E3 2016 has come and gone, but the excitement is still fresh in our minds for sure. There was something new and amazing to sink our teeth into with each passing day, and now I think it’s safe to say that we’re all looking forward to what’s in store for us in the future. After last year’s E3, many of us left a bit underwhelmed (especially the Nintendo fans), but this year has been an improvement, and our wallets are now beginning to hurt.
Some of the biggest announcements came mostly from Microsoft and Sony as they both talked about future consoles and VR tech (which could easily become a household item if they deliver on what was promised). With all of the advanced tech that was being shown off, it seems that we’re on the dawn of a new age for video games, that could really change the way we experience them for years.
That doesn’t mean E3 cheaped out on the games though, because there were plenty of titles announced that made us drool with anticipation. Even Nintendo, who said they were only going to show off Pokemon and The Legend of Zelda, had a few titles that really got the crowd excited. So much happened that there was something for everyone, and I think it’s safe to say that there’s at least one game that we’ve all got our sights set on now.
For those of you that missed all the info, or want a recap of some of the best news, here are 15 of the most exciting announcements from E3 2016.
15. Xbox One S
There had been plenty of rumors about Sony unveiling the Playstation Neo, an updated version of the Playstation 4. Microsoft, ready to come in swinging, then announced the Xbox One S (Slim). Starting at $300, a full $200 less than the original Xbox One when it launched, the new S is lighter, smaller, and sleeker than its big brother. Storage goes from 500 GB to 2TB for those of you download heavy users, and offers HDR gaming as well as 4K compatibility.
Another interesting choice that Microsoft made with the Xbox One S is that there is no Kinect port within the console, and if you want to hook one up, you need a USB adapter. Frankly, I’m sure there aren’t a lot of us who would complain, seeing as how the Kinect never took off and was just a device that didn’t give us what was promised. If keeping Kinect out is what keeps the price tag down, I’m all for it. The Xbox One S is set to come out sometime this year, probably in August, but if not, it will most likely be out in time for the holiday season.
14. Project Scorpio
Since we’re talking about Xbox already, it is the perfect time to address their other console announcement. Project Scorpio seems like a replacement for Microsoft debuting an entirely new console. Scorpio is instead a supercharged Xbox One with better processing power, 4K capability, VR compatibility, and so on. Reportedly it sits at 4.5x more powerful than the original Xbox One. It will play all games in the Xbox One library, but will probably also have some Scorpio exclusive games, since you wouldn’t use that kind of power just for existing titles. Apparently, Microsoft owner Phil Spencer said that the Xbox One Slim isn’t meant to be an upgrade, more like an updated alternative to those that don’t already own an Xbox One. Project Scorpio is the upgrade that he intends people to get. Considering that Scorpio packs in about six teraflops, it won’t have any trouble running those open-world games.
Microsoft was out for Sony’s blood by announcing Scorpio, but it was hilarious when we all realized that Sony didn’t really hit hard on the PS4 Neo. All they said was that it was being worked on.
13. Xbox Play Anywhere
Yeah, another Xbox announcement, but I’m trying to stay a bit organized here instead of jumping from Sony to Microsoft to Nintendo and vice versa. Once I finish the best announcements from Xbox, I’ll move on. One of the more interesting announcements from Microsoft was Xbox Play Anywhere. What that means is that some games, when downloaded to the Xbox One, will be fully playable on Windows 10 as well. No doubt PC gamers will get a real kick out of that one, and may even entice them to try a console for themselves. This move is very similar to the Cross-Buy that Sony did for the Playstation 3/4 and Playstation Vita. With that announcement, Microsoft also confirmed that it will make more effort to introduce some of its exclusive IPs to the PC realm (specifically Windows). In short, if you’re a PC gamer and love Halo, you’re in luck so long as you have the hardware specs to run it. Currently the game list for Xbox Play Anywhere is small, but if it does well and really takes off, we could see more titles that you can shake a keyboard and mouse at.
Fans of Nintendo have been clamoring for a long time now to get a new Metroid game (Federation Force doesn’t count). Apparently, Microsoft has been hearing the complaints, and in response, revealed the game ReCore. Technically, there was a trailer for the game last year, but it didn’t show any gameplay, so there was really nothing we knew about it. This year, Microsoft finally showed us how the game is going to work, and it looks like the beautiful Metroid game fans have been craving for all these years. Featuring a female protagonist and a team of lovable robots, exploring, fighting, and climbing is going to be a unique and personality-filled experience. Basically if I were to get an Xbox One, that’s the game I would get (well, that and Halo 5: Guardians). Regardless, it seems like a slap in the face to Nintendo that this is similar to a Metroid game, but also the fact that it’s being made by people that worked on Metroid Prime, so we’re almost guaranteed that they’re going to do a good job on the game. Who knows, maybe Nintendo will respond by giving us a new 2D Metroid? Perhaps that’s just wishful thinking.
