E3 2015: My Favorites and Fails

Another E3 has come and gone and today I’m looking back at what I loved and what I didn’t. There was the good, the bad, and the ugly. Read on to find out what games I really liked from the show and which ones fell flat. And you can read some of more thorough thoughts and impressions about the conferences here.

Favorites

Recore

Recore came out of nowhere in its debut at Microsoft’s press conference. We only got a cinematic trailer, but the fact that Microsoft put this game right after their opening says they at least have faith in the game. And I do too because of the people associated with Recore. Keiji Inafune, of Mega Man and Mighty No. 9 fame, and the makers of Metroid Prime, who I assume were at one point affiliated with Retro Studios, are the parties that the trailer singled out as being associated with this project. That fact alone excites me beyond belief, but the concept looks great as well. I find it hard to describe but I think the game is post apocalyptic in a desert world. What I can say is that it looks like your robot companion can change its exoskeleton, so my expectataions for this game is an action adventure puzzle platformer, which is exactly what I want out of Recore. Now if only I had a Xbox...

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The Division

We have seen a lot of this game over the years, and while I’m starting to become fatigued on seeing this game, The Division has intrigued me every time I’ve seen it, but this year was especially strong for Ubisoft’s squad-based MMO shooter. The Dark Zone is especially interesting because of the inherent drama it provides. The danger of stronger enemies and the rampant virus makes getting the premium loot all the more exhilirating, but that is a system you could find in most games, harder areas equaling better gear. What really blew me away was when the player in the trailer betrayed his friends at the last minute to steal their loot as well. I want to make friends to play this game with just so I can betray them, but that isn’t how you keep friends. In a squad or all alone, the eerie setting of New York in perpetual holiday mode will make for a great world to explore. Getting further details about a release and a beta makes me believe the long road to release is soon nearing an end and I hope more than anything that this game delivers.

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Horizon: Zero Dawn

After opening with the revitalizing trailer for The Last Guardian, Sony officially revealed Guerrilla’s new game, Horizon: Zero Dawn. Horizon may be one of the most original games with a riveting concept. It’s nice to see Guerrilla move away from the Killzone franchise for a bit to work on a new IP. Everything about the game looks beautiful and the gameplay looks incredibly solid. It is hard to judge the story yet, but the post apocalyptic setting that shows humanity fighting for resources from robot dinosaurs with a dynamic combat system looks like the set up to a pretty kickass game.

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Game of Show: Fire Emblem: Fates

At the end of they day, 3DS is my gaming home and FE: Fates is by and far the best looking game in the pipeline for 3DS, especially out of the lineup shown at E3 this year. The story has a lot of potential, making the decision between the family you were born into and the family that raised you is already tearing me up inside. The graphics look fantastic and a major upgrade from Fire Emblem: Awakening, which is already one of the best looking games on the system. We haven’t gotten a great AAA game for the 3DS in awhile, so I’m really looking forward to Fates.

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Fails

Minions Paradise

Unlike Fallout Shelter from Bethesda, EA spent a significant amount of time in their press conference discussing a mobile game that will inevitably have shallow gameplay and pay-to-win features, so essentially the game will be crap. Very little at E3 made me want to jump off a cliff, but this was one of those moments.

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Call of Duty Black Ops III

Nobody needs to tell me that video games need to make money, this industry is a business, first and foremost. That said, almost every moment throughout E3 appeared to be driven by passion, not money. There was one glaring exception to that state of mind though, and that was when Call of Duty showed up at Sony after being with Microsoft since I started watching E3 5 years ago. Something about this move seems cutthroat to me, is there really no honor among publishers? I understand the Playstation has the larger install base, but I have a hard time imagining that Microsoft is lagging so far behind that COD jumping shift would make a huge difference, but they did it anyways. The timed DLC, now coming to Playstation, was just salt in the wound and screws over the Microsoft fanboys who went to Xbox to get that content first, which I’m sure there is a fair chunk of. And all of that drama for a series that hasn’t been fresh or original in years seems a little mundane to me, even if it does sell a ton. Blops 3’s presentation was the only time during E3 where I felt sketchy, which is saying something.

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Just Dance 2016

I get it, this franchise makes a ton of money for Ubisoft, the game is coming to Wii, no U, but the console that existed with the 360 and PS3. My problem is that Ubisoft is still trying to make waves with the new Just Dance every year, as if each game brings something revolutionary to the club. Even Assassin’s Creed has been reeled in a bit, especially this year, but instead of reeling back Just Dance, they bring Jason Derulo on to make a huge spectacle, only to fall flat. Maybe the series will start to decline this time around and then Just Dance won’t receive as much stage time, but I doubt that will occur for a few more years at least.

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Biggest Fail: Metroid Prime: Federation Force

Nintendo really liked to tease us this year. We all begged for a new Metroid game and they delivered, sot of. Federation Force is a multiplayer space shooter that also has a large focus on galactic soccer. What Nintendo is giving us is a spinoff game, which, after 5 years of not receiving a main line game, is a real kick in the nuts. After the initial out roar wore off, the game does look decent, but calling it a Metroid game is Nintendo taking the game out to pasture. Had Nintendo not associated Federation Force with Metroid, they would have been praised for putting out a new and original IP. Only time will tell if anyone gives this game a chance, let alone like it, although with a petition 12,000 strong trying to stop the game’s publication, I have my doubts.

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There you have it folks my E3 highlighs, both good and bad. What were your highlights? Let me know it the comments or on Twitter.

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