E3 has come and gone. It’s had its highs and its lows, but once again there were a lot of great games. We’ve done our best to try and highlight the ones we think are interesting in one way or another.
Not all of them were at press conferences, however. Games not being at press conferences is a frustrating reality of the show – presentations only have a certain amount of real estate to work with, of course. But there are usually a bunch of great games that are missed because they aren’t given the spotlight.
We’ve highlighted a couple with our deep dive impressions, but I wanted to bring you some more. So here’s a list of ten awesome games that you probably missed because they didn’t make an appearance at anyone’s E3 presentation:
Everybody’s Golf just looks like pure fun in a world where other golf games either take themselves way to seriously or build gimmicks around a golf game (to the point that the golf becomes a tertiary concern). Everybody’s Golf is a celebration of golf, and thanks to that it can be enjoyed by everyone.
It’s nice and easy to pick up without having to have too much knowledge of which club does what. It’s got an impressively deep array of customisation options. The most interesting thing about the game? The connected open world experience. Courses are completely free roam, allowing players to move freely between holes without loading times. And you’ll be sharing your world with other people’s avatars.
Plus Shuhei Yoshida is probably going to be a character in the game.
Everybody’s Golf launches exclusively on Playstation 4 on August 30, 2017.
I’ve officially come around on Vampyr. Last year’s showing of the game at The PC Gaming Show, which showcased the game’s combat, left me feeling cold and unimpressed with the game. This year, everything that I’ve seen and heard of the game has made me need it more and more. Chief amongst this is the game’s morality and progression system.
You don’t gain XP from fighting enemies. You gain XP from draining and killing NPC’s. When I say “morality system” I don’t mean making arbitrary moral decisions – I mean deciding which NPC’s you’re going to murder to fuel your abilities. Deciding what your code of honour is yourself, without it being mandated by the game, is huge. It doesn’t help that most people aren’t inherently bad.
Vampyr launches for PC, PS4 and Xbox One in November 2017.
Dissidia Final Fantasy NT
I know what you’re thinking – trust Gary to find the random Japanese games. Dissidia Final Fantasy NT is a fighting game crossover between the Final Fantasy universe and characters from the various series’ created by Team Ninja. It’s also not your typical fighting game – for starters the game features 3v3 brawling and action RPG elements.
The game features an unusual fighting style. You don’t attack the health of an enemy directly, but rather you must lower a Bravery meter to “break” enemies before assaulting their health. At a certain point in fights a Summon Stone will appear. Players must break it and stand near it for a few seconds. Whoever does gets to call forth a Summon for their team, with teammates voting who to bring down on their enemies.
Dissidia Final Fantasy NT launches exclusively for Playstation 4 in 2018.
The Sword of Ditto
While Devolver Digital were satirising every element of the video game industry in the guise of a press conference, their development studios were showing off their awesome roster of games. The Sword of Ditto is a cute but difficult action RPG that is set in a world that is a weird collision of modern day with fantasy tropes.
It takes many cues from classic Zelda games. Players will explore an overworld before delving into brutally difficult dungeons, all while trying to overcome a plague that threatens your village. It’s also got an amazing artistic style and looks like it could be an addictive experience, especially in co-op (thanks to the local multiplayer options).
The Sword of Ditto arrives in early 2018 on PC and Playstation 4.
Absolver isn’t just a fighting game – it’s a martial arts game. Everyone at developer SloClap practice martial arts and it shows through in the incredibly fluid motion of combat in Absolver. Exploring the world and finding other players to fight (or even partner up with) requires you to be just as mindful of their fighting style as your own.
Even better, this is a martial arts game that allows you to customise your fighting style to your personal play style. Rather than learn a set series of commands and combos, you can choose your own. Movesets are built through the combat deck, which you can tailor to your own liking or even find a mentor and borrow theirs. Each move must be physically adjacent to the last, allowing for combat that looks incredibly fluid in motion.
Absolver launches on PC, PS4 and Xbox One on August 29, 2017.
We’ve been waiting for Matterfall details for some time now. First announced at Paris Games Week in 2015 before disappearing into the ether, Matterfall made a triumphant return to Playstation’s pre-show at E3. Not only that, but we saw substantial gameplay demos and a release date for Housemarque’s side-scrolling shooter.
Of course it’s a side-scrolling shooter. Housemarque are one of the best studios in the world in that genre. And Matterfall looks just as excellent as their previous work. It’s got a very similar setup to Resogun (which is still one of the best PS4 games you can buy) – you shoot the crap out of alien smart matter in fast-paced, extremely agile gameplay that looks incredibly tight and satisfying to play.
Matterfall launches exclusively on Playstation 4 on August 15, 2017
There are some types of games I just have a weakness for. Sundered, a beautiful and brutally difficult roguelike action platformer, falls directly into that category. The stunning art style drew me in, but it’s the challenging action gameplay that will ensure I don’t break free from the game when I finally get my hands on it.
Sundered drops you into a Metroidvania-like world overrun with Eldritch-style abominations that need to feel the taste of your sword. When you die you’re sent back to the beginning of a particular level, but you’re able to purchase upgrades and skills that will carry over between lives, ensuring that you’re always making progress even if you’re getting smashed to pieces over and over again.
Sundered is launching on PC and Playstation 4 this July.
Extinction takes place in a world where Ogres are threatening to wipe out Humanity, you must take up the fight to save everyone from their destructive rampages. Sounds fairly standard, right? Well, what if I told you that the Ogres are gigantic. Like, as tall as a skyscraper. Instead of fighting hordes of normal-sized enemies, you’ll need to make use of parkour and a grappling hook to fight these behemoths.
It’s the gameplay that’s the real draw of Extinction. There are smaller enemies to fight off, but your main target are the Ogres, who all have different abilities and weapons. Fighting them isn’t a simple affair of slashing at their ankles until they fall over for a dirt nap. You’ll need to destroy sections of their armour and slice their limbs off to weaken them, before delivering the finishing blow. Take too long and their limbs will regrow.
Extinction is due for release in early 2018 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
As a Kickstarter backer of the original Pillars of Eternity, I’ve followed along with every shred of information from the sequel with unbridled anticipation. While Pillars of Eternity was a solid cRPG, it was a game that saw its developer very much playing it safe. Pillars of Eternity 2, however, sees Obsidian pushing the boat out and expanding the scope of their original vision.
In the sequel you’ll be exploring the Deadfire archipelago. You and your party will board your ship (yes “pushing the boat out” was intended) and explore a much more varied and diverse set of lands than before. Party size has been changed from 6 to 5 to make combat more manageable, AI has been tweaked to present a greater challenge and make encounters more dynamic. Pillars of Eternity 2 sees Obsidian stretching their legs. I can’t wait to see the end result.
Pillars of Eternity 2 launches sometime in 2018 exclusively on PC.
At some point in their lives I’m sure everyone has played with slot cars. Scalextric was a big deal in my house when I was younger. I’d let my imagination run free as I raced electric powered cars across tracks of my own design. Developer FuturLab are looking to tap into those childhood imaginations with the fun looking virtual reality game Tiny Trax.
You’re racing slot cars around tracks, just as you did all those years ago (or not, depending on your age and/or interests). These tracks, however, are a lot more exotic than you might remember. Larger, more intricate and set in frost-covered wonderlands or in beautiful ocean vistas. With multiplayer and championship modes, Tiny Trax looks to be the Mario Kart for slot car racing. In virtual reality.
Tiny Trax is coming exclusively to Playstation VR in the near future.