Kami’s Top Five Games of E3 2016.

And now the upside – five games from E3 2016 that I actually want to buy!


I think we know the drill here. After doing the five games which just didn’t do anything for me at all, here’s the five that really did get me going!

So let’s get this over with.

RESIDENT EVIL 7 (CAPCOM)

There’s been a lot of controversy about the shift to a closer, first-person viewpoint. And sure, the teaser is basically ripping off the P.T. Demo – kind of hard to avoid that comparison, really, when there’s still plenty we’re supposed to find in the demo still.

I actually think the shift is a good idea. I like the focus to a smaller event, with more emphasis on atmosphere and tension. Resident Evil is a fractured series and I do think having a tense, claustrophobic first-person branch isn’t the worst idea in the world – just as long as we get some more Revelations titles and more Raid Mode in the future. I liked the graphics, I liked the emphasis on classic puzzling… I even liked the time-travel VHS tape. That was quite interesting and I enjoyed a few instances of doing stuff via the tape (in the past) to change the present. That’s a nice idea and I do hope Capcom haven’t made that a throwaway thing.

I get that some people think the ghost-lady meant it was trying too hard to be Silent Hill – I get the concern, but if anything I think Capcom could afford to take a few cues from Silent Hill. And most of all, I like the notion we’re finally getting away from the old crowd, and we’ll have a fresh new protagonist with a fresh new horror scenario to deal with. It’s not quite the complete reboot we’d heard rumoured, but it’s dramatic enough a shift that I think it’s a reboot in all but.

Plus I want to play RE2 Remastered as well, with a demo rumoured to be in the full release early 2017… very nice…

GOD OF WAR 4 (SONY)

I’d like to correct people who said that God of War 4 looked like it was getting close to The Last of Us. After it was concluded, I felt the game was veering off towards a more RPG-like affair more akin to The Witcher, and I’m completely down with a more complex action RPG, and veering past CD Projekt Red’s masterful RPG series is no bad thing. Sure, I’d much prefer a head-on collision between The Witcher and Xenoblade Chronicles X, but I’m resigned to the idea that a collaboration between CDPR and MonolithSoft might shatter the fabric of reality making such an awesome thing. So this will have to do.

More than that, I just liked seeing the series moving on. The tighter focus and more impactful story teaser was a pleasant change from the shouty bombastics the series is traditionally known for. And to really annoy God of War fans, I think Christopher Judge is a perfect fit for this new, older Kratos; you may remember this man from playing Teal’c in Stargate: SG1, his downtrodden and almost monotone delivery perfectly fits this weary, jaded and cynical new Kratos.

It looks great, takes some bold new strides but ultimately still felt like the right direction to move in. The action brawler genre has struggled to move past the sublime stylings of Bayonetta for years now, so I’m not sad to see God of War move beyond it. Hopefully it will be a great new beginning for Kratos and his young protege, and I can’t wait to see more of it!

HORIZON: ZERO DAWN (SONY)

Dinosaurs are awesome. Big robots are awesome. Open-world RPG adventures are awesome. So blend the three, a big open-world RPG Adventure featuring mechanoid robot dinosaurs and other assorted robotic animals and creatures and you have one of those games where you need to stop, take a moment and ponder why it has taken this long for anyone to blend the three into one cohesive whole?

And it looks amazing – from the combat, which looks like a blend of Zelda/Witcher action with a few pauses harkening back to games like Vagrant Story, to the sumptuous graphics, the only doubt is whether or not the footage we were seeing was running on an older PS4 or the first wave of Neo hardware – it doesn’t entirely matter to me, of course, but it is a legitimate concern. With us finally getting some of the story – the robotic creatures are being corrupted by ancient robot creations and tearing through the human populace – it looks and sounds like one of the strongest titles Sony has dared to put out in years, and that’s something I can fully get behind.

Open-world RPG’s are clearly getting a lot of love right now, and as someone who likes the genre – I felt kind of spoilt at E3 this year.

SCALEBOUND (MICROSOFT/PLATINUM GAMES)

Platinum Games are masters of Showboating Action. Bayonetta remains head and shoulders at the top of the genre tree; and given that it is now co-owned by Nintendo, it’s high time we accepted that’s where our favourite kinky witch is staying. Given that, Microsoft has roped in Platinum and it’s creative lead Hideki Kamiya for its own unique Platinum action-game. And it does look pretty amazing…

A team-based boss-killing battlefield exercise, Scalebound is dripping with the kind of New-Age Tokyo aesthetic that seems to be working quite nicely in a sea of monochome military fare. Sure, what we’ve seen so far is a mix between Devil May Cry and Capcom’s Monster Hunter setpieces, but I happen to think that’s a great concept too. With the spectacle ramped up high, flying around on a dragon, killing huge hulking armour-plated monstrosities whilst wearing horrendously expensive headphones… and three other people can join in.

I said a while ago that Sony and Microsoft should be kicking themselves for letting Bayonetta slip out of their hands – willingly, at that, as it was made clear both had the opportunity to take ownership of that series. Microsoft at least appears to be making up for letting her slip away by funding this outrageous bit of Japanese lunacy. Will it be as great as Bayonetta 2? No, it doesn’t look like it will even get close… but it looks every inch the Platinum game, and that’s not often a bad thing.

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD (NINTENDO)

I think we all knew the reveals of the new Zelda game would be impressive. I was expecting to be excited for it. But what I wasn’t prepared for is to want this game more than I want my next breath (of the wild) – an open world sandbox RPG adventure with heavy Zelda themes, borrowing from some incredible games – the open-world feel of The Elder Scrolls, the atmospheric looseness and gear systems of Dark Souls, the environmental details of Xenoblade Chronicles X and The Witcher. All packaged up in one epic game? Jeez, Nintendo. I know you were moving the series on a bit but this reinvention is the work of a mad genius!

The art style is wistful and interesting; subdued anime stylings rich in colour and texture, yet imperfect in their own way. Which is just the way it should be – beauty is enhanced by imperfection, something celebrities the world over seem to forget in their quest for eternal youth. The open-ended world and freedom to wander calls to mind the very first Zelda title back in 1986, which is high praise indeed. And the combat looks more nuanced, tactical and varied than at any point in the series history – no doubt thanks to Nintendo realising thanks to games like Hyrule Warriors that swords aren’t the only weapon in a warriors arsenal.

There were lots of people really concerned – and some outright mocking in tone – that prominently featuring one game at E3 was a damning indictment against Nintendo having lost the plot. And whilst I concede that I would have liked a little variety, there’s no question that focusing on one solid, interesting and most of all playable game was a vast improvement over just seeing rolling footage and teaser trailers for games a year or two from their eventual release dates. No-one who played this game was disappointed and the queues to play it were frankly insane, with people running towards the Nintendo booth each morning eager to get the chance to play it.

Which goes to show you that one strong game can be as effective as a roll-call of games, and that for all the jibes – the Zelda series is more than capable of generating plenty of hype on its own accord.


And that’s what I liked this year.

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress