Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Top 10 E3 Games of 2016

E3 2016 has been a great year, but there is a lot to live up to with the recent titles that have been released between 2015-2016 from the last E3. The past year has been one of the best in gaming history. Here are the Top 10 titles that were demoed with gameplay during E3 this year and will likely have the best reviews.
10. Tom Clancy's Wildlands

Projected Metascore: 8.5
The cinematic blew me away, It was something I hoped was going to translate to gameplay. The story and variety of missions appear to be diverse and deep, ranging from stealing cars full of drugs to extractions. When comparing similar gameplay to MGV: The Phantom Pain, the game has a lot to live up to. The gameplay demo seemed very scripted and there was not enough detail in the artwork to feel immersive. We will see if that gets refined from Alpha, the core gameplay I think is there, but it's the little nuances that will take this game to the next level.

9. Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Projected Metascore: 8.7
The gameplay demo had long stretches of inactivity in a sparse but beautiful landscape. There are long stretches of traveling by foot which seem to cause the player to lose immersion. When faced with enemies, there are different ways to approach using stealth, sword, or bow. The camera angles and pacing of the combat was superb and looked very fun. The more of that in the game, the better. We'll see how it turns out, but a giant leap for the Zelda franchise, and the Zelda fans will come out in full support. The game looks beautiful.

8. Sea of Thieves

Projected Metascore: 8.8
Rare staged a group of three groups of three to participate in an online game where they captured everyone's initial reactions to the game. Judging from their experiences, it will take a lot of teamwork to be successful in these games. Depending on how the community plays with each other will determine the success of the game. Rare has put all the pieces in place for a great multiplayer experience that will require "all hands on deck" to be successful. I see a lot of potential for bugs in this game, but that is just from an eye test.
7. Forza Horizon 3
Projected Metascore: 8.9
Forza impressed with new racing modes while adding on top of it's core which is top of the line already. They've added an off-road race mode that consists of pickup trucks and dune buggies with terrain that consisted of jumps and natural roadblocks. The new game is in Australia and it features many landscapes ranging from Rain forest to the Desert. BMW's and Lamborghini's will still make up the majority of racing which will keep racing fans happy while acquiring new players that are attracted by the new game modes. 
6. For Honor

Projected Metascore: 8.6

A brand new IP with a new combat system "The Art of Battle" there is a lot of "new" in this game. The engagements with enemies that instantiate the system looked innovative and engaging. However the encounters with the minion type enemies seemed rather mindless. Just swinging a weapon without having to use the system. The meaningfulness of each moment seems to be lost when engaging with the minion type enemies, which had me asking what the point of having them there was. The cinematic said one thing, but gameplay said another. Hopefully the gameplay translates to moment to moment action with players on their toes at all times. If not, there is major dud potential in this title. 
5. South Park: The Fractured But Whole

Projected Metascore: 9.0
Building on top of "The Stick of Truth" there are some high expectations for this game. With an engine already existing and the ability for the studio and writers to focus on content, this should be a great sequel that is better than the original. The comedy in the demo was better than the first game in the short sample size provided, taking shots at the superhero culture we live in today. Also, you get to design a superhero yourself which is always fun. The amount of creativity poured into this game is immense and it starts with the title itself.

4. Days Gone

Projected Metascore: 9.1
Days Gone is a new IP that sets you into a post apocalyptic setting with a bunch of zombies that maintain their normal human speed and strength. They can also climb and seem to fill any void possible. Charging steel doors, breaking windows, they'll do anything to get at you. There appears to be a strong narrative along with the protagonist. In this world, you're a bounty hunter with a motorcycle and that's all you really have. It seems to make for a powerful game being created by a developer with 23 years of console experience.
3. Spiderman

Projected Metascore: 9.0
The pairing of Spiderman with Insomniac has the potential to make this one of the best games of the year. It will legitimize a licensed title taking a character everyone loves and applying the right amount of time to bring it to life. The trailer and gameplay footage was simply amazing, and really made me fall in love with Spiderman all over again. As a toddler Spiderman was my favorite superhero, but as I got older started to identify with more mature and jaded characters. I think this game has the opportunity to redefine what Spiderman is and bring back that he's actually a badass and one of the top players in the Marvel Universe. Check out the footage below to be blown away.
2. Horizon Zero Dawn

Projected Metascore: 9.3
When Zero Dawn was first announced I didn't really get it. Robotic dinosaurs? But after seeing the gameplay much more developed, it looks so much fun. You seem to be severely underpowered wielding this cyber bow and have to take down huge robots, with the vicious and familiar anatomy of a dinosaur. You have to be stealthy, set traps, and be very reactive in order to be successful. There are certain points where aiming has to be perfect or there is a huge penalty. Each enemy has a strength and weakness, and there are different weapons in the arsenal to deal with them. You can also ride them around which is always fun. It also helps that the protagonist is a strong woman, and we can have another franchise with someone other than Lara Croft. The story behind it all has every possibility, but if it's something corny, will degrade the value of this experience by a lot. This is not a game I was excited about until the most recent demo, and it's something I'm heavily anticipating. 

1. God of War 4

Projected Metascore: 9.5
God of War 4 has ended the Greek mythology story and has shifted to Norse Mythology introducing gamers to new gods and lore that have been underutilized for as long as I can remember. The only thing linking mainstream media to this old religion is the Thor franchise by Marvel. God of War has consistently been one of the top games on Playstation since the first one was released. I anticipate that will continue. Based on the gameplay footage you're an aging version of Kratos and have to train your son to be just as powerful. There is a sense of urgency to get your son up to speed on combat and training, as if Kratos is worried about something. However he doesn't push the issue, and this is all scripted and animated so well. I think weapons will shift from fire based to ice based which will change the mood and style of the game for a refreshing experience.

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