E3 is the annual ultimate Easter egg for gamers. The Electronic Entertainment Expo is held in sunny Los Angeles and despite the lovely weather its biggest hook is the vault of secrets it lets loose every June, as well as the sneak peeks at new technology the gaming industry has to offer. With long awaited games, indies trying to shine and companies attempting to awe the masses, Noise Cannon presents our Most Wanted list for E3 2014, 10-12 June.
Batman: Arkham Knight
Despite news of a delayed release, Batman: Arkham Knight is set to impress as the latest instalment in the Batman: Arkham series, developed by Rocksteady Studios and released by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. The game’s main storyline is set one year after that of 2011’s Batman: Arkham City and follows Batman at the peak of his ability as he confronts the supervillain Scarecrow, who has returned to Gotham City to unite Batman’s enemies in a plot to finally kill the Dark Knight.
This Batman hating club includes well know villians such as Penguin, Two-Face, and Harley Quinne, who take over the city on Halloween night thanks to Scarecrow’s new strain of fear toxin, which leads to a mass evacuation of Gotham City. The visuals look great, the storyline will make Batman fans giddy, and the Batmobile looks nothing short of badass.
Batman: Arkham Knight is coming 2015 to Windows, Xbox One, and Playstation 4.
It would be fair to argue that both Nintendo and Sega need a win equally, and they are hoping to do just that with a new Sonic the hedgehog series. Releasing for both Nintendo Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS, the Sonic Boom series has co-op gameplay and action-adventure at its core. Familiar characters Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles are playable in both games, whilst Amy and Sticks are exclusively playable in the Wii U and 3DS versions respectively. The whole team has undergone a visual and gameplay overhaul, with aims to appeal to the Western audience more, as well as take full advantage of the unique Wii U gameplay style.
The series has already been met with mixed opinions, with many people taking a dislike to Sonic’s new look, citing the bandana around his neck and skinny legs as nothing short of hipster.
The Sonic Boom games are coming to Wii U and Nintendo 3DS November 2014.
Fly Hunter is being showcased at the Sony booth in the Vita section and is the debut title from bay area developer, Steel Wool. One of the most exciting aspects of the game is undoubtedly the visuals, as the Steel Wool team is composed of several current and former Pixar animators.
The story for Fly Hunter takes a decidely Pixar style: Zak is a bumbling alien spaceship Janitor and wannabe Flyhunter from Burgarol 3. He works on board the Flyhunter Crew’s legendary spaceship; ‘The Frog’ but deep down he longs for an exciting adventure of his own. Somewhere in Earth’s orbit, while the heroic Flyhunters are deep in cryo sleep; The Frog’s cargo of super-important exotic insects from the latest hunt is mysteriously jettisoned into Space, crash-landing back on planet Earth! It seems that clumsy Janitor Zak is the only one around to save the day.
Fly Hunter Origins will be coming to PS Vita, PC, Mac, Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and Tegra powered devices Summer 2014.
The Order: 1886
The Order: 1886 is an upcoming PlayStation exclusive developed by Ready At Dawn Studios and SCE Santa Monica Studios, and was originally showcased at E3 2013. It is a third-person action-adventure game that takes a unique angle on Victorian-era London, thrilling players with an alternate history where technological advances take centre stage in a battle against a powerful and ancient foe being fought by the mysterious brotherhood “Order”.
The plot to The Order: 1886 is an exciting one, letting you fight for mankind’s survival as you interact with real-world historical characters, making the conspiracy aspect to the game all the more interesting. The Order: 1886 looks like a challenging, exciting game steeped in secrecy and brotherhood, and we can’t wait for it.
The Order: 1886 will be hitting PlayStation 4 in early 2015.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The Witcher series is huge. So huge that even Barack Obama got given a copy of The Witcher 2 by Poland whilst he was visiting recently. Now Polish video game developer CD Projekt RED are back with the next offering, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a story-driven, next-generation open world role-playing game, set in a graphically stunning fantasy universe, full of meaningful choices and impactful consequences. In The Witcher, you play as Geralt of Rivia, one of a dying caste of monster hunters, and embark on an epic journey in a war-ravaged world that will inevitably lead you to confront a foe darker than anything humanity has faced so far—the Wild Hunt.
With it’s over 100 hours of gameplay, new levels of tactical combat and a story steeped in lore, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a game you’re going to want to mark on the calendar.
The game is at the time of writing available with 10% off (£34.99) but there’s a further 5% reduction if you already own The Witcher: Enhanced Edition or The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will be released for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on February 24, 2015.
