The best games of E3 2017

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For more than 20 years, E3 – or the Electronic Entertainment Expo – has been ground zero for the year’s biggest game announcements. And it’s going on again right now.

We’ve been through almost all of the big press conferences at this point, but Nintendo is still ahead, not to mention anything else exciting from third-parties and indies. And we’ll be neck-deep in trailers and demos all the while.

But even if you can’t be in Los Angeles sampling the next big things in gaming, at least you can follow along at home. We’ll be keeping you posted with the brightest and best-looking games from the show, complete with trailers and the critical details you need to get in the know.

Star Wars Battlefront II

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Ready for Star Wars to be the biggest thing in the world again? It’s sure to happen with Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but EA will actually get things started a few weeks early with Battlefront II.

Bigger and presumably better than the original, Battlefront II‘s big addition is a proper story-driven campaign, which puts into the boots of an Imperial commander during the stretch between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. Add in epic online battles spanning all three movie eras and more space content, and we’re more than eager to blast off to this galaxy far, far away.

And yes, EA says all of the post-release content – including maps, modes, and new heroes – will be totally free. That’s a big change from the pricey season pass of the last game, and we’ll see The Last Jedi content up first, complete with playable Finn and Captain Phasma.

Due: 17 November

Anthem

Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, PC

We got a brief tease of Anthem at EA Play on Saturday, but it wasn’t until Microsoft’s press conference that the wraps really came off of BioWare’s latest new franchise. And yeah, we’re into it.

Anthem looks like BioWare’s response to Destiny, providing a cooperative online experience in a sci-fi/fantasy world, complete with cool exosuits, plenty of gunplay, and probably loads of loot too.

There’s still a lot we don’t know about the game, but between who’s making it and how spectacular it looks, we don’t need much convincing. This is one of the most impressive things we’ve seen so far at E3.

Due: Spring 2018

Forza Motorsport 7

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dokpy_KIuyA

Platform: Xbox One

Forza Motorsport 5 helped introduce the Xbox One to players, and now Forza Motorsport 7 will do much the same with the Xbox One X.

It’ll work on standard Xbox One consoles too, of course, but you’ll get the extra oomph of the native 4K graphics on the Xbox One X, along with rock-solid 60 frames per second gameplay.

Microsoft’s E3 demo is dazzling, albeit very familiar: the sim-lite approach of the series remains very much intact with 700+ cars promised, along with backdrops that are more fluid and alive than ever before. Our man on the ground says it’s the most impressive console game he’s ever seen “by an absolute country mile,” so it’s definitely got that going for it.

Due: 3 October

Spider-Man

Platform: PlayStation 4

Spider-Man: Homecoming hits cinemas next month, finally implanting the wall-crawler into the Marvel Cinematic Universe – but Insomniac’s Spider-Man game won’t be alongside it.

Unfortunately, we’ll be waiting until next year for this standalone experience, but at least the first gameplay trailer at Sony’s E3 conference was nothing short of dazzling. We see the webhead using every bit of his abilities in combat, navigating the city, and preventing catastrophes… even while enduring a rather large catastrophe all the while.

Will it play as good as it looks? Well, that remains to be seen. But at least it does look fabulous, so let’s hope the rest pans out.

Due: 2018

A Way Out

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

EA didn’t announce everything ahead of time: A Way Out is a true E3 surprise, and it’s not the usual big-budget fare we expect from the publisher. But we’re not selling it short – this game looks incredibly original and deeply captivating.

It’s a cooperative prison break game that must be played with a partner with a split-screen interface, whether you’re sitting together on the couch or playing online, with each player often taking a different role to help your duo survive either behind bars or out in the open.

It has Uncharted and The Shawshank Redemption vibes and already seems like it’ll be one of our favourite games of E3. Also, it’s from the director of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, one of the most compelling co-op experiences of the last several years, so that’s a sure plus.

Due: Early 2018

God of War

Platform: PlayStation 4

Kratos took a few years off of the franchise grind, and the legendary warrior has never looked better than in the God of War reboot.

