You totally saw this coming, didn’t you? While everyone is (rightfully) discussing the ladies who swept E3 this year, I asked both our writers and awesome community what games they’re most excited to actually play, and hell, did I receive an enthusiastic response. From a tiny, unraveling creature made of red yarn to a gigantic, feathered friend shaped much like a griffin, it was unsurprisingly Mass Effect: Andromeda that swept the board for our community as the most anticipated, popular pick following the conference. Here are just some of the enthusiastic responses you sent us when asked about your favorite games presented on the E3 2015 floor:
earfy said: UNRAVEL mass effect andromeda BUT UNRAVEL MY HEART
ophiuroidea answered: Mass Effect Andromeda (seriously I need a new Turian romance in my life XD) and The Last Guardian (finally!)
ianblackport answered: Horizon: Zero Dawn was totally unexpected but looks spectacular. Plus another look at Mirror’s Edge was welcome.
zombioro answered: mass effect andromedaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
Ready for more waxing lyrical about new games on the horizon? Of course you are. I’ve rounded up all the responses from our lovely writing team here at FemHype along with a parade of gratuitous screencaps. Not all of us could attend the big E3 2015 event, but by our collective excitement, you would’ve thought we were that guy shouting “THANK YOU!” during the Kingdom Hearts 3 gameplay reveal. More power to you, friend. ✊ We feel that love, too.
I’m absolutely not unique in saying this, but I am beyond caring and not quite beyond crying: The Last Guardian. Damn, I have waited a long time to see a sweet, sweet release date beneath that title. It’s been, what, five years? Six? I don’t remember how many times I flipped through a game magazine and saw laments from editors and fans alike wondering when this game would be lifted out of development hell. This is one of those rare games (from an even rarer studio as a whole) that actually deserves the oft-cliched line of “an experience.”
The breathtaking visual direction steeped in mystery, the rustic and iconic design of the creature, the minimalistic sound direction, the fact you’re basically raising a giant griffin hyena puppy—what more could you want from a game? I haven’t even played it, but judging by my playthroughs of Shadow of the Colossus and Ico, I know The Last Guardian is going to at least be filled with atmosphere, subtle gameplay, and lots of reasons to get a little teary.
I keep mentioning crying and I swear I’m happy about this! I’m happy! The Last Guardian is going to actually be released! Oh my god!
▹ Ashley B
It’s difficult for me to chose because the gaming industry has really stepped up to the plate. They’re including more women protagonists and the presentation of abstract and/or innovative games is incredible. However, I think I’m the most excited about The Last Guardian. I’ve been a fan of Team ICO’s creative but somewhat minimalistic games for a long time now. For me, Ico and Shadow of the Colossus were two of the best games I’ve ever played. I’ve also been waiting for what feels like centuries for the release of The Last Guardian. This company really takes its time to create the best games possible.
I had all the “hype” for just about everything I’ve seen, but only one game stole my heart. And stealing my heart isn’t necessarily easy, at that. The game I now anticipate the most is Unravel—a game by a small Swedish group called Coldwood Interactive. It’s the story of a little man made out of red thread, adorably named Yarny, and his great adventure. (The game could have been about two bricks on a stationary screen and I would have loved it, though.) A good amount of the charm behind Unravel was given by the game’s Creative Director, Martin Sahlin, who shared a game he loved so much with enthusiasm and passion. We’ve seen hundreds of games presented on stages big and small, but I think we’d have to search to the ends of the Earth four times over to find one single person willing to wear their emotions on their sleeve the way Sahlin did.
But I’d hate to discredit the wonder that is Unravel and paint the intrigue as love for Sahlin alone. Inspired by the beauty of North Scandinavia, it’s a puzzle game that tells a story using just images, music, and emotional impressions. That’s right: it’s completely wordless. As Yarny makes his journey, he leaves a piece of himself behind in the form of his unraveling thread. We don’t know yet how that will affect the endgame; will he leave so much of himself in the past that he eventually vanishes? Only time, and this inspiring new EA game, will tell.
Games I’m Legit Excited For:
Dishonored 2. I may or may not have gone and bought the first Dishonored game right after this sequel was announced, based purely on the news that you would be able to play as a woman. (Well, that and because it was on sale.) I’m enjoying the original so far, even though it’s managed to fridge a woman five minutes in and will likely give me nightmares about rats. Trailer for the sequel looked pretty darn cool, though, and hey, look at that, it’s possible to have a woman protagonist who isn’t sexualized and carries herself like a badass! Who knew?
