E3 2014: GTA 5, Smash Bros, FIFA among highlights of a busy show

By Brenna Hillier
16 June 2014 04:20 GMT

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E3 2014 was jam-packed with great content, but there were a few moments – GTA 5 on next-gen, Battlefield Hardline’s beta – that really stood out. We recap the reveals that got everyone talking.

There was so much going on at E3 2014 that we’ll be talking about it for months, but as the dust settles on last week’s blow-out it becomes apparent that there are a couple of things that really stood out. Although almost everything the big four brought to show off has proved popular, judging by the trends we’ve noticed across various sites and social media, the five topics below have been the subject of intense interest online.

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GTA 5 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One

It’s kind of funny that one of the stand-out moments of this year’s E3 was the announcement of a port of a game many of us have already played to death, but you just can’t stop the Grand Theft Auto juggernaut.

Fans have been calling for a PC release of GTA 5 since it was first announced, so Rockstar’s long-awaited capitulation was a triumph in itself, but it’s just how terrific the new version looks that really has us excited; Pat nearly wet himself, I think. What a coup for Sony to host the announce – especially with exclusive PS4 GTA 5 content in the offing.

GTA 5 on PS3 and Xbox 360 already looks great; what Rockstar squeezed out of the ageing consoles is a technical marvel. But with the power of next-gen consoles and PC, the developer is unleashed from the limitations of the older boxes – watch the weather effects, the dynamic real-time light and shadows, the reflections. It’s amazing, and despite being technically a port – we guess – I predict it will set the bar for this generation for at least a year.

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I know, I know – it’s an annual iteration on a series. But the thing about FIFA is that it deserves its spot at the top of the queue. Konami does an excellent job with PES, innovating and pushing its rival to stay competitive, but for sheer quality it can’t match EA Sports’ flagship series. Americans can keep Madden; it’s a great series, but it’s not footer, is it?

That EA Canada hasn’t chosen to rest on its laurels but keeps pushing the beautiful game so that it is genuinely both more beautiful and interesting to play each year is incredible. We keep expecting it to run out of steam – for the latest FIFA to have an off year, release to middling reviews and for the series to get a swift kick up the jacksie. It never happens. It just keeps getting better. This year we spotted at least ten ways FIFA 15 will be better than ever.

FIFA 14 was the first in the series to be built on the Ignite engine, a new tech created by EA Sports specifically to power next-gen sports games, and it showed. But FIFA 15 is the first to be developed with next-gen firmly in mind, and that shows too. If you can at all avoid it, don’t get the PS3 or Xbox 360 version!

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Battlefield: Hardline

To be honest, we expected this one to be a bit of a flop – and we’re probably just about as happy as EA is to have been wrong. A new Battlefield, so close to the controversially troubled Battlefield 4? A Battlefield developed outside DICE, and by the Dead Space team no less? A Battlefield about cops and robbers? It’s a recipe for something less than delicious.

Oh we of little faith. Just look at that Battlefield: Hardline gameplay footage. That’s a rotin’, tootin’ Battlefield game alright, no mistake. Visceral has been beavering away on this for a while (yeah, actually, now that we come to think of it we ought to have been asking questions about what it was up to down there in Redwood City) and it seems to have been worth its while.

EA really pulled a good one on us by opening the beta right in the middle of its E3 2014 show. Everyone rushed off to get involved, filling the Internet with discussion – and now Hardline is a name on everybody’s lips, and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare has fallen right off the radar. Will that hold up come November? Well, probably not, but EA has definitely won the first skirmish.

Next: Super Smash Bros, Microsoft, and the things nobody’s talking about.

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