Wars
- It looks B-E-A-Uuutiful
Halo 5: Guardians (Xbox One) – Updated
Rare gave the crowds a well-received slice of Guardians from the Xbox stage, showing off the production standards for which it’s gained its stellar reputation. There’s more to talk about here than we have space for, but we think the vital points are as follows:
- Master Chief is back. Phew. But so is The Covenant. Argh
- Swanky Limited and Collector’s editions are on the way with a whole load of swag
- New game mode, "warzone", will allow 24 players to explore maps up to four times the size of those in previous instalments
- Four-player co-op campaign mode available
- It’s been built from the ground up in a new engine specifically made for the Xbox One
Heroes Of The Storm (PC) – Updated
It’s only been live for a short while but HoTS is about to take another leap forward in 2015. Blizzard took to the stage to announce an expansion for the mash-up MOBA called Eternal Conflict.
RELATED › The 30 most anticipated games of 2015
Horizon: Zero Dawn (PS4) – Updated
The makers of Killzone have launched a totally unexpected (but delightful) sneak attack with the surprise announcement of a new IP, Horizon: Zero Dawn. Its post-apocalyptic ARPG antics give off a Mad Max meets Skyrim vibe, and that’s absolutely A-OK with us.
Why not read the preview penned by our very own Tom Parsons, who managed to get behind-the-scenes demo of Horizon‘s mechanical monster-slaying.
READ MORE › Horizon: Zero Dawn preview
The Last Guardian (PS4) – Updated
We’re in shock. Many, many layers of shock. We thought that The Last Guardian had been forever lost to the videogame graveyard before it had even sampled a moment in our loving embrace.
As it turns out, TLG is live and kicking and still looking supremely beautiful. Sony took the time this year to show a gameplay trailer that had us salivating like it was 2009. Who would think that a bird-dog chimera could be so adorable?
READ MORE › Tha Last Guardian Preview
Mass Effect Andromeda (Xbox One/PS4/PC) – Updated
Of course, EA was never going to take to the stage without showing off its flagship sci-fi franchise. The fourth instalment of the Mass Effect series finally has a name: Andromeda. We’ve also managed to identify the following:
- It all takes place in a galaxy far away and definitely won’t feature Shepard and crew
- It’s being created using the internally-developed Frostbite engine
- A Mako-like vehicle will make an appearance (see trailer)
- Release is set for Christmas 2016, but we want it now
Mirror’s Edge Catalyst (Xbox/PS4/PC) – Updated
The sequel to Mirror’s Edge saw some action at the EA press conference with the a new trailer (above) and a confirmed release date. We’ve missed the freerunning antics of Faith, and no game since has captured the natural joy of gliding across rooftops quite as well. Info for you:
READ MORE › Mirror’s Edge Catalyst hands-on review
Minecraft – Updated
Mojang had its own surprise up its sleeve for the Xbox press conference this year. Two employees took to the stage to demonstrate Minecraft‘s upcoming compatibility with Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented reality technology:
Need for Speed (PC/PS4/Xbox One) – Updated
Need for Speed has been bringing console gamers velocity-related thrills since time was time, and now the franchise is getting a reboot. The next in the series is self-titled and sports a serious machismo complex. The downlow:
- Open world shenanigans ahoy: you’ll be free to explore wherever you wish in your souped-up motor
- Customisation is high on the priority list, with plenty of options to add golden hubcaps and go faster stripes and other such jiggerypokery
- Release is set for November 3 this year
- The game may, or may not, induce a need for speed
We’re so sorry Nintendo, but you’re only recieving a single entry in this list. Why? Your show was quirky but untimately lacklustre. A lack of exciting titles and zippo on the hardware front left us feeling mift.
Updates were as follows:
- Super Mario Maker is arriving in September and allows players to create their own maniacally hard levels. The editor saw a (severely dragged out) demo but the product itself looks fun.
- Yoshi’s Woolly World, a platformer cousin of Kirby’s Epic Yarn looks utterly adorable. Yoshi poops wool; enough said.
- Star Fox Zero is a reboot of the venerable space shooter franchise. Another dragged out demo took us back to the days of the N64 in all the right ways.
- Metroid Prime Federation Force is a multiplayer shooter for the 3DS that doesn’t star Samus Aran. It was unexpected and somewhat unwanted; everyone was expecting another flagship Wii U game starring the universe’s armored heroine.
- Mario Tennis Ultra Smash is, rather unsurprisingly, a tennis game starring Mario and co. Creativity wins the day once again.
Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 (PS4 / Xbox One) – Updated
The Plants vs Zombies franchise is one of those rare treasures which executes its premise with irresistible charm. Luckily for us EA has deemed the series’ first person shooter spin-off, Garden Warfare, worthy of a sequel. ARMOURED ORANGE, ATTACK! New thingymajigs include but are not limited to the following:
READ MORE › The best of EA at E3
Project Setsuna (PS4)
Square Enix packed a surprise by revealing the development of a new RPG codenamed Project Setsuna. The roleplaying veteran is even opening a new studio called Toyko RPG Factory for the sole purpose of making it happen. Things we know:
READ MORE › Square Enix announces new studio and fresh IP
Rise Of The Tomb Raider (Xbox One) – Updated
Gaspy gaspy cough splutter scream crunch. If we were narrating the life of rebooted Lara Croft that’s what it would sound like.
