As a follow-up to last week's E3 we at RPGamer wanted to share with you our personal highlights from the show. With so many RPGs out there, it is tough to pick just one favourite from the show, but a mixture of staff members who went to Los Angeles or watched from afar are on hand to offer their thoughts on the game that stands out most to them.
All of RPGamer's E3 coverage can be found on the dedicated E3 2016 archive page.
Zack Webster — Count me in the camp that doesn't consider Zelda an RPG, but I won't skip an opportunity to talk about what may be the most interesting game to come out of the show floor in quite some time. I have always held The Legend of Zelda as bit overrated for its own good, but the series has never put me in my place like what I was able to see coming out of the Nintendo booth. Although I wasn't fortunate enough to get hands-on time with it, the more I see of it the more I like it. There may be an argument to be made that it's a bit too different from previous games, but that isn't a complaint you'll be hearing from me yet. Rather, I like to look at the game as Nintendo genuinely trying something new with the series for the first time in years. From its Team Ico-inspired open-world and visual aesthetic to complete overhaul of the traditional control scheme, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild almost seems to have been deliberately named as such to emphasize the breath of fresh it hopes to be for the series.
Pascal Tekaia — For me, this was a close call between I Am Setsuna and South Park: The Fractured but Whole. Both games look like they will be great fun and amazing games; both games offer an alternative to the "complete the QTE and follow the on-screen prompt to make some stuff happen" school of thought I saw in so many other RPGs at E3. *cough* Final Fantasy *cough*. In the end, I have to give the nod to I Am Setsuna; besides sporting a gorgeous art style, beautiful music, and teasing what could be a very evocative story, I have always appreciated the simplicity of old-school turn-based JRPGs. I Am Setsuna also generated a lot of hype by word of mouth, the news of this little RPG in Square Enix's corner of the show floor spreading like wildfire. Besides, what better praise can a game hope for than to be compared to Chrono Trigger by multiple individuals I spoke with over the course of those three days? 'Nuff said.
Chris Privitere — After spending an hour with Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, I knew it was my RPG of the show. It felt great returning to the world of Adam Jensen, with new gameplay and abilities to test out. I racked up numerous stealth kills and read a lot of emails. One additional feature I’m looking forward to seeing in the final game is non-lethal methods of completing boss fights. I’ll be replaying Deus Ex: Human Revolution to prep for its release later this year.
Zach Welhouse — I played lots of smaller press and indie games at E3, but the ones I'm the most excited about are still some time from release (For the King and Barkley 2 stand out). Although it seems like an easy out to praise Square Enix, I Am Setsuna was the most exciting game on the floor with a firm release date. I have to keep telling myself that nothing's ever as good as the nostalgia makes it out to be, but Setsuna is signalling hard that it can build that kind of love and respect. I'm not an island. I'm not a mountain. If it wants to be a soothing throwback that uses modern technology to smooth the mechanical quirks of the "perfect" RPGs of previous generations, I'm happy to give it that chance. I hope and I worry, but the more I hope the more I remind myself of the disappointments of the past.
Cassandra Ramos — It's inevitable that when a new generation of Pokémon is revealed, the games will sit at the top of my most wanted list. This is true, even after the slight letdown that was Pokémon X / Y. Pokémon Sun / Moon's appearance at E3 was relatively brief and nothing revealed was too exciting, but everything we know about the games so far has me intrigued and hopeful. The Alola region looks to be an neat locale, even if it superficially resembles the Hoenn region (it is my favorite in the series). I am really liking the new Pokémon introduced thus far as well, such as the adorable and potentially tigerlike Litten and the mascot legendary Solgaleo, which may be both a reference to alchemy and the Pokémon embodiment of a dying star. What I most want, though, is a return to the storytelling and characterization of Pokémon Black / White, if not an improvement on them. There is a glimmer of hope in the character Lillie stated as being important to the plot in some way, but to what extent remains to be seen. A part of me doesn't want to set my expectations too high, but since I tend to enjoy the odd-numbered generations more than even ones, I can't help but be hopeful.
Alex Fuller — We certainly weren't short on RPGs at this year's E3 but the one that stood out most to me really benefited from the amount of time it got to spend at the forefront. Nintendo Treehouse's coverage of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild did such a fantastic job of drumming up excitement for the game with tons of gameplay and conversation that was very enjoyable to watch and listen to. It really was a case of letting the game speak for itself rather than trying to incite an artifical sense of importance entirely drummed up by buzz phrases and cinematic trailer. While there are other games that I'm more excited for overall (Trails of Cold Steel II), Breath of the Wild really did put on the best showing.