We might not be in a western, but we’ve had no shortage of sideways glances and dramatic duels this week. I might have been away on holiday, but I’ve been catching up on everything I’ve missed at E3 this week, and safe to say, a few things have me quite excited. Note that this article will focus on the games that we saw, rather than the technological advances.
Admittedly, this year’s E3 was less impactful for me than last year’s – but that’s only because I’m a huge fan of Uncharted, Fallout and Dishonoured, so seeing their latest instalments unveiled was a huge deal to me.
That’s not to say that a lot hasn’t gone down year. Let’s start with some of my personal highlights. Despite being amongst returning heavy hitters like God of War and Gears of War, I’m extremely excited for Horizon: Zero Dawn. This new IP has lots of promise in my eyes. It’s one of the most original video game concepts I’ve seen in a long time, and feels extremely refreshing in a world saturated with sequels (I’m looking at you Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed, and even GTA to an extent).
Instead, Horizon seems to blend the best from various franchises. It adds a dash of Assassins Creed, a sprinkle of Far Cry, and generous helpings of some brand new concepts we haven’t seen before. Battling robotic animals using a multi-functional bow in a visually stunning open world is something I’m highly excited for.
Horizon does well to stand out in the crowd, especially in a week when we see a brand new God of War dropped. Kratos is back, and bearded, and from what I can tell, there’ve been some pretty serious shake-ups to the formula. Whilst the previous instalments focused heavily on fixed camera angles showcasing epic set pieces as you battle thousands of enemies, God of War 4 (named simply God of War) appears to tell a more heartfelt, emotional story about Kratos and his son.
A tale of Kratos doing his best to protect a young boy from a world full of dangers, training him up to hunt, fight and survive for himself, whilst also trying to prevent him from following in his destructive footsteps is an interesting one. It’s a sharp turn from his gravelly voiced murder tours we’ve seen previously, and if done right could be amazing. If the devs can find a way to fuse the fast paced action the series is known for, with the heart of a game such as The Last of Us, we could be onto something special here.
Swinging on over to Nintendo, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is possibly one of the more visually striking games of E3 this year. It’s large world and colourful art style caught my eye, and despite never being a huge fan of the Zelda games (I don’t dislike them, I just don’t really play them), I am particularly interested in this. The exploration, gameplay and (gasp!) voice acting all seem better than I’ve seen them in the franchise, so this may be the instalment that I really sink my teeth into!
Next up, Resident Evil VII seems like a return to good old fashioned survival horror. I doubt I’d be alone in saying that the RE series has lost its way somewhat recently. Resi 4 was great. Resi 5 was…okay. Lets not talk about Operation Raccoon City, and Resi 6 felt like some weird acid trip. Resi 7 looks to be bringing back the horror, focusing on scares, rather than balls-to-the-wall action. The fact that it’s available to play entirely in VR is just the icing on the cake, and is something I’m very excited for…and also a little scared.
I just want to touch on one final thing before I begin to wrap up. In my first article, I mentioned how Uncharted 4 was currently my favourite game, but what I didn’t say anything about is how amazing Naughty Dog are as game developers. Yes they make good games, but in my opinion that’s only the beginning. They’re also marketing geniuses. Let’s look past the fact that they took their Uncharted 4 screw up at E3 last year, ran with it and made it into a joke trophy in the finished game, and focus on what they did here.
An unavoidable easter egg in Uncharted 4 is the inclusion of Crash Bandicoot as a playable minigame. As well as being a nifty little meta-moment, they’ve drummed up feelings of nostalgia and good memories of past times in their fans. A month later at E3, they drop the bombshell that they’re re-releasing all the Crash Bandicoot games. That is genius. In a small, seemingly irrelevant moment in one of their biggest franchises, they have kick-started the hype before fans even knew what they were getting. Kudos ND, Kudos.
Okay, I’m going to climb out of ND’s ass for a while now, embrace the sunshine again.
There is so much more that I could talk about from this year’s E3. Gears of War, The Last Guardian, Batman VR, Batman’s Telltale Series, Dishonoured 2 and loads more. Yes, admittedly this has been a rather Sony focussed article, and whilst I’d love to remain impartial, this is a highlights article for things that stood out to me, and as a Playstation gamer, these were what caught my eye.
Let me know down below what your personal highlights were, and what you’re looking forward to over the next year. Have a good one gamers, and keep playing!
…That was this week’s VuePoint article!!! Check Back tomorrow for a new BearSleuth Opinion Piece!!!