E3 2013

June 18, 2013 | 12:36 p.m.

‘The Legend of Zelda’: Nintendo’s Eiji Aonuma plots series’ future

WiiU_ZeldaWW_scrn01_E3
Nintendo’s Eiji Aonuma is seeing two major “The Legend of Zelda” titles through release in 2013 — “The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD” for the WiiU and “The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds” for the 3DS — but with each project nearing completion, his attention is shifting to a project he hopes will completely reimagine the “Zelda” franchise. Though early in development, the first original “Zelda”-branded game for the Wii U is proving to be a creative challenge for Aonuma, the longtime overseer of the franchise. The Wii U, with its touchpad-like controller, offers game mechanics unlike any other system on the market — or coming to the market — and Aonuma intends to use them. “It’s not that anyone is telling me we have to change the formula,” Aonuma said. “I want to change it. I’m kind of getting tired […]
June 15, 2013 | 10:13 p.m.

E3 2013: ‘Watch Dogs’ writer maps Chicago, morality of vigilantism

Kevin Shortt, lead writer for Ubisoft's "Watchdog." (Jevon Phillips / Los Angeles Times)
Ubisoft’s November title “Watch Dogs” had attendees at the recently concluded Electronic Entertainment Expo lining up for an in-depth look. The Chicago-set game explores the world through the eyes of a technologically savvy vigilante whose motivations and intentions can vary according to the player’s wishes. To learn more about “Watch Dogs” and the history behind the project, Hero Complex spoke to lead script writer Kevin Shortt (“Avatar: The Game”). HC: How did the concept for “Watch Dogs” originate? KS: We started with a small core team very early on, four years ago actually, and mostly we just talked about what we wanted. We quickly zeroed in on the idea of having a cellphone and being able to use the cellphone to basically control the city, and what that would mean. For us, that then became, OK, there’s privacy issues in […]
June 15, 2013 | 8:48 a.m.

E3 2013: Selling the Xbox One, PS4, Wii U in a tough climate

The just-completed Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles is an extended tease. It began early Tuesday with a promise from Nintendo, that an extremely important announcement would be coming at Nintendo’s E3 booth at 11:40 a.m. Press had been gathered before the Los Angeles Convention Center doors opened at noon for early looks at some of Nintendo’s fall slate of games. Nintendo execs walking the floor ensured the media that no one should leave before 11:40 a.m. “You won’t want to miss this,” one of them told me. Except by the time the announcement came and went, I wished I had missed it. The info-disguised-as-news was simply that the human avatar in Wii Fit would serve as a playable character in “Super Smash Bros.” for the Wii U and the recently unveiled 3DS editions of the game. Cute, but […]
June 13, 2013 | 12:18 p.m.

E3 2013: Jet Li and living in the ‘Age of Wushu’

'Age of Wushu' (featured image)
At E3, a number of things catch your attention, but a video and a simple banner showing an ancient warrior who looks strikingly like actor Jet Li can draw any casual fighting-game fan over to the Snail Games booth for a look at “Age of Wushu”. And as it turns out, the action-film star/former Wushu (which just means “martial arts” in Chinese) champion does in fact have a little something to do with the game. “There is a character in the game that is Jet Li. He has a character name, then in parenthesis it says Jet Li next to it. I guess they really wanted to drive that point home, in case you did recognize him,” said Chris Toft, a lead QA producer for SnailUSA, the Chinese company’s stateside division. “He is a character in the Twilight Village story. […]
June 13, 2013 | 11:13 a.m.

E3 2013: David Cage of ‘Beyond Two Souls’ wants industry change

'Beyond Two Souls" puts the emphasis on story. (Quantic Dream)
The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is not the best place to sample “Beyond Two Souls,” the upcoming narrative game to be distributed by Sony from video game auteur David Cage. Enter, for instance, one of the main halls at E3, the video game industry’s annual trade show, and you will immediately see caged, model-thin actors and actresses. They are playing zombies, and they are trapped on the showroom floor to advertise a forthcoming game from Capcom. They will lunge for you, grunt at you and sit cross-legged in skintight pants for your enjoyment while munching on fake flesh. Walk a few steps in another direction, and it’s possible you will find yourself  unwittingly stuck in an hour-plus line for a free, customized toy for an upcoming Disney game. Leave the conference hall and barely clothed adults dressed as Hansel and […]
June 13, 2013 | 8:49 a.m.

