At the 2015 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Activision Publishing, Inc. showcased a thrilling lineup including first-person shooters, musical experiences, and toy-based games. Alongside releases including FreeStyleGames' Guitar Hero Live, Toys For Bob's Skylanders SuperChargers, and the all-new The Taken King content pack for Bungie's Destiny.
Perhaps the biggest weapon in Activision's arsenal is the latest in its record-selling military shooter franchise, Call of Duty: Black Ops III, slated for release in late 2015 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. With development led by Treyarch, this latest chapter in the blockbuster Call of Duty franchise continues the series' forward-looking tradition by thrusting players into a scenario where soldiers have access to even more cutting-edge technology. Direct Neural Interface (DNI) is a sub-dermal technology that connects directly into a soldier's brain and spinal column, giving complete control over the host's physiology. DNI technology allows Black Ops III's soldiers to reach unparalleled levels of coordination and information analysis in the battlefield. The game's elite cyber-soldiers include men and women who have enhanced their combat capabilities to new heights, powered by the latest bio-augmentation technology.
To capitalize on the current generation of gaming hardware, Black Ops III will feature larger environments than ever before, along with the ability for players to engage enemies as they choose in open-area gameplay. Players will enjoy massive replay ability, with no two engagements turning out the same way. To accommodate the larger environments and freeform play style, the development team at Treyarch completely overhauled Call of Duty's A.I. system and created a new animation system, which will combine to challenge players in new ways.
Also new to the franchise are Cyber Cores and Cyber Rigs--modifications that allow an added degree of player customization. Cyber Cores provide a variety of skills, ranging from remote hacking and controlling drones to chain melee strikes. Cyber Rigs are passive upgrades that allow players to make use of advanced movement and defensive capabilities. All of these options empower teams to construct a variety of differently configured soldiers that have the flexibility to handle engagements in a wide range of operations. In the game's Safe House, players can customize their bunks, show off their medals and achievements, and access Black Ops III's wiki to gain further information about the game's setting.
Black Ops III also features a new momentum-based, precision-focused, chained-movement system, allowing players to fluidly move through environments with new levels of finesse--using controlled thrust jumps, power slides, and other such capabilities in a variety of combinations. With its Guns Up philosophy, Black Ops III lets players maintain full control of their weapons at all times, with 360 degrees of motion for all maneuvers. The game's maps are designed specifically for this new movement system, giving players power over how they use the environment for advanced tactics.
The game's multiplayer also introduces the new Specialist system, which lets players choose from one of nine elite soldiers, each with their own look, personality, voice, and battle-hardened weapons and abilities. Each of the nine Specialists can be ranked up, offering a new level-progression pathway. The Specialists system fundamentally changes the way players engage in combat at key points throughout a match, as each weapon and ability is designed with a role that makes that particular Specialist a unique force in the field.
On the lighter end of the spectrum comes Guitar Hero Live, FreeStyleGames' latest addition to the pop culture phenomenon. It features two ways to play, including a first-person point of view where players find themselves onstage as the star of the show in front of real crowds who react to the performance in real time. GHTV also represents a first: The 24-hour playable music video network lets fans play their plastic guitar controllers along to a collection of official videos--from the newest releases to favorite hits. GHTV lets players compete with their friends from anywhere around the world, as they battle for the highest scores on individual songs.
The simulated guitar is a major part of the experience, and Guitar Hero Live introduces a new guitar controller that features two rows of three buttons that better reflects the way that people naturally play the instrument. This simple innovation makes it easier for beginners to play--and challenging for veterans to master. For the first time ever, Activision is bringing the complete Guitar Hero experience to mobile devices, providing players with the same console experience anytime, anywhere. It will ship for PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and select mobile devices this fall.
Adding to Activision's impressive E3 lineup, the Bungie-developed online shooter Destiny--released last year for Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, and PS3--gets even more content September 15 with the release of its third major expansion pack. Destiny: The Taken King. The expansion features new powers and weapons, three additional sub-classes, and an epic battle in the sky with a new foe named Oryx.
Activision is bringing innovation to another one of its hit franchises, with the launch of Skylanders SuperChargers. The game expands the franchise's signature toy-based gameplay by introducing vehicles, which create an entirely new way for fans to experience the magic of Skylanders. For the first time, players can explore and navigate the mountainous terrains, deep-sea environments, and wide open skies of the Skylands with detailed, articulated vehicles that are great for real-world play, and come to life in-game via the included Portal of Power accessory.
Skylanders SuperChargers is filled with tricked-out vehicles that afford players the freedom to speed across the Skylands' gravel roads in vehicular combat, race along roaring rapids, and engage in aerial dogfights as they barrel roll through enemy swarms. SuperChargers supports all 300+ Skylanders toys from previous games, enabling all characters to pilot land-, sea-, or sky-based vehicles. Players also have the ability to customize vehicles with modifications and upgradeable weapons. Players can even pair the new SuperChargers characters with their signature vehicles to create a "SuperCharged" combination, unlocking an exclusive mod that revs up the performance of the vehicle and character. The game will be available September 20 in North America, September 24 in Australia and New Zealand, and September 25 in Europe.
Tony Hawk hits the asphalt once again in this fall's Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 for PS4, Xbox One, PS3, and Xbox 360. This entry blends the series' classic street-shredding gameplay with seamless online multiplayer, as well as the option to create and share custom skate parks.
Two more games round out Activision's impressive E3 lineup. First, developer The Odd Gentlemen's King's Quest delivers a five-episode fairy tale based on Sierra's genre-defining adventure game series. The first episode arrives in July. And in the fall, Platinum Games' Transformers: Devastation pits Autobots against Decepticons with plenty of furious, third-person brawling and a dazzling cel-shaded look. Both games will hit PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.
From guitars, to fantasy adventures, to all-out warfare, Activision's amazing 2015 lineup features something for every one of its fans.