As expected, E3 2013 was a super-exciting show (new consoles always add extra excitement), but it was even more exciting than I thought it would be. Sony kicked things off with a bang, there were loads of great games to see, and independent developers brought a different (and refreshing) type of energy to the mix. Since everyone else is doing it (and it adds lots of search traffic), I’m listing my top 10 games of E3 2013. Keep in mind that there was a ton of stuff I didn’t see and these silly lists are subjective. After that are some random thoughts and a photo gallery.
Top 10 Games of E3 2013
- Titanfall — Giant robots are frickin’ cool, but I was surprised by how much fun it was playing as a pilot. Mixing up the two types of action made for a unique experience. The animation of the mech inserting the pilot still scares me though. That looks painful.
- Knack — As a fan of super-cute platformers, clever gameplay, and Mark Cerny, this game worked for me on so many levels. The brief portion I played was crazy good — much headier than most platformers out there, but still very accessible.
- Beyond: Two Souls — A few of my friends have soured on this game, but I’m still a Quantic Dream mark and I can’t wait to play the whole thing.
- Destiny — I thought I would be dazzled by the graphics and okay with the gameplay. After seeing the demo, I was surprised by how much I want to play this one.
- Transistor — From the excellent Supergiant Games comes another sweet action-RPG that combines modern flourishes with old-school sensibilities.
- Below — From the excellent Capybara Games comes another visually and aurally distinct game with old-school sensibilities.
- Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons — I’ve been high on this game since I saw it in October and was glad to see several friends of mine digging it too.
- inFamous: Second Son — I really enjoyed the first two inFamous games and am a big fan of Sucker Punch. I love where this sequel is going and have high hopes for it.
- Disney Infinity — While it has some similarities to the wonderful Skylanders franchise, this game is more ambitious and has several unique features. I love being able to share adventures with characters from Disney movies, Pixar movies, Pirates of the Caribbean, A Nightmare Before Christmas, Wreck It Ralph, etc.
- Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare — The sights and sounds in this game are utterly charming, but don’t overlook the gameplay. It’s like a goofy version of Team Fortress.
– It was fun catching up with Keiichi Yano from iNiS. I knew he studied jazz at USC (before going off to make excellent games like Gitaroo Man, Ouendan, and Elite Beat Agents. I didn’t know that he played saxophone. It was awesome to hear that he’s watched YouTube videos of my brother playing sax. I wish I had one of my brother’s CDs to give him at the show, but I’ll find a way to get him one.
– I’ve had some great times over the years with longtime Konami producer and current Namco Bandai producer Jason Enos. Seeing that he’s literally half the man he used to be was impressive. My man lost 171 pounds! It’s inspiring. I’m so happy for him.
– Of course it was awesome seeing my former sidekick Zoe Flower. I’m so proud of her and the work she’s doing on LEGO Friends. It was also fun meeting and getting to know her “boss” at Hellbent Games, Chris Mair. While she kicked all sorts of ass with her game at E3 2013, it started out as a strange experience for her. She’s spent most of her E3s roaming around the halls and looking at games (sometimes dressed as a zombie). Having to stay in one place for most of the show was a very different experience. On the first day of the show, she was like a freshly caged animal wanting to bust out. Ha!
– Michael Pachter throws the best E3 parties. I want to be his intern.
– I was happy to catch up with Cliff Bleszinski. I always knew he would be huge and I’m delighted for his success. We have a…colorful history and it’s great that we can still hang after all these years. I’m also thrilled that John Vignocchi and Adam Boyes have blown up. Johnny V is the executive producer on Disney Infinity and Adam Boyes is a vice president at Sony Computer Entertainment. I caught up a bit with John at Pachter-palooza and saw Adam on stage at the Sony presser (so weird). And to think, it was like 10 years ago that the three of us were cruising around Vegas in a limousine like idiots.
– While the new consoles were exciting and the games were tremendous, my favorite part of any E3 is catching up with old friends and business colleagues. I believe this was the nineteenth E3 and I’ve attended 18 of them. You kind of forget how long you’ve known people and how long we’ve all been part of this amazing business (though I maintain that game “journalists” are barely a part of the industry). Catching up, reconnecting, and all that good stuff was tremendous. I want to list all the people I was happy to catch up with, but that would take a long time and I’d moronically forget to include someone (and feel horrible about it later).
– The fine people at 47 Communications throw a Sunday party called B4. The show is obviously called E3. A respected videogame producer has dubbed the post-E3 endup at the Figueroa Hotel “F This.” That totally cracked me up.