So another Electronic Entertainment Expo, better known as E3, has come and gone. Dozens of new games were announced with new gameplay and trailers abound and the gaming landscape looks better than ever before. In the midst of all the excitement, I saw a few features in these new games that look like they might shake up some of our favorite series and maybe even the whole video game industry. Some of these features are evolutions of features that already exists while others are completely new. These feature will move the industry forward into new territory that will help keep you, the gamers, interested for another generation of video games and beyond.
#4 Map Control
Seen in game : Splatoon
Most online shooters offer a competitive mode that focuses on controlling certain points on the map, but none are quite like Nintendo's newest ip, Splatoon.
In Splatoon, you're objective is cover the map in your team's colored ink, and yes, I mean the entire map. Every time you cover a piece of ground that is blank or that has your opponents ink already on it, your team will receive points. While you can shoot and kill enemy players causing them to explode into a puddle of your teams ink color, the points you receive for that kill are only the points for covering the ground in your ink.
Upon respawn, players can immediately jump to another player on their team, alllowing you to get back into the fray quickly and hold a defensive line against the enemy team. Additionally, all players can turn into a squid which allows them to move much faster if they are moving through their own team's ink. A player that sneaks past the enemy team into their base can rack up a lot of points very quickly by covering the base in ink.
Right out of the gate, Evolve excited the gaming community with it's promise of unequal multiplayer. One person plays as a giant monster that gets stronger throughout the game while the other four play as a team of hunters trying to bring the monster down. It looks like the rest of the gaming industry was excited by the concept too, because two more games revealed similar concepts at E3 this year.
Fable Legends pits four heroes against a single mastermind villain. When playing as a hero, Legends plays like a 4-player co-op Fable game. However, the villain is the one planting all the enemies and traps that stand in the heroes way. When you play as the villain, you're building a labyrinth of dangers to stand against the incoming heroes, sort of like a tower defense game.In Mario Party 10, the player using the Wii U Gamepad plays as Bowser, antagonizing the other 4 players and trying to keep the other 4 players from finishing.
From the brief demo shown at E3, it's unclear if Bowser can actually win the game or if he's simply trying to keep the other players from getting stars, but hopefully we'll learn more soon. Since none of these games have been released yet, it's unclear how well this kind of unequal multiplayer will actually work, but if these experiments are successful, you can be sure we'll see a lot more of it in the future.
Seen in game : Assassins' Creed: Unity
This one may not revolutionize the industry, but it is a big step up for one of the biggest series in gaming. 4-player co-op is making its way to the newest entry in the Assassin's Creed series, traditionally a single player game with competitive multiplayer. While Ubisoft isn't talking about whether or not you will be able to run around the streets of France with three buddies, they did show an example of a co-operative mission where your allies serve much the same purpose as your brotherhood of assassins in previous Assassin's Creed games, but much more intelligent.
While the tried-and-true Assassin's Creed formula appears to be returning, co-op may just be enough to keep the series from becoming stagnant.
#1 Playing Without Owning the Game
Seen in game : Far Cry 4
While this isn't something completely new to the industry, it is new to home consoles. During Sony's E3 Press Conference, they announced that Far Cry 4 players on PS4 and PS3 can invite friends to play the open world co-op with them, even if that friend doesn't own the game. Even the single cartridge download play feature on 3DS never allowed a player on the other side of the world to play with you without owning the game. The only thing that is not available to these without the game is the single player missions or the ability to play when their friend goes offline.
As a lover of all things Far Cry, I think this is a great way to get my friends interested in the game. They might not be sold based on the trailers, but by the time they're through exploring Kyrat with me for the first time, they'll be off to the nearest game store.