THIS year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3 for short) was a strange one, and not necessarily in a good way. All the press conferences were slick, well presented and lacked that distinct ‘WTF’ factor of yesteryear. Even Ubisoft, a publisher well-known for doing outlandish things that make you want to curl up and die from embarrassment, reined it in a whole lot. This was reflected in the games shown and announced; lots of sequels, lots of known quantities and games that were early in development so not much was shown. However, there were some diamonds in the rough and this is a list of a few of them.
Original Xbox backwards compatibility
I am a big fan of the Original Xbox. We weren’t a Playstation family, so I played the vast majority of my games on the Xbox and Gamecube. It had some great games on there and some of the best ports of that era. It is also very difficult to emulate for reasons I don’t wholly comprehend. So when Microsoft announced that they were bringing Original Xbox backwards compatibility to the XBONE, I literally fist pumped and got very excited. I will definitely take advantage of this feature, I just hope that it is as easy to use as the Xbox 360 backwards compatibility.
Dragonball Fighter Z (Xbox One, Playstation 4 & PC)
I don’t give a flying crap about Dragon Ball Z, but man alive this game could be incredible. It looks exactly like the anime both graphically and how the characters fight one another. It’s being made by the Guilty Gear people, so I fully expect it to play very well.
Sea of Thieves (Xbox One exclusive)
The Sea of Thieves was shown last year and looked like a glorified tech-demo. This year though, seems to be an actual game and a very entertaining one at that. I can imagine getting four friends together to explore the high-seas, find treasure and fight other players being seriously fun, Plus, I like the sense of whimsy it has. Nice to know that the Rare humour still remains in some capacity.
The Last Night (Xbox One & PC)
The visuals of The Last Night are what got me excited. A cyber-punk aesthetic with astonishingly expressive 32 bit graphics slathered in beautiful lighting and shadows = instant buy from me. Now if only the creator of the game wasn’t such a humongous pile of human waste.
Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo Switch exclusive)
Yo man, Mario throws his hat at a frog and it grows a moustache!!! What more do you need? Seriously though, Super Mario Odyssey looks truly awesome. A 3D Mario game that looks as wacky and wonderful as this one coming from the usually conservative Nintendo means that I am immediately very interested.
Beyond Good & Evil 2 (Who knows?!)
Yes, it is just a CGI trailer but it was such a surprise for Ubisoft to actually show something, anything, with the Beyond Good & Evil name on it that I had to put it on this list. Hell, they even got Michel Ancel on stage to talk about how pumped he is to make this game. Will it ever get made? Probably not. But I feel like, after this trailer, it is now or never for this game.
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle (Nintendo Switch)
Much like Super Mario Odyssey, seeing Nintendo actually let loose with their key franchises is a real surprise. Them actually allowing Ubisoft to give Mario and his friends not only wield guns, but also have a cross over with the ridiculous Rabbids is a sight to behold. Mario + Rabbids is a turn based combat game à la XCOM and it looks excellent. I hope it has the depth to match its looks.
Metroid: Samus Returns (Nintendo 3DS)
I straight up thought that Metroid would never get a proper game again. The series never sold particularly well and Other M for the Wii was met with lukewarm reactions from both customers and critics. So for Nintendo to actually announce two games, Metroid Prime 4 (which wasn’t anything more than a title) and Samus Returns, is astonishing. Yes, this game has a bit of a dodgy pedigree behind it, but after watching them play the thing… it seems pretty good! Hell, I still use my 3DS so I will definitely buy it.
The Evil Within 2 (Playstation 4, Xbox One & PC)
It wasn’t a surprise for Bethesda to do a second Evil Within game, the last one supposedly did pretty well both critically and commercially. And what was shown wasn’t anything too mind-blowing, but I loved the weird milky visuals that they kept returning to. I can see this game being one of the weirdest horror games made for a while, so I am pretty hyped.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (Xbox One, PC & Playstation 4)
Wolfenstien II‘s trailer looked so off-the-wall insane even for a game set in an alternate reality where Nazis won World War II and took over America, that I had to add it to this list. Plus the pedigree for this game is ridiculously talented (and the previous game was supposed to be excellent), so I can see this game being one of the best of the year.
Xenoblade: Chronicles II (Nintendo Switch)
Xenoblade Chronicles is one of the best RPGs I have ever played. So of course I am excited by a sequel, even if it doesn’t follow on from the previous entry. I like the art-style and the world looks beautiful, I hope the story lives up to the last one.
A Way Out (Playstation 4 & Xbox One)
Now A Way Out seems very intriguing. Its a game that you can only cooperatively, as each player controls the same individual character in split-screen. As for what kind of game this is? I think a sort of heavily narrative driven puzzle/adventure game with some light combat? I’ m not sure, but colour me interested regardless.
Hidden Agenda (Playstation 4 exclusive)
Now Hidden Agenda is an odd game. It’s a social game based around the use of you phone as the controller. You play the game by choosing decisions at certain points in the story, but all five of the people have to agree on it. On top of that, there is the titular ‘hidden agenda’ where each player as their own secret goal within the game that they must try to complete. It looks fascinating.