Eye of the Beholder: Games to Watch from E3

To me, E3 2016 was one of the best I have seen in a while. Several games were announced on most of the platforms, which gives us gamers plenty to look forward to. I enjoyed watching all of the conferences, but the PS4 did get a massive quantity of love this year, with several games and a presentation of one Hideo Kojima that really made the show sit well with me. As far as the conferences go, there wasn’t much that could really stand up to Sony this yea,r save the other massive corporation at the party: Microsoft. Yes, Microsoft had a great showing as well. With the official reveal of the Xbox One S, and the developer chatter of the ever looming Project Scorpio, what can stand up to these two titans in this industry?

But enough gushing about the conferences, since everyone has seen them for the most part. In this article, I wanted to just highlight some of the games from the entire E3 show that really got me excited this year, and that I can;t wait to get my hands on in the coming months and years! Let's get started with some hardware talk first:

The Xbox One S was a welcomed redesign to see at the conference, and should make Xbox fans who have not upgraded pretty happy. With 4K video streaming, a slimmer design, integrated power supply, and more, even current Xbox One owners may be tempted to upgrade (I know I am). How this system will do will be seen shortly, but I am curious if some potential buyers may hold off until more details about Project Scorpio are revealed. 


EA PLAY

From EA, we have the one and only Titanfall 2, which will have a single player campaign tagging along for the ride.for me this felt like the only game during this conference that really grabbed me, not to say they didn’t have other good looking games, they just didn't get me as pumped for them as epic mech battles did.


bethesda

Bethesda gave us the remastered Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim SE. and more Fallout 4 DLC. Then they proceeded to give us a Prey remake and a new Quake. There was no other information on Quake Champions has no other pertinent information available, so we will have to wait until QuakeCon to hear more.

None of those really seemed to hold a candle to the Dishonored 2 reveal though, and of course it was announced for 11/11/2016, which seems to be a staple date for Bethesda.


UBISOFT

Personally, I’ve never had a greater moment of just pure bewilderment than the beginning of the Ubisoft event. Luckily they moved past that, and actually announced some games. Ghost Recon: Wildlands was shown from a squad gameplay perspective and it felt like The Division, with vehicles and a faster pace. We just need more data to figure out where this game will end up standing.

There are three factions at war in For Honor, and I’ll be playing along with the Vikings. The other two are the Samurai and Knights, which should entice fans of those respective archetypes also. I personally can’t wait to hear more from this franchise.

Now an Ubisoft conference could not possibly be complete without the creators of South Park coming on stage and talking about their newest game,  South Park: The Fractured But Whole. It takes place the day after the Stick of Truth, but the kids have switched to super heroes from fantasy. With some changes to the combat and a continuing story, this will be a must buy for me.  


MICROSOFT

The big three kicked off with Microsoft, so I’ll follow suit here. After the announcement of the Xbox One S the first bit of software that captured me was the newest Gears Of War. All i need to say is “bearded Marcus”. I’ll be picking this up for sure.

Of course we can’t continue with the Microsoft event without mentioning We Happy Few. This game gives off the Bioshock vibe and had a slightly creepy feeling along with it. All i can feel from this was pure “joy”.

Of course, I can’t finish without talking about CD Projekt Red’s Gwent card game. I am a bit of a sucker when card games roll on through (I’m looking at you Hearthstone) , so i’ll have to pick this up to see how it shakes out.

That’s a wrap on Microsoft’s game reveals, but they did also announce some network features and upgrades. For the full details head over here. The short of it is this we have Clubs, LFG, and Arena coming to Xbox Live. Of course they also revealed the ability to custom order new style Xbox One controllers and even have them laser engraved. Microsoft really did pull out some amazing things this year, plus let’s not forget that this felt like a new Xbox under Phil Spencer. I personally have to say the new iteration of Xbox is much truer to itself than the beginning of the console cycle.


SONY

Moving on to Sony we’ll need to talk about a few surprises that happened in this event. Let’s talk about the live orchestra that played all of the music for the demos on stage. When they opened the event, the orchestra playing for about a minute before anything came up on screen. When they did finally release the built up tension, we see a child playing that is summoned by a man who ended up being a heavily bearded Kratos. It was at this moment that my colleague almost lost his mind. The only thing that could make this whole reveal better was the Norse mythology transition. I will be buying this as well, but were a year or two off until the release.

The labors of the team behind Horizon Zero Dawn, Guerrilla Games, seems to be almost ready to pick, as this game is looking almost as good as Uncharted 4. Now I know that this sounds crazy, but just look it over and keep an ear to the ground as the release nears I will be expecting great things if it plays as well as it looks.

When we look at the first person shooter space over the last couple of years we’ve had Battlefield and Call of Duty. Now the former from the prior statement released a video announcing the latest iteration of the franchise was a pretty weak offering, but it seems that the team working on the marketing for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare listened to the community and showed us something a bit different that honestly made me want to buy the game, and I haven't picked up a Call of Duty since Modern Warfare 2.  

Now the first of the final two surprises that Sony dropped on me this year, One was the video of Death Stranding and the arrival of Hideo Kojima on the stage. If you need to take notes on how to enter a video game press event feel free to watch this section from the Sony event this year. Now the following video is a little longer, but it does have the entrance I mentioned above. Plus some Norman Reedus.

Last but not least we have Insomniac games working on a Spider-Man game. I need more data, but it does have to live up to Spider-Man 2 from the PS2 and Gamecube era. If the rumors of this being in-game footage are true, then this may very well be setup to be one of the best hero games of all time. Of course we need to see more of and play the game though.

Microsoft set the bar this year and I feel that Sony handily answered, but neither really made me feel like one was better than the other. I can say I’ll never forget the awesome spectacle that was Hideo Kojima coming down the stage to talk about his first post Konami game. Knowing the games he has made in the past it’ll be amazing if he holds his new team to the same standard that his old games were held too. These next few years are going to be a long wait.


NINTENDO

Of course I can't leave old Nintendo out of this. Growing up there was always a Nintendo console or handheld somewhere around and no matter what they always seem to keep on moving forward in their own weird way. As always, there is a new handheld game in a little franchise some of you may have heard of called Pokemon Sun and Moon. These are set in the Aloha region, a Hawaii-like area of the Pokemon world. The video is a bit longer, but I feel it shows off the newest games in one of the best ways, plus Reggie Fils-Aime starts it all off:

Now let’s look at what was one of the most talked about games this year. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Personally this looks like a total system seller for the upcoming console codenamed the NX. I’ll have a few videos from Nintendo below since so much of the game was revealed. Instead of me gushing, be the judge for yourselves:

This next one will cover hunting and gathering:

Finally we have the beyond the plateau footage they also revealed:

 

Microsoft set the bar this year and I feel that Sony handily answered, but neither really made me feel like one was better than the other. I can say I’ll never forget the awesome spectacle that was Hideo Kojima coming down the stage to talk about his first post Konami game. Knowing the games he has made in the past it’ll be amazing if he holds his new team to the same standard that his old games were held too. These next few years are going to be a long wait.

This year, if anyone needs to talk about who won E3, personally I believe the gamers have won.

Now, I know this sounds crazy and like a cop out, but when we have all of these great studios working night and day to push for our limited gaming dollar,s we end up with not only a wider variety of content, but also some impressive games to look forward too in the future. The games we are seeing seem to get better and better, and there hasn’t been a better time to be a gamer than right now.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

WILLIAM TER KEURST IV - @CTGAMER

Producer for Rocket Punch. Finally getting to Enjoy Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, so we may or may not have heard one too many sea shanties around the office this past week.