E3 2013 has come and gone. We’ve already picked our winners for which company had the most impressive showing, and now that we’ve had time to fully digest everything, we’re going to tell you which individual games impressed us most.
There were a lot of really, really great titles shown this year at E3 and I think it’s safe to say that it’s a fantastic time to be a gamer. Though we could go on and on about all the exciting games that were shown, several of the staff here at We Got This Covered sat down over the weekend and chose 2 or 3 of their favorites.
Keep in mind, this article features choices from each individual author, so there is some overlap. Also remember that while only a handful of games are mentioned here, there are still countless others that we are very excited about and cannot wait to play.
Enough rambling though. Without further ado I present to you our favorite games from E3 2013.
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inFamous: Second Son
Grounded in reality. As a phrase, it’s a description that’s become trite in its repetition as seemingly every contemporary franchise tries to make its property more relevant. And yet, inFamous: Second Son very much represents Sucker Punch’s progression as a studio and one that is poised to make the inFamous series, ahem, more realistic.
Second Son acts as the third iteration in the inFamous universe and follows series newcomer Deslin Rowe, who will be voiced by rising star Troy Baker. The game will take place a full seven years after the events of inFamous 2 and is located in Sucker Punch’s true-to-form rendition of Seattle – a first for the series, considering the fictitious Empire City from the original games. Rowe is a very different protagonist than series stalwart Cole MacGrath. He embraces these mysterious, smoke-ridden powers. He’s arrogant, brash, and above all, a character that oozes personality, which is a testimony to the development process that Sucker Punch employed.
The studio utilised novel motion capture technology at Digital Domain which allowed them to render a voice actor’s motion and facial animations simultaneously – a technique that Naughty Dog implemented for The Last of Us – which, as evidenced by the footage we’ve seen, increases visual fidelity rather brilliantly. For me, a big part of making a game immersive is in the characters themselves. A nuanced, relatable personality will always top bombastic quick timed events or cinematic cut scenes, and in that regard, Sucker Punch seems to have struck a balance with presentation values with the in-game narrative. The proof? Troy Baker and Travis Willingham, who play the game’s central duo Deslin Rowe and Officer Reggie, respectively, are best friends in real life, thereby making their on-screen chemistry feel, you guessed it, grounded in reality.
This isn’t just a forced sequel of a beloved PS3 exclusive, inFamous: Second Son is an out and out evolution of Sucker Punch’s open-world creation.
The Order: 1886
How well do you know your history? Well, that’s a grey area that Ready At Dawn look to extrapolate on with their new Playstation 4 exclusive, The Order: 1886. The game represents a novel and indeed bold intellectual property from the American based developer, which is better known for its collaborations with existing franchises on the PSP, such as God Of War.
Set within an alternative history, The Order: 1886 orbits around a Neo-Victorian England and is said to take historical liberties by including advanced technology and weaponry. The game’s narrative will twist the industrial revolution so that it represents a fevered progression in response to a long-gestating war with a supernatural enemy. A progression which spawned the titular faction; a covert group of operatives who have battled with the non-human foe for millennia.
Though third-person by design, the game is very reminiscent of the steam punk vibe found in games such as Dishonoured. What’s more, a deep, century-spanning mythology appears to reside within the bowels of The Order: 1886 and I can’t wait to discover the secrets hiding within Ready At Dawn’s gritty and alternative visualisation of Victorian London.
The Elder Scrolls Online
Given the depth and profound quality of previous Elder Scrolls’ games, it’s a wonder Bethesda never had a crack at the MMO model before they announced The Elder Scrolls Online. Player-to-player interaction has been a fan-chanted desire that’s rung around the hills of Tamriel for aeons, and now, with their new multi-platform title, the franchise will transcend into the online ether for the first time. The game will join the likes of The Witcher 3 and Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade in the genre’s resilient march towards next-gen consoles.
Bethesda – the series’ stalwart developer – has paired with Zenimax Studios to work on the game, and with the latter team bringing extensive experience of online play to the developing round table, The Elder Scrolls Online has significant industry pedigree behind it.
