Maybe it’s just because the last two years were absolutely miserable times, but it seems like E3 2015 managed to be a pretty good show for the most part. It actually seemed to put more emphasis on games and players rather than things like exclusives and microtransactions and pre-orders and such. Oh sure, those things were around, but they seemed more few and far between and there was more passion and energy going around. I am actually considering purchasing a, what I have to unfortunately call, current generation console now.
So this is a look at the ten things that were my personal favorite things to see at the E3 2015 Conferences:
- Metal Gear Solid
The last Metal Gear Solid trailer for E3 from mastermind Hideo Kojima and it is Kojima being Kojima to the max.
- Doom Be Dooming
I know it seems like anathema for some of the more hardcore Doom fans, but I quite liked Doom 3, but I’ll admit, while it was a pretty good game, it wasn’t a great Doom game. However, ID Software and Bethesda seem to have returned the series to its magnificently gory and violent roots.
And I know there will be some people going: “Does the video game industry really need a game like Doom in this day and age?” YES! Why? Because no medium is above it! You can’t have a show like Game of Thrones and think TV is somehow morally superior. People like violence. And I’ll say this: I would rather be running and gunning against the Legions of Hell Itself then being forced to fight against combatants that are clearly undermanned and underpowered from a destabilized nation, all the while claiming that I’m the victim.
- The Last Guardian
Okay, admittedly, this on here because I honestly didn’t think Sony would do it. (“Didn’t think Sony would do it”, being a theme of their Conference). And it wasn’t just some teaser, it was legitimate gameplay being displayed. And we have a release date of 2016. While I wish it could be firmer, and this doesn’t guarantee they won’t delay it, it is something wondrous.
I’m not the biggest fan of Minecraft. Not because I think it’s bad, just not my thing. However, when they showed the Microsoft Hololens, I took a great deal of interest. This is future space technology that I’m probably going to be shaking my old man cane at like how old people do at self-checkout stations. It’s the next step for us being able to have our own holographic war rooms like in every sci-fi shooter ever.
- For Honor
Okay, 80% of the reason this is on my list is for the Creative Director Jason VandenBerghe who presented this at the Ubisoft Conference. I am half-convinced that Ubisoft has an actual viking making their Viking/Knight/Samurai 4 v 4 combat game. The dude has passion, something Square Enix’s conference really needed to have. He makes me want to try out his game. And the game looks really fun to boot!
- The Sound Quality in Star Wars: Battlefront
Now, I’m not going to say that EA won’t screw Star Wars: Battlefront up in some way, because they’re EA, but now that we have some (scripted) gameplay, what struck out for me was the sound design on the game. The sounds are completely Star Wars and you can feel the impact of an AT-AT’s laser blasts hitting the ground and the howl of a TIE Fighter flying overhead. Don’t think people understand how important sound is to an atmosphere. Here’s hoping that the game does handle well when outside a scripted setting.
- Backwards Compatibility
We knew one or the other company was going to break on this eventually and indeed, it was Microsoft. They have announced that Xbox One will soon feature backwards compatibility for Xbox 360 games. There are some caveats to this though, such as it being limited to digital copies of games and not every 360 game being capable of compatibility, but it is something. Hoping that Sony takes a look at this and follows.
This game is pure adorableness and the highlight of EA’s conference! From Swedish developer Coldwood Interactive, it’s physics-based 2D platformer that lets you play as the cute yarn creature that is simply named Yarny. As Yarny, you use your body to create yarn ropes to swing, glide, pull and more in this tale that looks so saccharine that I’m confident that the character is going to unravel and die by the end of it. I can’t wait!
- Fallout 4
Yeah, no getting around this one. We were all shocked weeks ago when the Fallout 4 trailer released and showed that Bethesda was a lot further in development than we thought. But now, we were not prepared! The amount of content in this game, the amount of customization of character, weapons and world is absolutely staggering. And best of all: We have a release date! November 10, 2015!
- Holy Female Protagonists!
Out of all the content showed at the conferences, this is what I’ve noticed the most. Evie Frye in Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, Aloy in Horizon: Zero Dawn, Faith in Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, the return of Lara Croft, the protagonists in Recore and Tacoma, the ability to play as female characters in Fallout 4 and For Honor. It is insanely cool to see all of these great new and returning female characters.
And at the top of that all, was Dishonored 2 where the trailer revealed that we would be able to play as an adult Emily Kaldwin.
Now, this trailer was, to me, a lot more important than I think many people realize. There are some skeptical (and, in some cases, condescending) critics that say it feels kind of pointless because we can also play as the returning Corvo Attano. And that is true, we can play as either Emily or Corvo. However, I want people to consider this:
Before this trailer, the only thing we knew about this game was that Dishonored 2 would exist. We knew nothing else. This trailer is literally our first impressions of the game. And what message did this trailer communicate to the audience: that this is, firmly, unambiguously, the story of Emily Kaldwin. Hell, if you didn’t tell us afterward we could play as Corvo, we wouldn’t have known. He’s, at best, alluded to in this trailer. Not to mention, in interviews, the creative directors seem to de-emphasize Corvo’s role in this game (plus, the intentional desire to make both playable character distinct) in favor of Emily.
And I think that needed to happen. Not only is this making Emily a more distinct, firmer character with her own skills, desires and playing a bit loose with morality, but it feels like the logical next step in the Dishonored universe. Even though we can play as Corvo, this trailer showed that you don’t need to deemphasize a female character or even be lazy with it (side-eyeing you, Syndicate). And it is, without a doubt, my favorite moment at E3 2015.
Is this enough female protagonists? Absolutely not! It’s a drop in a bucket, but you got to fill a bucket somehow! I’d rather have some change than no change at all. Keep the more diverse characters coming, games industry. Take a chance!
Okay, so those are my favorite moments. Tell me what yours were in the comments!
Stay tuned, because for the cream must come the crap, as I will soon talk about my Top 5 Disappointing Moments of E3 2015.