E3 2015 brought us so many creative games. We saw Cuphead again this year, a platformer by studio MDHR. Chad and Jared Moldenhauer took the stage to tell us more about the game. In Cuphead, you play as a cup, or pair of cups, that must repay their debt to Satan. Cuphead has the look and feel of a 1930’s cartoon. If I saw footage of this game, I would really just assume that I was watching a cartoon. I don’t have any idea how they achieved this visual effect, but if you watch some gameplay, you’ll know just what I mean.
Later on in E3, we got to see more of The Last Guardian, a third-person puzzle game that puts you as a boy traversing an ancient castle. Over the last six years, The Last Guardian has remained a huge crowd pleaser. The creature that you befriend in the game is truly unique, and the animations used for him are wonderful. It really seems like this dog-bird thing could exist in real life. My big complaint about this game is that it has been in development for the last eight years. It has made multiple appearances at E3, and yet no one has played the damn thing. At times, The Last Guardian seems like more of a myth than an actual product.
Next up we were shown a new IP by Guerrilla Games, a studio known mostly for creating the KILLZONE series. Their new game is called, HORIZON: Zero Dawn. I would describe HORIZON: Zero Dawn as being like The Witcher, but set in a time long after humanity has fallen. In HORIZON, you play as a woman living in a post-civilization world. You must collect some kind of energy source from large robotic like animals. I’m excited to play this game solely because I want to find out what happened to humanity, and why there are giant, robotic, animals roaming the earth.
Then we turn the dial up another notch with Hello Games’ NO MAN’S SKY. NO MAN’S SKY is an adventure game that has you exploring the universe one planet at a time. What makes NO MAN’S SKY unique is the fact that almost the entire game is procedurally generated. For those of you who are unfamiliar with what this means, the game basically creates a random assortment of information based on what you do and where you are. So the gameplay is self-creating. This means that upwards of 18 quintillion planets can be generated, each unique and playable. However, there is no way you could ever explore every planet. Even if you lived to be one hundred years old, you still would not have explored half of the game’s possibilities.
So what was the most creative game of E3? My vote is for a game simply called, Dreams. Now most people would say that either The Last Guardian, or NO MAN’S SKY is the most creative IP. I would say that neither game captures the essence of creativity quite like Dreams. In Dreams, you don’t have a role to play, nor an objective to complete. You simply just create stuff. The entire game looks like a painting. You paint and sculpt dreamlike scenes in any way you choose. After they’re made you can animate them with gestures using the Dualshock 4 controller. In Dreams, you’ll create things made from a virtual clay-like substance. If I had to compare it to anything, I would say it’s like the 3D developer software called Zbrush. I give many props to Media Molecule’s new game, because it set out to be something on its own, without needing influence from other games. I look forward to giving a detailed review of this game when they decide to release it.