Brian’s Best in Show – E3 2018

No, it's not late, shut up, you're not my real dad

Ok ok, so E3 was last month. But hey, we beat the crowds, so now if you want to hear about the best games we saw in LA a few weeks ago, you’re stuck with some Kiwis and immigrated-Kiwis telling you what’s what.

Enjoy!

 

Cyberpunk 2077

Get me a cyber-towel because I’m still cyber-drooling. My deep and abiding love for CD Projekt Red is in no way hidden, but I’m also super into cyberpunk as a genre, so this is right up my cyber-alley.

Cyberpunk 2077 looks fantastic, with unique RPG elements alongside the more traditional stuff we expect from the style. Beautiful visuals and a kick-ass soundtrack certainly won’t hurt either. My only concern is that the implants look too sleek and clean; not to the same level as something like Deus Ex, but my brand of cyberpunk is gritty and dark. While there are elements of that here, and I can understand not wanting to make your protagonist into a patchwork monster, it’s a minor issue for me.

Who am I kidding, I’m trying to find something to pick at here. The gameplay looks amazing, character customisation is deep with a capital D, and you know it’s going to be phenomenal. Best in Show, hands (and mechanised scythe arms) down.

 

Fallout 76

I don’t especially like multiplayer, always online games. They’re just not my thing, and it’s not what I play Fallout for. But damned if this doesn’t look epic.

The trailer and brief glimpses of gameplay were all I needed to get hyped. It’s rare I say a word against Bethesda anyway, as they just seem to get me, but most if not all of my worries were washed away as I watched Todd explain the depth and uniqueness of Fallout 76.

Have I already ordered the edition with a power armour helmet? Of course I have. Don’t judge me.

 

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

I love me some old school Hellenism, and I also love Assassin’s Creed. But here’s the thing, does anyone else remember Spartan: Total Warrior, the action spin-off from Rome: Total War? No? I’m not surprised, not many people seemed to like it. I, however, loved it, and got an incredible hit of nostalgia while playing Odyssey at E3.

While this is set before even Origins, and won’t feature the iconic hidden blade, the two missions I played through were intensely enjoyable. I’m also very pleased that the Ubisoft people loved my sleeve tattoo, because if they hadn’t recognised Desmond’s tattoo when they saw it, that would have been weird.

There’s a lot going on, and we’re a long way from the days of PRESS TRIANGLE TO WIN with the intensity of combat I saw. Not only that, but with male and female protagonists coming back, as well as a decent dose of humour, and the new direction the series is heading in, I’m confident this will be among the best that AC has ever been.

Again, I’ve ordered the Medusa Edition. No judgement.

 

Days Gone

Another zombie game, eh? Well, kinda, but also not really. I wasn’t super up for this one, but after playing a mission I am all about it.

Days Gone isn’t just another zombie game. It’s got a story I cared about, mechanics that feel natural, a great element of human danger, and needs that seem, well, realistic; my mission was about getting to a garage for supplies, and damned if that’s not something I’d actually need to do when and if the dead started living again.

With limited but not terrifyingly low ammunition, an emphasis on melee and stealth, and some really interesting zombie designs (the little baby ones move like spiders and are PETRIFYING), it brought me right back to my first time with Resident Evil 2. It was fun. It’ll be a blast.

 

Pokemon Let’s Go

Me. A Switch. A Nintendo tech guy. A Pokeball Plus. A booth at E3.

I am well established as a Pokemon nerd, not only for my Eeveelution tattoo or my Trading Card Game Professorship, but also because I’ve been playing these things for decades. The demo took place entirely within Viridian Forest which, even for me, instilled a lot of nostalgia right off the bat. A team of Pikachu, Charmander, Squirtle, Bulbasaur, and Eevee (the best one) was waiting for me to give the order to slaughter their kin for Pokedollars and GLORY. So we did.

It looked and felt great, and though it was over all too quickly, the ten minutes I spent wrecking Bug Catchers was a blast. I’m looking forward to reliving 1998 very soon.

 

Earthfall

Haven’t heard of Earthfall? Not surprising; neither had I. Developed by Holospark, this at first appears to be Left 4 Dead meets XCom and, well, it kinda is. But it was easily the most fun I had playing anything at E3 2018, and I cannot wait for other people to get their hands on it and see what I mean.

The founder and CEO of Holospark walked me through my session, talking about their passion for games like this, and what they wanted to do differently. That man seriously cares about what he does, and the enthusiasm was infectious. Moreover, the game itself is insanely fun, even if I managed to break immersion by finding a thoroughly overpowered gun, which was killing bosses in a single shot.

Rusty, if you’re reading this, don’t patch it. I mean, you said you have to, but do you REALLY have to?

Find out if the Valkyrie has stopped being the most fun weapon in gaming history, and why I loved this game so goddam much, when Earthfall releases later this year.

 

Ghost of Tsushima

OK, so I’m not that bright, and I initially thought the whole thing was a cutscene. Ghost of Tsushima borrows from God of War, The Witcher, The Last of Us, and looks comfortably as good as the sum of its parts. If you’re thinking NiOh but without the demons, you’re pretty far off. The grounded history, minimal UI, thoroughly beautiful design, and passion behind the projecy blew me away, and I firmly believe this will be one about the history books, for the history books. 

Sure, the word dynamic was thrown around far too much, but I can’t blame them for being excited. It looks awesome.

 

So there you have it. Only a month late, this is what I thought of E3. Feel free to rage at me that I’m a fanboy, or wrong, but I am confident that all of these games will be phenomenal. Trust me. I’m a games journalist.

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