Well as the dust settles from E3 I've been looking over the pile of games that gamers were shown. There were a few surprises, a few disappointments but I think it's fair to say this was one of the best E3's in recent years: mainly for me because there was a feeling 2015 was going to be a quieter year.
Bethesda opened the show and boy oh boy did they nail it. I can't remember another E3 show that seemed to generate such an electric buzz around the audience. The game that made this happen for me was Fallout 4. I don't think anyone could have asked for more, not only did we get an extended look at the game running but it caught a lot of people off guard with in game features. The pre-E3 trailer had left a few people a bit flat as it was kinda what we'd been expecting: a better looking Fallout. This stage demo seemed to look better, play better and now we were seeing what Bethesda had been busy with.
They started with a look at some of the beautiful concept art used to craft Fallout 4 and then moved right into where we make our character. As they explained that the game would start before the bombs fell we were treated to a very high quality face customisation scene: it's also great news we can play as male or female. This time around we also seem to have a faithful hound at our side who can help you in your travels, one example was the dog fetching a wrench for you. I hope you can use this feature in creative ways and dangerous situations. The VATS system makes a return and overall the game combat looks like it will be in the same style, which is great. Where the demo really hit turbo was when they revealed that with the special edition gamers will get their own Pipboy replica which houses your smart phone and with the help of an app will work as a real Pipboy. If that wasn't enough we were also treated to a demonstration of how the base building and crafting works in the game, the freedom we are being given is mind blowing: once you've placed structures and a power source you have to actually wire it all up yourself! The crafting also has a new twist because weapons can be made from a whole array of household items, items which in previous games were just vendor trash. It's really easy for me to say I think Fallout 4 was the game of E3 and stands a pretty good chance to dethrone The Wicther 3 as the best game of 2015.. we shall see.
Doom looks heart poundingly good, really good in fact with plenty of what we would expect from a modern looking iteration but as is often the case I think people usually hope for a bit too much: hence the media outlets like Gamespot and IGN weren't too excited about this one. We were also treated to a CGI trailer for Dishonoured 2, a sequel to what must be one of my favourite FPS games in recent times. This time it looks like time has jumped forward and new technology has emerged. It's exciting again we can now seemingly play as either Corvo or Emily: one to watch for sure.
Let's see, other stand out PC games.. ok so we've got another Hitman in works. For now we know little so I'll file this until we know more. As always we hope and we pray. No Mans Sky was still looking vastly impressive as ever and yet I felt they really needed to show something other than how cool the procedural world generation looked. They remain coy regarding actual specifics and I hope this doesn't backfire. Hey I get it, they don't want a game tethered to constraints and set conventions, I'm totally onboard with that but at some point I hope they make the mechanics a little clearer so gamers have an idea if they will dig freedom of this scale. For Honour and Horizon: Zero Dawn also both look very promising. The Division again looks great but as I'm still stinging from AC Unity until I'm playing it I'll not hold my breath. Little was shown of Mass Effect Andromeda and Mirrors Edge Catalyst but again, they exist and I'm sure we'll see more from these in the near future.
And finally the first ever PC Game show, where PC game developers got a chance to stand up and tout their wares. Regardless of how successful it was the fact it happened is great step for PC. As my site is aiming to help change the profile of PC gaming in the wider audience a recognition of how well the platform has been doing in recent years is great. I woke up at 2am to watch it live and I felt it was a mix of good and bad, some stilted appearances and Phil Spencer looking like a fish out of water.. ("Yeah you know" I kept muttering) but there were also some great things shown. While we know (and they know) Microsoft have let the PC down badly in the past, it sounds like we're seeing a renewed level of commitment now from them: let's hope it's genuine, that DX12 sings and we don't get anything akin to Games for Windows Live forced on us again.
There are of course plenty of games I haven't mentioned here but again, for me the stand out part of E3 was Bethesda all the way. I'm going to aim to make it to the next E3 in some capacity but for now we have a very busy year ahead of us in PC gaming.