Every summer, thousands of video game fans, journalists, and developers flock to Los Angeles for the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). During this press event, publishing studios reveal new games they are working on or provide updates on games that are due to release in the coming fiscal year, generating hype amongst the gaming community. This year was certainly no exception, with multiple surprises and revelations sending shock waves throughout the internet. Here are the ten most interesting games and pieces of news I saw during the press conferences.
10. FIFA ’17: The Journey (Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC)
The newest entry in the popular FIFA series is back, this time powered by the Frostbite graphics engine. In addition to updated balancing and physics, FIFA ’17 will feature a full fledged single player story mode called “The Journey”, which follows the growth of Alex Hunter from school yard player to professional athlete. Additionally, The Journey will have light RPG elements. For example, if you play really well during a game and impress the General Manager of the team, you’ll obtain status boosts that will improve your abilities for the next game.
9. FE (Platforms Currently Unannounced)
EA announced it’s new initiative called EA ORIGINALS, which focuses on indie games. By helping smaller studios with funding and marketing, EA plans to bring the visions of indie developers to life. In addition to funding and marketing, EA also announced that all profits will go directly back into the hands of the developers so that they can grow their teams. The first game to be released under this banner is called Fe, in which you control a young cub that awakens in a forest with no memory of who it is or where it came from. The game explores the cub’s relationship with the flora and fauna in the forest, using sounds and melodic cries to interact with it’s surroundings. Each animal has it’s own “song”, and learning new songs will help players understand the environment better. However, players will have to be aware of mechanized monsters that corrupt the forest by “silencing” the songs of the animals. Check out the trailer below to see the game’s unique art style and sound design in action.
8. QUAKE: CHAMPIONS (PC)
The Quake series is widely regarded as being one of the pioneers of arena-based first person shooters. With Quake Champions, id Software and Sabre Interactive are continuing to push PCs to the limit by rendering the game at 120Hz with locked 30 or 60 frames per second (depending on your PC settings) for smooth, seamless game play. The game will feature a diverse cast of warriors, each with their own unique skills and attributes. Tim Willits, creative director at id Software, promised to reveal more information about the game at QuakeCon in August.
7. RESIDENT EVIL VII: BIOHAZARD (PC, Xbox One, Playstation 4)
Our prayers have been answered! Not only does the newest Resident Evil game ditch the gun-heavy, action elements of Resident Evil 5 and 6, it also has progressed into a terrifying, first-person survival horror experience. Not a whole lot was revealed about the game, but Capcom announced that RE7 would be completely playable using Sony’s Playstation VR headset. Why anybody would subject themselves to such inevitable mental trauma is a story for another time, but for now check out the creepy reveal trailer. For those who were disappointed by the cancellation of Guillermo Del Toro and Hideo Kojima’s new Silent Hills project, this game is sure to fill that void.
6. CRASH BANDICOOT REMASTERED COLLECTION (Playstation 4)
At the Playstation Experience 2015 event last December, Sony’s Shawn Layden took to the stage wearing a Crash Bandicoot shirt. The internet exploded with clamors that Sony and Naughty Dog Studios would be bringing back their classic IP at the event, but were disappointed to learn of the Bandicoot’s absence by the end of the conference. When Uncharted 4, Naughty Dog’s most recent game, released on the Playstation 4 this past May, players found a remarkable Crash Bandicoot easter egg within the game, and once again, the internet exploded with rumors of a resurrection. Finally, during the 2016 Sony E3 Press Conference, Layden revealed that Sony was working on bringing Crash 1, Crash 2, and Crash Warped to the Playstation 4 in 2017, remastered from the ground up. In addition, the remaster is being handled by Vicarious Visions, the studio that developed the popular toys-to-life game Skylanders. Crash will be a playable character in the upcoming Skylanders Imaginators, which is due out in October.
5. THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM– REMASTERED SPECIAL EDITION (Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC)
The immensely popular entry in the Elder Scrolls saga is making it’s way to current generation consoles. Despite running decently on the PC and Xbox 360, the original Playstation 3 version of Skyrim was plagued by bugs and glitches. The new Special Edition will not only perform better, but also boasts a slew of updates such as remastered art and textures, improved shaders, and the ability to play mods on consoles.
4. DEATH STRANDING (Playstation 4)
“I’m back!” yelled Hideo Kojima, as the audience members of the Sony Conference erupted into applause. The mastermind behind the Metal Gear Solid franchise, who over the past year has had a massive, public fall-out from his former employers at Konami, took to the stage to announce that Sony would be publishing his brand new game, Death Stranding. While details on what the game actually was were scarce, Kojima released a cryptic teaser trailer which featured the motion and performance capture of The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus. While still very early in development, knowing Kojima, the game is sure to be a visceral experience based off the tone of the trailer.
3. GOD OF WAR (Playstation 4)
Despite being the fourth entry in the GoW series, the newest installment revealed at the beginning of Sony’s conference seems to be more a reboot than a sequel to God of War 3. Gone is the fixed camera angle, rapid button-mashing chaos, caused by the one-dimensional anti-hero Kratos. Instead, the new God of War seems to be taking cues from The Last of Us in terms of presentation and a focus on character bonds. You now control a grizzled, mature Kratos in conjunction with his son, whom Kratos is training to become a powerful warrior. Combat seems to be slower and more strategic, a la Dark Souls. Check out the game play footage below.
2. HORIZON: ZERO DAWN (Playstation 4)
Guerrilla Game’s newest IP, Horizon: Zero Dawn, is a third-person open-world role-playing game in which you control Aloy, a young woman with a mysterious past. The game’s world takes place in the far future, where technology has become sentient and has driven humanity out of their “great cities” , thus reverting mankind back to hunting and gathering. Although originally revealed at last year’s E3, this year’s trailer focused on game play and how the different systems in the game would work–one of them being the ability to hack into and rewrite enemies’ code so that you can ride them around the world.
1. THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD (Wii U, NX)
After years of teasing, Nintendo finally blew the doors off of E3 with the official announcement of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which will be launching on Wii U and Nintendo’s next console, code-named NX, in early 2017. Series producer Eiji Aonuma stated that the new entry in the series is aiming to break a lot of Zelda traditions, especially in terms of exploration. Breath of the Wild is the first completely open-world Zelda game, and right from the beginning of the game you will be able to run to any area of the game world’s gigantic map (which is 12x the size of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess‘s map). The game also appears to be heavily influenced by Western RPGs as well. Hunting animals and cooking the meat at a campground will allow Link to replenish hearts. Weapons wear down after time, but can easily be stolen from fallen enemies. Additionally, Link will be able to find multiple times of armor with different stat bonuses in order to brave the multitude of environments that await in Hyrule. But perhaps the biggest change to the typical Zelda formula is the inclusion of voice acting, which you can get a taste for in the trailer below.