E3 has Officially Begun! Check Out Our Favorites From the Major E3 Presentations

The huge Electronics and Entertainment Expo’s floors open today after a weekend of exciting conferences full of announcements. Some of them, we predicted in our pre-E3 round-up, but even so, there were quite a few surprises. Here are a few of our highlights from the major presentations.  


EA kicked off this years’ series of presentations. There was a short conversation with an executive from Respawn Entertainment about Star Wars: Fallen Jedi Order but there was no footage of the game, whatsoever, so we’ll have to wait to see what it ends up looking like. Madden will be returning to PC after more than a decade with Madden NFL 19, which is great news for computer gamers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4&v=j2TmLrTl6gs Unravel Two was not only announced, but released during the E3 conference. Yarny has a friend now, and the game can be experienced in co-op. Our review is forthcoming! There was some talk about Battlefield II continued support, as well as a look at Clone Wars content that is forthcoming. Command and Conquer is returning as a mobile game, called Command and Conquer: Rivals. The goal is for players to gain control of missile silos to bomb your opponent. It’s a sad return for Command and Conquer, but there is some hope in the innovative approach to mobile RTS. We’ll reserve judgement until we get our hands on it. Anthem got a longer look, with a few more details and gameplay revealed. Pre-orders are now open, and will give you VIP access to the upcoming demos—though there is no information as to when those will be available. Battlefield V was also confirmed (to no one’s surprise, sadly) to have a battle royale mode. In addition to this bandwagon hopping, Battlefield V adds a bunch of new features, including the ability to move gun emplacements around the battlefield—something that wasn’t possible before. Very cool. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4&v=aWY76dNvXyo The most interesting announcement for me was the game Sea of Solitude. Gorgeous visuals, and intriguing concept.    


The Xbox conference was non-stop trailers, and we know for a fact there was some great games that were glossed over in moments. That’s not really bad news for gamers, though, as the amount of great games being brought to market is increasing. A new Halo title was revealed with a very short, very teaser trailer. There are a lot of rumors surrounding this title, but little concrete information. We're expecting this to be ready in 2019 sometime. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4&v=uP8lFi_BibY A new title from Dark Souls  developer From Software called Sekior: Shadows Die Twice was announced during the Xbox conference. There was a trailer than showed off soulsborne-like gameplay, but the details that are emerging seem to suggest this won’t be like a conventional Dark Souls –like title. Only time will reveal more concrete information. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EolUfLJpUwc Also announced during the Xbox conference (and later expanded on in the Square-Enix presentation) is the charmingly cute Captain Spirit. It takes place in the Life is Strange universe, and servers as a sort of prequel to Life is Strange 2. Even more exciting: it’s going to be totally free! Captain Spirit will release on June 26, 2018. Sea of Thieves is promised to get some extended love with two more content drops announced, one coming in July and the other in September. Forza Horizon 4 was announced. Open world and gorgeous as usual. Releases 10/2/2018 Another huge announcement was the acquisition of many smaller studios by Microsoft. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice developer Ninja Theory and Undead Labs were two of the bigger ones. Compulsion Games was also acquired by Microsoft, and as a result, We Happy Few now has a release date: look for it on August 10th. Metro Exodus got an extended gameplay trailer, and that post-apocalyptic shooter is looking great. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=8&v=GWyDs14w_oI Shadow of the Tomb Raider got some gameplay footage revealed ahead of the Square-Enix conference. Now play as Predator Lara Croft as she mercilessly slaughters her enemies using stealth. A little scary, Lara! But it looks fun. It is set for release on September 14, 2018. Wonderful indie game Tunic was also briefly shown. We've had a chance to play this great game, and are super excited it’s getting exposure at E3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98oJYDRblLI Dying Light 2 was also announced, with legendary video game writer Chris Avellone manning the pen for this installment’s story. This is great news, as story was the only thing holding its predecessor back. Less zombies, more human interactions: your choices have a lasting effect on the game world. We are hyped. Gears of War 5 was on the list of coming attractions too, with the main protagonist actually being a character featured in Gears of War 4: Kait Diaz. It’s an interesting move from the norm. Also interesting is the fact that the characters aren’t just giant meatheads anymore: they actually seem sorta human now. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yrE9RU6DN4 Probably the most improbable announcement was the Battletoads teaser. Up to three player (presumably couch) co-op sounds like it’ll be frustrating fun. We can’t wait. Just Cause 4 also got a bit of love during the Xbox Presentation. Now in a new engine with weather effects, Just Cause 4 is shaping up to be the craziest entry to the series, yet. We’ll be playing this for the destruction sandbox experience alone. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=8X2kIfS6fb8 Last, but not least, the much anticipated Cyberpunk 2077 got a cinematic trailer. There hasn’t been a ton of information revealed yet, but we did get a first look… finally.    


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElUxRbCdlRE Rage 2 kicked off Bethesda’s presentation, as well as a live performance by Andrew W.K. which seemed to confuse the audience more than thrill.  Still, Rage 2 seems to be generating a lot of hype despite its predecessor. It looks like Bulletstorm meets 2016’s Doom, and that’s okay. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oVwrpfo_QA Speaking of Doom, sequel Doom Eternal was teased, but there wasn’t much more than a trailer to show the future of the Doomslayer. Prey DLC Mooncrash was announced and released during the presentation as well. We're going to take a look at that and come back with a review as soon as we're done wading through the rest of the E3 craziness. Fallout 76 had some gameplay shown off, as well as Todd Howard’s confirmation that it will be a multiplayer-centric game. Todd, why have you forsaken us? Still, the ability to build anywhere and team up with your friends in the wasteland might not be bad. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnEW6dX_BmU Elder Scrolls has several announcements, including the Very Special Edition of Skyrim (yes, it’s sorta real) and Elder Scrolls Blades mobile game. Of course, Elder Scrolls 6 was announced, but aside from showing an aerial shot of landscape, we got no other details. This probably means it’ll be a long-while before we get our hands on it, but at least we know the dream is alive.    

Devolver Digital

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnY0gBglivI   Devolver Digital had another pseudo-conference, replete with gore and  the usual commentary on the current state of video games. But they also had some exciting reveals, including SCUM, an open world survival game by Serious Sam and Talos Principle developer Croteam. My Friend Pedro is an awesome-looking bullet ballet that looks based on every continuous action sequence in action movies. From Software’s forgotten classic Metal Wolf Chaos is also being resurrected, much to our excitement.    


Square-Enix didn’t have too many exciting reveals during their actual conference since a lot of their bigger titles like Just Cause 4, Captain Spirit, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider were shown off during the Xbox Conference. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=1DpJs_43dCY There was a strange and cryptic trailer for A Quiet Man that left us with way more questions than it provided answers. Platinum Games’ new title Baylon’s Fall was also announced, but this was also just a teaser with very little information. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWlKEM3m2EE The most exciting part of the Square-Enix presentation had to be the extended gameplay of Kingdom Hearts 3, featuring Elsa from Frozen and, surprisingly, Captain Jack Sparrow and other Pirates of the Caribbean characters.    


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsoIUHDrPcg Ubisoft’s conference showed off exactly what we were looking forward to the most: Beyond Good and Evil 2 gameplay. And let us say: it is looking amazing. There were some major story points revealed as well—take a look at the trailer and see them for yourself. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4&v=t91sTPmfBk4 Ubisoft seemed to trot a lot of celebrities onstage, even though they were all related to the projects they were showing off. Joseph Gordon Levitt was representing a group urging users to submit artworks and music to help fill out the Beyond Good and Evil 2 universe, while Elijah Wood was on stage promoting upcoming, trippy VR game Transference. For Honor is getting a DLC with a new siege mode called “Breach” being included. More excitingly: For Honor is free for a limited time on UPlay. Grab it while it’s free! Starlink modular spaceship controller game also made another appearance at this year’s conference. Ubisoft has teamed up with Nintendo once again, this time to bring Star Fox into the Starlink fold. Trials Rising was also announced with a new trailer, beta announcement, and release date of February 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=9&v=s_SJZSAtLBA And of course, Ubisoft showed off gameplay for upcoming Assasin’s Creed Odyssey. There were some great details revealed: like the ability to play as a woman, as well as romance options for the main story. I guess they’re making up for Bioware’s lack of romance in Anthem.    