As we first saw last year, God of War has a new over-the-shoulder perspective, but it also has another new kind of perspective: fatherhood for Kratos, who must protect and teach his son as he battles the usual array of massive monsters with epic fury. We saw a bit more of the game at E3 2017, which still looks super impressive, but sadly it’s not coming in 2017.

Due: Early 2018

Far Cry 5

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

We got a solid look at next year’s Far Cry 5 when it was announced last month, but at E3, Ubisoft took the wraps off of the gameplay – and it looks plenty exhilarating, of course.

Montana might not sound anywhere near as thrilling as the more exotic locales of past entries, but Far Cry 5‘s battle against religious American extremists should be packed with exciting action. In this trailer, we get a look at the look at the hired help, which lets you recruit allies (and a dog!) to assist you in your fight against these maniacs. And you can take to the skies in this one, as well.

Due: 27 February 2018

Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle

Platform: Nintendo Switch

When artwork from Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle leaked some weeks ago, we’ll admit: we struggled with the idea. Mario with a gun? And with Rabbids? Come on.

But now that we’ve seen it, we are weirdly into it. This Switch exclusive (naturally) lobs Ubisoft’s doofy aliens into the Mushroom Kingdom, twisting up the landscape and forcing Mario and pals to work together with friendly Rabbids to set things right.

And the weirdest part of it all? It’s an XCOM-esque turn-based strategy game – and one that has some neat twists along the way, too. The gameplay footage looked really intriguing, and we’re honestly hopeful this will rise above the station of simply being a wacky mashup. It’s coming soon, too.

Due: 29 August

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Wolfenstein: The New Order was a true surprise back in 2014, taking the seminal first-person franchise and doing something unexpected with it: tell a story. Yes, there was still plenty of Nazi-blasting, but the surprisingly affecting story and inventive setting really stood out.

And Bethesda is ready to do it all over again with Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. It’s 1961 now, and BJ Blazkowicz must now lead the resistance against the Nazi occupiers in America – and based on the trailer, the game looks plenty weird to boot. That’s a great sign, of course, given how endearingly odd The New Order was. We won’t have to wait long, either, since it’s coming in October.

Due: 27 October

Assassin’s Creed Origins

Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, PC

After a well-deserved (and much-needed) year off, Ubisoft’s historical action giant is back with Assassin’s Creed Origins, which – as you might surmise – offers a new starting point.

Taking place in Ancient Egypt before the time of the other games, Origins spotlights the beginning of the Assassin’s order. You’ll take the role of Bayek, along with his Eagle companion Senu, in an open-world game that keeps a lot of the old stealth, fight, and explore formula intact.

However, Game Informer suggests that there are more role-playing elements in play, along with a new emphasis on loot, so hopefully it makes Assassin’s Creed feel fresh again. At the very least, the Xbox One X gameplay demo looked much prettier than any earlier entry.

Due: 27 October

Shadow of the Colossus

Platform: PlayStation 4

If you watched Sony’s press conference, this was about when everyone in the auditorium (and watching the stream) gasped simultaneously.

Shadow of the Colossus is one of the most beloved PlayStation 2 adventures, and while it was lightly improved for a PS3 remaster, the PlayStation 4 is getting something better: a lavish remake using all-new assets. It’s unclear whether it’s using the old code or was built from the ground up for PS4, but in any case, it looks beautiful – and should introduce a whole new generation to this fabulous fantasy quest.

Due: 2018

Beyond Good & Evil 2

Platforms: TBD

Yes, you read that right: nearly a decade after it was first announced, Ubisoft’s Beyond Good and Evil 2 made a grand reappearance at the company’s press conference, and fans are losing their minds.

Billed as both a spiritual successor and prequel to the 2003 original, Beyond Good and Evil 2 dramatically shakes up the look and tone of the original adventure, taking on something of a Luc Besson/The Fifth Element aesthetic.

Ultimately, we don’t learn much of anything about the game itself here, which makes sense given that there’s also no release target or platforms listed. But at least we know that it’s real (again?), and hopefully we won’t be waiting another several years for more here.

