While this year was an incredible E3 for games, it was also a great year for ALL things gaming as well. From new platforms to new tech, from the indies to the AAA, we’ll likely look back at E3 2013 as one of the defining years of the conference. We present Gaming Trend’s Best of E3 2013- Everything Else:
Best Independent Game of E3 2013
- Octodad: Dadliest Catch
- Ray’s The Dead
- Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee – New ‘n’ Tasty
Bastion singlehandedly launched Supergiant Games into the forefront of the minds of gamers everywhere, and ever since we’ve been waiting for how they could possibly follow it up. The answer: Transistor, a sort of spiritual successor to Bastion that feels familiar yet completely brand new all at once. Set in the not-too-distant-future, Transistor looks like a set design from Blade Runner if it were painted in vibrant water colors. A narrator accompanies you once again — this time taking the form of your high-tech sword. And while it appears to play like Bastion at first — what with the isometric camera and similar gameplay — Transistor adds a new layer in the form of quasi-turn-based strategy. Any time the meter is full, a simple press of the trigger will pause time and allow you to move around the field and plan multiple attacks in succession. Once you’ve figured out what you want to do, pressing the trigger again will activate the planned out moves. This isn’t something you’ll need to do every now and then — it’s imperative to your very survival. This additional strategic layer on top of one of the slickest looking environments we’ve ever seen in a game makes Transistor our Indie game of E3.
Best iOS Game of E3 2013
Deus Ex: The Fall
The mobile device as a gaming platform has seen much derision from core gamers, mostly with good reason. However, now that games like Deus Ex: The Fall are about to hit iOS it might be time to sit up and pay attention- this platform is growing up, and fast. The Fall doesn’t look quite as good as it’s console brother, but it comes a lot farther than you would expect, complete with everything you expect in a Deus Ex game; large environments, hackable terminals, augments- this is the real deal. The only thing that gives us pause after checking the game out at E3 is the touch controls, but between the polish the team will be giving the game before launch and the fact that we’ll soon be seeing proper controllers for the iOS it may not even be a problem by the time it comes out.
Most Innovative Game of E3 2013
- Fantasia: Music Evolved
You need only look at the news to see why Watch_Dogs is more reality than we’d like. The intrusive and clandestine harvesting of data for the “greater good” has started what may become an entirely new conflict – a Cyber War. The team at Ubisoft Montreal have captured this perfectly in their upcoming title, but it’s the way they are handling multiplayer that earns a nod for most Innovative. Being hacked is something you are fairly unaware of until it is too late, and that is perfectly captured in Watch_Dogs. Without your knowledge another player can jump into your game and wreak havoc in your world. The way that they’ve fully embraced the second screen experience, allowing cooperative and competitive play seamlessly looks to deliver on the untapped and undelivered potential promised by the Wii U and Smartglass. They’ve also employed this tech on nearly every one of their next-gen titles, but it’s Watch_Dogs that blew us away the most.
Best New Tech of E3 2013
- Xbox One Cloud
- Disney: Infinity
Xbox One Cloud
Microsoft delivered how the cloud delivers value in a way that made everyone turn away from it, but that’d be a mistake. Cloud computing is the future, and it can make for entirely new experiences. Imagine having a zombie title with 30,000 zombies on the screen. Now imagine literally millions of them shambling towards you in the distance. By allowing the local machine to handle the foreground and the cloud to tackle what is on the horizon, we can extend visual boundaries. Imagine a Halo game where a global invasion means literally hundreds of thousands of ships in the distance. Obviously the local machine couldn’t handle that many AI computations, but if that could be pushed into Microsoft’s 300,000+ servers to handle, your machine needs only display it. Imagine a million different AIs being uploaded for your favorite racing title, thus creating a dynamic and human experience despite racing against the computer. I keep using the word imagine because that is literally the promise here – Microsoft is aiming to deliver a product that is bound only by the collective imaginations of content creators. There was a lot of new and amazing technological advances displayed at E3 this year, but this is literally innovation on a global scale.
Best New Hardware of E3 2013
- Nvidia Shield
- Moga Boost Controller
Moga Boost Controller
With Android and iOS mobile devices commanding more attention as viable gaming platforms, Power A’s Moga controllers are bridging the gap when it comes to playing them. This year we got to take a look at their latest iteration of the Moga- the Boost. The Boost Controller is virtually identical to their current Pro controller for Android, except it actually has a battery that charges your device as you play, addressing the number one request of Moga users everywhere.
Best New Platform of E3 2013
- Microsoft Xbox One
- Sony Playstation 4
Sony Playstation 4
While the announced games and exclusives for the Xbox One certainly impress, Sony’s dedication to indie game developers, a point for point refutation of Microsoft’s original plan for DRM and disc less games, and most of all the $100 undercutting price-tag made the PS4 a favorite among our staff this E3. We ultimately think that Microsoft’s intentions are good but its message is unclear, but Sony is very clearly coming out as a champion of gamers and developers with an eagerness to show the world how they learned from the mistakes they made during this last generation. We’ve got ours pre-ordered, do you?
Biggest Surprise of E3 2013
- Ryse: Son of Rome
- Mirror’s Edge
- Star Wars Battlefront
- Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare
Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare
In the days leading up to E3, none of us were even remotely thinking that Garden Warfare would be a title we’d be giving a second thought to, much less excited about. Who knew the hit mobile ‘tower defense’ game would translate so well into a shooter? This title looks clever and fun, and definitely our favorite surprise of the show.
Best New Franchise of E3 2013
- Tom Clancy’s Division
- Dying Light
Bungie has impressed for years with the blockbuster Halo series, and by all accounts their follow up looks to be groundbreaking in it’s own right. Dubbed a “shared-world shooter”, a concept that steps just shy of being an MMO, Destiny’s gameplay demo at Sony’s E3 brief impressed us so much we had to go see it again at the Activision booth. With plans in the works for three additional titles after this first one, we’re excited about the opportunity to play in this “living world” for many years to come!
Best Graphics of E3 2013
- Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
- Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt
Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt
With nominations in three of our categories this year (and winner of Best RPG at that), this game definitely was a standout for us this year. What really brought it home for us, however, was the lush and vibrant environments in Witcher 3’s new open world featured in their in-game demo. We’ve been fans of the previous two installments in the series and their excellent visuals, but The Wild Hunt delivers Geralt and his world with such clarity and detail it literally is breathtaking.
Best of Show of E3 2013
Even industry veterans are getting tired of bland and unimaginative shooters. Respawn looks to bring something fresh to the table, finding a clever balance between the new and the familiar that had everyone here at Gaming Trend choping at the bit. We all wanted to play Titanfall. The game scratches many itches – FPS, jetpacks, incredible visuals, a sweet sci-fi backdrop, and agile mechs that seem like multi-ton exo-suits than the lumbering behemoths of most games. It was a unanimous decision – Titanfall is the game we couldn’t wait to play, easily giving is our coveted Best Game of E3 2013 award. Hell, a game that looks this good could have won the damned thing twice!