Since it’s been about a month since E3, perhaps you’ve forgotten about the cavalcade of gaming news that came out of it. Well I sure as hell haven’t! We here at Ready Players only got a chance to cover the whole thing properly on Twitter and the latest Podcast episode, so how about I give you some proper written hype? Here are my 10 favourite games that were shown at the E3 2016 and why you should want to put them into your game machine and push buttons in front of a screen until your eyes go square.
#10 – ReCore
It feels like a bit of a stretch in saying this, but ReCore is the almost the Metroid game you’ve been waiting for. You play as a wordless, gutsy and well-armed lass stuck on a hostile alien planet peppered with super-science as you fight, explore, and use the tools and abilities at your disposal to save the day. Yeah, that totally doesn’t sound like a Metroid game, right? Personally, I’m keen on the concept put forward by the game’s title, as it seems our protagonist, Joule, can salvage the cores of her enemies and re-purpose them into allies or a fuel source. Is it just another bare-bones crafting system, or maybe an interesting twist on the staple action-adventure game? We’ll just have to wait and see.
#9 – Sea of Thieves
If I told you that someone was mashing up the “friend or foe?” thrill of open-world online games like Day Z and The Division with the vibrancy of a Pixar short and the naval combat of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, you’d probably ask who the flying duck is making this pirate simulation game that sounds like anyone can enjoy. And I’d tell you that that particular flying duck are Rare, the team behind the dodgy Grabbed by the Ghoulies, the commercial flop Kinect Sports 2 and the underwhelming Killer Instinct (2014). I want this game, I want this game to be, but most of all, I want this game to be amazing. I’ve got my bloody fingers crossed that the final release has some substance to it, because roping my friends into playing their Xbox Ones at the same time is like herding cats and I’m sure as hell not doing that if all we get to do is shoot canons and pull ropes.
I guess my high hopes for it come from the fact that last time Rare planned to make a game around pirates, it turned into a comical collectathon about a certain famous bear and a bird duo. Now that I think about it, this kind of feels like Sea of Thieves might be a direct jab at the rising fame of…
#8 – Yooka-Laylee
Let’s forget about the Kickstarter flop that was Mediocre Number Nien, that’s had its time in the spotlight. Let’s instead talk about that one game with a chameleon and a bat.
Like a phoenix rising from the ashes of Rare’s golden days, Playtonic are doing a brilliant job of creating the spiritual-sequel/homage to their old Nintendo 64-era Banjo-Kazooie projects. Putting together a colourful platformer game is child’s-play for this bunch. What I’m actually impressed with is the sheer extent of parallels that Yooka-Laylee has with Banjo-Kazooie. The moves, the design, the feathers, the golden collectables, the promotional art and the frequent honey-yellow hexagons found all over the place.
I have this strange feeling that the Xbox One version will have a skin-pack DLC that outright swaps the in-game models for the classic bear and bird duo. It probably won’t happen, but by god I will throw my money everywhere for that.
#7 – Insomniac’s Spiderman
We all loved the PS2-era Spiderman 2 that came around just before the dawn of HD gaming. Boy howdy did we love it. In a world of cash-grabs and garbage licenced games like last year’s Star Wars: Battlefront, it’s become a lot easier to pick out a rock-solid title when we see one. The thing that tells me we’re in for a treat is the experience Insomniac delivered in Sunset Overdrive, or as I know it; Ratchet & California: Throw a Leg Overdrive (If you need to google that euphemism then that’s okay, I’m probably just older than you!). What I find kind of funny about this is that Insomniac are old friends with SuckerPunch, the bunch who have essentially been making urban open-world games about mutants for the last half of a decade. Maybe they’ll get some inspiration from their old friends during development.
