e3 2014

The Un-Official Escapist E3 Awards

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Another E3 has come and gone, and with it tons of announcements of brand new games and upcoming sequels. Some of the offerings this year were so impressive, we even went out onto the show floor and gave our favorite games fancy awards.

But, you know, while a “Best of E3” award may sound special, we think there’s a few games out there that deserve a little extra recognition in their own, unique category. So, without further ado, here’s the completely unofficial Escapist awards, highlighting some of the best of the best of E3 2014.

Best Stupidly Catchy Song – Dead Island 2

Paul Says: I think I have a problem. Ever since I assembled our Sony Press Conference Recap, and first watched the announcement trailer for the new, colorful, and much more zany looking Dead Island 2, I cannot get this freaking song out of my head. Seriously!

I’ve never heard any music by Pigeon John before, but now when I wake up in the morning to the clear blue sky, this blasted song is stuck in my head. Seriously, it just reaches another whole new level in annoyingly catchy tunes, and just found a way to dig into my head and sit there on repeat, no matter how many times I tried turning up other music when I hop in the ride… the windows down, let the whole world see, can’t nobody rock it like the little old…

Dammit. I hate you Deep Silver!

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The “Seriously, This Game is F*cking Scary Award” – Alien: Isolation

Paul Says: I sadly missed out my chance to experience the horrors of Alien: Isolation on the Oculus Rift like many of my other game journalist peers, but I did get to log a short play session on the Xbox One while checking out Microsoft’s booth on the E3 show floor. And even though I was in a mostly well lit room with plenty of people around me, this game was incredibly unsettling and is definitely a horror game through and through. Creative Assembly really has done a fantastic job of creating a claustrophobic environment that feels like it’s straight out of the classic film, and have also created a terrifyingly tough enemy to deal with. Even with a motion tracker giving me a few sparse seconds of warning, I died so many times trying to get to safety, and even just catching a glimpse of the Xenomorph’s tail as it rounded a corner almost nonchalantly was enough to send me scurrying for cover.

I’d also want to give props to Creative Assembly for the red herring they put in the demo in the form of a flamethrower. I get that you’re not really supposed to kill the Xenomorph and the flamethrower is meant to scare it off, but sure it looks like an intimidating piece of hardware and I sure felt better when I was waving it around. However, when I first pulled the trigger, spitting out a short but intense gout of flame at my antagonist, I swear the Xenomorph looked at me, turned away, and then walked calmly into a nearby air vent, as if to say “Nah, I’ll eat his face later.”

Which it did, two minutes later. Quite gruesomely, I imagine. I kind of shut my eyes at that point.

Least Nausea Inducing VR Space Sim Award – EVE: Valkyrie

Josh Says: After two dizzying VR demos earlier in the week, I went so far as to avoid eating for several hours prior to my appointment to see EVE: Valkyrie on Project Morpheus. I sat down and donned the headset, ready for the worst, but after a few minutes in the cockpit, I removed the headset, and was stunned by the complete lack of queasiness. It was so remarkably not-dizzying that it was almost disorienting.

The “Trailer That Most Made Me Want To Call My Parents And Tell Them I Love Them” Award – The Division

Paul Says: Okay, if after watching this trailer for The Division, you don’t feel a twinge of sadness at watching an invisible family fall apart during a horrible tragedy, you might want to check that you have a pulse. Cause that’s some wicked macabre stuff, man, and looks like The Division wants to put you right into the forefront of it.

And yes, okay, I’ll admit that this trailer does turn up the drama to tug those heart strings, and after all, the game is more or less an open-world shooter with some MMO elements, but you know what? It worked for me. I was already looking forward to playing The Division since it was first announced last year, and this cinematic trailer certainly has me eager to see what kind of story it may bring to the table.

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Best Premise for A Game Ever – Splatoon

Paul Says: To no one’s surprise, this year’s E3 had the usual gamut of sequels and games featuring grizzled male protagonists doing grizzled male protagonist things. But anyone would be hard pressed to say Nintendo didn’t have a great presentation this year with some nifty titles to show off at their E3 booth. One of its upcoming games definitely stood out from all the rest, and that game was Splatoon for the Wii U.

Just in case you don’t know what I’m talking about, Splatoon is a squid-based paint-baller where you try to cover the playing field in more ink than your opponent, switching between human and squid forms to traverse the playing field and spraying paint everywhere. It looks colorful, it looks energetic, and most importantly it looks wicked enjoyable.

Special mention goes to Hatoful Boyfriend, a dating simulator about birds, because seriously, who would not want to play a dating simulator about birds?

The “Best E3 Rave Party” Award – Xbox Press Conference

Andrea Says: Glow stick bracelets and EDM music for everyone! Seriously though, the “Revolution” vocal mix by R3hab & Ummet Ozcan & NERVO during the Forza Horizon 2 gameplay trailer might have been the highlight of the day for me. Also, the bracelet doubled as a beacon while trying to find someone on the crowded show floor! Who said nerds don’t know how to party?

The “What The Hell Did I Just Watch” Award – Metal Gear Solid V – The Phantom Pain

Paul Says: Alright, so I kinda dug the first MGS V trailer from GDC last year. I liked the melancholy song choice (“Not Your Kind of People” by Garbage), the grim imagery of a tired and wounded Big Boss, and yes, even the weird supernatural elements (giant fiery space whale whoooo!) that the series has become known for asides the whole “Tactical” Espionage Action” business.

But after viewing the latest trailer, I found myself incredibly confused. Okay, so we got Big Boss covered in blood for like half the trailer, wiping the ashes of his fallen comrades on his face for some reason or another during a funeral service, that sniper lady who’s woefully under-dressed for combat situations leaping around shanking people, and lots of knives being swung around with slow, probably symbolic lens flares glinting off the blades. Also, Big Boss has a massive chunk of shrapnel sticking out of his forehead and doesn’t seem the least bit concerned about, you know, internal brain injuries or infection. What’s up with that? Is there going to be some kind of game mechanic centered around Big Boss’ gratuitous head wound, where if you tug on it you can intercept enemy transmissions or something?

The “Editor We Thank God For” Award – Jim Sterling

Because, well, duh.

So dear readers, what kind of awards would you have given out at E3 this year?

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