Top 5 announcements according to me, of course.
It has been almost three years since I was able to sit down and devote all my time to watching every E3 press conference. But, here we are, recovering from a sensory overload of digital orgasms. E3 has had some lull years. This year, however, is shaping up to be one of its better years. Here are my favorite announcements from the show.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole
Ubisoft tends to have a strong showing each year especially with the consistent hosting of Aisha Tyler. This year was ok, but the colorfully crass world of Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s South Park was a joyful highlight of the expo’s conferences. Stick of Truth, which released in 2014 after delays, was like playing an episode of the popular show. Fans – myself included – enjoyed it throughly for being such a consistent piece of the South Park franchise. Now, if F-bombs, rude children, and offensive material is not you thing then South Park is sooo not your thing. This show and these games are only going to be appealing to people who do not mind this type of humor. I found the Ubisoft presentation of The Fractured But Whole to be hilarious. While the first one drew elements from the LARPing subculture, this sequel is riding the superhero wave.
Release Date: December 6, 2016 Trailer is here.
Gears of War 4
I credit the Gears franchise for a lot. It was the first Mature video game I was ever able to play after a lifetime of my parents only allowing E and T rated games into our household. Epic Games was the first video game company that I begin to know through and through (such as actual employee names and the studio’s locations). Gears of War was my introduction to what was then the “next” generation of games and it successfully clawed me from the hands of Nintendo and Sony…at least for a few years. Although the game no longer remains with Epic Games, I was very impressed with what was shown during the Microsoft conference so much so that I may have to pick up an Xbox (insert audible gasp here).
Release Date: October 11, 2016 Stage Demo is here
Another franchise I attribute a lot to, the frenetic energy of this trailer during Microsoft’s conference was enough to get me completely gassed up and hyper. Tekken (along with Mortal Kombat and Guilty Gear) is one of my favorite fighting game franchises. I spent countless hours in the arcade playing Tekken 5 and Tag Tournament. When this game was announced, I honestly thought they were finally giving us Tekken vs Street Fighter, which has long been thought to be cancelled. They had Heihachi fighting Akuma, who is a Street Fighter character. Unfortunately looks like he is the only character crossing franchises for this game…at least for now.
Release Date: Early 2017 Trailer is here
I love indies. I love smaller studios. They are able to do such creative IPs that triple A studios may not be able to take the risk on. I am so happy that there were so many of these titles showcased at various points during the show. My favorite was Fe, which is the first game in EA’s new initiative to support smaller games (dubbed EA Originals). Fe gives off haunting and charming vibes. I will eagerly be awaiting a release date (trailer is here).
Another game that caught everyone off guard was We Happy Few. I am actually happy to have known of the game prior to the trailer announcement during the Microsoft conference because woah – what a trailer (watch it here). The game gives off Bioshock vibes, but moreso because of the strange, creepy atmosphere. Xbox users can get a preview of the game July 26th, but there is no firm release date.
Sony’s Entire Press Conference
I promise I am saying this with the most unbiased tone possible, but Sony had the best conference of E3 2016 and the history of the expo. It was that good. I did not know what to expect from Sony. I guess that we would be getting more Horizon Zero Dawn gameplay, but that was all I could guess. We got that and more and more and more. By the end of the conference I felt exhausted as if I had ran a marathon. Sony kept up the tempo (literally – they had a live orchestra) the entire conference and never let up. They opened the show with God of War! There is no release date as of yet which is to be expected. If anything, it feels like it will be a 2018 release. They proceeded to assault us with amazing news and previews. We finally received a release date for the coveted The Last Guardian as well as a plethora of amazing VR games such as Battlefront VR XWing Mission (Star Wars!), Batman Arkham VR (#WeartheCowl), and Final Fantasy VR Experience (play the game in VR!). Then, they showed the most creepy trailer I have ever seen…which turned out to be Resident Evil VII, which can also be played in VR.
Sony also brought out the legendary Hideo Kojima to announce his new game which is called Death Stranding. The game features Norman Reedus, who Kojima worked with on a now cancelled Silent Hill title, and had a really weird yet intriguing trailer. It featured a naked Reedus who has appeared to have given birth to a child in an oil/tar spill? Really, just watch the trailer (here you go).
God of War demo is here
Resident Evil VII trailer is here
Death Stranding trailer is here
This E3 has honestly been one of the best in terms of announcements. I certainly can not cover everything because there is so much! I have never felt so inclined to buy so many titles or follow the progress of so many games. It makes me happy to be a gamer and a part of this industry. It makes me proud. What were your favorite announcements from E3?