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Microsoft, EA, Ubisoft and Sony held elaborate press conferences at E3 2014 yesterday. Many of the announcements they made were leaked beforehand or just widely expected. However, the companies managed to keep a few surprises.

Not all of the unexpected moments during the press conferences were positive, though. In some cases, the publishers fell short of expectations.

Mass Effect 4
Mass Effect 4 made an appearance during EA's press conference - kind of. They managed to show a trailer that didn't name the game or tell us a single important thing about it.

Instead, the trailer talked around the game. We didn't find out any details about Mass Effect 4. Instead, we were told that BioWare sure is working hard on the game. Also, here's some concept art.

It's okay if you don't want to talk Mass Effect 4 (or whatever it's called) yet, BioWare. You don't have to make some weird half-trailer to remind us it's coming. Everyone already knows it exists. Come back when you've got something important to share.
Crackdown 3
I really didn't see the Crackdown 3 announcement coming. The only evidence of the game came last year when Xbox boss Phil Spencer said he'd be interested in the game if they found the "right team and time." That sounded like empty reassurance but Spencer backed up his words at the press conference.

What's more, the cinematic trailer they showed was fantastic. It's more absurd than any action movie scene you'll watch this summer. The video captured what's great about the series: the opportunity to be a superheroes in cop uniforms with your friends. It also hints that we'll see more environmental destruction than ever before.

I was also happy to hear that series creator Dave Jones will be returning to the project. It's tough to gauge one person's contribution to a massive project like a AAA game. Nonetheless, it's good to see that the new Crackdown will have some continuity to the Xbox 360 games that came before it.
Halo 5
Halo 5 was introduced with a teaser trailer at E3 2013. It seemed like the next logical step would be gameplay footage at E3 2014. Unfortunately not.

The game was absent from Microsoft's press conference save for a cinematic trailer with Master Chief floating through space. As it turns out, the trailer wasn't even for Halo 5, per se. It was actually for Halo: The Master Chief Collection, a compilation of the first four games in the series.

I get that Halo 5 isn't coming out until 2015. Still, I'm shocked that Microsoft didn't show us at least a bit of in-engine footage from the game. This is your flagship franchise, guys.
Grim Fandango Remake
E3 press conferences are filled with massive, action-packed games intended to sell millions. It was surprising, then, to see a remake of a poor-selling adventure game from 1998 at Sony's presser.

Grim Fandango was widely considered to be one of the best adventure games ever released. However, the poor commercial performance of the game led LucasArts, a prolific developer of adventure games, to step away from adventure games. The genre's only recovered in the past few years thanks to companies like Telltale Games and Double Fine.

Still, even with that resurgence, Fandango is a notoriously hard game to play. You can't find it on digital stores so you need to find a hard copy through eBay or other sources. Then you had to track down a third-party program to let the game run on modern PCs. Even then, the game wasn't taking advantage of the greater processing power that new computers offer.

The PS4 and PS Vita versions will make it a lot easier to enjoy this classic. These remakes are long overdue but still completely unexpected.
The Last Guardian
Team Ico's long-delayed third game was the subject of pre-E3 controversy. A report claimed that The Last Guardian was cancelled. Sony denied this and the site issued a retraction.

Still, it's easy to believe that the game's been canned. The first trailer turned five years old last month. It's been awhile since we've gotten any information on the game, save for constant assurances that it still exists.

Sony could have calm everyone's anxieties about the fate of the game by mentioning it at their press conference. They didn't need to show off ten minutes of gameplay, even though that would have been awesome. Just show the logo on screen, tell us it's being reworked for PS4, and promise more information soon.

Even a small shout-out in the press conference would've been better than the usual silence. If you want to convince us the game's still alive, it's time to provide some proof of life.
Dead Island 2
The first Dead Island exploded onto the scene thanks to an innovative cinematic trailer. You remember it, don't you? The one with the girl rewinding through a window?

Well, Dead Island 2's trailer is even more memorable. Instead of trying to show us how super sad the game is, the trailer for DI2 is funny and energetic. I don't know what the song that is but I want it on my phone now. The game might not be anything like this trailer but damn it, I was charmed.

The first details on Dead Island 2 are intriguing too. The game's leaving behind the tropical resorts of past titles for a more iconic location: San Francisco. The new engine (Unreal Engine 4) and developer (Yager, of Spec Ops: The Line fame) are also reasons to expect big things from this sequel.
Mirror's Edge 2
EA annoyed me a second time during their press conference with their treatment of Mirror's Edge 2. Like Mass Effect 4, the game received a "look how hard we're working on the game" trailer.

We saw a cinematic trailer at E3 2013 so I was expecting a bit more this year. Maybe EA would provide a release date or gameplay footage? We've been waiting six years for a sequel so it would be nice to know the end's in sight.

To be fair, the prototype footage they showed does look great. The team has managed to make the game look even better than its predecessor without sacrificing its signature art style. It's great to see that the usual parkour and martial arts. The presentation just ended up below my high expectations, though.
Far Cry 4
Far Cry 3 really took me by surprise in 2012. Ubisoft released it at the tail-end of the holiday season, which made me think they didn't have complete faith in the game. It turned out to be the best shooter of the year, though.

Far Cry 4's gameplay demo from Ubisoft's press conference suggests that the game will continue that tradition of excellence. The Himalayan setting looks fantastic. I'm very much looking forward to zipping between mountains with a wingsuit.

The drop-in co-op was an unexpected treat, too. The co-op missions from FC3 were fun enough but being able to invite friends right into your campaign is even better. The fact that your friend shows up in a damn gyrocopter is just icing on the cake.

In spite of FC3's success, I still think FC4's going to get lost in the crowd. Everyone's going to be talking about exclusives for this or that console. Still, when the 2014 holiday season's over, Far Cry 4 could end up at the head of the pack.
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