The first true day of E3 2014 has wrapped and let me tell you, time does fly when you are having an insane time. With so many huge titles announced beforehand, and even more unveiled as the show goes on, playing — or seeing — games hands on takes up most of the time.
Today, I started my E3 with Activision and my first stop was 30 minutes playing Destiny, the hot new IP from Bungie. First off, the game sizzles in its smoothness. The textures are wonderful and it felt like 1080p, 60 fps, even on this early build.
My fire team took on the Old Russia map and we were able to run one mission. Our team lead was the artist who actually created the level, Rob Evans. Destiny has an MMO feel with enemy respawns occurring all the time. We cleared out an old factory and took on a “wizard” which was the level boss. I had so much fun playing and I cannot wait until I get home to get back into the beta, going on now for PS4.
Next up was Skylanders: Trap Team, and careful readers know that we have already covered this game — and series — extensively. Why? Because it is a fantastic game mechanic and Trap Team looks to keep the fun going. I’m a little concerned with the cost aspect due to the new Traps and all of the new characters, but all of the old toys still work, and the new characters have the classic Toys For Bob feel.
My time at Activision wrapped with a 45-minute session with Sledgehammer Games’ Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Call of Duty has lost some of its shine in recent years, but Sledgehammer looks to be bucking that trend by taking warfare and, well, advancing it. New high-tech weapons and abilities, coupled with amazing next-gen visuals (this game was actually built from the ground up for PS4 and Xbox One).
We watched three missions being played and the tech was incredible. Sure, at the heart of it all, it’s still that classic Call of Duty feel. But there were quite a few “Oh Shit” moments and that’s what the last two CoD games were lacking. Though it had no bearing on the gameplay, I sat next to Washington Wizards Shooting Guard, Bradley Beal, which was kind of neat.
After Activision, we rushed to Disney Interactive, where I picked up a controller and saved Manhattan from an army of alien symbiotes as Nova and as Spider-Man. Disney Infinity looks to have turned a corner with the inclusion of Marvel properties. This is no longer just a Disney/Pixar heavy game, but now a true, full-on superhero adventure. Disney Infinity 2.0 was everything that I hoped it would be and more. Watch this space for more info as it gets closer to launch.
We finished at Disney Interactive with a taste of the Fantasia: Music Evolved game for Xbox One and the Xbox 360. Using the Kinect, players conduct songs from the Fantasia film, but with a twist. The player can tweak the arrangements and even mix songs by popular artists to literally create a magical track with multiple instruments and more. What started out as a Tchaikovsky musical number began a thumping pop song by the end of the level. And it was very cool. This game is developed by Harmonix, the masters behind Guitar Hero and Rock Band.
My last hands-on game of the day was Mortal Kombat X, and it is as glorious as the all-CGI reveal trailer makes it out to be. The action is insane, and a quick silhouetted head count showed 24 playable characters. The new moves and the ability to change fighting bonuses mid-match give MKX a level of customization not seen in a fighting game before. Oh, and the new finishers shown to us by NeverRealm were sick, disgusting and horrible, all in a good way.
That’s it. That’s one day at E3. Tomorrow, I have stops at SEGA, Square-Enix, 2K Games, and a few others. Hopefully I can find more time to play. We’ll have a full show recap with pictures after E3 2014 wraps. Check back often.