The Electronic Entertainment Expo has yet to show signs of slowing down the hype for video games. With currently powerful hardware and the advent of virtual reality, there is no shortage of game variety from immersive horror games to indie adventure fare.
So what games caught the attention of viewers and audiences at the show floor and also during the press conference? As E3 2016 is already over and as the dust settles, it’s time to pick our games of show.
Watch Dogs 2
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: November 17
It’s always the second entry of a Ubisoft game that gets it right: FarCry 2, Assassin’s Creed 2. Rayman 2. Now Watch Dogs can join that exclusive list.
The sequel rights one major wrong: its protagonist. The new guy, Marcus Holloway, is fun, energetic, and sees even the worst of situations as a lively challenge. No acts of vengeance to brood on here: Watch Dogs 2 is a small-timer story where he gets big and takes down the immoral corporate dickweeds corrupting San Francisco with its misuse of tech. He’ll mess around with drones, hack into anything from cars to forklifts, and even parkour the hell out of highrise flats to stick it to the man.
The only constant in these series of advancements the sequel will undergo is its hacking and freedom-against-the-corporation theme.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: October
People were wondering when the next Titanfall will come out. Well, they can mark this October on their calendars to play this beast. The multiplayer modes of the original will get a slight overhaul, with Titans now being more agile and having more melee options like the Ronin Titan.
The biggest addition is the single-player mode where you control an unnamed pilot who has to bond with their assigned Titan through a series of missions involving some interplanetary war. Based on developer Respawn Entertainment’s track record with Call of Duty and Medal of Honor games back then, odds are it will be a fleshed out linear experience with scripted key moments like a Titan catching your pilot in mid-air or even a quick time event of sorts.
At the very least, it won’t be too soon to see the results. Also, PS4 owners can now see what the mecha fuss is all about.
Mass Effect Andromeda
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: March 2017
EA revealed not so much a trailer but rather a tease as to what to expect from the latest Mass Effect. Judging from it, we can expect it to be an RPG where exploration and new planetary discoveries to be a prevalent theme.
As the protagonist Ryder, you lead a crew consisting of old favorite ME races as you explore the galaxy in giant ships called Arks and ride around in a souped-up exploration vehicle called the Mako. The story will be more personal and will focus on a younger group, and will have humanity be the aliens this time around; a “stranger in a strange land” vibe if you will.
Starting anew after a hit series can be hard, but Bioware definitely have the chops to introduce new stories and trilogies to tell within an established universe.
Platforms: PS4, PC, Xbox One
Release Date: October 21
What we already know is that the new Battlefield game’s 1914 to 1918 setting is fresh and that developer DICE will make sure that it learns from its mistakes done on its previous iterations multiplayer-wise. Its 64 player (for PC) multiplayer sessions will still be the highlight, with theaters of war set in France’s Forest of Argonne and the Arabian desert.
What’s new is that the single-player campaign will feature short stories in that wartime period set across the globe, which will intertwine to deliver one big resolution. It’s odd that DICE decided to go way back in time to deliver a fresher war-type shooter experience; lord knows we’re sick of first-person shooters of modern and infinite proportions.
Platforms: PS4, PC, Xbox One
Release Date: November 11
Bethesda sure love its November 11 release dates, eh? Now we have one more whopper of a title coming out from them on this prestigious day: Dishonored 2.
The sequel is set 15 years after the first game, where you now get to pick between using main character Corvo Attano and the grown-up Emily Kaldwin. With her throne usurped by outerworldly forces, she has to climb back from the outside to reclaim her rightful spot.
The majority of the action adventure game takes place in the southern city of Karnaca, which is based on the old cities of the Mediterranean coast. You get to choose how you tackle your missions and objectives: either by brute force or by stealth. Either way, you have an assortment of powers to accomplish your task like creating dopplegangers of yourself to distract foes, or even mark up to four enemies so that when you hit one of them, all of them will feel that effect.
With over 20 hours of gameplay, it’ll be great to head back to the mixed-up world of the Dishonored series, as well as experience the game from two different perspectives with endings that are affected by your bloodthirsty/pacifist actions.
