The thought that seems to be on everyone’s mind this year at E3 is, holy shit, this is going to be a great next few years for gaming, hell, maybe this is even paving the way for all of the video game industry in general. While some new hardware was introduced, for the most part—it was about the games. It seems over the last few years we have been blessed with some truly exceptional games, but if E3 2016 has anything to say about it… hold on to your butts. This is just going to be a quick rundown on the games I focused on this year at E3, and I wish I could include more, but the list would be too long, so, let’s just dive right in.
God of War
I think it’s safe to say, that the crowd at the Sony press conference about lost their damn minds when it opened with an orchestra laying down an amazing score. What happened next was even more mind blowing, because guess who showed up, Kratos; The God of War. There are so many reasons to be excited for this game, first and foremost, God of War is back and revamped. One thing that’s being said about the footage shown, is that it definitely is drawing from games like The Last of Us, and that’s a good thing. The game play demo opened with a boy playing with his toys, being called into a hut as Kratos steps out of the shadows saying “I am hungry, feed us”. As they begin the hunt we see a much different side of Kratos (besides his sick beard), he still has a certain aggression, but he’s having to temper it because he needs to be a father. That fact that Kratos is not going to be just a blood thirsty killing machine is definitely a fresh new take. Not only is Kratos new, but so is the setting, as well as combat, and this looks equally promising. Now set in a Nordic background, it’s definitely going to switch the lore around, and from the environment, to the enemies GoW is taking itself seriously. The combat also looks promising, sticking to the same GoW style but again drawing from games, in lieu of Naughty Dog. God of War just revealed itself and its no surprise it already looks good.
I was excited for the first Dishonored, and needless to say, it did not disappoint, so it makes sense that I’m equally as excited, if not more so, for Dishonored 2. Dishonored was a gamble for sure (I mean what new IP isn’t), but it delivered, and quickly gained a fan base. It was unique new world with; an alternate timeline, alternate universe, whaling, witchcraft, and steampunk setting! What’s not to love? Dishonored 2 takes everything that made Dishonored great, and builds on it, not only is our main man Korvo back, but you will also be able to play as the Empress, Emily Kaldwel, whom was just 10yrs old in the last game. Now she seems to have been trained up by Korvo, and is ready to kill (or not), anything and anyone that stands in her way. The world definitely takes on a more 3Diminsional element, which in turn allows for more versatility and choice in how to approach situations. Of course you can kill everyone in the game, but they have also fine tweaked, and improved on the stealth elements of the game, this was one of the most requested things, so it’s good to see that Arkyan Studios listened. Another big surprise is the news that you can say “No” to The Stranger, having no powers the whole game, why not? All in all, Dishonored 2 seems like it will deliver, presenting a fresh new setting with a badass new protagonist. This is definitely shaping up to be the year of female protagonist—hell yeah.
Horizon Zero Dawn
Hey look, it’s another new IP! What’s that, its Horizon Zero Dawn? Isn’t that the game with a badass looking redheaded tribal woman (who totally looks like Rose Leslie from Game of Thrones…just saying) taking down giant robot animals? Yes, yes it is. Horizon Zero Dawn hasn’t really revealed to much about itself, but with this E3 the picture has become clearer. A young woman sets out on adventure to find out just what happened to the world to make it as is. This game is something to drool over, cause holy shit, it looks gorgeous. From what the developers said we saw only a fraction of the world (haven’t heard that before), but I’m so excited for the diversity of this world, if the small part we’ve seen is anything to go off of, seeing the game in action, and understanding just what you will be encountering was even more reassuring. I really want to know why robots have taken the form of wildlife! Why is there a robot corrupting other robots? Why do human’s still have technology, even if it’s only limited? I’ll just have to wait and see.
Detroit: Become Human
Quantic Dream has always seemed to push the boundaries of cinematic gaming, and while they’re games have always been great, sometimes it felt as if they were just a little ahead of the curve. With their latest game though, it seems they might finally hit the mark for not only a good game, but a great game. Detroit: Become Human has had a few trailers drop here and there, I remember when the released the Kara trailer and the emotions flowed. It was an amazing trailer and they didn’t even say they were working on a game; it was more “hey look at this thing we did”. Through the years the kept showing things here and there, but it still wasn’t clear exactly what Detroit: Become Human was about. Now the wait is over, because who doesn’t want to play an android detective story, “My name is Conner, and this is our story” still reverberates through me. I really do feel like Quantic Dream just went over to Eidous Montreal and asked “Hey is it cool if we do exactly what you did but different?” Isn’t the highest form of flattery imitation? Not saying it’s a bad thing, because if there’s a game on my radar, now more than ever, it’s this one.