#6 – Scalebound
If the footage of Scalebound‘s leading man reminds you of Devil May Cry then you’re watching the footage of Scalebound for the right reason; It’s made by the same guy as Devil May Cry. I make it no secret that I’m a fan of Hideki Kamiya’s work, but there are things about this game that make even me wince a little. Will the modern day attitude of the protagonist work with the fantasy setting? What if the game world is too open? What if I never see The Wonderful 102? I can’t answer any of those questions just yet, but what I can do is cross my little fingers and hope that this game becomes another reason to verify that getting an Xbox One over a Play Station 4 was the right move for the consumers that could only budget for one of them. Godspeed Kamiya, you brilliant son-of-a-bitch.
#5 – Final Fantasy XV
As someone who has played through both Final Fantasy XV demos, I feel like any given hype that pulls public attention towards it is deserved. I’ll put it this way, if Final Fantasy XIII had a demo released before its initial release date, then the feedback that Square Enix would have been given would change the final game very drastically to something a lot more enjoyable. The Final Fantasy games have always been about a journey and a pilgrimage, so watching it become a road trip feels like a step in the right direction for the franchise. Square Enix are going all out to make sure that this game works for them this time, so I’ve got high hopes. Also, I’m hoping that the tie-in movie, Kingsglaive, isn’t riddled with the same awkward pacing we saw in Advent Children.
#4 – We Happy Few
If you thought that every game on my list was going to be a larger-than-life adventure, then you’re only mostly right. We Happy Few takes elements from Clockwork Orange and the Bioshock series to generate a simplistic yet gritty British dystopia where one poor bloke will have the worst day he’s had for a very long time. I will caution those who chose to partake in We Happy Few’s current promotional media as some aspects can be quite shocking to those with weak stomachs. But even then, I still think you should check it out, regardless. After all, you don’t want to miss the Piñata.
Anyway, back to actual happy things!
#3 – Kingdom Hearts 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue
There’s been a bit of a trend as of late when it comes to the titling of the Kingdom Hearts games. The second game in the series was called Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories and the third was called Kingdom Hearts II. Considering that one game in the series is named in a temporal fraction, at least Square Enix is taking a slightly more normal naming strategy and using decimal values to name their upcoming anthology.
Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue is a triple-pack featuring a fully animated movie that elaborates on the mysteries of the free-to-play mobile game, a brand new small-scale adventure starring Aqua from Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep and a HD remaster of the 3DS entry, Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance.
What has me keen for Final Chapter Prologue is that porting the 3DS Kingdom Hearts game to the PS4 lets everyone catch up on the entire saga that has stretched over many consoles for longer than a decade. Speaking of, it’s also worth mentioning as a sort of honourable mention that World of Final Fantasy does the same thing for the Final Fantasy series, as each chapter of the game is a summary of a popular Final Fantasy game. Hopefully this will bring fans and friends of the series completely up to speed with each game’s story without grinding out levels for weeks on end per game.
#2 & #1 – The Legend of Zero Dawn: Breath of the Horizon
I honestly can’t decide which of these two I’m more eager to play: Zelda: Breath of the Wild or Horizon: Zero Dawn. But you know what? It doesn’t even bloody matter because it’s like 2 versions of the same game. I guess the biggest difference is whether I want to play as a chatty redhead or a blondie with eyeliner. They’re both gorgeous-looking, they’re both set in a vast, open world full of hostile ancient machines and mysterious ruins and they’re both a return to grace from the last project the team’s worked on. The only downside seems to be that NEITHER OF THEM ARE COMING OUT UNTIL MARCH NEXT YEAR AND I DON’T THINK I HAVE THE MENTAL RECOURCES TO WAIT AN ENTIRE HUMAN PREGNANCY FOR THESE GAMES!
Anyway, until these beautiful games come out, I’ll just have to do my best to play what I have in front of me in the meantime. Maybe the 550 piece jigsaw puzzle from pre-ordering Song of the Deep will help keep me distracted until Final Fantasy XV comes out.
Be ready for next time!
– Joshua ‘TinyCat’ Kinsela