E3 2016 may have come and gone, but there’s still waiting left to be done: we’ve seen the future of gaming. Unfortunately for those of us dying to get our hands on a finished Final Fantasy XV or Sea of Thieves, it’s still in the future.
So while we wait those long months for E3 2016’s gems to release (or be delayed), we look back at our individual highlights of the conferences. These are Brutal Gamers’ Favorite Games from E3 2016.
Erich Martin, Contributing Writer
1.) The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: The new Legend of Zelda is my top pick. It seemed that Nintendo figured out the perfect Zelda formula in 1998 when Ocarina of Time released. Since then, the games have tried marginal improvements. Nothing has come close to the reinvention that the Nintendo 64 classic boasted. Finally, The Legend of Zelda feels dangerous again. You can go anywhere, fight anything, and explore any locale, no matter how strong the enemies are. There are huge changes, and I absolutely cannot wait to visit this new Hyrule.
2.) We Happy Few: This wasn’t previously on my radar, but what I saw at the Microsoft press conference had me sold immediately. The game gives off a strong Bioshock vibe to me, and the twisted, horrifying world seems like something I can’t wait to experience. The fact that it is coming to Xbox One in the game preview program gets me even more excited.
3.) Sea of Thieves: Sea of Thieves is another game that wasn’t on my radar even a little bit. What I saw at the Microsoft presser sold me though. The idea of taking over a pirate ship with a bunch of your friends and everyone being designated to a certain role to wreak havoc and make this pirate ship function is something that I can see being extremely gratifying. Getting people together to raid on the high seas may prove to be a bit of a problem, but if it is anywhere near as fun as the coverage has made it out to be, I won’t care how much work it takes.
4.) Detroit: Become Human: I’ve been a moderate fan of Quantic Dream since the release of Heavy Rain. The subsequent Beyond: Two Souls didn’t resonate with me, to the point where I didn’t play it. The premise for this new narrative driven story is extremely fresh in my mind, and I can’t wait to follow these characters through their stories.
5.) The Return of Crash Bandicoot: While this isn’t a specific game, the fact that Crash Bandicoot is getting remastered games is a great sign. We know what we’re getting with these remakes, but, if they do well, we may be getting a whole new Crash. I guess I should also mention that Crash is coming to Skylanders, but come on, the real hype is for the prospect of totally new Crash games.
Michael Stebbins, Nintendo Editor
1.) The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Nintendo bet it all this year on The Legend of Zelda- while their new console smolders beneath every Nintendo fan’s waking thoughts, Nintendo announced they’d focus on one game, and one game only.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s trailer started with a series’ revelation. Voice acting. From there, we were introduced to a world both unknown and inescapably familiar. But while bokoblins might send our minds racing through the series’ history, Link’s new abilities, forced reliance on weapon swapping, and brand new ways to play in the series’ latest wide-open world are what truly make us yearn for the next title in the storied series.
2.) Steep: The last game to focus extreme winter sports on playing with your friends as much as against them was the under looked Shaun White Snowboarding from last generation (also developed by Ubisoft). But Shaun White didn’t bring skis, wingsuits, or paragliders to the mix, in a mountainous world that we can jump across at the press of a button. But perhaps most marvelously alluring about Steep is how slick everything looks and feels in the first person perspective- a feature often missing but largely intriguing in the world of snow sports. I can’t wait to race down the slopes with my friends beside me (ahem, behind me) this December.
3.) Sea of Thieves: My plan for how I will spend my time with Sea of Thieves is a simple one: whenever we see another ship’s sails on the horizon, my entire crew will set swiftly to dropping anchor and piling ourselves into our own holding cell, which we will then lock.
It will be worth losing ships to this social experiment if only for the moment boarding pirates hunt us out, swords and swash buckling at the ready, and find us playing ditties and drinking grog as prisoners of our own boat. With any luck, a group or two will join in, and we’ll have partaken in a multiplayer venture unique to the high seas- and to Sea of Thieves.
4.) God of War: If the moment when Kratos reaches for his son, but then goes for the bloodied weapon speaks to the tone the latest God of War is taking, then I can barely contain my excitement for the title. I just want to know: how long will the son last? Will his death spark Kratos’s next slaughtering? Will he come into his own? More importantly: how badass was that axe when it came back to Kratos’s hand?
At the end of the day, I only hope the game follows all of them (father, son, and axe) and explores the relationship thoroughly, instead of delegating it to a teasingly powerful opening scene and nothing else. The scene they showed left me wondering not about what Norse god’s eyeball I’ll feed to itself (okay, that too), but how the familial relationships will play out. Not exactly the driving force I expected for a God of War game, but color me intrigued.
