The first day of the E3 games event was dominated by the major players and it seems they’ll be playing it safe, with announcements of a host of sequels and re-releases for the new generation of consoles.
Microsoft’s big Xbox One announcement of the day was Halo: The Master Chief Collection. It’s a single $60 package will consist of the four original games (with upgraded graphics) plus the first installment of what will otherwise be a digital download series, Halo: Nightfall.
The package will also allow players to join a beta test of the multiplayer component of the next game in the series, Halo 5: Guardian. That’s certainly a nice bonus and a smart way for Microsoft to test the feature on “real” players, though if it does uncover any serious gameplay issues (which is partly the goal) it might create some unwanted word of mouth publicity.
There was also a demo of Dragon Age: Inquisition (the third installment in the franchise). The closest thing to an entirely new game was The Division, an RPG/shooter hybrid, though that is based around the well-established Tom Clancy character.
Microsoft also attracted criticism from journalists in attendance for relying on pre-rendered footage in demos, making it more of an exhibition of trailers than gameplay.
Sony also had plenty of familiar-sounding titles to talk about. As was widely expected, there’ll be PS4 versions of GTA V and The Last Of Us, both with improved graphics. One bonus is that players who already have either game on PS3 will be able to transfer over their save game state to the new edition.
The sequels, spinoffs and reboots kept on coming: there’ll be a LittleBigPlanet 3 along with First Light, an add-on for Infamous: Second Son based around Fetch. Other demos and trailers included Far Cry 4, Uncharted 4, Dead Island 2, Batman: Arkham Knight, Metal Gear Solid V and Mortal Kombat X.
Of the few entirely “original” games on show, the most notable were The Order: 1886 and Bloodborne. The former is based around fighting zombies and werewolves in the 19th century, whereas the latter appears to be based around fighting zombies and werewolves in the 18th century.