Battlefield Hardline

E3 2014 Day 2 Photo Report

Bloodborne-city

Bloodborne

The new IP from Dark Souls developer From Software had a lot of people very, very excited and with good reason. The gameplay demo I sat through today is hauntingly beautiful and next-gen. While very much sticking to its Dark/Demon Soul roots, mechanically the game is set in a Van Helsing-like world.

Creatures killed emanated a soul-like animation akin to its predecessors, however details were not given to the mechanic they powered. In fact most details were kept to a minimum it was purely a demo to provide a glimpse of what’s to come. If you’re a Dark Souls fan I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

 

Destiny model

Destiny

I touched on it briefly yesterday but I had some hands on time with it today and while I enjoyed it, it’s a little different to what I expected mechanically. I wasn’t deterred enough not to make it a day one purchase but hearing it described as a “Bungie Borderlands” many are is doing it a disservice.

This clearly is not a photo of the game however, it was one of two beautiful full scale models people could have their photo taken with. I’m scared to think how much they cost to manufacture.

 

Ubisoft booth

Ubisoft booth

Today was the first time I ventured into the South Hall, where instead of the platforms being on show it was the publishers, and of those Ubisoft was one of the largest show booths I have ever seen in my life. This wall is merely the entrance to a cave that lead into an inner sanctum of all things Ubisoft.

 

The Division

The Division

Oh “The Division” how you elude me still. What you can see here is the closed theatre that’s been set up inside of the Ubisoft booth to house a gameplay demo for The Division. That stream of people wrapped around it extends about half a kilometre back from there with a 2-3 hour wait at some points. I’m yet to see it, but I so badly want to see it!!

 

2K games

2K Games booth

Mainly there to show off Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel credit has to go to 2K for the most brightly lit booth. Had this been a car you’d be constantly driven into not because people couldn’t see you but because you’d blinded them. I’m pretty sure I cooked a little walking by.

 

Razor Nabu

Razer Nabu

Here’s an odd one. Razer, best known for their gaming peripherals (mice, keyboards, etc), have released their “smartband” that was demoed earlier in the year at CES. It’s essentially a fitness tracker like the Jawbone Up and Fitbit but it also has a small OLED screen that display notifications from your iOS or Android phone.

There’s also an SDK out that allows anyone to go in and pull data you’ve synced. Peeble meets Up. It’s an interesting idea but a very crowded marketplace these days.

 

EA booth

EA booth

Not to be outdone EA’s booth was almost the same square footage as Ubisoft’s (or appeared to be anyway). Littered with Battlefield Hardline paraphernalia the entire section seen here is EA Sports showing off FIFA15, NHL15, UFC & Madden 15.

My hands on with NHL15 confirms it’s the pick of the bunch in terms of advancements in the series. FIFA15 had a lot of attention and was running a small theatre demo that seemed to be pleasing for those familiar with the series.

 

Battlefield Hardline

Battlefield Hardline

Let’s forget for the moment that in order to play this game I had to go through their weird performance of ranching us together in their make-shift police station that required me to submit my Facebook details and then have it post a photo they took of me automatically for a second and talk about the game.

It’s Battlefield 4… with cops… and robbers… and some new game modes. That about sums it up for me.

 

Activision

Activision booth

OK so Ubisoft’s booth was huge, EA’s booth was huge, Activision’s was… well it was huge!!! This area was the theatre before you even go to the play areas and hid the upstairs meeting rooms. Essentially doing nothing more than playing canned trailers for its big titles (Destiny & Call of Duty) there were a lot of people huddled under there.

Alienware Alpha

Alienware’s Alpha

Alienware announced at the show this little heavyweight will be coming next month and it’s pretty exciting to see what they’ve done with it. Not a Steam Box but a gaming PC running an overlay to Windows. You never see a desktop however; it boots into Steam’s Big Picture Mode immediately.

The internals are unknown though; custom graphics hardware developed with NVIDIA. A big unknown at this stage but said to be on par with that of the Xbox One. It looked really impressive and felt great to play, it’ll be interesting to see how they sell.

 

Ori and the Blind Forest

Ori and the Blind Forest

The best game I played all day! This adorable platformer from Moon Studios was just magical to play. Due to arrive out later this year for an undisclosed price on the Xbox One Marketplace and Steam. Ori was designed in an homage of Metroidvania over the past four years and has somehow stayed a secret right up to Monday’s Microsoft Media Briefing.

Story-wise, details are being kept scarce as it’s a game that is built upon discovery, so I won’t give anything way either. It’s such a beautiful, wonderful experience that I would’ve played all afternoon had I found it sooner!

Check out IGN’s interview with Moon Studios’ director for more details here.

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