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The Top 5: Games of E3 2013

With the dust mostly settled after E3 week, the Gamer Horizon crew weigh in with their individual Top 5 Games of E3 2013. Expect a few surprises.

Sean Mesler

You didn’t think we were done with E3 did you? We still have a few things to drop but right now it’s Top 5 time and what better way than Gamer Horizon’s Top 5 games of E3 2013 list.

Alex -

5. Octodad: Dadliest Catch – This game was a surprise to everyone in the crew. Sony dedicated four PS4 stations for this game at their booth and I can see why. Going back to the Sony booth for all 3 days of the show and observing the crowd who played it, I saw many people smile and laugh at Octodad’s wibbly-wobbly tentacles trying to make precision motions with an all too familiar rag doll physics model that, when tied to the thematics of having an octopus pretend to be a human, is just outright hilarious. In an age when indie hits like The Walking Dead can be declared as Game of the Year, I’d have to say that Octodad: Dadliest Encounter is a potential system seller for Sony.

 

4. South Park: The Stick of Truth – If you’re a fan of the RPGs and you haven’t read my preview yet, then you probably should. South Park: The Stick of Truth is probably the most exciting RPG shown at E3, and what’s awesome about it is how much true to the series the game is. Sure, it basically apes Paper Mario and those games, but there’s an inherent creativity and imagination that’s involved with trying to figure out how a bunch of fourth graders would ever be involved in an epic tale, even though it’s merely set in the a familiar universe. Once I saw how the fourth graders used makeshift items to cast various magic spells got me sold, and having Facebook as the game’s UI was enough to tip me over and pre-order the game.

 

3. Tearaway – I’ve always had a soft spot for platformers, and as much as Super Mario 3D World‘s announcement wowed me as much as any Nintendo fan would, the feeling of playing Tearaway tapped into a side of me that didn’t necessarily care to romp through the Mushroom Kingdom at all. Featuring worlds and characters created with folded paper, combined with innovative Vita integration and functionality, you can tell that a lot of Tearaway‘s gameplay was honed from the years of experience Media Molecule had with creating worlds with LittleBigPlanet. Truly, Tearaway is Media Molecule’s best foot forward, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the final game once it comes out later this year.

 

2. Infamous: Second Son – Of all of Sony’s launch window lineups, none has ever dropped my jaw more than Infamous: Second Son. I’ll be the first to admit: this game was never on my radar walking into E3. But seeing the 10 minute demo played by the folks at the newly rebranded Sucker Punch made me see the potential of an Infamous game with no boundaries. Sure, it’s got some powers from the previous game, and it looks to be in the same universe as Cole McGrath, but all of that pales in comparison to the incredible moments that the demo was able to invoke within those 10 minutes, and our newest hero, Delsin Rowe, is a bit more likable than Cole… and that, to me, ain’t a bad thing.

 

1. Destiny – While the booth demo was practically the same as the one shown at Sony’s Press Conference, I am still wowed by the art direction, the setting, and the often talked about 10-year plan Bungie has with the game. Sure, many of these are lofty goals, but Bungie’s a company that’s always had those and, for the most part, have succeeded by listening to the community and really delivering on what their fans want. As we move towards a brand new franchise, I can only hope that the sense of community they’ve cultivated in their previous titles is made apparent with the way they’ll be handling Destiny‘s social functionality. I honestly can’t wait to play this game, especially with the crew and our readers.

Alex and Ari were both impressed with the ambition and scope of Bungie’s Destiny

Ari -

5. Destiny – Despite a rather lackluster demonstration of Destiny at E3, I still think back to the core features that excite me about the game. The fact that the weapons themselves have skill trees rewards players for sticking to a weapon. I often think back to Borderlands and how some of my favorite weapons became obsolete when compared to another weapon which, while certainly more powerful, wasn’t as fun to use. I’m hoping Destiny doesn’t have the same problem. Also, I’ve very excited about the Guild Wars 2 style events that can occur while playing the game, providing players with a spontaneous opportunity to participate in a multiplayer scenario without ever switching modes or exiting from the single player game. I’m definitely going to be keeping an eye on Destiny.

