While there may not have been as many mind-blowing surprises as last year, the sheer amount of quality games shown at this year’s E3 more than makes up for that. Each huge conference this year was filled with great games, and the worst thing I can say about them is that Sony wasted about 30 minutes of an otherwise excellent showing. Here are my picks of what I’m most excited to play in the coming year or so:
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
This one really came out of nowhere. I’ve been a huge proponent of Kirby Canvas Curse since it launched back in 2005. It was a creative new take on the Kirby formula, and was filled with tons of secrets and unlockables. It’s been one of my favorite DS games since, which is a bold claim considering how many incredible DS games there are. Rainbow Curse looks really great so far, and the colorful claymation art style makes me want it even more. Nintendo has a penchant for inventing more wonderful, colorful worlds to play around in, and Rainbow Curse looks like another step in the right direction.
No Man’s Sky
Every time I see this game, I hope that one day it’ll actually come out. If you aren’t blown away by each new trailer of this, I’m curious what you’re wanting from video games. No Man’s Sky is one of the most ambitious games I’ve ever seen, and I hope that ambition eventually leads into a working product. It seems too good to be true, and we still don’t even know what you’ll actually be doing in the game. For now, the concept of flying seamlessly through an infinitely spanning space is enough to keep me excited, and hopeful.
Zelda Wii U
So Aonuma has learned to say all the right things, but will it actually be as refreshing as he describes it? Prior to A Link Between Worlds, I probably wouldn’t have believed him. A huge open world where you can go wherever you want in any order, without limits? No Zelda game has felt that open in over a decade, but A Link Between Worlds was able to recapture some of that feeling just last year. If the lessons learned from the 3DS game (no lengthy tutorial, no annoying sidekicks, actual freedom and rewards for exploration) carry into a 3D space, we may be looking at something incredible.
New Dark Souls, huh? As little as we’ve been able to see so far, I’m still incredibly excited that it exists. After Miyazaki’s departure after the Dark Souls 1 DLC, he’s been working on a secret project, and it has finally come to light. Dark Souls is one of my favorite games ever, so of course I’m going to be excited about the next game from it’s mastermind. With new weaponry and a heavier emphasis on darkness and close quarter combat, I’ll be the first in line when it (hopefully) launches next year.
I was so happy to see this at the Sony press conference. One of my favorite games from last year and a winner of Ludum Dare 28, it’s a tiny game that combines what makes my favorite games great. It’s a boss battle fest about discovering huge creatures in a large lonely world. The new version will be hitting as a much larger package than it’s original release (around 20 bosses!!!!!), and it’s a tiny game that’s more interesting than most games a hundred times its size.
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
Super Mario 3D World was great for a lot of reasons. The Captain Toad levels were the icing on the cake. Can Nintendo turn that icing into a full course meal? The short levels from 3D World were a highlight of that game. You steer a Toad through an isometric puzzle environment to discover hidden paths and items. The first trailer for this game makes it already look like they’re heading in the right direction, with bigger levels and huge boss encounters. For now, I’m very happy to see more of Captain Toad by the end of this year.
Far Cry 4
You can steal a car while you are driving another car and ramp that car off a hill and fly off a mountain in a wingsuit and have your friend fly a tiny helicopter over a bunch of exploding elephants.
Imagine if LittleBigPlanet were better than a cool idea, and actually a really fun thing to play? I’ve never found the controls in LBP very satisfying, but the idea of millions of people creating and sharing playable ideas is fascinating. What if that idea was paired with the best platforming mechanics of all time? Out of all of the new surprises from E3, this is one I want my hands on right now.
SUPER SMASH BROS FOR WII U
CAN YOU FEEL IT. IT’S HAPPENING. PAC-MAN. PUNCHING. JUMPING. MIIS. CHARIZARD. IT’S ALMOST HERE AND I CAN TASTE IT. Smash is gonna be good, and I don’t know what they could do at this point to not make me buy it on day one. There wasn’t even a ton of E3 stuff to say about Smash other than a few new characters, but I’m just so excited to see people playing and enjoying it as much as I plan to as soon as I can throw that disk into my Wii U.
A few sequels, a few brand new ideas, and hopefully a lot of fun to come in the next year or so. I had a ton of fun watching E3 and discussing it with everyone, and this E3 seemed to spawn less hate than usual. Each system has a ton of games coming, both exclusively and multiplatform, and I can’t imagine someone not having at least a few things to be looking forward to. There are lots of other games that I didn’t pay much attention to that were being shown at E3, because I already am sure I’ll enjoy them. Games like Axiom Verge, Shovel Knight, Below, Danganronpa 2, Sunset Overdrive, Cuphead, The Binding of Isaac Rebirth, and more are heading our way, and we’ll be playing them soon enough. Here’s to another excellent E3, let’s hope we play these games sooner rather than later.