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next gen

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Besides the huge conferences that took place last Monday, E3 2014 was a week long event and my YouTube feed has been flooded with release videos (mainly from PlayStation’s channel) of games that were also shown during that time. I thought I would share some of my most anticipated games from E3 2014 given all that was revealed.

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Earlier this week, we learned that The Order: 1886 is being delayed till early 2015 after originally being announced to release later this year. The Evil Within has also been delayed a couple months from August to October of this year, and Quantum Break is now set for a 2015 release when the assumption was it would come out this year. These announcements come as no surprise since delays are becoming quite the trend lately.

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As most gamers should know, the passing of the current year always seems to evoke the feelings that it was a better, more interesting, more disappointing, or more dangerous year than the previous twelve months. The community and industry of gaming is not an exception to this phenomenon, with the constant refinement of technology and increasing number of overly anticipated titles. It appears as though there is an increasing number of entries in flagship franchises, exclusive first or third-party titles, reboots of franchises, or games that are promising the latest in gaming innovations. 2013 was chock full of all of this and more and the final results of the year beg the question, “Was this the greatest or most disappointing year for gaming thus far?”

It could go both ways.

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Now that the 8th generation consoles have released and new perks have been added to these newborn systems, the evolution of gaming continues to take place. Up until recently, gaming consoles were not capable of detecting motion. Now these features are becoming standard along with the addition of gyroscopic controls. The industry has seemingly decided to keep giving gamers more. The greatest thing about this new era is the curiosity that lurks – the possibility of virtual reality. The Oculus Rift, “a massive field view, 107 degrees, quick- response head tracking system that incorporates immersive stereoscopic 3D rendering capabilities” according to Michael Po of Hongkiat. The system is expected to release in 2014 for PC, Linux, and Android.

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With the Xbox One right around the corner, talk about Gears of War returning has again surfaced by Microsoft Game Studios VP Phil Spencer. Back in September, Phil was asked about Gears of War returning, in which he replied “Ask Epic,” implying that Microsoft would love to bring it back but ultimately it is up to developer Epic Games.  He could not state anything further at that time but now, it appears Phil has more to say.

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The new consoles are on the horizon. We have little over a month until the Playstation 4 makes its debut and a week later the Xbox One will be released. But we also have great games coming out on current generation platforms as well. Although it will take awhile for everyone to move over to newer, shinier systems, we are starting a new generation and it’s exciting! Let’s take a look at what last generation game consoles gave us!

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Showcased on the PlayStation blog, Assault Android Cactus is an upcoming Twin-Stick “Bullet Hell” game, built on the Unity engine. The Bullet Hell genre is easily recognizable by chaotic game screens filled with hazards and projectiles that supply its name, and in this respect, Assault Android Cactus does not disappoint. Combining sci-fi themes with a playful, colorful aesthetic, the game appears as daunting as it does light-hearted and nostalgic. It comes from Brisbane, Australia developer Witch Beam, comprised of former SEGA Studios Australia staff. Artist and programmer Tim Dawson says, “We wanted to create something that captured the spirit of what arcade games meant to us when we were growing up, being tough but fair and the kind of game you could come back to again and again and express yourself through skill.”

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Morality in video games has been around for awhile now. We are used to them and sometimes they can be a bit tiresome or unnecessary. It’s strange to think that this concept was once new and exciting. If done right, morality in video games can provide a more memorable and personal experience, but can it be off-putting if done wrong.