While we do our best to anticipate what will make us excited before the show starts, it always changes. Here’s a look at what made us psyched at this year’s expo.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain: Just as expected, Metal Gear Solid V’s lengthy E3 trailer completely blew me away. The open world seems amazing, the voice acting is better than I ever could have expected (considering the cast changes) and I love how ambitious it all seems. Hideo Kojima is a madman, but he knows how to wow people. I have nothing but high hopes that this will be my favorite game of next year. READ MORE
Playing a game you enjoyed a second time can be rough, potentially adding exposure to flaws you may have glossed over when the experience was exciting and new. I can safely say that, while it has its fair share of issues, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D is as solid now as it was on the Wii. READ MORE
Many, even those who enjoyed it, found last year’s Skylanders Giants to be something of a standalone expansion rather than a true progression of visuals and combat. If you were one of those people, you’ll be happy (and distraught about the state of your finances) to learn that this year’s game is a real advancement and worth checking out. READ MORE
The strategy genre seems to be one of the more fertile grounds for innovation in all of gaming. Since its inception, designers have actively sought out all the varying avenues of possibility for manipulating virtual worlds. Different applications of systems, highlighting different motivations and tactics and endless variation on scenarios give the genre a wide breadth of potential. The newest example of experimentation in the genre comes to us in the form of Reus, a strategy game that prides itself in its creativity and bold design. READ MORE
If you’re reading this now, chances are you’ve played at least a handful of co-op games. Whether it’s local or online, co-op in games is one of the best trends in the industry (despite some downsides) and has become my preferred form of multiplayer. The options are almost limitless; no matter what you’re looking for, there is probably the perfect co-op experience for you. I was thinking about what makes for the best co-op, not just for me, but for people everywhere. My conclusion doesn’t stem from the game itself, but from the community that surrounds it. READ MORE
Penny Arcade’s On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 4 has a lot going for it. First and foremost, it, like Rain-Slick 3 before it, is not afraid to poke fun at tropes and then use them itself. It’s also very funny. The battles are an absolute blast to play, and the tale is long enough to feel substantial but short enough to not overstay its welcome. That’s something that more RPGs should do; 15 hours is often enough, and if your game will take 80 hours to complete, then I may just shy away from it; I could play four other games in that same span of time. READ MORE
Filling the family-friendly action-adventure role in the PlayStation 4′s launch is Knack, from Mark Cerny and Sony’s first-party Japan Studio. It shows off the tech of the new hardware in ways that may not be immediately apparent to those who aren’t particularly technical, but that’s not the important part: it’s like an interactive CG-animated movie! That’s the pitch, anyway. READ MORE
I have previously mentioned my taste for two-player abstract games. Sometimes these head-to-head strategic affairs are basic and themeless, but occasionally you can find solid abstract mechanics with unique coats of paint. Reiner Knizia’s Atlanteon is one of the unique ones. As a 2003 Fantasy Flight reissue of his 1992 design Revolution – not to be confused with the 2009 Steve Jackson title of the same name that I mentioned in my best-of column for that year and really should cover here one day – Atlanteon is a territorial tile-laying game that is easy to learn and quick to play. In its previous incarnation it was all about the French Revolution, but instead of Jacobians squaring off against Royalists in Paris, Atlanteon pits two warring tribe of merfolk against each other for control of Atlantis. READ MORE
Final Fantasy X introduced legions of RPG fans to an exciting new generation of consoles, wowing them with its vibrant graphics and, for the first time, voiced characters. It was so successful and beloved by fans that it became the first game in the Final Fantasy series to receive a direct sequel, Final Fantasy X-2. Now these two games have become the first 3D Final Fantasy titles to get an updated re-release, with upgraded visuals for today’s systems.
We’ve been busy, getting you hands-on impressions and other information from the Los Angeles Convention Center! While we work on getting those to you, why not check out our gallery of shots from in and around this year’s event?