A lot of E3's most exciting games weren't in any press conference
Now that all the E3 press conferences are over, some fans have been left asking, “Where are all the games?” Most of the press conferences featured a few cool new IPs, but many of them were saturated with games we already expected. Not to mention, all the press conferences were short. Nintendo’s was only 25 minutes and Sony’s was a little under an hour when they have been known to stretch for two.
Well, let me give you a hint. There is another press conference going on, a press conference that few people get to see. It’s the press conference that is the convention itself. Aside from the many games being showcased at each booth, developers are getting on stream over the next few days to talk about major releases that just weren’t big enough to get featured at the press conference proper. Here are just a few of the awesome titles showcased at this hidden press conference that we are most excited about.
Earlier in the week I said all I wanted was to see a competent VR shooter, but all the major press conferences had to give me was Bravo Team, a cookie-cutter military shooter. What we weren’t shown was ROM: Extraction, a sci-fi shooter that puts you and an inventory of futuristic weapons up against alien hordes. Oh, and there’s one more gimmick. You can slow down time. Now this might be the shooter that the PSVR needs.
Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony
If you aren’t a fan of the Danganronpa series, it’s basically Phoenix Wright meets Battle Royale. You and a bunch of other gifted students are trapped in a location, and the only way out is to commit murder and get away with it. Of course, you don’t want to do that. You are the protagonist and thus want to break the cycle of violence. The trailer we saw at E3 2017 showed off the new and improved class trial system, which allows multiple students to speak at once, as well as a few improved investigation puzzles. It will release for the PS4, PS Vita, and PC on September 26 of this year.
After producing Remember Me and Life Is Strange, Dontnod has taken a turn for the dark in their latest title, Vampyr. This is our first major look at gameplay and, to much surprise, it appears to be something of an open world game. That’s not to say that everything will be exploration and action. Dialogue with NPCS will feature the same narrative relevant branching story paths that Life Is Strange was known for.
You take control of Dr. Jonathan Reed, a recently turned vampire who has taken up residence in London where the vampire population is at war with a fanatical religious group called “The Guard.” It’s up to you to weave between the social ties that bind these groups, and solve supernatural mysteries through the use of your vampiric abilities.
Jonathan will have access to several different vampiric abilities, including the ability to sense someone’s health, track them based on scent, teleport, and more. Health will play a major role in the game, and not just in the form of a bar that causes you to die when it empties. Jonathan’s ability to sense health allows him figure out who is safe to feed on, and who may be infected with the Spanish flu or other supernatural diseases.
Vampyr is expected to release for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC this November.
Fans of the Fire Emblem and Advance Wars series will like this one. Chucklefish, the guys behind Stardew Valley, are creating a brand new turn-based tactical game. Wargroove has a lot of the same features of most of our favorite tactical games, from a long and in-depth campaign to online and local multiplayer. However, its real draw is its campaign editor, which allows you to create your own Wargroove maps and stories. This gives the game pseudo-infinite content, as long as its fanbase continues being creative.
You may have not seen this trailer because it was showcased at the PC Gaming Show, which is still the least-watched press conference of E3. Wargroove will release for the Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC in late 2017.
Dissidia Final Fantasy NT
The latest Final Fantasy fighting game is finally coming to consoles. After a long exclusivity period in Japanese arcades, Dissidia Final Fantasy NT will be coming to the PS4, featuring new characters, new battlefields, and even a couple of new mechanics. It’s been a good year for fighting games and Dissidia Final Fantasy NT just makes the 2017-2018 fighting game lineup that much stronger. Expect it on the PS4 in early 2018.
Kingdom Hearts 3
It wouldn’t be E3 without another KH3 trailer. Unfortunately, this one doesn’t show off any new worlds to visit, but we did get a look at Hades for the first time. We were also told to wait patiently for a brand new trailer coming at the D23 expo on July 15. Kingdom Hearts 3 is expected to release sometime before 2020 on the Xbox One and PS4.
In this year’s Sonic Forces trailer, we finally get to see the game’s primary antagonists. It turns out that all of Sonic’s major rivals – from Eggman to Shadow to Chaos, Metal, and … uh… whoever that guy from Sonic: Lost Worlds was… uh… z… z…Zavok that’s it! – they are all led by some strange looking mutant hedgehog that looks like what would happen if Pokémon and a computer virus had a baby. We also get to see more custom-created character abilities, including a sort of lightning whip.
Sonic Forces will release for the Switch this holiday season.
Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom
The sequel to the beloved Studio Ghibli JRPG Ni No Kuni strangely didn’t get any press conference time, but was gone over in length during Sony’s follow-up demo time.
This E3 marked the first time anyone got hands on time with the game. The battle system has been completely reworked. The monster training semi-turn based battle system of the first game has been replaced with a totally real time action system, similar to the Tales series.
The battle system’s most unique feature is the “higgledy system.” … yes, you heard me. Throughout the battle, tiny nature spirits called higgledies will roam the map. Higgledies come in four types: fire, earth, air, and water. Throughout the battle they will attack the enemy and heal your party automatically, but your goal is to herd them together while you fight. Clumped higgledies will create a magic circle that gives you access to a one shot special ability such as a heal or buff. In addition, any standard combat skills will be augmented by whatever higgledies are standing around you. It’s essentially a combination of real time JRPG combat and Pikmin.
Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom will release November 10 this year on the PS4.
Metroid: Samus Returns
Well, now we know why Nintendo came down so hard on AM2R. Turns out they were making their very own remake of Metroid 2. That being said, the two games couldn’t be any different. Samus Returns puts a renewed focus on your beam weaponry, which can now damage evolved Metroids. Samus will be able to learn the “beam burst,” a new “aeion ability” that allows her to fire all her beams at the same time at the speed of a gatling gun.
These new aeion abilities are separate from Samus’s suit upgrades. They use a brand new energy gauge which fills as Samus fights enemies. Another new aeion ability is the “scan pulse,” which will reveal the map around you complete with hidden passages.
Even Samus’s basic combat has changed. Samus can now aim freely with full 360 degree rotation. Samus also has a “melee counter” ability which she uses by pressing the attack button right before an enemy attacks her. This allows her to outright kill most normal enemies and deal hefty damage to bosses. Finally, Samus will be able to use her grapple beam, an ability that didn’t show up until Super Metroid. Not only will it let her traverse deadly terrain, she can now use it to pull enemies off walls in order to attack them.
Metroid: Samus Returns will release on the Nintendo 3DS on September 15 this year.
Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions
Now this was a completely unexpected announcement. Nintendo has remade the original Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga with upgraded 3DS graphics.
It also comes with a completely new side-story which follows Bowser’s minions in a quest to get their beloved leader back. This minion quest plays something like a real time strategy game, as you build armies out of minions and send them against opposing armies. While battles play out mostly automatically, you can give orders to your units by using “captain points” in order to turn the tide of battle. New goombah and koopa troopa amiibos will be released alongside the game and they will provide you new units and abilities in minion quest.
Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions will release on October 6, 2017.