E3 2015 was a historic event for the gaming industry. Whether you’re an old-school gamer that was dying to finally see Final Fantasy VII’s remake announced, one of the few people that held out hope The Last Guardian was still a thing, or just a fan of gaming looking forward to the biggest and best new games the industry has to offer, there was something for everyone. Hell, we even got the first ever PC Gaming Show this year! That has literally never happened.
Luckily, this was also my first ever E3. I got to meet a lot of folks from the MMORPG team for the first time (such as the incredibly handsome Bill Murphy and the golden-voiced HiveLeader) which made the trip just that much better. I didn’t get a chance to play all of the big games and definitely missed a lot of stuff, but out of all the things I got to see, these were 5 of the best.
5) Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire
Bioware’s handling of the Star Wars property has always been much better than most fans probably could have ever expected. From the original Knights of the Republic, to this MMO, they’ve done a great job of staying true to the source material, while also developing new characters and stories as well. Our own Bill Murphy got to check out the latest expansion, Knights of the Fallen Empire, at E3, and it’s looking like it will be a return to form for the game.
The best thing about this expansion is that it’s aiming to focus more on story content, which has always been Bioware’s strength. Adding more gameplay content like new dungeons and group content is appreciated, but the core of the SWTOR audience are fans of Star Wars in general and fans of Bioware’s knack for expertly designed story elements. Everything has received a huge bump in terms of cinematic presentation and overall visual fidelity, which results in SWTOR being even more engrossing than ever.
4) Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns
Finally. That’s about all I have to say regarding this expansion. It’s about time Guild Wars 2 got an expansion. Everything they’ve shown looks absolutely wonderful, from the new specializations and weapon sets, to the guild halls and new profession. The only thing that could have made the demonstration at the PC Gaming Show would have been news of a new race - really the only thing that’s missing from this expansion.
During the show, they spent a lot of time showing off all the guild hall features. There are lots of new things to do in the halls, from fighting with each other in the arena, to taking over different buildings and sections to customize the design of your hall. They’ve also created new ways for guilds to have fun together with new activities like cliff diving and more guild missions.
3) Sword Coast Legends
This is the first entry on my list that isn’t an MMO, but bear with me here: it’s D&D. Chances are, anyone reading this right now has probably developed some degree of familiarity with D&D. The great things about Sword Coast Legends is that it isn’t just a standard isometric RPG with loot to gather and dungeons to explore - although it has plenty of that. What really makes Sword Coast Legends so special, is the Dungeon Master feature.
In the Dungeon Master mode, someone can open up the Campaign Creation feature to build their own adventures from scratch. The developers have assembled a collection of tilesets and resources to pull from, but all of the small details from NPC dialogue and quest goals, to the color of their armor and the actual placements of everything is fully customizable. In the span of just a few minutes, they were able to throw together a unique dungeon for us to play. And during the game, the DM gets full access to manipulate the game, on the fly, while everyone is inside the dungeon. It’s a unique, innovative, and fun feature.
2) Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward
Similar to Heart of Thorns, Heavensward is a major expansion to an existing MMO that people have been waiting on for a long time. I was lucky enough to sit down with Final Fantasy XIV’s Director, Naoki Yoshida, on behalf of another site I write for, and it was an incredibly humbling and engaging hour-long panel discussion. The vision he has for the game and where it’s going with the expansion and future updates is very refreshing.
FFXIV is a remarkable game in the MMO space simply due to the long road it’s taken to get to where it’s at currently. Not only did it recover from one of the most disastrous launched in MMO history, it’s become one of the best and most successful pay-to-play MMOs on the market. Heavensward marks a huge a upgrade for the game by introducing flying mounts and countless other additions and changes. Plus - you can already play!
1) EVE: Valkyrie
Finally is, my personal favorite game that I played at E3 this year, EVE: Valkyrie. I know, I know, it’s not an MMO and it isn’t even really an RPG, but it’s based in the same universe as EVE Online, so that counts for something, right? In a nutshell, EVE: Valkyrie is a first-person, VR, space combat game. The trick here is the VR part, which makes it unlike any other experience out right now.
The version I played was on Project Morpheus, but it’s also going to be a launch title for the Oculus Rift. It’s an incredibly exhilarating experience that made me feel the adrenaline pumping through my veins in waves. As I banked and pivoted around asteroids while embroiled in intense dog fights, I had to keep my head on a swivel to lock on to enemies and fire off missiles.
There were lots of other MMOs and other similar games out there. Gigantic was at E3, as well as Battleborn, Battlecry, and many others. But none of those carried the hype or gameplay excitement that the five games on this list did. Were there other games or announcements at E3 that got you especially excited? Let us know in the comments below!