E3 2015 has made me realize three things: I need to get back into PC games, I must purchase a PS4, and my life would have more joy if I owned a Wii U. Now that last one is something I never thought I’d hear myself say.
Just when you thought there couldn’t possibly be any more games to talk about, bam, I’ve got loads to tell you about as well as a special announcement from Twitch. Here’s the rundown on the last (wahhhh) day of E3 2015.
Xenoblade Chronicles X
This is one massive game. Humanity is escaping Earth on large vessels, one of which crashes on an alien planet. This vessel had been carrying Los Angeles, and now a “New Los Angeles” has been formed. You’re on a mission looking for materials lost in the crash. There are five continents on this planet, each with its own unique land, flora, etc. It’s an accessible game even for those unfamiliar with Xenoblade Chronicles; you can jump right in and start playing X. I was impressed at the details and absolute expanse of this game. From what I saw, a game like this could definitely play a large role in persuading me to purchase a Wii U. Available December 4.
I assume SOMA stands for “Scared Outta My Ass” or something along those lines. It’s the sort of mixed-up thing you’d say while playing this creepy game. I love scary movies, but have yet to venture into any sort of horror games. The trailer definitely left me wanting more, even though I was slightly relieved when it faded to black (and nothing jumped out at me). The scares begin September 22 on Steam and PS4.
Everybody’s Gone in the Rapture
Set in 1984, in a small town in England, the player explores the world and finds their own story in this open-world game. I love the idea of getting to play in such a free manner, and in such a gorgeous world. During the gameplay demo, I swear I could smell the air. The graphics are quite appealing to me, as is this game’s hauntingly beautiful soundtrack. This PS4 exclusive comes out August 11.
Sword Coast Legends
Some highlights of this D&D RPG are dungeon crafting tools, what seems like endless customization, and a variety of character customization options (though I did wonder while watching the trailer if white’s the only skin color available). The game also offers pause-and-play mechanics, a major benefit when playing solo. Available September 8 for your PC.
What year is it? That was my first thought when I saw this, then nostalgia took over and I wanted to have a go at Punch Club (formerly known as VHS Story). You train, practice, fight, and hopefully win, all while ultimately trying to find out who killed your father. This management sim with a unique twist looks like a fun one to check out. Coming to Steam and mobile this fall.
Wait. I get to ride in my very own science-vessel to rescue scientists who were lost to a cosmic real-time vortex? I can upgrade my ship as well? Solving puzzles never sounded, or looked, so awesome. I’m stoked for this one from Funktronic Labs, and I’m loving its electronic music too. Nova-111 will be available in August or September.
Strike Vector EX
This game started out on Steam as a multiplayer game until the company took their fans’ feedback and designed Strike Vector EX for consoles. You can now choose single player mode too. With its exhilarating aerial maneuvers, this game is perfect for anyone wanting to live out their Top Gun dreams (like me). Release date is sometime later this year for PS4 and Xbox One.
This game melds magnificent art with old-school pixels. The moon has gone missing, and you set out to find it. The choices you make affect your reputation, which I think is pretty neat. Play alone or with up to three of your friends. Moon Hunters will be out in February 2016 on PC, PS4, and Vita from the team that brought us Shattered Planet.
Banner Saga 2
Banner Saga is back, and promises to be even better than before. The soundtrack sounds amazing, and it’s clear that this is another company that takes its players’ feedback seriously. Their animation process is incredible. They act out scenes, film them, then send them to animators who trace frame by frame to create the animation. Banner Saga 2 will introduce new characters, new fan-written gods (awesome!), and will be updated yet seamless for those continuing on from the first installment. It’s still in development and will be on Steam this winter.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2016
Move over, FIFA. “Love the past, play the future.” This motto is seen along the field while playing PES 2016, and clearly it’s been on the minds of the game’s designers. They’ve redesigned many facets of the game. Camerawork, animation, AI, real skin textures and lighting all help to attain Konami’s goal of offering the best gameplay possible. Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 has exclusive Champions League rights, and they play at night, so the lighting was super important. From what I saw, it looks like they nailed it. They were taking feedback at E3 to continue improving the game as they finish it. Get it September 15th on PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.
