In the aftermath of 2017’s E3 press conference, gamers everywhere are likely selecting their favorite games to follow during the remaining months/years of their development. While this year’s series of showcases left some unimpressed fans wanting more, there was still some notable coverage from our video game conglomerates:
Sea of Thieves
The Pirate genre hasn’t always been one of repute in the gaming world. Throughout the library of mediocrity there have been some exceptions; Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag being one of the top contenders. Still, gamers have had a significant lack of worthy pirate adventures to satisfy their desire to sail the open ocean, pillaging and plundering along the way. Out of the two pirate games featured at E3 2017, I have my sights fixated on Sea of Thieves. Unlike Skull N’ Bones, this game places the player into a first person perspective, allowing for a more personal play style on the open ocean. From what was shown, co-op and PVP options will still be present, but there seems to be far less focus on competitive battles. Sea of Thieves will be launching on Xbox One (S,X) and Windows 10, and should be available sometime in 2018.
Star Wars: Battlefront 2
I was among the audience that felt burned by EA’s rehashing of Star Wars: Battlefront. Being a die-hard fan of the original series, I found 2015’s rendition to be monumentally underwhelming. I didn’t expect much from the reveal of Battlefront 2 this year, and I was pleasantly surprised at what was featured. We were able to see a full 30 minute skirmish at the EA press conference, which showed a much closer tie in to Battlefront games of old. The battles were well paced, the classes brought variety, and the conquest style looked much more fun. You can read about my initial response from the day of the conference here.
Far Cry 5
I am and always will be a fan of the Far Cry Series. Some may regard it as a repetitive, outpost-control shooter, and in many ways Far Cry has settled a little too much into its comfort zone. The mundane nature of Far Cry: Primal was somewhat of a preliminary nail in the Ubisoft coffin, similar to the abysmal misstep that was Assassin’s Creed: Unity. The developers appear to have perked up and listened to the fans with the most recent addition to the series. From the setting to the gameplay to the full game co-op support, Far Cry 5 looks like it will be breathing new life into the franchise.
In many ways, Days Gone takes on the appearance of an open world Uncharted, The Last of Us clone. I have to admit that I wasn’t sold from Sony’s demo, but after closer investigation through interviews with the developers I started to find the attraction. Much of the content is going to be highly reminiscent of the aforementioned games, offering stealth instances and third person shooter combat. On the flip side, we will be given a ruthless, post apocalyptic setting to conquer. The expectation has been set that the setting will prove difficult, even frustrating to players. Survivability is meant to play a huge role, whether it’s gathering resources, or keeping yourself alive while you travel from point A to B (i.e. your motorcycle can totally run out of gas). Upon hearing of these minor additions, I started to see the unique big picture for Days Gone.
Robust graphics, smooth gameplay, enticing environments, the impressive features list goes on and on. Yes, this can be considered as another semi-clone, stepping onto the same path that Destiny has been walking these past few years. I played my fair share of Destiny. For the most part I enjoyed it, but the obnoxious amount of loading instances and lack of innovative content always pulled me away from becoming fully immersed. These are the areas where I have the highest hopes for Anthem. If the finished product does grant us the ability to seamlessly travel outside of the main city(ies), I’m confident that the game content will also benefit. Instead of being a segmented grind fest, Anthem has the potential to deliver a quality action RPG experience.
Super Mario Odyssey
The teasers for Super Mario Odyssey gave us nothing but confused anticipation for what the final reveal would entail. Knowing that it would find a spot at the Nintendo press conference, I was holding my breath for what would come. And I couldn’t have asked for more. Among the mundane conferences that had been filling up the first few days of E3 2017, Nintendo stood supreme. They revealed mostly unannounced titles, giving Nintendo fans exactly what they had been asking for leading up to the event. Super Mario Odyssey closed out the presentation with a unrestrained gameplay footage that spelled out nothing particularly coherent, but psyched everyone up regardless.
I’ve been waiting for a quality Spider-man game since I logged about a hundred hours into Spider-man 2 on my Gamecube. Through the years we’ve seen projects come close, but never really meet the mark or exceed it. I had positive feelings from the teaser trailers that released at last year’s conference, but still felt some apprehension. It’s safe to say that Insomniac stole the Sony showcase with their new demo. During the new footage, all of the previously made promises were confirmed. The combat looked fresh, rather than just copying the Arkham formula. The visual performance felt clean and fine tuned. The open world style clearly builds off of what made Spider-man 2 such a joy to play, and the more linear instances look like they will be working well from this foundation.
There you have my top picks from E3 2017. It wasn’t the most impressive year for video game announcements, but coming off of the amazing high that was early 2017, I’m not surprised. Nevertheless, there was more than enough featured to peak my interests and keep me hanging on for what will come in 2018.