These are the best games we saw at PlayStation Experience 2016

Sony’s annual PlayStation Experience expo is getting impressive — this year, the consumer convention that showcases upcoming PlayStation games was packed full with stuff to see and play. The big takeaway from Sony’s showcase of games on its platform is that there are a lot of them, and that 2017 is going to be exciting for video game fans.

Among the many, many indie offerings, PlayStation VR titles, and newly announced games at PSX 2016 were hidden gems and well-known standouts, games that were totally worth the price of entry (and waiting in line to play them). These five games stood out.

Resident Evil VII

At E3 2016, Capcom released “The Beginning Hour,” a first-person demo of Resident Evil VII that also functions as a bit of a prequel to the upcoming game’s story. It’s scary, plodding, and delightful in the vein of the original Resident Evil, full of weird objects that help you solve weirder puzzles, and trapping you in a scary place where survival is the only real mandate. After Resident Evil 6’s series greatest hits approach, and Resident Evil 5’s distinct action focus, a return to this slower, spookier, more oppressive gameplay is welcome.

At PSX, Capcom showed off an expanded version of “The Beginning Hour.” Its final, updated form added a hands-on encounter with one of the game’s monsters, a sampling of combat, and a deeper look at what Resident Evil VII might include. This new “found footage” take on Resident Evil horror seems to be working, and we can’t wait to see how the game proper shapes up.

What Remains of Edith Finch

Developer Giant Sparrow is creating a distinctly dark first-person exploration game that stands out from the genre of thoughtful, story-centric games like it. At first glance, it’ll remind players of Gone Home — a young girl wanders a deserted house, narrating her journey as she learns about the house’s inhabitants, her family members, who’ve all died at some point or another.

But instead of finding notes or clues about other characters, Edith Finch is full of interactive short stories, each showing the final, surreal moments of each person’s life. In one of the demos shown at PSX, players control a young boy on a swing set hell-bent on going over the top. In the other demo, a young girl dreams she’s a cat, an owl, a shark and a betentacled sea monster, and you’ll find yourself playing from the perspective of all four.

What Remains of Edith Finch is a game unlike anything else we played at PSX. It’s dark, thoughtful, and more than a little creepy, and we’re definitely looking forward to the rest of the stories it has to offer.

Absolver

The main action of Absolver is slow, deliberate, careful melee fighting, as players engage in one-on-one battles that are more about brains than quick reaction times. But there’s more to Absolver beyond just wailing on enemies, which makes it one of the games we can’t wait to see more of — it’s an online multiplayer game that supports both player-versus-player and cooperative gameplay, all of which is seamless.

In the demo at PSX, we mostly focused on beating computer-controlled enemies as we explored the game’s strange world. The exception was an intense fight with another player that involved the use of special abilities and a sword — which changed hands repeatedly through the course of the fight. It was an awesome battle, and some of the other elements that make up the game, like the ability to take to mentor other players as students and be mentored by others to learn new skills, sound phenomenal.

Pyre

From Supergiant Games, the team behind Bastion and Transistor, Pyre maintains a lot of the gorgeous look and sound of its developer’s other games. It’s a party role-playing title that includes something a little special: a competitive multiplayer mode. It’s kind of like NBA Jam, except all the players have magic, they can kill each other, and one of them is a dog.

Pyre puts a ball at the center of the screen and tasks two players with battling for it. The goal? Get the ball into the opposing team’s flaming pyre. To do that, players must use three different characters; a magical dog, a (relatively) normal human, and a hulking giant that moves slowly but takes up the most space, and is therefore most deadly.

Players cast magical and use auras surrounding characters’ bodies to take each other out, snag the ball, and score points. It all comes together as a fast and strategic multiplayer contest that takes a few minutes to pick up, but offers a lot of deep strategy — and it feels unique in the space of multiplayer gaming. We had a flaming, magical blast trying it.

