E3 2015
Joshua's Favorite Games From E3 2015

Joshua Vanderwall | 26 Jun 2015 15:00
E3 2015 - RSS 2.0

This year was the best E3 I've attended thus far, and the bevy of amazing titles is a good indicator of that. Here are a few of the most notable titles that stuck with me after the show floor closed.

5. Magic Duels Origins

Having played every Duels game to date, I can honestly say that I'd gotten tired of starting from scratch every year when a new version launches. This is now a problem of the past, as Wizards has opted to go the way of expansion packs (like you're used to with paper Magic), rather than wholly new games. Hands down, the most important update with Duels Origins is the 100% free-to-play model, where literally nothing is locked behind a pay wall. Everything you can buy with real money, you can buy with gold earned in game by playing matches against your friends locally, the AI, or online opponents. Earned gold will predominantly be spent on booster packs to expand players' collections, but aesthetic purchases are also available. Most importantly, however, is that whenever there's a new paper Magic set release, there will be a corresponding update to Magic Duels Origins with a curated selection of cards from that set.

Duels Origins is also pushing for a true Magic experience, allowing players to enjoy every aspect of paper Magic within the confines of the Duels game. The most notable exclusion from the past (especially given the title "Duels of the Planeswalkers") was the lack of actual Planeswalker cards in the game. Duels Origins is finally bringing us digital Planeswalkers, and, for icing on the cake, the five double-faced Planeswalkers from the upcoming Origins paper set will all be included at release, which suggests we might even see some of the double-faced cards from Innistrad, like werewolves and, of course, everybody's favorite game-winning 1-drop, Delver of Secrets.

4. Horizon Zero Dawn

Horizon Zero Dawn was actually the best surprise of the show for me. We know precious little about it thus far, except that there are robotic animals populating the world, and tribal humans trying to stay clear of the robo-predators, while gathering resources from the robo-prey. It's set some 1,000 years after the fall of civilization, so this is far from your typical "post-apocalypse" story (which you'll see more of below) which takes place in the aftermath of civilization. In Horizon, it's been so long that not only has nature reclaimed most of what mankind had once called its own, but the remnants of humanity don't even seem to recall anything about the intervening millenium.

The combat looks interesting, and the robotic fauna is definitely a nice touch, but I think for the time being, the most compelling aspect of Horizon is actually the mystery of it all. Why do these robots look like deer? Who or what made them, and for what purpose? What happened to civilization so long ago, and what are the prospects for the future of humanity in the new world order? Only time (and maybe a new trailer?) will tell.

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