So E3 2014 is finally over. It seemed like a long week, but it was certainly an eventful one. I feel like everyone (except EA) did really good this year! Even Microsoft! Microsoft showed a ton of games, and even though all the ones I was interested in were multiplatform, good on them for focusing on what they needed to after last year. Ubisoft showed some really promising stuff as well, and I was pretty excited to learn that The Crew is coming out this fall. Sony had a real boring weak spot in the middle of their presentation, but it was bookended by some really outstanding stuff. Pretty much every game they showed looked amazing. Even Nintendo killed it this year. The teaser for the next Zelda put me over the edge and I think it’s time I finally pick up a Wii U.
EA though, c’mon. A lot of things they’re working on are really exciting, but all of it is so early in development that there’s really nothing for them to show. It’s just kind of a bummer. I can’t wait for Battlefront (and it was cool seeing props and locations from the old Star Wars films), but they certainly didn’t really have anything to show for it just yet. Same with the next Mass Effect and whatever Bioware’s new IP is. It also depresses me to see Criterion with no real direction or purpose. But oh well, I feel like EA is going to have a great showing next year when these games are further along. Regardless, here are the five games that excited me the most over the course of E3 2014.
This one goes without saying. While Destiny didn’t show much during E3, we did get a decent little trailer that kind of gives an overview of the scope of the game. More importantly, Bungie rounded out E3 week with an alpha preview weekend for PS+ members. I own probably five or so games for my PS4 at the moment, but this Destiny alpha is the first thing I’ve played that really feels “next gen” to me. The visuals are extremely impressive; there are especially some beautiful lighting and shadow effects at work. Even more than the visuals, the game just feels amazing. The gunplay and movement is very responsive and snappy, and special moves like double jumps and knee slides give you plenty of mobility. I was even surprised by how deep the loot system actually is. I love how you unlock more effects on your gear through use. Also, I think I’m predisposed to automatically love a game that has Diablo 2-style item gambling. If you own a PS4 or Xbox One, you probably owe it to yourself to buy Destiny.
No Man’s Sky
People seem very timid about the promise of No Man’s Sky. A game that procedurally generates hundreds of planets in a massive galaxy for you to explore and is pretty much infinite in possibility? It does seem pretty far-fetched, especially when you remember that the team working on No Man’s Sky is only like ten people. But myself? I have faith. I think, like Destiny, No Man’s Sky is going to be one of those games that is released and really feels “next gen.” If this generation is the generation of sci fi games, I’m all for it. The art style is really beautiful, too. It almost has a sort of painting look to it. No Man’s Sky is definitely one to watch and I can’t wait to learn more about it.
Mortal Kombat X
I’ve been playing Mortal Kombat for decades. I remember riding bikes with friends to the local Mazzio’s Pizza to play the MK2 arcade machine. When MK9 came out a couple years back, it was a breath of fresh air for the franchise, returning it to its 2D roots. It felt amazing to play, looked great, and had pretty much everyone’s favorite characters (and none of the bad ones, except Quan Chi). Even the one new character, Cyber Sub-zero, was awesome. Mortal Kombat X looks to continue the trend of keeping MK modern and super fun. Seeing Sub-zero throw his ice clone at Scorpion blew me away when it happened in the gameplay trailer. Also apparently Scorpion has a fireball projectile now? Crazy. I’m fine with them replacing a lot of the characters with new ones, it’ll be exciting to see something new. Although, I do hope Reptile is still around. When MKX comes out next year, you can bet I’ll have it day one.
While we don’t know too much about Bloodborne yet, we do know that it’s a successor to Demon’s Souls. I’m sold. Demon’s Souls was a groundbreaking game and Dark Souls (the first one) is easily one of my favorite games of all time. I really love the dark, gothic city setting of Bloodborne and I’m wondering if the whole game takes place there. I also found the CGI trailer’s music to be really atmospheric and impressive, but the Souls games have always had very well-realized atmosphere. The press release that followed the trailer said the game is a little more agile and dodging-focused so I’m curious if I won’t be able to play my usual medium tank-style character. Regardless, we don’t know much about Bloodborne yet so I can’t wait to see more!
The Legend of Zelda
I wasn’t expecting much from Nintendo this year. When it became clear that the Wii U wasn’t getting a price cut and no F-Zero was getting announced, I was starting to lose interest. However, the Zelda teaser that Nintendo showed off was conceptually amazing. They seem to be hinting at a Skyrim-ish open world. In a Zelda game. The whole problem with Skyrim is that it’s not fun to play, but Zelda games are tons of fun mechanically. I can’t wait to see how this all shakes out. Also, the kind of post-Wind Waker art style looks really nice. For the first time since Ocarina of Time, I’m super hyped for a Zelda game.