Critics and online personalities have been saying 2017 is shaping up to be the best year for video games in decades. E3, the biggest event in gaming, had a lot riding on it. I went in with few expectations. E3 is often hit-or-miss, and commentators will usually talk about it in terms of who “wins.”
I’ve fallen victim to this mindset in the past couple years, but I don’t really think it’s healthy. I wrote posts for Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo separately. But I’ve realized that E3 is an expo, not a competition. Sure, one company or one game might generate more hype than others. But the real winners are us, the video game community. We’re the ones who get to play the great games. So instead of breaking this E3 down by company, I’m just gonna talk about everything I’m excited for! And there is a lot of exciting stuff happening.
Let me kick off with the return of Metroid. I went convinced that Nintendo could rock the E3 boat in two ways: porting Super Smash Bros. to Nintendo Switch, or bringing back Metroid. Smash is going to wait, but Metroid is back in full force. And although I’m not a huge series fan, I’m now a believer. Metroid Prime is now in development for Nintendo Switch, and Metroid: Samus Returns is coming to 3DS on SEPTEMBER 15th. Now that this series is back, I’m gonna do all I can to support it.
MARIO ODYSSEY and MARIO x RABBIDS: KINGDOM BATTLE
Although Mario games are consistently good, I usually don’t get excited about the franchise. I was burnt out when Odyssey was announced, and Mario x Rabbids sounded too weird to be real. Come E3 though, both games really impressed me. Mario x Rabbids is a fun spin on the XCOM style, and it has the great Grant Kirkhope coming through as composer.
Meanwhile, Mario Odyssey looks expansive, innovative, and fun. It’s the ultimate Mario playground, and a return to the best 3D Mario formula. I’m definitely going to give it a play at launch. All in all, a great showing for the franchise.
YOSHI AND KIRBY IN 2018
Like with Mario, I tend to sleep on the Yoshi and Kirby games, but their planned releases in 2018 are promising. Kirby on Switch promises to bring back cool franchise mechanics and Yoshi looks clever as ever. Now I just hope for a revival of Kirby’s Air Ride.
We didn’t see much from the Pokemon Company at E3, but what was announced is the development of a main-series Pokemon game for Nintendo Switch. This is a huge development. We got no further details, but Pokemon for Switch is a win in itself.
I also rally enjoyed watching the Pokken Tournament DX Invitational. I know virtually everyone hates Pokken, but I have something of an affection for it. I’ll probably be picking it up on Switch.
SPIDER-MAN by INSOMNIAC
I’ve always been a massive fan of Spider-Man games. I played both PS1 games, all three Sam Raimi movie games, and spinoffs like Friend or Foe and Ultimate Spider-Man. With the recent movie reboot, we got a couple of incredibly lazy games along with them. Thankfully, at E3 2017, Insomniac Games showed off their new palate-cleansing Spider-Man game.
This game looks incredible. Despite my distaste for quick-time events, it includes them gracefully and cinematically. Combat looks complex and engaging. The world of Manhattan looks vast and varied. Most of all, navigating the world by swinging looks like an homage to Spider-Man 2 on PS2, the best of the bunch. I can’t wait for this game to come out.
STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT II
The first Star Wars Battlefront by DICE and published by EA was one of my worst disappointments. Battlefront was one of my favorite games as a kid, and I always wanted a revival. Sadly, although the revival was aesthetically beautiful, it turned out to be a bore. And a money scam.
BUT, if the new sequel turns out like it looks so far, it will be a huge turnaround. It has a story mode, an improved class system, more heroes, and generally more content. Furthermore, DLC will be free so as not to divide the player base. This game has my attention, so hopefully it doesn’t disappoint.
MIDDLE-EARTH: SHADOW OF WAR
This sequel to Shadow of Mordor has actually been around for a few months, but I’ve been on the hype train since the beginning. I wrote a post about this hype train a few weeks ago. For E3, we’re getting new story content, new characters, and a look at some of the new mechanics.
Combat looks more intense and brutal. Cinematic scenarios and conquest missions are coming through in full force. And the plotline of Talion is coming to a head as he confronts the Dark Lord Sauron. I honestly can’t remember wanting a game this much.
MISCELLANEOUS COOL STUFF
There was a lot of other stuff at E3 that looked neat to me, so I want to mention it. Fire Emblem Warriors is an idea I had years ago, and to see it in action is thrilling. I like that it has character switch and strategic mechanics. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a big point of love for me, and what I saw at E3 looks like a beautiful successor to the first game.
Days Gone looks like it’ll be the most interesting zombie game since The Last of Us. Uncharted: Lost Legacy will be an interesting game, especially thanks to its two female main characters. God of War is finally on deck, and it looks much less over-the-top than its predecessors, which I enjoy. Bethesda’s VR shenanigans, like Fallout 4 in full VR, looks like an exciting step forward.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus seems like a ridiculous, Nazi-killing extravaganza and I can’t wait. Anthem looks like a fun, huge multiplayer experience that will hopefully deliver. The Artful Escape of Francis Vendetti, Super Lucky’s Tale, and Cuphead are bringing back fun, quirky platforming adventures. Assassin’s Creed: Origins actually has me really pumped because I’m a fan of the franchise and I like the new mechanics. Although I’ve sadly never played the first game, Ori and the Will of the Wisps looks like a great sequel and it’s stunning in 4K. Sonic Forces didn’t get a lot of new info, but we saw a team-up of four legendary villains, which should be cool. Lastly, Crackdown 3, The Darwin Experiment, Dragon Ball Fighter Z are games I know nothing about, but they look sick.
So that’s where I stand on E3 2017. Reactions are all over the map, but I’m honestly coming away from it feeling excited. A major plus is the fact that most of these games are coming out this year, so 2017 should be a great year for games after all.