11. Injustice 2
I’m a huge DC Comics fan, and as such, I played Injustice: Gods Among Us until I was horribly good with Green Arrow to the point where none of my friends and family would play with me anymore (even if I picked another character). Regardless, it’s still one of my favorite fighting games to this day and will always have a place in my library. That is until, I saw the trailer for Injustice 2. Yes, I had heard all the rumors pointing to this game being announced, but I didn’t want to believe it until I saw it with my own two eyes, and it looks beautifully brutal. Featuring a new gear system that will let you upgrade your fighters, NetherRealm is looking to expand and build upon the formula they already established. What has me most excited though are the new characters. As of right now, the only confirmed newcomers are Supergirl, Atrocitus, and Gorilla Grodd, but there’s a guarantee that more will be coming (my personal hope is for Red Hood). Injustice 2 is set to come out sometime next year, and I will be anxiously chomping at the bit until I hear anything else about it.
10. New Lego Dimensions DLC/Figures
When Lego Dimensions was first announced, I was definitely intrigued by their inclusion of Back to the Future, Ghostbusters, DC, Lord of the Rings, and more, seeing as I am a huge fan of all of those titles. However, it was never quite enough to entice me to buy the game. However, the new E3 Expo trailer almost has me convinced. What starts out as a normal Lego adventure quickly shows us all the new cast that will be coming to the game and in real life as minifigures. Gremlins, Harry Potter, Adventure Time, and more are all going to get the Lego Dimensions treatment. Then at the very end, they showed off that Sonic the Hedgehog would also be joining the roster. Personally, it was nearly enough to convince me to go out and buy the starter pack. While it may seem like the expansion packs are a bit on the pricey side, you do have to remember that you’re also getting unique Lego minifigures that you won’t find anywhere else, and that’s enough to make anyone’s inner 5-year-old giggle with delight. I’m more excited to see which new characters they’ll introduce in future waves.
9. Days Gone
(The 4 minute mark is where it starts to get good). Now we’re getting into Sony territory. Sony’s presentation this year was my favorite (despite being a diehard Nintendo fan), and they had the most new games that people were really excited about, so expect to see a lot of Sony on this list. The first of their entries comes in the form of Days Gone, a new zombie game. When the footage was first showing, I was a bit bored, I mean, who needs another zombie game? Then the gameplay starts. The main character is running from a horde full of more zombies than you can count, and once he felt like he was a good distance, he turns around only to see that horde is still hot on his heels and mere inches away. Days Gone seems like the zombie game that is both realistic and horrifying. Yes the scenery and environments are beautiful, but that won’t matter to you as you’re being chased by a horde of undead flesh eaters. It was both terrifying unique, and had me interested to see what other scenarios the game would place me in. Days Gone seems like a beautiful cross between The Last Of Us and Left 4 Dead, and I couldn’t be happier about it.
8. Crash Bandicoot Remastered
Being a 90s kid, I grew up playing Crash Bandicoot, from the original trilogy to Crash Bash. Old Crash is a beloved character for me, and I was so disappointed to see other developers misuse him (as I’m sure a lot of you were too). So hopes were high when rumors were pointing to Sony making a Crash-related announcement this year. Well it turns out those rumors were true, as Sony has made a deal with Activision to be able to use the character again. However, the first thing they showed off was that Crash would be a PS4 exclusive character in Skylanders Imaginators, and while he doesn’t look as awful as Spyro, there’s still something a bit weird about his design. But then, Sony announced that Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, and Crash Bandicoot Warped would all be getting remastered exclusively for the PS4. Fans were ecstatic, myself included. Seeing what the wacky world of Crash Bandicoot would look like with today’s hardware will be a treat, and any excuse to replay those fun classics, is a good excuse for me. Unfortunately, no release date has been set for the remastered Crash trilogy.
7. God Of War 4
I’ve never played a God of War game (not my cup of tea), but there’s no doubt that it’s a popular title among gamers for sure. When Sony announced that God of War was on its way for the PS4, there was some excitement to be had. However, this time around, they seem like they’re reinventing the wheel a bit more. A different art style covers the entire game, and Kratos has become an old man with a scraggly beard. Throughout the footage, he trains a young boy in the ways of combat and hunting, a boy we can only assume is his son at this point. The game seems very different from past God of War iterations, and now all signs point to Kratos being pitted against Norse mythology as opposed to the typical Greek. Throughout the gameplay demonstration, Kratos is a harsh father, scarred by the horns of war. Unfortunately for his little boy, Kratos also doesn’t seem how to relate or sympathize. However, that may be part of what the game will address, and perhaps there will be more emotional heart to Kratos’s story than cutting the next Titan’s head off.
6. Star Wars Battlefront VR
Sony really put a lot of effort into showing the audience that VR was going to be the gaming tech of the future, and from the games they are making, I can’t help but agree with them. One of the first titles they announced was Star Wars Battlefront VR, which is as much fan service as it is a showcase of what VR is capable of. The game sets you in the cockpit of an X-Wing pilot as you work with a team to take down a Star Destroyer. Those that have seen Star Wars have always wanted to be able to pilot one of the fighters and now that Sony is offering that chance, it seems like a fool’s decision not to take it. The game will probably have more missions than taking down a Star Destroyer (my hope is that there’s a Death Star level), but the game seems to be more about the experience itself rather than the content, and that’s what video games are really about. Perhaps this will lead into an even bigger Battlefront VR experience in the future, one where you get to be a Jedi.
