10 Best Games Shown At E3 2016

e3 2016 games

E3 is the sort of event I shouldn’t like, enjoy or respect. It’s horribly corporate, pandering and still often strangely out of touch with how gamers think. EA’s persistence to shove slogans down my throat left a sour taste and their cynical indie showcase had them pick another twitchy, nervous developer almost as a tool to gain our interest in the forthcoming Fe.

Microsoft’s good looking Sea of Thieves was undermined by a teeth grating vision of how the game is played among friends. Maybe people do play games like this but considering the awkwardness felt among others watching, I remain doubtful. Ubisoft and Bethesda were disappointingly boring affairs even though I look forward immensely to South Park and Dishonored 2 respectively. Away from the bad, I still consider E3 momentous. The tantalising prospect of dream announcements and awkward exchanges grip me year after year without any chance of my cynicism pulling the plug at any time. I love it and I can’t repel the tractor beam that keeps me coming back. So let’s cut to the chase and see what I consider the best games at e3 2016


10. ReCore

Keiji Inafune’s ReCore looks a damn sight better than Mighty Number 9. Clearly his work on ReCore appears more polished and fun. Combat is frenetic and the rail platforming mechanic looks great for moving around the environments. As usual there are many influences here from Metroid Prime all the way to the little appreciated Fracture. Still, there’s a way of taking influences and utilising them in interesting ways which looks to be the case here.


9. Prey


Prey’s back and no it’s not that awesome looking Blade Runner-esque shooter that was cancelled long ago. Instead we have a shooter akin to Dead Space but with more psychological trappings. Hopefully this will be as story driven as the trailer suggests. From what was teased, the combat looks as fast as Doom with equally fast alien A.I. Prey this game will turn out okay.


8. Grow Up

Ubisoft’s Grow Home was a delightful adventure that made great use of the Unity engine. Your job as a little red robot called B.U.D. was to grow vines from the ground to your spaceship and venture home. Grow Up looks to expand this idea with a greater emphasis on scale and exploration. The central concept of going to the moon will open up many possibilities on how you will get there.


7. South Park: The Fractured But Whole

south park fractured but wholee
You can’t really go wrong with South Park. After many attempts to make a truly great South Park game, Trey Parker and Matt Stone finally found the right genre with The Stick of Truth. They were able to make a fun RPG that celebrated their own writing talents. The Fractured But Whole trailer hit all the right notes with gleeful foul language and timely pop culture stabs. With new additions to combat and fresh storyline, I have no doubt that this new instalment will only better what they achieved with The Stick of Truth.


6. Skyrim Remastered

So what did the last generation Skyrim lack? Sun Rays? Yes, they are everywhere in the remastered version. It almost looks like Firewatch. I’m not complaining though, it does look beautiful and that dreaded frame-rate for Sony fans should hopefully be improved. This is enough to make me excited to explore the world again, if only to hear the masterful score from Jeremy Soule which I consider to be the greatest soundtrack ever composed for a video game.


5. Dishonored 2

Dishonored 2 gameplay
I want to give a special mention to Dishonored 2. Bethesda showed plenty of Arkane Studio’s follow-up to my personal game of the year from 2012. Dishonored’s open ended gameplay set in a beautiful, richly textured world was a joy to play and was fun in both stealth and all out action mode. Dishonored 2 looks better with much improved lighting and a greater arsenal of weapons, magic and traversal. I can’t wait.


4. Mass Effect: Andromeda

E3 2016 Mass Effect
Easily one of my most eagerly anticipated games from an incredible series. Mass Effect to this day still has an unprecedented level of galaxy sized exploration and three dimensional characters I actually cared for – except Commander Shepherd whose only trait was skirt chasing. Don’t pretend you didn’t try getting Kelly back to your quarters to show her your model collection.

EA were a little shy about showing footage, surprisingly. I can’t see Mass Effect: Andromeda coming out anytime soon but what footage there was blissfully reminded me why I love this series. Vast planets to explore, characters and new races are all evident and welcome back the Mako. With that back I can only hope exploration will be on another level. Over to you, No Man’s Sky.


3. We Happy Few

we happy few
Image source: pixelrelated.net

We Happy Few wears Ken Levine’s work on Bioshock well on its sleeve but still delivered a demo that felt fresh and full of intrigue. Much like Bioshock’s Rapture, the world in We Happy Few is full of false pretences, a haven with a dark underbelly. There’s still mystery behind the white masks but ignorance is bliss until our own discovery of this very suspicious world. Indie Bioshock anyone? I’m there already.


2. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Breath of the Wild game
As a Nintendo fanboy, I couldn’t hide my anguish at no Direct event taking place at this year’s E3. Dumped at the treehouse by Reggie-Fils-Aime to watch hours of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild gameplay wasn’t a bad alternative by any means but I really hoped for some NX news or rather foolishly a new Metroid. Keeping on point, Breath of the Wild is absolutely massive, a Hyrule stretching as far as the eye can see. I can only hope Hyrule outside the dungeons has enough to offer on a map this big.

Breath of the Wild looks gorgeous too and I do like the bold character art. The same can’t be said for some of the environmental detail which still looks a little last gen. Still, the groundwork looks strong and one can hope it gets better and better as it edges closer to release.


1. The ENTIRE Playstation Conference

The Last Guardian
Yes, I’m cheating here but come on, can you blame me? Sony’s exceptional line up of first party games is why E3 remains a mark on my calendar.

Slickly presented in a theatre with a live orchestra, Sony assaulted us with trailer after trailer, announcement after announcement. It was delivered with cinematic vigour like a series of film trailers at the cinema, all for blockbusters you didn’t know were coming. Sony taught the other press conferences a thing or two about pace. They didn’t outstay their welcome. It was short, snappy, without filler and without any mumbo-jumbo corporate talk. The damn conference made me interested in Playstation VR which I didn’t think would ever happen? All of their games looked stunning.

God of War was a refreshingly grounded but no less brutal feast of unexpected pathos and skull crushing violence. Horizon: Zero Dawn continues to impress with its highly unusual blending of Stone Age life with futuristic war machines. Spiderman looked beautiful and made me confident in its quality by Insomniac’s surprise involvement. Hideo Kojima’s new title looked cinematic and enigmatic – I have absolutely no idea what genre that will fall in. Sony’s cherry on top was the announcement of Crash Bandicoot 1, 2 and 3 remastered. Need I say more? Sony, you win E3 again. Damn it feels good to be a gamer.

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