Believe it or not, this year’s E3 was more than Microsoft and Sony exchanging blows (or depending on how you saw it, Microsoft rocking in the fetal position). With new consoles means new gorgeous games to salivate over and Nintendo is always a safe bet to surprise, especially in a period where the Wii U needs to gain a firm hold before the new systems launch. But as much hype as pipeline titles like Star Wars Battlefront, Mirror’s Edge 2, Kingdom Hearts III and Halo have gotten, this list is reserved for titles that have shown off at least a little bit of gameplay.
10. Destiny – Bungie – PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PS3, X360
Sci-Fi action studios need to take notice whenever Bungie tries something new, Destiny looks stunning. Set on Earth in the distant future, it looks like scavenging is a way of life for a planet taken over by aliens. But as much as Bungie is fantastic creators of worlds, Destiny looks incredibly similar to Halo from the weaponry to the 343 Guilty Spark knock-off.
9. Watch_Dogs – Ubisoft Montreal – PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U, PS3, X360, PC
I’m not entirely sure what to make of Watch_Dogs yet, but it appears games featuring an anti-hero, hacking through a modern metropolis are becoming an industry standard. My initial impressions are that Watch_Dogs has a lot of things going on throughout its near-future take on Chicago and main character Aiden Pearce might be the type of assassin that Desmon Miles could never be.
8. Super Smash Bros. – Nintendo – Wii U, 3DS
The gameplay won’t be the issue, for Smash Bros. it is always about who will be new to the fray. With three new characters revealed out of a rumored total of six I don’t see how Nintendo can top Animal Crossing’s Villager, the surprising choice of the Wii Fit Trainer and the Blue Bomber himself, Mega Man.
7. Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare – Popcap Games – Xbox One, X360, PC
One of the surprises of this year’s E3 was not that EA and Popcap were making this spinoff, but rather how entertaining the gameplay looked. Maintaining its tower defense roots, players take the role of one of the many plants in this class-based third person shooter, staving off the zombie invasion. New plants are being introduced for Garden Warfare and the action appears similar to that of Gears of War’s Horde mode.
6. Fantasia: Music Evolved – Harmonix – Xbox One
Initially I was extremely excited, but confused by this title. Harmonix (one of my favorite developers of all time) would be making a game based on Fantasia (one of my favorite films of all time). While I wasn’t sure how the two would mesh, what I saw was music experimentation by fusing classical tones to modern tracks. While the musician in me appreciates the evolution of sound, it is in the implementation of Kinect motions inspired by Mickey in the famed segment, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
5. Final Fantasy XV – Square Enix – PlayStation 4, Xbox One
The game formerly known as Final Fantasy Versus XIII still looks like it is holding true to the angle of being more action oriented. While I am not entirely sure the faster gameplay is something that will be welcomed in a main-entry Final Fantasy game, what has been shown is some incredibly active combat that moves at a much more frenetic pace than you would traditionally find.
4. Super Mario 3D Land – Nintendo – Wii U
Nintendo had me a cat suit.
3. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain – Konami – PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Snake may have a new voice (and Ocelot sure sounds like Will Arnett) but war, war never changes (wrong game). Metal Gear Solid 5, strangely enough, is sneaking (I promise I’m not writing puns on purpose) under the radar to what should be a hotly anticipated launch. The new Fox Engine features jaw dropping visuals, just giving more tools for Kojima Productions to work their magic.
2. Tom Clancy’s The Division – Ubisoft Massive – PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Honestly, I didn’t give this title too much thought, mostly because I haven’t put much stock into Tom Clancy games in a while. The Division appears to be another one of those hyper integrated titles (complete with tablet support) that features a lot of different accessible information, a variety of skills and one of the most amazing interfaces in any game. This game oozes potential.
1. Titanfall – Respawn Entertainment – Xbox One
My initial impressions following the glut of non-gameplay trailers was that Titanfall was basically Call of Duty with jump packs and mechs. While this is still mostly true I completely undervalued how tight the combat is in Titanfall. The weapon selection, the size and versatility of the mechs and even the strategies when it comes to running on foot all tie together for an insanely polished product. Throughout the gameplay footage I’ve seen, I found myself uttering ‘that’s cool’ more than a few times.