A Few of the Best Games You May Have Missed at E3

Hidden gems.

If it seems like E3 has a tendency to get dominated by the biggest announcements and the flashiest blockbuster game demos, that's probably because it does. But don't take that to mean that's all there is to the show. There are plenty of awesome games that get lost in the shuffle; you just have to dig a little to find them. So why don't we save you the work and share some of our favorite games you may have missed from E3 2014...

Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris.

Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris (PC, PS4, Xbox One)

During Microsoft's press conference at E3 last week, a dramatic trailer debuted for Rise of the Tomb Raider, the sequel to the excellent 2012 reboot of Lara Croft's adventures. But while the younger, less experienced Lara who stars in these games is getting most of the attention, the confident, dual-pistol-wielding treasure hunter of the early Tomb Raider games is still doing her thing. I got a chance to play Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, the follow-up to the cooperative downloadable game Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, and came away with the impression that it's not messing with its predecessor's fast-paced, winning formula; you solve environmental puzzles, engage in some explosive combat (the bombs are still a highlight), and try to outrun and evade all kinds of deadly hazards. And like in the previous game, there are still plenty of spectacular opportunities to grief your friends, "accidentally" catching them in one of your bomb blasts or retracting your grappling hook just when they're using it to walk over a pit of spikes. Oops! -- Carolyn Petit

[Read our full E3 preview]

EVE Valkyrie (PC, PS4)

EVE Valkyrie.

The space-combat sim EVE Valkyrie is a near perfect example of how to create an experience that works seamlessly in VR, and it's not just because the developer, CCP Games, has taken the necessary technical steps to ensure it plays nicely with VR headsets. From the flow of the UI to your abilities as an embattled fighter pilot in space, EVE Valkyrie is designed and balanced around the possibilities and limitations of head-mounted displays such as Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus. The physical relativity between the real and in-game world is nearly spot-on when you're seated and equipped with a positional-tracked HMD, and when you start to get the hang of using your sight line to lock onto enemies while keeping your ship on course, it sinks in: you're enveloped in Valkyrie's fictional skirmishes in ways that wouldn't be possible without the immersion of VR. It's a beautiful and engaging game that's full of tense dogfights, and given that it began as a player-versus-player experience, it's fair to say it may be the first VR game to get a foothold in competitive gaming. -- Peter Brown

[Watch our full E3 stage demo]

Elite: Dangerous.

Elite: Dangerous (PC)

Like EVE Valkyrie, Elite: Dangerous is a space sim that supports Oculus Rift. But unlike EVE Valkyrie, Elite: Dangerous isn't purpose-built for VR headsets. With this game, it's better to think of Rift as an additive experience. There's already a broad foundation of space exploration, combat, and trading; a VR headset will simply immerse you that much deeper into the moment. Luckily, that foundation looks wonderful. Elite: Dangerous is an unabashedly complex game, one full of opportunities for economic shenanigans and interstellar dogfighting. It's the sort of game where successfully docking your ship in a space station is cause for mild celebration, and one where you can easily find yourself lost in the depths of space if you're not careful. As the spiritual successor to 1984's Elite, its heritage goes back a long way--but there's nothing antiquated about this game's ambitions. -- Shaun McInnis

[Watch our full E3 stage demo]

Citizens of Earth (PC, PS4, Vita, Wii U, 3DS)

Citizens of Earth.

Citizens of Earth is shaping up to be a really special role-playing game. For starters, you play as the vice president of Earth and spend your time recruiting conspiracy theorists, bodybuilders, and other offbeat characters to join your party. These recruits fight for you in battle--you are a politician, after all--and each has his or her own special abilities for you to manage. The backdrop is an Americana setting with a goofy sense of similar to EarthBound, one of the 16-bit era's best Japanese role-playing games. Plus, it's coming to almost every major platform later this year, so there's no reason why Citizens of Earth shouldn't get your vote. -- Maxwell McGee

[Read our full E3 preview]

Lords of the Fallen.

Lords of the Fallen (PC, PS4, Xbox One)

I was able to play Lords of the Fallen and talk to its creative director, and I realized that developers Deck13 and CI Games are building something very interesting. It is not just a Dark Souls clone, although it has difficult combat and huge monsters. It is not just an action role-playing game, even though it has deep character progression and non-player character interactions. The developers are making a personal, branching story that forces you to make morally ambiguous decisions. Open combat arenas allow you to choose your own path and approach each battle differently. Streamlined menus, progression, and battles allow the game to be hard but not punishing. I was never able to get into Dark Souls, but Lords of the Fallen might provide the long, rewarding RPG I've been seeking. -- Alex Newhouse

[Read our full E3 preview]

Styx: Master of Shadows (PC)

Styx: Master of Shadows.

