E3 2014 has drawn to a close, but that only means we can finally sit back and actually take in everything that happened. The press conferences and convention hall gave us a glimpse at what to expect for the rest of the year and beyond, but in this feature, GameSpot's editors share the moments that stood out the most. Here are our favorite moments from E3.
Interviewing Abzu's Creator - Thomas Mc Shea
In a lonely corner of the convention center, sitting cross-legged on the ground while hunched over in anticipation, I spoke to Matt Nava about his upcoming project, Abzu. To pick the mind of the artist who brought the sublime Journey to life, and hear about his profound ambitions in this upcoming PlayStation adventure, was a privilege I won't soon forget. This was one of my career highlights.
Evolve - Mark Walton
The Order: 1866 might have been the prettiest thing I saw at E3 this year, but Evolve was by the far the most fun. I certainly wasn't the only one to think so. The crowds gathered around the 2K booth were huge, and there were raucous cheers every time the Kraken laid waste to a team of hapless Hunters. I didn't get to take on the role of the Kraken myself (although a certain Mr. Hindes did), but playing as a Trapper class and going on the hunt it was clear how finely tuned and how much stupid fun Evolve's 4v1 multiplayer is. Can't wait.
Fantasia: Music Evolved - Kevin VanOrd
The Witcher III: Wild Hunt was my favorite game at E3 2014, but the most joy I had was playing Disney's Fantasia: Music Evolved M with a group of developers and other players. This was my first experience with Fantasia, and I can't believe it had taken me so long to play it. I felt at one with the music, waving my arms in time to the melodies and swaying to the rhythm. Harmonix was kind enough to let me play multiple classical tracks, and it was such a wonder to express my love of Tchaikovsky and Dvorak by mixing the music as it progressed and gesticulating all the while, as if weaving the notes together into a colorful tapestry of sound.
Devolver Digital's Showing - Alex Newhouse
My favorite thing at E3 wasn't even in the convention halls. It was across the street, in a parking lot, where publisher Devolver Digital had set up a bunch of trailers and had a barbecue. In each of those trailers was housed a couple developers and their game. After two hours, I had seen creativity, passion, and unbridled enthusiasm on a scale that I didn't think possible. There was no mainstream marketing--these developers simply loved making games, and they wanted to show off titles that were original and personal. It was striking, but above all else, it was encouraging. If the future of games is to be defined by the likes of Not A Hero, Titan Souls, and The Talos Principle, then we have a lot to be excited about.
The Convention Halls - Martin Gaston
The games industry is full of cynics, and, at time, I'm even one of them. But my favorite thing about E3? Every year, every single year, there is something special and fascinating about the show, pockets of magic between the aching fields of lights and sounds in the south and west halls. Every year I have a moment, smooshed between that opening barrage of endless press conferences and the exhaustion of the closing day, a moment where I just have to stop whatever I’m doing and just…video games.
Grim Fandango's Announcement - Justin Haywald
Working on the news desk, I'm constantly surrounded by so much rumor and speculation that very little at E3 comes as a genuine surprise. But the revival announcement during Sony's press conference of one of the greatest adventure games of all time, Grim Fandango, filled me with a moment of pure, child-like excitement. Sure, I'd rather be able to get the game DRM-free on Steam or GOG, but anything that allows people to experience this adventure gaming classic is OK by me.
Interviewing Lichdom Battlemage's Creator - Danny O'Dwyer
Before each stage demo I have a little chin-wag with our guest to help them get comfortable. Michael McMain, creator of Lichdom Battlemage is a man with some years on his face, so I thought to ask him about his career making games. To my surprise he told me he had none. CEO of a small but successful software company, and life-long fan of RPGs, he decided to change industries rather dramatically. He took on some developers, and with the help of his team of engineers they crafted his dream game; one where his favorite character class is all powerful. His smile as we started our interview reminded me of why we were all at E3.
The Halo Master Chief Collection - Eddie Makuch
My favorite thing at E3 was the official announcement of the Master Chief Collection for Xbox One. Halo is one of my most favorite franchises and I can't wait to play Halo 1-4 again in bright, shiny 1080p/60fps with multiplayer powered by dedicated servers. Sure, it would have been nice for Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach to be there as well, but it's clear Microsoft is not cutting any corners with bringing the compilation pack to market on November 11. The icing on the cake? The bundle includes beta access to Halo 5: Guardians. How sweet is that?
Fantasia: Music Evolved - Zorine Te
My favorite thing at E3 was frantically flailing my limbs to remixed classical musical at my final appointment of the show, Disney's Fantasia. The music invigorated and inspired me, giving life to what was formerly a worn out convention-goer. Multiplayer proved even more entertaining, especially when Kevin VanOrd accidentally smacked me on the shoulder in his enthusiasm.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain - Peter Brown
I got to see a 35-minute demo of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, which was far and away my favorite E3 moment. After watching the dark cinematic trailer during Sony's press conference, I was expecting the in-game demo to present itself in a similar tone, but I should have known better. The demo was full of hilarious moments, and while I can understand why the juxtaposition of silly and serious might not work for everyone, it’s one of my favorite aspects of the series, so I was very happy to see it again in The Phantom Pain.
Night in the Woods - Carolyn Petit
The highlight of my E3 was the 20 minutes that I spent playing Night in the Woods, a story-driven adventure game in which you play as Mae, a cat whose world is changing whether she wants it to or not. If the brief section I played accurately reflects the entire game, Night in the Woods could be a disarmingly sincere, funny, sad, and truthful adventure that anyone who has ever reluctantly had to grow up can relate to.
No Man's Sky - Randolph Ramsay
I remember watching No Man's Sky during the Sony press conference with my mouth agape. This was audacious, I thought, as I marveled at the sheer scope and ambition driving the creation of this game. Will it be able to live up to its potential? We'll have to wait to find out, but feelings of pure awe are becoming rare at E3, so I'll treasure every one that comes my way.
The Press Conferences - Maxwell McGee
You guys reading at home don't get to see this, but the press conference day before E3 is always such an exciting, energetic time in the GameSpot war room. We all gather around the monitors to cheer, bemoan, make snarky comments about, and otherwise obsess over each announcement and what it means for the gaming industry. Everyone gets involved--including our international editors--and it's a fun, collaborative experience.
Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor - Daniel Hindes
Playing Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor was easily my highlight of the show. There are few games at E3 that actually floor you with the implications of the new ideas they attempt--usually it's more like you're getting blasted by loud noise and pretty graphics for 20 minutes. But Shadow of Mordor looks smart, despite it being right next to a Mortal Kombat game in which I saw a man's testicles explode.
Evolve - Chris Watters
The open world of The Witcher III. The escalating mayhem of Far Cry 4. The gut-wrenching trailer for The Division. A lot of games impressed me at E3 2014, but my favorite was one I'd already played. My few matches of Evolve had already convinced me that the game was something special, so when I stole away from our stage show to get in a few more, I was thrilled. I wreaked utter havoc as the Kraken. I slew the towering beast as a hunter. October can't come soon enough.
What did you you most enjoy about this year's E3? Let us know in the comments below. And for even more E3 coverage, check out our E3 hub page.