Games I’m Indifferent Towards But Will Inevitably Wind Up Buying:
Rise of the Tomb Raider. I have a problem with Tomb Raider games, which is that I can never seem to finish them. I always lose interest somewhere in the second act, and if I do finish, it’s always more out of sheer dogged determination to be done than out of any actual enjoyment. Yet time and again I get suckered back into the franchise, because let’s face it, Lara Croft is pretty awesome. And I’m a big fan of the rebooted franchise’s mission to give Lara some concrete backstory and character development, even if I’m not always 100% in love with how they’re doing it.
Games I’m Excited For and Will Probably Never Get to Play Because They’re Console Exclusives and All I’ve Got Is My Poor Long-Suffering Laptop:
ReCore and Horizon: Zero Dawn both look like they’ve got a lot of fantastic stuff to offer. Post-apocalyptic worlds! Playable women protagonists! Killer robots! Why did they both have to preface their trailers with the thrilling promise that my choice of gaming platform is not supported? ReCore had an adorable dog robot and a brief taste of what looks like an intriguing core game mechanic (pun not intended). Horizon: Zero Dawn had … well, a badass woman with a spectral crossbow fighting giant robot dinosaurs. What’s not to love about that?
Games I’m Super Hyped For That Weren’t Even Mentioned At E3 Because They’re Not Coming Out Until Maybe Never—Yeah, I’m Looking At You, Ubisoft:
Beyond Good and Evil 2. Presumed either dead or stuck in development hell, but I’m an incurable optimist who still can’t help searching for news on it once a month. (If it wasn’t obvious already, I’m a massive fan of the original.) Come on, Ubisoft, you know this is the one way back into my good graces. Just give me this game and all will be forgiven—if not forgotten.
It goes without saying that I’m very excited for Fallout 4. Just like many other fans of the Fallout series, I’ve been waiting the past seven years for this game. Hoaxes came and went (I’m looking at you, Survivor 2299) and even with Fallout: New Vegas to keep me busy for a little while, I still craved a sequel to Fallout 3. I’ll admit that I’m a little biased when it comes to my overwhelming excitement for Fallout 4 because I live a stone’s throw away from Bethesda Game Studios and the third game took place in D.C., a place I also live ridiculously close to. Growing up with a game that I could look at where I recognized buildings and realizing that a studio so close to where I live gained worldwide attention was super inspiring. I digress, but I’m so hyped for Fallout 4.
And I’m throwing this in here too because I literally HAVE to: Mass Effect: Andromeda. Even though we were only given a trailer, the minute I saw the first second of the video I knew exactly what it was and I started shouting “YES! YES!!” and ugly-cried.
I looked at a number of videos of the trailers. Some of the new games look amazing! But I was really touched by Unravel. I’m not the greatest at that type of game, but the gameplay looks fun and Yarny is adorable. So is Sahlin, BTW. The creative use of yarn to move forward and the images are just so compelling. Sahlin is also so excited about the game that it is contagious. The pictures he shared of Yarny on that camping trip are lots of fun.
I am excited about Mass Effect: Andromeda and wondering how, exactly, that is going to play out, but it looks really nice. Halo 5 seems interesting with the team approach. That might make initial gameplay tricky to figure out. I also wish I had a PS4 in order to play The Last Guardian, as that feathered dog thing is cool. And Horizon: Zero Dawn certainly has an interesting backstory that makes me want to find out more. Then there is Rise of the Tomb Raider. That one looks like it could be fun and challenging.
So in summation, I want a lot of the things, but not all because my wife would kill me. But as a knitter, she did think Yarny was adorable.
▹ LA Ryter
Oh my, well this is a toss up for me between Rise of the Tomb Raider, Dishonored 2, and Fallout 4. Lara Croft was my heroine as a girl, however, Bethesda has won my heart over the years through The Elder Scrolls and Fallout 3. But the most surprising to me was Dishonored 2. I wasn’t expecting a sequel to the engaging and disturbing series. What’s more? This story will follow Emily, and she already looks like someone I would not want to cross. The trailer reveals distinguishing abilities between her and Corvo; indeed, I think her abilities are way more impressive.