Due: TBD

Destiny 2

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Destiny has kept many Guardians steadily shooting and looting since 2014, but Bungie’s shared-world shooter is about to take a big step forward with this autumn’s anticipated sequel.

Coming to PC this time alongside consoles, Destiny 2 looks a lot like the original game, to be honest, albeit with more, more, more: new environments, loads of fresh weapons and loot, new modes, an improved approach to clans, and plenty of cinematic gloss.

The console versions will ship a little earlier than expected, on 6 September, while the PC game will follow on 24 October. We’ll see an open beta for the console versions next month, with the PC beta coming in late August.

Due: 6 September

Call of Duty: WWII

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

War is hell – unless it’s Call of Duty, in which case war can be pretty damn fun. And that’ll probably be the case again with Call of Duty: WWII.

Looping the series back to World War II after several years away, the latest entry promises to hit most of the big moments of the war in its cinematic campaign, as well as return the series’ multiplayer action to classic boots-on-the-ground action. And yes, it also has the familiar Nazi Zombies mode, in case you were worried that it would be too historically accurate or respectful.

Due: 3 November

Metro Exodus

Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, PC

The previous Metro games – Metro 2033 and Last Light – were cult favourites that never quite hit the mainstream, but after a big spotlight in the Microsoft presser, Metro Exodus might be the game that breaks through.

Metro Exodus continues the first-person adventure in a post-apocalyptic Moscow filled with gnarly-looking creatures, apparently, but now does so in an open world – and a ridiculously beautiful open world, at that. The claustrophobic tunnels and large outdoor spaces should provide an interesting contrast as this series expands in scale, but we won’t see the results until next year.

But hey, if you missed the first two games, that’s a good thing: now you have time to catch up with the current-gen Metro Redux remaster bundle.

Due: 2018

Sea of Thieves

Platforms: Xbox One, PC

When we played Sea of Thieves at E3 last year, we loved it – and we figured it would be out right now. But Rare is still plugging away at the co-op pirate quest, and so we have another chance to love it at E3.

Based on what we saw at Microsoft’s briefing, there’s little reason to doubt that we’ll be pleased with another demo this time around. This open-ended, anything-goes sim lets you team up with pals for rambunctious battles, exploration, and other odd shenanigans, and it’s the most interesting thing that Rare has touched in ages. Unfortunately, it’s not due out until early 2018 at this point.

Due: Early 2018

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

Platform: PlayStation 4

Built from the foundation of last year’s absolutely brilliant Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, albeit without Nathan Drake in tow, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is a new kind of game for the series.

Granted, it’s still all about epic-scale adventuring in absolutely dazzling environments – this time in the mountains of India as you seek out an ancient artifact. However, now you’ll play as Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross, and put their myriad skills to use in an array of different missions.

Sony showed off a bit of the story in this E3 trailer, which points to high drama between both the leads and their main antagonist, who seems like an oddly intimidating fellow himself. It probably won’t be as large as Uncharted 4, but we can’t resist another quick dip in Naughty Dog’s legendary franchise.

Due: 22 August

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=”m0Tnp-3W3z4]

Platform: Xbox One

The biggest game on PC right now is coming to Xbox One later this year, and it’ll be a console exclusive for Microsoft’s devices.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is a mouthful, but the game itself is absolutely enrapturing. It’s essentially the game interpretation of Battle Royale, with 100 players hunting each other down to be the last one standing – and the map area shrinks over time, meaning you can’t just hide out the whole time. It’s tense, thrilling stuff, and now you’ll be able to play it on your TV later this year. A big update is coming with the console release, too.

Due: TBD

Dishonored: Death of the Outsider
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Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Uncharted is doing a standalone side story adventure this spring, and so too will another one of the best action franchises right now: Dishonored.

Bethesda’s Death of the Outsider doesn’t require last year’s excellent Dishonored 2 or knowledge of the franchise, although it’s probably a plus: this quest puts you in the boots of Billie Lurk as you team up with Daud to plot and pull off an epic assassination mission. It should stick close to the last game’s winning approach, albeit with new powers and skills. Hey, you don’t have to convince us: Dishonored 2 already did that.

