E3 2014: Few surprises at games show

Last updated 10:33, June 12 2014
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An attendee tries out the Virtuix Oculus Rift and Omni Treadmill at E3 2014.

Cosplayer dressed as Knack from the Sony Playstation 4 game at the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo.

A white Sony Playstation 4 is on display at the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo.

Marlee Zabriskie, dressed as a character from Portal, attends the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo.

Boba Fett and a Stormtrooper at the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo.

Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets in use at the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo.

Tsunekazu Ishihara, president and chief executive officer of The Pokemon Company introduces the new Pokemon Art Academy at E3 2014.

A man dressed as the main character from Watch Dogs poses at the Ubisoft booth at E3 2014.

A Mario amiibo figurine on display at the Nintendo booth at the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo.

A gamer plays Ubisoft's Far Cry 4 at the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo.

Ubisoft employees Jen Galassao, Kelly Koski and attendee Joh Yamamoto play Just Dance 2015 at the Nintendo booth at E3.

Brent Offner plays Street Luge on a Sony Project Morpheus virtual reality system at the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo.

Lorena Batarse poses with Call of Duty characters at the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo.

People stand near Sims 4 game characters on a wall at the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo.

A man adjusts a Sony Project Morpheus virtual reality system at the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo.

A woman uses the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset at the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo.

Amiibo toy figures that will work in tandem with its games are displayed at the Nintendo booth at E3 2014.

Amiibo toy figures that will work in tandem with its games are displayed at the Nintendo booth at E3 2014.

Microsoft employee Sammy Ng wears an Xbox controller as a fascinator as she watches a trailer of the new multiplayer Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare in the Activision booth at E3 2014.

Danilo Napalan plays the new zombie survival game Dying Light at the Warner Bros booth at the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo.

A woman dressed as Marie Antoinette to promote Assassin's Creed: Unity at the Ubisoft booth at E3 2014.

Gamers play play a classic arcade game Michael Jackson's Moonwalker at the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo.

Gamers try out the multiplayer Super Smash Bros at the Nintendo booth at the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo.

Gamers check out Evolve underneath a statue of a Goliath monster at the Ubisoft booth at E3 2014.

A man tries out Sony's Project Morpheus virtual reality system at the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo.

Brandon Winfrey, a developer with Insomniac Games, demonstrates the Sunset Overdrive game at the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo.

People walk past the Playstation and Xbox booths at the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo.

A man dressed as Mr Destructoid at the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo.

Gamers gather around a new Nintendo Super Smash Bros for Wii U at the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo.

A mock Titan outside the the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles.

People stand in line to enter the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo in LA.

A gamer demonstrates Entwined during the Sony Computer Entertainment America media briefing before the opening day of E3.

President and group chief executive officer of Sony Computer Entertainment Andrew House presents the exclusive digital video series Powers before E3.

President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America, Shawn Layden presents the PlayStation TV before the opening day of the Electronic Entertainment Expo.

A scene from the multiplayer beta for the upcoming Halo 5 shown at the Xbox E3 Media Briefing.

A scene from Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is demonstrated at the Xbox E3 Media Briefing.

A Los Angeles street battle scene in the beta version of Battlefield: Hardline is shown at the EA World Premiere: E3 2014 Preview press conference.

A scene from PGA Tour 15 is shown at the EA World Premiere: E3 2014 Preview press conference.

Head of 343 Industries Bonnie Ross presents Halo: The Master Chief Chronicles at E3 2014.

Head of 343 Industries Bonnie Ross presents Halo: The Master Chief Chronicles at E3 2014.

Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft's Xbox division and Microsoft Studios, during the Xbox E3 Media Briefing at USC's Galen Center in Los Angeles.

Attendees listen to speakers during the Xbox E3 Media Briefing at USC's Galen Center in Los Angeles, California.

The Xbox E3 Media Briefing at USC's Galen Center in Los Angeles, California.

Attendees watch a scene from the game Assassin's Creed: Unity during the Xbox E3 Media Briefing in Los Angeles.

Attendees watch a scene from the game Sunset Overdrive during the Xbox E3 Media Briefing at USC's Galen Center in Los Angeles.

A cellist performs during a presentation of Dragon Age: Inquisition EA World Premiere: E3 2014 Preview press conference.

A demonstration of FIFA 15 at the EA World Premiere: E3 2014 Preview press conference at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

EA Sports Studio General Manager Dean Richards demonstrates NHL 15 at the EA World Premiere: E3 2014 Preview press conference in Los Angeles.

A scene from EA Sports UFC is given at the EA World Premiere: E3 2014 Preview press conference at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

A scene from The Sims 4 at the EA World Premiere: E3 2014 Preview press conference.

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The jaws aren't dropping at E3.

Traditionally, the Electronic Entertainment Expo is the place where video game publishers reveal their biggest and boldest creations. That's changed in recent years as game release dates have moved beyond the holiday season and leaks about upcoming titles have spread across the Internet.

"It's true that the Internet and social media are allowing ideas to fly quickly," said Yves Guillemot, CEO of Assassin's Creed and Far Cry publisher Ubisoft. "This year, we were able to keep Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege a secret, so we were very happy with that."

In the months leading up to this year's trade show at the Los Angeles Convention Center, an unprecedented amount of both deliberate publicity campaigns announcing new games and seemingly unintentional breeches about upcoming titles meant that much of the typical E3 hype landed with a thud.

Can game makers still astonish?

"I still think it's possible to surprise people," said Matt Nava, the former Journey art director who wowed the crowd at Sony's press conference Tuesday with footage of Abzu, his undersea fantasy coming in 2016. "There's still so many places you can take people where they never imagined they could go before."

A sampling of some big surprises at this year's E3:

❏ Cuphead: Despite receiving only a few seconds of screen time during Microsoft's briefing on Monday, the old-school 1930s animated art style of this run-and-gun game from indie developer Studio MDHR captured attendees' imaginations. It's coming to the Xbox One as part of Microsoft's ID(at)Xbox indie initiative.

❏ Powers: Since the Xbox One's debut, Microsoft has touted the console's entertainment prowess and invested heavily in a slate of original programming. However, it was rival Sony who used its E3 press conference to tout a show set for its online service: a live-action adaptation of the graphic novel by Brian Michael Bendis.

❏ LittleBigPlanet 3: It was assumed ahead of E3 that sequels to franchises like Tomb Raider, Crackdown and Uncharted would be teased, while the prospect of a new LittleBigPlanet was a long shot. That made the revelation of LBP 3 coming to PlayStation 4 later this year with playable sidekicks a bombshell.

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❏ Splatoon: Nintendo unveiling Skylanders-like figures or a Legend of Zelda instalment for the Wii U on Tuesday didn't catch gamers off-guard, but no one guessed that the Mario Bros maker was working on a zany online multiplayer shooter featuring an original crew of shape-shifting squids battling each other with paint guns.

❏ Alien: Isolation: Buried in a press release announcing that former THQ president Jason Rubin had joined Oculus VR as the head of worldwide studios Tuesday was the shocker that Alien: Isolation, the upcoming survival game based on the original Alien film, would also be playable with the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.

Other jolts this week included the procedurally generated indie game No Man's Sky bringing some gamers to tears at Sony's briefing, Ubisoft announcing plans to resurrect Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six and Electronic Arts launching the multiplayer beta test for the cops-and-robbers game Battlefield Hardline.

 - AP

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