5. Batman Arkham VR
What could you possibly want to be more than an X-Wing pilot? What about the Batman? Moments after their Star Wars VR presentation, Sony went on to confirm that a new Batman Arkham game was coming to Playstation VR. As one of the biggest fans of Batman this side of the Mississippi River, I am incredibly stoked for it. I’m especially interested in seeing how the combat will transition to the VR realm, however, it seems that the game will focus more on the detective work, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. As long as I get to put on the cowl and the game feels like I’m really Batman, I’d count that worth the price of admission, whatever that may be. Sony is pulling no punches when it comes to the content their making for the VR, and if Batman ends up being as good as the hype surrounding it, I just may end up picking one up for myself in the future. Battling the Joker in real time is just too good an opportunity to pass up, as is driving the Batmobile or beating the dirty scum of Gotham to a bruised pulp.
4. Return of Kojima
Sony was very coy about their announcement of this man’s return. Maybe you’ve heard of this guy once or twice before? Since his falling out with the Silent Hills game that was sadly cancelled, Hideo Kojima made a triumphant return at E3 2016. With his return was the announcement that he and Norman Reedus would once again be working together to create the new Playstation 4 title, Death Stranding. The trailer left audiences incredibly confused. Showing Norman Reedus stranded on an island hugging an infant as five unnamed figures float in the distance. It’s weird, unique, and made me wanting more, which is exactly what a trailer should do. Regardless, you can’t really go wrong with someone like Hideo Kojima, and apart from Death Stranding, this should lead to some amazing exclusives for the Playstation platform, and I couldn’t be more excited. No more information has been revealed on Death Stranding, not even so much as an expected release window, but I’m sure we’ll hear more about it in the near future. Please no more cancelling of Kojima’s games, Sony. I’m still a bit salty about Silent Hills. PT was one of the best gaming experiences I ever had.
3. Spider-Man PS4
After Kojima walked off the stage, it seemed as if Sony was finished with their presentation. However, they had one more ace up their sleeve to show off before the end of their time. A trailer simply opens up with the Insomniac logo, and they immediately had the audience’s attention. Then the footage shows a big city, and a young man narrating about it depending on him. Then the guy said that he was from Queens and I knew exactly where it was heading. There was a small thwip as Spider-Man decked out in a new costume swung into view. Then we got a beautiful montage of new Spider-Man combat and web-swinging across New York. Yes, Spider-Man is coming back to the video game realm as a AAA title made by Insomniac, exclusively for the PS4. The game looked so amazing is that it was the one thing that has motivated me to get a PS4 for myself. There are now just too many amazing exclusives coming to that console for me to pass up, and as a huge Spider-Man fan, I couldn’t deny a chance to play that game. Sadly, no release date is set for the new Spider-Man game yet.
2. Ever Oasis
We all thought that Nintendo would only be focusing on Zelda and Pokemon, but they spent a good chunk of the second day unveiling new titles that seemed worth a try. One of those titles looks to be an endearing combination of Final Fantasy, The Legend of Zelda, and Xenoblade Chronicles, Ever Oasis is a new IP by Nintendo that is shaping to be one of the most unique RPGs for the company. Now the 3DS has not shortage of those kinds of games, but Ever Oasis really looks to shake up the formula a bit. You start out in a desert and you build your own oasis from the ground up. From there, you explore the world, go in dungeons, and even chat with many of the townsfolk. From the oases, you can recruit other party members to explore dungeons with you so that you have a better chance of taking the bosses down and getting your famous loot. It’s cutesy, stylistic, and has some nice music to boot. Ever Oasis is currently scheduled to come out sometime next year. It will most likely end up an underrated game, but I’ll be one of the few excited to play it.
1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
You all knew this was coming. Since E3 2014, we had our first look at the new Legend of Zelda for Wii U. Since then it had been nothing but disappointments as the game had been delayed, pushed back, and rescheduled. Now this year, Nintendo was ready to tell us all we needed to know about the game, and man, is it awesome. The game was titled The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and it looks to be one of the most inventive Zelda games we’ve gotten – ever. Featuring an entirely open world, there is almost no limit to what you can do and where you can go. Link can now climb mountainsides and large temples as if he were in Assassin’s Creed, and his weapons are now breakable. New items and clothing will allow to explore different places, and you’ll always be on the lookout for enemies so you can steal their weapons as needed. Wolf Link will also be a companion for those that have the Wolf Link Amiibo, and a new line of Amiibo will be released to coincide with the game. There is so much to do, see, and explore with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and I couldn’t be more excited to play it. That game will be a day one purchase for me.
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