E3 2017 is in the books, but now it’s time to review the highlights of the show. I don’t do nominees (the print shop would charge me more for those), here at Geek Citadel we do winners!
Best Other Worlds (Best VR Game) of E3 2017
Everyone tries to describe what it’s like to go to E3. My take? Imagine you go to a big festival like Coachella or Lollapalooza, and when you get there all the stages have been pushed together so they are all circling you and every band is onstage at the same time screaming as loud as they can. With VR a reality at the show these days, you just put in headphones.
Plenty of VR games were shown and some interesting takes on what being transported to another world could do for the medium. Between the three VR platforms one game was hell-bent on mastering all of them. I had originally viewed Archangel at a VR meet-up in Austin during SXSW, and seeing the latest build running not only on the HTC but also running beautifully on PSVR with PS4 Pro sold me that this will be a corner-stone of VR development. The fantasy of stepping into the pilot seat of a giant mech is incredible enough, but the crucial factor behind our decision to award Archangel is heavy emphasis on story and the difficult but fair gameplay. Archangel is easy to pick up, but even the demos could shred me to ribbons in a matter of minutes, and still keeps me hungry to explore the story of the resistance.
King Of The Ring E3 2017
Winner: DRAGON BALL FIGHTER Z
No one is more shocked by this than me. I came into the week fully prepared to give this award to Marvel Vs Capcom Infinite, thinking it was a light year for the Fighting Game Genre. I was wrong, and it hurts so good. I think we all have mild expectations regarding Dragon Ball games at this point, seemingly running through the same story mode year after year. When it was revealed Arc Systems was handling a new Dragonball, my ears perked up, what a crazy pairing. What I did not realize was how amazing the final product would look. A 3 vs 3 fighter, prompting the most epic battles I have ever seen out of a Dragon Ball game. Not since the release of the original Budokai have I been anticipating a new Dragon Ball game. With a measly six characters to demo my only question was “Who’s Next?”
Best Team Player E3 2017
Winner: MONSTER HUNTER WORLD
One question: WHY HAS THIS TAKEN SO LONG?! The Monster Hunter series cult success has always baffled me. A game with an intensely loyal fanbase here in the states that have mostly subsisted on the series in the handheld realm, but seemingly never got the proper console edition a game like this could soar on. I remember when the game popped up on Wii, but… let’s be real here. So now the game is coming to PS4 and what a shock, it looks incredible, the hunting grounds are extensive with large creatures running around, and other players can drop in and join the fun from the Playstation Network. Again, why has this taken so long? This looks like a game finally in danger of getting me properly immersed in the world of Monster Hunter!
Most Extreme Action E3 2017
Winner: Wolfenstein 2 The New Colossus
I will admit, it’s ironic that we gave Most Extreme Action to a game and series who’s best moments can sometimes be found in it’s more subdued and calmer moments. Wolfenstein is has a masterful rhythm , and the developers at Machine Games brilliantly know when to pull back and when to reach for intense packed moments. Moments like keeping cool during a casual conversation with a Nazi in Papa Joe’s Diner with our face on the Wanted Poster by the door, seemingly only intensify the moment when BJ is riding the Mech Wolf! New weapons, new stakes, new ways to cause mayhem and destruction and for the first time in series history, Wolfenstein is about to come home to Amerikan shores!
Independent Spirit (Best Indie) E3 2017
Let’s have a minute for the little guys. At an event like E3 it is easy to slobber over the Anthems and Call Of Duties of the show, but it is important to take a step back and marvel at the scrappy upstarts of the gaming world. Pleanty of great contenders, but one unique experience called Moonlighting particularly caught my eye. In it you play as a shop-keeper in a Zelda-esque world who moonlights as an adventurer exploring a nearby series of dungeons. Exploring the depths of the monster-filled ruins, our hero collects items that he then later sells from his item shop during the day. Imagine if Minish Cap had a blend of store-front simulator to it. Got that image? You’re looking it up on Steam right now, aren’t you? Thought so.
Large Turnout (Best MMO) E3 2017
Winner: Destiny 2
Coming up to Destiny this week I was skeptical. When Destiny 1 came out and made it’s way to my PS4 it felt like a game incomplete, and somewhat straining to explain it’s own late half of the game. With each subsequent Expansion Pack, I’ve been getting further and further behind. The announcement of Destiny 2 gave me hope that we could set the board back to one and get tethered to a new kind of experience out of Destiny. Well, color me impressed when Bungie went above and beyond to keep the elements of the first entry that worked well, but establish a new feel for the game that kept this from feeling like a glorified expansion. A renewed focus on narrative driven PVE has my attention refocused on the new adventure offered within Destiny.
BEST OF SHOW E3 2017
WINNER: MARVEL’S SPIDER-MAN
It was a tough one, especially in a year that hosted a new Mario game. This had me wracking my brain to be sure. In the end though…. GOD SPIDER-MAN HAS NEVER LOOKED SO GOOD! I don’t mean in the games, I don’t even mean in the comics, throw in the movies because this is the most epic 8 minutes of spider-man anything I have witnessed in my years as a fan. And don’t get me wrong I love those first two movies as strong as members of my family. Somehow the Insomniac team have been able to approximate their own formula to do for Spider-man, what Rocksteady did for Batman. It’s a while off, but the next time I see this game I want 5 minutes to swing through New York. My mind reels over the chance to explore the Big Apple in Red and Blue leotards. Spider-man was hands down the best looking game of E3 2017.
BECAUSE I SAY SO (EDITOR’S CHOICE)
WINNER: PROJECT CARS 2
Cards on the table, I have never been able to get into a Racing Sim ever. At all. We were brought in for demonstrations of Namco Bandai’s newest titles and… I’m humbled to have to admit this, Project Cars had me blown away and feverishly interested. The approach taken by the team at Slightly Mad Studios is on a level so cutting edge the games had me rooting. The pioneers of Dynamic Weather systems in game design are now bringing laser-scanned recreations of famous racetracks into the mix. They’ve altered the design of the cars texture and suspension, giving their cars a one-of-a-kind feel as they grip the road. Cards on the table, I’m not sure I can fully keep up let alone comprehend the level of detail the team has laid out before me but it was compelling to hear one of the most passionate cases made for any game at this show. To my surprise it happened to come from a Racer.
I had to talk this game up to just about everyone. I mean, EVERYONE! For starters it’s art style was refreshingly and inviting with an appropriate amount of cartoonishness. The characters in this Rocket-launching death battle are unique with different attributes and lampoonish behaviors. Second, it ran at a blistering speed with tight and responsive controls. With the right push, this could turn out to have an incredible competitive scene. But I believe it came down to my third point… IT WAS A RIOT! In Pwnd the object in not just to kill your opponent, once your target was down and desperately crawling away from you, your goal is to walk up to his corpse and PWN him (in this case do a prolonged dance over his body). Pwning is the only way to gain points for your team and characters are sometimes forced to carry their bounties off to secluded parts of the maps to enact their Pwnage. Whole strategies involving the temporary shields exist, leaving the player searching for strategies to protect themselves during Pwnage or even protect their teammates. Just gotta see it, you’ll understand why I had to award PWND an editor’s Choice Award.