Unfortunately, our site went down right after the first day of the E3 2018 conference, so we didn’t get an opportunity to cover it. To make up for that, I took it upon myself to not just rank each conference, but also rank each and every game that was announced from worst to best. Get comfortable, we’re gonna be here a while.
Square Enix: My first red flag for this was when I got off work after the conference ended and asked what I missed, and no one could really tell me anything. Then when it comes time to write this article, I went back to the VOD and it wasn’t even half an hour long. That’s fine, I said to myself. Devolver Digital’s wasn’t even twenty minutes and theirs was fantastic. Unfortunately, Square Enix is no Devolver Digital. After letting Microsoft announce most of their titles, there wasn’t much left to show.
The Quiet Man: Guy wordlessly beats up some other guys. More to come in August. Thanks, Square Enix, that was worth my time.
NieR Automata: Become as Gods Edition: This would probably be at least halfway up the list if the exact same trailer wasn’t shown off at Microsoft’s conference.
Babylon’s Fall: Coming to Steam and PS4 in 2019. Trailer looks badass, but shows no gameplay and gives hints to the plot. I’m so happy that this is the only one of its type and definitely NOT something that happened in almost every other conference.
Final Fantasy XIV/Monster Hunter World: I’m not an MMO guy, so as much as I like Final Fantasy, XIV was never my cup of tea. Through the Under the Moonlight patch that came out in May, Square Enix will be adding Monster Hunter content to Final Fantasy XIV. Apparently. Why? Because they’re Square goddamn Enix, so if they want to see the warriors of light to take down monsters from another universe, then goddamn, they’re going to make it happen.
Dragon Quest XI: The newest entry in the Dragon Quest series launched about a year ago in Japan, and is finally coming to the US. The trailer has some interesting moments, and comes to an end with what looks like the protagonists assembling the infinity stones. The NA localization will be available on September 4th of this year, and two special editions are available for preorder today: one is a day one edition that costs the same price as the game, and the other costs well over twice as much. Also, Brave Exvius will be crossing over with Dragon Quest in celebration, because Final Fantasy is trying to reach Nicolas Cage levels of being in everything.
The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit: We get to see a bit more of our young protagonist Chris, who will don the role of the imaginary and titular Captain Spirit, and also get insights from some of Dontnod’s creative team. We learned at the Xbox conference that this game will take place in the Life is Strange universe, and now we’ve received confirmation that this isn’t Life is Strange 2, but will take place in Arcadia Bay and will introduce us to the LiS universe outside of Blackwell and the Price family.
Kingdom Hearts III: Naturally, they close off with KH3. It’s the same trailer shown off during the Microsoft Conference, with a couple more scenes added. I was expecting some developer insights after the trailer, but, uh… nope. It’s over, and as their finale reel starts to roll, questions fill my mind. Why, why did MICROSOFT announce as many of your games than you did? Why even have a conference that’s not even half an hour? You have Kingdom Hearts, Tomb Raider, Just Cause 4, Dragon Quest; why not show them off more? You know what, Square Enix? You’re officially worse than EA and Bethesda, get to the bottom of the list and go think about what you did. Don’t come back until you can give us a conference worth watching.
Just Cause 4: Man, they sure do like this tornado. Anyway, they built on the trailer they showed at Microsoft’s conference, explaining that they have an all-new open world that’s bigger than ever with new vehicles, new villains, better-than-ever combat, and all-new methods of causing mayhem and destruction. There’s also a car tethered to a few balloons just floating along. If I can ride in that car, I’m sold.
Octopath Traveler: I’m excited for this, I liked the “choose your class at the start” style of FFI, and Octopath Traveler seems to be bringing that style of RPG with an adorable aesthetic to my favorite console in less than a month. I do wish a bit more was shown, but the same could be said about just about every game in every conference. Except Command and Conquer, we saw a bit too much of that one.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider: They started out strong, at least, with the newest Tomb Raider game. Which they also showed at Microsoft’s conference. We get a new cutscene this time, and then they even show off some gameplay. Lara’s forced to survive in the jungle and utilize her environment to face overwhelming odds. It looks varied and interesting, with numerous ways to kill people, seems based around stealthily hiding from your enemies to kill them quietly without being noticed. Also promised were new mechanics, overhauled swimming, a large hub, and bigger, more dangerous tombs. The least disappointing part of the conference, this should’ve been their closer.
Bethesda: Yeah, you’re reading this right. Bethesda was worse this year than EA. I’ve already had an argument with another site member about this, and I can’t wait to see what you all have to say about it. You can email your death threats to email@example.com, I’m readily anticipating them.
