Before diving into our hands-on demo of Just Cause 3, Game Director Roland Lesterlin said “We’re really not into subtlety.” As anyone who’s ever played Avalanche Studios’ sandbox series can attest to, that may be the understatement of the decade. An intentionally over the-top open-world romp, 2010’s Just Cause 2 was all about blowing stuff up real good, with style to spare. So how do you top what was essentially one explosive, extended action-movie set piece? Well, for starters: You give fans more of what they loved. Just Cause 3 returns players to the role of revolution-igniting Rico Rodriguez, the grappling-hook-shooting, parachute-packing protagonist with a thing for overthrowing evildoing dictators. With that solid foundation in place, though, this three-quel complements the expected returning elements with enough new chaos-causing features to make its predecessor look tame by comparison. Taking place in Medeci, Rico’s Mediterranean-inspired island hometown, the game is similar in size to Just Cause 2. But the power of the Xbox One has allowed Avalanche to pack its sprawling map with much more detail and density. For players, this means much more – and much prettier – stuff to blow up from behind Rico’s ample arsenal and stuntman-rivaling traversal skills.
At E3 2015 last week, Halo 5: Guardians made a serious splash. You likely saw the four-player drop in/drop out campaign mission, where you control a team of Spartans lead by Locke to hunt down the AWOL Master Chief. But the mode we got to try our hand at is an entirely new entry into Halo multiplayer, one that redefines how Red vs. Blue matches play out. It’s called Warzone, and it’s the most badass Halo mode we’ve ever played. So how does Warzone work? The first team to score 1000 points or destroy the enemy team’s core wins. Each round starts with you and your team of Spartans facing off against AI-controlled enemies.After a couple minutes of fighting lower-end Prometheans or Covenant baddies, you’ll face off against stronger mini-boss-like enemies, like a Sangheili General. As you rack up kills, you earn Energy Points that allow you to call in better weapons and vehicles at REQ Stations. (Energy Points also replenish over time and, in our demo at least, they were completely refilled when our character leveled up.) The harder the enemy you face, the more Energy Points you earn for kills and assists, which lets you take advantage of the REQ System.
Below doesn’t need words to tell its story. Like the dangers that wait in the depths of the dungeons you’re exploring, the story is hidden in dark caverns and narrow tunnels. Death and rebirth, and death again ¬¬– this is what makes Below one of the most intriguing games at E3 2015. Developed by Capybara Games, the team behind the incredible little game Swords & Sworcery, Below puts you on an island in the middle of a storm. The only place to take shelter is a cave, and within you find stairs leading down to a dungeon. Not only does Below not tell you its story, it doesn’t tell you anything. Items you pick up have no description, so you need to use them to find out their effects. On top of that, the dungeons are randomized, drawing from roguelike RPGs. There’s no rote memorization at work here, just careful planning, and ever-increasing knowledge of the dangers around you.
What if a game let you visit every known star, planet, and other astronomical body in our galaxy? What if, in addition to those 160,000 destinations, it also let you visit around 400 billion other star systems, extrapolated from current scientific knowledge about space? What if all that space was arranged in scientifically accurate scale? And what if that game let you travel anywhere in our incomprehensibly vast galaxy in your own ship, trading or mining or fighting or just exploring? What if you could play that game right now?
Keeping an annual franchise fresh year after year is a tall task, but based on our recent time on the sidelines with longtime EA Sports’ Senior Producer Seann Graddy, Madden NFL 16 is poised to continue refining the pigskin property’s fan-favorite elements, while also innovating to up its authenticity and immersion. Featuring a new focus on risk/reward systems, Madden NFL 16 – the series’ third entry on the Xbox One – is emphasizing both its passing and defensive games. The former, according to Graddy, “is all about dominating your opponents with the pass, through your quarterback, through your receiver with new catch types and ways to deliver the ball.”
For those of you whose E3 has been a blur, we’re here to help bubble up the top Xbox news for you. Our Xbox panels of insiders, including Xbox Live’s Major Nelson and Acey Bongos, Blair Herter, and Tiffany Smith, just wrapped the third and final episode of Xbox Daily: LIVE @ E3 for 2015. Today, they took a look at some major titles and hot new tech fans requested to see. More details on Halo 5: Guardians, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege and The Division, fan-favorite Cuphead, a chat with Kudo Tsunoda about Microsoft HoloLens, and more; Xbox Daily: LIVE @ E3 had it all from Wednesday at E3. By now the crew is folding up the broadcast stage and marking the boxes for Cologne, Germany, ...
We got our grubby little hands on the upcoming squad-based, third-person shooter Tom Clancy’s The Division at Ubisoft’s E3 booth, and left the experience adrenalized, exhilarated, and all-around stoked. The game looks beautiful, of course, but the graphics aren’t the main selling point. The deep customizability of characters, weapon loadouts, and teams are what keep each gameplay session feeling fresh and exciting – as do the complex, completely free interactions that players can engage in with each other. We played a session of three-vs.-three-vs.-three – though not exactly “versus” since the player squads didn’t start off hostile to each other. Sure, we entered into a nominally player-versus-player area, the “Dark Zone,” near New York City’s Battery Park, but our first encounter was with a group of AI-controlled “Cleaners,” a squad of flamethrower-wielding thugs up to no good.
Beyond just a racing franchise, the Forza series has always been a celebration of racing, a love letter to the sport, the cars, and the people who push everything to the absolute limit so they can be the fastest, the sleekest, and the first across the line. One of the cars to make its videogame debut in Forza Motorsport 6 is the all-new Ford GT. A pre-production version of the car — and the first-ever to be built — made a dramatic entrance at the Xbox E3 Briefing, lowered down from the rafters just moments before its digital version appeared on-screen. And that’s just one of the 450 amazing vehicles to grace the latest version of the best racing franchise around.
Before breaking down the key concepts behind Need for Speed, Ghost Games' upcoming reboot of Electronic Arts' signature tire-screeching series, Executive Producer Marcus Nilsson described what he and his team feel is the ultimate Need for Speed experience: “Going ridiculously fast... 150 miles per hour... into a corner, with a highly modified car, with your friends, and chased by cops.” That “perfect moment,” as Nilsson went on to call it, won't be some epic, endgame set piece that players experience before the credits roll, but one in a nonstop series of pedal-to-the-metal moments that define the game from start to finish. This skyrocketing adrenaline rush comes courtesy of what ...