Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Games That Got Me Excited at E3 2015 - Part 1

Another year and another E3 has past. For the past several years I was pretty lackadaisical on the event. Most of the games there barely had me in excitement or I had already known about them before it even started. This year, however, there were quite a few games that have me excited as well as quite a few surprises from older game franchises and some promising looking new titles. This is the first part of three of that games that I’m looking forward to the most coming out later this year and the next.

Coming from the former lead artist, Matt Nava, of thatgamecompany (Flower, Journey) is a new aquatic exploration game called Abzu. It’s all about exploring the sea below and interacting with the environment and animals in a very relaxing and chill manner. It has a very clean art style that will make it timeless. This looks like it’ll be a modern update of Ecco the Dolphin (only playing as a human instead of a physic dolphin) with some Endless Ocean thrown in.

Space is a very common environment for video games. Since the very first game, Spacewar, there have been many games that take place outside of Earth in the vast emptiness of space, albeit with a very science fiction bent most of the time. Taking on the role of a stranded astronaut on a destroyed space station, you have to search for clues via recordings on what happened to the ship and try to make your way back to Earth. Along the way you have to be mindful of your oxygen levels so as not to asphyxiate yourself. This is another “exploration” game that will have minimal violence and won’t overstay its welcome, which is something I’m really digging in games nowadays.

Alone With You
While this was announced a while ago this is the first time I’ve heard of this game. A psychological romance adventure and a love letter to the Sega CD, this game is about a lone survivor of a failed colony experiment that has to try to escape along with the aid of an AI and resurrecting the dead crew mates. This looks like a very unique game with the promise of interesting social interactions between the other characters in order to survive.

Coming to the Xbox One is a harsh open world, action RPG with elements of survival and developing relationships called Ashen. The art style is very cool and while early, it shows a lot of promise. Especially the giant flying, feathered whales.

Another single word title is Below from Capybara Games, developer of Super Time Force. This procedural adventure game with a mix of Zelda and Dark Souls looks really interesting especially with its art style.

I’ve been following Chasm for a while now since its successful Kickstarter back in 2013 and it’s finally due to hit this summer. It’s a gorgeous sprite-based Metroidvania style of game. You know it’ll be full of exploration, item and weapon collecting, and there are some procedurally rooms too to keep it fresh.

Cosmic Star Heroine
Another successful Kickstarter story here with Cosmic Star Heroine. And like most Kickstarter games this game goes deep with the nostalgia with its sprite-based graphics and RPG nods to Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy. This isn’t a bunch of amateurs making this game either, Zeboyd Games has previously made Cthulhu Saves the World and Breath of Death 7. Planned for a 2015 release, I can’t wait to play this game.

Crossing Souls
And we continue the trend of successful Kickstarter games that feed off of gamers’ nostalgia with Crossing Souls! A group of friends come across a mysterious discovery in the woods outside of their quiet California town in 1986. It allows them to interact between death and life and that obviously brings about the attention of the US military and government conspiracy. This looks like a neat action-adventure with RPG elements and able to switch between five different characters.

This is a beautifully drawn and animated action title that looks like it would have belonged to Max Fleischer back in the 20s and 30s. It’s bouncy, stretchy characters fit well with the intense action of this side-scroller shooter with hints of Gunstar Heroes for good measure. I can’t wait for 2016 to roll around so I can play this.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
I have to admit I never finished a Deus Ex title. I did however, play quite a bit of the first one and Human Revolution. And the fact that I enjoyed those games enough makes me want to play the sequel.

Dishonored 2
Of course a game as successful as Dishonored was going to have a sequel, was there any doubt? This time it looks like there will be two protagonists to switch between and one of them is a woman! Go Social Justice Warriors and ruin games for everyone! It looks like that the game will keep a lot of the same elements from the first one but I’m sure more will be revealed as it gets closer to launching.

I don’t normally go for military shooters or online titles but this one has caught my attention. It’s been shown before in past E3s but has kept a low profile until now. It looks like it’ll be an online action RPG (loot collecting) with squad based elements. The integration of tablets and other touch devices looks really neat. I don’t know if I’ll end up playing this game but it’s something that definitely has my attention.

Stay tuned for part two!

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