Most exciting games of E3 2018

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With E3 2018 about to pass by and already extensive media coverage of game announcements, there are plenty of titles to get excited about for the years 2018-2019. All major publishers accounted for, games revealed cover a wide selection of genres, and while at this point in gaming most are classified under sequels, many are genuinely interesting continuations. Although frankly a good few games were leaked by a Walmart games posting a month before the E3 event, the full reveals during the expo actually showed us trailers and gameplay. Confirming with a few sequels I expected to happen, the E3 showcased many games that I’m really excited for in the coming years. Most of these are bound to become huge successes, and greatly expand on the ideas of their IP, although it is always worth exercising caution before pre-ordering as the industry has taught us over the years. Most of the entries on this list came announced with gameplay trailers aside from a few, and following the press conferences with the gaming media, there is lots of information already available for many titles. To note, this is my personal list of all games that I’m excited about and won’t reflect everyone’s opinion of the games announced over the course of E3 2018.

Cyberpunk 2077

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CD Projekt Red/Windows Central

We knew this one was coming for a long time, and CD Projekt Red finally showed a trailer for Cyberpunk 2077 at E3 2018. With a wider range of details available through large gaming media sites, there is a lot to know the following days after its reveal. What surprised me the most (and I think I’m far from the only one) is that it’s shaping up to be a first-person RPG shooter. From a studio known for its fantasy Witcher RPGs, this is a bold step into new territory, although if anyone can pull off a massive open world shooter, I wouldn’t doubt it would be CD Projekt Red with their extensive attention to detail. From what’s known so far is that it would feature most elements we’ve come to expect from the developer’s games, with branching story, huge interactive world, and a layer of lore from the Cyberpunk tabletop game. Cyber augmentations will allow players to improve their character, which can be either male or female and customized to a degree. It may be far off from release, expected to land somewhere in 2019-21, but it’s a title i’m genuinely excited about. The trailer already shows extensive detail, and I don’t doubt that CD Projekt Red can really pull this game off.

Doom Eternal

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Bethesda/id Software

Given the huge success of 2016 Doom revival, a sequel was bound to happen sooner or later, and it looks like it’s already in the works. Bethesda announced Doom Eternal, and showed us a cinematic trailer full of gore, a dark setting, and of course, even more demons from the look of it. No gameplay was showed, but it is a good guess it will be largely the same to 2016’s Doom, which was an excellent FPS to begin with. Doom Eternal promises a more powerful protagonist, as well as a greater selection of demon enemies. And based on the environments featured in its trailer, the game looks to be taking us to Earth if the collapsing skyscrapers are anything to go by. Gameplay will likely be shown at QuakeCon later this year, and based on the old-school action success of Doom reboot, Eternal is worth getting excited for. As it stands right now, there isn’t much to go by on this title, but who doesn’t like killing waves of demons, right?

Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey

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Ubisoft

After successfully reinventing the Assassin’s Creed franchise with 2017’s Origins, Ubisoft was bound to return to a yearly release schedule for its biggest series, which is what happened with Odyssey. Successfully leaked roughly a week prior to E3 by a photo of a keychain, the game’s reveal wasn’t very surprising, as it was also rumoured the game will be set in Ancient Greece. Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey looks to continue the many game improvements that Origins brought along for the franchise, although would expand on some aspects. In Odyssey, players can choose between two characters, a male and a female, and the story will feature dialogue options for the very first time in the series, which should make the story more engaging. Ubisoft Quebec also promises those dialogue choices to impact the world around players, although it isn’t known to which extent it’s bound to happen. The game is set in Ancient Greece 400 years before Origins, which makes it the oldest entry in terms of its timeline. Taking place during Peloponnesian wars, Odyssey promises lots of action gameplay, as well as a bigger emphasis on naval combat. It will be interesting to see whether it will simply feature the same ship system from Origins, or if it will expand the combat further and resemble that of Black Flag. The gameplay looks to mostly remain the same to Origins, and Odyssey doesn’t seem to expand any of the combat options apart from a more refined skill system. Loot will be further expanded with individual armour pieces to impact character stats, but otherwise Odyssey looks very familiar to its predecessor in all aspects. With gorgeous environments, however, the world should be a joy to explore.

