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Our Top Picks From E3 2016

Best in show.

Whether it’s great stage demos, surprise announcements, or occasional moments of pure, unadulterated cringe, there’s no walking away from E3 without a few personal highlights in tow. This year’s expo was no exception, bolstered by a raft of stunning game reveals from many of the industry’s big publishers. Not only that, we caught a very early glimpse at the future of the console market as it decouples itself from the traditional upgrades.

For me, as always, E3 2016 was all about the games. Although I’d be lying if I said the prospect of playing on a new Xbox One or PlayStation 4 wasn’t enticing, there’s still plenty of mileage to be had from both as they quickly approach their third anniversary since launch. Although EA, Ubisoft, Square Enix, and Microsoft all had great upcoming games on parade, Sony effortlessly stole the show a second year running.

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Their style of press conference felt better suited for the viewers at home, bombarding them with trailer after trailer and very little idle chatter in between. Although I found the change in focus somewhat disorienting, God of War stood out most. On PlayStation 3 and its early predecessor, this was one of the few franchises truly pushing these systems to the limit. Needless to say, God of War is already looking to give Uncharted 4 a run for its money, not just in terms of visual fidelity but the ambitious scope and revised approach to narrative.

Sony managed to cram its stable with a troupe of similarly astounding titles such as Horizon, Detroit, and Spider-Man. However, my runner-up for the show actually came from Ubisoft – a previously announced game called For Honor. Building your game around a visceral melee system that feels both fluid and dynamic has always been the quickest way to my heart as a gamer.

For long-time friend and former podcast co-host, Lewis, Sony’s media briefing was also the highlight of E3 2016. Aside from those games already mentioned, he lists Days Gone, The Last Guardian, and Bound as well as Kojima’s mysterious new game, Death Stranding. As a huge fan of the series, he was happy to see God of War finally make a return, though remains somewhat conflicted about how much it’s changed. Although keen to lead Kratos on his next adventure, he wants more details in regards to the game’s narrative and mythology before fully committing.

In what seems like a common trend among our top picks, Tuffcub was also very impressed with God of War, especially in the way that Kratos is at least trying to curb his perpetual rage. Another pick that may surprise some is Star Trek: Bridge Crew. Although it looks as if it was made for the PlayStation 2, its VR-enabled approach to smart co-operative play has Tuffcub excited. Another surprise addition to that list is Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare which, thanks to its space setting, can be excused for all its usual story-related silliness.

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Bucking the trend, Teflon swept in without even mentioning God of War:

My pick has to be Horizon Zero Dawn. Guerrilla Games really backed up last year’s reveal with another solid demonstration that shows another few sides to the game and how it plays. Maybe it wasn’t as spectacular as some other game reveals – it was, after all, following up on its own grand entrance last year – but it’s looks great and it’s a game I’m expecting to be a big hit when it releases early next year.

Dave, meanwhile, had plenty of highlights, “Dad of War” being among them yet again. He also picked out Crash Bandicoot Remastered, an announcement that’s drawn a surprising lack of attention here at TSA. Despite a somewhat relegated presence at E3 2016, Nintendo featured on Dave’s shortlist twice with Pokémon Sun and Moon and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Dystopian survival game We Happy Few made the cut too, as well as Arkane’s reimagination of Prey.

Another former podcast host, Kev also reeled off his favourite games from E3 2016, with Death Stranding being a particular highlight. Whether or not it can actually be called a “game” at this point in time is debatable, as it’s yet to enter full production, but Kev has faith in Kojima’s crazy new IP. It also helps that he’s a Walking Dead fan, given the amount of screentime Norman Reedus seems booked in for. Once again, God of War crops up with Kev being similarly excited for The Last Guardian now that it has a confirmed release date.

Miguel had similar words to say about Death Stranding and its remarkably named Norman Fetus. With the last Metal Gear, it was clear some aspects of the game were hampered due to Konami’s interference, but Miguel hopes that Hideo Kojima can realise his latest vision without being too encumbered by external bodies. Rounding out his list he also mentions Insomniac’s Spider-Man game as well as Nier: Automata and Persona 5, reaffirming his love for JRPGs.

