The 30 Coolest Games from E3 2016

Now that this year’s biggest week in gaming is over, it’s time to digest all of the crazy happenings and reflect on how awesome it is to be a gamer! I’ve compiled a list of the 30 games from E3 2016 that I’m most excited to play. If you read my list from last year you’ll see a few repeats, but it’s also impressive just how many new games have been announced. And not all of them are sequels! This list includes games that were just announced with a single trailer, games that were playable on the show floor, and games that had significant gameplay demos shown. I’ve listed everything in alphabetical order, and hopefully it goes without saying that this is just my personal list. There are tons of other awesome looking games, so let me know in the comments which ones you’re most excited to be playing over the next few years!

Abzu
1-Abzu

Release Date: August 2, 2016
Platforms: PS4, PC

Abzu is a beautiful, painterly 3rd person oceanic exploration game with no traditional combat. Instead, it’s a mostly peaceful journey in one of the least explored places on our planet. You swim through bright coral reefs, open waters, and even the darkest depths of the ocean. This E3 we saw more gameplay from the game and were finally given an official release date. Thankfully, it’s soon. This feels like a perfect game to relax with during the summer.

Battlefield 1
1-Battlefield-1

Release Date: October 21, 2016
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Battlefield 1 tackles WWI, something fans have been asking for since every first person shooter on the planet decided to jump into “future warfare.” EA DICE is taking a different tack with this game, however. It’s not being considered a completely alternate history, but they’re playing fast and loose with some of the actual events of WWI in order to spice up the gameplay. The game was announced shortly before E3, but we were given extensive videos on the multiplayer aspect. Things are looking pretty crazy thus far, and most of the multiplayer changes seem smart. I’d expect more info on the single player campaign before its launch this fall.

Below
1-Below

Release Date: Summer 2016
Platforms: Xbox One, PC

Below is the new game from Capybara, makers of the 2014 breakout hit Super Time Force. Below is heavily inspired by the Dark Souls series, but with distinct indie twists like a top down view and pixelated graphics. The game follows traditional rogue-like mechanics, with very little explanation of where you’re supposed to go or what you’re supposed to do. This E3 we were given more detail on gameplay, with some new areas shown off. This seems like the kind of game that will appeal to masochistic Dark Souls players and old school Zelda fans alike.

Cuphead
1-Cuphead

Release Date: 2016
Platforms: Xbox One, PC

Cuphead has been a game I’ve had my eye on since its announcement a few years ago. The game has a unique animation style inspired by 1930s cartoons. Originally, the game was going to be made up entirely of side-scrolling type bosses, but after hearing fan feedback, the two man development team added traditional shooting and platforming areas. The visuals and music hearken back to Disney cartoons of old, and flies directly in the face of the extremely difficult mechanics. The platforming sections were shown off shortly before E3, with some new boss battles being shown at the expo. This is easily one of my most anticipated games of this year.

Death Stranding
1-Death-Stranding

Release Date: TBA
Platforms: PS4

Death Standing is the first game from Kojima Productions, under a partnership with Sony. Little is known about the game other than the reveal trailer shown at this year’s Sony press conference, but Kojima has come out and said the game was inspired by P.T., the playable teaser demo for Silent Hills released a few years ago. Norman Reedus continues his partnership with Kojima, as he’ll be playing the lead character. The trailer showed off a clear mental instability of the main character and distinct horror vibe, with it taking place on a beach covered in oil, refuse, and dead animal life. I wouldn’t expect for this game to launch until 2018 at the absolute earliest, but Kojima’s projects are always worth the wait.

Detroit: Become Human
1-Detroit-Become-Human

Release Date: TBA
Platforms: PS4

The newest title from David Cage and Quantic Dream, Detroit: Become Human continues the studio’s partnership with Sony. The game spun out of a graphics demo shown several years ago featuring an AI character discovering her own personality and ability to think for herself. Little was known about the game’s story until this year, when we were given a gameplay trailer showing a different character confronting a rogue AI attempting to murder a little girl and commit suicide. The player character seems to be able to try and retry different solutions to the problem at hand, giving off a detective vibe to the gameplay. It’s also worth mentioning that the motion capture of the characters is absolutely stunning.

Dishonored 2
1-Dishonored-2

Release Date: November 11, 2016
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

As a follow up to the surprise hit from 2012, Dishonored 2 gives the player the option to play as the hero from the original game, or his now grown up daughter. The story is a continuation from the first game as well, but also includes a new area shown off at this year’s E3. We were given an extended gameplay demo at Bethesda’s press conference showing off some of the new powers and versatility. The gameplay still seems focused around stealth and magic, which was a strong combination in the original game. I personally found the world to be very interesting, but was turned off by the empty feeling open areas. Hopefully the sequel will have some improvements in that regard.

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age
1-FF-XII-Zodiac-Age

Release Date: 2017
Platforms: PS4

I’ve always said that Final Fantasy XII in one of the more underrated games in the franchise, so I was very excited to see this announcement come shortly before E3. People railed against its overly political plot and annoying main character, but I loved the MMO inspired combat system, interesting world, and deep supporting cast. This new release boasts not only updated graphics, but an altered combat system with more customization and more specialized characters. In the original, you could easily make an over-powered team since anyone could specialize into any class. In the updated game, characters will be guided along a more defined path, making specialization and team make-up more important. I for one am very excited to journey back into Ivalice.

Final Fantasy XV
1-FF-XV

Release Date: September 30, 2016
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One

I have to admit that I’ve been worried about Final Fantasy XV for a while now. Every time they show the game, I’m less and less excited. First it was the lackluster Platinum demo, and now at the Microsoft press conference we were given an extremely awkward looking boss battle. Now, it’s entirely possible that they were dealing with some technical difficulties, but it seemed to me to be very unintuitive and over-complicated. I’m still hoping against hope that FF XV will come together, since there are plenty of elements we’ve seen that look promising. In particular, there have been music, ambient world, and car flight trailers that have wowed me. But going from the actual gameplay I’ve seen, I’m not as confident in this game as I was a year ago.

Gears of War 4
1-Gear-of-War-4

Release Date: October 11, 2016
Platforms: Xbox One, PC

To be honest, Gears of War 4 was the only exclusive AAA game at Microsoft’s press conference that really impressed me. We saw some similar gameplay last year, but I continue to love the changing weather effects that are shown. The story and new enemy faction seem interesting, too. I’m still not sure that the game is doing anything from a gameplay perspective to really set it apart from the previous four games, but fans of the series are likely excited to step into the shoes of Marcus’ son this fall.

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