The best games of E3 2018

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The Electronic Entertainment Expo – or E3 for short – is the world’s biggest gaming show and in what feels like the blink of an eye it’s all over for 2018. Each year’s event shows us all the huge games we’ll be playing in the future, or right now…

Eager to see which games we’ll be lusting after later this year and beyond and which one’s we’re playing already? Here’s a look at all of the biggest E3 announcements.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Nintendo Switch)

Just how “ultimate” is Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for Nintendo Switch? It has every single character from every previous Smash game, from obvious picks like Mario and Link to guest fighters like Sonic, Pac-Man, and Solid Snake. Oh, and new additions like the Splatoon Inklings and Metroid’s oversized Ridley. That’s more than 60 fighters in total.

By and large, Ultimate feels like a culmination of everything to date: it packs in everything fans love about the cross-franchise brawler and doesn’t meddle with the formula too much. It even supports GameCube controllers to appease the die-hards. What’s not to love here?

Due: 7 December

The Last of Us II (PlayStation 4)

Fans have been eagerly awaiting a full reveal of The Last of Us II since the first tease a year and a half ago, and here it is – in true Naughty Dog fashion, it’s a stunner.

It starts with a beautiful moment for heroine Ellie at a dance, but quickly flashes into the gruesome present, in which she uses her considerable survival skills to eliminate threats, stealthily explore the jungle, and narrowly evade death time and again. We’re no closer to a release date for this one (surely 2019), but The Last of Us II looks every bit as compelling as the original, which remains our pick for the greatest PlayStation game of all time.

Due: TBA

Halo: Infinite (Xbox One, PC)

Halo 5: Guardians was a definite low point for the Halo franchise, and following all of the issues with The Master Chief Collection, the series doesn’t seem quite as pristine as it used to be. But Microsoft hopes to revive its fortunes with Halo: Infinite.

Developed by 343 Industries with the new Slipstream Engine, Halo: Infinite puts Master Chief back at the forefront of the franchise where he belongs, and it looks like this particular Halo structure has some fresh wildlife – and no doubt conflict too.

Unfortunately, we don’t know when to expect Halo: Infinite, but it’s coming to both Xbox One and PC this time around. We’re hopeful that it’ll make the FPS franchise feel fresh again.

Due: TBA

Anthem (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Electronic Arts’ Anthem was one of the biggest debuts at last year’s E3, but following a delay into 2019, EA really took the wraps off at its EA Play show on Saturday. And sure enough, Anthem still looks pretty awesome.

Anthem still seems like EA’s take on Destiny to some extent, as an online-centric, cooperative sci-fi shooter, but we learned a lot more about the game this week. BioWare’s game drops you into a treacherous environment in a Javelin mech suit as you take the role of a Freelancer, a warrior tasked with protecting mankind from some freaky-looking beasts.

It looks super slick, and the aerial mech action should help lend it a different tone than Destiny despite some similarities. Anthem might be 2019’s first must-play smash if BioWare follows through on its potential.

Due: 22 February 2019

Cyberpunk 2077 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

CD Projekt RED’s Cyberpunk 2077 has been on the horizon for years now, and following the studio’s incredible The Witcher III: Wild Hunt, they’re finally ready to properly reveal their next open-world opus.

As the trailer shows, Cyberpunk 2077 showcases a bold and vibrant futuristic society marked by robots, poverty, and intense violence. Sounds like you’ll be able to create your own character and live out an adventure in this intriguing setting, but sadly there’s no release date at this point. We’d guess sometime in 2019, but it’s definitely got our attention whenever it decides to ship.

Due: TBA

Death Stranding (PlayStation 4)

What exactly is Death Stranding? Even after an eight-minute trailer containing the first glimpse of gameplay, we aren’t entirely sure. But it’s the latest creation from Metal Gear mad scientist Hideo Kojima, so obviously our interest is piqued.

Here we see Sam, portrayed by Norman Reedus, carrying hilariously large stacks of containers across an unforgiving environment, scanning his surroundings, and encountering terrifying invisible creatures and hanging spirits (maybe?) that eventually overpower him. Kojima seems to be aiming for a meditation on life and death here, with a star-studded cast of actors and slick presentation, but we still have little sense of the feel and flow of the game.