5.) Titanfall 2: I was a sucker for Titanfall’s fiendishly fast-pace, perfect TTD, and fantastic asymmetric play between Titans and Pilots. Titanfall 2 is poised to reinvigorate the franchise, which was decried for its lack of single-player campaign, limited number of weapons, and other foibles that never bothered me. But whether I needed to be sated or not is another story- Titanfall 2 will introduce a host of new titans alongside its single-player, story-driven campaign (which, while I’ll certainly play, influences my hype little), but it’s the pilot’s new tools that really make me excited to jump back into the game.
Cool as the gravity grenade and teleportation/time warp equipment will be, we all know where the excitement truly lies: that freaking grappling hook. Yippee ki-yay!
Robb Moreira, Reviewer/Features Writer
Here are my top five of E3 baby!!! No retro games here, folks. THANK THE HEAVENS!
5.) Resident Evil 7 (PS4) – Oh man. It’s so amazing to see Capcom wanting to take their survival horror game and really go back to it’s roots. Don’t get me wrong, I love the entire franchise, but things did start to lean more into the survival/action genre as of RE:5 and less so on the survival/horror. Resident Evil was always the best in my mind in terms of the “Which is better? RE or Silent Hill?” debate. Going back to true horror from a first person perspective will be absolutely amazing and I am thrilled to see horror coming back to this franchise. Bring on the blood and gore!
4.) Forza Horizon 3 (Xbox One) – This will hands down be the most beautiful car game we’ve ever played. Besides the sprawling map that is twice the size of Forza Horizon 2 and the 350 new car lineup to enjoy, the artists that worked on the game really did their homework to make you not just play the game, but experience it. A couple of the artists that worked on the game went on location in Australia with 12k HDR cameras, camped in a field for the summer and snapped pictures of the sky all day. Then feeding these pictures into a process that actually makes the sky in the game move in real time. Clouds form, storm fronts move in and showers downpour. Just that alone is worth the price of admission. Though the chance of driving a Lamborghini Centenario is pretty darn alluring, if I do say so myself.
3.) Horizon: Zero Dawn (PS4) – This games premise just has me so intrigued. They hooked me from the first time I saw a trailer for this game. Wild animal machines roaming a, what I presume is, post-apocalyptic Earth. You as a tribeswoman must go out and do missions while also interacting with these machines in the wild. It’s like a Terminator game but the animals are the robots. The game looks gorgeous overall and I adore a game with a female protagonist that can truly kick butt as well. Breath of fresh air, anyone?
2.) God of War (PS4) – Kratos. That name alone says it all. It’s been a long time since we completed God of War 3 and witnessed the end of that mythical Greek trilogy. It was grandiose, beautiful and made you feel like a God at the end. To be able to go back to that, with an older and wiser Kratos and delve into the Norse mythology is just fantastic. The Norse have such a robust mythos and to be able to see it in this world and present it to young gamers is awesome. Norse mythology is never spoken about in schools, so to have younger gamers exposed to this new mythology is a win in and of itself. I can’t wait to get my hands on that axe, though.
1.) Detroit – Become Human (PS4) – Not many people would put this game anywhere near their top 5 list, but I would. I am an avid Quantic Dream fan. I played through Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy and Heavy Rain. Both, several times over. I feel that David Cage has such an amazing knack for writing these wonderful stories with such varying twists and turns that it really makes you feel like every choice is absolutely important. If for some reason you think some of your choices were off, you can always replay the game and make new choices. Detroit – Become Human is one game that I am absolutely foaming at the mouth to play and I know that Quantic Dream will not let me down on this one.
Patrick Mackey, Senior Editor
For all the excitement that comes with E3, there are only a few games I am really looking forward to this year.
1.) Horizon Zero Dawn: Found on a post-apocalyptic Earth, it must be wild to be back in a stone-age era, where the world is taken over by an artificial intelligence. Who doesn’t love the idea of human’s hunting after robotic dinosaurs in the future? Aside from knowing you play a tribeswoman, there are a lot of questions about the game yet to be answered. I’m looking forward to learning more.
2.) Resident Evil 7: Resident Evil games had gotten a little wonky as of late, and I am greatly impressed by the direction they are taking the new title. Biohazard’s first person perspective and return to the scare tactics of the beginning of the series should make for some amazing – and frightening – gameplay! I’ve been a fan of Resident Evil games since Resident Evil 2, and to some degree, the films as well. While the franchise has made some good things and some bad things, this seems to be a strong return to the Resident Evil we’ve come to know.