E3 2013: ‘Knack’ brings a dash of fun to PS4 launch

"Knack" is a more lighthearted launch title for the PS4. (Sony)
Now that more games have been revealed at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) for the next-gen PS4 and Xbox One consoles, it’s clear there’s going to be a lot of bloodshed when the systems are released by the end of the year. From “Ryse: Son of Rome” on the Xbox One to “Killzone: Shadow Fall” on the PS4, each system does violence with extreme detail. But how about a next-gen game that can make you laugh? Sony’s PS4 launch title “Knack” looks to fill a void. In development from Mark Cerny, the PS4′s system architect, “Knack” is his attempt to bring “Pixar-quality graphics and storytelling” to the new platform. Cerny told Hero Complex on Wednesday at E3 that essentially what amounts to a full-length feature film is inside the game. PHOTOS: Scenes from E3 2013 “We’ve embedded pretty much what […]
June 12, 2013 | 11:52 p.m.

E3 2013 photos: Scenes from the world’s largest video game conference

An E3 visitor gets her picture taken in the Nintendo arena. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) floor at the Los Angeles Convention Center echoed with cheering, gunshots, tire screeching and music from hundreds of game demos Wednesday as more than 45,000 attendees gathered for the world’s largest annual video game trade show. E3, now in its 18th year, has become a mecca for video game developers, retailers, industry professionals and journalists. The trade show, which runs through Thursday and is not open to the public, often serves as the pulpit for the industry’s biggest announcements. On Wednesday, convention-goers were greeted by an enormous “Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures” display outside the main entrance, complete with painted Mini Coopers. The big three game companies dominated the floor, with Nintendo’s bright white walls and whimsical displays setting it apart from its darker (and considerably more adult) neighbors, Microsoft and Sony. FULL COVERAGE: E3 […]
June 12, 2013 | 10:27 p.m.

E3 2013: Conan O’Brien will weigh in on PS4 vs. Xbox One

Conan O'Brien at E3 speaks to Telemundo. (Jevon Phillips / Los Angeles Times)
Conan O’Brien’s familiar pompadour of red hair stood out at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) at the Los Angeles Convention Center as he made a stop at the small SnailUSA booth Wednesday. O’Brien was among fans, retailers, media and industry professionals who took to the aisles to get some up-close time with new offerings, many of which they’ve been hearing about for a few days. Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo all hosted big press events, including the introductions of two new consoles in the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. FULL COVERAGE: E3 2013 When asked why he was visiting the SnailUSA booth, he shrugged. “I was here just to cover E3 and mostly to try to settle the controversy between the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One consoles — the Hatfields vs. McCoys argument of our time,” O’Brien said. “I haven’t […]
June 12, 2013 | 6:30 p.m.

E3: ‘Mad Max’ trailer features road combat, post-apocalyptic survival

'Mad Max' video game (featured image)
Among the slate of games announced during the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) this week is “Mad Max,” an post-apocalyptic action game inspired by — you guessed it — the Mel Gibson-starring “Mad Max” movie franchise. The open-world video game, from publisher Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and developer Avalanche Studios, will cast players as the road warrior, fighting to survive in a post-apocalyptic wasteland while facing vicious bandits, desert terrain and hostile weather. “The Wasteland lends itself incredibly well to the high level of player freedom,” Avalanche Studios cofounder and chief creative officer Christofer Sundberg said in a news release. “This unforgiving environment inspired us to create a gritty and diverse experience where driving, fighting and scavenging are essential for survival.” PHOTOS: Scenes from E3 2013 Driving, indeed. The theft of Max’s iconic yellow car Interceptor is the catalyst for much […]
June 12, 2013 | 5:24 p.m.

E3: Watch ‘The Dark Sorcerer,’ Quantic Dream’s 12-minute PS4 demo

'The Dark Sorcerer' (featured image)
Quantic Dream, the developer behind “Beyond Two Souls” and “Heavy Rain,” has released the full-length version of its 12-minute PlayStation 4 tech demo “The Dark Sorcerer.” A teaser for the video was shown during Sony’s media event Monday for the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles. The short film was created to show off the technological and graphic capabilities of Sony’s next-generation PS4 console. The comedic video features a wizard and his goblin minion who are revealed to be actors on a green-screen set. Game enthusiasts may recognize the sorcerer character from Sony’s first PS4 media event in February, during which Quantic Dream founder and game director David Cage used the character’s expressive face to illustrate 3-D depth of field and other advancements. FULL COVERAGE: E3 2013 “The Dark Sorcerer” film is a stand-alone project and is not taken […]
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