With E3 2016 right around the corner, we take a look at the games we’re most looking forward to seeing at the event, including Watch Dogs 2, Days Gone, and much more.
For a gamer, E3 is one of the most exciting times of the year. It’s at E3 when the biggest announcements occur, and new footage of the hottest upcoming games is revealed. With the current-gen consoles hitting their stride,
With the current-gen consoles hitting their stride, E3 2016 is even more thrilling than usual, with a number of high-profile games set to be in the spotlight next month.
We’ve watched the conferences, charged around the show floor and seen many, many video games. This year gave us plenty to chew over, with Sony and Microsoft planning new consoles and the mainstream virtual reality revolution on the horizon. But most important, as ever, are the games themselves. While the show might no longer be the home of big announcements, with reveals happening across the year, the most pleasing thing about E3 2016 was the diversity on the show. Something for everyone is an ideal the industry aspires to, and this year gave us plenty.
Out of all the already announced games that are going to be showcased at this year’s E3 event, these are the most anticipated games from E3 2016 that have the best chance of stealing the show
The super-powered sequel to the hit fighting game Injustice: Gods Among Us, Injustice 2 features a massive roster of DC Super Heroes / Super-Villains and allows players to build and power up the ultimate version of their favourite DC characters. Every battle defines you in a game where players personalise iconic DC characters with unique and powerful gear earned throughout the game. For the first time gamers can take control of how their characters look, fight and develop across a variety of game modes. Injustice 2 continues the epic cinematic story introduced in Injustice: Gods Among Us as Batman and his allies work towards putting the pieces of society back together while struggling against those who want to restore Superman’s regime. In the midst of the chaos, a new threat appears that will put Earth’s existence at risk. Players can play from the biggest DC roster ever offered in a fighting game, from classic fan favourites such as Batman, Superman, Supergirl, and Aquaman, to astonishing new villains like Atrocitus and Gorilla Grodd. Battles will take place across arenas that were involved in the prequel of the game. The game features many advancements in the suits of game characters enriched with great armour.
GOD OF WAR
Or Father of War, as many wags would have it. We all suspected God of War might pitch up at Sony’s conference, but the form in which it did surprised many. Gaming’s angriest man Kratos has upped and moved from Greek mythology to the Norse mountains, grown a beard and is now a father. Kratos must teach Junior how to hunt, keep the boy safe and control his own rage.
The paternal relationship looks to be the core of the game, rather than some narrative set-up, with the boy contributing to combat and levelling up alongside dear old dad. It’s a bold departure for a series famed for its hyper-violent action, but looks to give depth to a character that previously had little. Meanwhile the game itself has opened up, letting the environments breathe and allowing you to explore its world. Fight fans needn’t worry, there is still plenty of punching trolls to death and hitting things with an axe in a revamped combat system.
Battlefield 1 is already enjoying quite a bit of hype, with the game’s trailer amassing millions of likes on YouTube just days after it dropped. Fans seem to be responding well to Battlefield 1‘s World War I setting, and are probably excited to see what else the game has to offer.
If you want to demo your large-scale multiplayer war game, sorting out a 64-player game of Conquest is a good way of going about it. Battlefield 1’s St Quentin Scar map is a huge expanse of rolling French countryside, punctuated by crumbling village houses, farms and windmills. Players swarmed around its Conquest points both on-foot and early 20 th century war machines. The old-style weapons have a satisfying heft and clack, while the ability to spawn directly into vehicles helped to keep you close to the action even on such a huge map. Play was chaotic and varied, even in the course of a single match. While destructibility kept things interesting, particularly when a ‘behemoth’, a vast war zeppelin was taken down, crashing into the centre of the map in a wreath of flames, morphing the environment as it did so. There are still concerns about the morality of a game based in World War I, but you can’t argue with the mechanics and spectacle.
Luckily for fans, Battlefield 1 is sure to play a key role during EA’s press conference, so expect news on its campaign, multiplayer, and possibly even unannounced co-op modes come E3 next month.
One of the big surprises during E3 2016 was Spider-Man‘s appearance. Insomniac Games, the once PlayStation-exclusive developer behind the likes of Ratchet & Clank, is working on the currently subtitle-less Spider-Man for the PlayStation 4.
The video you see at the head of this post is the same one that played during Sony’s E3 presser. It looks incredible, and fans assumed it was pre-rendered footage.
Insomniac Games, the developers behind Ratchet and Clank and Sunset Overdrive, are making a Spider-man game for PlayStation.