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While many of us watched E3 2016 unfold through a series of livestreams and news stories, TSA founder Alex was actually there in the flesh, mainly to work and talk about Oddworld: Soulstorm. Still, he found the time to explore some of the show’s smaller, less talked about games such as Inversus and Obduction, two upcoming indie hits that we should keep an eye on. Despite running into disappointment on the E3 showfloor, this was somewhat remedied by Sony’s luxurious media briefing not to mention Microsoft’s own, complete with dreams of an iterative console upgrade.

Whether he needs it or not, Dom is always keen to get his hands on the latest hardware. With several models of GameBoy, PSP, and PlayStation 3, it will be even easier to justify an Xbox One Scorpio if Microsoft manages to deliver a truly enhanced gaming experience. In terms of games themselves, he chose Spider-Man alongside The Legend of Zelda, Forza Horizon 3, Scalebound, and South Park: The Fractured But Whole.

Another mention of Spider-Man comes from Aran. Not only is he excited to see what Insomniac can do with the revered comic license, he’s also optimistic about Marvel’s new gaming initiative as a whole. Labelling it as a mix between Brave New World, 1984, and Bioshock, We Happy Few was another stand-out as well as God of War and EA’s upcoming Star Wars projects.


But now it’s over to you. What games stood out from last week’s bonanza of announcements and trailers?

5 Comments
  1. Avenger
    Member
    Since: Oct 2012

    It’s interesting that people found the all trailer bombardment quite good, as I thought it was rather fleeting. I much prefer a bit of chatter before/during/after the gameplay as it helps to flesh out the game a little more. Some good examples were Horizon and Halo Wars 2 which were just there and not explained. I still don’t know what kind of depth each game has, along with a few other games out there.

    Personal highlights were Forza Horizon 3, We Happy Few, God of War, Spiderman and Titanfall 2, with a few others. The upcoming software features for X1 were also quite nice.

    Comment posted on 21/06/2016 at 13:34.
  2. double-o-dave
    Member
    Since: Nov 2008

    God of War, Horizon Dawn, Days Gone & Spiderman are all on my list now. So far, they’re all looking pretty epic.
    This is one major reason I prefer Playstation over Xbox as I can quite honestly say, I haven’t been interested in a single Xbox exclusive bar one last year I think, and I can’t even remember what that was.

    As for Crash Bandicoot, I couldn’t give a damn. Never played the original games and have no interest in it whatsoever from what I’ve seen. I can’t understand all the fuss. More than likely people will like a remastered version due to nostalgia and it’ll be average at best… but what do I know ;)

    And of course, BF1 is a definite buy.

    Back with the exclusives, I’m puzzled as to how anyone can get excited about the Death Stranding trailer. Hideo could have just shown a 2 sec clip of Norman Reedus and people would wet themselves for some reason.

    Comment posted on 21/06/2016 at 15:24.
    • Andrewww
      Member
      Since: Jan 2010

      Fully agree with you about Death Stranding. In an interview after the show, it sounded like Kojima has no clue yet, what the game will be about, and it was quite funny how Keighley reacted to that.

      Comment posted on 21/06/2016 at 21:27.
  3. Andrewww
    Member
    Since: Jan 2010

    I found Horizon Zero Dawn much better than last year, even if I still find the name of the game quite stupid.
    God of War looked very good, but I never liked any of the button mashing prequels to that, so I’m not quite as excited as everyone else.
    Days Gone looked promising, and so did Ghost Recon Wildlands, The Last Guardian, Spiderman, and beautiful Resident Evil 7. I’ll definitely have plenty of games to play until finally Alien:Isolation 2 will be released… ;o)

    Comment posted on 21/06/2016 at 21:41.
  4. Temascos
    Member
    Since: Jan 2013

    A lot of the games mentioned above are on my list of games of E3. I greatly enjoyed the Resident Evil 7 reveal as a turnaround from the bombastic RE6, and For Honor had a great showing, it helps that the guy presenting it relishes screentime!

    God Of War, Last Guardian and Horizon along with Detroit were also great showings, and Spiderman looks promising but I’ll need to see more first.

    I didn’t enjoy Days Gone though, I felt Studio Bend had an enormous opportunity to take on the spy genre with Syphon Filter now that Metal Gear is purely in Konami’s incapable hands and Splinter Cell is out of sight. But instead we get another zombie game, a technically impressive one but nothing makes it stand out in my eyes. If it comes out and turns out to be amazing I’ll happily eat my words but I didn’t think it was a good showing.

    Comment posted on 23/06/2016 at 09:10.