Elder Scrolls Legends: Oh boy, Elder Scrolls? This is what we’ve been waiting for— oh. It’s the card game. Getting relaunched with overhauled graphics and ported to Xbox One, PS4, and Switch later this year. Yep. Totally the Elder Scrolls announcement we’ve been waiting for. If you like the game, then I guess this is good news for you, especially because your PC/mobile data will carry over to console, but this is small news for most of us. Then Besthesda became the second presenter to spend a full slot showcasing a mobile game. Still better than Command and Conquer, still worse than almost anything else.
Elder Scrolls Online: Still no ESVI? Back to bed, wake me when it’s over…
For real, if you’re a big fan of the game, this is big news, as you’re getting new story DLC and a new area. It’s also been six and a half years since Skyrim was released and they’re still milking it for all they’ve got. We’ve wanted the sixth main series game since the last conference.
Yeah, I’m overly bitter. It’s been twenty seven minutes and we’re only on the third presentation. Also, I swear the melody of the song in the trailer sounded like The Ballad of Sweeny Todd.
Fallout Shelter: It’s getting ported the PS4 and Switch. They’re out now.
Elder Scrolls Blades: OH SHIT, IT’S THE ELDER SCROLLS SI— nope, it’s a mobile game. Why?? It’s also coming to literally every system… so why my phone? Even the best smartphones are weaker than middling PCs, other handheld consoles, and of course the Xbox One, PS4, and Switch. Why introduce it to mobile, which will only add limitations that wouldn’t be present anywhere else?
You’ll get to explore procedurally generated dungeons, which is cool, you’ll create and customize your character, that’s nice (and totally not something you’d get to do in ES6), build your own town, (again, pretty cool), and if you get the game on several systems, your progress will be saved on one and you can pick up where you left off on any other. If it wasn’t introduced as a mobile game, this would probably be a bit higher on the list, but I’m just not sure why it exists at all. If they wanted to make an Elder Scrolls game with procedurally generated dungeons, character customization, town building, and crossover saving… why not just put that stuff in Elder Scrolls 6?
This is the third Elder Scrolls game that wasn’t the most anticipated game of the conference, and yeah, I’m being overly negative, but I’ve been sitting through mobile games and drawn out trailers for well over an hour at this point and this is the third time the words Elder Scrolls have appeared on the screen and it hasn’t been ES6! This is why you’re at the bottom of the goddamn list, Bethesda!
Doom Eternal: Yeah!! Now we’re getting somewhere! Badass music plays over a ruined hellscape as Doom Guy crushes a skull with his foot, then the words Doom Eternal rise from the ground, and… oh. We’re moving on?
While it would be nice to see some gameplay, the game’s probably in the early stages of development. They announce that it’s a sequel to Doom 2016 with more powerful weapons, new demons, “hell on Earth” and that there will be new information at QuakeCon. This would probably be closer to the top (easily above Rage) if we got some more now.
Rage 2: So how about that music presentation? We’re here for a rock concert, right? Anyway, once we finally get to see the trailer, it’s standard summer action movie fare: post-apocalyptic wasteland, male protagonist, orphan, lost everything and is now a glowing white-hot ball of anger. We also get to see some gameplay. There’s some driving shooty bits, gunplay looks like it could be alright, world’s super gritty interspersed with shocks of bright color. Then we zoom in on a TV… there’s a… deformed talking head? It’s singing? What the fuck is happening?? WHY IS THIS HERE??
Then the rest of the trailer is set to this EDM party music and it’s edited kind of weird, but the aesthetic looks alright and it looks like the gameplay could be fun and varied. Still, we’re nineteen minutes in to an hour and a half conference, and we’ve seen one game which included a fake infomercial for a deformed talking head, a mediocre music performance as buildup, and a trailer for a post-apocalypse action game set to “IT’S TIME TO PARTY!!”, so everything leading up to this put a bit of a bad taste in my mouth.
Quake Champions: Quake Champions. Free trial until the 17th. It’s in early access now, but if you get it during the trial, you keep it and can keep playing after launch. Go. Now!
Starfield: New, singleplayer adventure. It’s in space. We know nothing else.
VR: Prey’s new prop hunt mode (more info on the upcoming Typhon Hunter and Mooncrash DLC below) will be playable in VR, and there will also be a singleplayer puzzle game. Wolfenstein is also getting a VR title, Cyberpilot, where you’ll take control of a resistance hacker able to take control of Nazi mechs and use them in the fight against their creators. If I get my hands on a VR system, I’ll definitely pick up Cyberpilot, and if you like Prey them you’ll probably want to consider their game.
