The 30 Coolest Games from E3 2016

Robinson: The Journey
1-Robinson-Journey

Release Date: 2016
Platforms: PS VR

I personally haven’t been that interested in virtual reality thus far, but I also haven’t played anything. I don’t doubt that it’s a really cool experience, but I’m not sold on it being more than a gimmick similar to motion controls or 3D television. However, show me a game that combines Portal and dinosaurs, and I perk up. That seems to be the general pitch for Robinson: The Journey. The game has a floating orb similar to Wheatley from Portal 2 that guides you through the game, and gameplay looks to include puzzle solving elements and general exploration of a unique world where dinosaur-like creatures exist. The game is also being made by Crytek, who are known for making creative, beautiful worlds to explore.

Sea of Thieves
1-Sea-of-Thieves

Release Date: Early 2017
Platforms: Xbox One, PC

When Microsoft announced Rare Replay, a collection of some of Rare’s best games, it was easy to assume that they’d be following that up with a new game. Lo and behold, last year they announced Sea of Thieves, a multiplayer pirate game where you have to work with a team to steer your ship, plunder treasure, and combat other teams on the high seas. This year’s gameplay trailer missed the mark with some painful YouTuber style commentary over the gameplay, but it still looks fun as hell to play.

Skyrim Special Edition
1-Skyrim-HD

Release Date: October 28, 2016
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Skyrim is one of my favorite games of all time, but it was unfortunately hampered by terrible performance on the PS3. Most of my time was spent on PC, having downloaded hundreds of different mods. While mods still haven’t made it to the PS4 edition of Fallout 4, Bethesda had said they first tested new generation hardware by porting Skyrim over, so it made sense that they had experimented with console mods, too. It’s hard to believe that it’s been five whole years since Skyrim was first released, and the game is a perfect candidate for a transition to new consoles. Even better, people that bought all of the DLC on PC get the upgrade for free, and it shouldn’t disrupt the player’s ability to use old mods. This is an example of a remaster definitely done right.

South Park: The Fractured But Whole
1-South-Park

Release Date: December 6, 2016
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

South Park: The Stick of Truth was my game of the year in 2014. Granted, it was a generally weak year for gaming, but Stick of Truth was an amazing experience for South Park fans. It was complete fan service while also including some fun (if simple) combat, great customization options, and way more story than I had expected. I was surprised to see a sequel be announced last year due to the long amount of time it takes Matt Stone and Trey Parker do anything, and even more shocked that they were aiming for a 2016 release date. I thought the game was bound to be delayed into 2017, and while that could still happen, at least for now they’re aiming to launch in December. I guess that’s the benefit of having access to the thousands of designers that make up Ubisoft. The sequel is taking a superhero slant compared to the original’s fantasy world, and aims to add more complexity to the turn based combat. I can’t wait to create my own superhero to defend the quiet mountain town of South Park.

Spider-Man
1-Spider-Man

Release Date: TBA
Platforms: PS4

A few weeks ago, there was a rumor going around that Sucker Punch, the team behind the Infamous games, was making a PS4 exclusive Spider-Man game. That rumor turned out to be false, but we did get the next best thing, a Spider-Man game made by Insomniac, the team behind Ratchet and Clank, as well as the more analogous Sunset Overdrive. Their sense of humor and platforming expertise is a perfect fit for everyone’s favorite wall-crawler. And by separating the game from the movies, they’ve opened up the potential villains and adventures to be had. This was one of my favorite announcements of Sony’s press conference, but unfortunately I wouldn’t expect to see it until well into 2017, if not later.

The Last Guardian
1-Last-Guardian

Release Date: October 25, 2016
Platforms: PS4

Going into E3, I wasn’t expecting to see anything more from The Last Guardian except for a firm release date. We did get the date, and it’s unsurprisingly coming out later in the fall. However, we also got to see more gameplay and get a little hint into the story, and it was revealed that there are more than one birddog in the game! What a twist! All joking aside, that actually was a pretty cool reveal, though I’m still more interested in the crazy story behind the development of the game than I am in the game itself. We’ll see if things come together later this year. My expectations aren’t nearly as high as they were when The Last Guardian was first announced over six years ago, but it still looks to be a beautiful, engrossing story.

Titanfall 2
1-Titanfall-2

Release Date: October 28, 2016
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

The first Titanfall had plenty of cool ideas, but was hampered by launching as a Microsoft exclusive and by not including a single player story component. Respawn Entertainment has seemingly learned from both of those mistakes, as the sequel will launch simultaneously on all three major platforms and include a story mode, though details are relatively scarce. It seems like the story will deal with the titular titan mechs gaining more of an awareness of themselves. The multiplayer seems to have made smaller improvements over the original, which was fun but lacked depth. Hopefully there’s more to the multiplayer mode this time around, or there will be a significant drop off in player count after a few weeks yet again.

Watch Dogs 2
1-Watch-Dogs-2

Release Date: November 15, 2016
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

When the original Watch Dogs was announced, I was really interested in the hacking abilities displayed, but the more of the game that was shown, the more it became obvious that the game was mostly just a Grand Theft Auto clone with some small elements of hacking. By the time it released, I had absolutely no interest, and it launched to very mixed reviews. Based on the sales, a sequel was inevitable, but I find myself far more impressed with the new game than I had expected. In the gameplay demo we saw, I loved that more things seemed hackable, and the parkour shown at the end looked extremely fluid and fun. I hope the story isn’t a direct continuation of the original, because I imagine plenty of new people will be checking out Watch Dogs 2.

We Happy Few
1-We-Happy-Few

Release Date: TBA (Early Access July 26, 2016)
Platforms: Xbox One, PC

I’ve had my eyes on We Happy Few for quite a while now, and it continues to look amazing. Surprisingly, we were given an extended gameplay demo at the Microsoft press conference, and I loved what we saw. The game employs some procedurally generated elements, but also focuses on a story clearly inspired by Equilibrium and Invasion of the Body Snatchers. In We Happy Few, all of society takes a drug called “Joy,” which apparently turns everyone into happy psycho murderers. Your character stops taking his Joy, so he has to avoid enemies through stealth, melee combat, and some puzzle solving. The game gives off a distinctively Bioshock vibe, which is a large compliment coming from me.

Yooka-Laylee
1-Yooka-Laylee

Release Date: Early 2017
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, PC

The latest in a series of Kickstarter successes, Yooka-Laylee is a spiritual successor to Banjo Kazooie, and really all old school 3D platformers from my childhood. The creative team is made up of ex-Rare employees, and the game continues to look amazing. They’ve clearly taken inspiration from other games like Spyro, Zelda, and Ratchet and Clank, and the result is something that looks quirky, cute, and fun as hell. The game has seen numerous delays, and while there’s still no firm release date, the developers are currently aiming to launch in early 2017. Let’s hope they stick to it, because I’d hate to see this turn into a Mighty No. 9 situation.

So there you have it, 30 amazing looking games from E3 2016! Like I said, there are plenty more where these came from, so leave a comment with the games you were most excited to see at the show. The next few years of gaming are looking very promising!

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