RESIDENT EVIL VII:BIOHAZARD
Very cleverly revealed at the PlayStation conference, Resident Evil VII appears to be another reinvention for the famous survival-horror series, shifting to the first-person perspective and out-and-out terror that worked so well for games like Outlast and P.T. It can also be played entirely in VR.
The aesthetic is grim and grimy, with an atmosphere more reminiscent of Silent Hill than Resident Evils past. There will still be herbs to munch and puzzles to solve, ensuring the heart of Resi over. Some fans may worry this is a departure too far, but Resident Evil is a game that has constantly reinvented itself, from puzzling horror to tense action to squad-shooter spinoffs and even light-gun games. A series prone to more experimentation than it is given credit for, it fits for Capcom to be exploring new concepts, particularly virtual reality. The demo is available on the PS store now and is definitely worth checking out. We’ll ask you the same question that was buzzing around the show floor: “did you go upstairs?”
WATCH DOGS II
Every component of Watch Dogs 2 spawned when the team at Ubisoft Montreal decided it had to take place in San Francisco. The game’s protagonist, Marcus Holloway, was a kid raised in Oakland and incorrectly profiled by ctOS 2.0 – an updated version of the surveillance software from the original game. So, with the smarts and tech knowledge of someone who grew up around Silicon Valley, he’s inspired to make his own unique brand of ‘change’ – hacker style.
The game evolves if you decide to play in co-op, too. The co-op is described as being “seamless” in a way that’s very similar to the first Watch Dogs’ brand of PvP. This time around, players who have co-op allowed will be spawned into each other’s maps, and if they encounter each other, can accept to endeavour on co-op missions or get up to mischief in the open world. You can invite players from your friends list or be paired with strangers, and, though I couldn’t get explicit confirmation on this, it seems like you might be able to finish the entire game in co-op. This means you’d miss the single-player narrative segments, but you’d still build up enough followers (with your co-op buddy) to pull off whatever grand scheme the end might revolve around.
Zombie games are making a comeback this year. At E3 2016, developers announced the return of Dead Rising, State of Decay, and the mother of them all, Resident Evil. However, the most interesting of them, it seems, is a newcomer. Days Gone, the PS4-exclusive open-world action game from Sony’s Bend Studio, seeks to raise the stakes of the zombie-survival genre with faster, smarter monsters, and systems that encourage players to find creative solutions for escaping them.
The story of Days Gone is effectively The Last of Us meets Sons of Anarchy. Players control Deacon St. John, a bike gang member turned bounty hunter living in a post-apocalyptic version of the Pacific Northwest. Two years prior to the events of the game, a global virus had turned a large portion of the population into rabid cannibalistic animals, which the developers refer to as “freakers.” No one really knows what caused the freaker pandemic, but the region has been overrun. The trailer for the game alludes to the fact that St. John may have lost a wife or girlfriend in the turmoil, leaving him to roam the infested land alone.
Based on what’s been shown so far it could be the most intense apocalyptic survival thriller yet.
Ubisoft has made a rather lovely habit of announcing new IP at the close of its annual E3 press conference. This year was no different, except in that its new game wasn’t an open-world shooter, but instead an open-world extreme sports game. It’s a surprising move for a company that doesn’t usually dabble in sports, but its exploratory nature suits Ubi’s pervasive open-world template rather well. Explore the mountains, go skiing, snowboarding, wingsuit flying and paragliding. Looks gorgeous, and could be the modern SSX update we’ve never had.
If you’ve played a Fifa game in recent years there are certain phrases you’ll be familiar with. These include “That’s not who I wanted to pass to”, “What the hell was that?” and assorted groans and cries of frustration laden with enough swearing to make Malcolm Tucker blush. For years, EA Sports’ Fifa series hasn’t been able to reflect the desires and intentions of those playing it accurately. A new engine is exactly what was needed. Fifa 17 has that in Frostbite, but at a preview event held in London in May those frustrated cries were will still plentiful.
Out of the many titles showcased at EA’s separate EA Play Event, outside of E3, few were as popular as FIFA 17. With its own balcony overlooking LA Live, there were rows of consoles lined up for soccer fans to try out FIFA’s first venture into story-driven gameplay. And there was no shortage of players to lap it up. I managed to jump on a console for a brief look at FIFA’s new story mode ‘The Journey’, to see just what’s in store for the new series’ protagonist, Alex Hunter.
The past few E3s have given Mass Effect fans brief glimpses at the upcoming Mass Effect: Andromeda, but this year’s event should be a full-on blowout. Mass Effect: Andromeda is releasing in early 2017, yet we’ve seen very little of the game so far, making E3 the perfect opportunity for EA to reveal the game to the masses. Mass Effect: Andromeda‘s E3 presentation should include details on the game’s plot, its mysterious main character, and how the events of the original trilogy have shaped the Mass Effect universe.
