With E3 2016 concluded, Game Rant takes a look at the 10 biggest surprises of the show, from Crash Bandicoot’s return to the raw power of Project Scorpio.
The surprise new game announcements and reveals make E3 a special event for gamers every year. E3 2016 was no different, boasting some big surprises and shocking moments that will make it an E3 to remember for a long time to come for fans of all systems, genres, and franchises.
These 10 surprises stood out to us the most as the biggest surprises of E3 2016.
Crash Bandicoot’s Return
When Chairman of Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios Shawn Layden took the stage at E3 2016 to the music of Crash Bandicoot, the audience watched in stunned silence. After the crowd realized what was happening, they lost their minds, cheering so loud that it was difficult to hear Layden explain how Crash Bandicoot was being revived for the PlayStation 4. It may have disappointed some that instead of a brand new game, Crash’s original adventures are being remastered and he will be added to the roster of playable characters in the next Skylanders, but this could pave the way for the full-fledged return of gaming’s popular box-smashing marsupial.
God of War is Back
Leaked concept art hinted at a Viking reboot for the God of War franchise prior to E3, but fans were still surprised to see Kratos appear onscreen during Sony’s E3 2016 press conference. What was even more surprising was the new direction the series is going in, with Kratos fathering his son in the world of Norse mythology many years since the conclusion of the third game. Despite being much older, Kratos is looking as intimidating and intense as ever, and the new God of War will likely be a flagship title for PS4 when it finishes development.
Hideo Kojima Reveals First Post-Konami Game
The conflict between Hideo Kojima and Konami dominated headlines in 2015, and with Kojima’s new studio not even a year old, no one expected him to be in attendance at E3 2016. Not only did Kojima show up, however, he also shared a cinematic trailer for his first post-Konami game, a mysterious title called Death Stranding that looks to be a blend of the sci-fi and horror genres.
Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Has Voice Acting
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was one of the highlights of E3 2016, with a dazzling gameplay presentation that took the gaming community by storm. We knew going into the show that Nintendo planned on bringing Zelda to E3 in a big way this year, but what was surprising is how it is breaking away from series norms. Perhaps the most notable of these shifts comes with the fact that the new Zelda will use voice acting for the first time in franchise history, which will presumably result in an even larger focus on story than its predecessors.
Prey’s New Direction
The Prey franchise is no stranger to development hell, with the first game releasing 11 years after it originally began development, and undergoing numerous iterations. A similar fate has befallen the sequel, which has morphed from an open world sci-fi bounty hunting game to a first-person sci-fi horror title about evil black goo and human experiments. It remains to be seen if fans will embrace this new direction for Prey, but with Dishonored developer Arkane Studios at the helm, there’s a good chance it will exceed expectations.
Resident Evil VII is First-Person VR Horror
Capcom has been terrifying people with its “Kitchen” virtual reality tech demo for the past couple of years, and at E3 2016, we learned that demo laid the foundation for Resident Evil VII. Resident Evil VII will be playable from beginning to end with PlayStation VR, and will also be played from the first-person perspective – two drastic changes for the main series Resident Evil games. Luckily, fans won’t have to wait too long to see if Capcom’s gamble pays off, as Resident Evil VII will be available on January 24th, 2017.
Spider-Man from Insomniac Games
Rumors of a Spider-Man video game in development for PS4 have persisted for months, with many pointing to Infamous studio Sucker Punch as the developer. On the contrary, when Sony finally revealed its Spider-Man PS4 project at E3 2016, it announced the developer to be Insomniac Games of Ratchet & Clank fame. Insomniac hasn’t really made a title like Spider-Man before, so it will be interesting to see if the critically acclaimed studio is able to do the web-slinger justice.
The Last Guardian Finally Gets A Release Date
Sony’s E3 2015 press conference was marked by one of the first gameplay demos of The Last Guardian that fans had seen in years, and this year’s E3 finally gave the long awaited game a release date. For fans of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, the wait is almost over, as The Last Guardian will be available on October 25th of this year.
Xbox Play Anywhere Program
When Microsoft first introduced the Xbox One, it was very strict about not allowing cross-platform play between the console and PC. The company has since changed its tune with the ambitious Xbox Play Anywhere program, allowing gamers to play most Windows 10 and Xbox One exclusives online together. Furthermore, games released under the Xbox Play Anywhere banner will also support cross-buy functionality.
Xbox Scorpio Will Be Most Powerful Console Ever
Whereas Sony opted to keep tight-lipped about the PlayStation Neo at E3, Microsoft ended its E3 2016 press conference with some details about what to expect from Project Scorpio. According to Head of Xbox Phil Spencer, Project Scorpio will be the most powerful console ever when it releases in holiday of 2017, with 4.5 times the power of the original Xbox One unit. While games will be compatible for all consoles in the Xbox One family, games played on Scorpio will look and run better, which may make it worth the price to upgrade late next year.
Another E3 is in the books, and as expected, it was stacked with surprise game reveals and announcements. Next year’s show has a tough act to follow, but with a potential reveal for the PlayStation Neo, new games for the Nintendo NX, and the increasing growth of virtual reality, it should have no shortage of surprises in store for gamers.
What game or announcement surprised you the most at E3 2016? Leave us your thoughts in the comments below.