Declaration of War at E3 2013: On-Location Impressions

Written by Thomas Coupland

People fly to Los Angeles every year to participate in E3, the largest gaming show in the world. Some people fly in to demonstrate their new games or technology. Other people come to take notes and write articles on the convention. But everyone there has one thing in common: excitement.

Companies from all over the world fly in to demonstrate the coming year’s software and hardware. Companies like Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo tend to be the steal the show with their consoles. In that regard, this year was no exception to that rule, as everyone was focusing on Microsoft and Sony.

With the announcement of the Microsoft Xbox One and the Sony Playstation 4, everybody was eager to see what the consoles were capable of, and nobody was disappointed. While Microsoft had revealed the looks of the new Xbox One a few weeks ago, Sony had kept images of their PS4 undercover until the conference. When it was revealed, the audience erupted with applause.

The conference was kicked off with Microsoft's press conference, revealing the lineup of new games that will be released with the Xbox One or shortly thereafter. Some of the most popular games announced included Forza 5, a driving simulator with cloud based artificial intelligence, Titanfall, a first-person shooter that also allows the player to control military robots, and of course, a teaser for a new Halo game. The console price was also announced at $499 MSRP making it the most expensive console of the newest generation.

The action then moved over to another theatre for the EA presentation. They started off with their new Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare game, a third person shooter in which you play as a flower of your choosing to stop the incoming zombies from reaching the house you are guarding. Following that, they showed a little more detail on Titanfall, an eventual 'Best of Show' winner, and also brought up Battlefield 4, a first person shooter with a destructible environment. They then went on to show the new iterations of NBA, NFL, and UFC games. It was also announced that Mirror's Edge 2 has been confirmed, along with Star Wars Battlefront 3, two hugely anticipated games.

Ubisoft was up next, and they put their best foot forward. Watch Dogs, a game where you play as a vigilante who is able to hack any electronic with his smart phone, received huge praise from the audience. Assassin's Creed 4 was next,  the popular franchise takes the next installment to the 1600's where you play as a pirate. The last game was quite unexpected. Tom Clancey's The Division, an online open-world RPG in which you play in a futuristic setting of New York City. Here, New York is largely inhabited by outlaws and looters looking to take what they can from the people that remain.

Sony had the last conference for the day, and they started off revealing a few upcoming games for the PS3 to make sure everyone knew it was still going strong. But as everyone waited in anticipation, they then brought out the Playstation 4. It has a sleek design, and a strong lineup to follow on it. Sony continued to show more about Watch Dogs and Assassin's Creed 4. They then brought out a group of indie developers to showcase their games, such as Octodad 2: The Dadliest Catch, Secret Ponchos, and more. Final Fantasy XIV and Kingdom Hearts III from Square Enix were announced, receiving massive praise from the audience.  They finished off the conference with their new first person shooter, Destiny.

The press conferences were the main show for everyone at home, and certainly they did not disappoint. For everyone lucky enough to be at the convention, however, the show was just getting started as everyone had the opportunity to test out some games. The convention was amazingly set-up, and did well with the sheer number of people that attended. But I can say from a first-hand perspective, nobody will be disappointed.

By Adam

June 20, 2013