Whelp, another E3 is in the books, and with it is a new landscape in the video game world. New consoles were announced, original IPs made their debut, storied franchises got a makeover and Nintendo finally remembered to bring a Zelda trailer to the show.
In all, it was one of the better E3s in recent memory, and there’s a lot to digest in the wake of the show.
As always, there’s one question that every gamer’s going to be asking: So, what was the best part of the show?
Was it the hardware? The games? The new innovations in VR? Maybe there was no “best” part of the show; maybe for you, E3 2016 will always be remembered for the games that weren’t announced.
Whatever your take, one thing is abundantly obvious after this four-day odyssey: there’s still a lot to digest. With a sea of news, announcements and trailers to wade through, chances are, you haven’t seen everything E3 had to offer yet. Hell, you might not have seen the best of what happened at the show.
You want to know what was the best of the best at E3? Well, all of our writers got together to talk about which reveals stole the show, and which games you need to keep an eye on through 2016, 2017 and beyond.
Spider-Man – Jason Serafino, Editor
Honestly, who of you out there saw this coming? Not only did Insomniac manage to keep its upcoming Spider-Man game (mostly) a secret, but in a mere 1:30, it showed enough footage to have me believe that, if everything falls into place, the studio may have found Marvel’s answer to Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham series.
With kinetic action, stunning visuals and a wealth of mysteries to ponder, this short tease absolutely made E3 for me. I had made my peace with Spider-Man video games after suffering through Edge of Time a few years back, but Insomniac has my attention now. As a PS4 exclusive with no ties to the upcoming movie, Spider-Man could finally get the love and attention he deserves from one of the most innovative studios around.
This isn’t a commercial tie-in to make a quick buck; this looks to be the work of a developer that wants to bring Peter Parker’s world into the new console generation, where he belongs.
Runners-up: Skyrim Special Edition, God of War, Injustice 2
Death Stranding – Steven Schneider, Writer
No one — absolutely no one — was expecting to see Hideo Kojima at this year’s E3.
Even after announcing that Kojima Productions would return as an independent studio working with Sony, most gamers assumed that it would be years before anyone saw what Kojima was working on. Then, in the middle of Sony’s E3 2016 press conference, Kojima walked out on stage, proudly proclaimed his return and revealed the first trailer for Death Stranding.
Anyone who watches sports on a regular basis knows how great it can be to watch someone return from injury — and in a lot of ways, Kojima’s appearance at E3 2016 felt a lot like that. Yes, the Death Stranding trailer was great, but the reveal felt more like a confirmation that Kojima Productions was back. No more promises, no more cryptic hints: this is Kojima’s next game, and it’s actually happening.
That being said, the cryptic imagery of the Death Stranding teaser was amazing as well. This is Kojima at his best — and, while it’ll likely be some time before anyone gets to see the game in motion, the reveal trailer was a fantastic way to get the hype train rolling.
Runners-up: Marcus Fenix returns in Gears of War 4, Metroid Prime: Federation Force is nowhere to be seen
Prey – Cameron Koch, Writer
There's nothing better than a reveal trailer that leaves you wanting more, and that's exactly what Prey accomplished at this year's show. The reboot of the sci-fi franchise doesn't look to have much (or anything) to do with the first game in the series or its cancelled sequel, but this new Prey's mysterious tone and sci-fi setting helped make for a powerful first impression.
Helping the game is the pedigree of its developer. Despite not seeing any gameplay from Prey, the fact that the title is coming from Dishonored developer Arkane Studios already has me salivating at the possibilities. Arkane has proven it can weave together various genres — stealth, horror, first-person shooter, RPG — with powerful results, so I can't wait to see what the team is able to accomplish when it adds time-travel paradoxes and terrifying creatures to its toybox.
Runners-up: Resident Evil 7, God of War
Gravity Rush 2 – Jelani James, Writer
The original Gravity Rush is — and still remains — one of the strongest titles within the PS Vita library. Released in 2012 on the PlayStation Vita, the game was emblematic of everything the handheld had to offer, such as its rear touchpad and tilt controls. Of course, as expected from a game on a system that utilized under-tested features, the actions that required those functions didn't work as well as they should have. However, everything else about that game was rock-solid, ranging from the RPG-elements to the gravity manipulation.
Fast-forward to 2016, and fans will soon be able to get their hands on the sequel to that game, Gravity Rush 2. The game takes place just after the conclusion of the first one with Kat, alongside her gravity-shifting partner Raven and the police officer Syd, who is investigating strange gravitational waves that appear over Hekseville. However, things go awry when she is swallowed by a gravity storm and finds herself in an unfamiliar village without Dusty, the source of her powers, anywhere to be found. Even worse, a new enemy soon shows up and threatens Kat, the village and likely, the entire world.
Gravity manipulation is still the name of the game, but it has evolved since the original, featuring brand new attacks and three new fighting styles with which to utilize them. Not only that, but now that the game is headed to the PS4 — complete with a full controller and screen — these attacks and the rest of Kat's actions will be much easier to perform.
There was much to love about the original, and based on what's been shown so far, Gravity Rush 2 will have even more.
Runners-up: Tales of Berseria, NieR: Automata, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Ever Oasis
Death Stranding – Robin Burks, Writer
Every self-respecting gamer cheered from their living rooms when Hideo Kojima took to the stage during Sony’s presentation at this year’s E3. Although no one had any idea what he would say, he presented fans with the very first look at his first non-Konami title, Death Stranding.
Sure, that weird trailer didn’t make any kind of sense, and led to a lot of crazy theories about the game’s plot (which probably falls into the sci-fi genre), but the image of a naked CGI Norman Reedus holding a baby left an impact on everyone watching, because Kojima fans now get to see what the developer can do without Konami breathing down his neck. The trailer was weird and wonderful, much like the man himself, and serves as a great teaser of things to come.
Runners-up: Skyrim Special Edition, Detroit: Become Human, Resident Evil 7 for PlayStation VR