This year I had the honor of attending E3 for the first time, attending the show on the 17th and 18th of June. Attempting to visit as many of the booths and partake in as many demonstrations as possible, I have decided which parts of the show shined above others.
Note, these are my opinions and may differ heavily from others
Best In Show Overall: Star Wars Battlefront
According to the majority of the internet, Star Wars Battlefront has been the most highly anticipated game in the Star Wars franchise for many years since its predecessor, Battlefront 2, and the reboot of the series has more than met the expectations set for it. With a 10-15 minute demo of the survival co-op on the PlayStation 4, I played the 6 waves available in the demo. Battlefront, made by the makers of the Battlefield franchise, is a gorgeous and fun experience which may as well revitalize the shooter genre because of its magnificent graphics and refreshing, fast paced game-play.
Using the Frostbite engine, Battlefront mixes fantastic lighting effects with some of the best texture and model work I’ve seen since The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. Gameplay is smooth and easier to pick up than any console shooter I’ve ever played thanks to how accurate and easy to aim the weapons are.
In the survival mode, we were allowed to choose between 5 weapons, and were given a default skill set: a sort of handheld lock on rocket pistol, a mobile shield, and a jet pack which can launch you forward in the direction you’re facing.
My teammate and I both chose the light machine gun, which fire very rapidly and could destroy enemies from short to medium range. The gun felt recoil-less, which meant shooting was easier, and I was able to be more accurate. The jet pack lets you aim around mid jump so you can pull off some amazing mid air kills, and doing so feels so fun. The mobile shield is a life saver, as it gives you time to escape any enemies nearby.
Occasionally, the game would add an optional objective, in the demos case it was a drop pod which we had to defend. These objectives stopped the mode from feeling repetitive, as they added special items which would help fight off the bigger enemies.
At the start of each wave, enemies would appear in random parts of the map, and rush you in an attempt to kill you and your teammate. There was a variety of enemy types, despite the game being a demo, including jet pack troopers, machine gun troopers, and even Star Wars’ well known AT-ST tank.
Weapons feel so responsive, so fighting off the waves of enemies was both fun, and easy. Few games have made laser guns so fun to use, and few games have made a survival mode able to stand on its own as well as battlefront.
Best Gameplay: Rainbow Six Siege
Rainbow Six: Siege was playable on the Xbox One, with a 15-20 minute playtime. Sadly when I played it on the 17th, the game I played was different from that of my teammates and I had 5 frames per second throughout the whole demo, which forced me to have to wait in line again the next day, and led to two team kills.
During my second attempt at playing the game, I immediately noticed that the game felt like no Rainbow Six game made before, but still played fantastically. Rainbow Six usually has rigid controls with a third person cover system, but in Siege, gun-play was smooth, the guns felt realistic, and the level we played on was well balanced. Every character class felt like it had a use. I played three of the 9 classes available in the demo, one which had a deploy-able light machine gun, one with a riot shield, and one with an armor box which my teammates could get armor from.
The light machine gun easily shot through walls destroying enemies making defense so much more fun and required I know just where my enemies are so i could shoot through the wall and take them out. This showed that in the final game (communicating with nameless people made talking to my teammates hard) communication will decide games and make them significantly more fun. The LMG class also had barbed wire which I could place in front of doors to slow enemies down, making my LMG much more useful. Even without the LMG, I had what I think was an AEK and p250 (I didn’t have much time to become familiar with each weapon), which meant that if I had to leave my LMG, I could still be of great help to my team.
The riot shield was awe-inspiring because for the first time, I felt like the enemy couldn’t shoot me. The shield stopped me from being hit even once, and allowed my teammates to sit behind me and take potshots at the enemy while I advanced and pushed them back. Rarely can a supportive role like a shield feel both fun to play, and be so useful to the people you play with.
The armor drop which some classes can deploy can be picked up by each of your teammates, and allows you to take several more hits from your enemies. After you’ve deployed them, there’s not much more special things you can do besides shoot your enemies, but more than once did having armor equipped save a match.
Everyone had a place in every match and I never felt like I wasn’t helping, despite my teams inability to communicate perfectly. Few games have accomplished this ever and shows how great of a game this should be. Even some of the most popular team based games of all time have not accomplished teamwork in the way Siege has, including Counter Strike, Team Fortress, or any of the Ghost Recon games, despite Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six being made by the same person, Tom Clancy.
Most Potential: Drawn to Death, King of Wushu
Drawn to Death presented an ingenious art style, and unique shooter gameplay, and if the game comes out with as much content as claimed at E3 and has a healthy player base, it can be a great shooter. Having played it on PS4, I can safely say it will be much more fun to play it casually on console. There was a childish atmosphere, but that didn’t scare me off, as there was an interesting vibe coming from the child who “drew” the game. Every class was very different from the others, some of them blew up when shot and can fly, while others move insanely fast and can use dark magics to jump around the map. Fighting in the game
King of Wushu has already been beta tested in China, and feels like a very solid MOBA. The game was still in need of some optimization, as there were many graphical glitches. The UI is also too minimalist, and the game does not explain itself well. Unless there is a very good tutorial preceding online play, or the UI is upgraded, I doubt this game will be very successful. The one reason I feel confident about this game, is because King of Wushu performed a feat rare to the MOBA genre: I wasn’t frustrated while playing it. I felt like I could take my time, using the many unique character classes, with many ridiculous methods of attack. There is a character which uses a cannon you would normally see on a pirate ship, and had tons of area of effect attacks, which made fighting weaker mobs much easier. When speaking to a developer of Snail games (King of Wushu’s developer) he confirmed that the game will be coming to Xbox One and PC as well.