In any case, we’re still 100% onboard for this strange odyssey, which still probably isn’t releasing anytime soon, we’re afraid.

Due: TBA

Spider-Man (PlayStation 4)

We’ve been fooled by the franchise before, but after this latest gameplay demo – and the strong hands-on impressions that followed from press – we might be looking at the best Spider-Man game in ages.

No surprise it’s from Insomniac Games, makers of Ratchet & Clank and the raucous, under-appreciated open-world gem Sunset Overdrive. Their take on the wall-crawler has the kind of joyous city swinging we expect from the character, but also fluid and fun-looking brawling, albeit with a clear Batman: Arkham influence. Early trailers made it look maybe too cinematic, suggesting more watching than playing. But the gameplay looks like the real deal now.

Due: 7 September

The Elder Scrolls VI (TBA)

It’s happening: Bethesda Game Studios announced The Elder Scrolls VI with this brief trailer… and that’s about all we know about the next fantasy epic.

Bethesda says that it’s in pre-production, so the actual game could be years off at this point. It may very well be for the next generation of consoles, given the expected scale of the experience. And yet it’s still massive news, since The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim ranks as one of the all-time best role-playing experiences, and now we can look forward to Bethesda making a new entry instead of just porting the last one. Although they had their fun with that meme as well…

Due: TBA

Forza Horizon 4 (Xbox One, PC)

Forza Horizon has become a biennial open-world racing treat, and Forza Horizon 4 will take us to some potentially familiar terrain – that’s because it’s set in and around London.

When on-road or off, Forza Horizon 4 should span a wide array of environments, and as the first trailer shows, the current season in the game can dramatically affect the way that roads and paths look and feel. Horizon 4 promises historic locations and “more choice and customisation” than past entries, along with 450+ cars and a new Route Creator feature. And as expected, it’s coming out later this year.

Due: 2 October 2018

Gears 5 (Xbox One, PC)

Gears 5 looks wild, based this first trailer. Gears of War 4 felt like more of the same – which wasn’t a bad thing, but also not terribly surprising. But with a new heroine with some wild visions of alien creatures, this Gears seems potentially more horrific than ever.

Microsoft calls it the “biggest, most beautiful” world in the franchise, which bodes well given the brown-heavy settings of past games, and with the usual array of co-op options as well as 4K/HDR/60fps support on Xbox One and PC, it ought to be a stunner. But not until sometime next year, it seems.

Due: 2019

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

There will be no extended break for Ubisoft’s historical action series this time around: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey arrives this October following last year’s strong Origins, and it winds back the clock to Ancient Greece in the 5th century BCE.

Odyssey looks to bring in more choice in the narrative, letting you make dialogue decisions along the way to shape the storyline – and even dabble in romance. And with the Spear of Leonidas, you’ll also gain some wild supernatural skills along the way. The game also brings back the great naval action from Black Flag, and hopefully feels as fresh and essential as that past series gem.

Due: 5 October

Doom Eternal (TBA)

2016’s Doom revival was an impressively intense and incredibly fun tribute to the iconic original, streamlining the oft-overcomplicated modern first-person shooter approach into a steady flow of thrilling demon slaying.

And somehow, Doom Eternal plans to top that. In this teaser, we see a burning Earth populated by demons and the Doom Slayer ready to unleash some vengeance. Developer id Software promises a much more powerful Slayer and twice the demons, and we’ll get our first proper look at gameplay footage at QuakeCon on 10 August. Until then, we dream of the possibilities.

Due: TBA

FIFA 19 (Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC)

The last couple of seasons, FIFA‘s big addition was an entertaining story mode (The Journey) alongside myriad gameplay additions. But this time around, the big-ticket extra is the complete UEFA Champions League experience on all four platforms.

EA Sports gained the rights to the league after Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer lost it, and now you’ll be able to play through the likes of the Europa Cup and Super Cup, as well as get official match presentation with a fresh commentary team of Derek Rae and Lee Dixon. And you’ll even get the final chapter of The Journey in this jam-packed package as well.

