E3 2017 is in the books, and there’s nothing left to do but break down all the biggest games we saw this year and agonize over the fact that we won’t be playing many of them until 2018 or later. I’ve compiled what I think to be the 23 coolest games from E3 2017, listed below in alphabetical order. There’s never been a better time to be playing video games, and that trend looks like it’s going to continue for many years to come. Don’t see one of your most anticipated games on the list? Let me know in the comments!
A Way Out – Early 2018
A Way Out seems pretty damn ambitious; in fact one media outlet proclaimed it “the most ambitious game of E3 2017.” That’s definitely high praise, but A Way Out earns it. The game is played co-op, whether you’re sharing a couch or playing remotely via the internet. But the interesting piece is that both screens are seen by both players at all times. One player’s character might be in a cutscene while the other is trying to accomplish some kind of task. It’s a cool idea, but I’m not 100% sold on it working. To me, it seems a bit distracting. But I’m willing to give the developers the benefit of the doubt, since they were responsible for Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, one of my favorite games from 2013. A Way Out follows two men that work together to break out of prison, and if the trailers are anything to go by, it seems the story will move well beyond that escape. Let’s hope the game lives up to its potential.
Anthem – 2018
To put it simply, Anthem looks like an attempt to deliver on the promises Destiny made but most definitely did not deliver. Developed by the “A” team at Bioware (which seems to make a huge difference nowadays), Anthem is a sort of open world, 3rd person multiplayer shooter. It’s class based, has a loot element, and exists in what seems to be a living world where other players can drop in and out at any time. Needless to say, it seems highly ambitious, and looks absolutely stunning running on an Xbox One X. The world seems like a cross section between fantasy and sci fi, with a post-post-apocalypse vibe that’s all the rage nowadays. Anthem wears its influences on its sleeves, including games like Titanfall, Halo, and the aforementioned Destiny. If this game delivers on its premise, I’m totally fine with the concept, world, and story not feeling incredibly fresh. Out of the entire show, this is probably the game I’m most curious to learn more about.
Assassin’s Creed Origins – October 27, 2017
I’ve never shied away from my feelings on Assassin’s Creed. I even named the series one of video gaming’s most overrated, despite also finding Black Flag, Assassin’s Creed, and Assassin’s Creed II among the best games of their respective years. After the release of Black Flag, I lost interest entirely, sick of seeing the same exact gameplay in differing settings. Due to the annual release schedule, I can’t imagine it was easy for the developers to iterate in any meaningful way, despite the fact that literally thousands of people worked on those games. Thankfully, Ubisoft decided to give the series a year off, and now they’re back with Assassin’s Creed Origins. The game tells the story of the very first assassins, taking place in ancient Egypt. To be fair, a lot of the gameplay elements feel familiar or straight up lifted from other Ubisoft games like Far Cry. But the setting and apparent improvements to the combat are enough to at least pique my interest, if not my wallet quite yet.
Beyond Good and Evil 2 – TBA
Beyond Good and Evil has been a cult hit for many years. I’ve never played the entire game, but plenty of people swear by it as a classic. In fact, there have been rumors of a sequel floating around for over a decade, with the game apparently being picked up and dropped on multiple occasions. But now, it’s finally here. Well, at least the announcement is finally here. Apparently the game isn’t even in full development yet. When the trailer first started and I saw a talking pig, I had a pretty good idea of what game it was going to be. We still don’t have many details on how the game will be similar or different to the original, but if the style is anything like the trailer, I’m on board. The story will also be a prequel, taking place many years before the first game, which should help new players dive in. But then there’s the question: why even call this Beyond Good and Evil 2 if it’s a prequel and has very little to do with the first game?
Cuphead – September 29, 2017
Cuphead has been on my “most anticipated” list since it was revealed way back in 2015. It just has such a unique art style, and it’s been fun to follow the development as the two guys working on the game have slowly added features over time. What was originally going to be solely a 2D side-scrolling boss fighting game has blossomed into having regular stages and platforming elements. I was disappointed in the lack of new stuff to show at this year’s E3, but the developers are presumably hard at work trying to get this thing out this year. Hopefully that happens, because this is a rare PC game that my crappy graphics card should be able to handle. Something about the violence mixed with the Looney Tunes aesthetic feels like a match made in heaven.
Days Gone – TBA
I remember when Days Gone was announced last year, I was incredibly underwhelmed. It seemed like yet another apocalyptic zombie game following too closely in the footsteps of The Last of Us. And that’s a pretty damn hard act to follow. Well, things have been quiet on the game until now, when we were given another extended gameplay demo at Sony’s press conference. Honestly, I can’t say that I’m any more excited about the premise, but it’s impossible to deny just how technically impressive the game is. There are often dozens and dozens of zombies on screen at once, and the physics are very realistic, as well. The developer, Sony Bend, has been stuck making PSP and Vita games the past several years after originally working on the Syphon Filter series. Their games have been very underrated due to the platforms they were on, so I’m excited for them to get their big shot. The game also has a bit of a Sons of Anarchy vibe to it, which certainly earns it some points in my book.
Destiny 2 – September 8, 2017
Freaking Destiny, man. Every time I think I’m out, they pull me back in. As my launch review of Destiny said, the game had a ton of promise that it just couldn’t execute. The content was too repetitive and there was too little of it, there was no story to speak of, and the promised end game loot hunt was actually more of a luck-based loot grind. But props where they’re deserved, Bungie worked their asses off in the subsequent DLCs, really listening to the community. The game was still never what it should have been, but I had plenty of fun with it during the days of The Taken King. Well, we can’t be sure that Bungie has fixed the story or content problems with Destiny 2, but it certainly shows promise. They’ve gone out of their way to highlight the fact that the game has more cutscenes and interactions with NPC characters, which is a start. I’m definitely not all-in on Destiny 2 yet, but I’m sure my brother and I will eventually convince each other to buy it so that we can play together.
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