Now that E3 2018 is officially over we decided to take a look back at the week and discuss what we played. There wasn’t a whole lot of VR this year and overall it was a bit underwhelming for the industry, but there were a few highlights for each platform.
In order to name winners, we’ve decided to break down the awards into three categories: Best Rift Game, Best Vive Game, and Best PSVR Game. One of those will also be dubbed Best VR Games of E3 2018 and we’ll have a section at the end mentioning a few of our other favorites as well. Worth mentioning as well is that a game must have been playable in order for it to be considered. We’re as excited anyone about Stormland, but it wasn’t at the show, and The Elder Scrolls: Blades was only playable on mobile phones.
That’s about it, so let’s get to it!
Best Oculus Rift Game: Echo Combat
This is the first E3 in years that Oculus didn’t have its own dedicated booth at. Instead, they had a couple demo stations tucked away at the back of the Facebook Gaming booth. But that didn’t stop Echo Combat from being the standout Rift game over at the Alienware booth. Echo Combat is the next VR game from Ready at Dawn, creators of both Lone Echo and Echo Arena. By taking the core gameplay mechanics behind those two games and adding on layers of complexity with different guns and asking players to compete over a payload that’s traveling across the map, they’ve once again crafted an addicted, beautiful, and exhilarating zero-G VR experience that we can’t wait to play more.
Best HTC Vive Game: Prey TranStar and Typhon Hunter
There just weren’t very many games showcased for the HTC Vive this year at E3. The main one two that we got to see were Prey and Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot, but the latter really didn’t have a very good demo showing at all. In Prey, I played the TranStar VR experience which is basically a puzzle room full of interactive objects. It’s not very original, but it’s super polished and well done. The asynchronous multiplayer Typhon Hunter DLC will have VR support as well, which we are very excited about.
Best PSVR Game: Firewall: Zero Hour
Out of the big three VR headsets, Sony’s PSVR by far had the best showing and they barely even talked about VR at all publicly. On the show floor they had over a dozen VR demo stations featuring the likes of Astro Bot, Evasion, Megalith, Beat Saber, and more. But the best demo and by far our most-anticipated PSVR title to date is Firewall: Zero Hour. It plays out a lot like Rainbow Six, but in VR, and we can’t wait to dive in with our Aim Controller on all nine maps when it releases.
Honorable Mention: Tetris Effect
“It’s the kind of game you want to play at the end of a long day to get out of your own head.” That’s how famed game designer Tetsuya Mizuguchi described Tetris Effect, the upcoming PSVR version of one of the most iconic games of all time. We had a chance to play Tetris Effect at this year’s E3, and it definitely lived up to Mizuguchi’s description. It’s a simple yet beautiful, serene experience that left us invigorated and clear-headed after playing.
Honorable Mention: Deracine
There was a single station for Déraciné at E3. It wasn’t at Sony’s public booth and was only tucked away in a corner of the press-only PlayStation area next to Blood & Truth and a host of other PSVR demos. Despite the subdued presence, it’s a beautiful adventure game with a gorgeous sepia-stained overtone. Déraciné is about as far away from Dark Souls VR as you can get for developer From Software, but it sold me on its premise and I can’t wait to see more.