Xbox Media Briefing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJpoGo-lXMk The Xbox Media Briefing at a few game reveals, surprisingly. Vigor, a post-apocalyptic game that resembles State of Decay 2 without the zombies, was revealed. It has multiplayer and player versus player, but you can opt out of player interactions if you would prefer. Out Wilds was also announced, but with few details beyond it being an open world survival game on 20-minute timer: every 20 minutes the local star goes supernova. It’s an incredibly interesting sounding concept.  

PC Gaming Show

PCGamer put on another PC Gaming show this year, complete with weird duck mascot and insufferable emcee. Still, there were some good reveals, including a number of battle royales. Maverick’s Proving Grounds is an upcoming battle royale with a unique thousand player servers. Yep, one thousand players will battle it out for dominance. 10x more players in battle royale is better than not, right? Sega had a PC game showcase, with many fan favorites confirmed for a PC release, including Shenmue 1&2, Yakuza Kiwami and Yakuza Zero. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZuXcPm8J6k New shark roleplaying game ManEater was announced. Play as a shark and eat people to progress. If you ever wanted to be Jaws, here’s your game. The wonderfully cute Ooblets got some love during the PC gaming conference, and we’ll be looking for this incredibly cute game later this year. Retro-inspired shooter/platformer Overwhelm was announced and debuted during the PC Gaming show this year. We’ll be playing this ourselves soon, so look out for our review. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJFQhEY9udE Sable also had a trailer showcasing its uniquely gorgeous art style, making it probably the most visually stand-out title showcased. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_lmP8jYVLs The game we’re probably most excited for is Satisfactory—an open world survival game that we would imagine Factorio would look like if it was in 3D. Also making our anticipated list is Star Control: Origins. This open universe roleplaying game releases September 20th.  


https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=170&v=btmN-bWwv0A The Last of Us Part 2 gave us an extremely violent, but intriguing, first look at Ellie and what she’s capable of. Also, open lesbian relationships are nice to see in a AAA title. But man, who knew lesbians are so merciless? I kid, but The Last of Us Part 2 looks to be even more bleak and gory than its predecessor. Very pretty samurai action game Ghost of Tsushima debuted. While graphically gorgeous, there isn’t much to go on besides setting and looks. We’re hoping to get some more details about this game soon. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=X3ricWI0KHE Spider-Man for PlayStation 4 finally got an extended gameplay reveal, and it looks about as fun as we’d hoped. We can’t wait to get our hands on this one. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rP3UngLFou4 Death Stranding’s weirdness only extends deeper, giving more questions than answers. Why does Norman Reedus have a baby in a canister? Why is everyone shushing us? Why is Lea Seydoux eating a bug?  What is even happening anymore? The only answer we have is that we want to play it.  


Nintendo didn’t have the pure amount of announcement that Xbox and others did, but they did have some pretty significant ones. In addition to Xenoblade Chronicles 2 DLC, and some Let’s Go Pokemon gameplay revealed, there were some other surprises. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pu9t5AL1Ss Super Mario Party was announced, with interesting and unique gameplay based around using multiple Switch consoles in handheld mode. We’re hoping this is a return to classic Mario Party gameplay, but it looks so great, we’ll be picking this up regardless. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L93H7YC-83o Also, probably the craziest reveal so far in E3, is the fact that Super Smash Bro. Ultimate for Nintendo Switch will have EVERY. SINGLE. CHARACTER. EVER. That’s right: every character that has ever appeared in a Smash game will be in Ultimate. That means Ice Climbers, Snake and more. Not only that, but Daisy and Ridley are joining the fight as well. More stages, existing amiibo support and more makes this Smash the biggest yet. We can’t wait. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dk56OpKuFts And, by the way? The rumors were true, and Fortnite was released for Nintendo Switch today, with crossplatform play confirmed. We've already downloaded it.
Picture of the author
Antal Bokor

Antal is video game advocate, retro game collector, and video game historian. He is also a small streamer, occasional podcast guest, and writer.