Most Anticipated Games of E3 2016
This year's E3 appears to be one of the most thrilling shows yet. With hundreds of games already set for their grand reveal, we're eager to finally discover what's in store. That's why we've compiled an exhaustive list of our most anticipated games. Click ahead to see what we've chosen.
What games are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments below!
Final Fantasy XV
Final Fantasy XV might seem like a strange contender for "most anticipated" at E3. After all, the long-in-development RPG is coming out this year, and we've already gotten two playable demos. But with so much left to learn about the game's mechanics and world, it feels like there's never too much Final Fantasy. Even with a tie-in movie, anime, and mobile game, Final Fantasy XV is a game that has the potential to steal the show for Square Enix. From what we've played so far, the combat and voice-acting are already excellent--anything more we get to see at E3 is just icing on the hype cake.
Resident Evil 2 Remake
Since Capcom officially announced the Resident Evil 2 Remake in August last year, we have seen neither hide nor hair of this game. The developer has confirmed that the game will be a complete remake "from the ground up," but beyond that, we have no other information on it. We have so many burning questions that remain unaddressed--what engine will the game be running? Will the fixed camera angles return? What will our main characters Claire and Leon look like? What about playing the game in a different character order, will players be given that option too? What platforms will this game be released for? We have hopes that this game will be given the same remake treatment the first Resident Evil went under. If there is to be no gameplay reveal at this year's E3, even a few screenshots would give an idea of what to expect.
The Legend of Zelda
It's been two years since Eiji Aonuma and Shigeru Miyamoto showed The Legend of Zelda for Wii U, or at least, the game as it existed in 2014. It retreated from the limelight following that reveal. Yes, minor details have trickled out in tweets and offhand comments on the creators' parts, but apart from rumors or conjecture on the part of its creators or longtime series fans, news had run dry. But with Nintendo's promise to show the title at this year's E3, excitement is mounting again. There are still an abundance of questions (how the title might be divided between the Wii U and the mysterious NX console, how "open-world" the game will really be, and when we'll finally get to play it) but if all goes well, those gaps might be filled in just a matter of days.
Watch Dogs 2
Few things are as certain as a sequel to a triple-A Ubisoft game. The thirty-year-old publisher tends to bet big on new IP and iterate and iterate until franchise fatigue becomes virtually criminal. But crucial to that formula is a breakthrough sequel in the series; for Assassin's Creed it was 2 or Brotherhood, for Far Cry it was 3, for Rayman it was Legends.
Whether the sequel to Watch Dogs manages to be the series' leap forward remains to be seen. Its predecessor delivered a (mostly) excellent living city, but otherwise couldn't quite stand out. There were nevertheless signs that series developer Ubisoft Montreal has a platform upon which it can build its ideas from. At E3 Ubisoft will have its chance to show whether fans were right to maintain faith in the series.
When Koei's Nioh re-debuted at last year's Tokyo Game Show after nearly a decade of being absent from trade shows, our collective jaws dropped. This once-dormant action game based on an unfinished script by director Akira Kurosawa started out development on the PS3, but years of prolonged development had kept it from releasing. With development duties shifted to Team Ninja, Nioh takes the precise action elements from the studio's previous work and combines it with the tense, atmospheric dungeon crawling of Dark Souls. The game's alpha demo gave us a small but exciting taste of what's to come from this dark samurai epic, we're eager to hear more about what it has to offer at this year's E3.
Ubisoft's For Honor was one of the most pleasant surprises from last year's show. Its focus on calculated multiplayer sword-fights on a war torn battlefield captivated us, harboring back to our childhood fantasies of knights, Vikings, and samurai fighting to the death. Initial footage showcasing battles packed with foot soldiers equipped with swords and shields had us drawing similarities to Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, but in third-person and with an increased emphasis on realism and precision. While only a handful of details have been revealed about For Honor so far, we're hoping that we'll get to hear the specifics about the its various multiplayer modes and potentially its single-player campaign.
The Battlefield series has been somewhat stagnant as of the last few releases. But in returning to the past, developer DICE may be moving forward--the World War I setting is largely unexplored in video games, and considering the conflict's impact on humanity's sociology and the history of the world in general, Battlefield 1 could be primed to tell a story about change, loss, and the horrific nature of war. And this all ignores the fact that DICE claims to be returning to the sandbox multiplayer combat we loved in games such as Battlefield 1942, Battlefield 2, and Battlefield: Bad Company. World War I was a time of new weapons and vehicles, from the earliest incarnations of tanks, to water-cooled machine guns, to biplanes capable of dogfights. If DICE can prove it's making use of the World War I setting in meaningful ways, it could be one of our games of the show.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
Call of Duty Infinite Warfare might seem like another dependable entry in Activision's genre-defining series. But the thing that has us hyped for Infinite Warfare is the return of developer Infinity Ward. The studio's last game, Call of Duty Ghosts, was a solid effort, but the COD formula needs something to reinvigorate its tried-and-true formula--and Infinite Warfare has the potential to deliver. With Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2 also dropping this fall, it's going to be a big year for shooters. And while COD will sell millions no matter what, we can't wait to see if Infinite Warfare can bring the series back around to the forefront of the critical spotlight as well.