A stealth game is only as good as the sum of its parts, only as rewarding as the systems that intertwine to create the situations you must stealth your way through. In Styx: Master of Shadows, you can sneak, sense when enemies are nearby, hide in nooks and crannies, and perform a handful of other stealth actions. You can also vomit out a clone of yourself and control it like some gastrointestinally distressed puppet master. Switching between Styx's clone and Styx himself allows you to distract, circumnavigate, or vanquish pesky guards in a number of clever and gruesome ways, and the verticality of the levels gives you even more strategic options. Add to that a sizable tree of unlockable abilities to compound your underhanded arsenal, and you've got an intriguing array of systems that could conspire to make something special. -- Chris Watters

[Read our full E3 preview]

Natural Doctrine.

Natural Doctrine (PS4, PS3, Vita)

I have one major problem with natural selection: If only the strongest survive, where does that leave the rest of us? Natural Doctrine's emphasis is on your tactical acumen rather than your brain, and if you're like me, it's especially humbling to be outsmarted by an opponent. Drawing inspiration from the XCOM and Fire Emblem franchises, Natural Doctrine pits your squad against either human- or AI-controlled forces, and the turn-based battles that ensue urge you to plan for all foreseeable consequences lest you become overwhelmed by those who are better tacticians than you. The hook is a linking system in which you can earn some major boosts by joining your teammates together. Using this ability wisely lets you heal the entire group or switch whose turn it is to fight, and as you and your opponent devise the best ways to take advantage of linking, it's sure to be a hellacious fight to the end. Darwinian law is fine and dandy until you're on the losing end. -- Tom Mc Shea

[Read our full E3 Preview]

Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age (PC, PS4, Xbox One)

Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age.

I admit that at this point, I'm more intrigued by what I've been told about Crytek's cooperative third-person shooter Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age than by what I've seen of it. Set in the late 1800s, Hunt lets you create your own monster hunter and team up with friends to track down and eliminate monstrosities hiding in the more shadowy sections of the world. The character customization system sounds great: there are no defined classes, so you can mix and match weapons, abilities, and visual characteristics however you like, creating a sophisticated shotgun-toting lady from London's upper crust or an American Southerner with a penchant for crossbows. And you actually do have to hunt your prey in Hunt, completing randomly generated missions in the randomly generated environments to get a lead on the location of whatever folklore-inspired horror you happen to be tracking down. No cooperative shooter since Left 4 Dead 2 has been quite as enjoyable for me. Hunt seems like it has a chance of reaching those same heights. -- Carolyn Petit

[Read our full E3 Preview]

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Discussion

62 comments
spielchen-maker
spielchen-maker

Im waiting for vew titles: Hunt from Crytek, new Tomb Raider from Crystal Dnamics and for Lords of the Fallen. We know what the first two company can do, but we not so sure of CI talents. With Lords they can show us how they grown in strenght and that they can learn on his own mistakes.

ledzaid
ledzaid

theres a lot of games here. but my eyes are on natural doctrine.

LordKaizer
LordKaizer

and nothing of value have been lost.

Bumblebee1138
Bumblebee1138

The one in the screenshot of Natural Doctrine looks like an Asari from Mass Effect.

Dark_Rage
Dark_Rage

It's about time they announced release date for Lords of the Fallen.

g1rldraco7
g1rldraco7

Lords of the Fallen has my full attention.

Mr_AJ
Mr_AJ

Shadow Warrior on PS4?

Not to sound like a broken record.

xSagez
xSagez

Hunter: The Reckoning? What a good game.

Hurvl
Hurvl

I actually knew about all of them already and am looking forward to several of them, which is quite unusual when these kinds of summary articles come up. Hunt, Styx and especially Lords of the Fallen look very promising.

greenshadow222
greenshadow222

So - is single player dead then??  I guess I no one wants my money any more.  Good way to get rid of women gamers like me who have friends that don't game, old gamers and people who can't afford to replace their console before it's broken.  Funny thing is I know only two people total who have the new consoles.  I guess no one wants their money either.  I would beef up my PC if there were single player games to buy but it doesn't sound like there will be so I won't. 

focuspuller
focuspuller

I couldn't help but noticed that all but one of those game will be on PC! Can't wait!

meowstan
meowstan

Hunt: Heroes of the Gilded Age sounds pretty BA! I haven't heard anything about this so I will definitely be keeping an eye on this in hopes it will be a grisly fairytale version of L4D!

varmintx
varmintx

An homage to Earthbound?  Well, I'd probably rather get a legal copy of Mother 3, but sure, why not.

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

Yep, I completely missed all of these. And I can't say I'm bothered in the slightest.

Sorry.

eternal_napalm
eternal_napalm

That Lords of the Fallen screen looks great. Reminds me of a next-gen screen from Dark Souls' Artorias of the Abyss

woodyfr
woodyfr

Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris ?

