The Games I’m Most Excited About From E3 2017

E3 wrapped up in Los Angeles earlier this week and this year’s E3 had a lot of exciting news.  Xbox announced its official new console, we finally got a release date for Cuphead, and we got updates on games we’ve already heard a lot about like South Park The Fractured But Whole, Kingdom Hearts 3, Star Wars Battlefront IIUncharted The Lost Legacy and Super Mario Odyssey.  But beyond some of these announcements, I found that this year’s E3 featured a number of games I was actually really excited about.  This might be because this year seemed to be chock full of sequels to games I already loved, or this year’s batch might have simply been better, but either way with so many announcements coming out of the event I figured I’d share some of my favorites from the show with you in case by chance you missed them. So here they are in no particular order:

The Evil Within 2

The funny thing about this one is that I own and finished the first The Evil Within game, so when I saw the trailer for the sequel I was excited. The bad part is that I can’t for the life of me remember anything about the first game other than I’ve played it, beat it, and own it, so I might need to revisit this one before the sequel comes out, but in The Evil Within 2 you will reprise your role as Detective Sebastian Castellanos as he enters a world filled with nightmares in an effort to save his daughter. The gameplay looks dark, twisted, and in many ways almost disorienting, which will definitely make a great atmosphere for some great in game jump scares.  I also dug the cover of Duran Duran’s “Ordinary World” that the trailer features.

SynopsisYou are Detective Sebastian Castellanos and at your lowest point. But when given a chance to save your daughter, you must enter a world filled with nightmares and discover the dark origins of a once-idyllic town to bring her back. Horrifying threats emerge from every corner as the world twists and warps around you. Will you face adversity head on with weapons and traps, or sneak through the shadows to survive? This is your one chance at redemption, and the only way out is in.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

Though it’s the third game to be released in the new Wolfenstein series, Wolfenstein II is the first true sequel to the 2014 game Wolfenstein: The New Order.  Wolfenstein: The Old Blood which came out in 2015 was a prequel.  Semantics aside, Wolfenstein II brings the Wolfenstein franchise to America for the first time.  Taking place in America in the 1960’s BJ Blazkowicz returns to kick some Nazi (and based on the trailer, maybe even KKK?) ass.  This looks to be another action packed Wolfenstein title and the cast of characters in this sequel look like they’re going to be a lot of fun.  Be sure to stick around for the whole trailer to see what I think may be the first on screen video game acid trip.  Wolfenstein II is one of two games that brought their story to American soil for the first time.  Far Cry 5 was announced leading up to E3 and it was revealed it would take place in Montana and follow the violent uprising of a religious cult.  In today’s political climate, their timing and stories are almost a bit unsettling.

SynopsisAn exhilarating adventure brought to life by the industry-leading id Tech 6, Wolfenstein II sends players to Nazi-controlled America on a mission to recruit the boldest resistance leaders left. Fight the Nazis in iconic locations such as small-town Roswell, New Mexico, the flooded streets of New Orleans, and a post-nuclear Manhattan. Equip an arsenal of badass guns, and unleash new abilities to blast your way through legions of advanced Nazi soldiers, cyborgs, and über soldiers in this definitive first-person shooter.

America, 1961. Your assassination of Nazi General Deathshead was a short-lived victory. Despite the setback, the Nazis maintain their stranglehold on the world. You are BJ Blazkowicz, aka “Terror-Billy,” member of the Resistance, scourge of the Nazi empire, and humanity’s last hope for liberty. Only you have the guts, guns, and gumption to return stateside, kill every Nazi in sight, and spark the second American Revolution.

Metro Exodus

I’ve been a fan of the Metro game series since the beginning.  The first person survival horror games are based on the Metro books by Dmitry Glukhovsky that take place in the ruins of Moscow following a nuclear war.  What I’ve always appreciated about the Metro series is its realism.  The fact you have to keep your gas mask in good shape so as not to be exposed to the nuclear fallout or the way that beads of condensation can obstruct your view as things intensify and your masks goggles begin to fog.  For me this has always added to the atmosphere of the game and while for some it might be annoying, I actually enjoy it.  For Metro Exodus, 4A Games is taking things beyond the borders of Moscow giving the player the chance to span the entire continent of post-apocolyptic Russia.

SynopsisFlee the shattered ruins of dead Moscow and embark on an epic, continent-spanning journey across post-apocalyptic Russia in the greatest Metro adventure yet.

Explore the Russian wilderness in vast, non-linear levels and follow a thrilling story-line inspired by the novels of Dmitry Glukhovsky that spans an entire year through spring, summer and autumn to the depths of nuclear winter.