Also the game includes live galaxy maps in the ship.
FORZA HORIZON III
Playground Games’ boisterous open-world racer started life as a spin-off of the more strait-laced sim Forza Motorsport. But by this point Horizon is way beyond that, taking on a life of its own and gathering an increasing clutch of admirers impressed by its gorgeous and joyful approach to driving. Forza Horizon 3 is stretching its concept even further, moving the action to Australia and putting you in charge of the game’s festival setting. This means creating your own races and challenges and sharing them online, all of which contribute to your progress.
Respawn’s first mech-powered multiplayer game was terrific fun, but only for a short time. Titanfall 2 is looking to improve the ‘stickiness’ with a full campaign and a more involving multiplayer. It was the latter we got our hands-on at E3 and had an absolute blast. The core remains the same: fleet-footed infantry troops battle it out until their stomping Titan mechs are ready for deployment, at which stage the course of matches can change under the foot of a 12-foot tall war machine.
That said, some of the biggest changes here have gone into making infantry more effective at taking down the Titans. As well as aiding traversal, the grappling hook lets you rodeo the mechanical beasts from a distance, latching on and ripping out batteries, while a selection of grenades and equipment make infantry play a lot more rewarding. There is extended variety both on foot and for the Titans, hopefully meaning a lot more longevity in a game with an undoubtedly thrilling concept.
CALL OF DUTY:INFINITE WARFARE
Well now, isn’t this a surprise? Still smarting from an apparently negative reaction to Infinite Warfare’s reveal, Activision went all guns blazing at Sony’s press conference with an impressive gameplay display. The extended behind closed doors cut was even more impressive. Many gave complained of the industry’s military shooters looking too far into the future, but the latest Call of Duty has made this a boon. There is a clever contrast between the old and new on Earth, as the player-character battled through the streets of Old Town Geneva, before blasting into space to take part in some thrilling dogfights. Low-gravity shooting and, of course, a grappling hook seem to have added a real boost invention and variety. Honestly? This is looking like the most exciting Call of Duty in years.
SECTION OF VIRTUAL REALITY(VR)
Revealed at Sony’s presser with just a short teaser video, Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham VR quickly gained a lot of buzz from anyone that strapped on the PSVR and, by extension, the bat suit. The demo was split into two, first casting you as Bruce Wayne in his manor, before Alfred comes to you to share some terrible news. Then you’re on the move, using the PS Move controllers to twinkle a piano, descend into the Batcave and suit up, pulling the cowl down and looking in the mirror and “oh my god i m batman”.
Then you are in Gotham, investigating a murder, piecing together evidence and recreating a scuffle that whirls around you in hologram. And you’re away, whisking into the night on the grapnel. This is wish fulfilment at its most grand. Quite if this proof of concept can be spun into a substantial game remains to be seen, but with Rocksteady at the helm you think it just might.
The VR version of Doom that Bethesda was showing off seemed much more like a tech demo than a full-on game. The demo took place with me standing atop a tall, thin pillar and had me blasting hordes of monsters in a canyon-like arena. I was expecting the monsters to attack me, but to my surprise, they all fought each other instead. With the Vive’s right controller, I switched to the pulse rifle, which allowed me to spam purple laser balls at the horde below. With my left hand, I could hold down the trigger button to bring out grenades and chuck it at incoming baddies.
After this section ended, the demo tossed me into a large room with a bunch of Doom’s various boss monsters. They were all just standing there, and they were ginormous up close in VR. I’m talking like 10-foot tall here. The point of this demo was to show the scale of these beasts. They all proceeded to scream and fought each other to the death.
The Fallout 4 VR demo started me off at the Red Rocket truck stop, which is an early area in the game. Because the developers programmed the demo to have raiders come and attack me, the rep who gave me the demo told me not to venture too far away from the station. Considering it doesn’t use a joystick for movement, you might be wondering how I would even venture off to begin with. Like VR games like Budget Cuts and The Gallery before it, the VR version of Fallout 4 uses a teleport mechanic. With my left hand, I could hold down the Vive’s left trigger button to see a green, glowing arc shoot out of my PIP Boy, which is appropriately attached to my wrist. The arc has a limited range, however. This is most likely to prevent you from teleporting vast distances in the heat of battle with a single click. I want to say the teleportation limit is roughly 40-50 feet or so. Considering the original game didn’t feature teleportation, it will be interesting to see if Bethesda tweaks the narrative to take the new mechanic into account.