Persona 5

Atlus’ role-playing series is back, and it’s looking awesome on PlayStation 4. For someone new to the series, like me, Persona 5 was a bit confusing: it’s an anime comedy drama set in a Japanese high school, but that also includes supernatural events, a shadow realm full of demons, and careful management of high school popularity. I quickly fell in love, despite my bewilderment.

Our quick hands-off demo gave an idea of what Persona 5 will be like. In broad strokes, it follows teens battling against corrupt high school authority figures while figuring stuff out about themselves. So, your usual role-playing themes.

It also looks comedic, intense, and dramatic, with a hearty helping of goofiness and turn-based RPG combat. Persona 5 seems like it’ll be a lot of fun, and it’s a bummer we have to wait until April to play the whole thing in English.

Gaming

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is endearing and wonderfully weird

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is as magically weird as I remembered. The super cute art style fits Koholint Island so well, and Nintendo improved multiple, critical mechanics.
Gaming

From Nintendo to Capcom, here are the best booths we saw at E3 2019

Every year, publishers and developers gather in Los Angeles to show off their games at E3. Booths are a major part of the excitement and this year didn't let us down. From Nintendo to Capcom, here are the best booths of E3 2019.
Gaming

E3 2019: All the games we expected to see, and some we didn’t

E3 2019 is the biggest gaming event of the year. It will be loaded with new game announcements and details. These are the games we expect to see at E3 2019, and the games we won't see.
Gaming

E3 2019: The games you can play right now, from Trials of Fire to Borderlands 2

Although most of the games unveiled at E3 this year won't be seen for at least a few months (if not years), there were some surprise releases. We've corralled the games and expansions shown at E3 that you can play right now.
Gaming

From Cyberpunk 2077 to Watch Dogs Legion, these are the best trailers of E3 2019

E3 2019 is packed full of game trailers showing off upcoming titles' stories and worlds, as well as full gameplay demonstrations. These are the best trailers of E3 2019, including Cyberpunk 2077.
Computing

Don’t call it retro. Atari’s VCS is a modern console for PC gamers

You might think the Atari VCS is another retro console like the Nintendo SNES Classic or Sega Genesis Mini. You'd be wrong. Atari's VCS is actually a modern console that runs PC hardware. Yes, it can play Atari games, but it does much more.
Gaming

Call of Duty: Mobile is the best shooter I’ve played on a smartphone

Call of Duty: Mobile attempts to put the franchise's tight gameplay in the palm of your hand. It's largely successful, thanks to precise controls and attractive graphics. The game arrives on iOS and Android later this year.
Gaming

The PlayStation Network is back up. Here’s the latest on the PSN outage

Sony's PlayStation Network is back online after going down for several hours on Thursday afternoon, annoying legions of gamers right in the middle of E3. Here's the latest on the outage
Cars

Tesla screens may support YouTube with next software update

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced today at E3 that the infotainment screens will support YouTube video streaming very soon. This most likely lines up with the latest software update that is expected later this year.
Deals

The best Nintendo Switch deals and bundles for June 2019

Looking to score Nintendo's latest console? We've smoked out the best Nintendo Switch deals, including discounts on bundles that feature must-have games like Super Mario Odyssey, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Florida’s autonomous vehicle law, E3 updates, and more

On this episode of DT Live, we take a look at the biggest trending stories in tech, including Florida allowing fully autonomous vehicles on the road, Atari’s new gaming system, E3 updates, high-speed rail, and more.
Gaming

Niantic Labs sues hackers who help players cheat in Pokémon Go

Niantic Labs has filed a lawsuit against Global++, who is said to be behind the hacked versions of Pokémon Go and Ingress. The legal action comes as the developer is preparing to launch Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.
Gaming

How Epic Games almost made the mistake of ending Fortnite

Former Epic Games production director Rod Fergusson said that he would have canceled Fortnite if he stayed with the developer. The game only started soaring in popularity when the Battle Royale mode was released a few months after launch.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Plant-based shoes and a ukulele learning aid

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!