Skull & Bones

Ye come seeking adventure and salty pirates, eh? Then Skull & Bones is definitely going to appeal to you.  Ever since naval elements were introduced to the Assassin’s Creed series in Assassin’s Creed Black Flag I’ve wanted to see a game further developed from this concept and Ubisoft has done just that with Skull & Bones.  Both visually stunning and authentic in that you have to be smart in how you use the wind and your ships this is probably the closest you can get to living a pirate’s life without actually living it.  This is bound to generate hours of fun for hardcore fans since you can play solo, co-op, or in intense multiplayer battles.  The cinematic announcement trailer was gorgeous and included a haunting rendition of Seal’s 90’s hit “Crazy,” but to show just how incredible the actual gameplay is I’m featuring the E3 gameplay footage below:

Life Is Strange: Before the Storm

If you haven’t played Life Is Strange and you enjoy story-driven games, go download it and play it now.  I discovered Life Is Strange late, but this was one of those cases where it was definitely “better late than never.”  I’ve loved certain characters in the video game universe throughout the years, Mario, Link, Laura Croft, Nathan Drake to name a few, but I never came to a point where I truly cared for the characters the way I did for Max and Chloe in Life Is Strange.  Without giving any spoilers I’ll just say that making a final decision in Life Is Strange was one of the hardest video game choices I have ever made and after I made it, I felt a little heartbroken and even teared up a little.  So seriously, go play it if you haven’t already.

That said, Life Is Strange: Before the Storm is a three part (four if you pre-order the Deluxe Edition) standalone story adventure that takes place three years prior to the events in the first Life Is Strange game.  In Before the Storm players will take on the role of Chloe Price as she forms an unlikely friendship with Rachel Amber, a name that those who played the first game will recognize.

Marvel’s Spider-Man

I hate licensed superhero games. Historically when we get a superhero game we get clunky smash em up games with no real heart behind them.  The Batman Arkham games aside, comic book fans have never really had much to get excited about when it comes to video games, so when Sony closed out its press conference with a Spider-Man title I scoffed…at first.  But what we got in the premiere of Marvel’s Spider-Man actually has some merit.  With environmental interactions like that of Watch Dogs, unique fighting options like in the Arkham games and character personalities that shine through in the gameplay and dialogue, Marvel’s Spider-Man could set a precedence for strong character games from the Marvel universe.

The Inpatient

File under “One of the most frustrating announcements from E3,” The Inpatient is a new Playstation VR exclusive that takes place in Blackwood Sanatorium over 60 years prior to the events that unfold in 2015’s Until Dawn.  It’s frustrating because I’m still not a huge VR fan and Until Dawn was an incredible game that felt like you were “playing” a horror movie.  I’ve wanted to see another game like Until Dawn ever since I finished it, so when I heard Sony had released a prequel to the game at E3 2017 I was excited, but sadly its VR only.  My hope is that maybe by some chance, Sony will port the game as a non-VR title and those of us who still haven’t hopped onto the VR bandwagon will have the chance to play it.

Hidden Agenda

Speaking of Until Dawn, it’s developers took the “playing a movie” concept to the next level with their new game, Hidden Agenda.  The crime thriller builds on what people loved about Until Dawn and takes it to the next level.  The new game adds a whole new dimension to multi-player by allowing users to play using a second screen experience from their smart phones rather than picking up a PS4 controller.  Like Until Dawn, Hidden Agenda will task you with solving moral dilemmas that force you to make a choice, but your choice will have an impact on the game and its outcomes.  What excites me most about this isn’t just the fun game play that comes out of games like this from Supermassive Games, but also the new PlayLink feature its leveraging.

Call of Cthulhu

While we’re on the topic of sanatoriums let’s take a look at Call of Cthulhu, a Lovecraftian mindfuck that will have you questioning what’s real and what’s not.  The trailer doesn’t give us much, but what we can tell is that this dark, atmospheric, first-person thriller is going to mess with you…A LOT.

Synopsis:  Plunge into the troubled mind of private investigator Edward Pierce, as his perception of reality becomes more and more skewed the closer he gets to the Great Dreamer’s sphere of influence.

Sent to Darkwater Island to uncover the truth behind a mysterious death of a family, your original assignment spirals out of control against a backdrop of suspicious locals, mutilated whales, and disappearing bodies.

Pierce’s mind will suffer – balancing a razor-thin line between sanity and madness, your senses will be disrupted until you question the reality of everything around you. Trust no one. Creeping shadows hide lurking figures…and all the while, the Great Dreamer prepares for his awakening.