Due: 15 September

Need for Speed: Payback

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

After 2015’s disappointing Need for Speed, we’re looking for some payback… actually, we’re looking for Payback, the new and very different-looking entry in the speedy racing series.

Need for Speed: Payback is EA’s attempt to bring a Fast and the Furious-style hook into the franchise, with a narrative campaign and movie-like action sequences, not to mention an array of vehicles to commandeer. This franchise is notoriously up and down, but we’re optimistic that the slick-looking Payback will see it on an upswing again.

Due: 10 November
Skull and Bones

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=”_9YYYVG0YQI]

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Are you one of those Assassin’s Creed fans who still think they should have stuck with the pirate’s life after 2013’s sharp Black Flag? Well, here’s the next best thing.

Skull and Bones is Ubisoft’s attempt to recapture the magic of sailing the open seas and battling rival ships, albeit without the baggage of the Assassin’s Creed brand. It’s a multiplayer-centric experience including a 5v5 Loot Hunt mode, and you’ll sail all around the Indian Ocean in search of treasure and excitement.

It’s an interesting contrast with Rare’s Sea of Thieves on Xbox One and PC, which is certainly a lot looser and sillier with its own pirate sim.

Due: Mid-2018

Kingdom Hearts III
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Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

We got a nice look at Kingdom Hearts III two years ago at E3 2015, but there’s still no end in sight: we don’t know when this long-awaited sequel will finally come out.

But at least we’ve got something new to look at right here. This new Hercules-centric trailer shows off the beauty of the latest Disney-meets-Final Fantasy mash-up, with some spectacular-looking combat and impressive scale, not to mention some teases at the storyline.

And we’ll get more soon, too: Disney’s annual D23 Expo is in July, and they’re promising another trailer with a brand new world reveal. After the recent PS4 ports of the past games, it’s really about time for Square Enix to wrap this one up. Fingers crossed, at least.

Due: TBD

Detroit: Become Human

Platform: PlayStation 4

Quantic Dream is known for cinematic, affecting adventures (see Heavy Rain in particular), and Detroit: Become Human pairs that approach with a very cool sci-fi setting and scenario.

You’ll take control of multiple playable androids in the game amidst a robotic uprising, in which the subservient machines start fighting back against their human oppressors. It’s all about making choices in each scenario, which can dramatically affect the course of the story ahead.

We’re excited for this one, although given how uneven the studio’s Beyond: Two Souls was, we remain a bit cautious with our optimism. And with no release date set at E3, we’d say it’s likely that Detroit won’t ship this year.

Due: TBD

Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=”8seeZsWZ1CI]

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One

Capcom’s raucous mashup favourite is back in action this autumn with Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite, which again brings together fighters from across the spectrum while making some key tweaks to the old formula.

It’s two-on-two now, scrapping the three-fighter teams of the past couple entries, plus this new entry puts a premium on Infinity Stones that let you customise your abilities in battle. From what we’ve seen so far, the roster seems a little constrained, seemingly lacking the usual X-Men picks.

On the upside, it has a proper story mode that looks like a fun way to spend a few hours fighting solo – and there’s a console demo available right now.

Due: 19 September

Crackdown 3

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Platforms: Xbox One, PC

Crackdown 3 was announced years ago and then kind of… disappeared, really. But here it is! And it has a release date! And it’s this year!

Debuting seven years after the last entry, Crackdown 3 will ship day and date with the Xbox One X in November, delivering another wild open-world romp in which you command a super-powered soldier. This trailer doesn’t showcase the immense destruction promised in past years, but Microsoft says it’s definitely still there. In any case, if Crackdown 3 can provide anywhere near as much joyous fun as the original did, then we’ll be happily back in Pacific City on day one.

Due: 7 November

FIFA 18

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, PS3, Xbox 360

Last year brought some big changes to FIFA, but this year is all about refining those additions – which could make FIFA 18 the best entry to date in EA’s football favourite.

The Frostbite game engine is back with more polish, and everything looked incredible in our hands-on demo, with dazzling animation provided by cover star Cristiano Ronaldo and other top pros. And the single-player story mode is back, too, with fictional player Alex Hunter’s journey continuing into new territory. Otherwise, some smart tweaks should help on the pitch, and you can find out more by reading our hands-on review.

