After the Best Games of E3 2015 earlier, our attention turns to the show stoppers and the best moments from E3 this week. This selection of awards from here at Game Debate recognises the entertainment value of E3, the hype and the excitement surrounding the biggest event in the gaming calendar.
Not only do these awards take a look at the best of the record-breaking eight press conferences taking place this year, but we also celebrate the graphical titan that has our PCs shivering at the knees. At the game reveal which surprised us the most. The gaming innovations, the best hardware, and which can confidently stroll out as best publisher this year. Last but not least, the results of the vote are in, as we reveal the Game Debate community's Best Trailer of E3 2015. Congratulations to all of the winners, and read on to find out who and what scooped up the awards.
Best Conference - Sony
There’s no denying Bethesda had the biggest and best game with Fallout 4, but we don’t think it can take the crown for best conference. That mantle has to go to Sony, who narrowly pipped Microsoft with the sheer shock of some of its reveals. The triumvirate of Final Fantasy VII Remake, Shenmue 3 and The Last Guardian was a real shock and awe approach, ably backed up by a great smattering of third-party titles. Bethesda squeezed in at third, following by Ubisoft and the PC Gaming Show, but it was the Nintendo and EA conferences that proved the most disappointing, despite a few quality titles on display.
Best Graphics - Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
One of the best things about E3 is that each and every year, without fail, it gets a little easier on the eyes. E3 2015 was no exception, delivering up some truly sumptuous visuals, but none more so than Square Enix and Eidos Montreal’s Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. We had an inkling from the early screenshots that we would be dealing with quite a looker, but Eidos Montreal’s cyberpunk role-playing action game blew us away.
The lighting looks absolutely out of this world, as does the environmental detail, with Eidos Montreal packing every scene with incidental detail and clutter, bringing Deus Ex: Mankind Divided to life like no other.
Best Hardware - HoloLens
E3 was fairly light on hardware this year, but what it wasn’t light on was virtual reality and augmented reality headsets. Every week it feels like someone else is announcing a VR headset, but no one is really doing head-mounted displays like Microsoft with the HoloLens. The brief demonstration of Minecraft we saw during the Xbox conference no doubt set game developer’s minds ablaze with the possibilities. Rather than strapping a headset on and shutting yourself out from the world, Microsoft’s HoloLens brings the virtual world into yours, and for that it should be applauded.
Best Innovation - Dreams
So innovative we still don’t know what the heck it even is, Media Molecule’s Dreams is one of the craziest games we’ve ever seen make it into an E3 press conference. In Dreams players are able to create absolutely anything they want, painting and animating the world with their controller, crafting bizarre dreamscapes to share with others through a vast dream-verse. The eery trailer we saw would perhaps more accurately be called Nightmares rather than Dreams, but there’s no denying that we’re fascinated to see how this experimental project from MM turns out.
Best Publisher - Bethesda
This one was a tricky one. Plenty of publishers had some fantastic showings this year at E3, but it was Bethesda that edged out Square Enix and impressed the most. Just a few years ago Bethesda was ‘the Elder Scrolls company’. Now it’s that and so much more. The acquisition of Id has meant a game like DOOM joining its roster, while showings for Fallout 4, Dishonored 2, The Elder Scrolls Online, BattleCry and Fallout Shelter showed immense diversity in its catalogue. Most of all this is a recognition that Bethesda stepped up to the big time, taking on and beating the big boys with a show-owning press conference to kick things off. Off the strength of E3 2015, the future’s bright for Bethesda.
Best Reveal - Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands
By now it’s become almost standard practice that Ubisoft delivers a show-stopping reveal at the end of its press conference, and it’s done once again and then some with Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands. The Ghost Recon series has been dormant since Future Soldier, but Wildlands brings it back with a bang. Ghost Recon is once more a third-person shooter, this time letting players take control of a four-man squad, heading into a vast open-world with stacks of secret operations to perform. Provided Ubisoft can avoid the side-content and collectible drudgery of Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands should be an absolute belter.
Best Trailer - Fallout 4
Hitman nearly had it, but the result of our community vote for best trailer at E3 2015 went straight to Fallout 4. Bethesda basically announced the game of the show before E3 had even kicked off properly, and its lengthy gameplay demonstration of Fallout 4 left us reeling with the sheer possibilities of it all. As if Fallout wasn't deep enough, Bethesda is adding an absolutely incredibly and practical crafting system, as well as a Minecraft-esque town-building mode for the creative minded. The incredible thing was, for all that Bethesda showed us here, this didn't even begin to touch on the deep stories and involving quests which are going to populate Fallout 4's world and getting us playing for hours and hours. Minds collectively blown.