The Electronic Entertainment Expo, more commonly known as E3, rolled through Los Angeles this past week, bringing with it a treasure trove of trailers and previews showing off the best of gaming to come. For those not in the know, E3 is widely considered to be the industry’s premier showcase for games in development, and with this being the first show since the release of next-gen consoles, there was plenty of pretty on display.
We know that keeping up with all the news filtering out of E3 can be a daunting task, so we did the legwork for you and zeroed in on what we consider to be the show’s most exciting titles. Consider this your one-stop shop for the most impressive games coming out of this year’s convention.
So what was new at E3? Frankly, it’d probably be easier to update you on which games didn’t get new trailers or gameplay features, but what fun would that be? Here are our personal favorites.
UNCHARTED 4: A THIEF’S END
We got our first small taste of Uncharted 4, likely to be the PS4’s first franchise title, back at last year’s Video Game Awards, but now we have a full-fledged cinematic trailer, in which we learn that Sully and Nate have gone their separate ways, but are intent on bringing the band back together for one last heist. This will be a game that forces many-a-gamer into their first next-gen console purchase.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End launches in 2015 for the PS4.
id Software made some noise at E3 this year with their Doom teaser. Most gamers are well-versed with the hallowed place the Doom franchise holds in gaming history, and this game, in all its gory, hellish, biomechanical next-gen glory, could become something special. We’ll learn more at QuakeCon (fittingly), later this year.
ASSASSIN’S CREED UNITY
The latest offering in Ubisoft’s cash magnet Assassin’s Creed franchise is set during the French Revolution, and offers up some firsts not only through the chance to explore open-world Paris and plague the aristocracy, but by introducing co-op gameplay, which potentially adds a whole new dimension to the series. The co-op trailer above looks incredibly promising, and this feature could breathe new life into a slowly stagnating franchise.
Assassin’s Creed Unity launches October 28, 2014 for Windows, PS4, and Xbox One.
Evolve is the latest offering from Left 4 Dead creators Turtle Rock Studios, and the developer is looking to pick up where they left off in terms of innovating multiplayer gameplay for the masses. Evolve features a 4-player team of soldiers banding together and working strategically to take on a gigantic, powerful player-controlled monster. Earlier trailers introduced us to the Goliath, but at E3, we met the Kraken.
Evolve launches October 21, 2014 for Windows, PS4, and Xbox One.
DRAGON AGE: INQUISITION
Dragon Age is back, and looking better than ever. Developer BioWare paid close attention to gamer feedback on the series’ prior entries and moved quickly to address issues such as environmental diversity, combat improvements, and gameplay diversity. The latest trailer looks incredibly promising.
Dragon Age: Inquisition launches October 7 for Windows, PS3/4, and Xbox 360/One. Take a look at some new gameplay footage here.
GRIM FANDANGO... wait, what?!
MANNY CALAVERA LIVES! Funnily enough, this revival was perhaps our favorite newsbyte to come out of E3. Grim Fandango, a PC classic of the 90s and brainchild of gaming legend Tim Schafer, will be remastered for the PS4 and Vita. we can’t wait to revisit the world of Calaveras, noir, wit, and adventure.
Sunset Overdrive came out of nowhere to stun gamers and developers alike with a fresh, creative, and innovative trailer that just looks like a total blast to play. Set in a future energy-drink-caused mutantocalypse, it has an action-oriented, unabashed arcadey charm that promises endless, colorful enjoyment, open-world style.
Sunset Overdrive launches October 28, 2014 for Xbox One.
LOVERS IN A DANGEROUS SPACETIME
This indie platformer/shooter nearly made it onto our list based on its title alone, but fortunately the trailer also features a heavy dose of frenetic, fun, innovative-yet-old-school gameplay that we can’t wait to try.
Okay, so this isn’t so much of a teaser or a trailer, per se, but we’ll take any morsel of new Mass Effect news we can get our hands on at this point. BioWare basically promises bigger, prettier, and better from the next title, which sounds as though it will be set in the same universe as the original trilogy but with all-new characters.
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA
So Nintendo’s resetting The Legend of Zelda by preserving many core gameplay elements, but beautifying the game and creating a true open world? Um, yeah. Sign us up.
Bayonetta is bringing her highly-stylized chaos exclusively to the Wii U this fall, and the sequel seems to stay true to the spirit of the original in this colorful, steampunk, sexy, sensory overload of a trailer. Wanton destruction? Check. Mechanical demons? check. Devastating magical powers? Check, check, and check.
