Top 5 Games of E3 2016
I can’t think of an E3 in recent memory with lower lows and higher highs. It may have been underwhelming to get no more than 3 seconds of Star Wars footage and not a single mention of UbiArt, but it was all worth it for the highs of the shows. I couldn’t go to E3, but these five games listed below represent the five games that impressed me the most. So without further ado, here are my top five games of E3 2016.
5. Battlefield 1 (DICE)
I’ve never been a multiplayer guy, shooters aren’t even really my thing, but EA and DICE really hit it out of the park with what was shown of Battlefield 1. There’s just something about the alternate World War 1 setting that just has me intrigued. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of these guys that’s against the new era of sci-fi shooters, but I already know them so well. It’s been a while since I’ve played a shooter set anywhere pre-modern day. Battlefield 1 is a shooter with style. It knows exactly what it is and isn’t afraid to stray away from what the “cool kids” are doing. Hopefully EA and the guys and gals at DICE realize this and only emphasize it further.
4. Persona 5 (Atlus/P Studio)
Now, I used style to describe Battlefield 1, but it’s almost disrespectful to use that word to describe a different game in the same article as Persona 5. The game wasn’t at any press conferences, it wasn’t even playable, but the little gameplay they showed just has me wanting so much more. I wish I could say I was one of these guys obsessed with Persona (*cough* Alex O’Neill *cough* Andrew Goldfarb *cough*), but I’m just not. I’ve tried to play through Persona 4: Golden, but something else always gets in the way. Persona 5 only makes me want to go back and try it again. I love colorful, gorgeous games that know what they are, and Persona 5 might be the best example of that.
3. Gravity Rush 2 (Sony Japan Studio)
Just like Persona 5, Gravity Rush 2 wasn’t featured in any conferences, but unlike Persona 5 the game was playable on the show floor, and WOW. In the same vein as Persona 5, Gravity Rush 2 is a very, very pretty game. I love the way the cell-shaded art style looks with the color pallet they’ve chosen. The cold colors just stand out, especially when compared to the first game, which I thought had a very drab color pallet of reds and browns. The gameplay looks like the same fun, fast, chaotic gameplay found in the first game, only amplified and improved, like any good sequel. I can’t wait to actually have this one in my hands.
2. God of War (Sony Santa Monica Studio)
Each game previously listed came as a surprise to me, but nothing surprised me as much as God of War. I have never been a God of War fan, by any stretch of the imagination. I’ve always appreciated the action gameplay and crazy set-pieces, but the story has always been so bland to me. Kratos has only ever had one emotion: anger, and that’s just no fun for me. To see Sony Santa Monica go out there and present a very Last of Us inspired game emphasizing character development and relationships, just blew my mind. And then to see them take the reboot even further and completely change the perspective and gameplay into something more akin to Dark Souls, dare I say it, made me excited too. It might be a ways out, but Sony Santa Monica can take all the time they need.
1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo)
Unlike every other game on this list, Breath of the Wild came as no surprise. I’ve never been against the Skyward Sword Zelda template, I feel like that’s one side of the Zelda coin, and has it’s own successes and failures. The other side of the Zelda coin though, is Breath of the Wild. I play video games to explore, and there’s possibly no series that has done it as well, for as long, as the Zelda franchise. So, to see Nintendo emphasize exploration more than anything else makes me very, very happy. Sure, we might be praising Zelda for something that RPGs have done for centuries at this point, but don’t forget the “OG” of open-world exploration. The original Legend of Zelda nailed it on their very first try, and Nintendo has been trying to replicate it ever since, and it seems like they might have finally done it with Breath of the Wild. (Even if they already did with A Link to the Past (and Between Worlds (and Wind Waker (man, this series is really, really good)))).
So that’s that, another E3 for the books. If someone had told me just a week ago, that my list would be comprised primarily of Eastern-developed games, a multiplayer focused shooter, and a God of War game, I wouldn’t have believed them. But here we are. Here’s to another surprising E3 next year!
Caleb Cajthaml is a 15 year old who set dreams so large he needed to get started on them now. Passionate about making people happy, Caleb loves to write about all things entertainment. You can find him on twitter @Caleb_Talks tweeting about the latest happenings in the Star Wars cannon and why the Vikings are the best team in football.