Due: 28 September

Fire Emblem: Three Houses (Nintendo Switch)

It’s been more than a decade since the last core Fire Emblem game for a console, and the recent handheld entries have offered some of the best reasons to pick up the Nintendo 3DS – but the beloved tactical role-playing series is coming to Switch next year with Fire Emblem: Three Houses.

As this first trailer shows, it’s a proper Fire Emblem through and through: brainy strategy battles, gorgeous anime cutscenes, and plenty of drama along the way. If it’s anywhere near as good as the last 3DS games, it’ll be one of 2019’s must-play Switch exclusives.

Due: Spring 2019

Ghost of Tsushima (PlayStation 4)

Sucker Punch is best known for the open-world, gritty superhero-like Infamous series, but Ghost of Tsushima is something very different. It’s set in feudal Japan in 1274, wherein Jin Sakai fights to protect his people from the invading Mongol Empire.

This samurai battler is absolutely stunning, with gorgeous, sweeping hillside terrain and tense, blood-soaked, timing-centric sword battles. Unfortunately, the lack of a release date means we’re probably not getting it this year, but Ghost of Tsushima ought to be one of the biggest PlayStation offerings of 2019 (hopefully).

Due: TBA

Battlefield V (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

For a moment there, we thought Battlefield V was going to avoid the trendy thing and not add a PUBG/Fortnite-esque battle royale mode. Nope. They’re doing it.

Much like rival shooter Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, EA’s Battlefield V will indeed have a massive free-for-all mode – but it’ll still focus on destructible environments, team-centric play, and vehicular action. It was EA’s big Battlefield V announcement for E3, but unfortunately we haven’t seen it yet. We have to wonder if they’re still quickly cooking it up behind the scenes given the genre’s explosion of late.

In any case, we’ve already heard plenty about Battlefield V‘s traditional multiplayer battles and single-player missions, so be sure to read up on what to expect come October.

Due: 19 October

Pokémon: Let’s Go (Nintendo Switch)

Pokémon is finally coming to Nintendo Switch, and… well, this isn’t the traditional handheld-style adventure that we know and love. Instead, it’s a new game co-developed with Pokémon Go maker Niantic and inspired by the mobile sensation.

Pokémon: Let’s Go looks like a streamlined take on the classic experience, including a world map and creature collection but simplifying the capture process, with a ball-tossing mechanic similar to what’s seen in Pokémon Go. In any case, it’s sure to be a sensation, especially with separate Pikachu and Eevee editions available when Let’s Go hits Switch in November.

Due: 16 November

Shadow of the Tomb Raider (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

The rebooted Tomb Raider series has been excellent so far, but it’s remained in the shadow of Naughty Dog’s brilliant Uncharted games all the while. Now with Uncharted on a breather, maybe Lara will have a chance to rule the adventure genre once more.

We went hands-on with Shadow of the Tomb Raider some weeks back, and this new E3 trailer illuminates much more about the storyline and the heart-pumping moments contained within this third modern quest. It looks pretty fabulous, plus it’ll be out very soon – in just three months.

Due: 14 September

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

FromSoftware has created some of the most intensely-loved (and incredibly challenging) games of the last few years in Bloodborne and the Dark Souls series, and their next game, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, will explore Japan’s Sengoku period.

The trailer suggests an experience that shouldn’t be too far off that of From’s other action games, albeit with a very different kind of setting. Expect another immensely difficult, yet hugely rewarding action game with tense encounters.

Due: 2019

Hitman 2 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Agent 47 is back in Hitman 2, the sequel to the 2016 game that thankfully gave the fading assassination franchise a fresh lease on life. This one lacks the episodic approach, but seems to stick with giving you loads and loads of ways to plot each kill in a unique environment.

As seen in this trailer for the first level, Miami, you’ll need to take out a pair of highly visible targets at a race – and there’s seemingly no shortage of methods, from blunt and obvious to methodical or downright silly. And Hitman 2 also introduces co-op multiplayer to the franchise via the new Sniper Assassin mode.

Due: 13 November

Fallout 76 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Fallout 76 was first revealed before E3, but Bethesda finally rolled out some solid details during its event – and confirmed that this new game is an online-only, multiplayer-centric experience.

