The biggest video game convention of the year gave us a glimpse at a bright future for the gaming community. We saw shocking reveals, in-depth analysis on holiday games, the announcement of an upcoming console, and so much more. It might all be a bit overwhelming to process, so let me guide you down the road and break down what happened in Los Angeles for E3 2018.
Entering E3 this year, Microsoft was treading water. They’d seen one of their big exclusives in Scalebound get canceled, another exclusive in Crackdown 3 get delayed for the umpteenth time, and were in danger of possible losing their fans to Sony and their treasure trove of exclusive titles. Knowing the circumstances of the situation, Microsoft brought out the big guns for their presentation.
- Halo Infinite — TBD
- Microsoft got the conference rolling by showcasing arguably their most recognizable icon: Master Chief. Spartan-117 is back for his sixth iteration, and while there were no hard reveals during the teaser trailer, it showed Master Chief holding his helmet on his side, before putting it back on and loading up what appeared to be an A.I. chip on the back.
- Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice — 2019
- If you’re a fan of Dark Souls, this needs your undivided attention. FromSoftware presents their next project, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, which could be categorized as a ninja-Bloodborne. The trailer showed tremendous action, as you play a ninja with a prosthetic arm. Who wouldn’t want to do that?!
- Crackdown 3 — February 2019
- Yes, before Microsoft showed Crackdown 3 on stage, there were reports that the game had been delayed to February 2019. It’s interesting that the delay was announced before the conference, maybe as a way to get out in front of the news so people could focus on the new gameplay. Regardless, actor Terry Crews looks to be the protagonist in this over-the-top, highly explosive, run-n-gun shooter coming to Xbox. Let’s hope this is the final delay for Crackdown 3, otherwise we might have to lump it in with the likes of Kingdom Hearts 3 and Final Fantasy VII Remake.
- Metro Exodus — February 22, 2019
- By not having much experience with the Metro series, this latest entry doesn’t make much sense to me. However, if you’re a fan of Metro then I’d bet you’ll be a fan of Metro Exodus. The trailer showed more high action gameplay that is comparable to DOOM and Wolfenstein. It’s setting up to be an amazing FPS for Microsoft.
- Kingdom Hearts 3 (Part 1) — January 29, 2019
- WE HAVE A RELEASE DATE! After countless delays, multiple vague reports on its status, it seems the light is finally approaching at the end of this very long tunnel. Square Enix presented a new trailer which debuted two new worlds in Frozen and Tangled. It also highlighted some of the previous announced worlds in Toy Story and Monsters Inc. The trailer ended with a mysterious woman telling Mickey that he was too late, so it looks like the Disney mouse might be in some trouble. (If you coherently know the full story of Kingdom Hearts, that’s resume-worthy in my opinion. Pat yourself on the back.)
- Forza Horizon 4 — October 2, 2018
- New year, new Forza. One of Microsoft’s best-selling franchises, Forza Horizon 4 is set in Britain, and will have a shared-world online for the first time in the series. In addition, Horizon 4 will have the ability to reach 60 FPS on the Xbox One X, so if you have a 4K TV combo you’re in for a treat.
- Session — TBD
- Not Skate 4. GOTTEM!
- Cuphead in “The Delicious Last Course” — 2019
- Our favorite cartoon cup is back for more ways to infuriate you. Don’t let the joyful, innocent art style fool you; this game is not for the faint of heart. Cuphead presents daunting challenges that will scare off many, but for those persistent enough to overcome them will be met with a wave of satisfaction that has never been felt before. I can only hope for the same in this expansion.
- Jump Force — TBD
- Did you ever wonder if Naruto could take on Goku? What about Frieza? How about Luffy from One Piece? Well let me tell ya, it’s your lucky day. Bandai Namco revealed what looks to me a massive fighting game with all of your favorite anime characters. At the end, we got a quick shot of Light Yagami and Ryuk from Death Note. I wonder if they had something to do with this mega crossover?
- Gears 5 –TBD
- Announcing they will be dropping the “of War”, Gears 5 is the next installment in the gory shooter. Gears 5 will star Kait Diaz, as she is struggling with nightmares that could involve the Locust and her mother.
- Project Scarlet — TBD
- Executive President of Gaming Phil Spencer announced that Microsoft is indeed working on the next Xbox, code named “Scarlet”. Little is known about this console, but recent reports say it will be released in 2020.