Prey: Mooncrash and Typhon Hunter: DLC for Prey that turns it into a roguelike where you try to escape Horizon Lunar Colony. Each time you die, the map and monsters completely regenerate. The price is a bit steep, but it honestly looks pretty fun. Shame Prey didn’t appeal to me, because this is a lot more my style. The price is a bit steep at $20, but if you have Prey I’d say go for it.
They also announced a prop hunt mode coming later this summer, if that’s what you’re into.
Elder Scrolls 6: YES! YES! HERE WE GO! After eighty minutes, and eleven games, three of them being Elder Scrolls games that weren’t this one, we finally get an announcement. There’s no substance to it, all we hear is “it exists”, but after the rest of the conference, it’s all most of us really wanted. Realistically, this should be just above Starfield, as we got about the same amount of information, but this is a year overdue and we’re all excited for it. Hell, I’m beyond reason after the last 83 minutes, I need a goddamn break before I tackle the next one. Good closer, Bethesda, too bad you couldn’t make the rest of the conference this exciting.
Wolfenstein Youngblood:Welcome to 1980s Paris, where you get to play as Blazkowicz’s twin daughters in their campaign to fight the Nazis out of France. With a friend, no less, B.J. has two kids, not one. The trailer doesn’t show off too much, but hell, I don’t even care. Wolfenstein is awesome, and all I’ve really wanted out of life is to be a badass Nazi-killing chick.
Fallout 76: a prequel to the Fallout franchise, Vault 76 is the first vault to open on the 300th anniversary of America’s independece. The residents of the Vault are in charge of rebuilding society in a map that’s 4 times larger than Fallout 4 and has fantastic graphics (I’ve been saying that a lot today) and all-new fascinating monsters. I’m so excited, I’ve already got my playlist all set up (it’s Country Roads for over 4 hours), and I’m trying to figure out who my squad’s going to be. That’s right, this is another of those multiplayer open-world games that seems to turn up at least once per conference.
Just one caveat… Fallout 76 is online only. Instead of having an optional singleplayer mode and getting to go online when you so choose, in Fallout 76 you’re always online in an open world filled with other players. While this does open up several possibilities, enumerated in cartoony PSA-style trailers featuring vault boy which includes nuking rival factions, forcing online play won’t do Bethesda any favors. I’ll have a miserable time trying to play on my shitty dorm wifi, and if I want to come back to it a couple years down the line, I won’t be able to because the servers will be shut down. I am excited for this, I really am, it seems like it could be so incredible… but this is going to hold it back. If it weren’t for this, it would be at the top of the list…
Excuse me? We’re at the end? The best game of their conference comes with a giant asterisk? I know everyone’s excited for Fallout 76, don’t get me wrong, I am too, and I’m looking forward to a handful of others. Unfortunately, Bethesda’s entire conference just let a bad taste in my mouth, and this was the worst of them all. Maybe they’ll change their mind, introduce an offline mode, and maybe next year they’ll have an all-star lineup of new games, and we’ll certainly see more Elder Scrolls 6, but due to an overall poor presentation even outside the games they chose to show, Bethesda becomes the second to win the dreaded “worse than EA” award. Not to worry, though, they’re up next.
EA: EA was the first conference this year, and they were kind enough to set the bar low for everyone who followed. Who then managed to completely fail to measure up. While there were some highlights, not much really shone, and the pacing of the latter half drove us here at the site mad.
Command and Conquer: Hey guys, here’s a mobile game. Yeah, we’re one of the biggest publishers out there, and we’re selling you a MOBILE GAME. First we’re gonna tell you how it’s played, then we’re gonna show you two people playing it. LIVE. WITH COMMENTARY. Are we cool yet?? I will say, though, it was hilarious seeing two people just sitting on stage on their phones. I guess it’s not actually all that funny, but in times like these, you find humor whenever you can. After that, they showed us an overly cinematic trailer that I’ll certainly be force to sit through in the middle of other phone games I actually want to play.
Fun fact, I had the conference on in the background AT DOUBLE SPEED while writing this paragraph. I started writing at the same time as the C&C segment, and they finished the live playthrough at the same time as I finished this segment. This was the most mind-numbingly boring segment of the entire conference.
Origin Access Premier: Hey, come give us your money. I’m not going too in-depth on this because it’s not a game, and you probably already have an opinion on it. Really, this is only here to put in perspective how horrible the Command and Conquer segment was.
NBA Live 19: We saw a trailer set to music and moved on. Game might be fantastic, but there wasn’t much reason to sell it hard. If you bought the last ones, you’ll buy the next ones.
