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E3 2015 Insider’s Look Day Three and Reflection

by on June 20, 2015
 

E3 2015 is done and while the third day was shorter there were still awesome things to see! Between tweets, photos, and vines, it was a blast providing coverage for The GCE! Overall, the expo was an amazing experience, albeit a crowded one, filled with a variety of games to play. This year’s E3 had more going for it and I think players can agree 2016 will be a great year for gaming.

Morpheus VR is cool, but we’re still not ready

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There’s a looming VR war and it will dominate E3 next year or in two years time. Morpheus from Sony and HoloLens (yes, I know it’s not actually VR) from Microsoft had the longest lines at E3. People were waiting 6 hours to demo Halo 5 and the HoloLens together. That length of line waiting is criminal in my book, but it’s the story of E3 2015. Sony’s Morpheus line was shorter and I was able to get my hands on some virtual reality. I don’t think technology is ready to provide a consumer VR headset. Don’t get me wrong, Morpheus was an amazing experience, but there were a lot of moving parts involved and the demo only lasted three minutes. The headset was bulky and heavy but once it’s secured on your head it eliminates outside light. Combined with a good set of headphone and you’re successfully integrated into virtual reality.

The game I tested was Godling, a god simulator where you can create or destroy things. It was a short demo, but it showed off Morpheus’ strengths. Moving my head around allowed me to view the world the same way a controller would pan the in-game camera. It did feel like I existed in this godling’s world and by walking around I could influence my surroundings. It’s a more intimate feeling than simply staring at a TV, and shows how a first-person point of view can drastically change how we experience games. During the demo, the assistant at the booth had to remind me to move my head and I think that’s VR’s greatest weakness. There’s a disconnect between what we do with the controller and what we do with the headset, but it’s a learnable skill. Personally, I wish I could just wear the headset and use the controller to do everything else. I don’t need to move my head around to see the world because my head movements make a bad in-game camera. I’m sure sensitivity adjustments are possible, but I’m not quite ready for Morpheus.

The Division is changing multiplayer 

Ubisoft’s lines were almost as bad as Xbox’s, but they were letting attendees play some pretty in-depth demos. The Division demo showcased its co-op multiplayer mode where teams of three entered the dark zone to salvage loot and fight other teams. There are no loading screens in The Division; the transfer from single player to multiplayer is seamless with the dark zone acting as the center for all multiplayer activity. There will be AI and other players that will either be hostile or friendly depending on your choices. You can work together with other players or betray them for their loot, but there are consequences to lone-wolf players. While I was playing I shot a neutral player. Suddenly, my entire team had gone rogue and other players quickly eliminated us. I’m sure more skilled players and teams would survive, but I like that the game encourages teamwork even with people you cannot communicate with. You also have to use you surroundings to your advantage. Cover and high points can change the course of a firefight. There’s a lot of interesting mechanics interlaced in the game’s multiplayer that I hope gets expanded on before the game releases in the spring. If Ubisoft can pull this off they’ll have a great game on their hands.

It was a crowded expo at E3 2015, game-wise and attendee-wise. I don’t think any company was ready for the number of people attending this year. While some great announcements were made the real winners were the players, as corny as that sounds. There were so many games announced for the remaining year and into next. With the launch of the new consoles, people have been waiting for games and it’s taken nearly two years for that to start happening. It will be interesting to see what next year’s E3 will focus on. Until then we can ride the hype train for all the awesome games on the way. What did you think of E3 2015? If you missed it, be sure to check out days one and two!

[Images from PlayStation Blog]

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