The 2017 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) has once again come and gone, and with it, hundreds of announcements for upcoming video game releases were unveiled. Developers showed off what’s to come in the future in gaming and there’s plenty to be excited about.
While I can’t run through every single game (sorry Anthem, Metroid, and Shadow of Colossus fans), here were five games that I can’t wait to play.
Super Mario Odyssey – Nintendo Entertainment – Oct. 27, 2017
Our own Kevin McGuire detailed Nintendo’s Mario-focused success at E3 and had high marks for the upcoming Mario platformer and I’m inclined to agree. Starring everyone’s favorite plumber and a hat-shaped ship named Odyssey (I want some of whatever Nintendo’s smoking in pitch meetings), the game returns Mario to its high-point roots.
In the same vein as Mario pinnacle’s Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine, Odyssey takes Mario outside the Mushroom Kingdom and into the real world. In the open sandbox, there are dinosaurs, real people, rock concerts and just about everything you wouldn’t expect from a game like this. But, there are all the Mario staples in terms of platforming, puzzles and warp pipes.
I’d like to see more, but the early returns for Super Mario Odyssey are promising. Simultaneously taking the game back to its late 90s-early 2000s model is easy to get behind as a longtime fan of the series.
Deep Rock Galactic – Ghost Ship Games – Release 2018
Entering E3, Deep Rock Galactic, a first-person co-op shooter from Danish game developers at Ghost Ship Games, wasn’t on my radar at all. However, when footage from the game was unveiled during Xbox’s conference, I was incredibly intrigued.
Very much like the polarizing No Man’s Sky, Deep Rock Galactic is an objective-based game where you play as a dwarf, mining and exploring the procedurally generated planets. With awesome polygonal design, funny voice acting and a downright amazing game tag “Danger. Darkness. Dwarves,” Deep Rock Galactic will fill the void for No Man’s Sky and Minecraft fans looking for something new. There’s little groundbreaking here (bad pun), but the game seemingly has a firm grasp on its identity.
Spider-Man – Insomniac Games – 2018
Spider-Man has had many, many games based off the popular comic book character, but none of them ever felt like a true adaptation. Sony’s Spider-Man, a PS4 exclusive coming out next year developed by the usually-reliable Insomniac Games, will change that history in a big way.
This year, gameplay footage of Spider-Man was finally unveiled and the natural motion, voice acting, and tone look downright perfect. Think Batman: Arkham Asylum’s rapid mechanics but featuring everybody’s favorite web-slinger — in a new, fabulous suit to boot! The use of webbing as a fighting mechanic will spice up that sometimes repetitive fighting style. It’s about time Spider-Man got a great game.
Plus, Miles Morales! The hype is real.
Age of Empires Definitive Edition – Microsoft Studios – 2018
The Age of Empires series has always excelled at combining real-time strategy game mechanics fused with historical battles and armies. It’s what keeps fans coming back to the 20-plus year-old series. Countless expansions and sequels have come out since the series originally debuted back in 1997, but what started it all was the self-titled game. Now, that game is getting a remaster.
Featuring 4K graphics, a new re-orchestrated soundtrack, plus features and gameplay improvements from games succeeding the original title, this looks like it could be a lot of fun for old and new fans alike. While the game isn’t going to reinvent the wheel, beefing up the original Age of Empires is a brilliant idea. Upscaling and expanding the classic RTS is a no-brainer. I’ll be first in line to pick up the definitive edition.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle – Ubisoft – August 29th, 2017
No game confused me more heading into E3 than when I first heard Mario was getting a crossover game with the Raving Rabbids from the long-time Rayman series. In theory, those two things shouldn’t exist in the same digital universe, let alone star in a game together. However, when Nintendo showed off footage for the upcoming Switch title, I was shocked to see what appeared to be a coherent, fun-looking title.
Strangely, Mario + Rabbid Kingdoms is a turned-based tactical role-playing game in the same spirit as XComm. It feels weird writing that. It also feels weird to see Mario with a gun, but hey, this project is so damn strange it might be great. At the very least, partnering with Ubisoft should allow Nintendo to get some games from the company to come to the Switch.