Rage 2

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id Software/Bethesda

For Rage 2, id Software teamed up with Avalanche studios – the makers of the Just Cause series and a successful hit on the Mad Max movie tie-in. Despite the lackluster sales of the original IP released back in 2011, Rage 2 was bound to happen at one point in time. The gameplay trailer showed plenty of fast-paced combat against colorful groups of bandits, and a reveal trailer prior to that indicated diverse locations to explore. There would be mutants as well of course, and the Authority is likely to make an appearance also. Rage 2 reveal prior to E3 as part of the leak through Walmart, also showed vehicular combat, which is where I’m guessing Avalanche will assist in production, as the first Rage wasn’t particularly exciting in that merit. Hopefully id Software can make Rage 2 as fun to play as it’s recent Doom and Quake Champions titles, and the game’s open world should offer more diversity in terms of combat options. With a large selection of weapons and vehicles, Rage 2 shapes to be a quality shooter, but time will tell just how good the game is really going to be. While the original game had many flaws and wasn’t particularly interesting, I’ve had some fun with it and it will be very interesting to see if Bethesda can deliver a successful entry in this post-apocalyptic universe. With gameplay that looks a lot similar to pacing of 2016’s Doom, Rage 2 has lots of potential to be a successful release.

Dying Light 2

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Techland/Microsoft

I saw this one coming at one point or another, and for a good reason. Since abandoning their weak Dead Island series, the developer Techland brought a different take on the zombie survival genre with Dying Light. The IP was widely successful, and spawned 2 years of updates, many DLC packs, and even a massive standalone expansion The Following. It only made sense for them to return to the world of Dying Light once more, and the E3 gameplay trailer is juicy on gameplay details. Once again, players are thrown into a zombie-infested world they can parkour around, and while the reveal largely showed movement mechanics, I expect combat to remain fairly similar to the first title, where Techland already nailed it. The parkour looks to be expanded with a wider set of moves, and the character is able to leap greater distances in reaching new heights. The game promises to include numerous factions for which to undertake quests, and there will be most likely a lot of exploration and loot involved as well. While we can’t really see at the moment about the enemies, there will definitely be both zombies and humans involved, and the night cycle will probably deliver even deadlier forces than the first game’s volatiles. The key feature seems to be a world shaped by player choices, and can visually change from certain decisions. To what extent this will affect gameplay is unknown, and it’s too early to tell whether those choices will be really meaningful, but it looks to be a very interesting feature. With Dying Light being one of my favourite games of all time, I’m definitely excited for its sequel which looks to be even bigger.

Forza Horizon 4

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Playground Games/Microsoft

Alternating with the Forza Motorsport series by Turn 10, Playground Games was definitely bound to announce the next entry in their arcade series with Horizon 4, which happened with a stunning reveal trailer. Taking us to yet another beautiful location, set this time in England, Forza Horizon 4 will continue in similar ways to its predecessors. From the moment I’ve seen the reveal trailer featuring a McLaren Senna, it is one of the games I’m most excited about, partly from the vast enjoyment I’ve had with Horizon 2 and 3. The fourth title looks to shake things up a little, however, by introducing dynamic weather seasons that will alter simultaneously for all players. This looks to be a really interesting feature that will likely be powered by some form of Cloud computing and will require a persistent internet connection, which here is understandable unlike in the Horizon 3 where I’d be perfectly content playing offline in single player. Furthermore, Horizon 4 will have the world populated by other players you can run into and challenge, with is a vast improvement over the driver profiles that would be uploaded into your world in the past titles. With gorgeous graphics, a 250+ selection of cars and changing seasons, Forza Horizon 4 is well worth getting excited about, especially if you’re a series’ fan. The gameplay will likely remain very similar to its predecessors, but with excellent driving that is more fun than serious, lack of changes is a very good thing. Playground Games have no need to fix what isn’t broken.

Just Cause 4

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Avalanche/Square Enix

Apart from teaming up with id Software on Rage 2, Avalanche are also currently working on a sequel to Just Cause 3. The upcoming Just Cause 4 promises to be even bigger, although will structurally remain the same to its predecessors. Avalanche are working on expanding Rico’s arsenal even further, as well as introducing new and interesting elements to the world. Those would hopefully bring diversity to avoid the very repetitive structure of Just Cause 3, although with its gameplay framework, the series can’t go very far in doing anything else but blowing stuff up. The few things shown in the trailer indicate the presence of weather effects, as shown by a massive tornado. This should allow for some interesting gameplay options, and Avalanche mention that players will potentially be able to use weather to their advantage. With the brand new Apex engine the game is getting built on, we should be able to experience stunning weather effects with a high detail of physics to boot. This being a Just Cause game, we should also expect an even bigger level of destruction that ties in with the weather. As for Rico Rodriguez, he will be going up against the “most powerful private army in the world” known as the Black Hand, who should make for a formidable force players would go up against. The use of expanded tools will probably be necessary to eliminate these forces, and the developers also promise an engaging real-time war between the Black Hand and rebel forces, where player actions are expected to directly affect the state of this conflict.

