The time has come! I have asked my writers (and fellow Editor, who was actually on the E3 2014 showroom floor) to help me provide a list of nominations for the best games to come out of E3 this year.
Each staffer has provided us with their opinion on the best and brightest that showed off their wares on the greatest gaming convention stage last week, with myself and Nick counting down the votes and adding ours in to break ties. With that in mind, the list of award-worthy candidates came down to a final inventory of 16 winners, ranging from the best overall game right down to the best lesser-shown game, making sure to cover all the bases as we hand out awards.
Without further adieu, here are the GameSided E3 2014 Awards!
Best PlayStation Game
Winner: No Man’s Sky
A lot of what Sony brought to the table during this year’s conference was bursts of games, followed by stints of gameplay, followed by a near 25 minute reprieve by new SCEA CEO Shawn Layden and the executives behind comic series Powers that damn near killed their conference (but definitely their momentum). The graphics from Uncharted 4 alone were outstanding, but nothing proved to be more wow-worthy than Hello Games’ No Man’s Sky.
Procedurally-generated, No Man’s Sky took center stage as the creator showed of gameplay footage of a wonderous planet, inhabited by giant creatures and dinosaurs. You could feel the sense of exploration and discovery as our unnamed pilot took off from their planet in a space ship, encountered a warped-in space fleet, and fled to another newly-discovered planet that has a vastly-different aesthetic to it from the first. It had appeared that there was a space exploration game created that nobody else could replicate, and it was being done by a very small handful of young developers. Strength comes in small numbers, apparently!
No Man’s Sky also won our staff award for Best Indie title.
Best Nintendo Game
Winner: Super Smash Bros
That image above perfectly encapsulates what’s so great about the Super Smash Bros series; the gathering of gaming’s greatest characters for an out-and-out arcade brawl. The reveals of several new characters this week, including Pac-Man and Palutena, were either hotly-anticipated or welcomed with great surprise. Getting to see gameplay action live during the Nintendo Treehouse stream showed off just how much fun a variety of people could experience the game. It was a close race between this game and another Nintendo title (more on that later), but the sheer excellence that was the tightly-promoted weeklong event that was Super Smash Bros came out on top.
Best Xbox Game
Winner: Ori and the Blind Forrest
Remember when Xbox used to be THE place to put out Indie titles for console games? Things have changed due to certain Microsoft policies, yet it still turned out that an Xbox Indie title turned out to be our favorite Xbox game from E3 2014. Its minimalist, painting-esque art style beautifully molded the backdrop for a self-described Metroidvania action platformer, one that Moon Studios hopes to bring an ultimate sense of adventure with. It harkens back to classic platformers infused with the stylings of a Rayman title, but with the potential to tell a deeply moving story. The trailer shown made me feel emotional, and it was something other than outright hype or excitement. That’s why it’s our Xbox pick.