Michael’s Top 10 E3 Games list shows off his favorite titles from this years festivities- and also his inability to count.
Another E3, come and gone- which means we’re just one week closer to playing finished versions of the latest and greatest. Across almost all of the press conferences and video briefings, there was barely a dull moment. Microsoft’s 90 minute conference was a behemoth of game debuts, and Sony’s videos showed off surprising reveals and great game play of last year’s announcements. Nintendo kept it short, but made it sweet with Super Mario Odyssey and blink-and-you’ll-miss-it promises. Bethesda’s Wolfenstein was no joke, and Ubisoft’s deluge of new titles only impressed. And the PC Gaming Show had Age of Empires.
It was a beautiful (and short) few days, and picking just ten highlights is close to impossible.
But I made it happen. Almost.
Here are my Top 11 most looked forward to games from E3 2017.
With an original song sung by Pauline (yes, that Pauline), the brand new trailer for Super Mario Odyssey is about seven times as insane as the game’s reveal (do the math). You can be a mustachioed T-rex. A mustachioed taxi. A mustachioed tower of Goombas. Hat possession is is the name of the game, and it’s set to change the way we approach our three dimensional Mario exploration and puzzle-solving. But the trailer wasn’t the only thing to give us a taste of the future of the series: Nintendo Treehouse Live gave us over an hour of hands-on (or in our case, hands-off) footage, including a look at New Donk City and the Sand Kingdom, which showed us just how smooth the game play will be, and just how varied the hat possession power’s uses will be.
It’s the first N64-esque Mario game in a long time, and that enough is exciting.
Steep: Road to the Olympics
I’m unhealthily obsessed with the Olympics (mostly the summer, because the summer has Handball, Tennis, Indoor Track Cycling, and a myriad of other badass sports). I had dreams, once, a long time ago, of competing in Ski Cross in the Olympics. Dreams, mostly, as I lived nearer the beach than the mountains.
So when Steep’s presenter starts talking about practicing all for one moment, my jaw was already starting to slack. The Olympics? Represented faithfully, accurately, and (most importantly) in a well-designed, fun game? Complete with Ski Cross?
You better believe I’ll be there. Hopefully once Ubisoft finally releases Steep standard on the Switch as promised. And then maybe they can get to work on that Team Handball game?
Age of Empires: Definitive Edition
Age of Empires is my original RTS- the first one I played, the first one I obsessed over, the first one I mastered. If losing to my older brother in a three versus one could be considered “mastered” (he was the one, and it was technically a stalemate, thank you very much). RTSes have changed since then, and a recent (and current) binge of last decade’s (or the decade before) RTS titles in my familial multiplayer circle (including Stronghold, Age of Empires 2, and Rise of Nations) has made us yearn for more.
More was promised at the PC Gaming Show. Firstly, a new and improved Age of Empires original- a chance to hear priests chant endlessly as all my units are turned against me. Secondly: a promise that Gamescon will pave the way for the series’ future.
And that alone is a win in my book.
Metroid: Samus Returns
While Metroid Prime 4 was nothing more than a tease (confirming what we all expected…eventually), and remains intangible, Metroid: Samus Returns is coming this September. The remake of Metroid II: Return of Samus is more than a remaster- the game is completely remade in 2.5D, and Samus is given new combative and exploratory abilities (such as a melee counter, 360 degree aiming, and a scan pulse). A couple of new Metroid amiibo and a limited edition bundle (complete with soundtrack with tracks from across the series) makes this a hearty release. Samus Returns is being developed by MercurySteam (who worked on the PS3 and 3DS Castlevania titles), and the Treehouse segment suggests they know what they’re doing. While not exactly a new 2D Metroid (nor quite Prime 4), Metroid: Samus Returns nevertheless will give us a true-to-its-name Metroid game.
And I can’t wait.
Monster Hunter World
I’m more of a recent Monster Hunter die-hard, starting with Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on Wii U, but I’ve put in my fair share of hours since then on the 3DS. While it took a minute for the new trailer to get me excited (beyond the general “holy shit, it’s Monster Hunter on PS4”) (because, seriously, who would try to hide from the tiny monsters?), when the monsters proper hit the screen, I was giddy to Bherna and back. It’ll be interesting to see how a seamless world changes the Monster Hunter formula, as well as the host of other changes (grappling hook, anyone?).
I’m mostly trying to figure out how I’m going to get away to heal without the ability to leave the immediate area, and the threat of danger. I may be triple-carting in the near future, but I’ll look beautiful doing it!
Skull and Bones
Assassin’s Creed 4’s ship-battles were a highlight, and Ubisoft knew it: the competitive pirating game (and possibly cooperative? Who can say, yet?) fans have been asking for is on the way, and it drops assassins, templars, and land-lubbers altogether. Now it’s just pirates, pirate hunters, gold, and the open ocean.
