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Best In Show – E3 2014

As this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) winds down, the attendees head home and life gets back to normal, I suppose it's time for everyone to post the game or games they enjoyed most from the show. I normally forgo these types of posts, but I've only posted one (maybe two) blogs specific to E3 and there hasn't been the normal flood of posts from others...so maybe I can get away with it. I've said in previous blogs and tweets I thought this year went exceptionally well and that Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft all had positive experiences and successful presentations. And since each of the big dogs showed off some great games (some exclusives, some not) I think it's only fair to list a Best in Show for each (in no certain order). And since there were some other companies there with games that will be available on multiple platforms, I may pick one from that bunch too.

Of course with so many great games being announced, this list is a lot more challenging to compile than I expected it to be. And my criteria for selecting a game for this list is simple - how well it looked and how excited I was after I watched the coverage (and whose presentation it was in, obviously).

Nintendo

Picking one single Nintendo game from this E3 was perhaps the most challenging of the choices to make. One of the blogs I posted previously was about how I almost regretted buying a Wii U, until Nintendo's press conference (or whatever you want to call what they did). This presentation restored by faith in Nintendo and renewed my interest in the Wii U. All of the games looked similarly wonderful, so I suppose it truly does come down to what excited me the most. And being a huge fan of science fiction and spaceships, and since I used to love playing the original...I have to pick Star Fox. It's been a long time coming and I'm super excited to see what they do with it. We haven't seen too many details yet, but when I look at how breathtaking games like Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze and Mario Kart 8 are, I have no doubt the same degree of detail and effort will be expended on Star Fox - and that is exciting to consider. I'm also curious to see how the Game Pad might be used as a control mechanism, as I have all sorts of potential ideas in my head and am sure the Nintendo developers do too. I'd like to see some sort of galaxy map and ship's system panel as an option to display, but I guess we'll have to wait and see what they do with it.

Sony

Perhaps the easiest game on the list to pick, Uncharted 4 wins, not because it looked the best or had the best presentation, but because of how excited I was watching the coverage (but it did look good, what little we saw). This from a guy who basically got a PS3 just to play the Uncharted games. Hmm, what can I take away from the trailer - Sully is alive, Nathan is down and out (but sporting a wedding ring) and the game emphasizes a degree of finality with this episode. In the commentary Nate asks Sully to help him out this "one last time"; Sully agrees to help him out "this one last time" and the name of the game is A Thief's End. I'm not sure if I like the sound of that as it implies a) This could be the last game in the series and b) one of the characters I really like might not survive or c) both a and b. Let's hope its d) none of the above. I have no doubt the game will be spectacular, both in game play and in story...and the characters will be every bit as likable as previous episodes. Sony showed off some great games - even some games I thought might look a bit better than Uncharted 4...but nothing they showed off got me as excited as Uncharted 4. Looks like I have until 2015 to save up for a PS4 now.

Microsoft

There were several games shown during Microsoft's presentation I was very excited about. Those who know me from around here might think my first pick is The Master Chief collection, but it's not. Don't get me wrong, I'm super excited about this and will buy it day of launch. But let's be honest - this is a bunch of old Halo games I've already played before and we've known for a while this was likely coming soon. So, it wasn't a real big surprise. A few of the other games I had already seen - Evolve and The Division to name a few. They look amazing and I'm definitely interested...but I wasn't blown away by their coverage (although I was when I saw them for the first time). No, when I think about the games that were shown in Microsoft's presentation that truly blew me away, the one that really comes to mind was Assassin's Creed Unity. And that's coming from someone who isn't necessarily a big fan of the series (though I recently played Black Flag and really enjoyed it). Assassin's Creed Unity was stunning. The way the crowds of people filled the city was a spectacular achievement - and then seeing four players playing the game and operating in unison to take out their target - I can only imagine how awesome this is going to be to experience firsthand. I thought the trailer was truly remarkable and jaw dropping. Now let's just hope Ubisoft can recover from a few of their missteps and negative press they got from this game and Far Cry 4 prior to the launch. I was captivated by this game start to finish.

Honorable Mention(s)

I actually have two, but I'll make it quick. I've said this is the year of the indie games for me and I've been fond of Playdead ever since they released Limbo. Easily one of my favorite games. Well, the coverage of Inside was one of our first looks of what they've been working on since Limbo and it looks like they've been busy. The game seems to capture several of the magical qualities that made Limbo as successful as it was, but also added new elements of intrigue and despair. I don't know what in the world is going on inside of Inside, but I want to find out!

And perhaps one of my favorite game reveals from all of E3 was exposed in Ubisoft's presentation, none other than...Rainbow Six Siege. I've blogged about Rainbow Six a number of times before in my years at Game Informer. It truly is the first game that got me interested in community involvement, which no doubt contributed to where I am today. I've literally played every Rainbow Six game and they are my favorite types of shooters. Well, I and many other fans of the tactical shooter genre have been waiting for a game like this for years. They're usually not as popular as the Call of Duty and Battlefield games because of their difficulty and degree of realism. Over the years we've seen signs of other Rainbow Six games, including Rainbow Six Patriots. But with the delays and cancelled projects, it's been kind of quiet lately. So, seeing this game...by all appearances returning to its roots...I couldn't have been more excited. It very well might be my overall Best in Show game from all of E3.

And there you have it. But what about you? What was your favorite game from E3 2014?

Cheers.

 

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