'Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare' shows off new toys

Sledgehammer Games, the latest steward of the venerable “Call of Duty” franchise, is documenting the progress of their latest entry into the series, “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.”

Their latest video — seen here — shows off some of the futuristic toys gamers will get to play with when the game launches in November. “Advanced Warfare” is taking “Call of Duty” in a new direction, mixing hard science fiction elements with the grittiness the series has become known for. In this world, hover bikes and armored exoskeletons are part of the everyday arsenal, and if the video is anything to go from, they look to be a blast to play with.  

E3 indie game highlights

The indie title "Cuphead" looks as though it's ripped straight from a 1930s cartoon.

It’s no secret that E3 is about the bombastic celebration of gaming. The massive conference moves along like a raging river, with the large games acting as eddies in the water, gathering spots in which a plurality of gamers gather to ogle the new “Zelda’s” and “Call of Duty’s” of the world.

Those moments make for an exciting time at E3, but just as important are the bits of indie gaming sediment that wash ashore while and bring to life a robust, diverse gaming environment. This year’s press conferences put some of those independent titles on equal footing, while some of those smaller games were pushed aside. We wanted to takes some time to highlight some of these games and give you a look at some amazingly creative titles you may have missed over the past couple of days.

Nintendo’s conference delivers laughs, games

Screengrab from Nintendo's unveiling of the newest Zelda title, slated for release in 2015.

Nintendo has always marched to the beat of their own drum, so it’s really no surprise that the company put their own spin on the normally somber news conferences. Unlike Monday’s conferences, Nintendo’s was all pre-recorded. They also eschewed “humorous” lame jokes in favor of professionally designed skits by the “Robot Chicken” show runners, which was a bit shocking considering Nintendo’s family friendly image.

Oh, and they also managed to squeeze in some talk about their upcoming video game portfolio, too. 

Sony conference brings big names to bear

Each company during Monday’s E3 press conferences took different approaches in getting their message across. Microsoft focused on new experiences, EA took us behind the scenes of the game development process and Sony brought out the big names in their effort to show gamers that PlayStation is where it’s at.

By any metric, they were successful. There was a great look at the much-hyped “Destiny,” along with an alpha signup that PlayStation 4 owners can sign up for here. We got our first look at “Little Big Planet 3,” and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and “Bloodborne,” the game formerly known as “Project Beast,” from From Software. Their big exclusive, “The Order: 1886” was given a new trailer, with snippets of gameplay woven through the largely CGI movie.

EA conference light on gameplay

Screengrab from the "Star Wars: Battlefront" official trailer.

Electronic Arts started its E3 showcase with a short look at “Star Wars: Battlefront,” followed by a warning that their conference was going to be a little different.

That difference manifested itself in the way they highlighted the dozen or so games targeted for delivery to shelves over the next couple of years. Instead of gameplay trailers, most of the announcements included inside looks at the teams developing the games, with a heavy emphasis on concept art and target renders.

Microsoft kicks off conference with new Call of Duty, Halo collection

Screengrab from "The Master Chief Collection."

Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft's Xbox division, opened this year’s E3 conference  with a promise that video games, and not superfluous entertainment widgets, would be his company’s focus moving forward.

Ninety minutes later, even strident opponents would have to agree that this year’s conference delivered on that front in a way that the sports- and television-filled disaster of last year’s conference never did.

Are you ready for E3?

E3, the biggest gaming event of the year, is right around the corner. Next week, the Internet will be flooded with videos, speculation and rumors about upcoming video games. In case you want to get in on the ground floor, we decided to put together a primer for next week's festivities. We've included links to when each company's news conferences will be streamed, along with the times and the games that will likely be shown at some point during E3. All conferences are scheduled to be live streamed on Twitch here.


Video: Bungie uncloaks details on 'Destiny'

Bungie’s “Destiny” has been cloaked in secrecy since its coming out party at E3 last year. Just by virtue of being the next series by the venerable “Halo” creators was enough to catch the attention of the entire gaming populace, but nearly everything about the game, including its precise genre, has remained somewhat of a mystery. That is, until yesterday, when Bungie released a full-length gameplay trailer. 

While the intricacies of the game’s story and mission structure remains the topic of much speculation, the gameplay trailer released yesterday showed the first-person shooting mechanics are polished, albeit cribbed heavily from the Halo series. What we’ve seen of Destiny’s gameplay shows it to be somewhat of a mixture of “Borderlands” and “Halo,” with a dash of massively-multiplayer online elements.

Microsoft details Xbox Originals TV shows

Microsoft announced the first round of its exclusive, original television content would begin hitting Microsoft consoles and devices this June.

The gaming and electronics giant marketed the Xbox One heavily on the back this content, which they have officially labeled “Xbox Originals,” so it’s great to see more details about the service. The biggest news to come from yesterday’s announcement is the official detailing of the “Halo” television series produced by legendary filmmaker Steven Spielberg. A separate, more nebulous “Halo” digital feature has famed “Blade Runner” director Ridley Scott attached in a production capacity.

US Navy sails gaming's cryptic seas with ARG

"Project Architeuthis"

The U.S. Navy is introducing an alternate reality game aimed at attracting the attention of the brainier denizens of the Internet.

Titled “Project Architeuthis,” this social media experiment-meets-cryptology puzzle game is the result of a partnership between the Navy and the Lowe Campbell Ewald marketing agency.


About the Authors

Brian Bowers is Stars and Stripes’ Assistant Managing Editor for Europe and Mideast and one of its video game reviewers. He joined the newspaper in 1992 in Germany, where he worked on the news desk and the city desk. He has a wife and three children, who are always eager to help him test games.

Sam Laney joined Stars and Stripes in 2007 as a copy/layout editor and slowly convinced upper management to support his video game habit. Since then, he’s added game reviews and previews to his list of duties and moved on to the iPad. When he’s not rocking newbies in “Left4Dead2,” he covers PC and Nintendo systems.

Michael S. Darnell joined Stars and Stripes in 2013 as a reporter and quickly annoyed his bosses into allowing him to write about video games in his spare time. He's a PC gamer at heart whose life goals include buildin