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Gamer's Thumb: Year of the Games

By JR Ortega
June 18, 2014 at 1:18 a.m.

People wait in line for theater presentations for video games, including "Batman," "Mortal Kombat X" and "Shadow of Mordor" at the WB Games booth at the Electronic Entertainment Expo on June 11 in Los Angeles.

"If you build it, they will come."

These whispered words from "Field of Dreams" are iconic. And if you've followed E3 - the Electronic Entertainment Expo - you can easily apply these words as tried and true.

In 2013, E3 wowed gamers everywhere with the announcement of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, the powerful offspring of two familiar gaming consoles.

And last week, the highlight of E3 was rightfully all about the games.

Maybe you're not like me, watching the live announcements, so let me fill you in: There is plenty to be excited about this year.

Here are three of the biggest talkers.

'The Legend of Zelda'

We'll start with the video game that could save Nintendo's Wii U. I mean no negativity, but it's just the harsh reality. Sales for the Wii U in North America aren't exactly skyrocketing, but it was last week's untitled "Legend of Zelda" game that had gamers buzzing on social media. With an anticipated 2015 release, the new game is open world, said the series' director Eiji Aonuma. The demo revealed no game play or story line but did unveil a gorgeous and expansive Kingdom of Hyrule, beautifully painted with earthy pastels.

A cinematic battle follows the opening scene, showing us Link, the game's main protagonist. The big talker is that Link looks different, out of his signature green tunic and instead in a more lightweight blue garb. The game revisits the series' true adventure, Aonuma said.

Before E3, Wii U announced "Super Smash Bros. U" and released "Mario Kart 8" - both games popularized on Nintendo's older consoles. Personally, I can't wait for 2015.

'Assassin's Creed Unity'

The saga continues in this historical-based role-playing game. This is Ubisoft's seventh installment for the series, following last year's "Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag."

If you've not played this series, I strongly encourage it. While I didn't find much interest in the first game, each installment so far has given me much gaming pleasure.

The game's creators do their research, making these games as historically accurate as possible. The result has always been a captivating plot with stunning historical landscapes from cities like Rome to the blue waters of the Caribbean in the height of piracy in the 18th century. "Assassin's Creed Unity," which is being released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, follows Arno Dorian and his fellow assassins on the night of the French Revolution. Shown at E3 was gameplay of Arno in Paris, exploring the open world. Game release date is Oct. 28.

'Batman: Arkham Knight'

Batman always returns. "Batman: Arkham Knight" is the latest installment since 2013's "Batman: Arkham Origins." I have yet to play this series, but I've heard plenty of great things about it. I've watched the gameplay, and it should be no surprise that the graphics are stunning. I'd compare it to watching a CGI movie. Though the fourth game with the Arkham name, the storyline follows "Batman: Arkham City," with the return of Scarecrow to Gotham City. The game probably wasn't one of E3's biggest surprises, but it definitely continues the competitive streak between PlayStation 4 and Xbox One because this installment will be released on both consoles.



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