E3 2014 – Press Conference Analysis

With the E3 Press Conferences well and truly over, hopefully you have had a chance to watch them all. Meanwhile, the Analog Addiction editors set to work analysing them. Here are our favourite, and least favourite parts of the conferences.

Xbox One Logo

Eric Pepper

Favourite moment?

The new footage shown for Forza Horizon 2 was absolutely phenomenal. It recaptured the feeling from the first Horizon title, blending supercars with an incredible electronica soundtrack. It showcased the variety of environments players will drive through and left us wanting more. The original Horizon game was a great experience and the sequel is looking to continue that trend.

Least favourite moment?

Unveiling the reboot of Phantom Dust seemed somewhat anticlimactic to me due to the fact that the original game released less than 10 years ago. That length of time does not feel long enough to merit a reboot, especially for a game which had a niche audience.

Nathan Manning

Favourite moment?

Finally Microsoft has worked out that E3 should be all about the games! In particular, Sunset Overdrive was a standout for me. The trailer which broke the fourth wall signified Insomniac’s acknowledgement that you are playing a video game. Further, with the gameplay demo Ted Price showcased more crazy weapons and the game’s kinetic movement system which looks like a tonne of fun.

Least favourite moment?

All of the announcements about exclusive content. To me, it felt like a waste of time showing trailers telling Xbox gamers they will get exclusive DLC. Gamers want to see gameplay, not be told they will be getting extra content, probably not adding much to the base game. I believe announcements like that are better suited to a simple press release outside of E3.

Ryan Livingstone

Favourite moment?

The fact that Xbox focussed more on the game sides of things this year was definitely a plus. There were plenty of cool trailers and teases for their upcoming exclusive titles. I liked the announcement of the Master Chief Collection, especially with the inclusion of all the multiplayer maps from old. Scalebound definitely caught my attention, it might even be the type of game to make me want to buy an Xbox One! It was definitely a solid performance from Microsoft this year.

Least Favourite moment?

As Nathan mentioned, the focus on DLC would be time better spent on showing more game-play for their exclusive titles. Unfortunately there is just something about Sunset Overdrive that doesn’t appeal to me, even though they are making it very clear that it is a console-selling game.

ea-logo

Vlad Pintea

Favourite moment?

Definitely the Mirror’s Edge trailer. That said, I would have liked to actually hear Faith; to see her more freely around the city in a proper story trailer. What was actually shown could have, more or less, be confused with the first game.

Least favourite moment?

The Mass Effect trailer. Seriously, not even a cinematic one? CGI? I won’t pretend to understand how long it takes to show proper footage, but if Tomb Raider can do it in less than a year (if you count the current-gen port)/two, I think Mass Effect could, as well.

Ryan Livingstone

Favourite moment?

Wasn’t a whole lot that got me excited in this conference, but Battlefield Hardline definitely caught my attention. The brief glimpse of StarWars Battlefront was a nice little sneak peak too, definitely one to keep an eye on.

Least favourite moment?

Most of the conference really. While I am a big fan of Fifa, it’s the same kind of cinematic stuff every year and it’s a bit boring by now. Show us some of the cool things we can actually do in-game!

Nathan Manning

Favourite moment?

Even though it was only brief, deciding to start the conference with a developer diary and then a few seconds of in-game footage for StarWars Battlefront caught my attention.

Least favourite moment?

It is almost as if EA is obliged to show trailers for its sports games every year. Yes, we know they are coming, but it would be nice to see some gameplay or at least more details about new features to each sport rather than just focusing on one. Overall, like Ryan, I feel that EA’s press conference was quite weak this year.

Ubisoft

Vlad Pintea

Favourite moment?

Easy – the Assassin’s Creed: Unity and Far Cry 4 gameplay videos. Unity blew me away with its incredibly smooth animations, gorgeous graphics, and the fact that there is – finally – a proper crouch option. On Far Cry 4‘s side… let’s be honest – Pagan Min looks to be an incredible new villain, one who could rival Far Cry 3‘s Vaas. Besides that, the actual gameplay looks to be more or less the same as its predecessor, but the world is obviously much larger, and… riding elephants; what could you possibly want more?

Least favourite moment?

I don’t really have one. Maybe all that dancing around could have been changed with more gameplay demos, but it wasn’t a big deal, anyway.

Ryan Livingstone

Favourite moment?

Oh man, there was a lot to like about Ubisoft’s conference. The Division still remains one of my most anticipated games so it was great to see some more gameplay footage and what makes it different from other shooters. Far Cry 4 also started off with a bang, with the first five minutes of the game showing us the villain and the type of setting. Vaas was Far Cry 3’s strongest villain by far, so I’m hoping this new guy can take the reigns and make another iconic character.

Least favourite moment?

Shape Up definitely awkwardly dragged on for far too long. If you’re gonna have staff show off your product, at least get someone who can actually do push-ups properly.

Eric Pepper

Favourite moment?

The Far Cry 4 trailer that kicked off their conference was by far the strongest moment in their entire hour-long presentation. The cinematic trailer was gorgeous, showing off the graphical capabilities of their new game. The trailer quickly went from a serene trip through a gorgeous environment to a very chaotic scene involving fire, a stabbing, and some humour perfectly balanced.

Least favourite moment?

This should come as no surprise, but the awkward “fitness” section in the middle of the conference was enough to make anybody cringe. Not only did they showcase one employee awkwardly playing the game, but then two more employees were brought out to play yet another game. It only made matters worse that the entire time, the Ubisoft host was trying to make it seem exciting or riveting in some way.

PlayStation

Jamie Briggs

Favourite moment?

I don’t know what is happening behind closed doors over at Naughty Dog, but seeing Nathan Drake in the flesh made me forget about the potential problems Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End may face and instead become excited once more on a franchise I hold dear to my heart. Though we only caught a small glimpse at Drake, a small voice over by the beloved Sully, it left me with so many questions that I need answers too. Knowing Uncharted 4 will be coming next year, also has me even more excited for next year’s E3. Long live gaming.

Least favourite moment?

The moment that almost took all of the wind out of Sony’s sails was its focus on their own brand on television entertainment. Aimed to try and rival the Microsoft content that has been pushed frequently for the Xbox One, this content felt out of place, irrelevant and unnecessary for an E3 games conference. I understand Sony wanting to push a new initiative such as this at a big event, but they should have learned after Microsoft making the mistake previously, that live on an E3 stage is not the place to do it.

George Sinclair

Favourite moment?

Overall I think Sony had a rather strong conference. It was never going to live up after last year’s show this soon after but I think they showed enough to keep people interested in PlayStation. My favourite moment (feel free to mutter ‘typical’) but it had to be the Uncharted reveal. I’m a big fan of Naughty Dog so for them to show that trailer, I was just floored.

Least favourite moment?

However, the conference wasn’t all good. Though it was good to finally see Shawn Leydon, Jack Tretton’s replacement introduce himself as the new head of Sony Computer Entertainment America, his segment felt rather padded as if Sony felt there was no other time outside of E3 to announce things. Sony went sprinting out of the gate and ended up losing breath halfway through the conference. Good thing they picked it up at the end.

Jaime ‘Paco’ Sifontes

Favourite moment?

The ongoing joke around the site is who will try to take away the opportunity of reviewing Bloodborne away from me. It is no secret that I have a immense passion for Hidetaka Miyazaki’s recent works (Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls), so when the game formerly known as Project Beast was announced, I was jumping for joy –  even if I was bedridden.

Least Favourite moment?

It should be obvious, but the lowest moment of the show is when Brian Michael Bendis took the stage. Don’t get me wrong, I think his work is fantastic, and I am looking forward to Powers but my God, did we have to spend fifteen minutes of our lives getting through that slog. Sort it out Sony, this should have been a slam dunk had you followed last year’s formula.

Nintendo

Robert Key

Favourite moment?

It’s actually a bit difficult for me to choose from Nintendo’s conference in particular because they announced a lot of things that got me excited, and of course some things that didn’t, but I would have to say the opening as a whole. The beginning, a few scenes throughout, was not only clearly created by the people from Robot Chicken, but it was hilarious and got some points across about the conference, such as there not being any talk of a Mario game. Though I still love the red-shirted plumber, I understand why people are growing weary of so many games from one franchise each year, and I think saying that provided a lot of relief for anyone watching.

The whole Dragon Ball Z-like fight between Reggie Fils-Aime and Satoru Iwata was great as well because it was hilarious, unquestionably grabbed your attention in one way or the other and it got the point across: Being able to play as Miis in the upcoming Super Smash Bros. and utilization of the recently-announced amiibo figures in the game. I love how I can build stats in my amiibo and use it to either fight them or let them fight with me. I think amiibo has great promise if it’s used well for other future Nintendo games.

Least favourite moment?

The unquestionable absence of certain announcements during the Nintendo Digital Event left me stump. Not even minutes after the broadcast, I received a press release from Nintendo, and much of it was things that would’ve taken seconds to talk about, which would have not only breathed more minutes into the event, but add more hype as well. For example, why not go over how there will be 10 amiibo figures available at launch, and more throughout the holiday season? Why not go over the other compatible games with amiibo, ones that were announced and shown during the Nintendo Digital Event? Did they simply forget to mention there’s also a separate, wireless accessory for allowing players to use amiibos with the 3DS? They even had an huge list of third-party games coming to the Wii U, 3DS and their respective eShops. Third-party support is something the Wii U really needs to boost it’s low sales numbers. I feel it could have had a chance to raise some people’s interest in the console if it had been shown as it was going on.

Eric Pepper

Favourite moment?

This may seem like an odd choice, but when Reggie announced at the start that there would be no new Mario titles announced in their digital event, it was as if a huge weight was lifted from shoulders around the globe. The majority of people assumed it would be more heavily weighted towards their cash cow of a franchise, so much so that they even had claymation viewers suggesting as such, but with that single sentence, everything was up for grabs. Speculation ran wild and viewers waited on the edge of their seats to find out what was being shown off, even if there were eventually numerous games within the Mario universe announced.

Least Favourite moment?

The announcement of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker felt a little flat to me. There was no plot given and the name simply suggests that the player will be attempting to collect as many coins as possible. This concept sounds incredibly familiar, maybe it is because Nintendo just used it in a Wii U Mario title. The game looks great but some originality is sorely needed.


The Analog Addiction staff hope you enjoyed all of our E3 coverage. You can follow AnalogAddiction on Twitter.

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