So E3 has started, and I’m staying home because I don’t want to be trampled alive by the extra 15,000 fans to what was already an overcrowded event in a loud and smelly environment to be able to wait in an hour-long line for 10 minutes of an unfinished game. Yeah, E3 looks more stressful than it looks fun. However, it is fun to watch all of the new game announcements from the comfort of my own home, and that’s what I’ve been doing this past weekend. Over the next few days, I’ll be writing about some of my thoughts about various games shown at E3, but for now, I’m going to detail my favorite game shown at each conference from EA, Xbox, Bethesda, Ubisoft, PlayStation, and Nintendo. Let’s a go!
EA- A Way Out
EA’s games generally bore me. I don’t care about sports games or (non- Splatoon) online shooters, and that’s what EA does best. I recognize that the sports games shown are probably going to be high-quality, and so are Battlefield 1's DLC and Battlefront II, but not even Star Wars’ coat of paint can turn me around. Nevertheless, EA managed to pique my interest with two of their games, which is two games more than usual. However, one of these two impressed me not then, but the following day at another conference, so I give the TPG award of best EA game shown at their own conference to A Way Out! This game is a co-op splitscreen game where you and your buddy try to break out of prison. What impressed me the most was how cinematic the game appeared to be while you were playing. Your friend could be in a cutscene, but you could interact with the game, possibly interacting with that cutscene. It also seems like the game will continue a long time after you and your partner in crime escape prison, so I am excited to see what situations could play out. The only problem is finding someone to play with. Much like The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes, I want to play it but don’t know if anyone will want to play it with me. Maybe if I can’t find anyone willing to irl, I could play through it with you, dear reader! Let me know if you’re interested in the comments. At any rate, I’ve got a while to find someone, since A Way Out is slated for release in early 2018.
Honorable mention: Anthem
I gave Anthem an honorable mention at EA’s conference because the ten seconds or so that they showed of it looked intriguing, but Microsoft was able to really show off the idea of what Anthem is all about. From what I could gather from the demonstration, it’s an open-world, third-person shooter where you and a friend can team up and take on the strikingly beautiful world of Anthem together. The facial animations from a cutscene in a bazaar look fantastic as well, with the (unconvincing) actors referencing possible story missions when they hear an in-game voice. Coming from someone who hasn’t played a second of it, this seems to be similar to Destiny in many ways, imitating that game’s reliance on co-op story-driven gameplay, but nonetheless Anthem’s breathtakingly beautiful open-world and intriguing story have, so far, captivated me more now than Destiny ever did.
Honorable mentions: The Last Night, Sea of Thieves, Shadow of War
Bethesda- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on Switch
I have never played a Bethesda game. And while it might be a little embarrassing to say it, the main reason is that darn M label on every box. I might go into this more on another day, but for now, let’s just say that my parents are sticklers. They see a rating on a box, and they follow that rating. I’m 16; the box says 17 and up. That’s a nope. But in a few months, they can’t use that excuse anymore. And the one game that I’ve heard from my friends throughout my adolescent years is the legendary Skyrim. I might not have VR to play it on, but I have a Switch, and it seems that Nintendo will have its first Bethesda game alongside me. It’s like we’re growing up together! I can’t wait to travel across the land of Skyrim after all these years, and I’ll be able to really put in the time that this game deserves since I can take it with me anywhere.
Honorable mentions: Fallout 4 VR, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
Ubisoft- Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
Yes, I know everyone lost their minds over Beyond Good and Evil 2. But here’s the thing: They didn’t really show any of the game. They showed an awesome CGI trailer for it, cried a bit, and that was it. It was announced years before, and we won’t get it for many more years to come. In my opinion, there’s plenty of time for Beyond Good and Evil 2 to build up hype for me. (And for me to play the first one)
A game that is coming out in a number of months instead of years is Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle. We knew about this game for a long time thanks to leaks, but this marked the first time that we saw actual gameplay, which apparently resembles the tactical RPG XCOM. For someone only with Fire Emblem as a reference for the genre, the gameplay seems surprisingly deep for having these zany Rabbids interacting with the whimsical world of Mario. Rabbid Peach is also surprisingly hilarious in her portrayal of the true princess, and the more cartoonish animation of the traditional Mario cast is a fresh change.
Honorable mention: Beyond Good and Evil 2
If Skyrim represents my transition into adulthood, then Spider-Man represents a return to my childhood. Simply put, Spider-Man 2 for the Nintendo GameCube was the first game that I ever played. Its open world, fluid combat, and fun story instilled in me the passion for video games that burns within me to this day. Spider-Man for PS4 looks to recapture that childhood glee that I remember so fondly in a package suitable for the common era. It’s finally convinced me that I need a PS4.
Honorable mentions: Horizon: Zero Dawn DLC- The Frozen Wilds, Shadow of the Colossus remake, Skyrim VR, Dad of War
Nintendo- Super Mario Odyssey
Okay, so Skyrim represents adulthood and Spider-Man represents childhood, so Super Mario Odyssey represents... a damn good game. Or, I should say, a good-looking game. But I think it’s going to be good. Watching that trailer made me so excited to return to the unparalleled feeling of fun that 3D Mario has been missing since Super Mario Galaxy 2. There are so many fun ideas being shown both in the trailer and in the gameplay footage that this is my favorite game shown at E3.
Honorable mentions: Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Pokémon Switch, Metroid Prime 4, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild DLC- The Master Trials and The Champions’ Ballad, Fire Emblem Warriors, Rocket League Switch, Metroid: Samus Returns (Yeah, I like Nintendo)