E3 2015 will go down as one of the best shows in years. Not only was the show full of surprise announcements but there was a flood of new games as well as updates on games that had been dormant for years. With that in mind the GN staff sat down and came up with a list of the games that we are looking forward to playing the most.
Randy - Ugh. That "1." But it looks like a lonely experience. I'm into lonely experiences. Floating out there on an ocean of space. Barely able to keep your breathing steady. Wondering if you'll be the Sandra Bullock survivor or the sacrificial George Clooney of what might be Gravity: The Game of the Movie. Forget monsters. This is what survival-horror looks like to me.
Dark Souls 3
Chapel - We didn't get to see much about the game really, but both previous Dark Souls games are so fantastic that all I really need to know is that there will be another. I'm excited to see Hidetaka Miyazaki coming back as well. Dark Souls 2 was great, but it didn't quite live up to the incredibly high bar of the original. Perhaps Miyazaki will bring his touch back and move the third back into those soaring heights.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Travis - After watching a gameplay presentation of the sequel to Human Revolution at E3, I'm beyond excited for the next chapter in the Deus Ex series. Stunning visuals, improved gameplay features, and the continuation of Adam Jensen's story are just a few of the reasons that have me eagerly awaiting its release next year.
Call of Duty: Black Ops III
John- I really enjoyed the two Black Ops in multiplayer and the third one seems like a ton of fun. I was fortunate enough to go to an Activision preview event the night before E3 to try it out and had a blast. The action was fast and smooth with the inclusion of some new moves that helps you get around all types of obstacles with ease. I also enjoy the specialists that are in the game with their unique guns or abilities. Black Ops III is something I can see myself spending a ton of time on, like the previous two.
Nathan - I have waited nearly 20 years for this moment. I will say that I did enjoy Doom 3, but it just didn't feel like a Doom game. Doom should be about running around at high speeds, blowing away anything that moves, constantly swapping weapons, straffing and dodging enemy fire. What we got with Doom 3 was a more of a slow paced survival horror game. This game however is what Doom 3 should have been and I cannot wait to get my hands on it. I also really love how they pretty much put the Doom Map Editor in the game for people to create an endless stream of content. I am giving it a month tops before Doom 1 and Doom 2 are remade in Doom 2016. Oh any for anyone complaining about the violence in the new Doom, Really? Are you new to this whole videogame thing? What year is this? 1995?
Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water
Matt - Even though Nintendo only felt like putting this up on the Treehouse stream and not make it a part of their E3 Live and didn't have it playable on the show floor, this is probably my most anticipated game of 2015 at this point. I've loved Fatal Frame titles since the very first game, and it's been a difficult road as a fan of the series since it became a Nintendo franchise, but I am so hyped for this game, and will be forsaking all other games when it comes out this fall.
Final Fantasy VII Remake
Sean Cahill - Final Fantasy VII Remake - Look, I'm a Final Fantasy nut. I will take in everything I can and ask for more regarding my beloved FF franchise. To actually see this and for it not to be a joke sent me into a fanboy-induced happy dance. I love it. I don't care if somethings will be changed. To see one of my favorite games of my childhood transformed for today's graphics is nothing short of awesome.
Charles - While the teaser video was interesting, it wasn't until I saw the actual game play footage that For Honor clicked for me. I'm still a bit fuzzy on how the three different empires play into the gameplay but I love the idea of having large scale battles that you can control against other players.
Guitar Hero Live
Travis - This was by far my biggest surprise this E3 was the fact that I was excited to be playing a Guitar Hero game again. After the much needed hiatus of plastic instrument games from market, it's a great time to return to the genre with new gameplay elements such as Guitar Hero TV in which players can tune in to various music channels and play along to the songs.
Charles - I'm not a huge Halo fan but I am very interested to see what 343 Industries does with the next part of the Master Chief Saga. We're getting Buck back for this game and Locke looks to be a great addition to the Halo universe. It's also going to be interesting to see how the game raises the multiplayer bar.
The Last Guardian
John- Finally, we see the return of the gryphon that everyone loves. I'm so glad that Sony led the show off with its long awaited return and we have a release year of 2016 if everything goes according to plan. Let's hope everything goes according to plan. It looks like a cross between Ico and Shadow of Colossus and that's a great thing.
