This is our last E3 article for the year, but it wouldn’t be right if we didn’t pick some “winners” of the show. And so, what better excuse to pick some winners than the Friday Ten list?
It was a really great show, I think everyone can agree with that (even those that were a little disappointed with certain individual developers and publishers… ahem, Nintendo). The quality and quantity of games that were on show were spectacular, and so narrowing things down to a top ten was really quite difficult.
But here is our final list. What were your moments from the show? Any that we’ve left off this list? Be sure to let us know in the comments!
The first really big game to get screen time at E3, Fallout 4 is one of the most hotly anticipated games in one of the most beloved RPG franchises out there. The spectacular trailer, coupled with some of the crafting systems that we’re promised, has us immediately convinced that not only will this game push the franchise forward, but perhaps the genre itself will get an all-important new generation boost.
Mirror’s Edge Catalyst
Faith. Oh how we adore Faith. It was so good to see the progress that EA and DICE have made to their open world, free-running dystopia. Mirror’s Edge Catalyst is promising to be a very special game indeed, and one of the rare blockbuster games that doesn’t rely on gore, extreme violence, or a blunt narrative. It’s going to be smart, and we respect that.
Star Wars Battlefront
For fans who have wanted to recreate their favourite epic moments from the Star Wars films, Star Wars Battlefront has been a long dreamed of game. Massive battlefields will allow large groups of players battle it out for supremacy, even as Tie Fighters and hulking AT-ATs fill the space with laser fire and rain down death from above. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a Star Wars game to get excited for. This one is it.
Media Molecule has a history of building games that inspire the imagination, and Dreams looks like that kind of game. That’s if it is even a game in the traditional sense, because it sure doesn’t look like one. Instead it’s a canvas, with which players are invited to let their imaginations run wild, and create paintings, animations, or whatever else they might feel like. It’s hard to think of a game that is more beautiful than this one.
Final Fantasy VII Remake
This is a game that fans have been clamouring for for many, many years, and now Square Enix is finally delivering. Though we don’t know much about this remake, we know it’s going to tweak things in small (but hopefully positive) ways. And given the PlayStation original was so visually primitive that it’s hard to enjoy now, the new graphics engine will be welcome indeed.
New Nier Game
The biggest surprise of the E3 show was that Nier, a massive commercial failure but a beloved game by the few that played it, would be getting a sequel. But not just any sequel, oh no. A sequel developed by the original creative team, but backed by the coders and visual artists at Platinum, this is a game that promises to finally bring together the creative genius of Yoko Taro and a team that can realise and commercialise his vision.
The Last Guardian
While we’re talking about pleasant surprises; The Last Guardian had almost become a mythical beast. A game that was originally announced almost a decade ago, we now know why it’s been so long in development – according to Fumito Ueda, the creative mind behind Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, it was a game that simply couldn’t run according to his vision on the PlayStation 3. And who are we to question Ueda-san? This is going to be a truly special experience.
SMT x Fire Emblem (or #FE)
The irony of this game is that it doesn’t look like a Shin Megami Tensei or Fire Emblem game. Instead it looks like a shelved Persona game that Atlus dusted off to build for the Nintendo Wii U when Nintendo game knocking, looking for a new exclusive for the struggling console. But that’s not a complaint. Oh no. This game looks gorgeous, and colourful, and the combat is vintage Persona quality. Nintendo had a challenging E3, but SMT x Fire Emblem was a real highlight.
EA and indie developers don’t generally go together, but Unravel was proof that the combination could be dynamic. The story of little Yarny, as told by a tiny team of 14 or so people, promises to be charming, emotional, and beautiful, and while it would be too easy to dismiss this as a cynical copy of Nintendo’s own Kirby’s Epic Yarn and Yoshi’s Wooly World, after watching the trailer we would expect this to have a creative sense all of its own.
Horizon: Zero Dawn
The final game on our little list looks like it is anything but little. Coming to us from the developers of the Killzone series, this game has a strong female lead character lead (a good sign for the industry was that there were a lot of these this year), and what looked like a big, vibrant open world to explore. It also had robo-dinosaurs and monsters as the core enemies, and hunting them seemed to be a central gameplay loop. And against all odds it doesn’t look silly in execution, so we’re really looking forward to seeing how this idea develops over time.
So what were your picks of the show? Let us know in the comments!
– Matt S.
Find me on Twitter: @digitallydownld