Mass Effect: Andromeda
I remember the day I picked up Mass Effect, it was the first time I had ever had that level of excitement for a game, I didn’t know anything about it except what my roommate had explained to me earlier that week. I got thrust into one of the most brilliant Sci-Fi worlds I’d been introduced to in gaming, and while it had its flaws, I’d never played anything like it. It seemed huge, fleshed out, like I was actually a just one small thing in an infinite galaxy. Needless to say, Mass Effect: Andromeda has my full attention. The days of Shepard are gone, and we are introduced to a new protagonist, Ryder, and she is no Shepard as Bioware has said. This is a brand new story with new characters, who are by no means hero’s. The crew of The Tempest (their ship) are a long way from home, hundreds of light years has been stated, they are cut off from all they know, as well as, all we know. Being part of journey into the unknown is about as Sci-fi as it gets, and the fact that the characters, and players have no idea what to expect, I’m sure will make the connection that much stronger—especially for those wow moments.
Remember when everyone got real bummed that Hideo Kojima scrapped Silent Hill, and said he was leaving Konami, then he was like “hey here’s my new studio, that’s mine!” Well it was a freaking treat, and shocker to see the man walk on stage only to present us with what he’s been working on. Death Stranding, what’s it about, no one knows! What is known; Norman freaking Reedus is in it, dead sea creatures, baby attached by tech umbilical cord to Norman Reedus, more dead sea creatures, five floating beings over the sea, ok we get it. Just go watch the trailer, it looks amazing and mysterious and fantastic. I’ve watched this trailer way too many times to count.
The Last Guardian
I must say, I love the drama that comes with the videogame industry, in this case I’m referring to the long anticipated wait, and struggle of The Last Guardian. This game was announced seven years ago, and sense then has go through ups and downs the likes of which have never been seen. No one knew if it was being made, or scrapped, or being made, but it’s finally upon us! It was officially announced, that yes it was still around, showing itself at last E3, and now with the latest trailer form this year’s E3, a release date has been shown. Get ready to let the tears flow because The Last Guardian is looking to be the most heart wrenching game this year. From the team that brought us Ico, and Shadow of the Colossus the third and finally instalment in this long tale is upon us. The Last Guardian is the story of a boy, the creature Trico he meets, and the adventure they are in for together. I have no idea what to expect story wise, but as aforementioned it’s going to be an emotional roller coaster. A unique twist on fantasy is always nice, so this will be a breath of fresh air (Speaking of a breath of fresh air).
Zelda: Breath of the Wild
So of course, the best for last, Zelda: Breath of the Wild, hands down won E3 this year. It was the most played, and viewed content of E3. Understandably so, for many of us, the Zelda franchise was something we grew up with. It was our first experience with adventure games of that magnitude, as well as, pushing story in such a direction. It has inspired games through the generations, it’s no surprise that it was in the spotlight. It first revealed itself during E3 2015, this year we got to see the game in action, and get our hands on it. The most striking thing is, that now, Zelda seems to be borrowing from games that borrowed from it through all these years—again, imitation is the highest form of flattery. Seeing a game tip its hat to other games who did the same is about as heartwarming as it gets.This will be the first time Zelda will feature an entirely open world to explore, and adventure in. What was shown was only a small fraction of the map, and the map looks to be huge. The art style as well is something to fawn over (Hayao Miyazaki anyone), even the narrative itself seems reminiscent of this, all the more reason to be excited. Looks like I’m finally buying a new Nintendo system, because how could I not play this game?
That’s my E3 in a nutshell! There were so many other games, but I just can’t focus on them all, who knows though, maybe they’ll show up in other writing! I can actually guarantee it. My wallet is definitely going to be crying the next while, but it will be so worth it. It’s a great time to game! Look forward to all of these amazing games and so much more. So keep an eye out for more thoughts on games and gaming! We all play together.