Hey guys,

TJ here with Sumthing.  So, I just got back from E3 and let me tell you, there’s a lot to be excited about.  There are so many incredible looking games and awe-inspiring details bouncing around in my memory, but I’ll spare you my ramblings.  Here are the top five reasons I walked away from E3 with a smile:

1. A New Generation

Ok, so obviously the big news this year is that both Sony and Microsoft will be launching their next generation consoles this fall.  There’s some heated debate over which is the better box, but let’s put console wars aside for a moment.  As for the next-gen games?  I’ve seen the videos, I’ve read the stories, but guys… you need to SEE THEM IN PERSON!  The graphics jump is, for the most part, imperceptible through streaming online videos…. but in all of its HD glory?  Wow.

Console Wars

It’s all about the intricate details: individual blades of grass dancing in the wind, picture-perfect smoke effects – the kind of stuff that really brings the immersion home.  But what impressed me most was the weight of it all.  Characters seem more grounded in their environments.. there’s a “realness” there.  The way an avatar’s feet meet the dirt as they walk, the way they interact with objects, it’s all just BETTER.  This is nothing game-changing, but it’s a clear jump forward and I can’t wait for you all to see it on your TVs.

 2. Asymmetrical Multiplayer

New ideas are just so refreshing.  At the tail end of a console cycle, it is very easy to lose faith in AAA developers’ ability to innovate, but fear not!  Developers are very much on their game, thinking outside of the box once again.  One exciting feature I saw, and was shocked by its ubiquity, was asymmetrical multiplayer.  Watch Dogs, Tom Clancy’s The Divison, Battlefield 4, and Dead Rising 3, among others, all offer a second way to play – from your tablet.  Each of these allows one player to play an overwatch-like support role, in which they play as a drone or battle coordinator of some kind.  While it strikes me funny that I’m touting innovation when all of these games are kind of using the same idea, the fact that developers are open to supporting features like this makes me dizzy with possibilities.

commander

Commander Mode!!

The real question is, how might this impact Nintendo’s WiiU?  On one hand, it removes much of what made that console unique.  On the other, it brings the hope of consistent third-party support, which Nintendo has been sorely lacking.

3. Zombies!

Zombies aren’t going anywhere, and why would you want them to?  Since its release a couple weeks back, I’ve been in love with State of Decay from Undead Labs.  Understandably, I had zombies on the brain heading into E3.  With my Xbox regrettably idling back in New York, I was glad to get my Z fix with strong showings from a slew of zombie games.  The Last of Us, Dead Rising 3, Plants vs. Zombies 2, DayZ Standalone, and The Evil Within all offered up some nice showings at E3.

zombies

The game that piqued my interest most though, was Dying Light.  It’s made by Techland, the guys who brought you Dead Island, and it is BEAUTIFUL.  Basically, Dying Light looks like Techland overhauled the graphics and performance on Dead Island (a lot, I mean really overhauled), and added the free-form parkour running from Mirror’s Edge to your bag of tricks.  I just hope they show multiplayer the same support as they did with Dead Island, but I have my doubts, if only because it’d be quite the feat considering how great single player looks.  Keep your eyes on that one.

(Note: I took the above photo at Capcom’s Dead Rising 3 booth.  They had a bunch of actors dressed as zombies.  It was all very cool, but my favorite zombie was a dude that was just asleep.  Totally napping.)

4. Destiny

destiny

Oh man, I can’t wait.  I’ve always been a fan of Bungie’s, I love Halo, but I think their new IP is going to grab me in a way that Master Chief never could.  There’s a magic surrounding Destiny that I can’t put my finger on, but I can see myself spending a LOT of time in that universe, exploring with friends.  I’ve heard people say that Destiny just looks like Borderlands without the humor, and while I can see where they’re coming from, just, no.  Even if it is, what’s wrong with more open world FPS co-op adventures in your life?  Nothing, that’s what.

Watching the live demo, even through the rote gameplay banter of what had to be their thousandth playthrough, you could tell the Bungie team was having fun.  They presented their game with genuine pride and excitement, akin to that of a four-year-old pinning her finger painting to the freezer door.   They’ve got me really pumped.  My most anticipated…

5. Batmobiles

Ok, so this has nothing to do with anything, but after I left E3 on Thursday, I took the Warner Bros. tour….?  And I saw ALL OF THE BATMOBILES.  Guys… they’re all in one room, just sitting there, together.  It looked like Jay Leno’s garage, but infinitely cooler for obvious Bat reasons.  Apparently they are all fully functioning automobiles and the Tumbler from the Nolan movies can reach upwards of 120 mph!

Actually I’m lying; it wasn’t ALL of the Batmobiles.  They didn’t have the original from the TV series.  This is probably due to rights ownership or something, but I like to think it was because Adam West was off zipping through the Hollywood Hills somewhere, laughing incessantly as he sprays shark repellant at lowly freshmen on their walk home from school.

batmobile

Don’t mess.

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TJ Pederson is a Sumthing.com staff member.  TJ edits blogs ’round these parts.  He plays games always.  He writes sometimes.