Jedi: Fallen Order: This would probably top the list if we got more information on it. However, since it’s not coming out for about a year and a half, they didn’t have that much to show. Maybe I should put it higher because I’m just that ready for EA to crush my hopes again, maybe it shouldn’t even be here because we didn’t see anything on it, but either way, I’m looking forward to playing as a Jedi while the order is being hunted down. More information will be revealed at next E3.
Madden NFL 19: Started off with a heartwarming story of a kid who couldn’t play baseball after an injury but found success in Madden NFL. You can choose whether or not to put sarcastic quotes around “heartwarming”, I guess I’m happy for that kid but honestly at this point in the conference I just couldn’t care less. We’re here for VIDEO GAMES, not a digital-age sports film. The trailer leaned into it, showing overly cinematic footage rendered in-engine with deep (in pitch, not value) platitudes like “legends are born” and “it’s not about the gold, it’s the moments that got you there”. Again, it’s a sports game. If you bought the last couple, you’ll buy this one and like it. No need for the hard sell. FIFA did it right, at least.
Unravel Two: Looked fine for a beta build, and I was looking forward to playing it when they optimised it a bit so the frame drops would stop. Then they announced that it was available now.
FIFA 19: I’m not much of a sports guy, and sports games aren’t really my thing, so fans of FIFA and Madden might disagree with my placement of these games in the middle of the list. EA’s FIFA 19 had a decent-looking trailer that was rendered in-engine, and they revealed that you’d be allowed to compete in the Champions League, Europa League, and the Serie A. Naturally, “The Journey” story mode will return, and gameplay received an overhaul. They closed off by announcing that FIFA 18 is available for free for a limited time. A decent showing, but not exactly interesting if you’re not a sports fan.
Sea of Solitude: A fantastic art style around a promising story coming within a year. I wish we got to see a bit more gameplay, but as there’s a high focus on story, that’s what they were trying to sell the hardest.
Star Wars Battlefront II: Never thought I’d see this game topping a list that didn’t include the word “failure” or “worst” or “controversial” or “fuck you” EA’s really growing up, starting out by apologizing for fucking it up the first time. I’m looking forward for their massive relapse in a year or two when they figure out how to charge you for even looking at their game. After reviewing some more recent announcements, such as their Solo content and upcoming game modes, they revealed some new content: The Clone Wars. A number of heroes and villains are being added to the game, as well as plenty of new levels and locations. I refused to buy the game at launch for obvious reasons, but they seem to be trying to make it better. If this update does well, I might finally cave.
Battlefield V: This was one of the better reveals. The game looks fantastic aesthetically, which crushes any hopes of my computer ever being able to run it, but I’m happy for all of you with decent rigs out there who will get to enjoy it. They showed us the standard multiplayer, now with improved customization and new mechanics; the new war stories mode; and Battle Royale. Best of all, there will be no loot boxes or pay to win mechanics. Overall, this was a strong opener for EA, it’s just a shame that the next hour didn’t live up.
Anthem: Anthem is either going to be fantastic or suck miserably. I’m banking on the former. BioWare made Mass Effect, SWTOR, Dragon Age, and I think they’ll be able to pull off something as large as Anthem. Yes, Andromeda bombed, but that’s just more incentive for them to make sure Anthem really shined. This is the first of the “shared open-world” games we’ll be seeing throughout E3. You’ll get to play either by yourself or with up to four other players, and BioWare seeks to let you make your own story within that world, both your personal quest and the story of the multiplayer world. There will be purchasable cosmetics, but no loot boxes or pay-to-win mechanics. An excellent closer for EA’s conference, unfortunately the rest of it didn’t live up, but personally, I’m really looking forward to it.
PC Gaming Show: Missed the live showing of this one, let’s dig up the VOD… two hours?? Alright, I guess it’s time for a lightning round.
—Note: This conference proved almost impossible to rank due to sheer volume (among a few other factors), so this is definitely the weakest segment of the article, and is more like a rough outline of “worse” to better” than a concrete ranking.
Hunt Showdown: Something about the colors in the trailer looked slightly off (but maybe that’s just me). The trailer was seconds long and told us nothing.
Proving Grounds: PUBG/Fortnite*10. This matchmaking timer’s going to need to invent some new numbers to count high enough.
Morning Star: Is this VR? I think it’s VR, I can’t tell. I can’t really tell anything, it looks like some farming sim, and there’s something else going on, but we don’t get to see what that something else is.
The Sinking City: If you’ve ever wanted to play through an episode of Supernatural, it might be work a look.
Warframe: Here’s a tease and in invite to watch more at another conference.
Night Call: Cool trailer, I guess. Looks like Neo Cab (immediately below) but noir instead of pseudo-cyberpunk. I know nothing else.
