The 45 Best Games from E3 2018

Beyond Good and Evil 2
Beyond Good and Evil 2 character art

I have no idea what’s going on with Beyond Good and Evil 2. To be honest, I feel like I understand the game less than I did when it was first revealed last year. I understand that the game is still quite a ways off — probably several years — but I was expecting to see a more significant chunk of the game when Ubisoft decided to surface it again. Instead, we got another CG trailer with some other concept art and quick hub world gameplay.

While the trailer looked absolutely stunning and could easily fit in as an animated movie, it didn’t give us any additional context for what the game is. We know it’s a prequel, which is a whole other layer of confusing because we now know that Pey’j and Jade are in it (and Jade is evil?). But without seeing the game in action — or even an edited gameplay trailer — I’m struggling to wrap my head around this one. It’s still a highly anticipated game for me and most of the internet, but I’m hoping that the next time we see it, we actually see it.

 

Control
Control splash poster

Control is a new game coming from Remedy, the makers of Alan Wake and Quantum Break. And, to be honest, Control looks a bit like an amalgamation of the two. It has that sci fi mystery element that the studio is known for delivering, with the more shooter- and powers-focused gameplay of Quantum Break. But where the other two games were a bit slower and more deliberate in action, Control seems more fast-paced. I can get behind that.

It was kind of easy to miss Control at the Sony press conference, since the trailer was sandwiched in between larger demos for the publisher’s AAA releases, but what we saw looks awesome. It’s also interesting to see the studio partnering with Sony when they’ve traditionally been Microsoft focused.

 

Crackdown 3
Crackdown 3 cover art

Crackdown 3 is another game that I’m nervous about, despite the fun premise. It’s just been in development for so long and delayed so many times that it’s hard to imagine it delivering on all the promises and cool features that have been set up. Not only that, but even recent gameplay has looked a bit rough, in my opinion.

Microsoft still has the full promotional engine going for Crackdown 3, which is encouraging. If the game really isn’t coming together, it would be far easier to go dark and let the game slide out at the end of the fiscal year. Let’s hope the short delay into 2019 allows the developers to put the final touches and polish on Crackdown 3, because if done well, this game could be an absolute blast.

 

Cyberpunk 2077
Cyberpunk 20877 violent strip club

With few exceptions, it’s hard to argue against Cyberpunk 2077 as the game of the show this year. For all of us normies, we got a rad-tastic CG trailer that showed off the world of the game, including characters and environmental design. Most importantly, we know the kind of future Cyberpunk 2077 will be presenting, and it’s all the coolest parts of Blade Runner with none of the forced drama.

Even better, industry attendees lucky enough to nab a behind closed doors presentation saw the game in action. Cyberpunk 2077 is confirmed as a first-person game that is an RPG first and a shooter second. It’ll have many story-driven ideas taken from The Witcher 3, with character customization and even more choice. Even with as little as we saw of the game, the wait to its inevitable 2020 (or later) release is going to be quite the long one.

 

Devil May Cry 5
Nero from Devil May Cry 5

Devil May Cry has been a long-running, oftentimes long-suffering series. The original four games varied greatly in quality, and just when Ninja Theory came around and revitalized the series with the woefully underrated DmC, it was all but confirmed that they’d never put out a sequel. And then we got a trailer for Devil May Cry 5 at E3 this year. And then longtime Devil May Cry director Hideaki Itsuno walked out on stage to say that he was once again leading development. There’s definitely excitement to be had for Devil May Cry fans.

However, there was a disappointing lack of Dante in the trailer. He only shows up for a brief cameo at the end. Most of the trailer focused on Nero, who was introduced in Devil May Cry 4. My assumption would be that you primarily play as him in the new entry, which I could take or leave. The attitude of the series is most definitely back, which is great for folks that don’t take it too seriously.

 

Donut County
Donut County colorful art

Donut County is a new game from developer Ben Esposito (formerly of Giant Sparrow, who put out The Unfinished Swan and What Remains of Edith Finch). It looks very weird. It’s sort of an anti-Katamari Damacy, where instead of gathering up items to grow a ball, you’re swallowing items into an ever-expanding hole. The gameplay seems very simple, but you can also swallow things in a particular order to create chain reactions that solve puzzles and regurgitate items to solve others.

