Made by the team behind the joyously beautiful Ico, The Last Guardian has been “coming soon” for many, many years, leading some to speculate that it might have been quietly killed off behind the scenes.
The Last Guardian (PS4)
Publisher Sony reassures us that this strange story of a boy and his huge winged beast is alive and looking just as oddly wonderful as you might expect.
No Man’s Sky (PS4 & PC)
The promise of No Man’s Sky is alluringly simple: it will give you an entire galaxy to explore. Refusing to brand itself as an action game, it offers millions of procedurally generated worlds to investigate, each with its own wildlife and geology, as well as a mysterious “galactic centre” for players to discover.
Released at the turn of the millennium, Shenmue and its sequel are still among the most expensive games ever produced. They told the story of a boy tracking down his father’s killers and, although they were a commercial disaster, their cult following has never stopped demanding more. That call may finally be answered with Sony’s Kickstarter campaign announced during E3, which reached its $2m goal within hours of appearing online.
Considered by most to have “won” the last generation of games consoles, Nintendo’s latest, the Wii U, has not been quite as successful. Its showing at this year’s E3 was equally muted: space-shooter Star Fox Zero made interesting use of the Wii U gamepad but was otherwise similar to past outings, while The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes is a spiritual successor to the well-received but far from classic Four Swords multiplayer game.
After Kinect – Microsoft’s movement-based control system which managed to disappoint on every level – HoloLens has to be viewed with a little scepticism. But although still only at tech demo stage, it does seem like a great concept: eschewing virtual reality, it’s designed to project computer-generated images on top of the real world.
Fallout 4 (PS4, Xbox One & PC)
Fallout games put you in a post-apocalyptic wasteland and let you forge your own destiny in its vast and complex reaches. Set in mutant-infested Boston, the latest Fallout promises to be the largest and most open-ended so far. The fervour that’s greeted this announcement means that the “Pip Boy” edition, which will come with its own retro-futuristic wrist-mount for your phone, has already sold out.
Fallout Shelter iOS
To help the excitement about Fallout 4 reach health-threatening levels, Fallout Shelter was announced and released on the same day. It gives you command of a Vault-Tec bunker: starting with a few survivors and a single room, you gradually build your shelter into a bustling subterranean city.
Dishonored 2 (PS4, Xbox One & PC)
Set in a steampunk city in the throes of a plague epidemic, the first Dishonored gave you a remarkable degree of power over your own destiny, the skills you’ve acquired letting you approach its levels in a wide variety of ways. We don’t know much about the sequel yet, but the mere fact that it’s on its way is reason enough to be very happy.
Xbox One backwards compatibility
Backwards compatibility for Xbox One means you can play Xbox 360 games without having to dust off your old console. It’s far from unprecedented (both PlayStation 2 and 3 let you play most of their back catalogues) but has not been a feature of Xbox until now. It’s an appealing prospect – even if experience suggests that playing old games tends to be something you almost never bother to do when brand new glittering releases are constantly dangled in front of you.
Other E3 news in brief
The eternally popular Final Fantasy VII is going to get a full HD remake; the brutally testing Dark Souls will receive a third instalment, as will the hilariously chaotic Just Cause series; Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 won’t be doing too much re-invention, settling instead for revising the game’s tried and tested mechanics for a new generation; Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst promises to take first person parkour to all new heights, and Microsoft’s Xbox Elite controller will cost an eye-watering £130 and will give players different thumbsticks, moveable clip-on paddles and a “hair-trigger” setting that means you merely have to touch each trigger to release a shot.
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