Who won E3 2017? This was the question posed to me by my roommate. It’s a question that all the Gamers™ ask around this time of year as the conferences become old news and the convention wraps up. There’s an intense desire to compare the different publishers, aligning ourselves with the team we want to win. The team that made the biggest noises, had the most retweets and showed the best CG trailers. Okay, and maybe some genuinely interesting gameplay trailers. But it’s a desire I never really got. If you ask me who won at the end of E3 2017 I would argue I did. Why? Because there’s dozens of new awesome, beautiful, scary, intriguing and compelling video games coming out in the next year that I can’t wait to play.
As for what I thought of the conferences, there were some highs and lows (some really lows) but generally a good spread of interesting games across all the stages and streams. Well, except for EA. Really couldn’t muster any enthusiasm for Sport Game 18 with a brand new story mode. But I saw things in all the other conferences that really excited me. So if you’re interested I’d like to highlight some of those games here, just in case you missed them. In no particular order, here are the coolest games of E3 2017 whose existence make me a winner, because I’m going to play them and (probably) really enjoy them.
Cuphead – Studio MDHR (Sept. 29 on Xbox One & PC)
I’ve been waiting for Cuphead for years. It’s been talked about at every conference, every convention. At this point there’s so little to say and just the wait play, it’s been on my list of cool games I’m excited for so many times. Sporting a classic cartoon art style and a challenging co-op adventure I can’t wait to dive in just a few months from now!
Tacoma – Fullbright (Aug. 2 on Xbox One & PC)
Fullbright’s first game Gone Home got me on an emotional level few games ever have. The coming of age story told through exploring the 1980s mansion, finding environmental interactions, and messages left from the past immersed me in a way I’d never been before. And that ending had me in tears. Now taking that same environmental storytelling to the space station Tacoma I’m intrigued how the developers will pull on my heartstrings again with a new cast, premise and a very distinct art style, much different from Gone Home.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus – Machine Games (Oct. 27 on PS4, Xbox One & PC)
Machine Games wants to make one thing very clear: you aren’t killing “people” in Wolfenstein II, you’re killing Nazis. In every interview, blog post and trailer the message is very obvious. Just watch Creative Director Jens Matthies correct IGN’s Lucy O’Brien that you are not killing “people”, you are killing Nazis and “that’s the fun part.”
Machine Games are very aware of the political climate in which they’re telling this alternate history where the USA is invaded by Nazis after the Germans win World War II. The response is not to placidly protest, not at all. The response is to grab big ass machine guns and mow down the Nazi scum as many at a time as you can. You don’t beat fascism with nice words. You beat it with a big stick, a giant mech, a flamethrower and grenades… Sign me the fuck up.
Hello Neighbor – tinybuild (Aug. 29 on Xbox One & PC)
I’ve been hyped for Hello Neighbor since my friends and I played the first Alpha last year. Even in an incredibly rough shape it was still a scary, exhilarating experience. And now with a fully fledged story and loads more polish and content I will absolutely be saying “Hello” to my neighbour when this game drops. And probably screaming a lot too.
Ooblets – Glumberland (2018 on Xbox One & PC)
Stardew Valley meets Pokemon and somehow it’s more adorable than either of those games ever were. I’m gonna dance, I’m gonna wear my polka dot onesie and I’m gonna grow so many Ooblet friends!
SUPERHOT on PSVR – SUPERHOT Team (Summer 2017)
SUPERHOT was meant to be played in VR. For me it was an immersive, intuitive experience that just flowed from my conscious into the controller. I cannot wait to experience this gem in full 360-degree virtual reality with new levels, new weapons and undoubtedly another trippy story.
Tunic – Andrew Shouldice (2018 on PC)
Holy moley Tunic looks positively delightful. Obviously inspired by classic Zelda games, this isometric action game is set in a beautifully lit, jaw dropping world of vibrant colours and cute characters. Not a lot of information yet but I can already tell this is going to be one special game ❤
Middle Earth: Shadow of War – Monolith (Oct. 10 on PS4, Xbox One & PC)
There’s not a world I care less about on this planet than The Lord of the Rings. The books are a bore, the films are 16 hours of poorly-aged CGI and the cast is a palette of white, screaming, hairy men. But when Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor released back in 2014 I got lost in the fantastical world of Mordor for hours and hours. Shadow of Mordor had incredibly satisfying combos, loads of upgrades and most importantly of all: The Nemesis System, a means of procedurally generating all of the game’s enemies and bosses in a way that seems natural and adds loads of replayability..
Shadow of War promises to be all of that and better. From the sassy Orc in the E3 gameplay demo to the massive, sprawling open world on which to mess with the Orc army there are lots of reasons I’m stoked to play this follow up to a favourite game of mine.
UNDERTALE ON PS4 HOLY FUCKING SHIT AHHHH!
Metroid: Samus Returns – MercurySteam (Sept. 15 on 3DS)
I’m a sucker for Metroid games. I absolutely adore Samus, she’s one of my favourite characters in the Nintendo roster. This new 2D Metroid game is a reimagining of the classic Gameboy game Metroid: Return of Samus. Similar to how Link Between Worlds was a reimagining of Link to the Past I imagine this new game will take everything people loved of the original and revamp it for a modern audience, with fresh visuals and updated controls. That, and this will be the first real Metroid game we’ve gotten since Other M, which is a big deal.
New Xbox Avatars!
While not mentioned in the conference, Microsoft is doing something really incredible with their avatar system on Windows and Xbox. They’re completely revamping the look of the avatars as well as adding loads of new clothes and accessories. Most importantly of all, Xbox’s avatar system will be the first to acknowledge differently abled players. With prosthetic limbs, wheelchairs and more, it’s so wonderful that Xbox fans will finally be able to see themselves represented in their avatar, which is literally the definition of the word. This is an incredibly important step for representation in games and makes me super proud to own an Xbox. I can just imagine the look on a child’s face when they can put their avatar in a wheelchair just like them. That’s so important. That’s what the gaming community should be about.
God of War – Sony Santa Monica (2018 on PS4)
Kratos sucks, he always has. He’s never been anything less than a piece of shit, screaming man who was meant to appeal to the presumed straight male player. But the reason I played the previous God of War games was for the incredibly fun combo action combat, the sometimes clever puzzles and the grand set pieces on which this brooding bro hopped around. But now, I might actually have a reason to like Kratos, and still have all of those other things.
This hard reboot of the mega-franchise stars a much older Kratos now with a son living in the land of Norse mythology. The combat will focus on teaching your son to handle himself in this world of demons and monsters. There is a lot of room for the brooding bro to finally take the shape of a character that I might actually care about. And that’s pretty exciting.
That’s everything that caught my eye from this year’s E3 convention. What’d you think? I’d love to know what you’re excited for in the comments!