Neo Cab: Don’t really know what the gameplay’s gonna be like, there’s dialogue options that presumably lead to a branching story, but I don’t know if there are any driving mechanics. Futuristic aesthetic looks alright.
The Walking Dead: It was at this point that I realized how few gameplay segments we’ve actually seen at the PC Gaming show. Sure, some trailers will toss disjointed seconds at you, but this conference just has too much shit to throw at us to stop for a minute and actually show us any.
Rapture Rejects: Cyanide and Happiness the Battle Royale. The rapture happens and everyone who isn’t brought up to heaven is left to kill each other on the ground. Sure wish we could see some gameplay.
I should clarify, it’s not that the PC Gaming Show is the only conference that showed lackluster trailers with no gameplay and no one coming onstage to talk about it. It’s just that they showed so many of them.
Telltale- TWD: *Insert Khaled joke*
Bravery Network Online: Hand-drawn sprites beat each other up. Online!
Star Citizen: Spaaaaace! This game’s been out for a while, and it was only really here to announce that a big update is coming soon.
Killing Floor 2: Steampunk!!
Archangel Hellfire: I like mechs. The number of maps and mechs and abilities looked a bit low, but maybe I’m just spoiled. There’s also every opportunity we’ll get more later.
Overwhelm: Black, white, and red shoot-em-up (I think?) with a retro aesthetic. Available now!
Realm Royale: Does the phrase “Battle Royale game with a twist” sound familiar? Yeah, but this one at least seems unique. The art style seems kind of generic, it was probably unique at some point but it started to appear everywhere. That’s not too big a deal though, because the class and magic systems actually do set this one apart from the endless wave we’re trudging through.
Don’t Starve Hamlet: It’s Don’t Starve. We all love Don’t Starve, but in keeping with the theme of the conference, the trailer doesn’t leave us with much.
The Forgotten City: Skyrim mod that turned into a full game. Won an award for writing, so it better not be a letdown.
SEGA: Shenmue, Shining Resonance, Yakuza Kiwami, Valkyria Chronicles 4, Yakuza 0. I know some of those things.
Maneater: You know, before Sony’s conference I made a joke about Jaws Unleashed 2. Didn’t think it would actually happen. I like sharks.
Jurassic World Evolution: Dinosaurs! Out tomorrow, which was actually a couple days ago. At this point, the problem with the PC gaming show is overly apparent: while Bethesda stretched out too little over too much time, this show has been going on for about 50 minutes and they’ve shown off 16 games. That’s two and a half minutes per game, and a lot of them only actually got a minute or so. I’m having a hard time organizing this because not only do I have too little to go on, but I’m just so overwhelmed with what’s been announced that I have a hard time keeping them straight in my head.
Anno: 19th century sandbox RTS. Industrial revolution seems like a pretty fun era to be in charge of.
Sable: Looks kinda like Journey but with a very unique, kinda Japanese aesthetic.
Just Cause 4: This is now the third time we’ve seen it at the conference.
Noita: This one looks pretty good, magic roguelikes have solid potential and this seems like it has a pretty in-depth physics engine for its style.
Ooblets: Looks adorable. Introduced as Pokemon meets Harvest Moon meets Animal Crossing.
Star Control Origins: I like space. I liked No Man’s Sky before it came out too, but I’m already on thin ice for judging books by their covers, I’m not going to judge by what may or may not be inside. Hopefully they can chew what they’ve bitten off.
Hitman 2: Now that we’re in Miami, I can finally live out my lifelong dream of becoming Floridaman on November 13th.
Two Point Hospital: This one seems pretty solid, it’s a goofy in-depth hospital tycoon game. I never knew I wanted it.
Genesis Alpha One: More space. You get to run your own space station with this one, so if it ends well I’ll finally be able to move on from galacticraft. It’s out soon, too, the fourth of September.
Stormland: Alright, this is a trailer! A VR game where you play as a robot on a foreign world, trying to rebuild yourself and get home. You can find and restore other robots as well, and I actually got enough out of the trailer to comfortably place it up here near the top. Actually having a developer onstage to talk about the game certainly didn’t hurt.
Satisfactory: Graphics look pretty great. Also I’m a ho for capitalism and the trailer excited me in ways I can’t explain. And there’s multiplayer.
Devolver Digital: I missed Devolver’s conference the first time around, so I had no idea what I was getting into when I went back to write this article. I wish I’d stuck around, it would’ve been a well-needed breath of fresh air after Bethesda’s utterly disappointing showing.
Scum: Starting out the conference is Scum, an open-world survival game. It looks to be designed after a reality show, but I’m not quite sure what the gameplay’s going to be like. The trailer implied prisoners killing each other in a hunger-games like show where the gamemakers interfere at will, but little concrete information was given. I wish I could confidently rank this higher, but I just don’t know enough. Ranking this conference is probably futile, anyway, they probably made this trailer intentionally vague.