Beyond Good & Evil 2

File this under “Games we thought would never be made,” Beyond Good and Evil finally got a sequel announcement nearly 15 years after the original game was released, and while it’s actually a prequel and not a true sequel fans of the original, like myself, were awestruck when the trailer with the visually stunning anthropomorphic characters wound up being for a Beyond Good & Evil game.  There was a lot to love in this trailer, the Blade Runner-esque atmosphere at the start of the trailer, a pig and monkey dropping five F-bombs in the first minute and a half of the trailer, and the visuals as a whole.  This looks like a game that will be a lot of fun to play and the larger than life characters will make it that much more exciting, but looking at the bigger picture this just feels like a completely new game with the Beyond Good & Evil brand slapped on it.

The original Beyond Good & Evil was very cartoony and innocent, Beyond Good & Evil 2 is a polar opposite of that.  The animals are lifelike, they’re dropping F-bombs and beyond the fact the game’s original creators are behind it, there’s an anthropomorphic pig, and it takes place in space it just didn’t feel like a Beyond Good & Evil game.

That said, I think there is an opportunity here to leverage this game to reboot the series.  Much like the rebirth of Laura Croft in the new Tomb Raider games, this is a chance to take these beloved characters from a classic game and bring them into the world of modern gaming and introduce the franchise to a new audience.  Release this prequel to excite fans of the classic and draw in a new audience and then retell the story of Jade, Pey’j, and their effort to save the Hillys in a later release that has been updated and adapted for this new universe.  Regardless of the direction they take it, and whether it feels like a true Beyond Good & Evil or not if the game turns out even half as good as the trailer its going to be a blast to play.

Assassin’s Creed Origins

Another series I have been a fan of since the beginning, I was excited to see a new Assassin’s Creed title for 2017 and I was even more excited to see that the game would evolve the gameplay significantly.  Changing fighting elements, the realism of how the world reacts to your actions, and more Assassin’s Creed Origins looks as though it will breathe new life into a series that while strong from a story perspective has felt like “more of the same” with each new release.

Synopsis:  Journey into Ancient Egypt, the most mysterious place in history, during a crucial period that will shape the world. Discover the secrets behind the Great Pyramids, forgotten myths, the last pharaohs, and – engraved in long-lost hieroglyphics – the origin story of the Assassin’s Brotherhood.

For the last four years, the team behind the acclaimed Assassin’s Creed® IV Black Flag® has been focused on crafting a new beginning for the franchise. Fight in a completely new way where you transition seamlessly between unique ranged and melee weapons, and take on multiple enemies at once. Choose your Assassin skills while exploring the full country of Ancient Egypt, engaging in multiple quests and gripping stories along a journey that will change civilization.


Honorable Mention

Not everything that came out of E3 hit it out of the park for me and there were a few games that piqued my interest, but still didn’t give me enough of the story or gameplay to really help me make a decision on whether or not I should be excited about the title.


The name alone piqued my interest, but as the trailer unfolded it really didn’t give me much to work with.  Clearly its early 1900’s, its dark, there are vampires, but what the heck is the point of the game?  The game’s description doesn’t give us much to go off of either:

As a doctor, you have taken an oath to find a cure for London’s flu-ravaged citizens and save the city. As a vampire, you are cursed to hunt those you vowed to heal.

A web of interconnected citizens with unique lives and relationships react to your decisions, and killing just one may cause the downfall of an entire neighborhood. Your actions will save or doom London. In Vampyr, the ones you vowed to save will offer the greater XP bonuses… do you kill in order to protect yourself, and cleanse London? Or do you succumb to temptation and kill the very people your Hippocratic oath protects?”  Say what now?

Say what now?  This game is due out in November, so I am hoping we get more from this title before then to go off of because as of right now I’m interested, but not sure I’m going to run out and buy it when its released.

Strange Brigade

Strange Brigade sucked me in for its 1930’s themed announcement trailer, which had the look and feel of those goofy 1930’s themed videos that play in the queue for the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland.  Strange Brigade takes place in the far reaches of the British Empire and apparently features four unique adventurers in the search of treasure. At least I think that’s the gist of it?  Again, the announcement trailer was light on details but ended with a swarm of zombies, mummies, a massive minotaur, and a giant Anubis, so there’s definitely some potential here.  Especially if you’re a fan of third person adventure games.  I did catch some brief gameplay footage from the game and while the story still wasn’t totally clear it had the typical feel of third person shooter or adventure game.

Beyond the titles announced above, there were a number of games that we saw that E3 2016 that got some more exciting gameplay footage in 2017.  State of Decay 2, Sea of Thieves, Days Gone and Detroit: Become Human all showed up for the second year at E3 and have me really excited about their releases later this year and next. If you haven’t seen the new footage be sure to check it out, especially the footage for Days Gone. Two words: Zombie bear.

What excited you at this year’s E3? Let me know in the comments or on social media!

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