I got the chance to play a lot of great, interesting, new, up and coming games at E3 this year. So, I want to narrow down a few of the exceptional gameplay experiences I enjoyed the most this year. I checked out many a demo, and some were very impressive: Mortal Kombat was tight; Evolve had a fresh gameplay premise. But here are my absolute favorites that left the most lasting impressions on me during the convention.
Honorable Mention: The Order: 1886
This game just failed to make it into my Top 5. This was the first game I played at E3, and I am still very excited about the project. However, for the time spent in line, the demo was shockingly short. The plot sampling was rather confusing. I really liked the gameplay, the graphics and aesthetic style of this world, but I just wanted a little more out of a playble E3 demo.
5. Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes
I am a freak for both Disney and Marvel brands as well as characters, and this game brings both together in an amazing marriage of awesome. I got the chance to try out the new Marvel playsets at E3, and they look great so far. Disney Interactive provides a nice variety of characters and supporting heroes for the Avengers and the Spider-Man playsets. I was giddy when I saw the inclusion of Darkwing Duck vehicles in the Toy Box. This is a great family title to bring fans, both young and old, together.
4. Far Cry 4
In the demo for Far Cry 4, I got the chance to ride an elephant into battle, and it was a glorious experience. What most excited me about the early news for Far Cry 4 was the game’s exotic new setting of the Himalayan Mountains. Taking the franchise into such a new area gives it a serious, fresh, new coat of paint. The gameplay definitely appears to be taking full advantage of using such a setting. The shooter combat felt great and really smooth. The demo provided opportunities to take different approaches to the gameplay. You could take a more stealthy approach with a crossbow or go in guns blazing with a freaking elephant!
3. The Division
I am personally still very skeptical on triple A titles moving in the direction of online-only, no single-player mode formats. However, the way The Division looked at E3 definitely impressed me and is starting to bring me around to the other side. The third-person shooter gampelay along with a gigantic map of New York City made this a title I am definitely eager to explore further.
2. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
I think one of the most attractive aspects that CD Projekt Red sold me on with their upcoming final installment in their series of Witcher games at E3 was the element that you can literally “go anywhere you see.” If there is a mountain or ocean far off the distance, you can go there. It is almost as if you have an entire world at your very fingertips as you control Geralt of Rivia. I thought The Witcher games were impressive before, but the next-gen upgrade fixes up all the visual issues with The Witcher 2 and really puts the game over the top. The painstaking amount of content with the game makes me believe I can get practically years of entertainment out of this title.
1. Batman: Arkham Knight
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, there are not many games I am more excited about next year than Batman: Arkham Knight. The E3 demo did little to curb the hunger I have to finally play this game. The E3 demo was a fantastic experience and gave a lot more insight about the plot and characters in the game, especially the Arkham Knight. The Rocksteady developer who handled the presentation was clearly pumped and excited to talk about the project. This was my top E3 game for the year. I have read Batman comics since I could learn how to read, and this franchise perfectly captures the things I love about the Dark Knight while also providing a dark and complex storyline. The Batmobile gameplay alone looks like it will be worth the price of admission.