The first installment of Dishonored involved a spectacular story and the gameplay was unique, engaging, and wicked awesome. I would expect no less with the new installment. Bethesda has not disappointed and, I have no doubt, will fully recover from their The Elder Scrolls Online fiasco with Fallout 4 and Dishonored 2. Now they just better live up to another Elder Scrolls installment.
I’ve always avoided the E3 hype even if that was mostly because I didn’t tend to realize that it was E3 until it was too late. Now with constant reminder notifications from YouTube that *nudgenudge* E3 is streaming, I’ve been hard-pressed to keep up that avoidance.
The one game that had me making grabby hands at the computer was the gameplay trailer for Horizon: Zero Dawn. Even without the interesting story idea, the huge clomping machines that look like dinosaurs, and the gorgeous graphics, I would have been excited just to have a woman protagonist who is both capable and not hyper-sexualized. The world already feels vast and unique, taking aspects of fantasy, open world, and shooters only to mesh them all together. I get the sneaking suspicion that it’s going to be a PS4 exclusive, though, which makes my PC gaming heart crumble a little around the edges.
During most E3 panels, I was a bit underwhelmed. Nintendo was what I had been looking forward to the most, and they seemed lackluster at best. That was until Emi Watanabe, a software planning and development staff member at Nintendo, came on the screen surrounded by an army of wool Yoshis, all of which she made herself. Watanabe spoke about working with the developer for Kirby’s Epic Yarn (another one of my favorite Nintendo games) and how they wanted to take the same approach with my highly anticipated E3 fave: Yoshi’s Wooly World.
I didn’t think we would see much of it at E3, since it’s been floating around on the internet for a while now. However, when it popped up on the screen, I was in an absolute state of joy. The hype for it on the internet and scare TV commercials had me preemptively saving space in my budget just for this game. And seeing the official trailer for it, my prior feelings for the game were completely amped up, and I’m now desperate for the October 16th release date.
I, personally, am a fan of the game type itself—a clever use of puzzle platforming that relies on Yoshi’s ability to change itself into the necessary shapes or objects. This makes for an easy to learn, yet hard to master experience. Aside from the game type itself, things made of yarn are just so soothing. My favorite part of Kirby’s Epic Yarn was that it posed a challenge while still maintaining a sense of serenity and a hefty amount of “cute.” The music, the colors, the atmosphere—all of these things are present, it seems, in Yoshi’s Wooly World as well.
Given that it’s from the same developing team, I have nothing but high hopes for Yoshi’s Wooly World. And, let’s face it: the adorably squishy yarn amiibos that will be released for the game are an absolute must. No one can deny something that cute.
E3 almost always feels very large and it’s the time when all the major studios bring out their holiday releases, which usually mean a concentration on the same franchises and the usual core gaming type fare. This year felt more encouraging on the whole, with some notable women protagonists like the return of Faith in Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst (though actually a prequel) as well as Lara Croft, Dishonored 2‘s Emily Kaldwin, and Aloy of Horizon: Zero Dawn. We’re even getting an episodic mini-series game about The Walking Dead‘s Michonne. We had an E3 with more than one lady protagonist of color! Skin color options are coming to Animal Crossing! Link is starring in a co-op game about powerful ability-granting fashions, and can even wear Zelda’s dress (which was presented respectfully).
Yet, this year also featured a sense of the growing importance of different gameplay styles, audiences, goals, and even the importance of mobile as a platform with major studio investment. Unravel is probably the most memorable game unveiled at E3, which begins with the earnest presentation by designer Martin Sahlin. Yet it’s what he said about the tale of Yarny, the red yarn protagonist, that stood out.
“You’re the red thread that runs through someone’s life trying to tie all their missing pieces together.”
For a puzzle-platformer, the game seems like it will evoke emotions, empathy, and a sense of more than just goal completion. Many games are about making yourself bigger or more powerful, but Yarny is small and resourceful, and seems to be helping someone just as he is. I can’t wait.
ReCore must have set the record for shortest amount of time taken to kill a dog, as the pet sadly dies halfway through the announcement trailer. It is shortly brought back, however, after its core is placed in another robot.
It’s still fairly unclear who, precisely, you play as from the trailer, as you are shown a nimble human sharpshooter and her robot companion go to town on an army of robo-spiders. Do you play as both? Neither? Do you play as the spiders? Who, at this point, knows? At any rate, the game appears to promise fast-paced, varied combat. Even if it is only available on Xbox One. Because of capitalism.
Well, I like deserts and big guns. I’m a simple woman, and hence kinda sold.