E3, the video game industry’s annual digital carnival, has once again come and gone. Despite countless leaks, game makers held back just enough secrets to make this year’s model genuinely interesting. Huge franchises, artsy indies, and innovative VR experiments co-mingled in and around the Los Angeles Convention Center as they jockeyed for position in the future fight over your quickly diminishing entertainment dollars.
But a few stood head and shoulders above the rest. Here are ten games destined to deliver (we hope, no promises).
We all thought Nintendo was a little nuts they announced they would only be showcasing one game at E3. But Breath of the Wild, a massive, open-world Zelda, isn’t just any game. It’s a match made in video game heaven, marrying the franchise’s renowned style and control with the sort of deep role-playing systems found in games like The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim. It’s wildly intriguing, though Nintendo let some of the air out of its tires by only showing it on the company’s doomed Wii U console (it’s due out on their forthcoming NX as well). But even that couldn’t stop the biggest Zelda yet from becoming the biggest game of E3 2016.
For once, Kratos isn’t angry with the gods — he’s angry with his son for accidentally skewering his shoulder with an arrow during a fight with a troll. Indeed, the next God of War game offers a very different take on the world’s grumpiest demigod, trading his lust for blood for the love of a child. A father/son tale set against the unfriendly forests of the sprawling Nordic wilds, it’s a startling change of direction for the well-worn franchise and an oddly personal statement by lead designer (and new father) Corey Barlog. Bad dad, cool game.
Shooter? Role-playing game? Action game? Stealth game? The sequel to the awesomeDishonored is all four, and then some. Set in the crumbling coastal town of Karnaca,Dishonored 2 lets players zip through the world as master assassin Corvo or his equally skilled protégé Emily. Branching stories, multiple routes, and a wealth of diabolically cool powers set the table for another potential Game of the Year contender.
Some gamers took Sony to task for an E3 show filled with games releasing too far in the future. But Horizon, a star at last year’s show, is at least within sight. That’s good news for PS4 owners, because this impressive open-world romp features a fascinating setting (a post-apocalyptic prehistoric robot world?), a mysterious story, and tight combat controls. And robot dinosaurs. Robot. Dinosaurs.