- Cyberpunk 2077 — TBD
- Microsoft closed out their conference with quite possibly the biggest reveal of all E3: Cyberpunk 2077. Coming from CD Projkt RED, Cyberpunk 2077 combines everything we loved from The Witcher, Blade Runner, and Mass Effect. Described as a first-person RPG, this game looks to push the boundaries on open-world adventures and truly immerse you in it. There is incredible detail throughout and I can only imagine how the rest of it is going to look. Hopefully we see this on the current generation of consoles, but a safe bet is a launch title for the next wave.
While Microsoft needed to capture our attention and surprise us with new and exciting titles, we already knew what Sony had in store. Before their conference, they announced they had four major games to show, with a few things sprinkled in-between. For what it’s worth, Sony played it safe this E3, and even though that’s not necessarily a bad thing, I think people were still itching for “something” that they hadn’t seen before.
- The Last of Us Part II — TBD
- Wow. Sony came out with their heaviest of hitters in The Last of Us Part II. We saw a long cinematic trailer that began with Ellie dancing and kissing her girlfriend, then seamlessly transitioned into actual gameplay (!) that I personally did not expect to see. Naughty Dog surely upped the ante in the violence department, as we watched Ellie brutally dispose enemies during an escape through a dark forest. My best bet is this will be a 2019 holiday game at the earliest, but man, does it look gorgeous.
- Ghost of Tsushima — TBD
- Set in feudal Japan, Ghost of Tsushima looks magnificent. There wasn’t much gameplay footage to go off of, but the atmosphere of the setting and graphics were breath-taking. The little amount of sword fighting we did see was flawless, and once again, I hope we see Sucker Punch’s creation earlier rather than later.
- Control — TBD
- Very similar look, feel, and style to Quantum Break, Control looks to be another crazy game with strange Force-like telekinetic powers and a deep narrative. Count me intrigued.
- Resident Evil 2 Remake — January 25, 2019
- Well, we saw a glimpse of one remake title, but it wasn’t the one I wanted. Maybe it was the one I deserved right now? Anyway, Resident Evil 2 Remake looks absolutely terrifying, so give it to me. Having never played any Resident Evil game until the seventh and latest iteration, I’m eager to finally sink my teeth into this beloved classic.
- Kingdom Hearts 3 (Part 2) — January 29, 2019
- WE HAVE A…wait a second…didn’t we see this already? If you were paying attention, then yes, you are correct. Appearing for the second time on stage, Square Enix graced our hearts again with the long-awaited conclusion to this series. I’m starting to think that Square Enix is trying to make up for all the delays by force-feeding us Kingdom Hearts 3 content. Not much else was shown compared to Microsoft’s stage, except Pirates of the Caribbean world was revealed. Whether you wanted it or not, you got yourself some more CGI Johnny Depp! Yo ho and a bottle of rum!
- Death Stranding — TBD
- Uh, what? What just happened? Norman Reedus is carrying some baby across the world and there’s invisible death demon creatures? And then a lady ate a bug? What is this game?! I never thought I could learn LESS about a title after watching a trailer, but Hideo Kojima made that possible. So hats off to you, sir. Honestly, I have no idea what to make of this new trailer or the game as a whole, so let’s just move on.
- Nioh 2 — TBD
- Now here’s a surprise! While many people were hoping for a sequel to Bloodborne, we instead got a sequel to Nioh. The trailer didn’t show much of what’s to be expected from the next installment, but as long as we know it’s being worked on I think that’s good enough.
- Spider-Man — September 7, 2018
- Insomniac exceeded expectations with Sunset Overdrive and are now poised to do the exact same with Marvel’s web-slinger. Spider-Man looks incredible, and the trailer showed a bit more at the trouble our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man finds himself in. Electro, with the help of a mysterious main villain and Mister Negative, has freed the other members of the Sinister Six (Rhino, Vulture, Scorpion) from prison. Spider-Man finds himself beaten and broken when he looks up in disbelief and mutters, “You?”. Who could this be? Harry Osborn? His father, Norman? J. Jonah Jameson?! I’m itching to find out…
Welcome to year two of the Nintendo Switch! In its inaugural year, the Switch found success in Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart 8, and Mario Odyssey. Other than that, it was a bit hard to find things to play on the company’s hybrid console. But knowing Nintendo, they always have something smashing up their sleeve.
