With another E3 down, I believe that this will be the one to remember for a long time to come. Microsoft, Sony, Bethesda, Nintendo, Ubisoft, Square Enix, and EA all dropped bombshells that made even the worst conference worth watching. With the show finished, I felt that I should share my picks of E3 2015. These are my picks alone and no one else’s.
BEST CONFERENCE: Sony
Microsoft had a stellar conference this year and for the past couple of years they have been turning that Xbox One ship away to the near disaster it almost had, but the shocking news of what Sony had blew everyone out of the water. They announced that The Last Guardian is still a game that is coming out and it is coming out next year. Then they finally announced that Final Fantasy VII is getting a remake. I’m not even a fan of Final Fantasy and I got excited by that announcement. Then after 14 years of nothing Sony revealed that there is a Kickstarter to see if people REALLY want Shenmue 3.
That is not to say Sony’s conference was perfect. This was almost the first E3 in over a decade where the words “TV” and “Multipurpose Entertainment System” were not used, and Sony broke that. Even Microsoft, where they are infamous for spending too much time on TV, didn’t show any TV stuff. Then, for some reason, they wasted conference time on Batman: Arkham Knight DLC. Batman: Arkham Knight is a game that is coming out in a few days. There was no reason to waste precious time.
The big highlight for me on the Sony conference was the first trailer to Horizon: Zero Dawn. That game looks amazing and if it looks as well as it plays we might have an early contender to Game of the Year in 2016. They ended the conference with a new Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End demo and that game looks absolutely amazing. They are trying to get that game into 60fps, but if Naughty Dog manages to do that then they will cement themselves as legendary developers.
WORST CONFERENCE: EA
I hope you like sports games because a good and painstakingly long portion of EA’s conference was on EA Sports. I know that they have to do this because it is EA’s big money maker, but don’t spend nearly 15 minutes talking to Pelé about the “Art of Football.” And just when you think it’s over, they go back to sports on three different occasions. The sad thing is that they started very strong. They showed a teaser to Mass Effect: Andromeda, a new Need for Speed game, and then one of the biggest surprises of E3, Unravel. Unravel looks awesome. I love the look, the character of Yarny, just everything about it is amazing. After that amazing announcement of Unravel, the conference itself began to fall apart into “WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?!” it was getting terrible. It undid all the energy EA built itself on. Other highlights include a new trailer to Mirror’s Edge Catalyst and an extended gameplay demo of Star Wars: Battlefront, both of which looks great. If they didn’t spend so much time on sports and mobile games, then this would have been a very solid conference.
BEST TEASER TRAILER: Final Fantasy VII Remake
I don’t even like Final Fantasy, but that didn’t stop me from getting chills at the end. When Final Fantasy VII Remake finally comes out, I may play this. For now, there is nothing to go on except that I can’t wait to play it.
BEST DEMO TRAILER: Horizon: Zero Dawn
I don’t know if this was a live demo, but I’m going to assume that it was a video. The game looks stunning and it helps it’s a new IP. Horizon: Zero Dawn reminds me of Monster Hunter, and that is not a bad thing. It comes out in 2016 and I can’t wait to see more of it.
BEST LIVE DEMO: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
It would be very easy for me to put Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain here, but because of how soon that game is coming out, I decided to put Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End here. That game looks like everything I want out of Uncharted and from what I heard from the behind-closed-doors demo it looks even better. I love the Uncharted series and I will be getting the Nathan Drake Collection when it comes out, so I’ll be getting Uncharted 4 digitally. That is how confident I am over this game. I may need to do a media blackout because a lot of the Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception trailers ruined a lot of the set pieces. I hope Naughty Dog learned to not show everything.
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: No Persona 5 Showing
I kind of knew this wasn’t going to be at E3 because of Persona 4: Dancing All Night, but I was hoping that we get at least a new trailer. We do have an English version of the Persona 5 trailer from a few months back, but it doesn’t reveal anything new. Atlus is still saying that it’ll be out in the Americas in 2015. Atlus did release a smaller trailer that seems it will reveal a new trailer and a possible release date when Persona 4: Dancing All Night is released in Japan.
BEST FULL TRAILER: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Hideo Kojima, the creator of Metal Gear, has been known to create amazing E3 trailers to his Metal Gear Solid games, and this is no exception. With his last Metal Gear E3 trailer, he pulls out all the stops to create an emotional trailer that delves deep into the tone and the themes The Phantom Pain hopes to bring. While The Phantom Pain will still have those comedic moments, the main storyline is anything but. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain looks to be the darkest game to come out in quite some time.
