Amazing games are amazing, and each year there are many of them at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). We worked obsessively to bring you all of the coverage you need (and there’s more coming this week!) and owe it to you to fill you in on our favorite gaming experiences of the show. What stood out? What was important to the industry? What was fun? What was worth it?
Though games are more and more refined these days, we felt that the following games went above and beyond the quality of the rest to bring engaging, enjoyable experiences that we should all look forward to the remainder of this year and into 2013.
Bethesda’s Dishonored brings supernatural assassins to the forefront. It spins an excellent narrative around several intriguing gameplay mechanics, tied together with incredible visuals inspired by steampunk and early 20th Century London. Dishonored arrives in October 2012.
The Last of Us is Naughty Dog’s latest incredible game for the Playstation 3, and brings us a post-apocalyptic vision of a future that is sparse on people, hope, and bullets. The Last of Us releases in 2013.
The Madden series is known for iterating annually at a slow evolutionary pace. Madden NFL 13, however, has rebuilt the game from the ground up, focusing on physics and realism and adding some actual lite RPG elements. The addition of Kinect on the Xbox 360 version creates a whole new, exciting gameplay method that should not be missed. It releases in August 2012.
Rayman Origins was one of the most endearing, fun-filled games of 2011. The sequel, Rayman Legends, looks even better and adds an incredibly fun and simple Wii U touch screen use with its new character, Murfy. It releases this holiday season.
While there wasn’t an official announcement of a Shadow Complex sequel at this year’s E3, there may have been something even better. Deadlight, coming to XBLA this Summer from TequilaWorks, mixes elements from Chair’s excellent Metroidvania game with Alan Wake and The Walking Dead. It plays awesome, looks awesome, and we think it will definitely be awesome.
Borderlands 2 is the sequel to Borderlands. It has more modes, cool visuals, and more stuff to do. Also: It’s the sequel to Borderlands! It shows up on our doorsteps in September.
Though Transformers games have been hit or miss — the ones based on the movies haven’t been very good — The Fall of Cybertron is the sequel to 2010′s War for Cybertron, one of the best Transformers games ever made. The new game has excellent visuals, a deep narrative (in a Transformers game, too!) and Dinobots. DINOBOTS. Fall of Cybertron arrives in August.
If you were a fan of the excellent Mortal Kombat reboot last year, then you’ll be happy to know that NetherRealm Studios is working on a sort of followup. Injustice takes the world of DC and drops it into the fighter genre. The game pits DC’s most popular characters against each other, and incorporates a focused narrative element a la last year’s Kombat and an excellent visual style.
Free-to-play may seem like a gaming fad, but once you see Hawken up close you realize the potential — and the incredible quality — that the particular business method can employ. Hawken, the multiplayer online mech war game, looks better than anything on consoles. The amount of detail in its visuals is offset by an extremely easy pick-up-and-play methodology that can pull you into a rabbit hole much the way that Diablo III does. Hawken launches in December.
The excellent Star Trek film of 2009 has finally spawned a worthy video game spin-off. Next year’s Star Trek game, developed by Digital Extremes for Namco Bandai, drops players into control of Kirk or Spock in a huge co-op experience. Filled with action and a narrative focus, the game even summons classic Star Trek enemies like the Gorn.