Different classes of ship lends the battles variety, including ramming vessels, ships with high health, and long-distance mortar-loaded boats, and the end-goal of the multiplayer match they showed off during the press conference- namely, getting away with the gold- suggested how teamwork will make the richest pirates of us all.
I’m mostly excited for more pirate shanties, and to learn how else Skull and Bones will let us live out pirate fantasies.
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
I can’t decide whether or not a Mario and Rabbids crossover should work. I mean, they’re both generally E-rated, comedic, and imaginative. But their humor and style is still so disparate, right? I guess it doesn’t matter either way how I felt about the rumors coming into this year’s E3, because Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle (the first Nintendo-exclusive title to be revealed at a third party press conference in a LONG time) looks freaking sweet. The E-rated Xcom-like strategy title may give Mario and company guns, and may involve as many cover mechanics and RPG elements as jumping and coin collecting, but it works. And it looks like it works so well. The strategy, the humor, and the visuals are all as colorful as you can imagine, and it’s obvious the developers are passionate about both worlds. The end of August is close, but not close enough!
God of War IV
Hot damn. God of War is a franchise I kept meaning to get into, but the games kept going on sale at the wrong time, when I’m busy with some other life problem (or just another new game). But hot damn. God of War 4 hooked me last year with its powerful father-son relationship, and then it comes in this year with actual game play and the World Serpent offering to help. That’s the thing dreams are made of.
I could have used more gruesome god slaying, but I just tell myself they’re saving those gory bits for us to discover on our own.
I’m excited that the son’s still along for the ride- I was figuring that we’d either play as him instead of Kratos (seeing as he was getting the experience during last year’s demo), or that he’d get knocked off/kidnapped early and serve to send Kratos into his next god-slaying spree. Having him around means we’ll only get more of that beautifully brittle relationship.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
The Nazi ordering strawberry ice cream single-handedly sold Wolfenstein II to me. It reminded me of the tense scene from Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, where the Nazi sits down with the Americans, and every moment you’re sweating, waiting for something to go wrong, for the Nazi to catch on. In between the blasting Nazi of brains, I hope we’re treated to plentiful such moments. The rest of the cast and premise looks great to me too: an America beaten by the Nazis sounds fantastically alien, and I look forward to the opportunity to save America on American soil.
Also, it’s simply been too long since I blew up Nazis.
My hype for Splatoon 2 had been, essentially, nonexistent. I was certainly going to have it day one, due to how much I enjoyed the first, but nothing (save the last single-player trailer) made July 21st seem especially far away. They hadn’t yet set the magic words (Ranked Turf War- aka the ability to be on the same team as my friends in online lobbies against other teams or randoms), and they still haven’t, but they said other magic words. Lots of them, over a half-hour demo period of Salmon Run, the new cooperative mode previously announced, but now revealed in full.
I couldn’t be excited for it before because I couldn’t know just how addicting it could be. Addiction comes on the back of proper difficulty in cooperative multiplayer, and Splatoon 2’s Salmon Run is bringing difficulty aplenty. Quotas, bosses, and changing battlefields combine to make Salmon Run a true challenge when the difficulty slider is turned up, and that, combined with Splatoon’s usual mechanics, makes for a unique wave survival. I can’t wait to die over and over again as I work my way towards 200% difficulty.
To top it all off, the tournament and other Treehouse footage served to remind me why I fell in love with the first title upon its reveal. Somebody needs to teach these people how to really use the Splat Charger, after all, and it’s going to be me.
We’re known about Miitopia for sometime. I’ve known of it, but it wasn’t until I enjoyed the Treehouse’s sit down with the game, and, more (most) importantly, the eShop distributed demo, that I began to appreciate just how insanely wacky a Tomodachi Life RPG (essentially) could be.
During the demo, I was greeted by Gandalf in the first town, watched Vladimir Putin dote over Yuki, his anime waifu, and fought against a slime with Darth Vader’s face. All of this is the result of SpotPass at work, pulling from popular Miis from around the world to create infinitely entertaining game worlds. We can also cast these worlds ourselves, meaning my cousin was the Dark Lord, and my party was made of a warrior, a thief, a cleric, and a female idol. All with my face.
I need more Miis.
The sheer proximity of the release date doesn’t hurt, either. While many of the titles we saw last week are promised for late next year, and others still were nothing but titles (Metroid Prime 4) or even less (Pokemon Switch), Miitopia is coming to 3DS on July 28th.
Be sure to check out the demo today, and remember: all save data will carry over to the actual release.
It wasn’t easy leaving off other great titles from the week. Assassin’s Creed Origins, Anthem, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido- there’s a lot to look forward to on the horizon. Let us know what games you’re most looking forward to playing in the comments below!