Final Fantasy VII Remake
While we don’t expect to play the Final Fantasy VII Remake at E3, it wouldn’t surprise us if we saw more footage from the game. We're interested in seeing more details on how its action-oriented combat system will work. Furthermore, with the more realistic aesthetic, we're wondering if the game will maintain the silly humor that worked well with the original game’s chibi art style. For instance, will we see Cloud Strife in a dress? Perhaps more importantly, we're curious to learn more about the episodic format. Square has teased us with many fascinating details about this upcoming remake, so hopefully we'll get more clarification at this year's E3.
Kingdom Hearts III
We've seen it once a year since 2013, when it was officially announced during Sony's E3 press conference. Kingdom Hearts III has been long in development and short on details, and with Square Enix's other high-profile RPG--Final Fantasy XV--finally slated for release this year, we're thinking it's about time they gave more attention to its other flagship franchise. Touted as the finale to the story of Sora versus Xehanort and his fiends of darkness, Kingdom Hearts III will feature gameplay evolved from its predecessors, with close connections to the combat style of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. Disney World theme park rides will also function as specialized attacks, with the limited footage that's been shown featuring the Buzz Lightyear Astro-Blaster ride and a train similar to the Thunder Mountain roller coaster. This game has been a long time coming, and our hearts are ready.
Horizon: Zero Dawn
Last E3, a girl named Aloy taking down a giant robot dinosaur with a bow and arrow took our breath away. Horizon: Zero Dawn, the first new IP in more than a decade from longtime Killzone developer Guerrilla Games, takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where humanity sits at the bottom of a food chain dominated by mechanical creatures. This interesting spin on the "after the end" trope immediately set it apart from other games set in similar timeframes--that and it's stunning visuals. Clear blue skies, shimmering green grass blowing in the wake of robotic deer, the way Aloy's tangled red braids and worn fur clothing stream behind her as she runs. For it's beauty and boldness, we've been eager to hear more about Horizon: Zero Dawn.
The Mafia franchise is going in something of a different direction with Mafia III. You play a mixed-race Vietnam War veteran, Lincoln Clay, who starts his life again in New Orleans, which is called New Bordeaux in the game. While New York and Boston are probably more commonly associated with mob activity, New Orleans had quite a history with the mob as well. The setting is alluring, the 1968 backdrop is replete with controversy and intrigue, and the music sets up to be memorable. Confirmed tracks so far include “Paint It Black,” “The House of the Rising Sun,” and “All Along the Watchtower.” As for the talent behind the game, there is reason to be excited about this, too. LucasArts veteran Haden Blackman is leading development at Hangar 13, a Bay Area studio staffed by people who worked on the first games at 2K Czech. You’ll have to wait until October to play, but we're excited to learn and see more of the game next week at E3.
The first Titanfall was one of our favorite shooters of 2014. The wall-running method of traversal was unlike anything we'd played before in an FPS game, and it will be interesting to see how developer Respawn further refines and expands on that for the sequel. There are also hints that the mech-style Titans might have wall-running abilities in the sequel, which is an exciting thing to think about. Some players remarked that they would have liked to have seen a single-player campaign in the first game. While it can be debated whether it needed one, we'd be interested in seeing how one could further flesh out the story and lore. Another reason to be excited for Titanfall 2 is that it’s going to be multiplatform, so no matter what (current-gen) console you own, you’ll be able to check it out. There are also reports of a tie-in TV show from Lionsgate that could potentially further explain the universe and its characters. Titanfall was the first game made by Respawn, a studio founded and staffed by Call of Duty veterans. Naturally, there are lofty expectations for the sequel.
Batman: A Telltale Game Series
From The Walking Dead comic book series to Gearbox's Borderlands, Telltale Games has had no shortage of popular licenses to wrap its signature storytelling around over the years. But in the studio's hands now is none other than the iconic Batman, an iconic superhero that practically oozes possibilities for thrilling and mature storylines. The character is a perfect fit for the studio given the thematic caliber of its previous work.
Set within its own continuity, the player controls both Batman and his alter ego Bruce Wayne. Given the branching narrative template the studio follows so closely in its work, this dual persona mechanic is an exciting proposition. Do the actions of one persona directly affect the circumstances of another? Do we have a choice of which persona to utilize to solve a specific problem? The narrative possibilities are exhilarating; that's why we can't wait to hear more about what's in store for us in this upcoming five-part series.