Lets get juvenile for a second with Polish devs Flying Wild Hog and their E3 offering, Juju. This side-scrolling platformer for all ages puts a special emphasis on cooperative multiplayer between parent and child, showing that E3 isn’t just about badass weapon toting protagonsists and the latest tech.
Take control of Juju, a young, shaman panda on a quest to save his father, Jumbee, who has been kidnapped by the wicked Calypso. But, moments before being snatched away, Jumbee passes his magic mask to his son, instilling Juju with the power to fight back against the evil that has been unleashed. With the help of his lizard friend, Peyo, Juju will journey to rescue his father and bring peace once again to the world.
The gameplay looks like a mixture of Crash Bandicoot and Super Mario, and provides a decidely wholesome offering when placed next to the monster slaying and darkness embracing big releases.
Juju is coming to PC and Consoles (TBA) in the second half of 2014.
Mass Effect 4
Bioware and Microsoft have been keeping details of the next game in the hugely popular Mass Effect series under wraps, but E3 could reveal some of its secrets. What we do know is that the game will not star Commander Shepard, the star of the original trilogy of games. The game is also said to share many of the “core features” with Dragon Age: Inquisition. This most likely means that the systems working in the background will all be similar, not necessarily the combat, dialogue, or anything else in the forefront of the gameplay.
Although not confirmed, associate producer Mike Gamble has hinted that it “wouldn’t be a bad idea” to hold onto your Mass Effect save files. Rumours ahead of E3 also suggest that the new game will be called Mass Effect: Origins, and will start a new trilogy for the well known RPG. E3 2014 will hopefully shed some light on this well-kept secret, and many Mass Effect fans will be all ears during Microsoft’s conference slot.
The release date and platforms for Mass Effect 4 are still unknown.
From Turtle Rock Studios, creators of Left 4 Dead, comes Evolve, the next generation of multiplayer shooters where four Hunters face off against a single, player-controlled Monster in adrenaline-pumping 4v1 matches. In Layman’s terms, this means brutal combat that provides a step up from the similar versus mode seen in the Left 4 Dead series. Play as the Monster to use savage abilities and an animalistic sense to kill your human enemies, or choose one of four Hunter classes (Trapper, Support, Assault, and Medic) and team up to take down the beasts.
The trailer for Evolve is impressive and gives a great sense of what this environment driven game offers, making it one that could be a huge hit at E3 2014.
Defense Grid 2
After premièring the first-player mode to strong praise at PAX East in April, developers Hidden Path Entertainment are unveiling their co-op mode for the sequel to the hit 2008 tower defence game.
Defense Grid 2 is championed for its gorgeous landscapes and intuitive gameplay as players fight for the survival of human civilization. In the game’s co-op level being shown at E3, the planet Correl has been ravaged by seismic and volcanic activity, where settlements have all but been destroyed by an alien invasion. Players must work together to push back the alien onslaught, using the Command Shuttle to adjust the areas available for building towers in the hope of protecting the cores and retaking control.
A great example of tower defence, Defense Grid 2 features a plethora of aliens, as well as a variety of terrains to build colourful turrets with which to annihilate enemies. After the success of the first game in the series and the praise for the already revealed content, Defense Grid 2 is a solid game in the making.
Defense Grid 2 will be released on PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox One and PS4 platforms in Fall 2014.
Last but not least is the age old tale of a hero who will not be stopped in the quest to rescue a princess. Hyrule Warriors is a new Nintendo hack and slash game that sends Peter Pan-esque character Link to seek and destroy Cia the Witch, the main antagonist of the game, who has taken Princess Zelda captive.
The story goes that her main motives for kidnapping Princess Zelda was because she wanted Link for herself. Cia has apparently been possessed by an evil force bent on global domination, but Link is to be her true prize. Jealous much?
Whilst the characters featured are common of Legend of Zelda games Nintendo President Satoru Iwata stressed during the December 18 Nintendo direct that this game, “is not the next installment of Nintendo’s core The Legend of Zelda series.” Releasing exclusively on the Wii U, Hyrule Warriors feels a little bit like a desperate attempt for Nintendo, who know the popularity of their archery mastering character. Nevertheless, Hyrule Warriors will be a fun wave smashing game, and a must have for Link lovers everywhere.
Hyrule Warriors will be released in Japan on August 14, 2014, with a release in Western territories to follow later in the year.
Gamers everywhere are getting hyped up for E3 2014, and who knows what secrets will unfold in this weekend long opening of Pandora’s game box. You can watch all the action online, and let us know what you thought rocked and flopped in the gaming event of the year.
Words by Louise Egan