3.) Dishonored 2: The first Dishonored was an amazing game, and one of the few that I have ever played more than once. Multiple ways to achieve your techniques. Stylized art form. Stealth or Violence? This looks to be just as good, if not better than the first.
Jason Micchiche, Editor-in-Chief
I know I’m not really supposed to do this here (sorry Michael), but I’m going to pick a loser of the show to go along with my top five.
Nothing at this E3 disappointed me as much as Quake. After the sublime Doom revival, I was more than a little excited to see what was in store for another of my favorite shooter franchises. I was hoping that we’d get a revisitation of the first Quake, with all its Lovecraftian, horrific splendor translated for a new generation. That wasn’t to be though, because what we got was a multiplayer shooter. Yep.
Anyway, here are my top five:
5.) God of War (PS4) I love the way this game is looking. A move to the northern realms, complete with Norse mythology could be really awesome. I’m firmly in the camp that finds Kratos to be a supremely unlikeable character too, so it should say a lot that I’m actually looking forward to this one. Personally, I’m hoping that his demeanor has changed a bit as he’s aged and once again become a father.
4.) Halo Wars 2 (Xbox One/Win10) I’ve been a massive Halo fan since the days when it was announced as a Mac exclusive, and Halo Wars is a gem in the franchise. It was well crafted, told an actually interesting story, and somehow made an RTS fun to play on a console! Just give me more of the same with some new graphics, and I’m onboard. Can’t wait for this sequel.
3.) Gears of War 4 (Xbox One/Win10) One of the biggest series’ on the Xbox platform is looking great for the beginning of the new story arc. New (even more disgusting) villains, new heroes, terrific melee moves, and some excellent-looking graphics make this a game that I’m seriously looking forward to.
2.) Spider-Man (PS4) Insomniac’s new take on Spidey is pretty easily the best-looking Spider-Man game of all time. And I mean that both in terms of graphics and action. This one is looking like it really does do whatever a spider can, and with authority. Fingers crossed that it plays as fantastically as it looks. Except for that costume. ‘Cause it’s hideous.
1.) Prey (PS4/Xbox One/PC) The original Prey was hugely impressive as an FPS and this new semi-sequel looks to be a wholly different affair. Still, even though it might not have anything to do with the original, it manages to look just as cool as the first. Maybe most impressively, it manages to do that while being almost completely a mystery. Locked away in some in some kind of research station, your goal is presumably to escape, but what or who are you escaping from… and why are you there in the first place? That’s some good stuff right there.
Dan Atlee, reviewer/writer
Without a gaming rig at the moment, and because I’m still too poor to get a Xbox One, I can say that that Sony’s press conference gave me lots to get excited about. But it’s not just Sony who got me hyped.
1.) Skyrim Remastered – I will get to experience one of my favourite RPGs with up-do-date tech. Skyrim is one of the best games I have ever played, and one that I sunk hundreds of hours (and DLC money) into. And now I get to quest, slay dragons and put baskets on people’s heads all over again? What more could I possibly want? FUS ROH DAH!
2.) Dishonored II – Can you tell I think Bethesda make great games? The world of Dishonoured is easily my favourite game setting ever, and the second installment in the franchise looks absolutely gorgeous. The new powers that were on display at E3 look absolutely killer, especially Emily’s domino power, which lets the player chain enemies together and forcing the effects on one to effect a whole group. Not to mention that Corvo Attano is now voiced by one of my favourite game protagonists of all time: Garrett, Master Thief.
3.) Battlefield 1 – This is the answer to Call of Duty that I have been waiting for. Fully destructable environments, 64-player matches and the new approach to melee combat makes this the shooter I have been most hyped for since Red Orchestra 2. Oh, and you can fly a zepplin with guns on it. Sign me up.
4.) Resident Evil 7 – Taking a departure from the more action-oriented style of the more recent Resi Evils and going for a more survival-esque, first person approach makes Resident Evil 7 unlike anything in the franchise to date. If the demo is anything to go by, this could be one of the standout horror games in recent memory. And maybe we’ll find out what that damned dummy finger does.
5.) Horizon: Zero Dawn – There’s mechanical dinosaurs! Horizon: Zero Dawn is one the most unique game settings i’ve seen, as you roam about an open world, a world inhabited by multiple human tribes trying to survive in the land of dino robots. The combat in this game looks great, allowing for a great degree of customisation to suit playstyles. It’s a shame it got pushed back to 2017, but hopefully it will be worth it, and then some.
And there you have it: the games Brutal Gamer is most excited for coming out of E3 2016. To hear more about our thoughts on the conference, keep an ear out for the resurgence of the Brutal Gamer Podcast in the coming day.