Metal Wolf Chaos XD: Well, we don’t really know anything about this one, either. It came after a solid 2-minute spiel about how stupid gamers are for buying full-priced remakes of old games, so I think it’s safe to assume it’s a remake.
My Friend Pedro: You know how in both Deadpool movies there’s scenes of him just running around shooting a lot of people, occasionally killing them in odd/unorthodox fashions? Yeah, that was the trailer for My Friend Pedro, releasing for Switch and PC in 2019. Is there a plot? Levels? Any kind of character progression? Fuck if I know, but you run around shooting a lot of people, occasionally killing them in odd/unorthodox fashions, so that’s ok in my book.
And that’s it, we’re done. I suppose I can’t actually put this above any of the big three, even though this was arguably the best conference. At the very least, it’s better than EA, so I guess I’ll put it above that for now and figure out where every other conference belongs once we get there. No one’s reading this, anyway, y’all gave up as soon as I said Bethesda was worse than EA.
Ubisoft: I don’t have too much to say in this little intro here, the conference wasn’t mind-blowingly amazing but it was still pretty good.
Just Dance 2019:Wow, I somehow managed to forget that this was their opener. It was just so surreal I think I did my best to bury it away. Anyway, this was somehow a better musical intro to a conference than Bethesda’s, and also I think it was kind of hilarious how they didn’t need to show us any gameplay from the game because we already knew what it was.
Rainbow Six Siege: 35 million players… that’s a big number! Are you impressed by the big number? Here’s some other numbers. Impressive, right? eSports, too! You like eSports? Honestly, if it weren’t for the big tournament announcement, this would be below Just Dance. They’re also trying to make a sports documentary out of it or something? Come on, guys, you just announced Beyond Good and Evil 2, build on that momentum!
Transference:Ubisoft’s VR showing for the night. Seems to be a playable supernatural horror movie.
For Honor: In a desperate bid to get new players, the game will be free on UPlay until the 19th. They also teased a new 4v4 castle breach mode that’s being released with a big update this October. It’s a shame, For Honor had potential but its player count is firmly in the four-digit range. Best of luck in reviving it, Ubisoft.
Trials Rising: Motorbike platforming! Looks cool, but considering it’s a stunt platformer, its value pretty much entirely lies in how it plays. If you want to check that out, you can register for a closed beta at trialsgame.com, which will start “later this year”. They’ll be launching in February for PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Switch.
Donkey Kong Expansion: A trailer Mario and Rabbids Kingdom Battle’s first DLC got shown off to a pretty fantastic life symphonic rock performance of the game’s soundtrack. We got a solid look at Rabbid Kong and some new enemies, but there admittedly wasn’t much to show because the DLC is coming out later this month.
The Crew 2: For all you motor sports enthusiasts out there, there’s an open beta on the 21st, and if I’ve got the time I think I’ll see you out there. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see any gameplay, instead getting a cinematic trailer rendered in the game’s engine.
The Division 2: Ubisoft took a page from Square Enix and let Microsoft show off this one first. We got two interesting cinematic trailers showing off the ruined world, but Microsoft had gameplay, so…
On the plus side, Ubisoft did announce free DLC and raids, so they’re not turning up empty-handed.
Skull and Bones: After Sea of Thieves was an utterly pathetic display, I think we’ve all been looking for something to fill the Jolly Roger-shaped holes in our hearts. Skull and Bones was teased during last year’s conference and it looks pretty fantastic. After governments in the Caribbean crush piracy, the tyrants of the sea move to the Indian ocean. The cinematic trailer was exciting, Ubisoft Singapore promises “a reactive and evolving world”, and we even got to see some gameplay that looks pretty fuckin’ sweet.. Really, though, as long as it’s better than Sea of Thieves, I think we’ll give them all the money they could ever ask for.
Beyond Good and Evil 2: I had just turned four when the original Beyond Good and Evil came out (and now I’m a legal adult, feel old?), so I never played it or even heard much about it. The world and characters look fascinating, though, and the announcement was met with much applause, so I might go and try it out before the sequel comes out. We also got some pretty awesome looking gameplay, as well as a handful of ways for artists to create stuff in-game.
Starlink: Battle for Atlas: FUCK yeah, man, I love space! Starlink promises flying around in an open-world star system with a completely customizable spaceship and the quest to forge alliances and destroy your enemies. Oh yeah, and Fox McCloud is in it. Welcome to the (almost) top of the list, buddy, I’ll see you this October.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey: Here we go, off the rails, don’tcha know— fuck, wrong Odyssey. Anyway, Ubisoft closed off with the next highly anticipated Assassin’s Creed game, which takes place in Ancient Greece. You can play as either a male or female assassin, the story’s the same either way, on their quest across numerous worlds to collect power moons— nope, did it again, shit.