Skull & Bones

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Ubisoft

Ubisoft is aiming to have a go at another pirate adventure with its Skull & Bones title. It looks to resemble the structure of Sea of Thieves, but has enough distinct elements to compete with it, which in itself isn’t a bad thing, although certainly has enough elements to distinguish itself from Rare’s pirate adventure. The ship gameplay takes design elements from Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag, and a full out pirate game with Skull & Bones has many people looking forward to its release. The gameplay shown at E3 looked very impressive, and gives us a glimpse of ship combat and exploration. It looks very impressive visually as well, which makes the adventure on high seas all the better. The game will be heavily based on co-op gameplay like Sea of Thieves, however players will also have the option of doing it all alone if they choose so. Skull & Bones will probably release in 2019/2020, and there will be plenty of details to come out following it’s E3 showcase.

The Division 2

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Ubisoft Massive/Ubisoft/Gamespot

I didn’t find The Division to be an interesting shooter the first time around, although The Division 2 looks a lot more promising. The original improved significantly over the years since release, and Ubisoft looks to take those onboard with the new one. The Division 2 will be set in Washington D.C., which makes for a cool setting that is rarely used in gaming so far, and its gameplay model will be largely similar to its predecessor. The game levels look more open based on the gameplay demo, which is an improvement over the mostly linear The Division. Apart from lush environments of Washington, The Division 2 looks the same as its predecessor, and will most likely feature similar gameplay, quests, and progression. The setting alone makes it an exciting sequel, and hopefully Ubisoft eliminates the shoot and loot grind with more interesting objectives to pursue.

The Elder Scrolls 6

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Bethesda/PC Gamer

For The Elder Scrolls 6, Bethesda showed us only a very short teaser showcasing a mountain range and the game’s title. We could only speculate about the setting at this time, and the game is still far from any gameplay reveal due to its early production stage. Bethesda hasn’t indicated any details regarding the setting, story and any other elements, but this being their very popular RPG series, we can expect a lot of care to go into this title. While too early to say, I would at least be guessing the developer are bound to use a brand new game engine. Fallout 4 looked fairly impressive running on Bethesda’s aging RPG engine, but at this point players expect some extensive innovation to be put into the Elder Scrolls. We can surely expect a very large open world map, however, as well as hundreds of quests and dungeons. Anticipation for this release is very high, although it isn’t likely we’ll see it anytime soon, given that Bethesda expects to release its new IP Starfield before The Elder Scrolls 6 comes along. For this year, expect Fallout 76 to come out in the fall, which looks to take on a shared multiplayer experience the first time for a Bethesda RPG.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

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Eidos Montreal/Square Enix

Shadow of the Tomb Raider was announced way before E3 this year, although that doesn’t make it any less exciting. Set to culminate Lara Croft’s origin trilogy, the game will have her chase yet another relic, although by acquiring it, Lara sets off destructive forces that will end the world. Her journey in Latin America will involve a lot of tombs, ancient temples, and dense jungle forests, where she will face forces of Trinity yet again. Shadow of the Tomb Raider looks to feature bigger hub areas, one of them being a large city. Gameplay-wise, the title will feature most of the similar mechanics to Rise of the Tomb Raider, but will probably expand on some features even further. With developers retaining the action adventure experience of the Tomb Raider reboot series, Shadow of the Tomb Raider looks to be a very exciting experience. It is slated to release later in 2018, which makes it one of the games we’ll get to play sooner rather than later.