Set 1,000 years before the events of Skyrim, your quest, along with your close allies, is to fight against the Daedric Prince Molag Bal who plans to annihilate Tamriel in its entirety. Players will have the option to choose between three warring alliances and, following that, a specific race for your in-game warrior. Expect a plethora of customisation options, plus, considering that weapons and armours available to your character won’t be restricted by class, the game will wholeheartedly contain hours upon hours of content.
Early preview footage has showcased just how visually impressive the game is, and in retaining the franchise’s first-person, real-time combat system, The Elder Scrolls Online will stand out from an increasingly crowded genre with its own distinct ancestry. Besides, PVP battles infused with the series’ rich reserve of history? I’ll see you in Tamriel, then.
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Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
I thought Donkey Kong Country Returns was absolutely stellar, and had hoped for a sequel, but presumed at this point that Retro Studios was returning to Metroid or doing something different entirely, so I was thrilled to see that they were giving the classic platformer series another shot.
Seeing a new game that looks to expand on the great gameplay of previous entries and bring back long-gone characters like Dixie Kong made my inner child scream with joy, and there are some smaller perks confirmed already, such as the ability to use the GamePad and forego the last game’s controversial motion controls. Assuming as Retro keeps the aspects that made the last game great and adds some more, I can’t wait to play it.
Kingdom Hearts III
While actual details on the game are currently nonexistent, the surprise announcement of Kingdom Hearts III at Sony’s conference made me literally pump my arms in the air while I was sitting at my computer watching the stream. The long-overdue third proper entry in Square Enix’s Disney-centric action RPG series was something I didn’t expect to be confirmed for a while, especially since the series just got a new entry with last year’s Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance.
I’m excited to find out which Disney films will be represented this time around (I’m personally crossing my fingers for a level based on Tangled), if they’ll expand to include newer Disney properties like Pixar or Marvel, and just to see how they expand the series’ great real-time battle system. The game is likely still a ways off, but I’ll be sure to keep my eyes peeled for every announcement regarding it like I did back in the day for Kingdom Hearts II.
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With a developer like Bungie behind it, you know that Destiny is going to be a hit. The action/RPG/FPS game had a tremendous showing at E3 2013 and certainly left me stunned.
Set in an open world and said to incorporate MMO elements, the title is wildly ambitious and brimming with potential. Between the exciting trailer and impressive gameplay demo, the world finally got a good look at Bungie’s next project and I think it’s safe to say that everyone walked away with a very positive feeling.
The studio looks set to deliver another epic, sci-fi adventure that definitely has strands of their previous series (Halo) in it, which is a good thing. The persistent, story-driven online world will definitely serve to immerse gamers in a universe that is full of competitive, co-operative and social activities that are all connected, seamlessly.
“Destiny’s saga unfolds through grand tales and epic adventures by immersing players in a bold new universe filled with cooperative, competitive, public, and social activities, all seamlessly connected,” Activision said. “As the story grows and expands over time, so do the destinations you can access, the activities you experience, and the rewards you can earn.”
Of the various previews I’ve been reading online from those who spent significant time with the game at E3, everyone seems to have an overwhelmingly positive response to what they saw and if Bungie can successfully reach their lofty goals, we will be in for a real treat.
Tom Clancy’s The Division
Perhaps one of the more intriguing titles shown at E3 2013 was Tom Clancy’s The Division, an online, open-world RPG. Kind of an MMO, but not really, The Division takes place in a futuristic world that has been destroyed by a deadly pathogen. You will explore a ravaged New York City as a member of the titular division, “an unconfirmed group that was established to combat the threat and do whatever it takes to save what remains.”
Like Destiny, The Division seems like a very ambitious project but one that if pulled off correctly, can result in a fantastic gaming experience. Expect there to be some survival elements in there as well as the game will draw from titles like The Last of Us. For instance, aside from the supplies you start out with, you’ll mostly be on your own for when it comes to finding ammo, food, water etc. Furthermore, the game will also have a companion app that allows players with a tablet to control drones during battles.
Pretty cool, right?
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Final Fantasy XV
The Final Fantasy series holds a very special place in my heart as being some of the best games I played as a kid. However, as more and more key developers left the beloved franchise over the years it began to become apparent that the series would suffer greatly.