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate — December 7, 2018
- After being teased at the past Nintendo Direct event, E3 was the place to fully unveil the next installment in the Super Smash franchise. Ultimate will bring every single fighter in Smash history together and feature a brand new contender in Metroid Prime’s Ridley. Nintendo’s online service launches in September, so hopefully by the time Super Smash Bros. Ultimate releases there won’t be any lagging problems with their service.
- Super Mario Party — October 5, 2018
- The go-to game at parties and hangouts, Super Mario Party has found its way to the Switch. Complete with all the different mini-games and excitement, the trailer also showed how you can place multiple Switch consoles together to effectively extend the game board. You can always count on Nintendo to think of unique ways to enhance our gaming experience.
- Fie Emblem: Three Houses — Spring 2019
- Three Houses will be the first mainstream Fire Emblem game on a console since 2007, so people may constitute this as the franchise’s Switch debut, other than the spin-off Fire Emblem: Warriors.
- Fortnite — Now
- Epic’s Battle Royale has made its way to the Switch. It’s time to jump off the Battle Bus, pick a landing spot (Tilted Towers you cowards), and get that Victory Royale! The download is free off Nintendo’s eShop, however it should be noted that as of now you cannot log into Fortnite with your PSN information. If you’re a Fortnite player on PS4, you will need to create a new Epic account for Switch. In addition, Switch is cross-platform with the other systems, except PS4.
- Splatoon 2 Octo Expansion — June 13, 2018
- I love when companies do this. Nintendo has announced that the next content for Splatoon 2 will be available starting tomorrow, June 13. I’m not a big Splatoon fan, but there are tons of people who love this franchise and I think it’s huge for Nintendo to have avid players for their niche competitive shooter.
In what was one of my favorite conferences at E3, Ubisoft did a wonderful job of giving people exactly what they wanted. They truly listened to suggestions and are poised to have a big 2018 and early 2019. Other than Microsoft, I think Ubisoft set themselves up for success and effectively won E3.
- Beyond Good & Evil 2
- After showing off Just Dance 2019 with a dancing panda, Ubisoft flexed its muscles with Beyond Good & Evil 2. This will be a prequel to the original title (that I didn’t play), but for those who did might recognize the girl at the end of the trailer: Jade. Other than that reveal, the trailer was mainly cinematic and didn’t show a whole lot of actual gameplay, which I think was expected. But, Ubisoft did unveil a unique partnership with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and his company HitRECord. Ubisoft is calling for content creators to submit music, art work, anything that people feel should be in the game, and if your work gets chosen you will be compensated. I absolutely love this idea, and while some people might think that’s lazy for a developer to have the public “make their game for them” this is incredible exposure for people. I would love to see more of this.
- Trials Rising — February 2019
- I’m not entirely sure how I’ve never seen a Trials game, but this trailer was hilarious. It started off with motorists doing crazy back flips and landing all sorts of tricks, and then it all came crashing down…literally. The different crashes and accidents that the motor bikes had were hysterical to behold. There are some games you see and immediately think it’ll be perfect for something, well, this game will be perfect for the Switch.
- The Division 2 — March 15, 2019
- This might be my most anticipated game from E3. I played a bit of vanilla Division and had a blast. I honestly wish I would’ve stuck with it to reap the benefits of the updates, but clearly Ubisoft learned its lessons for the sequel. Set in Washington D.C., The Division 2 tasks you with saving America from impeding civil war. The big announcement during this presentation was the DLC in Year One of Division 2 will all be free, and the game is introducing eight-player raid missions. I. Can’t. Wait.
- Mario + Rabbids Donkey Kong DLC — June 26, 2018
- One of the strangest crossovers is set to get some new content. Donkey Kong is swinging into action in the upcoming Donkey Kong Adventure DLC. Fans of the tactics game should be in for a treat.
- Skull & Bones — 2018
- Where one shall fall, another shall rise. Sea of Thieves tried to be the pirate game many wanted, but fell a bit short. That’s where Skull & Bones comes in. This beautiful, stunning pirate adventure looks to be everything you ever wanted in conquering the seven seas. Ubisoft’s pirate adventure is described as a shared online world, with players operating different pirate vessels. The combat looks precise and articulate, but also rewarding. If you ever wanted to see how it feels to be Jack Sparrow, this is it.