The Resident Evil 7 Demo
Release Date: Out Now (actual game coming out February 2017)
Cool title design aside, this prologue title sets the tone of the franchise: it’s not your granddaddy’s action survival horror story anymore. This new Resident Evil emulates the dread-inducing titles of indie fares like the Amnesia and Outlast series: you’re stuck in a haunted house and you have to find out clues on how you got yourself into this predicament.
Here’s our playthrough of the game if you’re curious and if you’re too scared to download the demo yourself. If you’re sick of how Capcom’s horror series has turned out over the years, this short slice is sure to make a believer out of you.
God of War
Release Date: 2017
The start of Sony’s press conference had quite a huge impact. A 10-minute reveal of the latest God of War action game had a wiser Kratos and his son hunting down deer in the cold winter of a Norse mythology-influenced forest, complete with a detour of giant proportions.
What was surprising was not only how good it looked, but also how human the former walking bag of anger Kratos was. He guides his son firmly but with a hint of care as he hunts down the deer in the wilderness. The fight that came in halfway showed glimpse of a tag-team system where his son will fire his bow at any target Kratos is attacking.
In fact, Kratos here renounces his godhood and wishes to live in a life of peace, but we all know that in videogames, the bloody past will catch up to you. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of gameplay format this new God of War will take: either linear story with some branching open-world possibilities or a Metroidvania-style giant map where each section can be unlocked with new skills and power-ups.
Release Date: February 14, 2017. Japanese version out September 15
The Persona series is one of the most influential RPG spin-offs that trends higher than its original mothership title, mostly due to its contemporary setting
Players control a group of ragtag students who masquerade as Phantom Thieves at night, stealing priceless “artifacts and treasures” which can help solve the real world’s problems of the mind. Dungeons are less like random action crawls and have more puzzle elements. Social links are still available, though the part time jobs you take now comes with its own mini-games.
The level of detail in this game is astounding, from its simple text boxes to its animated combat menus and stylized characters and background. It’s no wonder it took Atlus 6 years to make: it’s working hard to make the grandest of impressions on the PS4. So far, it’s showing no signs of faltering.
Dead Rising 4
Platform: Xbox One, PC
Release Date: December 6
As much as the Days Gone real-time gameplay at Sony’s press conference was great, it did not elicit the same response as the Dead Rising 4 reveal had. Probably because we wanted to see protagonist Frank West kick ass and take inappropriate photographs in a new-yet-familiar setting.
The place? Willamette, Colorado, the same area in which the first Dead Rising took place. Only instead of a giant mall, it’ll take place in a sizeable chunk of the state. The crafting system famous in the series has been expanded: now you can craft and mod Frank West himself with armor and even other weird attachments to power on through the zombie horde.
It’s not clear if this game will have the strict time limit in Dead Rising 1 and 2, or if it will be lax with it like in Dead Rising 3. We can however expect the same zaniness and over-the-top moments the series is known for.
Legend of Zelda: The Breath Of The Wild
Platform: Wii U
Release Date: 2017
What can be said except that the grand reveal of the new Legend of Zelda rocked our collective socks off. Not only is its art style gorgeous and livid, but its less linear gameplay and crafting makes for an enriching explorative gameplay.
You play as Link who awakens in a lush yet barren version of Hyrule. From here, you discover what has happened while you survive against wandering moblins and other hazards, unveil temples and ruins with new items and power-ups, and craft tools to survive and help out with your exploration.
The demos and the playable kiosks within the E3 2016 Nintendo booth saw the longest queue in E3 history since the last Legend of Zelda game on display at E3. And with good reason: Nintendo knows what to borrow from existing survival titles like Don’t Starve and Crashlands, and give it the old Nintendo and Zelda polish with awe-inspiring landscapes and vistas, a flexible protagonist, and a color palette to be inspired by.
Gwent: The Witcher Card Game
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Release Date: September
Admit it, you played Witcher 3’s in-game card game more than you did the actual main quest. Well, you’re in luck if you need to feed that addiction: the Witcher card game Gwent is getting a revved-up standalone release.
In it, two players fight each other using a limited pool of cards and place down different cards on one of the three different rows on the game board to get more points. Alongside multiplayer support and online matches, Gwent will have a ten-hour single-player slew of campaigns; completing each one will net you extra cards to build your deck with.
Not much is known beyond that point, but there should be a beta happening soon if you’re up for some card-flopping shenanigans.
