E3 2014 came and went just as fast as every year. We all laughed, cried, and were filled with joy as game after game met our vision, and we saw our next year (or more) held above our heads like Simba. There were some show-stoppers that we’ve seen before, like 2K Game’s Evolve and Halo: The Master Chief Collection, and some great looking new games like The Legend of Zelda and Splatoon.
I’ve debated and debated to myself before deciding on my top 10 picks for E3 2014. Here they are:
#1 – No Man’s Sky
It is hard to decide what game was the most stand-out title of this E3 event. While some outlets, like IGN, chose Evolve, I think, the most outstanding demonstration was the surprise appearance of No Man’s Sky at the Sony conference, and it’s announcement of being a PS4 exclusive. After a game like Joe Danger, the small team at Hello Games are now working on one of the ambitious games coming out in the next few years. Immeasurably so for a studio of their size.
No Man’s Sky is absolutely captivating and impressive. From its endless, procedurally generated universe in which you just run into other players, to its gorgeous use of colors, to its diverse, also random, life forms, this game should be on everyone’s radar. Hello Games must be the most dedicated team in the business after coming out with such an impressive trailer after losing most of their progress earlier this year.
#2 – Sunset Overdrive
I do not own an Xbox One. That being said, me in my Insomniac loving, PS4 owning glory can’t help be jealous about Sunset Overdrive. The game is exactly the kind of colorful, open world adventure I’d expect on Sony’s system. I think this is exactly what Microsoft was going for.
The trailer shown during Microsoft’s E3 presser had me drooling, as the game cooly mocks cover based shooters. And while it then goes on to show pretty same-old open-world gameplay, it does so with unmatched style. The game looks like a goddamn cartoon in motion. The color scheme is so unbelievably vibrant, and with Insomniac’s similar goofy weapons, it all feels more at home than the Resistance series. The gameplay based on constant motion also sounds great to me. Everything about this game sounds great.
Let’s just hope it doesn’t take the same turn as
#3 – Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Naughty Dog has been having a seemingly hard time with Uncharted 4. Regardless of the widely accepted idea that Uncharted 4 would make an appearance at E3’s conference, the turmoil said otherwise. Luckily, we did get a great shot of Drake’s mug, which looks a great deal older.
Titled Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, not much is known about the title. However, the trailer with its ridiculously pretty graphics, had every Sony fan excited. Could the narration between Drake and Sully, and title in the trailer, be foreshadowing some dark turns? Neil and Bruce on the game could make that happen.
#4 – Bloodborne
We knew about Project Beast well before E3. From Software’s Demon’s Souls spiritual successor was revealed at Sony’s presser, and it looks downright brutal. Taking place in a Victorian England setting (similar to The Order 1886), it takes a much darker turn as those infected by a plague are turning into hideous monsters.
The game is taking a more offensive direction in comparison to the Souls series. The player brandishes a gun instead of a shield. I’m already quaking in my boots to be brutally murdered when this one drops in Spring 2015 (as hinted).
#5 – LittleBigPlanet 3
LBP 3 was by far the biggest surprise of Sony’s E3 conference. I’m not sure anyone expected a continuation of the LittleBigPlanet franchise on PS4. After 2 successful entries, and knowledge of Media Molecule working on an entirely new IP for PS4, it made sense that we’d seen the last of Sackboy. Clearly, not Media Molecule is working on LittleBigPlanet 3, but Sumo Digital.
The focus in LittleBigPlanet 3 is co-op, moreso than the past iterations. The game features 4 playable characters with varying abilities. The graphics are sharp, the game looks infinitely cute, and it is definitely on my “must get” list.
#6 – The Division
As I described in great detail in episode 2 of KaboomCast, Tom Clancy’s The Division was my most anticipated game of the show. The third-person shooter meets Borderlands style Action-RPG gameplay, mixed with forming clans, and a dark story reflecting The Last of Us, this game is just about everything I like about this medium.
While Destiny also had me hooked for close to the same reasons, The Division is one we knew less about. I wasn’t disappointed by E3’s showing of the game, with some gameplay that resulted in my salivation. It also came to boot with the darkest trailer of E3.
#7 – Civilization: Beyond Earth
Out of all the games on this list, Civilization: Beyond Earth was the only one not featured in one of the major pressers. Beyond Earth takes the nearly perfect Civilization 5 formula and takes it to space. This time around, players will have to choose a team, then venture between planets and build civilizations. In the meantime, aliens will act as separate characters that cannot be player controlled, and will interfere.
Beyond Earth is the most logical next step for a series that already conquered the world we know. Firaxis is one of the best teams in games right now, and they will undoubtedly knock it out of the park with this one. Check out this gameplay demo:
#8 – Valiant Hearts: The Great War
We saw a lot of dark, heart-wretching trailers this E3. However, the one that got to me most was one of seemingly a more light-hearted place. Valiant: Hearts: The Great War was briefly mentioned at the Ubisoft press event, and it got more emotion out of the audience than any game announced before or after.
Running on my current favorite engine, the UbiArt Framework engine, Valiant Hearts uses beautiful cartoon visuals to depict a side of war that we don’t normally see. Valiant Hearts takes place on the opposite extreme of the spectrum as games like Spec Ops: The Line, in which it humanizes war more than it strikingly demonizes it. The game will tell the story of people and how they suffered during World War I. I’ll have my tissue box at the ready.
#9 – Super Smash Bros Wii U/3DS
Super Smash Bros. Wii U and 3DS saw arguably the most coverage of any game at E3 this year. Nintendo went all out, devoting a lot of its live Treehouse shows to the games, even hosting the first live tournament of the game. Nintendo revealed numerous new characters, including Pac-man, and playable Mii fighters. They also divulged a lot on Smash Run, the exciting new 3DS version’s mode.
All of the excitement renewed my love for the series, and made me wish I had a Wii U so I could get both. The roster is vastly different than previous Smash games, and I’m ready for that. I can see myself getting lost in these new modes, and this largely new roster for hours on end. And if you weren’t sold on the games yet, the Megaman final smash video should put you over the edge:
#10 – Rise of the Tomb Raider
We all knew Lara was coming back in another iteration of the fantastic reboot franchise. Not entirely surprising either, we saw the first teaser trailer for the game during Microsoft’s press conference. The trailer put Lara in therapy, much deserved after her disturbing adventures on the island in the first game. The therapy session in the trailer seems to add to her badass-ness seven fold. Certainly the hoodie helps.
The graphics of the game look absolutely fantastic, but that largely goes without needing pointing out. I’m super excited for Lara’s next adventure.
Keeping the list down to ten was enormously difficult. So many more games are worthy of touching on. What were your favorite games from E3 2014? What would you add to my list? Leave a comment below!