No Man's Sky
Randy - I'm on an emotional precipice with No Man's Sky right now. I'm hungry for something more from it. My stomach is growling for this open-galaxy explore 'em up. But a red flag has gone up in my brain. Yes, there are thousands of stars. Yes, the worlds are populated with prehistoric beasts and Star Wars-punk ships and AT-AT-alikes. But the more I see, the more hollow the experience is starting to look. I'm by no means writing off No Man's Sky. I'm just looking up into that enormous night sky and asking the age-old question: Why are we here?
John - Oculus always impresses me everytime I see them. First it was the DK1, which introduced me to VR. Then it was the DK2 with the improved screens and positional tracking. The consumer version was really, really awesome but the motion controls that they have coming out later really made it a complete package. I just couldn't keep the smile off my face interacting with the virtual world using the very accurate wireless controllers in my hand. It was probably the best thing I experienced at E3.
Persona 4: Dancing All Night
Matt - I'm a sucker for music games, and I'm a double sucker for Persona 4. This game is so out of Atlus' wheelhouse that I'm interested just from a morbid curiosity. The soundtrack line-up also has a lot of artists that I'm a fan of so I can't wait to hear how their take on Shoji Meguro's tracks turn out.
Total War: Warhammer
Travis - I've played nearly every single Total War game and have always hoped that Creative Assembly some day would go beyond historic limits into a fantasy setting. Creative Assembly's top notch skill in making epic strategy games and the expansive universe of Games Workshop's Warhammer universe make for the perfect combination for a video game.
Jeremy - A cel-shaded, Generation 1 Transformers brawler by Platinum Games using the Bayonetta combat engine... how can anyone not be excited? Platinum knows how to make and action game and everything that I have seen thus far shows that they have applied that knowledge perfectly to the Transformers universe. I cannot wait for this one!
Yoshi's Woolly World
Russell - When I first heard about this one and saw some pics for it, my first thought was that it would be a Yoshi version of Kirby's Epic Yarn. Then I saw some gameplay during the Nintendo World Championships pre-show while waiting in line for WWE Money in the Bank (trying to conserve my phone battery as much as possible) and it reminded me a lot more of Yoshi's Island on the Super NES in terms of gameplay. Between the two I'd take Yoshi's Island over Epic Yarn any day so that's a huge plus for me in terms of whether or not I'll pick it up.
Matt - This generation's Contra! Cuphead has the 1930's cartoon visuals down, and its side-scrolling shooter gameplay means plenty of tricky moments of gameplay. Death was a common occurrence amongst the numerous players that had to get their hands on this co-op shooter. Waiting until 2016 is going to feel like agony for this one.
Jeremy - Wow, did you see that game in motion? I absolutely love the visual style that is being used and it truly looks unreal in motion. I love classic shooters like this and cannot wait to get my hands on this one.
Randy - For my day job, I handle logistics and supplies for my town's fire department. Having Firewatch on my most-wanted list for the past year may have something to do with that. But it's also the radio show drama between the two leads. It's the travel poster-style backdrops from artist Olly Moss. It's the high level of fire danger, not only in the woodland setting, but in the raggedy edge of the dialogue.
Charles - We didn't see a lot of Firewatch at E3 but the short teaser has me very interested in what Campo Santo has in store for gamers. It's a bit outside the box and hopefully the game delivers on the hype.
Mirror’s Edge- Catalyst
Jeremy - While I wasn’t blown away with what I saw of Mirror’s Edge at the show, I wasn’t turned off by it either. I had a lot of concerns with how the remake would be handled and while still a bit hesitant, I think they might actually be doing it right.
Sean Cahill - I loved the first Mirror's Edge, so when we kept hearing rumors that a true sequel was possibly coming out, I was cautiously optimistic since it's been quite some time since the first game. What else is there to say other than I can't wait to start jumping from building to building again?
South Park- The Fractured But Whole
Jeremy - I made the mistake of missing the first South Park RPG when it launched and didn’t pick it up until this past Christmas on PC. It easily became one of my favorite games of the past couple of years, even though I had lost interest in South Park. The mix of comedy and solid game mechanics made it one of the most enjoyable adventures I have ever had and I have no doubt that the new one will be more of the same.