That’s a bit of a change from the past games! This new take on the post-apocalyptic, open-world RPG takes on more of a survival bent, as you work together to take down giant monsters, build up a base with allies, and take part in some PvP action. The world is four times larger than in Fallout 4, and we hope this new game will be just as compelling to boot.

Due: 14 November

The Division 2 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

The Division 2 continues the devastating outbreak tale from Ubisoft’s engrossing original game, but shifts the setting to Washington D.C., where a compromised government fights against the agents of the titular force.

Corrupt U.S. government? Sounds like a risqué move for Ubisoft, given the current political climate there – but then again, Far Cry 5 looked like it was going to have something to say about American culture and ultimately didn’t. Still, The Division was our shoot-and-loot obsession a couple years back, and we’re eager to drop into faux D.C. to continue fighting the good fight early next year.

Due: 15 March 2019

Devil May Cry 5 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

We thought 2013’s DmC: Devil May Cry reboot was a blast, but the reinvented slash-and-shoot gem wasn’t received by all with open arms. With that in mind, Capcom’s back with Devil May Cry 5, which shuns the style of the last game.

Designed as a proper sequel to Devil May Cry 4 from 2008, DMC5 brings back Dante and Nero for plenty more hack-and-slash shooty action as you dismantle demons in all manner of ways. Looks like plenty of relatively mindless fun arriving sometime next spring.

Due: Spring 2019

Starfield (TBA)

Bethesda Game Studios wasn’t content to just announce The Elder Scrolls VI at E3 – they’ve also just revealed Starfield, their first original creation in 25 years.

And that trailer above is pretty much all we have to go on. Bethesda calls it a “space epic” that is currently in development, and given the studio’s pedigree, we’re hoping for a sci-fi, role-playing adventure on the level of Elder Scrolls and Fallout. But that’s just wishful thinking at this point. We’ll have to wait a bit longer for real details on this one.

Due: TBA

Kingdom Hearts III (PS4, Xbox One)

Square Enix won’t keep its promise to release the long-awaited Kingdom Hearts III in 2018, but we suppose we’ll “Let It Go” (ahem) after seeing this new Frozen-themed trailer.

The sequel looks as potentially nonsensical as other series entries, but this amalgamation of Final Fantasy-inspired role-playing and Disney gems like Wreck-It Ralph, Toy Story, and Big Hero 6 still seems absolutely charming. Besides, January isn’t that far away. You’ll need all the extra time you can get to play through all of the remastered games that were ported to PS4 not long ago…

Due: 29 January 2019

Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Xbox One, PC)

Ori and the Blind Forest is one of our favourite Xbox One games – a gorgeous, yet heartbreaking Metroid-like adventure starring a nimble creature who earns more and more abilities as you explore the dazzling world. And the sequel’s coming next year.

Microsoft finally showed off real gameplay from Ori and the Will of the Wisps, which at a glance doesn’t look that different – not that we’re complaining. But hands-on previews suggest that the game brings in new abilities while allowing varying play styles, plus it’ll be a larger game than its predecessor. Well, we’re sold.

Due: 2019

Sea of Solitude (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

EA has been making an effort in recent years to release more eccentric, artsy, almost indie-esque games alongside its blockbusters, and Sea of Solitude is its next such endeavour.

Developed by German studio Jo-Mei, Sea of Solitude stars a woman who is so lonely that she turns into a monster, and it’s your quest to coax the happy human back out of it. As the trailer shows, the game looks moody and surreal, and should tap into some real emotions as you play through Kay’s journey. Very intriguing indeed. Expect this one early next year.

Due: Early 2019

Crackdown 3 (Xbox One, PC)

After years of delays, Crackdown 3 still rates as vapourware to us – but with a new 2019 release target, at least the game looks more real than ever before.

And it certainly looks fun, too. The original Crackdown was an open-world treat, letting you run rampant as a super-powered agent, and Crackdown 3 seems to amp that concept up to a wild new level. Also, hero Commander Jaxon is voiced and portrayed by none other than Terry Crews, so that ought to add even more attitude to the experience… assuming it actually does come out next year (or ever).

