Every year while at E3 we keep our eyes open for the best, keep our ears open to what everyone is talking about, and with the help of hands on time with things we can pick the best of the best. This year was a little bit lighter on the online gaming front so we expanded our horizons to include major titles that we wouldn’t normally cover. For this reason the best of E3 this year might look a little bit funny for a site that focuses entirely on online gaming. What did we think was the best at E3 this year? Continue reading to find out.
There were plenty of virtual reality machines at E3 2015, but the Virtuix Omni takes VR a step further for the ultimate immersion experience. Being able to see in 3D is one thing, and being able to physically move through a virtual world is another altogether.
The Virtuix Omni uses a special platform, harness, shoes, and tracking pods to sense exactly what the player is doing. That means it can tell whether a player is moving forward, backwards, strafing or even jumping. Combining a full 360-degree environment with current VR technology delivers one of the most immersive experiences to date. This is an exciting step in right direction for interactive gaming.
It amazes me how games from different genres can influence each other. When the original Halo: Combat Evolved released, it revolutionized arena-style FPS multiplayer. And when Halo 2 dropped, it mastered online matchmaking. To this day, when I think of Halo, I think of hardcore arena multiplayer. But in the last two years, a new titan has ascended the multiplayer throne: MOBAs. Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas like DotA 2 and League of Legends have become some of the most popular and profitable video games in the world. And 343 Industries seems to have taken notice. Halo 5: Guardians’ new Warzone multiplayer mode features MOBA-style levels, objectives, and team fights. Not only does it work, it works extremely well.
Without giving too much away, Halo 5: Guardians was the best new multiplayer experience at E3, hands down. When I heard 343 Industries would be replacing Bungie as the official Halo studio, I was worried. But after Halo 4’s incredible story, the Master Chief Collection’s beautiful remaster, and Halo 5’s engaging multiplayer, I have no more doubts. Take my money, Microsoft. You earned it.
Imagine playing Minecraft on your coffee table, or, better yet, imagine looking through Master Chief’s HUD while walking through a corridor. What you’re imagining is the Microsoft Hololens. Not quite a virtual reality headset, the Hololens creates an augmented reality, limited only by designers’ imaginations.
The reveal floored me as I watched it from LAX, but playing with it blew my mind. Step aside Oculus. Microsoft is here.
For a lot of fans, Fallout 4 was a myth–an elusive ghost that existed in vapors, hiding in our peripherals. In the years before its official announcement, the title gained notoriety in forums. People wanted a follow-up to Fallout 3; they wanted a second act to Skyrim. They begged for news, and Bethesda remained silent. Over time, the project and its absent release date had become an internet joke, akin to the running “Half-Life 3 is coming!” meme. But Fallout 4 was not coming, it seemed. Not for a long time, if ever.
In the last week of May, Bethesda reserved the Dolby Theatre (the Academy Awards stage) for their first-ever E3 presentation; they booked Adam Sessler and Morgan Webb (the former X-Play hosts) to broadcast exclusive coverage. And On June 2, they released a doomsday clock, a twenty-four hour countdown timer, replacing the existing Fallout.com. When the clock struck zero, Bethesda dropped a bomb: a three-minute glimpse at the Boston ruins. Fallout 4 was not just coming, it was almost here. And it is easily the most anticipated game of E3.
Although it’s been awhile since the last rendition of Doom was released, the series has always been at the pinnacle of FPS perfection. The original game helped revolutionize 3D shooters while Doom 3 surpassed graphical expectations for its time. From what I saw at Bethesda’s showcase, the remake isn’t going to disappoint either.
The graphics are stunning, the combat is brutal and possibly one of the best map editors ever was teased. There’s nothing quite like going straight to Hell and showing the demons who the real badass is. Thankfully, id didn’t succumb to the next-generation FPS fad and is keeping it old school; that means no regenerating health or weapon restrictions. Doom truly looks like the most impressive shooter that we’ve seen in years.
It seems like every MOBA that’s been released recently is just a different take on the same old formula. That being said, it was a nice change of pace to see something new this year with Supernova. Instead of removing the RTS elements, which most MOBAs tend to minimize, Supernova embraces its roots and integrates army-building strategies into its core design.
Not only do players have control over customizing and upgrading their army but they can also adapt it to their enemy’s playstyle on the fly. Furthermore, Supernova is already well polished and a very functional game while still only in the alpha stage. It’s likely that once the game is finally released we will have an excellent product and a revolutionary MOBA on our hands.
While not the best multiplayer experience at E3 (by a very short margin), EA’s Star Wars: Battlefront booth was easily the best showpiece. After standing (and sitting) in line for over an hour, the booth’s doors opened, and I found myself on Hoth, awaiting orders from Admiral Ackbar. The first room was a snow corridor; R2-D2 stood guard. The second room was a broadcast station. A Rebel pilot stood in the back with C-3PO. Admiral Ackbar gave a speech, and we rushed through the final double doors to the play test arena.
I have been a die-hard Star Wars fan my entire life. You can see it sometimes in my writing and my films. Standing on a flight deck next to C-3PO and receiving a debriefing from Ackbar was a childhood dream come true. I was so excited, I played terribly. No wonder the Rebels lost Hoth; it was fought by giddy E3 nerds.
There are all kinds of online card games out there these days, butHex surprised a lot of people when it raised nearly $2.3 million back in 2013. What separates Hex from the rest of the TCG market is the merging of card game and MMO. Not only is there a large dedication to PvP, but PvE is an integral part of the game as well.
In most card games the campaign simply functions as a tutorial or a way to earn a few free packs, however, Hex promises to bring raid-level PvE and a compelling story to its game. Furthermore, most cards and items can be bought with currency earned in game or by trading with others players on the auction house. If implemented correctly, Hex will have all the complexity of table-top card games but with none of the restrictions.
Even though there were quite a few good MMOs at E3 this year, I feel that ArenaNet truly brought its A-game with Guild Wars 2this year. They’ve been listening to the players and doing their best to bring about dynamic changes to the core of the game.
Not only did they show an exciting new take on the guild system, but they also announced pre-orders for Heart of Thorns at the show; that means the official launch shouldn’t be too much longer. The updates to traits, new class and subclasses, and guild halls should definitely make Tyria a more exciting place. The showing at E3 only solidified their place as one of the best AAA MMOs on the market and left us eager to get into Heart of Thorns.
It’s hard for a highly anticipated game to meet fan standards, let alone to surpass them. Fallout 4 did not just meet expectations, it gave us gifts we never knew we wanted. Yes, the graphics don’t look incredible. But the rich story, the infinite item and armor customization options, the dense scenery, and the new survival modes more than make up for them. Fallout is once again the ultimate sandbox. Players can choose to complete quests, wander the wastes, or stay home and build a fortress. The implementation of electrical circuitry takes home customization to a new (inconceivable) level, and giving fans the ability use real-life mobile devices for Pip-boys is a stoke of genius.
When I imagine the design plan for Fallout 4, I see a seven-year-old with a notebook. “Wouldn’t it be cool if we could make a supercharged scattershot nuclear laser pistol with a scope and a grenade launcher? And then make a five-story mansion with a Nuka Cola machine, minigun turrets, barbed wire, 50s furniture, and a giant Pip-boy sign that shoots fire? And then run around with our dog best-friend and kill super mutants and rat things? Yeah. That’s be cool.”
Bethesda has lot of imagination, and Fallout 4 was the most imaginative game of E3. Even though it isn’t an MMO we really have to give it to Bethesda, video games will never be the same.
Agree with our picks? Disagree? Let us know in the comments below what you would have picked. Keep an eye on MMOGames as we continue our E3 coverage.