Mike - You're lying to yourself if you predicted South Park: The Stick of Truth was going to get a sequel this soon, let alone a sequel at all. In fact, seeing South Park: The Fractured But Whole was probably the biggest surprise of E3 for me this year. The Stick of Truth was my game of the year of 2014 and I can't wait to see where they go with the sequel. I know it's a new studio, but here's to hoping that it's just as gut-wrenchingly funny as its predecessor.
Super Mario Maker
Russell - I've only seen a bit of the Nintendo World Championships on YouTube (was at WWE Money in the Bank that night so I missed it live), but Super Mario Maker looks pretty good, and the fact that you can use assets from various Mario games to make your own stages is probably every ROM hackers dream come true. This will likely be a day one purchase for me when it comes out.
Jeremy - Super Mario Maker: While I was very disappointed in their overall showing, Nintendo does have on title up their sleeve (2 counting Yoshi’s Woolly World) that stands as a mush-have for me this year. You just can’t beat classic, Mario platforming and this software (I dare not call it a game). I’m already planning out stages on paper to build once it launches and am even thinking of crafting my own full0Mario adventure.
Nathan - I spent an endless amount of hours on XCom Enemy Unknown and I love everything I have seen so far for XCom 2. I love the idea that this time, you are the ones on the attack and you are the ones that plan all kinds of sneak attacks on the aliens instead of the other way around. The one thing I am really interested in seeing are all of the new customization option. 2K has said that since you aren't really military soldiers this time around, there will be a lot more opportunity for crazy customization for your characters. I also love how they are going to embrace the modding community. The modding community gave us the Long War mod for Enemy Unknown and I cannot wait to see what they come up with for XCom 2.
Rob - Love the original XCOM, which has been aped so many times by other developers in recent years with similar IPs to trying degrees of success. It's time for an authentic successor to take the throne. I also like what I've heard of the game, that it's not just going to be more of the same with an updated skin but that they are really trying to evolve the game and the way it's played.
Street Fighter 5
Matt - The few rounds I got to play on the show floor was a sweet taste of the latest from Capcom's venerable series. Nash (Charlie damn it!) felt like a really fun character and his combo potential is absolutely nuts. The game felt great and I'll be posting some more in-depth hands on notes in the near future.
Russell - My first thought when I heard that SF5 was going to be playable at E3 was "if they reveal a new character, please don't let it be an obvious one". Well, they did with Cammy...and then revealed Birdie. I'll be honest, I don't have a lot of recollection about Birdie and wasn't expecting him to be announced for the game, or at the very least this soon (I figured they'd get the usual suspects out first, then start with a few new people). As for the game itself, it looks pretty good so far from the tournament stream I watched, and as a SF fan I can't wait for this one to come out...probably followed by Super Street Fighter V Turbo Arcade Edition at some point.
Sean Cahill - In the ultimate battle of "Street Fighter vs Mortal Kombat" I was always a Street Fighter fan first. I'm happy that Capcom is bringing out another title that looks fantastic. I'm all for beating up characters with Ken again, though it looks as though we'll have some new options as well as familiar faces.
Star Wars: Battlefront
Rob - I have been playing a ton of Battlefield 4 multiplayer lately. At first I found the multiplayer completely unfriendly to noobs like myself, way more than the standard "you gotta learn the maps" that everyone goes through when starting up a new game. But with practice and time I am really getting into it. I think a lot of that has to do with reward of the hard-earned payoff vs. the cheap thrill of an easier game to jump into. But now that I'm racking up some epic sniper headshots and successfully taking on tanks with a little bit of sneaky-sneaky and whole lot of C4 it's great fun. I hoping for the same from DICE with SW: Battlefront. It looks like the game is shaping up nicely and it's going to be a lot more than just Battlefield with a Star Wars skin. I just hope flying an X-Wing is a little more manageable than a BF4 helicopter.
Chapel - I have been looking forward to this game for 10 years, since Battlefront 2 came out. I'm a huge fan of every component of this game; I love first person shooters, I love Battlefield-scale online multiplayer, but most importantly I love Star Wars. When this game comes out, I may be able to finally retire Battlefront 2 and Jedi Academy for my Star Wars game fixes.