BEST NINTENDO GAME: Super Mario Maker
I wasn’t entirely sold on this when I first heard about it, but when I saw the Nintendo Championship, not only did it sell me on it, it made me want to play it right now. It isn’t so much creating my own Mario levels that makes me want to play it, but to play the levels that fans will create. I think some with even rival Cat Mario in sadistic ways. Thankfully, it seems that you MUST be able to beat the level yourself before you can upload it. This game will be around for years to come and if this has a place in championships, then I can see myself watching people playing something better than me and be enthralled by it.
BEST XBOX ONE GAME: Halo 5: Guardians
One of the first Xbox games I ever played was Halo 2 and I’ve been a fan since. When I got a Xbox 360, Halo 3 was one of the first games I played and I loved it, especially the multiplayer. It goes to show how great that multiplayer was because even now I’m not a fan of multiplayer games. If I had an Xbox One, I would have gotten the Halo: The Master Chief Collection and Halo 5 would have been one of my most anticipated games of the year. The demo they showed off in the Microsoft press conferences was pretty awesome, but it was knowing what Warzone, a new multiplayer mode, that made me want to play Halo 5: Guardians. I don’t play multiplayer games often, but when I do I prefer Halo more than anything.
BEST PLAYSTATION 4 GAME: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
No Man’s Sky looks amazing, but I’m still not grasping on what that game is about. I loved Shadow of the Colossus, but didn’t care for Ico, and while I’m excited to see The Last Guardian finally coming out, it’ll still be a ways off until that comes out. The same can be said for Horizon: Zero Dawn. Out of all the PlayStation games they announced for this year and the next, it was Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End that blew me away the most. Just watching the demo again makes me want to play the trilogy again, but I have to wait for The Nathan Drake Collection to come out. Thankfully, I have Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth book. I may read that again as I wait for Uncharted 4.
BEST MULTIPLATFORM GAME: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
After watching that 40-minute gameplay demo of Metal Gear Solid V, I am blown away on the whole scale of the game. In just one side mission, it took the player about 20 minutes to complete and it was just one small side op the player did. The more shocking thing is that it seems that no two playthroughs will be the same. You can play the same mission from different angles, buddies, weather environment, the time of day, anything the game can throw at you. From what I heard and seen, series creator Hideo Kojima will truly make sure this will be his final Metal Gear game. It’s coming sooner than the other games on the list, but it’s the one I look forward to the most.
BEST LOOKING GAME: Cuphead
The first time I saw this game I was floored on how great it looks. The artstyle seems it really has been taken from the 1940s and thankfully, it has the music to match it. While I was wondering if it was ever coming to PlayStation 4, it seems that Cuphead will be an Xbox One exclusive. If I ever get an Xbox One, this will be one of the games I’ll be downloading.
BEST SURPRISE: South Park: The Fractured But Whole
South Park: The Stick of Truth was my Game of the Year last year and when I heard that the chances of a sequel was slim I gave up hope of a sequel. So when I saw a trailer to the new South Park game, The Fractured but Whole, I got really excited. I’m surprised that we are getting a sequel and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. It helps that Trey Parker and Matt Stone are back working on the game.
BEST INDIE GAME: Unravel
When it comes to new ideas and new IPs, the indie scene has been killing it lately. The best thing about indie games is that it allows developers to branch out and create new experiences that will never happen in the AAA space like No Man’s Sky and Beyond Eyes. Unravel seems that it’s one of those games. While the premise is simple, the way it was presented and the way it looks is something I didn’t even know I wanted. The game looks absolutely stunning and I from what I heard, the puzzles is deceptively harder than it seems. I don’t know when it’s coming, but I can’t wait to play it.
BEST OVERALL GAME: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
I could have picked Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain as my game of the show, but I wanted to pick a game that will tell me how the future of games will be instead of a game that will be out in a few weeks. With that said, I had to choose Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. There have been a lot of games that have been shown, but the one that impressed me the most was Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. What Naughty Dog did is create a sequence that if a lesser developer tried to do it, it would crash and that scene would be cut from the game. From what I heard people that saw it are wondering why Sony decided to show the front half instead of the much more exciting second half. I hope Sony and Naughty Dog release a bit more from Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End later this year with a release date. I’ll be there downloading the game when it finally comes.
- Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
- Horizon: Zero Dawn
- Super Mario Maker
Jesse Webster is a Senior Writer at MONG and thinks that this was a fantastic E3.