Trials Rising

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RedLynx/Ubisoft

It’s been a while since Trials Fusion came out, which doesn’t make this one quite a surprise reveal. We were bound to see a Trials game sooner rather than later, and the E3 2018 announcement gave us Trials Rising, which shapes to be another fun entry in the extremely difficult motocross titles. The game will very much feature the same fun gameplay the series is known for, with increasingly challenging levels that you’re bound to fail at time and time again. Rising looks to shake things up a little, however, with the introduction of co-op gameplay. When I say co-op, I don’t mean four-player online races, but two players controlling one bike. This should make an interesting spin on the formula, as players have to work in good synchronization to avoid a lot of pitfalls. If players perform opposite actions, they would cancel each other out, while doing the same ones will double up the effect. This co-op feature will likely introduce even more yelling at the game as failure rates could shoot up dramatically, but it will also make the game a lot of fun to play with your buddies. Regardless, Trials Rising is an exciting announcement, and I can’t wait for the game to come out.

Anthem

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BioWare/EA

BioWare’s Anthem has been in development for quite some time now, announced multiple years ago, and looks to set a new direction for the developer. That said, it will still be a distinctly “BioWare game”, although we’ll have to see to which extent their traditional storytelling will integrate into a persistent online experience. Anthem will be more focused on combat, although will include varying character classes and quests, which should make for an engaging experience. It will be online only, even for those who choose to venture into the world alone, but will be best played in co-op from what it seems. Anthem looks very stunning visually, and will hopefully avoid the “faces problem” that the Mass Effect: Andromeda community went wild about, and BioWare is set to harness the most out of EA’s Frostbite 3 engine. Time will show just how successful the release would be, but it is exciting to see a new IP come out of BioWare for a long time, with Casey Hudson at the helm as the general manager. Anthem is set to release in early 2019, and its delay should deliver more polish to the game.

Metro Exodus

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4A Games/Endgadget

It’s been a long time since we’ve seen the Metro FPS series, based on a very successful Russian novel by the same name. The last time the series came around was with the remake of Metro 2033 on the developer 4A’s new engine in 2015, as well as a remaster of Metro: Last Light. Exodus promises to expand the series to another level, and will feature a year’s long journey across the vast Russian country There is plenty to get excited about, as the developer 4A promises a host of improvements to come with its new story premise. For once, the game takes place in the radioactive wasteland above ground, making it a huge departure from the metro-based story of previous games. While in those we’ve seen some open air gameplay, Metro Exodus will expand this into a full game. Players will take the role of the same protagonist once more, and will travel across the continent using a train. This element shows to allow players to recruit survivors into their crew, although NPCs won’t be joining us much in the adventures. There will also be changing seasons, although that will change as we move on to different locations and won’t be integrated real-time into the game. Further, levels look to be much more open, although 4A Games say there won’t be any fetch quests, and Metro Exodus will remain a fairly linear experience. The larger locations will be very explorable, and players can easily go off the designated path wherever they are able to explore and gather supplies. The above ground setting will require careful management of the air supply, and there will be many encounters against human and mutant players. Gameplay doesn’t look to change much, but that is not a bad thing whatsoever. With expert attention to detail and world building, 4A games will no doubt deliver an excellent story-driven shooter. Metro Exodus definitely has my attention for its release in early 2019.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

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FromSoftware

I’m generally not a fan of games made by From Software, mainly because of their sheer difficulty that I simply have no patience for, but Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice genuinely has me intrigued. Taking place in 1500s feudal Japan, Sekiro features plenty of Samurai, as well as more supernatural enemies we’ve come to expect from the Dark Souls series, however this isn’t the only interesting highlight of this title. The game will be a radical departure from the Souls series and From Software’s Bloodborne, which while will no doubt upset many hardcore fans, is a necessary step for the developer to release something new. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice will be more action-focused, and the trailer showed fast-paced combat, aerial leaps and even a grappling hook. If this already sounds like a huge departure, there’s even more to come: Sekiro won’t feature the typical RPG experience of the Souls series, although world exploration is still largely present. There will be no loot to speak off, but the main character will instead unlock augments for his metallic arm, ranging from a secondary weapon with his main katana sword to a grappling hook that allows for spectacular leaps and will also aid in combat. Coming from the game’s title, Sekiro will also include an interesting spin on a death mechanic, where players can instantly revive themselves on the battlefield to finish off unsuspecting enemies. This will be limited, of course, and the game wouldn’t be easier than Dark Souls by any extent. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice has me really intrigued, and quicker gameplay makes it more appealing than its Souls predecessors, although I don’t doubt I’ll be dying over and over again in this game when I play it.

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