Dishonored 2 looks like a troublemaker’s dream. It arms us with a range of supernatural powers and lets us loose in a playground full of unsuspecting NPCs, giving us free reign to yank their pants over their heads and run off gleefully laughing. Well, actually it’s more like poke them with swords, dump their bodies into the sea, and then sneak around by possessing disease-ridden vermin. The beauty of the Dishonored series is the way it encourages players to experiment with powers to complete objectives in unexpected ways, then offers up a simulated world that intelligently reacts to you. With more powers than ever and a dynamic new open-world, we’re excited to see what kind of mischief we’ll be able to make in the sequel.
The Last Guardian
The Last Guardian hails from the imagination of the brilliant Fumito Ueda, creator of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. Announced almost seven years ago at E3 2009, the game spent years shrouded in mystery before returning in the form of an extended gameplay video during Sony's E3 press conference last year. In it, we witnessed the novel call-and-response mechanic between the game's two protagonists, Trico--a hybrid, griffin-like animal--and a young boy. As the two try to escape what appears to be a massive castle in ruins, they rely on each other's unique capabilities to manipulate the environment and overcome dangerous odds. The most tantalizing element here is that the two share a tenuous bond, with Trico's animalistic instincts serving as the fulcrum. Even though we have only witnessed a glimmer of what's to come, The Last Guardian's premise, mesmerizing presentation, and Ueda's proven track record, all have us anticipating the next captivating reveal.
ReCore is an upcoming collaboration between Armature Studio--a team consisting of devs that worked on Metroid Prime--and Keiji Inafune's Comcept. Ever since its announcement at last year's E3, we've been eager to see in-game footage of this action-adventure, which stars a girl with a glowing blue orb that can posses robotic creatures. The game had initially been slated for a spring release, but was later delayed to Q4. With so little details about this game, we're hoping that this year's E3 will finally give us gameplay and a potential release date
Mass Effect: Andromeda
Somehow, most of what we know about Mass Effect: Andromeda comes from sketchy leaks and educated guesswork. Given that Andromeda is a Mass Effect game, we’ve sort of assumed it will contain some version of the series’ signature gameplay pillars, such as branching dialogue trees and third-person, cover-based shooting. And thanks to those leaks, we also believe those classic mechanics will be supplemented with a seamless open galaxy and, if we’re lucky, jetpacks.
Yet outside of confirming that Andromeda will be an RPG set long after and far away from the events of the original trilogy, developer BioWare has offered almost no concrete details since first announcing the game at E3 2015. That’s why we’re so excited to see Andromeda again at this year’s show. In all likelihood, BioWare will finally show Andromeda in action and dispel all the doubts sewn by news of the game’s delay (not to mention the departure of a few key team members).
The original Mass Effect trilogy remains one of the finest sci-fi epics in any medium, so the thought of seeing or even playing Andromeda after a full year of waiting is pretty damn exciting. Hopefully it lives up to BioWare Co-founder Greg Zeschuk’s lofty praise.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Like several other games on this list, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided was pushed from its original release window. We’re not worried, though; in fact, we’re excited. So far, Mankind Divided has demonstrated a great deal of potential, and we want to see that potential realized, regardless of how the development process takes.
Like its direct predecessor Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Mankind Divided’s open levels are designed to support a variety of playstyles: you can use conflicted anti-hero Adam Jensen’s cybernetic enhancements to silence your footsteps and sneak past guards, remotely hack turrets and turn them against your enemies, or simply shoot up the bad guys with a wide array of customizable firearms (both lethal and nonlethal).
The game’s also packing a robust RPG-inspired progression system and some difficult questions regarding the nature of humanity and our dangerous relationship with technology (or so the game’s latest live-action trailer implies). With such an intricate, ambitious approach, we’re eager to see what changed and how far the Mankind Divided has come since we last saw it more than six months ago, especially now that we’re only a few months away from its updated release date.
Few games studios carried the same reputation as Rare did in the late nineties, and Yooka-Laylee's development team has expertly exploited this fact to its advantage. Perhaps "exploited" is an unfair term; UK outfit Playtonic is indeed comprised of the many of the key figures involved in the creation of some of the most seminal and revered Rare games. But the key question is, having paraded Yooka-Lylee as a spiritual successor to the N64 classic Banjo-Kazooie, can the Kickstarter-funded indie title live up to its billing?
Signs have been positive so far. In a recent preview event, Yooka-Laylee demonstrated that laid-back merriment and odd charm that its progenitors had become so famous for. It's also a parade of wonderful sights and sounds, featuring open-worlds packed with detail and activity.
Gears of War 4
Gears of War is set to return with its fourth entry, taking players through a new story starring JD, the son of series protagonist Marcus Fenix. As the first sequel in the series made by new franchise developer The Coalition and series veteran Rod Fergusson, the game has a lot to live up to. Besides its initial reveal, we've only received details about its multiplayer modes. However, we're crossing our fingers for more details on its single-player campaign, and possibly footage of another set piece from the game.