Top 5: Best of E3 2013
Well with E3 officially behind us and all the cards on the table from the big three companies in gaming – I thought it would be a great time to talk about my top five games from E3 and why I felt they were the most interesting games on the show floor this year.
Not to say that there weren’t a lot of impressive games this year, looking at sequels alone there is something for everbody, from the new Super Smash Bros. to the new Halo (even if we didn’t see any gameplay of the latter). That being said, for these five I’ve tried to focus on games that are both fresh and original – staying away from sequels or games we’ve seen at length before E3. There are a few exceptions but yeah, keep that in mind.
5. Ryse: Son of Rome
This Xbox One exclusive had been widely talked about before E3, but this was the first chance anyone got to see it in action and boy did it look pretty. In Ryse you play as a roman general, from commanding troops from afar to getting close and personal on the battlefield. As a release title for Microsoft’s new console it takes full advantage of the increased capabilities compared to the last generation, with incredibly detailed and realistic graphics which really made the game shine. Sure, there were a bit more cinematics than gameplay, and yes, there were an abundance of quick time events, but to me the idea of fighting as part of a Roman army (including working as part of a proper infantry formation) was enough to sell me on the overall premise.
4. Watch Dogs
One of those exceptions I was talking about. Sure, we already knew a fair bit about Watch Dogs – it’ll even be out a couple months from now. But that didn’t stop it from stealing the show a little as it showed off a few new gameplay concepts, like other plays invading your game (Dark Souls style) in a kind of hacking PVP minigame. For anyone who wasn’t clear, Watch Dogs is an upcoming game from Ubisoft where you play as an experience hacker on the run who utilises his skills with manipulating technology to stay ahead of the police. Both graphically and conceptually it looks years ahead of its competition, and I would feel guilty not including it in any “best of” list where it came up as a candidate.
3. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain
This was a big surprise for me, and not only because it was being showed at a Microsoft press presentation (that’s right, a Metal Gear Solid which isn’t a PlayStation exclusive). The new Metal Gear Solid showed off an impressive step up in terms of graphics from its predecessors, but more interestingly it also showed off a vivid open world explorable by horseback – very Red Dead, very intriguing. On top of that is the typical oddball cast of Japanese archetype characters combined with some well-developed stealth gameplay, making this one of my games to watch closely up til its release.
I’ve had my eye on Destiny for a while now so I shouldn’t have been surprised to find myself adding it to this list. As a long time Halo fan I was fairly certain I’d love whatever Bungie did next, and man did they not disappoint. Destiny looked like a blend between Mass Effect, Halo and Borderlands (an ambitious combination) and blew me away with its multiplayer capacity. From teaming up on exploration missions to the dynamic event we saw (a kind of alien attack which seemed to happen at random) it was really an impressive display and did nothing to lower my high expectations of this title.
And in a move which surprises even me we end up with TitanFall on top as my most interesting game of E3 this year. TitanFall comes from the original creators of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (otherwise known as the game which began CoD’s yearly domination of game sales) and shows off exactly what they have been doing since their ugly split with Activision a few years ago. TitanFall takes the fast-paced FPS action of Call of Duty and adds giant controllable Mechs (or Titans), creating a new kind of multiplayer shooter which lifts a lot from its spiritual predecessor and yet adds entirely new concepts like jet packs and large scale mechanical combat. More than anything, the gameplay looked slick and addictive – exactly what you want to see in a game which is going up against whatever the latest Call of Duty will be at its point of release. Suffice to say, I was impressed – and even more than that I actually wanted to play it, which (coming from a non-CoD fan) is probably the biggest compliment it can get.