 

4. Dragon Fantasy: Book II – Remember how in Chrono Trigger, most battles were triggered by bumping into enemies? Do you remember how Crono, his team and the enemies would all jump to a specific position before the start of the fight? What about the special attacks and how they could hit a specific area of effect? How about how the sequel, Chrono Cross, completely changed the battle engine? Ever wish for another game with combat like Chrono Trigger? Dragon Fantasy: Book II features a battle engine that is so Chrono Trigger-like that when I saw it for the first time at E3, I was hit with a powerful wave of nostalgia. It’s a beautiful homage to the greatest RPGs of the 16-bit era, complete with a world map that can be explored on an airship with Super NES Mode 7 style graphics. The game also has a terrific sense of humor, so be prepared to laugh or at the very least smirk approvingly as you play it. Dragon Fantasy: Book II is still in development, but the original Dragon Fantasy is available now. It’s more of an 8-bit style RPG and is playable on Vita, PlayStation 3, PC, Mac, iOS and Android (recommended version: Vita) courtesy of Muteki Corporation.

 

3. Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare – It makes perfect sense. Take the Dungeon Defenders formula, skin it with Plants Vs. Zombies, add a ton of Popcap charm and voila! The trailer was cool enough, but when I saw how the game actually played at the EA Press Conference on June 10th, I knew this would be a must buy. For those of you that haven’t played Dungeon Defenders, it’s basically a tower defense game where up to four players control their characters through a 3rd person view, thus adding action and shooting elements to the genre. It worked great in a Fantasy setting, and it seems to work perfectly in Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare. Between this and Plants Vs. Zombies 2, it’s going to be a great year for tower defense fans.

 

2. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn – This may come as a surprise to those that haven’t read my article on the subject, but playing an 8 player boss battle against Ifrit in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn was probably the most actual fun I had on the E3 show floor. It may have been a fluke; a perfect storm of coincidences that together turned an otherwise normal MMORPG into something incredibly entertaining. But what can I say? It was fun! It helped that there was an announcer commentating the entire battle, and that after a first failed attempt we were able to try again with lessons learned. And when all was said and done, FFXIV went from a game I was keeping a mildly interested eye on to one that I am now eagerly anticipating. Let’s hope that the entire game is up to the quality standard set in that battle.

 

1. South Park: The Stick of Truth – They did it. They actually did it. They created a video game that looks EXACTLY like the TV show. South Park: The Stick of Truth is the South Park game we’ve always wanted, and it’s an RPG of all things! The demonstration Alex and I saw at E3 immediately put this game at the top of the list of games I am looking forward to. Check out Alex’s detailed impressions for the full report, but as far as I’m concerned, Obsidian got this one right. They seemed to take inspiration from the Mario RPGs for the battle engine and exploration. The battle engine is turn based, but extra effects can occur by pressing buttons during combat animations. The character’s abilities and items can be used while exploring the levels to solve puzzles. But most importantly, South Park: The Stick of Truth is pure, uncensored South Park from start to finish. Must play.

Another Alex and Ari favorite. South Park: The Stick of Truth survived THQ!

Chris -

5. Dying Light turns out to be another zombie game with parkour elements. The game looks good and has a day and night cycle with different types of zombies running around depending on the time of day. There are too many zombie games on the market and Dying Light is the only one I’m looking forward to.

 

4.Titanfall finally made its debut and it looks awesome. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare mixed with giant robots sounds like the kind of game I really want to play. There aren’t many giant mech games on the market and the ones out there aren’t that good. This is the only mech game I’m interested in playing and I’m buying it on the PC.

