- As is the case with every E3, major publishers spent most of their airtime trying to impress a broad audience. This meant a lot of trailers and stage time were spent covering the biggest, most recognizable names and sequels in gaming. But what surprised about E3 2015 was the committed effort those same publishers made towards highlighting the smaller games in their lineups.
Some were new, some were old, but we found these seven titles to be the most promising indie offerings at E3 this year.
AshenA New Zealand-based developer made up of only five collaborators, Aurora44 managed to leave a big impression on the Microsoft press conference with the unveiling of the their new game, Ashen.
Described as “an action RPG about a wanderer in search of a place to call home,” the game’s moody and muted tone was made apparent through a reveal trailer, but Ashen’s impressionistic textures should make its open world one that many players will want to explore once the game comes to Xbox One.
Beyond EyesDeveloper Tiger & Squid must no doubt be pleased that their new adventure game, Beyond Eyes, had enough potential to survive its failed crowdfunding campaign and go on to premiere a new trailer at Microsoft’s press conference.
The story of blind ten-year-old Rae looks to be heavy with emotion, but as the new trailer for Beyond Eyes makes clear, you’ll want to see that story through for the visuals alone. A gorgeous watercolor world fills in around Rae as she traverses environments, but we’ll have to wait to see how the limited field of view will impact gameplay.
It won’t be long though, as Beyond Eyes is arriving on Xbox One and PC this summer.
CupheadMain stage game demos for triple-A titles often demand you scarf down a few grains of salt while watching, but if there’s one title that looked truly unbelievable at E3, it was Cuphead.
The run and gun side-scroller from Studio MDHR seamlessly transitions from cutscene stills inspired by ‘30s animation to gameplay that looks almost exactly like old school Disney cartoons in motion. The action is fast and frenetic, which makes the incredible detail and fidelity of the animation all the more jaw-dropping.
No wonder Microsoft chose to lockup Cuphead as an Xbox One and PC exclusive.
Death's GambitWith Koji Igarashi having only just recently funded his next game, Castlevania-esque action was left in the hands of Death’s Gambit.
The small team at White Rabbit announced ahead of Sony’s press conference that their game would be coming to PS4, and had a brand new reveal trailer to prove it. The side-scrolling action adventure game certainly evokes thoughts of Castlevania, but with a little Dark Souls and Shadow of The Colossus thrown into the mix. The tried and true gameplay should help attract anyone unconvinced by its highly detailed pixel art visuals.
Devolver DigitalA sizzle reel for four new games coming from Devolver Digital provided all the techno, violence, and neon one expects from the publisher of Hotline Miami.
Without a clear look at any one of the games, we’re putting them all under the same umbrella. Ronin brings samurai swords and motorbikes to the side-scrolling action platformer; Eitr has isometric fantasy combat; Mother Russia Bleeds is an ultra-gruesome beat ‘em up; Crossing Souls looks like Paper Boy by way of Heavy Metal. Their gameplay and aesthetics may vary, but all four of these titles coming to PS4 clearly have style to spare.
SuperhotThe name for Superhot has always helpfully described anticipation for the mind-bending shooter, and while there was nothing game changing for it to show at this year’s E3, a new trailer is all it took to stoke further hype for Superhot.
The hook to the shooter (beyond a striking red, white, and black color palette) is that the action only moves forward in time when the player is moving. A new trailer slowed gameplay down to a crawl to showoff the intricate combat-puzzle challenges PC and Xbox One players will face when Superhot arrives later this year.
UnravelProving Nintendo doesn’t have a monopoly on arts and crafts art styles these days, EA’s press conference included the unveiling of Unravel, a side-scrolling platformer that puts the player in control of an adorable piece of living yarn.
Created by Swedish studio Coldwood, the game offers whimsical and emotionally charged gameplay that’s rendered in lifelike environments. Protagonist Yarny made an adorable first impression in the game’s reveal trailer, and you’ll be able to string him along when Unravel arrives on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.