Another year, another parade of overexcited business people inciting a pandemic of second-hand embarasment in the pursuit of convincing us their games are worth pre-ordering. E3’s an exciting time, full of games both good and er… not so good. Let’s focus on the positives, though, by taking a look at which game at the show each of the LPVG team are most excited for!
Vikki’s Game of E3 is… ANTHEM
I’m a sucker for a slick E3 trailer.
I used to chalk this up to my general positivity about games. Though a cynic about many things, on the whole I’m pretty wholesome (which occasionally translates to annoying, I know) when to comes to games. No-one sets out to make a bad game, I reckon (although the road to hell is paved by good intentions and all that). So it should come as no surprise that when E3 rocks up – looking all hot and handsome and achingly-well-put-together – I fall for it. Every single fucking time.
For 2017, my game of the show is Anthem. You’ll read a lot of comparisons to other games – Destiny, Mass Effect, Horizon Zero Dawn, Titanfall et al – and, from the little we’ve seen, I’d say that’s about right. Unsurprisingly, given these games are all sci-fi shooters (which is totally my bag, of course), it’s like BioWare chucked my most cherished titles into a Nutribullet to make the perfect, Vikki-flavoured blend. All I need is a guest appearance from Grey’s Anatomy’s McDreamy and I’d probably be prepared to leave my husband for this game.
BioWare still may be recovering from the Andromeda fallout (my face is still tired, incidentally), but don’t forget: it’s had more hits than misses. Mass Effect 2 remains one of my favourite titles of all time, and not just because I’m Commander Shepard and this is the greatest game on the Citadel. BioWare has long been lauded as a studio with tourniquet-tight stories and beautiful balanced combat, and that’s an accolade earned via consistency, not by accident. But it’ll be interesting to see how BioWare’s internal communications has interpreted the Andromeda’s lukewarm reception, and whether or not the Anthem team (which is likely to have been working on the game long before Andromeda shipped) has too taken the criticisms on board.
As is inevitable with E3 reveals, quite how the game will change between its sexy reveal trailer and the final incarnation remains to be seen. But right now, EA, you have my attention. Please don’t let us down.
Laura’s Game of E3 is… MARIO + RABBIDS: KINGDOM BATTLE
While we all kind of knew a Mario and Rabbids crossover was coming the best part of a year ago, the reveal of Kingdom Battle at E3 this year was a personal high point for being pleasantly surprised by the execution of a bizarre sounding new concept.
On paper the crossover seemed bizarre, but seeing it executed as X-Com for kids, with a Grant Kirkhope soundtrack and superb level of AAA visual polish, I’m oddly pumped. I’ve never cared about Rabbids as a horde of faceless mascots, but I am absolutely loving these four personality-laden individual Rabbids and, as much as I never expected to say this, a Rabbids game is now my most anticipated release of 2017.
Joe’s Game of E3 is… SPIDER-MAN
In a year where my favourite IP, Assassin’s Creed, finally made a comeback, I was totally expecting to give Assassin’s Creed Origins my Game of E3 award.
And then Spider-man had to come along and blow me away.
Outside of the X-Men, who never seem to get a good game, Spider-man is my favourite superhero. He’s stylish, acrobatic, funny, has a cool set of villains to go toe-to-toe with, and, when done right, can translate amazingly well to games. Everybody remembers the physics-based swinging of Spider-man 2, but I even loved Enter Electro on the PS1 and The Amazing Spider-man from the last generation.
But it looks like Insomniac’s attempt at your friendly neighbourhood Spider-man is going to come and put them all to shame with an explosive, open, and colourful interpretation of superhero games. The footage we saw in the E3 conferences had a lot of similarities to the Batman: Arkham games, albeit with a more cinematic, quick-time heavy influence chucked in too. The combat looks fluid, and the environmental weapons look like they add a nice level of improvisation to affairs. Chucking a crane at a bad guy can never not be fun.
More importantly, press who were lucky enough to go behind closed doors report that the game is much more sandboxy than the footage suggested. They claim stealth is an entirely valid approach, and that Spider-man’s acrobatic web-slinging lets you set up some awesome interactions. To be astounded by the gameplay footage we saw, and then have people tell us that it actually made the game seem worse than it is? That’s freaking exciting.
I really can’t wait to see just how Insomniac’s Spider-man plays out, but I’m already convinced it’s going to give ol’ Bats more than a run for his money.