June 22, 2018 // 12:45 p.m.
I feel like every time I write one of these roundups, I start with something pithy, ironic, or some other attempt at humour.
Not this time! We came (to E3), we saw (the games), we conquered (writing about the games). Let's go!
The gang's all here. Every single character that's ever featured in a Smash Bros. game before now is coming back, albeit in many cases with some small tweaks, for the biggest Smash yet.
We didn't manage to play this one, because appointments for the game were fully booked, and lines were several hours long, but you know how Smash Bros. plays out at this point. So far, new characters include Ridley from the Metroid series, but a handful of new characters will be unveiled before the game's release.
Halo's sole appearance at the show was a blink-and-you'll-miss-it trailer to kick off Microsoft's conference. That's enough. Gimme that Master Chief.
While Forza is a lethally serious sim-racer, sister franchise Forza Horizon is closer in tone to the Test Drive Unlimited series, letting you tool around a stunning landscape with your friends.
Here, the stunning landscape is England, and it has dynamically shifting weather that we've been assured isn't rain, heavy rain, and 'oh it's just spitting a little bit, best take a jacket anyway'. Jokes aside, it's fitting to have dynamic weather in a country where weather is always the first thing on everyone's minds, and the addition of dynamic seasons – each last a real life week – should ensure that your tour through a distillation of the most drivable parts of Blighty are kept interesting.
Id Software is at it again, with the unapologetically madcap Rage 2. Teaming up with Just Cause creators Avalanche Studios, this post-apocalyptic sequel looks the part, but when we got hands on, it felt just right too.
The demo saw players tearing through a satellite base to bring a floating pod back down to earth, and didn't showcase the game's open world or its driving elements. However, it showed a pacey shooter with tight gunplay that takes elements of Mad Max and Bulletstorm and squashes them together until fun comes out. If you're a shooter fan, this is absolutely the game you should be most excited for, except, perhaps...
There is this other Id Software shooter, as Doomguy takes the fight to earth, shotgun in hand.
Not as much is known about this game, revealed during Bethesda's conference, except that it's more Doom, the 2016 shooter that reinvigorated the Doom franchise with ripping, tearing, and pulse-pounding combat. Doom Eternal is set on earth, based on the flaming skyscrapers, and developer interviews have suggested Doomguy will be raging war on twice the amount of demons, so it seems like a bigger version of the game we all loved in 2016. Oof.
Agent 47 has found a new safehouse and, published now by Warner Bros, the sequel to the episodic Hitman reboot is dropping the episodes but keeping the incredible attention to detail and organic stealth that made its predecessor so compelling.
It's an iterative sequel, and during the hands-on mission we played at E3, Agent 47 is trying to assassinate someone currently speeding around a track in a race car. The demo offers an explosive route to victory, but also the option to snipe. We skipped most of this to prod and poke the moving parts of the level. Miami isn't finished yet – at least not the build we played – but it looks promising, adding crowd stealth dynamics and more bad guys to do a murder on.
This remaster of 1998's sequel to the original survival horror game is long awaited, and one of the greatest horror games ever made. Players will get to take control of rookie cop Leon Kennedy or college student Claire Redfield as they try to navigate a zombified Racoon City, taking refuge in the abandoned Raccoon City police headquarters.
There's puzzles, monsters, and that bit in the interview room that made me cry when I was a kid, but I can't tell you anything else it has after that, because I couldn't even look at the box for the game again after that without getting sad.
(If you think that's bad, you should hear the story of when I got killed by a monster after two tense hours of Amnesia: The Dark Descent and celebrated my death by Alt-F4'ing from the game and immediately uninstalling it. Fuck monsters.)
It's been three years since The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt released now, and fans are chomping at the bit for something new from developers CD Projekt Red. If anyone had any doubts about how well the studio could pivot from the medieval fantasy tropes of their genre-defining Witcher trilogy to a science-fiction dystopia, it's time to put those to bed. Cyberpunk 2077's vision of a futuristic America feels distinctly CD Projekt Red, with a coherent world full of rich storytelling and interesting character.
The worst thing about it is it's almost definitely a year or two before release.
Is he strong? Listen bud, he's got radioactive blood. Can he swing from a thread? Take a look, overhead. Hey, there, there goes the Spider-Man.
Insomniac's new take on the webslinger looks magnificent, and should blend the open-world carnage of previous Insomniac titles like Sunset Overdrive with the video game magic of Marvel's most arachnid hero.
The Last of Us didn't need a sequel, however the trailer shown during Sony's E3 conference focuses on a grown-up Ellie and a new character, Dina.
The combat looks as brutal as ever, and the character work shown in the brief trailer between Dina and Ellie looks set to match that seen between Joel and Ellie in the first game. Sure, we don't need another sequel in this world, but when the storytelling is this good, it sure seems worth it, doesn't it?
What were your favourite reveals and teasers from the show?