Rise of the Tomb Raider doesn’t sound like it’s going to give our well-to-do wanderer a break from her constant phsyical torment: there will be landslides, blizzards, nasty critters and of course, dank ol’ tombs.
- Release is set for 10th November, just in time for some Christmas raiding
- Crystal Dynamics is keen to stress that Lara can progress non-lethally in this outing if desired
- Animals are back with a vengeance: Lara’s going to be tussling with the likes of bears in-between puzzle solving
- RoTTR (an acronym we’ll definitely be using from now on) is, for the moment, an Xbox exclusive, but will likely be wending its way to PS4 and PC at some point
Shenmue 3 (PS4 / PC) – Updated
A sequel to two of the most gorgeous action adventure games on the PlayStation was announced at the Sony press conference. Developer Ys Net is crowdfunding Shenmue 3 and launched the Kickstarter campaign live onstage – a clever tactic which has clearly worked: the game smashed through it’s 2 million dollar funding target in a matter of hours.
Don’t be a ninny, get over to the Kickstarter page now and show your support.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole (PC / PS4 / Xbox One) – Updated
Yep, Ubisoft is bringing Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s satirical masterpiece back to the gaming world with a sequel to last year’s sublime The Stick of Truth.
If you’re finding the new game’s title a little cryptic, we suggest you try reading it out loud quickly.
Star Citizen (PC)
Ambition is a valuable asset, but too much ambition can see you crash and burn. And no game currently in development has the same deluxe-sized scoops of aspiration as Chris “the guy who created Wing Commander” Roberts’ spacefaring project Star Citizen.
Part space-sim, part shooter, part trading game, part anything you can think of, the scope is so broad it’s being constructed in a series of modules which add functionality bit by bit.
This year at E3 Chris Roberts attended by video link and demonstrated some of the motion capture techniques being used for in-game avatars. Not exactly what we were all hoping, but even a small glimpse into this gargantuan project is welcome.
Star Wars: The Old Republic – Knights of the Fallen Empire (PC) – Updated
We’re now fairly convinced that the CGI trailer budget for BioWare games could sustain a country the size of France.
The Old Republic recieved another dose of the five-star animation treatment at the EA press conference with a trailer for its latest expansion, Knights of the Fallen Empire. Known things:
RELATED › The best of EA at E3
Star Wars: Battlefront (PC / PS4 / Xbox One) – Updated
After months of teasing we finally got treated to the gameplay footage (see above) of Battlefront we’ve been so desperate to see, and wow, it’s completely gorgeous.
Five minutes of footage showed what seemed like a legion of players recreating the beginning of The Empire Strikes Back in a battle on the icy planet of Hoth. We managed to identify the following:
Starcraft II: Legacy Of The Void (PC)
The best things come in threes, and Starcraft II is no exception. The first two installments of this three-part RTS epic have already steamrolled the strategy game competition in addition to cementing the franchise’s position as an insanely watchable competitive sport.
The third and final piece of the puzzle, Legacy Of The Void, will feature a Protoss campaign and will round off the saga’s long-running narrative.
There are unit changes galore, our personal favourite being the disruptor, a protoss energy ball that makes bio units go splat en masse. Though be prepared for this all to change in the coming months as Blizzard chop and change units to refine the balance.
UPDATE – Blizzard has brought SC players a gem at E3: a three part prologue to Legacy of the Void, Whispers of Oblivion, will be made available to StarCraft players soon. Trailer above.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (PS4)
Uncharted 4 reared its comforting head at the end of Sony’s press conference with a gameplay video of Drake zipping through a favela in a jeep and causing wanton destruction along the way. As if the lives of the poor aren’t hard enough already…
Read more › Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End preview
Unravel – Updated
Stretching the bounds of visual innovation is a difficult task given the amount of titles on the market, but every now and then a game crops up which really catches our eye. Unravel is that game. A surprise announcement at the Sony press conference, its bloom-heavy platforming had us from hello. Known things:
- The protaginst is made of wool and his name is Yarny. He may be the cutest man-made creation in the world
- Yarny can use his wool to abseil down drops, create trampolines and hook in objects
- The game will follow Yarny’s quest to put the threads of someone’s life back together. We’re sensing an extended metaphor that may bring us to tears
The Walking Dead: Michonne (Console / PC / Mobile) – Updated
Earlier in the year Telltale teased us with news that it was developing its own IP in a TV show / game hybrid fomat.
Although the adventure game developer has failed to expand on those plans, it’s definitely given fans another piece of hot gaming property to look forward to. Introducing The Walking Dead: Michonne.
Michonne is, without a doubt, our favourite character in The Walking Dead universe. She’s got a katana, she’s got attitude, but she also possesses an emotional depth that make her loveable. Telltale will be releasing a three-part gaming miniseries featuring its titular hero in the autumn.
Telltale’s own blog explains why they chose big M for the leading role: “In many ways, Michonne herself is a reflection of the world of The Walking Dead. She is brutal and cold on the outside, but deep beneath what is broken, she remains hopeful, trying to claw her way out of the darkness that surrounds her.”
RELATED › Game Of Thrones: A Telltale Game review
Xbox Elite Controller
New hardware announcements were few and far between at this year’s E3, but Microsoft were one of the few entrants, introducing as they did the Xbox Elite Controller. The spec:
Xbox One – Updated
The Xbox press conference brought to light one of the juiciest morsels of E3 gossip so far: the Xbox One will soon feature backward compatibility with a host of Xbox 360 games. What we know:
REVIEW › Microsoft Xbox One long-term test