After a whirlwind of the past few days glued to the monitor for each showcase, E3's biggest presentations have come and gone. We have had our fair share of surprises, confusion, and Jason Derulo; that said, as I dig through the piles of news stories and features I realized that this was one of the better E3s to come around in a while. The big names made their expected debut with the amped up anticipation of Star Wars: Battlefront, Star Fox, and Fallout 4. However, it was the new titles that really grabbed my attention. Here are the big names announced that could soon become franchises we will be looking for sequels for in future E3s:
Developer: Team Ico
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release Date: 2016
Technically, this is a new IP, though not a name that is unheard of in any way. Becoming the inside joke for the past few E3s, nobody expected to see the Last Guardian even get mentioned after being trapped in developer hell since around 2007, let alone become the opening trailer in Sony's "Make-A-Wish" presentation that fulfilled so many dreams. The long wait was well worth it.
Without a single legible word, we see the little boy summon the iconic creature we have come to associate with the title. Their relationship is immediately established as it bows its head in a submissive, loving manner for the boy to command. The loving companionship is reminiscent of a boy and his dog, and the beautifully crafted world looks like one of mystery and wonder as the boy issues commands for the creature to assist in platforming or puzzles. It was a trailer filled with curiosity and I sat in awe at the potential this game can hold.
Release Date: TBD
I feel like a good medieval sword fighting game is something that has been missing from gaming libraries. For Honor looks to change all of that, as one of the more gritty, violent titles of E3. Two warriors duking it out over the expanse of a battlefield is often seen in movies, rarely portrayed in gaming. Knights, Vikings, and Samurai take the battlefield in all out war. Four on four multiplayer showcased two teams trying to dominate the battlefield through controlling key zones amidst AI controlled soldiers, similar to Dynasty Warriors without the flashy one move clearing abilities.
The Art of Battle system showcased in the gameplay trailer gives you control of your weapon withthe right stick, choosing which side to attack or block. It makes one vs one fights a game of rock, paper, scissors; reading your attackers direction to defend and countering in kind. It looks intriguing, like a MOBA mixed with an action RPG, and the ability to pit Vikings against Samurai will make for a history buffs dream come true.
Horizon Zero Dawn
Developer: Guerilla Games
Release Date: 2016
Out of all the new IPs showcased, Horizon instantly grabbed my attention with one of the greatest things you could center a game around; cybernetic dinosaurs.
We witness a brave hunter using stealth to approach a small group of robotic dinosaurs, silently taking out smaller ones in an Assassin's Creed esque manner. Gathering materials from the frantic deer like robots, she is soon set upon by a larger hulking monstrosity raining rockets as she moves away. We see use of weak points, varying gadgets, and even a grapple hook device that ties the beast down for one finishing blow.
Lot of potential surrounding this title, but the ambiance and world alone were an eye catcher.
Developer: Armature Studio (w/ Keiji Inafune)
Release Date: Spring 2016
Megaman's creator teamed up with Armature for this all new Xbox Exclusive title involving a girl and her cybernetic dog in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. The girl, far from helpless, soon defends herself from a swarm of an army of robots, before her faithful companion overloads itself to defeat the remaining enemies, with only a core left behind.
Similar to Last Guardian, lot of companionship vibe from this one, and a uncanny similarity to Alex and Dog from Half-Life 2. Primarily it looks to revolve around using the core to inhabit different shells for the companion. We went from a dog to a hulking robot, and the title screen showcasing other variants. This could all be used for a combination of platforming, puzzle solving, and combat. Now to see if you have to overcome eight robot masters...
Sea of Thieves
Release Date: TBD
The return of Rare, one of the most iconic developers to ever grace the Nintendo 64, and they are crafting an open world pirate game.
The trailer showcased a massive world with multiple players in a MMO manner with names floating above the player's head. The cartoonish look screams Rare, and a promise of adventure and plunder is showcased; From ships waging war on the seas, to mutiny and making a player walk the plank, and combat as skeletons chase down a person that opens a chest. Still a lot of questions surrounding the game, but with Rare at the helm it will be one to watch for sure.
Developer: Coldwood Interactive
Release Date: TBD
If any game at E3 was the epitome of adorable it was this one.
Following in the footsteps of Limbo or Ori and the Blind Forest, Unravel looks to be a puzzle platformer with personality. You navigate a stunningly realistic 2D terrain, swinging from rope or creating bridges and pathways to reach your goal. It looks simple yet challenging, the world looks stunningly detailed, and the overall cuteness of Yarny warrants this one to be on your radar.