- Transference (VR) — Fall 2018
- I don’t own a VR machine, but games like this make it harder and harder to resist investing in one. This narrative-driven experience follows the story of a troubled family and is described as a psychological thriller. I’ve always been intrigued by the notion of VR and this might be the game that could force me toward making the plunge.
- Starlink — October 16, 2018
- Star Fox is back! Kind of! Ubisoft has joined forces yet again with Nintendo and will feature Star Fox in their toy-to-game title Starlink. Another unique idea, one that I’m a bit sheepish toward, has you buying and constructing real life star ships on your controller and they will appear in-game. I’m not entirely sure who the target audience is for this title, but hopefully it finds a way to succeed.
- For Honor: Marching Fire — October 16, 2018
- A new expansion is coming to For Honor, and it’s being pegged as the biggest one yet. The expansion comes with a new mode called Breach, four new fighters, a new faction, and more single-player content. In addition, Ubisoft announced that For Honor will be free through UPlay this week.
- Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey — October 5, 2018
- New year, new Assassin’s Creed game. After exploring the pyramids of Ancient Egypt, Ubisoft is taking us on a tour of Ancient Greece. Odyssey is set hundreds of years being Origins, so this title acts as a pseudo-prequel to last year’s title. For the first time in this storied franchise, you’ll have the option of playing either a male or female, have dialogue options which can affect the story, and engage in romantic affairs. I think these are big steps to rejuvenate a rapidly-approaching stagnant franchise. The environments of Odyssey are gorgeous and the combat looks precise. Fans of the series are in for a treat this fall. (No, Mario and/or Cappy are NOT in this game.)
Similarly to Ubisoft, Bethesda did an amazing job of showing exactly what their fans wanted to see. Other than showcasing Andrew W.K. at the beginning of their conference (the crowd did not humor him one bit), Bethesda showed a handful of highly-anticipated games that’ll have people drooling over themselves.
- Rage 2 — Spring 2019
- The reason why we were subjected to an awkward Andrew W.K. set piece, Rage 2 kicked off the conference for Bethesda. What seems like Mad Max, Rage 2 is set in a post-apocalyptic world (Bethesda loooooooves their post-apocalyptic worlds). The gameplay trailer showed small similarities to other Bethesda titles, like DOOM and Wolfenstein in the mechanics, such as a power slide and the overall violent FPS vibe to Rage 2.
- DOOM Eternal — TBD
- This will get the blood pumping. After successfully reviving the DOOM franchise in 2016, Bethesda showed a teaser to the sequel. Fans of the older games compared DOOM Eternal to DOOM 2, and predict the game will be Hell on Earth. Yeah, you can count me the hell in on that. (Sidenote: Twitter account PixelBrave set the teaser to Led Zepplin’s Immigrant Song and it’s glorious.)
- Prey Mooncrash — Now
- Once again, I love when companies do this. Bethesda announced new modes in Prey with a New Game+ and survival mode, both available immediately for free. In addition, paid DLC titled Mooncrash is also available. Prey was one of those games where you really wanted to play it, but it slipped past you…maybe it just wasn’t meant to be.
- Wolfenstein: Youngblood — 2019
- Set 19 years after Wolfenstein: The New Colossus, Youngblood will place you in the shoes of B.J. Blazkowicz’s twin daughters Jess and Soph on their journey to search for their missing father, and of course, killing Nazis. The New Colossus was my first experience with Wolfenstein, and after playing that, I know what all the fuss is about. Youngblood will take place in 1980s Paris, so I’m definitely all for killing Nazis on the Eiffel Tower.
- Fallout 76 — November 14, 2018
- Fallout 76 is a prequel to all the other Fallout games. Taking place in West Virginia, you’re one of the first people to emerge from the Vaults and step foot in the post-nuclear world. Said to be roughly four times the size of Fallout 4, Bethesda confirmed that this will be entirely online, but still will be able to play solo. I’m interesting to see how having friends play with you in Fallout 76 will work, but sounds like an interesting spin on the franchise.
- Starfield — TBD
- This seems to be a case where this game is nowhere near in being complete, but Bethesda wanted to shut some people up. The short teaser proved that this project exists and that it’ll be some kind of sci-fi game. Bethesda noted that this will be a “next-gen” title, so safe to assume this isn’t coming out for about 3-5 years.