Due: 29 September

Days Gone

Platform: PlayStation 4

Sony’s new original franchise, which can’t help but look very The Last of Us-ish, got another big spotlight at the press conference thanks to an extended gameplay demo.

As biker gang member Deacon St. John, you’ll battle to survive amidst a zombie uprising, with loads of the so-called Freakers filling the screen at once at times. Dynamic systems allow for stronger or weaker foes based on the time or day or weather, and the Pacific Northwest forest environment is intriguing.

Unfortunately, with no release date mentioned, we’re guessing this one is definitely out of 2017, and may well be intended for later in 2018.

Due: TBD

Middle-earth: Shadow of War

Platforms: PS4, PC, Xbox One

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor was the best Lord of the Rings game in ages, and Shadow of War looks to top it. The sequel is bigger and bolder, and seems to expand everything that was so fun and unique about the original.

For example, the Nemesis system is greatly expanded, giving the enemies you battle a sense of place in the world and allowing you to recruit allies. The chatty orc we saw in the trailer at Microsoft’s press conference packed so much personality that we couldn’t help but crack a smile. And if every other part of the game sees a similar boost, then it might wind up being one of the year’s brightest spots.

Due: 10 October

The Last Night

Platforms: PC, Xbox One

One of the most captivating trailers from the Microsoft conference wasn’t for a big-budget 3D game, but rather this darling indie gem, The Last Night.

This cyberpunk thriller blends the kind of pixel graphics we’ve seen in ’90s adventure games with loads of modern flourishes, making for an unexpected juxtaposition. But even better than that cool effect is the world itself and the atmosphere, which definitely have a Blade Runner thing going on. And yet it still feels totally original. We’re definitely taken with it.

Due: 2018

XCOM 2: War of the Chosen

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One

We loved XCOM 2, much as we loved XCOM: Enemy Unknown and Enemy Within before it – so if you’re like us, here’s some very good news: there’s a lot more coming soon.

Firaxis Games is back with the War of the Chosen expansion pack, which will be a significant new chunk of gameplay for the turn-based favourite. It promises an expanded campaign mode, new factions and hero classes, a fresh enemy threat, and quite a bit more. Also, unlike the original XCOM 2 release, War of the Chosen will hit both PC and consoles on the same date.

Due: 29 August

The Crew 2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=”MXN1nmL-DQU

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Ubisoft’s original The Crew didn’t live up to its immense potential, but the open-world racer will have another shot at greatness with next year’s sequel – and it’s not just about cars anymore.

The Crew 2 will deliver a redesigned open-road version of the United States, but now you can also fly over the terrain in airplanes or zip through waterways on motorboats, which arrive alongside the sports cars and off-road rides from before. And every bit of action, no matter what kind of vehicle you commandeer, all adds up into your unified progression profile.

Due: Early 2018

The Evil Within II

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Capcom’s Resident Evil 7 found success in shaking things up, but if you’re seeking a survival horror experience that’s more akin to the older RE entries, then The Evil Within 2 might fit the bill.

It’s from original Resident Evil mastermind Shinji Mikami, and it looks even more twisted than the original, setting hero Sebastian into a city constructed from the mind of his own missing daughter. Expect freaky-looking beasts and all the jump-scares you can handle in this tense quest – and yes, it will indeed release on Friday the 13th this October. Mark your calendars, horror fans.

Due: 13 October

LawBreakers

Platform: PC, PlayStation 4

It’s been more than a year since we last played LawBreakers, the brash new shooter from Gears of War designer Cliff “CliffyB” Bleszinski. We weren’t totally bowled over back then, but after an extra year of development, maybe it’ll be well worth the wait.

LawBreakers is a class-based, arena-style shooter, albeit one set in environments in which gravity has gone very wrong, providing some opportunities to use the world to outmanoeuvre and surprise opponents. The $30 price point is definitely appealing for this multiplayer-only affair, but can it really pull us away from Overwatch? We’ll find out in just two months.

Due: 8 August

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