Best Games out of E3 2014

By Tanner Cormier

<p>Find out what next-gen games you'll be playing in 2015.</p>

The giants of the gaming industry gathered for E3 in Los Angeles this week to show off their latest and greatest and proved the best is yet to come. Amid a slew of titles from independent studios for both Xbox One and PS4, heavyweights on all sides of the ring called on the gaming community at large to usher in the future of gaming through collaboration: creators playing and players creating. Between Microsoft’s Project Spark and ID@Xbox and Sony’s latest edition of level-building sensation Little Big Planet 3, the undeniable message (pandering or not) was that the potential of the industry lies in the hands of those most dedicated to it. But that didn’t stop Sony, Microsoft, EA and Ubisoft from bringing out the big guns, as tentpole titles stole the show, teasing gamers with a taste of what the next-gen consoles can really do. It turns out they can do a lot, and we’re Level 10 excited to see it all roll out. There’s a lot to unpack from E3 so far, but these are the titles that have us buzzing the loudest.

Microsoft turns the typical multiplayer divide on its head with Evolve, a four-on-one man-vs.-beast shooter that places one player in control of a roster of terrifying and awesome-looking monsters. Classified as either Medic, Support, Trapper or Assault, opposing gamers will be charged with tracking down and taking out their dangerous foes as they evolve and adapt to their environment. Turtle Rock and 2K used the E3 platform to unleash “The Kraken,” an electrified, many-tentacled monstrosity of Cthulhulike proportions that left fanboy tongues wagging about the upcoming game. Xbox One players will see an exclusive early beta, but the true release on October 21 will see the evolution of gaming roll out on PS4 and PC as well. Say hello to the biggest franchise in new gen gaming.

Details are scant, but this Sony exclusive from director and From Software studio president Hidetaka Miyazaki looks like it will bring the PS4’s next-gen capabilities to roaring, gruesomely detailed life. The visually stunning and very bloody trailer had our hearts pumping with fear and excitement for what’s to come in the survival-horror genre in 2015. With a dark-as-night Victorian Gothic aesthetic and Lovecraftian themes aplenty (that monster at the end!), Bloodborne looks to be the title to beat for late-night scare mongering.

Taking horror-survival in a completely different direction is Dead Island 2, for which Sony revealed the most meme-able trailer during their epic press conference on Monday night. Where the trailer for the first Dead Island game elicited sheer panic, this slickly packaged teaser casts sunny Venice Beach as the setting for the spread of the earlier game’s zombie epidemic to the mainland, taking full advantage of the cast of characters that might entail. Featuring “seamless” eight-person multiplayer, the game will hit PS4 first with a 30-day beta exclusive, so the Sony faithful will get the first feel for what this future horror-comedy classic has to offer.

For gamers who like their story and puzzle-solving elements with a side of straight-up shooter action, Tom Clancy’s The Division from Ubisoft looks like it’ll bridge the gap between brains and brawn nicely. In terms of emotional impact, the team responsible for the stirring cinematic trailer deserves awards; our hopes are sky-high for what looks to us like the best bet amongst the 2015 heavy hitters. The ante was upped further by the multiplayer gameplay footage shown at Microsoft’s presser, which unveiled an integrated co-op campaign with innovative HUD and 3-D in-game map display that feeds gamers live intel as they traverse an open-world post-pandemic New York City. Factor in the previously announced mobile extension that lets tablet assist get in on the gameplay from a drone’s-eye vantage, offering assistance and surveillance to their teammates on the ground, and you’ve got the makings of a unique multiplayer experience.

The neon-hued trailer for sci-fi space traveler No Man’s Sky promised an entire universe of discovery. The game was teased at last year’s show, but indie studio Hello Games fanned the flames with rich layers of detail and gameplay footage this time around. Stunning visuals and virtually seamless gameplay feature into a world where each player begins his or her quest on a unique planet, complete with undiscovered topography, plant and animal live, adrift in an open universe ripe for exploration and interaction. The trailer sets the stage for hours of space battle to come and shows off a mind-blowing interplanetary travel sequence as spacecraft enter the atmosphere of an undiscovered planet whose landscapes slowly came into beautifully detailed focus. If this is the future of gaming, we’re on board.

More a remix of a classic title than a new offering proper, The Master Chief Collection brings the entire Halo series onto one disc, giving fans the ability to play their favorite levels and multiplayer maps in sequence or in customizable, franchise-spanning “playlists.” Halo 2 gets the full 10th anniversary treatment, completely remastered in glorious high-quality, 60 FPS detail for Xbox One and setting nostalgia levels on high. The collection will also include an all-new digital series, the Ridley Scott-produced origin story Halo Nightfall, and entry to the Halo 5: Guardians beta. Paying tribute to the blockbuster franchise’s past, present and future, The Master Chief Collection promises exciting things for fans waiting for the next chapter of the story.


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