For me, I just like the style of the game. There’s a simplicity to the graphics and music that I find endearing, and I’m always a proponent of weirdness in video games. I’ve had my eye on this one for what seems like a few years, and I’m happy to see it finally releasing in 2018.

 

DOOM Eternal
Doomguy fighting demons in DOOM Eternal

A sequel to 2016’s DOOM was an announcement that just made sense. The right amount of time had passed since the first game, it had obviously done well enough critically and commercially to justify a sequel, and Bethesda believed in it enough to create a custom VR experience. But anticipating the announcement didn’t make me any less excited when it happened.

DOOM Eternal brings Hell to Earth because of course it does. That was the path of the original Doom II, so why not continue the tradition? As soon as the aggressive metal music started building, I got excited. DOOM’s soundtrack is one of the best I’ve heard in years, so I have high expectations for the new one. There aren’t even many gameplay iterations I’d like to see. Just having more enemy types and new environments is enough. DOOM was a really good game, you guys.

 

Dreams
Dreams title card

Dreams is still a very mysterious game to me. Since it was first announced, it’s seemed like a big expansion on the ideas that Media Molecule first implemented in LittleBigPlanet. Dreams definitely takes the “make your own level” concept to new heights, with infinitely more freedom on the types of creativity people can express and experiment with. I’m assuming the final game will still have a story mode of sorts, with levels crafted by Media Molecule developers, but the real draw will be seeing what the community comes up with in the years after release. That was always one of my favorite aspects of LittleBigPlanet.

Dreams is a highly ambitious game, but I’m only nervous that we haven’t seen more detail about it at Sony’s recent showings. It’s not that I think the game will fail at what it attempts, but more about hoping what it attempts isn’t too ambiguous for the average player to enjoy. A hardcore fanbase is something Media Molecule is great at developing, but more players deserve to experience their unique brand of weirdness and wonder.

 

Dying Light 2
Dying Light 2 splash poster

The first Dying Light skyrocketed to the top of my “must play” list after Dying Light 2 was revealed. I’ve been wanting to play the original game since it released, as I had a great deal of fun with Dead Island — despite its many flaws — and really loved the idea of adding some Mirror’s Edge parkour to the gameplay loop. But what Techland has added to the sequel really brings it to a whole other level.

Having more options on quests and side missions is always a good thing. But what’s unique to Dying Light 2 is that the choices you make during your adventures and conversations will have sweeping consequences on the hub town that’s currently rebuilding. Siding with one faction over another might change the resources that inhabitants have available, and from what we’ve seen, there’s never a perfect “good guy” option. And none of that even mentions what Techland is doing to make this less of a zombie horde video game. The nighttime will still be the most dangerous time, but they’re thinking of additional ways to reward that exploration.

 

Elder Scrolls Blades
The Elder Scrolls Blades splash poster

Elder Scrolls Blades was an announcement I did not expect. With Bethesda bringing Skyrim to every console known to man — and even to Amazon Echo — it was only a matter of time before they found a way to bring The Elder Scrolls to our phones. I just figured we’d get a smaller experience designed for mobile, like what they did with Fallout Shelter. But instead, we’re getting a seemingly full-featured Elder Scrolls game with questing, dungeons, PvP, and city building. I think it’s fair to call this an ambitious experiment.

Perhaps most surprisingly, my initial reaction of “these graphics are way too good to be on a phone” was apparently unfounded. People that have seen the game in action report that it really does look as good as in the trailers. Obviously, you need a new, high-end phone to make that happen. I still don’t know if phone touch screen controls are the way I want to play Elder Scrolls — much less if this is the type of game that works in small bursts when traditional Elder Scrolls experiences can draw you in for hours at a time — but I commend Bethesda for going all out on this one. In a press conference full of awesomeness, Elder Scrolls Blades was low-key one of the neater reveals.

 

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