In all seriousness, ACO… that’s gonna get confusing… takes place during the peloponnesian war, where you journey across land and water to determine the fate of the land. Ubisoft promised a number of new assassination methods, as well as all-new storytelling methods, and left us with a gameplay segment which teased a branching story, beautiful world, and thrilling combat in a massive battle. An absolutely fantastic closer for one of the better conferences.
Nintendo: My favorite of the big three, Nintendo closed off this year with fan favorites, both old and new. For the sake of brevity (because we’re nearing EIGHT THOUSAND WORDS), I’ll only be covering the Direct, not the Treehouse, so I won’t be complaining about lack of gameplay here.
Octopath Traveler: Yeah, it’s down at the bottom. I’m highly anticipating playing this in a few weeks, but all they announced at the conference is a new demo on the eShop.
Killer Queen Black: Multiplayer arcade action, rebuilt for the Switch. Not bad, but certainly not all that exciting.
Hollow Knight: Hollow Knight is awesome, man. I’ve already got it on PC, but I might just buy it on Switch again because it’s that good, and I want to play it in the car.
Pokemon Let’s Go: Not too much new information here. Play with a friend, you can use the pokeball plus, releasing November 16. They said every pokeball plus would come with a mew in it, but what they really meant was that if you want mew, you need to buy the pokeball plus. I’m still unbelievably excited for the game, don’t get me wrong, but if you weren’t already, this trailer wasn’t gonna sell you.
Overcooked 2: Overcooked was pretty good, and the sequel promises to improve on everything. Since it’s on the Switch you can play on the go, as well as with a friend sitting next to you or across the country.
Daemon X Machina: Mechs! Big robot enemies! Explosions! Metal! Bright colors! Coming 2019! I know I’m sold.
Miscellaneous Other Announcements: I’m not listing them all here, but a bunch of other games are getting Switch ports before the year is out. I’m not sure why Fortnite of all things got its own announcement instead of Wolfenstein 2 or The World Ends With You, but life just isn’t fair sometimes.
Torna ~ The Golden Country: Prequel DLC for Xenoblade Chronicles 2. The music alone for this one was enough to sweep me off my feet. If you liked XC2, this is gonna be worth a look.
Super Mario Party: Yes! This is one of the games we were waiting for. Super Mario Party looks like it finally ditched those stupid, stupid cars they stuck us in for the last two games, and includes minigame modes that use the Switch in ways we’ve never seen.
Fire Emblem Three Houses: I’ll be honest, just about any Fire Emblem game (except Heroes) could’ve made this slot. It’s Fire Emblem, and even more, it’s bigger and better-looking than ever.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: Everyone is here. EVERYONE (*not Waluigi). This is what most of us were waiting for, and we got tons of news on the new game. Sakurai showcased every character, their changes, as well as some assist trophies, stages, and new techniques.
Unfortunately, that was it. Nintendo had some heavy hitters, but not enough to “win” the conference. If they’d had Animal Crossing or another major franchise, they might’ve beaten out Microsoft, but unfortunately, Microsoft’s sheer volume assured they had more hits than Nintendo. Not a bad conference by any stretch of the imagination, but not nearly strong enough.
Microsoft: One of the big three developers and publishers, Microsoft was one of the better conferences. There’s a LOT to cover here, so I’m only gonna be able to provide small blurbs for most of them. It’s also worth mentioning that Microsoft acquired a handful of studios. I’m not trying to figure out how ranking them would work, so I’ll just list them out here: The Initiative, Undead Labs, Playground Games, Ninja Theory, and Compulsion Games.
Sea of Thieves DLC: Just let it die already. Move on. Rare isn’t good anymore.
We Happy Few: Self-perception theory is really interesting. If you smile while observing a neutral stimulus, you’ll associate that stimulus with positivity. Frown, and the stimulus will be negative. We Happy Few takes that theory, disregards the fact that it only really works with neutral stimuli, and decides that some dystopian government can make you happy all the time by making you smile at everything. Throw in an extremely generic “we have to make the population realize what’s happening”, “no, it’s better this way” dystopian plot, as well as a vaguely unappealing art style, and I don’t have high hopes for this one. Maybe it’ll be good, but I doubt it.
