In the aftermath of E3 lots of discussion centers around who the biggest winner/loser was from a business standpoint. Forgive me for being cheesy but the one clear winner is us, the nerds who have spent the months since the release of the new generation of consoles clamoring for the next wave of must-play games. Each company came with their best shot and this is a quick take on each of the games that I personally will be plopping down my hard earned rupees, credits, gold, gil, etc on in the coming months.
1. Mario Maker
So you might have heard of a certain mustachioed plumber by the name of Mario who saves princesses, jumps on wildlife and is a fan of herbal remedies, you may also have heard of the groundbreaking Little Big Planet which in addition to being cute on steroids gave even casual gamers the chance to make their own levels with an exhaustive set of level design tools. Mario Maker is the “hey you got your peanut butter in my chocolate…wait a minute…” of this generation of games, giving gamers the chance to create their very own set of pitfalls and perils for the world’s most famous pipe smith. Make no mistake this is going to be a must have title if Little Big Planet’s plethora of people who found it necessary to recreate Mario’s Iconic level 1-1 want the chance to ply their trade on an actual Mario property.
2. Uncharted 4 : A Thief’s End
For my money, Nathan Drake is the Sony’s answer to Microsoft’s Master Chief. While the characters are very different and the games themselves are also, each character represents their home console admirably and in an iconic fashion. I am an unabashed Uncharted fanboy and will be firmly in the “shut up and take my money” camp each time a game in the series is released. That being said the title of this game has me scared to death as I can’t possibly imagine a future with no more Nate Drake. The run and gun gameplay, combined with the treasure hunting puzzles both served up with the series signature humor have me drooling already, though with graphics like the trailer presents, I may need an extra bucket.
Speaking of Master Chief, the team at Bungie is back with what is looking to be a lot more than just Halo without Master Chief, this game reportedly combines MMO elements with the tight, twitchy, and flat out amazing shooting gameplay the studio is known for. The early beta looks like Borderlands, meets World Of Warcraft, melded with Halo and with a more than a little bit of Game of Thrones (including Peter Dinklage as a voice). This is Bungie’s first title since splitting with Microsoft, I don’t know about you but I’d be willing to bet they knock it out of the park.
4. Smash Bros Wii U
Sometimes you want innovation, sometimes you want a wild thought outside of the box, and sometimes you want what you already love with new bells and whistles. That in a nutshell is the next in the line of Smash Brothers games, I have spent more hours playing this game than I would like to admit in a forum that women or potential employers can view. The frantic “easy to learn but difficult to master” 4 player gameplay returns with new characters from all realms of the gaming universe including the just announce icon to end all icons Pac-Man. Do yourself a favor, when this game comes out buy as much pizza, soda, wings, and air freshener you can, invite 4 of your best friends over, turn off the cell phones and prepare to lose an entire weekend to the glory that is Super Smash Brothers.
5. Batman: Arkham Knight
The best licensed game series of all time returns, putting you under the cape and cowl of the Caped Crusader (Holy Alliteration Batman!) as he once again looks to take back the streets of Gotham. This time however he’s cruising those streets in the freaking BATMOBILE! Criminals will again be a cowardly and superstitious lot as you hit them from every angle with a few new driving and 3rd person shooter themed levels. Make no mistake Rocksteady could literally just change the story, add a few different gadgets and have my $60 right now, but if this trailer is any indication they’ve done that and more by amping up the horsepower with the next gen tools at their disposal.
6. Sunset Overdrive
Blah Blah Blah Zombie apocalypse shooter right? Wrong. The minds behind Ratchet and Clank want you to have fun in an environment that isn’t just shades of Gears of War Brown and Gray. Imagine if Zombieland was a videogame with the guns from Resistance and Ratchet and Clank and you have this game in a nutshell. Sure, cover based shooting is the order of the day but who says the zombie apocalypse has to be boring? Hop on one of the Tony Hawk/Jet Grind Radio styled rails and blast away as you and your friends try to outdo each other.
7. Assassin’s Creed Unity
Black Flag broke the chain of “do what you want but only to a certain point” missions in the Assasin’s Creed Series, giving the players the freedom to pirate at will, this time the setting is more traditional historical land-based affair as you fall right into the thick of the French Revolution. One has to wonder if a return to a formula that was relying heavily on a character, Ezio, who by the events of this game is long gone, will serve the series well as later editions have featured less memorable heroes. The one thing for sure here is that much like the other titles listed here the next gen tech available lets the designers take things to a new place as the amount of NPCs present and active at one time is staggering. It bears to reason that eventually a game with amazing crowd mechanics set during a revolution will lead to some amazing mob set pieces. Only time will tell however as this round of Templars vs Assassins is on the way soon.
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