Top 12 games at E3 2016 so far
Hot titles tease with Link, knights, Vikings and samurai, as well as a digitized Norman Reedus
The dust has settled somewhat as the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) moves into its second stage for the week. Microsoft, Sony and others showed off anticipated games for the coming year and announced new titles that have made a splash among fans online. In no particular order, here are 12 games that stood out from the rest.
Horizon Zero Dawn
Horizon Zero Dawn establishes a unique aesthetic by infesting an open, naturalistic landscape with robotic, animal-like creatures. The heroine, Aloy, is a resourceful archer and hunter who has to salvage materials from the cyber-creatures she takes down.
Release date: February 28, 2017 for PlayStation 4.
The Last Guardian
The makers of cult classics Ico and Shadow of the Colossus have been working on The Last Guardian for the better part of a decade. In it, players guide a young boy and his companion — a large, feathered flying creature — to navigate ancient ruins and fend off enemies.
Release date: October 25, 2016 for PlayStation 4.
Dishonored 2 by Bethesda stars Emily, the now grown-up empress from the first instalment. She's inherited the stealthy assassin role from the last game's hero, Corvo, allowing her to teleport and transform into a shadowy cloud to stalk her enemies amidst a city with a gorgeous, Victorian steampunk aesthetic.
Release date: November 11, 2016 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
Ubisoft's third-person combat game For Honor mixes western medieval knights, Vikings and samurai warriors in a weird historical smash-up. Character designs looked a bit generic when footage debuted last year, but extended gameplay from this year's E3 impressed with a mix of giant melees — like the Dynasty Warriors series with the methodical, one-on-one duels of Dark Souls.
Release date: February 14, 2017 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
The debut trailer for Infinite Warfare became one of the most-disliked videos on YouTube when it debuted a month ago. But it made a great second impression at E3, with a long trailer set in a giant, multi-ship space battle.
Release date: November 4, 2016 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
Mass Effect Andromeda
Edmonton studio Bioware's Mass Effect trilogy was one of the most beloved series in the last generation of consoles, thanks to complex characters, a customizable main character and diverse, Star Trek-like setting. The latest trailer for Andromeda looks to offer much of the same, but it's exactly what fans were waiting for.
Release date: Early 2017 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
The new Prey, developed by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda, appears to have next to nothing to do with its 2006 predecessor. Nonetheless, the teaser trailer piqued interest; it stars a man in an Ex Machina-like future setting with a jarring, psychological horror twist.
Release date: 2017 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
Watch Dogs 2
The first Watch Dogs built an impressive simulation of Chicago, but faltered with an unlikable protagonist and flat storyline. Ubisoft hopes to revitalize the concept by shifting the setting to San Francisco and putting players in control of DeadSec, a colourful gang of Anonymous-like hackers and rabble-rousers.
Release date: November 15 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
Ubisoft debuted Steep, a new open-world game with a focus on extreme winter sports instead of urban mayhem. Players can ski, snowboard and fly wingsuits as they take a virtual trip through the French Alps and Alaska.
Release date: December 2016 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Nintendo's only non-Pokemon game featured at E3 this year features a young adventurer named Link, just like every Zelda game. But the short preview shown revealed an astonishingly large, open pasture and more involved equipment, crafting and even cooking functions.
Release date: 2017 for Nintendo Wii U and NX.
We Happy Few
Montreal-based indie studio Compulsion Games joined the spotlight at Microsoft's E3 press conference with its creepy We Happy Few. It depicts an alternate-history England in 1964, where everyone is hooked on Joy, a psychedelic drug that helps them forget the horrors of the past.
Release date: July 26, 2016 for Xbox One, PC, Mac and Linux.
After his controversial departure from Konami, Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima made his first appearance at Sony's E3 Playstation press conference. His new project was revealed with a bizarre, haunting, music video-style vignette featuring a digitized Norman Reedus (best known from The Walking Dead) sporting a dramatic c-section scar and awakening naked on a beach littered with dead fish and whales.
Release date: TBA