This is one of those games you must see to believe. The claymation stop-animation looks more like a movie, with a magical Burton-with-a-touch-of-Suess feel to it. It’s an immersive game, one which plays solely with the ease of mouse clicks. Out August 18th on Steam, then Wii U, and possibly iOS, tablets, and PS4 down the road.
Gears of War: Ultimate Edition
Get ready for more. More (I’m talking thousands) rebuilt assets, 19 multiplayer maps, and a visual overhaul are coming your way with Ultimate Edition. This game launches on Xbox One in August and will be available on PC.
Deus Ex – Mankind Divided
I never had much interest in this game until watching its creators talk about not only the gameplay itself, but also the criticism they’ve received. They read negative tweets (hilarious!), and added that they listened to your feedback and built Mankind Divided from there. It’s 2029 in Prague and Adam Jensen is now part of a counterterrorist agency. Augmented people are being monitored and sent to a ghetto. We’ll see “pretty badass” new augmentations and next-level fashion. Oh, and there are penguins too! You’re able to perform lethal and non-lethal takedowns, and can play the entire game without killing anyone (if you’re into that sort of thing!). An “early 2016” release date is as much as they’d declare.
Fat Princess Adventures
A game where you eat pieces of cake to restore your health? I can get behind that! I’m not sure how I feel about the title or its “chubby mode,” though. I truly knew nothing about this game before this week. Questionable names aside, it looks like a cute and colorful game. Fun Bits Team Lead Chris Millar talked about “finding the fun of 4-player chaos,” and who can go wrong with that? The princesses have an active role this time around and can fight. Apparently the last version they were basically just “passed around,” so hooray for progress. Out later this year on PS4.
What Remains of Edith Finch
This game is coming exclusively to PS4 sometime in 2016. While the release date is not reassuring, the graphics look brilliant. I’m curious how the actual gameplay will feel, as this seems set up differently than most console games I’ve played. Players follow Edith Finch as she sorts through her family history. It’s a collection of short stories and with each one you experience the life of a different family member, from the early 1900s to today. According to Giant Sparrow, their game is “about what it feels like to be humbled and astonished by the vast and unknowable world around us.” Sounds deep.
StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void
Blizzard’s three-mission prologue, Whispers of Oblivion, was mentioned on day one. This free prologue will serve as a bridge from Heart of the Swarm to Legacy of the Void. Fans can look forward to new competitive modes and cooperative experiences in Legacy, some of which will work to help mentor new players. I love that they made a point to welcome those of us who may have felt too intimidated to give StarCraft a try. The trailer is stunning. Release date unknown, though beta is happening right now.
Heroes of the Storm External Conflict Expansion
Also from Blizzard, Heroes of the Storm was touted as a good introduction for those new to strategy games. Sounds like Blizzard is keen on expanding its audience. They certainly have me contemplating a new genre. This expansion adds heroes and backgrounds, and is available June 30.
I have to talk about this! I know Transformers: Devastation was announced earlier this week, but I just have to give it some love. I was never expecting to be impressed with a Transformers game, but this isn’t like anything I’ve seen before. It actually looks like a comic book, complete with cell shading. The story pulls from the IDW comic series and the original TV show, and focuses on the Generations Universe. I’m impressed by the fight sequences. This just looks like a good time, and I can’t wait to play. Transformers: Devastation comes out this fall, on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PC.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Lara Croft’s latest adventure was already mentioned this week, so I’ll keep this brief. I haven’t played Tomb Raider in ages, but I’ll be adding this to my wishlist. “The tombs are back in Tomb Raider” was my favorite quote of the day! Out November 10th on Xbox One and 360.
Special Twitch Announcement
Congratulations to Twitch’s Erin Aureylian on her new role as Lead Community Manager. In addition to that exciting development, Erin announced the Twitch Top Broadcaster Program. All the details will be available in July, but this is a program to recognize broadcasters. It’s a biannual reward program, and those who are honored through this program will receive unique swag, as well as cool opportunities at conventions and with sponsors. Erin also said this will be the start of lots of new programs for the community. Hooray!
I still have some trailers to watch and other highlights to check out. I’m grateful to everyone else here who has done such a great job highlighting E3 2015. I’ll be spending the weekend playing video games and scheming up how to grab all the new ones I now want.
What were your favorite headlines from E3 2015? What games are you dying to get your hands on? Any other thoughts on this year’s E3?