From what I've seen in your live video some missions are exactly the same than in the first

game. Buy the original you won't be disappointed.

Kinguard73
Kinguard73

Other than Elite: Dangerous most of this was a yawn fest. Then again takes a lot to make me say wow anymore.

Goron24
Goron24

Most of these look awesome. I will need to keep an eye on them


KerrinScott
KerrinScott

McShea,

You need to re-read _Origin of Species_ 

Survival of the fittest does not mean BIGGEST, STRONGEST, FASTEST. Those are helpful traits for many large carnivores, sure. Survival of the fittest refers to the concept of biological fitness -- the culmination of many adaptations that allow for survival within the environment due to increasing reproductive success. 

Pro-Tip: Most of the Earth's most successful species are not super strong, super fast, meat-eating, carnivorous beasts of destruction.

VakarianGirl
VakarianGirl

Would've it been too much to ask for a note of which platforms these titles are releasing on??

exitdk
exitdk

Styx looks like a "steampunk" version of Of Orcs & Men.. The guy looking at the camera looks exactly like the stealth guy from Of Orcs & Men.. Hopefully the combat is better than in Of Orcs & Men though. Most of these look really solid though, hopefully they're all pretty good. 

snk0610
snk0610

Ori and the Blind Forest!


When of the most interesting games at E3 show!

geniobastardo
geniobastardo

Styx:Master of shadows looks cool imo. Better than Thief at least.

hystavito
hystavito

@KerrinScott Yes but the statement kinda has its own meaning in common usage, even though it may not be accurate to the original science.

TomMcShea
TomMcShea moderator

@KerrinScott I love getting into a scientific discussion in our comments. It's so rare! I do understand that survival of the fittest goes beyond physical strength. That's why I talked about mental fortitude in my write-up.

Deadlysyns87
Deadlysyns87

@KerrinScott Most are Viruses and single Cell Organisms. 

Sl4cka
Sl4cka

@VakarianGirl Most of their videos from E3 don't mention the platforms either, so I wouldn't count on it.

shaunmc
shaunmc moderator staff

@snk0610 We're assuming you probably didn't "miss" that game since it won a Best of E3 award from us :)

newhaus1994
newhaus1994 moderatorstaff

@snk0610 These are supposed to be "mid-tier" games, the indie article has Ori in it.

KerrinScott
KerrinScott

@TomMcShea @KerrinScott

...except it has very little, if anything, to do with mental fortitude either. Though perhaps in an ancillary way if you're discussing mental fortitude as a driving force that impacts our ability to survive and disseminate our genetic material into the environment.

...that's not Darwinian evolution in specific, though.

I'm not trying to be pedantic here. And though I disagree with you more often than not, I'm not trying to argue. You misspoke, and though this is a gaming site, it's a critical error that continues to be perpetuated. And since you seem to pursue a more philosophical and analytical paradigm when you review games, I would think that basically reinforcing a critical misunderstanding of the primary theory of biology is something you might want to correct.

I'm sure this will be viewed as me being elitist or professorial, but that's absolutely not my intention. And I didn't intend to demean or denigrate you, though I realize now that's how my opening statement was probably perceived. It was intended to be ever-so-slightly tongue in cheek. 

Darwin didn't author a law; he authored a theory that underpins our comprehensive understanding of how geographic isolation can drive physiological change through mutation that results in organisms becoming more well adapted to reproduce, successfully, within their environment.

I just felt your summation was lacking in clarity and precision.

I do apologize for my, uh, curtness though. I realize you get a lot of flack in the forums, and I wasn't trying to contribute to that here. 

...though I may have once or twice when you were raging about realism and our de-sensitization to the finality of death when considering CoD or something.

I think, at the core of it all, you're a thoughtful and insightful reviewer. This just happens to be a very deep, very personal, very relevant peeve.


KerrinScott
KerrinScott

@Deadlysyns87

That's correct. Viruses make up a disproportionate number of the sum total of species on Earth (if we're counting them as such *grin*). And the remnants of viral strands in our DNA are the likely catalysts of much of our own evolution; they provide the raw material, in a manner of speaking.

nandosmc
nandosmc

@Rayzakk @sleepyinmorning It just started!

Rayzakk
Rayzakk

@nandosmc and I didn't know Dead Rising 3 was coming to pc either.

Rayzakk
Rayzakk

@sleepyinmorning I've finished all of the 1st Dark Souls dlc and I don't believe that's from it at all.  I don't recognize any of the armor or the enemy.  It's also much higher detail than Dark Souls provided unless it would be using a resolution patch (which it looks better than Dark Souls even with the rezfix). 

Rayzakk
Rayzakk

@Deadlysyns87 @Rayzakk @sleepyinmorning What I just finished reading about it complained about the camera too.  It's worth watching, but won't get to excited just because it looks similar to Dark Souls.