Seven Epic Takeaways From E3 2014

The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) just wrapped up in Los Angeles, showing off the newest video game swag to hit the market in coming months. We played and saw a bunch of the latest and greatest games like it was our job. Because it was. And this year's batch of announcements, enhancements, and test runs was more colorful, more flashy, and more diverse than ever before.

Check out some of the coolest parts of this year's E3 after the jump.

7. The Press Conferences

Lights, sounds, foggers, the sounds of shouting and missile blasts---could be a typical night at the club, but it also describes the spectacle of the major industry press conferences which took place at E3. Both Microsoft and Ubisoft involved the audience in the action, handing out wristbands that lit up in different colors to coordinate with whatever game they were showcasing. Ubisoft brought comedienne and self-professed gamer Aisha Tyler back to host their presser, and it was her best outing yet.

6. The Swag

Just for showing up to the Xbox press conference, you could snag a t-shirt featuring some of the announced titles. A fan of The Sims? If you watched the presentation in their theater, you walked out with all of this stuff: a bag, a tee, and some sunglasses!

For playing Xbox One shooter Sunset Overdrive, you got their branded Overcharge energy drink, which is apparently responsible for the outbreak you're fighting in the first place. It's always a good idea to leave some extra room in your suitcase when you go to these things--you never know what you're going to get!

5. The Booth Gimmicks

Some booths are not content with just handing you a t-shirt as a reward for playing. They want to immerse you in the game experience as much as possible. Case in point, this Payday 2 space where you got to go on your very own bank heist to earn prizes!

There was the Disney Infinity booth, where you could take a selfie with a Marvel superhero. I'm a little partial to this little Rabbid from the Ubisoft booth. We go way back.

4. Games in Full Color

I love my first-person shooters, don't get me wrong, but they can get a bit dull in all that rundown post-apocalyptic brown they got going. That's why it was refreshing to see games like Yoshi's Wooly World and Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, both for Nintendo's Wii U, looking like a Michaels craft store exploded. Speaking of explosions, even the shooter genre is showing some love to the rest of the color wheel with Sunset Overdrive, a raucously good time that almost delivers an indie/punk sensibility to the genre.

3. Metagame: Don't Get the Con-Plague

Attendance at this year's E3 was listed at a cool 48,900 this year according to this report. That's a lot of hands touching a lot of controllers, and there seems to be an entire metagame centered around making sure you take care of yourself. That means eating right (if you remember to eat in the first place), staying hydrated, and getting enough sleep and vitamins to try and give your immune system a fighting chance. The booths were even getting in on the action, sometimes stocking branded hand sanitizer next to every console. That's our favorite E3 gaming accessory, right there.

2. This Fall: Highly Anticipated Games!

This fall is going to be wonderful for gamers but a little rough on the wallet. The Sims 4, Destiny, and FIFA have September release dates. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, Evolve, Fantasia: Music Evolved, Sunset Overdrive, and Assassin's Creed: Unity all come out in October. November brings us the next Call of Duty and Far Cry 4, and that's only the tip of the fall release iceberg. Still plenty of time to get a summer hustle going before the games drop. Don't say I didn't warn you.

1. 2015: Start Saving Your Pennies!

My favorite part of E3 was all about what the future of games holds. Dead Island 2, Rise of the Tomb Raider, the next Uncharted, adventure narrative Night in the Woods, Tom Clancy's The Division, and damn near every upcoming Nintendo title I want all have release dates in 2015. That gives plenty of time to prepare for not only games, but to snatch up a next-fen console if you haven't already. It's a bit of a wait, but it's a small comfort to know that you will never run out of ways to have fun in a virtual world.

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