With the release of the fairly tedious, linear and frankly boring Final Fantasy XIII, I had begun to lose hope. Thankfully it appears that Square Enix is trying to clean up its act with Final Fantasy XV. Originally being developed in tandem with FF XIII as Final Fantasy XIII Versus with developers from the Kingdom Hearts series, the flashier, and more action packed game grabbed a large amount of attention at its original reveal. However, as the years progressed, news about the title quickly stopped coming until fans assumed it was stuck in an indefinite limbo.
Thankfully the work that had been done wasn’t put to waste as the rebranded Final Fantasy game was shown on at this year’s E3 both on the expo floor and at Sony’s press conference. From what was shown, the development team has switched the series ATB battle system to something that is similar to both Kingdom Hearts and The Last Story with players controlling one character in a real time fight. The game also seems to sport large and semi destructible environments with enormous creatures for players to face off against.
Following long time series character designer Tetsuya Nomura’s style, the main character and two party members showcased looked like something that you would see on a fashion runway or a boy band music video. While this normally would be a problem, this specific title appears to be based in a modern world that also happens to be mixed with traditional Final Fantasy monsters and magic. Hopefully as more footage is shown, fans of the series can start to get excited that this slightly darker and edgier Final Fantasy XV will be enough to get Square Enix out of their creative rut.
A newly revealed title by Ubisoft, this ambitious multiplayer game looks to reinvent the way players experience online shooters. From what was shown, the open world title is set in a devastated New York City after a viral attack. Keeping in line with the rest of the semi-realistic and military focused Tom Clancy series, this chemical outbreak does not seem to include any sort of zombies or mutations, unlike popular trends in games today.
In The Division, players are a member of a secret agency whose main goal is to help restore order to the chaotic city after the attack. Armed with highly sophisticated technology, the game allows you to choose from a variety of classes allowing for multiple play styles. The seven minutes of gameplay presented at Ubisoft’s press conference showcased an impressively detailed New York street, lined with deserted cars and littered with trash. Despite all the modern day look of the title, the characters’ holographic heads up display and map look like something straight out of a science fiction movie.
As the team in the video headed to free some imprisoned police officers in a station, we were given a glimpse at some of the weaponry of the game, such as a motion tracking portable turret – a tool that heals your teammates – and a grenade that tracks a nearby enemy’s heat signature. In addition, people who own a tablet can come and assist their friends by controlling a flying drone, able to target and pin down enemies with short bursts of machine gun fire for the rest of the team. It’s good to see that Ubisoft is attempting to blur the lines between console and tablet gaming.-
The most interesting feature of The Division is the fact that it is a persistent open world shooter. While this does mean that users cannot play the title offline, the idea of mixing single and multiplayer together is a fascinating concept that is shared with the upcoming Bungie title Destiny. The team in the video was mainly facing a group of enemy AI for a large portion but is ambushed at the end of the presentation by a group of other players. The inclusion of cooperative and competitive multiplayer makes the world feel much more alive and spontaneous when players will always have a different experience each time they play, which in turn also means that The Divison will likely be a highly replayable title.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Hideo Kojima continues to impress as the trailer for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain showcased a new take on the series that helped defined stealth games. For the first time ever, the iconic Snake will be put into an open world and given a large number of ways to approach mission objectives.
Staying true to spirit of the long running series, the game deals with a number of very mature and real military issues, such as blood diamonds and child soldiers, but also has a mix of supernatural phenomenon at points. This title in particular seems to focus on Metal Gear 2’s main villain Big Boss’s transition from hero of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and Peace Walker to tyrant.
Running on the newly built Fox Engine, the game wowed crowds as they watched the solider infiltrate a terrorist facility in Afghanistan in the dead of night, leaping across rooftops and taking out enemies with a brutal new close quarter combat system. While it’s nice to see Snake back in action, it is a little heartbreaking to not see David Hayter reprise his role, especially since he has done such an excellent job as the iconic guff voice of the character for over fifteen years.
Still, this is shaping up to be a truly spectacular game and I cannot wait to get my hands on it.
So there you have it, those are the games that impressed us most at E3 2013. Let us know in the comments which games you were excited most by.Previous