How’s that for a conventional blog title for once? It’s been a fun E3, if a little less exciting than usual. No massive announcements, no huge controversies, just showing off games. In that vein, and because I’m still swept up in the anticipation, I’m going to list off some of the games that caught my eye. It will be interesting to look back on this sometime down the road and see if any of the games actually lived up to my hopes.
Note: No chronological order here — I can’t pick favourites.
1. Fallout 4 – This one is pretty obvious. I think every single gamer watching E3 is hotly anticipating this one. It looks insane and beautiful (though animations are as stiff and wonky as ever) and I can only imagine how many trinkets I’m going to steal every chance I get.
2. Star Wars: Battlefront – Another clear winner. What’s been shown off has looked great, and assuming the game isn’t bogged down by server issues or microtransactions I think I’m going to love it. Being that I wasn’t an avid player of the older games in the series and that I’m not a Battlefield fan I don’t have too many lofty expectations (unlike some folks I know on Reddit). I think it’ll be a swell multiplayer game to overshadow Call of Duty.
3. Gears of War – So there’s the remastered version of the first (which looks fantastic, actually), and the new entry in the series. I am an unashamed fan of Gears, and I played the first one to death. That said, I don’t own an Xbox One and, until now, had no intentions of getting one. We’ll see if I can be convinced one day when I actually have money.
4. Cuphead – The cartoonist in me is in love.
5. Sea Thieves – Not too much known on this one, but from the looks of things I can team up with my friends to run every position of a pirate ship. Sign me up for swabbin’ the poop. I’m a huge fan of pirate adventure stories (from Treasure Island to Assassin’s Creed Black Flag) so I’m all over this, assuming it’s any kinda decent.
6. Horizon: Zero Dawn – Dumb name, but looks amazing. The visuals, the mechanics, the world, and a female protagonist. So in.
7. Final Fantasy VII Remake – Big surprise here. Like many JRPG fans, I’ve got a special place in my heart for the original. That music! I have concerns that they’ll chop the game up into an overly-streamlined version of the PS version, or that voice acting will ruin the magic (only FF characters voice ellipses), or that they’ll generally just mess it up trying to make it “better” (read: cheaper to create). That’s the cynic in me. He also knows that this game is like five years from release. But the kid in me who hid from Jr. High in Midgard and the Golden Saucer is wetting his overly-baggy jeans in anticipation.
8. Kingdom Hearts 3 – Similar to the above; it’s been a long time since the last (real) entry, but I have a tender spot in my heart of hearts for this series. The music, the nostalgia (for both Disney and Final Fantasy), and the genuinely enjoyable gameplay and compelling, if horrifyingly convoluted, plot. But, again, this one won’t be out till 2017 at the earliest.
9. Yoshi’s Wooly World – Come on, it looks adorable. Plus Yoshi was, along with Sonic and Snoopy, one of my favourite characters to draw as a kid, and helped me find the joy of creating art.
10. Unravel – A pleasant surprise. The presenter/lead designer was shaking from nervousness, but he was so genuine you couldn’t help rooting for him. The game looks cute, but beautiful, too. The kind of game you want to bring home to Mom.
There were, of course, plenty of other great-looking games, like Deus Ex and Just Cause, but the above were the most stunning and joyful of the lot. They say this a lot during all the presentations and interviews, but it really is a great time to be a gamer. There are so many ways of conveying beauty and telling stories and expressing emotions and ideas for so many different kinds of people, and as much as I grouse about games needing to elevate the medium, I love them all the same. From the alien-blastin’ space marines to the tiny yarn people just trying to get to the next platform, I love escaping to their worlds, one evening at a time.