2015 is over for another year, and what a show it’s been. As we pack our bags and head back home, we’re left with a tough decision: which games deserve our coveted awards this year?
Winner: Horizon: Zero Dawn
Selecting the very best game in a show that will go down as perhaps the greatest E3 in history is a little like picking your favorite child. As we looked upon the list of every game that impressed us at E3, settling on standout titles just as we remembered dozens more that we couldn’t wait to play, it seemed like we never decide which game would bear the E3 2015 crown. But even as we bounced between titles, rattling off names and developers that helped make this showing historic, we kept returning to one.
That game is Horizon: Zero Dawn.
The one-two sledgehammer punch of (1) its stunning press conference debut and (2) the behind-closed-doors demo we saw during the week combined to make for one of the greatest video game reveals ever. The world Guerrilla Games has created, in a stark departure from its venerated Killzone series, is vast, vibrant, and packed to the gills with details and mechanics ripe for action-RPG mastery.
Aloy is an interesting, unique character who looks like incredible fun to play. The lore and mythology of Horizon’s setting (an earth reclaimed by nature 1,000 years after humanity’s fall) is made even more compelling by outstanding enemy and encounter design, with countless ways to approach any situation. Gathering and crafting fuel a very personal combat experience, and populated cities with merchants and storytelling opportunities should make the vast open world come alive.
Perhaps more than anything, Horizon excites us. It’s fresh, gorgeous, and one of the biggest surprises of the show. We already know a lot about Horizon–look for more in our extended preview, coming very soon–and every aspect is outstanding. Well done, Guerrilla Games. You’ve won the show.
Honourable mention: Fallout 4