The 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo was three days devoted to showcasing the future of video games. Because the industry has introduced three new home consoles in the past two years in the Wii U, Xbox One and PS4, this year’s show was reserved almost exclusively for new games.
With the influx of games set for release the remainder of this year and next, narrowing the “best in show” list proved more challenging compared to previous years. Here were some of the highlights.
● “Batman: Arkham Knight” (2015 — PS4, Xbox One, PC)
Rocksteady Games has returned to the “Arkham” franchise for its finale. Taking place three years after the events of 2011’s “Arkham City,” Batman faces the new mysterious villain the Arkham Knight. This is the first game in the series that will feature a fully controllable Batmobile. Hands-on impressions indicate that “Arkham Knight” could be the best in this stellar series.
● “Alien: Isolation” (Oct. 7, 2014 — PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC)
Fans of the “Alien” movies have been waiting for a quality video game based on this fictional universe for decades. “Alien: Isolation” may be the one. This first-person horror/thriller from The Creative Assembly captures the gripping tension of the 1979 sci-fi film. There is no hope to fight the alien. The goal is to escape alive.
● “Super Smash Bros.” (fourth quarter 2014 — Wii U, 3DS)
Nintendo’s prized brawler series might just be what the Wii U needs to boost sales of the struggling console. Its vast catalog of characters such as Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Bowser and many more return for what looks like the party game of the year. The new “Super Smash Bros.” was the talk of the show.
● “Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor” (Oct. 7, 2014 — PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC)
Many believed this new original story set within the famed fantasy world of J.R.R. Tolkien would be a solid new franchise, but the hands-on demo exceeded expectations. Players will control Talion, a resurrected ranger who will attempt to infiltrate Mordor’s orc army. Talion will be able to slash through the hordes or take a manipulative approach by dominating and influencing to cause discourse within the ranks.
● “The Order: 1866” (Feb. 20, 2015 — PS4)
Set in 19th-century London in an alternate history, “The Order: 1866” follows a band of soldiers who work for the royal family. The Order is formed to investigate and eliminate supernatural occurrences throughout the city. “The Order: 1866’s” art and action attempt to put a new spin on the third-person shooter.
● “Evolve” (Oct. 21, 2014 — PS4, Xbox One, PC)
“Evolve” pits players versus players, but in an unorthodox fashion. Four players will control a group of hunters, while the fifth player will control a large monster. The team of four will have to use teamwork in order to take down the monster. “Evolve” plays like a boss fight, but one where friendly competition plays a large role.
● “Destiny” (9/9/14 — PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC)
The creators of the “Halo” series are nearly ready to release their new ambitious project “Destiny.” The multi-platform game looks to blend the worlds of first-person shooter and massively multiplayer online game. This sprawling sci-fi epic may be the first game to bring a successful MMO to a next-gen console. The E3 demo showed that it is coming along beautifully.
● “Disney Infinity 2.0” (Sept. 19, 2014 — PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, iOS, Wii U)
This new iteration of the wildly popular “Disney Infinity” series has a huge cast of newcomers: Marvel Heroes. Favorites such as Iron-Man, Spider-Man, Thor and more will be making their way to “Disney Infinity 2.0.” The game looks and plays better than its successor, as do the new figurines. Those who own the first game won’t need to buy a new Infinity Base. The same base will work with the new figurines.
Max Parker is The Game Guy at communityvoices.sites.post-gazette.com. Twitter: @GameGuyPGH.