Bayonetta 2 launches in North America this October for the Wii U.
Like the Mass Effect teaser above, we don’t have much to go on aside from some background gameplay on the Wii U in this Star Fox clip, but that’s enough for us to know that it EXISTS, and that’s IMPORTANT, dammit.
THE WITCHER 3: WILD HUNT
The final entry of CD Projekt Red’s Witcher series will be exclusive to next-gen consoles, enabling the developer to squeeze every drop of graphical brilliance the franchise has become known for out of new hardware. The hotly-anticipated Witcher 3, based on the books of Polish fantasy author Andrzej Sapkowski, boasts a beautifully rendered and massive open world, as shown in the gameplay trailer above.
Oh, it also shows off a griffin hunt. Did we mention the griffin hunt?
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt launches in February 2015 on Windows, PS4, and Xbox One.
STAR WARS: BATTLEFRONT
Star Wars: Battlefront is still largely under wraps, but the teaser above shows just how dedicated the team over at DICE is to getting it right. Their research process for the game was incredibly rigorous, involving extensively detailed examinations of props and shooting locations which will no doubt be evident when the game launches.
Star Wars: Battlefront launches in 2015 for Windows, PS4, and Xbox One.
FAR CRY 4
Far Cry 4 explodes onto the scene in spectacular fashion with a new cinematic trailer, showcasing a deliciously evil Joker-inspired villain and a lush Indian (or possibly Nepalese) setting. Also featuring death by ball point pen, because why not?
Far Cry 4 launches November 18, 2014 for Windows, PS3/4, and Xbox 360/One.
THE ORDER: 1886
The Order: 1886 has piqued gamer interest for some time due to its unique blend of knights, Old London, and modern weaponry. Whether or not this results in gameplay more compelling than that of your standard shooter remains to be seen, but there is certainly promise here.
The Order: 1886 launches February 20, 2015 for PS4.
MORTAL KOMBAT X
We got the brief look at Mortal Kombat X last week with the launch of its first trailer, but E3 brought us actual gameplay footage, and the game continues to impress. All new fatalities, a tweaked fighting system, environmental damage, and a bevy of new characters will have you ripping out your friend’s still-beating heart in no time.
Mortal Kombat X launches in 2015 for Windows, PS3/4, and Xbox 360/One.
SUPER SMASH BROS 4
Super Smash Bros is another one of Nintendo’s many iconic titles, and will be heavily depended on to continue the Wii U’s revival—a recovery already kickstarted by the sales figures of the new Mario Kart. The weight of this responsibility does not fall on this game alone, but it will certainly be a major contributor to the cause—especially if it brings those long-rumored GameCube controllers along with it. The latest trailers from E3 reveal that Palutena (from the Kid Icarus games) and Pac Man have been added to the game’s roster.
Super Smash Bros launches October 3, 2014 for the Wii U and 3DS.
Mirror’s Edge, the revolutionary tale of Faith Connor, living in a faux utopian world in which her mother was killed by a totalitarian regime, was a surprise smash hit when it launched in 2008. The next-gen reboot looks to maintain and build upon the characteristics that made this FPS so unique, including speed-based and parkour-inspired gameplay and fast-paced martial arts.
RISE OF THE TOMB RAIDER
The success of Crystal Dynamics’ 2013 Tomb Raider reset—a dark, engaging game that was part The Last of Us, part Tomb Raider, and part Uncharted - made a sequel an inevitability. Rise of the Tomb Raider follows Lara Croft’s transformation into the bear-hunting, tiger-mauling artifact hunter she is destined to become.
METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN
Hideo Kojima’s hauntingly beautiful, incredibly cinematic Metal Gear Solid series is back with its latest offering: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. The Phantom Pain builds on the story of Ground Zeroes, detailing Venom Snake’s mission into Afghanistan to avenge his fallen companions. In what ended up being pitch-perfect voice casting, Kiefer Sutherland takes on the role of Snake while Troy Baker, of The Last of Us fame, co-stars.
Finally, Bungie looks ready to step out from under the shadow of Halo in a big, big way, if the recent previews of Destiny have been any indication of what’s to come. Bungie’s latest sci-fi/exploration-based FPS/MMO spans an entire universe across which the remaining humans, survivors of a devastating alien attack on earth, are scattered. The sheer scale of the game looks nothing short of immense—so much so that any gameplay similarities to Halo (of which there are a few) might be forgiven.
Thus endeth our list of this year’s personal favorites—but we want to hear from you, Dear Reader. Which titles do you consider to have been the highlights of E3? Let us know below.