Horizon Zero Dawn
Release Date: February 28, 2017
We featured this game at last year’s E3, but we would be lying if we weren’t pleasantly surprised when Sony & Guerilla Games showed off more of this title. Main heroine Aloy goes out into the metallic wilderness, hunts down robot beasts, goes taming and riding on other robot beasts, and fight even bigger robot beasts.
The new gameplay premiere was a sight to behold. Aloy can harvest their metallic parts to create weapons and plot-important items, and even ride them once they had their corruption removed. She can even scan them for their weak points, stealth her way to the enemy or away from them, and even lay out traps to stun them.
Horizon Zero Dawn is lining up to be an action adventure game not unlike your Legends of Zelda titles, but with an alternative futuristic twist.
Agents of Mayhem
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release Date: 2017
How does a company like Volition follow up with a megahit action adventure series like Saints Row? The answer is: keep doing what you’re good at doing.
The team introduced Agents of Mayhem, a mission-based open sandbox action title where you control 12 agents from a mysterious organization to combat against a terrorist organization. The setting? A modified version of Seoul, South Korea. With missions ranging from total destruction to spy tropes like collect/extract and infiltration, you’ll need to pick three characters to enter a mission, as well as switch them out during combat to maximize their potential.
For example, Miss Fortune is a sky pirate who has dual pistols and a drone, while Hollywood can summon stunt doubles as distractions and dopplegangers. With nine more yet to be revealed, it’ll also be interesting to see how each team of three synergize with each other when more gets revealed in the coming months.
Sea of Thieves
Platform: Xbox One
Release Date: 2017
Rare is back, baby. This open world co-op seafaring game lets you and your pals team up to pilot a ship, loot and plunder, and get ahead in the Seven Seas. The pirate tropes are abound in this title, with a colorful art style to complement the glorious lifestyle and aesthetics.
Sea of Thieves’ world is shared, meaning it will have players constantly running and sailing with and against each other in pirate adventures. While there are already five-man galleons and armadas, the game will have ships designed for two people; perfect for when you want to explore the game with minimal fuss. In addition to ship combat which requires a heavy amount of teamwork, there will also be land combat and boarding combat.
And that’s not even mentioning the customization options for your pirates, your ship, and even your pirate base. Sea of Thieves is looking like that massive Pirates of the Caribbean multiplayer experience we wanted but never got. Now all that’s missing from Rare’s cornucopia of happiness is a Battletoads sequel.
Final Fantasy Brave Exvius
Platform: iOS, Android
Release Date: Summer 2016
We weren’t shocked with the reveal of more Final Fantasy XV (it’s coming out this September, by the by), nor were we surprised with FF XII’s remastered offering. Don’t get us wrong; they’re going to be great, but their early reveals had set our expectations. Luckily, this small gem of a Final Fantasy title piqued our curiosity, slated to come out “very soon” according to its producers from the Square Enix Presents livestream.
With the tappity-tap combat reminiscent of mobile hit JRPG Brave Frontier, the in-game artwork that hearkens back to the 16-bit days of yore, and a roster of heroes from past Final Fantasy games you can amass, there’s a huge chance that this may be the standout mini-RPG experience every gamer is looking for.
We hope that this Square Enix and Gumi effort does not prematurely collapse under its own weight of free-to-play greed.
Release Date: 2017
Perhaps one of the bigger surprises of E3 2016 is this action RPG from Digital Devolver and Sloclap, a French-based developer that is made up of ex-Ubisoft developers. You control a lone warrior in a fantasy world trying to make it big as a fighter, so all combat is melee and martial arts-based.
The fighting itself has lots of depth, with four different fighting styles you can switch on the fly, blocking and parrying mechanics, as well as customizable chain combos that let you instantly switch to any particular fighting style you choose. You can even earn equipment to boost your stats, and learn moves from other opponents who use it repeatedly against you.
Absolver might resonate with fighting game fans here, but anyone who wants an alternative Dark Souls-type RPG with brighter colors and more personal combat with hidden levels of depth may want to check this gem out..
What is your favorite E3 2016 game shown during the week of June 12 to June 16? Did we miss any noteworthy title on our feature? Which game would you like to see on GameStart 2016? Tell us on the comments below.