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Published on June 24th, 2014 | by gareth

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E3 2014 Recap

The Expo has the as the world upon it from eager fans looking forward to the latest announcements from their favorite game developers as well as first an extended looks at previously announced titles and technology.

The sheer enormity of the showcases and sets created by the various companies is absolutely massive as everything from giant statues two video screens as well as elaborate set pieces and displays awash in light and sound compete for your attention.

Even after several years of covering the show you can still be like a child on Christmas morning when the doors to the main halls open and the sensory overload begins.
My first stop was at the Bethesda booth where I was treated to a demonstration of The Evil Within and their new game Battlecry.

After the presentation, I got some hands-on time with The Evil Within as well as a customized image of myself with a barb wire motif of the games poster. I have outlined my impressions of the games mentioned in this article in separate articles on the site so for the purpose of this overview, I will keep my recap short and succinct and simply say that the game shows a lot of promise to for fans however I need more time with the game before I can make a final decision on it.

Activision was next on my schedule and I really enjoyed my hands-on time with Destiny as well as an up close and extended look at Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Destiny played really well during our hands-on session and in keeping with what their usual presentation for Call of Duty, Activision showed off campaign footage in private viewing rooms. What I saw looked really solid and definitely has me excited about the latest chapter in the popular series. I also liked seeing the images on the gigantic screens outside their booth as well as posing for photo with soldiers in exoskeletons.
Naturally between meetings is a time to roam around, take pictures, and spend some time with companies that you would not booked appointments with. I use this time to look in on developers big and small including Ubisoft and EA who had some impressive looking titles ranging from the latest in the Assassins Creed and far Cry series as well as the latest Battlefield and Madden games. I had hoped to get a look at the latest Star Wars games but outside of the teaser during the pre-convention EA conference, there was nothing to report.

Even as I write this some two weeks removed from the event, it is still a jumble of people places and events as words cannot describe the sheer magnitude of the event. The layout was extremely well organized as I was able to get around without having to push past people and our meetings went very well without a lot of waiting around which is key when your schedule is full.

2K was a real pleasure during our day one coverage as we got hands-on time with the latest Borderlands game as well as Evolve which were both amazingly fun to play. Not only did we get a theater preview prior to our gameplay sessions but also got an opportunity to preview the latest Civilization game which is set in space.

Technology also has a big place at E3 and Plantronics showed off their very impressive Rig had sent to us and we also got some time with Astro and their new noise canceling headphones as well as Razer who showed us their new keyboards and mice as well as the upcoming wearable tech that marks a bold new direction for the company.

Changing halls required passing through long corridors as meeting rooms and smaller conference rooms but did allow access to the press room which had plenty of Wi-Fi as well as needed refreshments during the long day. It also contained the hall where Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft showed off their latest and greatest including Super Smash Bros for Nintendo and Sunset Overdrive for Microsoft. Sony had The Order 1886 and other titles displayed prominently in booths that offered hands-on time with the titles and were equally massive in their scope. Sony showed off the impressive Planetside 2 which is coming for PlayStation 4 after a successful debut on PCs.

While it is impossible to recap every moment of an extremely busy day I can tell you that getting back to the hotel for some much-needed rest and downtime after day one was deeply enjoyable. Our next day saw meetings with Warner Bros. who showed us the extremely impressive new offerings in the Mortal Kombat and Batman series as well as hands-on time with Dying Light and Gauntlet which were not only fun but very impressive to see them play. It was really nice to see the company show up in such a big way for the event as everything from giant video screens to a full-size Batmobile made up for the confusion during various aspects of our appointment check ins.

The highlight of day two for me was our visit with Sega for an extended look at Alien Isolation as well as my much awaited hands-on time with the game. I can say that I was extremely impressed not only with the gameplay but with the incredible levels of detail that had been put into the game on every aspect from the look of the station, the characters, the technology, and of course the creature itself.
This is just a small sampling of the highlights of what we took in encountered during our coverage of the event suffice it to say that we got plenty of material for the foreseeable future in terms of games and technology to write upon and watch, but we also got a preview of what to expect down the road when the products come to market.

Last year was dominated mainly by the new consoles that were coming for Microsoft and Sony. While they were important parts of this year show, we saw a more diverse collection of titles that was also big on featuring several smaller and more independent titles. I enjoyed seeing a new game from Crytek that for lack of a better term, is a third person co-op game where turn-of-the-century players hunt all manner of supernatural creatures. The demo I saw was set in a swamp and definitely looks like a lot of fun. I also really enjoyed what we saw from Disney interactive as the new lineup of Marvel characters for Disney Infinity and Fantasia: Music Evolved show great potential as well is fun.

SteelSeries also impressed us with their new line of products seemed after the upcoming latest installment of The Sims as did the very impressive Star Citizen by Chris Roberts, the creator of Wing Commander.

As we put up close to our coverage of the 2014 show, we are already looking ahead to next year as the past two weeks of had radio, online, newspaper, and magazine coverage of the event and with each article or segment that we do were again reminded of how enjoyable and impactful this event is upon our business.


About the Author

Syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. His work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site and publication “Skewed and Reviewed”.He has three books of film, game reviews and interviews published and is a well-received and in demand speaker on the convention circuit. Gareth has appeared in movies and is a regular guest on a top-rated Seattle morning show.He has also appeared briefly in films such as “Prefountaine”, “Postal”. “Far Cry”. and others. Gareth is also an in-demand speaker at several conventions and has conducted popular panels for over two decades.



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