PUBG: No judgment on PUBG, but Battle Royale is just tiresome at this point. It doesn’t help that the trailer was incredibly generic, you could’ve replaced the PUBG logo at the end with any other gun-based action game and I would’ve been convinced. They teased a new map, I guess. Yeah, that makes it better than Ori and Battlefield
Ori and the Will of the Wisps: It’s Ori, no longer available on Steam! I don’t have much to say here, Ori and the Blind Forest was awesome, but honestly I don’t think being an exclusive will do it or Microsoft any help. New IPs make good exclusives, not sequels to beloved games being torn from other systems. Looks cool, probably won’t get to play it.
Battlefield V: Continues to look beautiful, continues to… have a story mode, I guess. EA promised more, but this barely qualifies.
The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit: In the Life is Strange universe, so we’ll probably get a few references to Max, Chloe, and Rachel; and I’d guess it takes place in Arcadia Bay. It promises to either be incredibly nostalgic or alarmingly cringey. Although considering this is Dontnod we’re talking about, I’d wager both.
Battletoads: The Dark Souls of 2D platformers! Funny, right? I’ve got another one of those later. We didn’t really get to see anything, but we’re getting couch co-op in an era where that’s rapidly dying, so it’s fine by me.
Black Desert: Black Desert is coming to consoles, with a beta this fall. And, uh, that’s it.
Metro Exodus: Epic speech, action music, “woah, nice graphics!”, guns. Coming February 22nd.
Tunic: We’ve seen a bit about Tunic before, and this is the best trailer yet. I love the aesthetic, but unfortunately, we didn’t get to see much.
Fallout: Fallout 4 on game pass! Fallout 4 wasn’t really all that great. We also saw a Fallout 76 trailer and got to hear Country Roads trailer, but Bethesda saved the juicy details for their own conference.
Cuphead DLC: A new character, new levels, new bosses, coming in 2019. Just wish we got to see some of it.
Tales of Vesperia Definitive Edition: What the hell is this weeb shit? Oh, it’s Tales of Vesperia, getting remastered for its 10th anniversary and coming to Xbox One, PS4, and the Switch! I’ve never actually played a Tales game before, but I might pick this up if I’ve got the time.
Jump Force: I don’t know what “Jump Force” is, but oh my god, every hit that landed in the trailer felt satisfying as fuck just to watch.
NieR Automata: Become as Gods edition: NieR is good. “DLC included” is good. No other information needed.
Just Cause 4: This is the fourth game Square Enix has shown of at Microsoft’s conference, I think? No wonder their conference sucked. Anyway, there’s a lot of shooting, breaking glass, a tornado… and you’ll get to drive a car through glass and shoot your way to that tornado to drive straight into it this December.
Halo Infinite: Really cool-looking trailer! Master Chief’s back! Exceptional creativity in gaming! And, uh… Master Chief’s back! I’m sure we’ll see more of this soon, but not much was announced other than “hey, it exists!”
Sekiro: Shadows die Twice: Does the “it’s like Dark Souls” joke still work if it’s by From Software? Lazy journalism aside, this actually does seem pretty good, you play as a Shinobi who lost his arm after his master was kidnapped and has to go on a quest to retrieve him. Looks exciting, but Ghost of Tsushima is gonna be my fill of Samurai for the year.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Fantastic looking trailer. We got to see Lara fighting, trying to escape drowning, and camouflaging herself to hide from a jungle cat. Hopefully this is the most expansive Tomb Raider game yet, both gameplay and story-wise
Forza Horizon 4: Looks beautiful, and it’ll look even more beautiful when the seasons change. Drive around with friends in an open world, and watch the seasons change! Not enough Initial D music, unfortunately they decided to go with an actually good song instead of Night of Fire. The game has dynamic seasons, by the way. This is one of those multiplayer-optional open-world games we’ve been seeing, coming out this October. That’s in fall, but you should try playing in some other seasons!
Tom Clancy’s The Division 2: We actually got quite a lot of gameplay for this one. It looks fantastic graphically, and while I’m not that familiar with The Division, the gameplay itself looked solid. The story looks… well, I don’t really have that much of an opinion on the story. It’s a military game, story comes second. Also, The Division (the first one) is now available on game pass.
Cyberpunk 2077: Yeah, I’m a fan of the cyberpunk aesthetic, and Cyberpunk 2077 seems to nail it. A lot of cyberpunk art seems to contrast bright lights against a dark background, but every part of the trailer was bright, setting it apart from the usual affair. We didn’t get to see much gameplay, but the world the trailer promised was an awesome closer for Microsoft.
Dying Light 2: Choices are promised to have genuine consequences that influence the world around you. Combat and parkour both look fantastic. The aesthetic is amazing. I’m excited.
Kingdom Hearts: It’s Kingdom Hearts! