E3 2015 has come and gone, and boy was it a great show. Everything from Bethesda’s inaugural press conference to the show floor was full of excitement, current-gen affairs, and some of the most impressive tech to ever be featured at the greatest video game convention on the planet.
There were so many great moments that we had to capture a few of the best for posterity’s sake, so down below you’ll find the ten best moments from E3 2015. Like the sub-title for this post suggests, there could have been many more, I’d say at least 50, but for the sake of time and length, I’ve trimmed things down to an easy to consume ten awesome moments from the show.
Enjoy, and feel free to interject with your own top moments using the comment section below.
10) Xbox One Backwards Compatibility
In my opinion MS had the best press event at E3 2015 thanks to the mix of game reveals, new software, and new hardware that the tech giant showed off. One of the big surprises at the press event was the revelation that the Xbox One will feature backwards compatibility with certain Xbox 360 games. This is a huge move, and may convince 360 holdouts that it’s time to upgrade to the One. The fact that a subscription fee isn’t required to play the games you already own is huge, and is a much better model than the PS Now service, which costs money to rent games from older platforms to play on the PS4 that you may actually already own. The true merits of this reveal will depend on how many games, and which games will be compatible, but as it stands this new Xbox One feature is a juicy addition to its available software lineup.
9) Star Fox Zero
The Star Fox franchise is one of my most favorite Nintendo franchises on the planet, and it has been since the first game released for the SNES; one that I spent many hours playing in my neighbors bedroom while other children were playing outside. The new innovative controls make great use of the Wii U gamepad, even if they’re a bit wonky looking thanks to the cockpit view and third person views presented on the gamepad and TV screen respectively, but from what I saw this new Star Fox game looks legit and maintains a faithful approach to the franchise.
8) Xbox One Elite Controller
MS shied away from promoting its Kinect hardware for the first time in years and focused on a new controller instead. The Xbox One Elite controller is a thing of beauty, and is easily the most advanced video game controller — outside of the insane mouse/keyboard setups on PC rigs — I’ve ever had the chance to get my eyes and hands on. It’s definitely expensive at $150, but it feels expensive, especially with all of the removable parts, and hair trigger settings on the bottom of the controller. I think it will take some getting used to thanks to all of the new inputs, but both pros and regular gamers alike will definitely gain an edge on the competition with one of these black and silver badass controllers in hand.
7) Minecraft Hololens Demo
I was at the MS press event when they wheeled out the Minecraft demo complete with Hololens functionality and thought it may have been some sort of VFX wizardry, but after taking the Hololens for a spin with Halo 5, I can assure you that this tech is legit as all hell. The Minecraft demo was one of the coolest I’ve ever seen at a press event, and it opens up a whole new way to play with one of the most popular crafting titles to ever be introduced to gamers. With Hololens you become a God of sorts in Minecraft thanks to your ability to manipulate the game map, characters, and other godly maneuvers, and it all looks pristine as if the Minecraft map was a hologram being projected from a futuristic camera system.
This isn’t Hololens’ only entry on this list, so keep reading to see where else this amazing piece of technology finds itself!
6) 8-bit Mario Amiibo
I’m not remotely into the Amiibo collecting craze, but after seeing the newly announced 8-bit Super Mario Amiibos, I don’t think I can pass them up. Both the classic and modern version of this blocky little Amiibo are glorious to behold in person, so for nostalgia’s sake alone they’re worth snagging when they release. Apparently one may be bundled with Super Mario Maker, but at this time there aren’t any official pre-order details to mention, so stay tuned for future updates as I’ll be closely monitoring these Amiibos.
5) Gears 4
I should make it known that I’m a huge Gears fan, so there may be a bit of bias with the ranking of the newly announced Gears 4 on this list, but I think it earned its spot with an impressive stage showing at MS’s press event. Very few details have been released about the game outside of what was shown during the stage demo, but for all intents and purposes this game oozes with Gears of War goodness. The characters are noticeably less Hulk-like, the violence is still dialed to a ten, and the mysterious setting and new enemy types hint of a new adventure for fans to partake in, so I can’t wait to find out more on this game over the coming year.