- The Elder Scrolls VI — TBD
- Bethesda is two-for-two on showing games that are nowhere close to being ready! Once again, this short teaser trailer proved to the nagging fans that they are indeed working on the next installment of Elder Scrolls. Many fans have tried figuring out where exactly the mountains were in the trailer. At this point, just accept that it’s being worked on and also that you won’t play it for a good while.
Everyone knows EA from their sports games, but EA is starting to branch out a bit. One of the biggest game reveals of E3 came from EA’s stage, and the spotlight will continue to be on EA until this game releases. We expect great things with EA.
- Battlefield V — October 2018
- EA is shifting the Battlefield franchise back to World War II. The trailer showed tons of explosions and destructive environments, but most importantly, revealed that Battlefield V will have a battle royale mode. So, the two big FPS war games in Call of Duty Black Ops 4 and Battlefield V will both feature battle royale game modes. I was actually pretty shocked that Battlefield V was the only BR announcement.
- Jedi: Fallen Order — Holiday 2019
- Respawn announced their Star Wars game will be called Jedi: Fallen Order. The game will take place between Episodes 3 and 4, following the Empire and Darth Vader’s hunt for the surviving Jedi. I swear, there better be a scene where Palpatine goes “Execute Order 66” or I riot.
- Battlefront II Clone Wars — 2018
- Star Wars Battlefront II has had an uphill battle to say the least since it’s release. Now, EA has announced a new squad system, new heroes and maps adapted directly from the Clone Wars. These heroes include General Grievous, Obi Wan Kenobi, and Anakin Skywalker.
- Anthem — February 2019
- What mostly everyone was waiting for, the lid was blown off for Anthem. The extended trailer showed a team of exosuits, called Javelins, on a mission to find the source of a disturbance. The graphics and combat systems look amazing. EA made sure to state that there won’t be any loot boxes in Anthem, but there will still be customization for your mech suits. I’m interested to hear/see more about Anthem, because I feel like this could be the game that everyone wanted Destiny to be.
For as respectable as Square Enix is, this was a lousy conference for them. They showed games that were seen prior on different stages, while at the same time not showing games or giving updates that many wanted (um, Final Fantasy VII Remake and Avengers anyone??). Looking back, I honestly don’t know why Square Enix had a conference, but let’s take a look at what went down.
- Kingdom Hearts 3 (Part 3) — January 29, 2018
- Alright, I’m at the point where I hope it gets delayed again. If you’re counting at home, this is the third time we’ve seen Kingdom Hearts on stage. And each time, I get more and more confused as to what the hell is going on in this story. I feel like Charlie from It’s Always Sunny trying to figure out where all the mail is going.
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider — September 14, 2018
- Lara Croft is a gaming legend, so seeing her continue to go on adventures is a sight for sore eyes. Shadow of the Tomb Raider looks to lean heavily on the stealth-aspect of things, and is described as having more tombs than ever before. Based on the positive reactions of the last one, I think fans will enjoy this title very much.
- The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit — June 26, 2018
- Announced at the Microsoft conference, The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit follows the story of a young boy who escapes from his real life struggles by using his imagination. Developers have stated that Captain Spirit is set in the same universe as Life is Strange, and will in someways connect the two titles.
- Babylon’s Fall — 2019
- The newest game from Platinum, virtually nothing was revealed about this title. Platinum is responsible for Bayonetta and Nier: Automata, so I’m fairly confident in whatever Babylon’s Fall ends up being.
- The Quiet Man — TBD
- Square Enix showed a strange trailer that started in real life, then morphed into gameplay, and ended back in real life. The trailer portrayed that you play a deaf guy who knows martial arts. It’ll be interesting to see if while playing the game, you’re literally deaf and you can’t hear sounds. That would be pretty weird, but interesting.
And with that, E3 2018 has come and gone! It was an exciting few days filled with promising reveals and overall optimism and excitement for the future. While there were certain games missing from the conferences, the things we did see blew our minds. Everyone had their own ups and downs during E3, but at the end of the day, I was blown away by Microsoft. They truly set the bar this E3 and have a plan laid out for the upcoming future to win fans back. I hope they pull through, because more games only build the industry and gives people more experiences in games.