E3 2015 has come and gone – and after much deliberation, we’ve compiled a list of our core staff’s picks from the annual trade show.
While Brandon and Cody were the only staff in attendance, all of us were on board with coverage, while also simply taking in all of the news from the expo. Sadly, it seems that we are somewhat divided in our taste – so no single game won out by sheer popularity. Nonetheless, you can find our picks, below:
Brandon Orselli – Senran Kagura: Estival Versus
I simply adore the Senran Kagura series, from a gameplay, story, and visuals standpoint. Ever since the game’s first reveal, I’ve been patiently waiting for a western release for Senran Kagura, and we got to see and play the game on Playstation 4. It was simply glorious. I can’t really adequately describe how gorgeous the game looks – you just have to see it to believe it. Kenichiro Takaki and his team have created a masterful game within a genre all to their own, and I can’t wait for us to get our hands on it here in the Americas.
Cody Long – Senran Kagura: Estival Versus
Senran Kagura: Estival Versus is my game of the show due to its stunning visuals and silky-smooth gameplay. I was blown away the second I started playing. The graphics are super crisp, and the game’s framerate is buttery, a solid 60 fps with very few instances where it dropped. I played a lot of fantastic games at E3, but EV takes the cake for sheer fun value. I didn’t want to put the controller down. Also, Ryona is best girl. Just so you know.
Carl Batchelor – Shadow Warrior 2
I thought the gunplay looked much more powerful than the katanas this time around, and the climbing mechanic looked better than DOOM even. The RPG elements look excellent as well. I think the game was unfairly overshadowed by the full-reveal of the DOOM remake. I really think the first Shadow Warrior was close to perfect, but seeing that 30 minute playthrough online was enough to convince me the developers took fan concerns to heart. It moved faster, guns seemingly did more damage, and even the gore looked better. I’m ready to see Lo Wang do his thang.
Alexis Nascimento-Lajoie – Fallout 4
The funny thing about Fallout 4 being my game is the show is that initially it showed off the two things I feared they would with the game, a voiced protagonist and the dialogue wheel. The fact that the game managed to win me back after that start is commendable. The crafting, the base building, the new VATS system and the way power armor works show how much they are improving from the Fallout 3 formula. It was the most extensive showing of any game, and by far the most impressive, and I eagerly await for the November to come to get my hands on this game.
Chris Gollmer – Shenmue III
The reason why I am giving more attention to Shenmue III is a laundry list of reasons. Simply for one, I am a fan of the game. I liked doing day by day activities and having the freedom to train my techniques, meet unique people on different days, and have a freedom in a title that felt different then others, combined with a pretty good cat and mouse story. The second is because I was tired of hearing the E3 rumors each year that this would’ve been announced. It was grating and saddening but now, it’s in complete fruition. The third point is what I think is more important – that Sony took initiative to what fans were saying.
Maciej Miszczyk- Shenmue III
Shenmue was always one of those series that was simply too ambitious for their own good – an epic that was supposed to span a large number of games, set in real-life Asian locations which were supposed to be as alive as the technology allowed. The idea of crowdfunding another game in the series (despite the fact that Sega is still involved) might seem like cynical attempt to cash on nostalgia but it can also mean that there are people out there who are determined to finish the project. For better or worse, Shenmue III might be the future of gaming – either as another crowdfunded disaster or as a sign of the industry moving away from the established formula and revisiting ideas and genres which weren’t fully explored before the modern 3rd person action-adventure genre became the industry standard.
Claude Smith – Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
There were quite a few games that impressed me during 2015’s E3, but the one I was interested in playing the most was Kojima’s Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. I’ve been playing Metal Gear almost as long as I’ve been alive and I’m excited to play the title that finally completes the saga. The gameplay brings together open world stealth and a continuation of the plot after Peace Walker and Ground Zeroes, and the licensed 1980s pop tunes are the cherry on the sundae. The last reason I’m excited for this is the length of playtime – one worker at Konami said he was almost done with the main story with 50 hours in, but he hadn’t completed many extra ops. I’ve been wanting something substantial to sink my teeth into for a while.
Chris Gregoria – Fire Emblem Fates
Fire Emblem Fates really blew me away with how much has been added and upgraded since Awakening. They’ve really upped their game in keeping what worked well, tweaking some things to make everything more fun, and adding new stuff to do.The My Castle addition is particularly awesome, and their decision to keep marriages and children involved is something I was really happy to hear. While I’m not particularly fond of the way they handled the three different versions of the game, the fact that they’ve made three utterly different storylines that are all supposed to be as in depth and long as previous titles just makes me more excited.
So there you have it. Please keep an eye out for the remainder of our E3 2015 content as we complete it and release it in staggered updates.
(Editor’s Note: Header image is where we got noticed by E3 staff themselves! Perhaps we have good taste in beer, as well as video games)