Mike - Battlefront 2 was a game that I played for hundreds of hours. Not only was it special, but it was a special game that both my brother and I bonded over. Just by seeing Star Wars Battlefront in action, I'm hit with memories of my childhood and the endless nights fighting on Hoth, awesome battles in Hero Assault, and getting to execute the infamous Order 66. Maybe it's pure nostalgia, and maybe EA will actually screw this up, but Battlefront is one of my most anticipated games in a long time.
Charles - It's been ages since we've had a good Star Wars game and everything I read about the game makes me think that this might be the one we've been waiting for. I'm hopeful that DICE will launch a solid game without any major issues that will give us the first great Star Wars game since Tie Fighter vs X-Wing
Horizon: Zero Dawn
Nathan - My award for "Game of E3", this looks incredible. I just love the idea of this game and how at first it looks like it may have taken place hundreds to thousands of year ago, but no, it actually takes place in the future. It seems like electricity has disappeared from the earth and we are now back in the stone age again. Oh yeah, and GIANT ROBOT DINOSAURS! Combine that with a badass female lead and this is currently my most anticipated game of 2016
Rob - Been a fan of Guerrilla Games for a while now and can't wait for this one. Female protagonist, great visuals, intriguing world, and slinging arrows. Sign me up. I'm a big fan of archery in games, must be that term I spent training with the Oxford Company of Archers. I love running around the Tomb Raider reboot and the Far Cry games with even just a basic bow, so I'm excited to see it take center stage. This could be a good'un.
Jeremy - Horizon- Zero Dawn: Guerrilla Games’ surprise title looked phenomenal. I love the look and feel if mankind being taken back to a primitive being while the “animals” become and embrace advanced technology. The visual duality of those aspects look to create a fresh and engaging adventure that I will be keeping a keen eye on from now until its launch.
Mike- We used to live in a world where Sony's console was overflowing with unique exclusives. Sadly, this go around of a new hardware generation hasn't exactly followed up with what I came to expect from PlayStation. However, Horizon: Zero Dawn has swung the pendulum back to the former. It looks gorgeous, unique, and pretty much has dinosaurs. What's not to love?
Travis - Everything about this game looks like Guerrilla Games is making one of the most unique and visually striking games on the PlayStation 4. From its narrative premise of taking place after the fall of humanity to its enemy design of a cross between dinosaurs and silicon chips make for one of the most interesting and new games revealed at E3.
Randy - I hate to be obvious. But in the same way that people reverently utter names like Sid Meier and Shigeru Miyamoto, I reverently utter the name Todd Howard, video game director at Bethesda. I was excited to hear about what he'd come up with for Fallout 4. But I had no idea. Getting down to the literal nuts and bolts of deconstruction—and then restructuring guns, armor, and homesteads in every way, shape, and form? Trust me: War has changed.
Sean Cahill - We knew about it before the show even started, but it was still fantastic to see all the information that came out about the next chapter in the Fallout series. Also, to see that it will be available this holiday season is the best piece of information we could have received from Bethesda. Bring it on, Fallout. It's time to dust off the Pip-Boys
Chapel - Nobody does open world like Bethesda. I was a big fan of Fallout 3, but it always felt like a less in-depth Elder Scrolls reskin to me. Fallout 4 looks like it will change that in a huge way. There are so many things about this game I'm looking forward to, from the settlement building to the voiced character. It appears to have kept all of the great things of Fallout 3, but added a whole lot more to make it what is, in my mind, a more fleshed out game than previous Fallouts
Mike - To be honest, I wasn't exactly sure what I was expecting going into Bethesda's conference. I knew Fallout 4 was going to be there, I knew we'd get to see gameplay, and I knew we'd get a 2015 release date. But what I didn't know was how awesome Fallout 4 is actually going to be. Building your own settlements, houses, and weapons from parts scavenged throughout the land showed me something I didn't even know I wanted from the Fallout franchise.
John - OK, this was rather easy. They showed so much at the press conference and everything looked spectacular. Using an updated Creation Engine that powered Skyrim, the game didn't graphically blow us out of the park, but the gameplay features it has did. From making every item in the world have a purpose to customizing your own weapon and armor, Fallout 4 looks like it has it all for us who want a great open world post-apocalyptic game.
Travis - From building your own settlements and houses to being able to scrap nearly every item in the environment for crafting equipment are just a few of the announced features in the upcoming Fallout 4. Everything about this game has me already planning to take a week of vacation come November.
Thoughts on our picks? Be sure to share them in the comments
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.