 

3. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 is looking better than its predecessor. Gabriel Belmont now goes by the name of Dracula and the title fits him like a glove. Gabriel goes from a man obsessed with saving his wife to a vampire obsessed with revenge. The controls of Lords of Shadow 2 are exactly the same as Lords of Shadow allowing those who previously played the first game to get back into it. Just playing the demo immediately hooked me into the game and I completely forgot it was demo.

 

2. Murdered: Soul Suspect is an amazing looking game. Lead character Ronan O’Connor dies and has to solve his own murder. The story might not be new but that doesn’t change how good it sounds. Players have to investigate the scene of the crime and put all the clues together to move on. The game does offer a form of combat and I’m hoping it isn’t too invasive or overbearing. I’m really looking forward to playing this game.

 

1. Infamous: Second Son was the best game at the show. It looked fantastic and I was ready to purchase my copy immediately. I like Delsin’s smoke powers and the way he is able to use them. The ability to teleport, shoot projectiles from his hand and use the orbital strike makes him a formidable opponent. I really liked the story in Infamous and Infamous 2, and the main character Cole. Hopefully Delsin will be interesting and stand out as a character in Infamous: Second Son.

Chris and Sean both agree that Infamous: Second Son stole the show.

 

Sean -

5. Mad Max – Probably the biggest surprise of the show. It has amazing graphics, a huge open world and hyper violent gameplay. While it lacks an Australian Max, it more than makes up for it with the look, feel and brutality of the awesome first two films in the movie franchise. Mad Max is definitely one to watch.

 

4. How to Survive – This console generation isn’t over yet and this isometric, downloadable indie title impressed the hell out of me. With a surprisingly deep crafting system, good graphics, fun combat, and a robust leveling system and zombies, How to Survive jumped towards the top of my “Must Play” list.

 

3. TitanfallI’ve seen Titanfall. End of conversation.

 

2. Tom Clancy’s The Division – Part MMO, part RPG, part third person shooter, part loot game, all gorgeous and all ambitious, Ubisoft Massive’s  graphically stunning mish-mash of genres is right up my alley. Massive hasn’t even come close to playing all it’s card’s yet and when they do, even the biggest naysayers will want to play this game.

 

1. Infamous: Second Son – Graphically the game is gorgeous. Sucker Punch has completely done away with the cartoonish looks of the previous game and have instead opted for a much more “realistic” look. And the game is 100% better for it. Seeing Deslin engage in combat with the DUP soldiers, teleporting in an out of combat, in an out of vents, level a walkway bridge and be generally bad ass made the entire room burst into cheers when the demo was over and rightfully so. Infamous: Second Son is something truly special.

Well, we already have a pic of Infamous: Second Son so here is a gorgeous look at Tom Clancy’s The Division.

 

Ted -

5. Octodad: Dadliest Catch – In a sea of games involving guns and bullets from those guns going into people, it’s refreshing to see something as different as Octodad. Making the game hard to control on purpose, and then making THAT the game, is both risky and brilliant.

 

4. Tearaway – Something as whimsical as Tearaway can only help but make me smile. Feeling like I have direct control over the world IOTA lives in, as well as my being represented as an actual character in the world of Tearaway leaves me with a feeling that this game and experience is “special.”

 

3. Divekick – One game, two buttons, endless hype. No matter the skill level of the people who played at E3, they were all excited when they were playing divekick. Easy to play and understand, and no one feels like they are losing unfairly or due to a lack of knowledge. Plus, the excitement from spectators drives this game up to unusual heights.

 

2. Sportsfriends (Johann Sebastian Joust) – Sometimes I miss the old days of playing games on the playground. J.S. Joust brings that back. A game that uses PlayStation Move controllers, but no television? Being forced to interact with your fellow humans physically is the last thing I’d expect video games have me do.

 

1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – To me, Witcher 3 looks like it takes the best parts of the combat of Monster Hunter, the dialogue choices and consequences of Mass Effect, and the open world of Skyrim. Sign me up, please.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’s hardcore gameplay pushed it to the top of Ted’s List.

That’s it for our Top 5 Games of E3 2013! See you next week for another Top 5!

 

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