From Destiny to Evolve, first-person shooters are about to get a whole lot more interesting

Whether it's aliens, monsters, riding on elephants, or Kevin Spacey you're into - E3 showed off the best of them

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The Independent Tech

Over the years gamers have had to get used to Call of Duty and more recently Battlefield dominating the first-person shooter genre. But after some impressive launches at E3, the powerful franchises face competition from some new kids on the block.


Perhaps most impressive in last week's Los Angeles conference was Bungie’s latest venture Destiny, dubbed as the definition of next generation gaming by Sony SEO Andrew House. Needless to say, there is a lot of pressure on Destiny, not least because of the $500million budget making it the most expensive video game production of all time. Comparisons to Halo come thick and fast in this ‘MMO/RPG/FPS’, especially with gameplay, but Destiny adds enough new features through it’s encouraging ‘online’ campaign to keep it fresh and appealing. The game bridges a gap between Call of Duty and Halo with its gun layout and movement, while the ability to battle AI opponents along with online players gives it the feel of Titanfall. Released as Destiny Alpha at E3 but out officially out in 9 September, the BETA is available for Playstation 4 users from 17 July.

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Destiny may bring back post next-gen memories of the fabulous Halo, but have no fear. The Master Chief collection will be brought to Xbox One this Autumn, reliving campaigns from Halo 1, 2, 3, and 4 on one disc, plus giving lucky users a sneak peak at the fifth instalment, to be released next year. The debate between the different spectrums of the FPS world will kick off once again, with Halo tipped to outsell both Call of Duty and Battlefield. Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops dominated Bungie’s later efforts on the market, but with the hugely popular multiplayer modes from Halo 1 and 2 returning in HD, this could well be the developer’s year.

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Stepping away from the futuristic world comes Far Cry 4, another open world epic with enough visually exciting aspects to make up for its FPS flaws. Far Cry 3 was an absolute revelation for the franchise with a mind-blowing storyline and hundreds of interesting side-quests, so Ubisoft’s task of following that up will prove tricky. Set in the Himalayas, Far Cry enthusiasts will get to experience helicopters and rampaging elephants for the first time, as well as getting to grips with a whole new antagonist. As it's another to be released in November, it’s shaping up to be a blockbuster month.

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Fancy the weird and wonderful? Then there was also time at E3 for Evolve. From the makers of Left 4 Dead, Evolve is no doubt the scariest FPS on the market this year. Gamers must search for the ultimate predator, standing at 40-feet tall, who just so happens to be another player. From the aspect of co-operating with your friends, to the guns involved, Gears of War and Left 4 Dead fans will enjoy Turtle Rock Studios’ contender.

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Of course, Call of Duty and Battlefield have had to re-think their strategy with their new competition, and especially given Titanfall’s promising emergence earlier this year. After Treyarch and Infinity created a CoD legacy, Sledgehammer games have joined the party to bring you Advanced Warfare. The developers have been working hard to provide a more ‘next-gen’ feel to the franchise after Ghosts somewhat flopped, and none other than Kevin Spacey has been added to the cast to provide a more authentic feel to the campaign. That’s right, Academy Award winning actor Kevin Spacey… but that’s not what Call of Duty is about.

 

Although the multiplayer gameplay for CoD wasn’t specifically revealed at E3, the use of ECO suits can be counted upon online, a device which can allow you to stick to walls like Spiderman and jump high as if you were Superman. One hopes that these Superhero-like powers will be limited to prevent ridiculous killstreaks! Acknowledging the success of Titanfall, there will be a free-running aspect to the game, coupled with the CoD renowned assault rifles and submachine guns. The new game looks promising, though it is perhaps a shame that futuristic weapons and inventions such as laser guns are still apparent after Black Ops II and Ghosts failed to inspire.

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Moving onto Battlefield, famous for its wide multiplayer maps and kicking off ‘levolution’ on the next-gen consoles, comes two new modes which are sure to thrill. Hardline, not Battlefield 5 is the name we will have to get used to, as early signs of the BETA -  already available on PS4 - looks fast and furious. Get ready to play Cops and Robbers in Heist and Blood Money, with EA looking to step outside of the box to reignite that CoD rivalry in 2014. Heist, apparent from the name, will see one team try to blow the doors off the back of an armored vehicle to get to the money inside, with the other’s job to protect that van. Blood Money is a new take on Capture the Flag, with gamers looking to take as much money from a safe as possible before returning it, alive, to their base. Vehicles and high speed crashes have been thrilling in previous Battlefield games, but this time there’s an actual reason to run an opponent over in your police car. Now that’s what I call a first-person shooter.

All of these games provide genuinely different reasons to excite 2014’s gamer, with the competition sure to hot up come November. And don’t rule out Destiny from setting the bar incredibly high.

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