4) Bethesda’s Entire Press Event
For its first ever E3 press event the game developer and publisher looked like a seasoned vet, and may have done better than the Big 3 in terms of pure wow factor and audience appreciation. The Doom gameplay demo was the most intense and brutally graphic FPS demo I’ve ever seen. It made Gears of War look like an E-rated game with Nerf chainsaws, that’s how gory this game is. The official Dishonored 2 reveal was a treat even though it leaked a bit early. Todd Howard’s Fallout 4 and mobile Fallout reveals were amazing to say the least, and the former looks to be the most comprehensive Fallout game to date, thanks to its expanded crafting mechanics and modern visuals.
To top it off Bethesda and Funko teamed together to give everyone in attendance a highly collectible set of Mystery Minis featuring characters from three of the games shown off during the press conference held in the same theater as the Oscars. Simply fantastic, that pretty much sums up Bethesda’s first ever press event at an E3.
3) Horizon: Zero Dawn
In terms of new IP shown off by the Big 3, Guerrilla Games’ Horizon: Zero Dawn was the most impressive in my opinion. The studio best known for the Killzone franchise blew the crowd away at Sony’s E3 press event with the reveal of this futuristic cavemen meets Skynet title, and for good reasons. The world and characters look unique thanks to the blend of lost modern technology with the primitive tech of the surviving humans, and the narrative behind this world is also very intriguing thanks to its Mad Max meets Terminator appeal. In a world where new IPs from big publishers are becoming things of the past, it was great to see a leader like Guerrilla Games taking a gamble on a completely new franchise to inject some life back into the AAA scene. We all know we don’t need another sequel (read that like Tina Turner singing “We Don’t Need Another Hero!” for the full effect).
2) Sony Goes Super Nostalgic and High Fives its Fanboys with Three Amazing Reveals
Sony went for the nostalgic card during the middle of its E3 press conference, and it paid off in spades complete with some of the most goosebumps inducing feels I’ve ever experienced at an E3 event. I was one of the audience members who completely lost my shit when the Final Fantasy VII Remake was teased thanks to my pure love of the game, but also because of the amazing reaction the entire arena let out when the awesome looking teaser was shown for it. That game changed the way I saw video games when I was just 17 years old, as it opened me up to the concept of gaming characters having the ability to affect me emotionally. It was a truly special moment in my gaming life, and one I hope is enhanced in the modern remake that every FF fanboy in the world shrieked about like little schoolgirls during its E3 reveal.
I’m not as much into The Last Guardian and the Shenmue 3 reveals, but I greatly respect the heritage of each game’s time tested franchises, and shared in the excitement of others who have much closer, very personal bonds with the previous games in each respective series. Sony has listened to what its fans want and delivered big time with these three nostalgia inducing titles. It will be highly enjoyable to follow each game’s development process until they release into the loving arms of millions of fans across the world who have been wanting to relive a bit of their most treasured gaming franchises from the past, so stay tuned to EB for more details as they come available.
1) Halo 5: Guardians’ Warzone Hololens Experience
I’m a massive fan of the Halo franchise, and consider it to be one of the most fleshed out properties in gaming, but I was even more impressed by what the Hololens can do for a game like this after putting it on for the first time during my Warzone demo at E3. I’ve already written an extensive impression piece on the Hololens experience, as well as my hands-on impressions of the new Warzone mode, but I can’t stress enough how amazing the Hololens technology is. The sheer level of immersion it created to explain the Warzone demo was uncanny, and reminded me of something you’d see in a Hollywood summer blockbuster. The holographic images this thing creates are amazing, and definitely feel like they’re inhabiting your world. Outside of having to keep the viewfinder centered on the image you are looking at I didn’t notice anything clunky about the Hololens, and found it to pay off on its futuristic capabilities.
I’m not entirely sure how many pure gaming uses the Hololens will have in terms of Halo 5, or other games at this time, but I do know that it is the most impressive VR/AR device I have used, and I’m much more excited for its retail release than the Oculus and its competitor’s offerings. I’m always hesitant about new hardware offerings, especially those that border on gimmicks, but what MS has done with the Hololens is something humanity has only witnessed in the movies, so it’s hard not to list it as MY top moment from E3 2015.
Welcome to the future people, and we can thank the video game industry for it!
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