The most exciting time for gaming has come and gone, and it’s time for our choice for E3 Game of Show. After a tremendous effort from the Screen Critics writers’ coverage of the event, we’ve handpicked our personal favorite games that were on display at the conferences. While E3 2017 lacked the big surprise reveals that imprinted last years E3 conferences in history, it still delivered a handful of great showcases through either gameplay or spectacular trailers that left us yearning to see more and finally have these titles in our hands.
Before we announce our pick for Game of Show, we’ll cycle through our honorable mentions of games that rose to the occasion and left an impact on us.
Dragon Ball FighterZ
Microsoft’s E3 show was jam-packed with an assortment of amazing reveals, from new IP’s to familiar franchises – but one stood out among the rest for myself and writer Misael Duran as runner-ups. Dragon Ball FighterZ is an upcoming 2D arcade fighter from developer Arc System Works, who are veterans in the fighting genre for their BlazBlue and Guilty Gear series’. After the RPG approach to the Dragon Ball universe with the Xenoverse games, fans were left wondering when Dragon Ball would be brought back to its glory days of PvP fighting. Arc System Works seem to have taken it one step further, however, as the game looks gloriously nostalgic and clearly draws inspiration from the chaotic 3v3 battles of Marvel v Capcom. It’s an extremely welcoming breath of fresh air for the series and looks like a heap of fun.
The Evil Within 2
For our writer Zak Brown, The Evil Within 2 stole E3 as he named it his personal pick for Game of Show. Bethesda’s solid, albeit short-lived, conference wrapped up with two new titles; Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus and The Evil Within 2, which are shockingly set for release towards the end of this year. The Evil Within 2 acts as a direct sequel to the original, and looks gorgeously sinister in its execution. The loopy CGI trailer appears to draw some influence from the off-kilter psychological scares of the Silent Hill series, while a very brief glimpse of gameplay was shown towards the end. It’s very much in the vein of the original and looks to ramp up the horror factor. We can’t wait to get our hands on it on October 13, 2017.
Super Mario Odyssey
Nintendo’s digital show was a blast, one-upping its two competitors by expanding upon games that were already announced along with a couple of neat and very unexpected surprises (Metroid Prime 4!). However, the game that stood out for Screen Critics writers Joe Brichetto, Misael Duran, and Zak Brown was the extensive gameplay of Super Mario Odyssey, which Nintendo hopes to capitalize on as being the first true next-gen Mario title and also the first open-ended world since Super Mario Sunshine. Odyssey injects the series with some neat new gameplay mechanics while remaining faithful to the core experience of Super Mario. It’s a visually colourful, impressive selling point for the Switch and one that marks a big step forward for Nintendo.
The Last Night
Our editor-in-chief, Shaun Kelly, greatly favours The Last Night as his runner up, a visually stunning cinematic platformer from new developer Odd Tales. The game blends pixel art on the backdrop of a jaw-dropping 2.5D vision of a chaotic, almost apocalyptic dystopian future presumably set in the night only. Stealth and observant exploration seems to be vital in the gameplay, and from the brief moments of turmoil, point to some devastating emotional highs that may be in store for us. Heralded as one of the biggest selling points for the Xbox One X (also confirmed to run at 4K 60fps), The Last Night should be a unique experience and a delightful treat for the eyes when it arrives in 2018.
Shadow of the Colossus Remake
It’s no secret that Shadow of the Colossus is my favorite game of all time, so when Sony, in collaboration with Bluepoint Studios, announced a ground-up remake of the beloved PlayStation 2 classic, I was ecstatic. Team ICO doesn’t seem to be directly involved in this remake, but Bluepoint have done a commendable job in the past of bringing both Ico and Shadow of the Colossus to the PlayStation 3 in an HD remaster and not to mention their work on the Uncharted: Nathan Drake Collection. The forbidden lands look as enticing to explore as ever, and thanks to upgraded graphics, the colossi are equally as menacing as they are incredibly gorgeous to behold. This quickly hopped up on my list of most anticipated releases of 2018, and I simply cannot wait to revisit this colossal masterpiece again.
SCREEN CRITICS GAME OF SHOW
Sony’s E3 conference this year is still a hot topic of debate for many who were left impressed with the line-up of games, and others who felt Sony played it too safe and lacked the punch of the previous years. What most can agree on, though, is the extraordinary gameplay showcase of Insomniac Games’ upcoming Spider-Man that closed off the conference, which looks to reinvigorate the webslingers image in the gaming industry in a big way. The gameplay on display blended elements of stealth – or more accurately, very creative uses of stealth – and combat that plays to the strengths of Spider-Man’s agility and quick reflexes. The second half of the showcase took to the city in a massive helicopter chase that appeared to ripped right out of a big-budget Hollywood movie – and it floored us, wise-cracking comments and all. But what truly stood out was the bombastic nature of its elaborate and quite ingenious action sequences. Players will have to perfectly time button prompts to pull off some daring acrobatic moves only Spider-Man could, including preventing a helicopter from plummeting to the city streets by creating an intricate web nest in real-time. As the closer of the conference, Sony has a lot riding on this exclusive to hit home with audiences, but rest assured, we’re already caught in its web.