Before this year’s E3, the last time I was this excited about something my parents had just given me a copy of Mega Man 2 for my grandfather’s Nintendo. I ran around the room, paying equal attention to all parties — including my baby sister — hugging and thanking them as though I had just won an Oscar. I cried. I hyperventilated. I was nearly taken to the emergency room because I fell down the stairs in my haste to get to the TV.
… So I have no idea what’s going to happen to my body when I arrive at the LA Convention Center next week.
Obviously, the idea of traveling to downtown Los Angeles by itself isn’t enough to throw me into this kind of self-disregard. This time, it’s the many new entries into some of my favorite series that are going to be (or rumored to be) on display.
Final Fantasy XV – I shouldn’t need to tell you about this game. It’s existed in one form or another since 2006. Last year, it was announced that it is actually going to come out. The playable demo was attached to Final Fantasy Type-0 HD and fun as hell. The landscapes, the characters, the combat… oh my goodness, the combat. On top of the normal FF magic arsenal, you get to teleport around the battlefield, flinging swords like Gambit at a poker tournament: all while summoning deities like Ramuh to obliterate everything on the screen with a giant, electrified god-staff. The scale of this game promises to be huge, so I’d love to get an idea of just how much of my life is going to be spent playing this game.
No Man’s Sky – This game is about infinite exploration. You get a spaceship and can fly to any planet anywhere. Each planet has its own completely realized ecosystem that you can bum about until you get chased off by space dinosaurs and need to fly elsewhere. It’s technically an MMO, but the chances that you’ll run into someone else is apparently super low since the entire universe is absolutely massive. I can’t wait for this game because space dinosaurs.
Fallout 4 – This game was just announced, but I’ve been screaming for this game for so long I’ve lost a majority of my friends. It takes place in Boston and it looks like you have a super cute pet dog. So it’s like Fallout 3 meets that super annoying side quest in Skyrim, except not annoying because it’s awesome.
The Last Guardian – This is the spiritual successor to two of the greatest games of our generation: Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. I hesitate to even mention this title because the excitement I feel for this game, compounded over the last 8 years, will only be matched by the disappointment I’ll feel if I realize I will probably never actually play this game. It has an on-again, off-again development cycle that teases and frustrates, even while being one of the most beloved games in non-existence. Despite its history, let’s hope Sony pulls a Square Enix and does what they need to see this through to the finish line.
Kingdom Hearts 3 – Square Enix is doing it all this year. Kingdom Hearts 3 would be the latest in one of the most endearing RPG series ever. Basically, the series is about Disney characters joining forces with a bunch of Final Fantasy-esque characters to save the world. If you haven’t played these games, you should get on it so you can have something to look forward to in your Kingdom Hearts-less life.
Uncharted 4 – This franchise makes me so happy. Playing the first three games always brings me back to watching Indiana Jones with my dad at a double feature on a school day. The story is fun, the set pieces are mindblowing, and the voice acting is some of the best you’re likely to come across in gaming. It’s a super fun mix of over-the-shoulder action, Prince of Persia-style platforming, and storytelling from company that brought you The Last of Us — which, if you haven’t played, turn off your computer and go play it right now. Naughty Dog has proven that they are the bar-setters when it comes to adventure games, so there is absolutely no reason I should be ashamed for peeing myself when I see it in person.
Dark Souls 3 – FROM Software is my favorite developer right now. Ever since I played Otogi: Myth of Demons on Xbox, I’ve been following their progress. Once they hit on Demons’ Souls for PS3, it all paid off. Dark Souls was the spiritual successor of Demons’ Souls and was so well-received that they’ve just kept going — and these sequels aren’t just money-grabbers. They’re intense, engaging, and have near-infinite replay value. The way FROM tells a story through the environment, item descriptions, and creepy character interactions is only set to become more refined with the release of Dark Souls 3. It was just announced last week, and there were a few screenshots already leaked, so fingers crossed we’ll get to see it at E3.
This is not, of course, an exhaustive list of titles you should be excited to see at E3. Even considering the few disappointments we had over the past year, gaming is in a pretty good place. The way we tell stories is evolving, and the above titles represent franchises and companies that are doing it right. They’re innovating, exploring, and taking risks, and we get to see it all happen in one week! Let’s just hope I don’t black out beforehand…
E3 is June 16th – 18th at the Los Angeles Convention Center. What games are you most excited to see?