Most of this year’s E3 chit chat has been centred, understandably, on potentially system-selling big hitters like Super Mario Odyssey, Anthem and Marvel’s Spider-Man, but we’ve had our heads turned by some of the more under-the-radar announcements, too.
Don’t get us wrong: we’re all for the relentless onslaught of trailers and gameplay footage, but there will inevitably be stuff that either gets buried by the household names, or goes over your head entirely.
Whether its a bold new IP or a sequel to a one of the GOAT indie games, we’ve pulled together a little list of titles that should be on your radar. Because, you know, we’re nice like that.
It’s been in development for what feels like a lifetime, but Cuphead, a stunning 2D platformer that looks like a playable 1930s cartoon, is finally set for release on September 29. In an indie scene that’s flooded with games of this ilk, it’s impressive that StudioMDHR’s literal work of art still sits at the top of many a most-wanted list. Including ours.
Platforms: Xbox One, PC, Steam
Out: September 29
A Way Out
Remember when multiplayer gaming meant sitting on your couch with a mate – extra large bag of Doritos between you – until the early hours? One more match. One more mission. One more try. Oops, it's 5am, and lots of obnoxiously loud birds are letting you know it.
Intriguing new co-op prison break game A Way Out is designed to be played exclusively in split-screen, and while you're able to do this over an internet connection, the developer envisages people doing it the old school way. The last game on lead designer Josef Fares’ cv was Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, a wonderfully original indie adventure game with an unconventional twin-stick control scheme that really tested the player. If A Way Out achieves something similar with multiplayer, then it could be a classic.
Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, PC
Metroid: Samus Returns
Nintendo were so confident about the impact of their speedy 25 minute livestream that they didn't even feel the need to include what is almost certainly the biggest upcoming 3DS game on the slate. Metroid Prime 4 grabbed most of the headlines, but the big N’s smaller portable machine is getting a remake of 1991 Game Boy title, Metroid II: Return of Samus. It’s simultaneously a return to the series’ roots and a total rebuild. That means updated audio, new 3D effects (3DS owners will want to keep that slider cranked right up) and new gameplay mechanics.
As the first 2D Metroid game in over a decade, this is the perfect way to get yourself in the mood for the Switch’s AAA epic.
Platforms: 3DS, 2DS
Out: September 15
Among a number of VR games revealed at this year’s show was Transference, a collaboration between Ubisoft and Elijah Wood’s production company, SpectreVision. The Hollywood star featured heavily in the game’s mysterious first trailer, but he wasn’t giving too much away.
What we know: Transference is a psychological thriller with a multi-branching narrative that shifts depending on your actions. “Bridging the gap between movies and games, we invite you to lose yourself in the destructive tale of a man’s obsession as you explore his digitally recreated memories,” reads the description on its website. We’re still not totally clear on what this all means, but it sounds like the kind of immersive experience that is heightened by a VR headset.
Platforms: PS VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, PS4, Xbox One, PC
Out: Spring 2018
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
If you own an Xbox One and haven’t played Ori and the Blind Forest, then own up to your mistakes and rectify this immediately, as it remains one of the Xbox One’s very best. The game’s hand-drawn art style and sublime animation made it one of the most visually arresting 2D platformers of all time, but underneath that magical aesthetic was a devilishly punishing side scroller that revelled in your failure. If you weren’t putting the controller down to marvel at what was on screen, it would be to stop you from breaking it in half.
Shown off running on an Xbox One X, the sequel looked predictably phenomenal in its reveal trailer. We see a host of picturesque environments, before the camera focusses on Ori consoling a mournful owl as it stares out at giant skeletons of what we’re guessing are its parents. So much 4K sadness. You’re going to want this (right after you’ve played the first one).
Platforms: Xbox One, PC
For a lot more E3 content, head over to http://e3.game.co.uk/.