Unlike past year’s E3 events, this year’s had a particular air of familiarity. Going into the even most gamers had a pretty good handle on what should be announced, and by and large the major publishers stuck to their scripts. There were some surprises, like the official reveal of the Xbox One Scorpio, but mostly it was the known quantities that impressed.
However, with so many games on-hand it might have been hard to pick a favorite, or even 10 favorites. But Game Rant did just that, and so without further ado here are the the winners of Game Rant’s Best of E3 2016 Awards.
At one point the open world crime genre was packed with titles, but since then most have cleared the way for Grand Theft Auto. Mafia 3, however, is trying to stake its claim on the genre with a unique setting, a unique main character, and some clever mob mechanics. Set in a city not unlike New Orleans, Mafia 3 has players taking control of Lincoln Clay, an African American vet who is trying to build up his own mafia in order to take down a rival mob. While the Mafia games have always explored the management aspect to building up a squad of loyal enforcers, Mafia 3 makes it feel like you are really developing your own mafia.
Yes, Days Gone is another zombie game, but its approach to the horde could put a unique spin on traditional third person action. Where most games tend to be about clearing out the entire enemy force, Days Gone seems to make that impossible. It’s a game where survival is not necessarily about bullets and accuracy, but tactics and speed. We still need to see more of the story to decide whether the game has more to it, but for an E3 experience, Days Gone took the familiar and made it fresh.
Horizon: Zero Dawn
A strong candidate for Best of E3 last year, Horizon: Zero Dawn followed the prototypical formula. After showing a hands-off demo at E3 2015, the developers at Guerrilla Games put the controllers in the hands of E3 attendees and proved to them that the game is real. It was in that hands-on demo that Horizon really solidified as a special experience. Most of all, Horizon: Zero Dawn is exactly the type of game that some would argue E3 needs more of: original IPs that are not afraid to take chances. Hats off to Guerrilla for doing something different.
Lawbreakers feels like the game that Cliff Bleszinski and the Boss Key team was destined to make. A flashy spiritual successor to the multiplayer FPS titles of yesteryear, Lawbreakers is unapologetic in its approach. The game doesn’t want to fit in with the Joneses, but instead chooses to deliver an experience that follows a specific vision. Most importantly the game just looks like it delivers loads of fun. Something we are very happy to see Cliffy B get back to.
Sea of Thieves
What more is there to say about Sea of Thieves except that it’s a multiplayer pirate simulator. Board ships with your friends, try to take down enemy ships, or just sit on the deck and get drunk – it’s all possible with Sea of Thieves. We will admit that there needs to be more to do in the game beyond the basic ship sailing and canon battles for it to have a long lifespan, but for an E3 demo the game was some of the most fun we had in multiplayer.
Ghost Recon: Wildlands
Ghost Recon: Wildlands is the tactical open world co-op shooter that fans have been dying to see. Getting to together with a group of four friends and taking out outposts with any number of approaches has been a dream promise, but it only seems like now that Ghost Recon: Wildlands can finally deliver. We will admit that Ubisoft’s track record with multiplayer games is a bit spotty, but our hands-on time with Wildlands left us eager to play more.
As the follow-up to one of our favorite games of 2012, Dishonored 2 had an easy road to winning us over. But even then the sequel doesn’t feel like a simple rehash or graphical upgrade. A new hero, a new locale, and lots of interesting new powers are just a few of the reasons we’re excited for Dishonored 2 later this year, and a demo ripe with intriguing twists served as the perfect appetizer.
God of War
Although it could have easily closed the show and generated the same amount of response, God of War kicked off Sony’s E3 Press Conference and set a specific tone. Seeing Kratos bearded and with a son helped draw players in, and the direction and gameplay reinforced that this wasn’t going to be the same God of War that fans know and love. But more than anything, the demo was compelling in all the right ways. It looked great, had interesting gameplay, and teased just enough of the story to leave fans wanting more.
Battlefield 1 delivers exactly what the fans wanted, the familiar multiplayer combat of DICE’s FPS series, but set in World War 1. From the sights and sounds, to the weapons and vehicles, Battlefield 1 presents the time period as best it can without veering too far away from the franchise’s identity. And with 64-player multiplayer at E3 2016 it was hard not to come away excited to see more.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
With only one really game to show, Nintendo was going for broke with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Luckily, the demo Nintendo had on-hand built multiple games worth of hype, showcasing tons of exploration and teasing an interesting storyline. This was not the Zelda most are familiar with, but in this context that is a good thing. Although we are only recognizing a group of games as the best of E3, there’s no denying The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was one of the best games we saw all show.
What were your favorite games of E3 2016? If you could pick just one, what was your Game of the Show?