Due: February 2019

Just Cause 4 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Just Cause 3 had some issues, but still delivered ample fun in its over-the-top open-world approach, including massive destruction and amazing gadgets like the grappling hook.

Now Just Cause 4 looks like it’s trying to amplify that approach, hopefully with a bit more polish this time around. The game looks a tad bit more serious in tone, and yet lets you use grappling hooks to boost trucks into the air, as well as contend with tornadoes and sandstorms. Odd franchise, this one – but it could be a real blast later this year if done properly.

Due: 4 December

Rage 2 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

The original Rage underwhelmed following years of frenzied anticipation by FPS fans, but id Software and new partner Avalanche Studios (Just Cause) are looking to amp up the fun and excitement with Rage 2.

The sequel has more of a vibrant, Mad Max: Fury Road, post-apocalyptic bent to it, with a wide-open desert wasteland filled with all manner of freaks. Luckily, you’ll have some wild weapons at hand to deal out devastation, as well as the ability to command any well-armed vehicle you come across. Also, the special edition comes with a mountable talking head voiced by Andrew W.K., so that’s… interesting, certainly.

Due: Q2 2019

Super Mario Party (Nintendo Switch)

Mario Party is legendary for making and breaking friendships with its frantic four-player mini-game battles, and Super Mario Party is coming this year to deliver much the same experience on the Nintendo Switch.

While the board game-inspired approach seems pretty familiar, Super Mario Party does bring along a couple of twists – including the ability to align two Switch systems for some truly inventive multiplayer experiences. Otherwise, this looks like classic Nintendo comfort gaming: familiar, and yet probably pretty enjoyable in the end. But almost assuredly infuriating, too, given our history with the series.

Due: 5 October

Wolfenstein: Youngblood (TBA)

Up for another round of Nazi-slaying? We are, and Besthesda and MachineGames are happy to oblige with next year’s Wolfenstein: Youngblood.

Set in Paris in 1980 — that’s 19 years following last year’s Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus — Youngblood stars a pair of sisters, Jess and Soph, who are the twin daughters of series hero B.J. Blazkowicz. They’re on a mission to find their pops, and the result is a campaign that can be played in co-op, if you please. There’s no gameplay footage yet, but this modern Wolfenstein series has been a treat thus far.

Due: 2019

Resident Evil 2 Remake (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Capcom’s long-awaited remake of the legendary Resident Evil 2 has finally seen the light of day, showcasing a completely overhauled version of the PSone survival horror classic.

The old pre-rendered backdrops have been shed for a proper real-time 3D environment, complete with a new over-the-shoulder perspective like Resident Evil 4 and other more modern entries. Otherwise, it looks to be keeping the familiar setting and characters, which is good news considering that RE2 is still considered one of the series’ best entries. We’ll get this one early next year.

Due: 25 January 2019

Session (Xbox One, PC)

Finally, after all these years, they’re finally making Skate 4 and… wait a minute. This isn’t Skate 4. It certainly looks like EA’s realistic and rewarding skateboarding series, but Session is a new effort from an indie team called Crea-ture Studios.

Honestly, it sounds like Skate too: Session promises a “unique control scheme that gives players full control” and moves away from focusing on big point strings. Look, it’s been a long time since we had a great skateboarding game, so whatever the influences, we’ll be thrilled if Session feels anywhere near as authentic and responsive as Skate.

Due: 2019

Unravel 2 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

The original Unravel was an utterly charming adventure undone by some real frustrations, including unpolished mechanics and unclear instructions. But hopefully EA’s sorted out those niggles in Unravel 2.

It’s not only a sequel, but also a newly co-op one at that. Unravel 2 now stars two Yarny creatures, each made of yarn and both tied together with a little knot. You can play it solo or in local co-op, and in either case you’ll use their myriad fabric capabilities to traverse a big, beautiful human world.

And best of all, it’s available now: EA announced the game at its EA Play conference and released the thing immediately. Nice one.

Due: Out now

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Deputy Editor at Stuff. Nevermind the fancy title, I like writing about things that are cool. Like games, gadgets and sometimes even software. Depending on how cool it is.

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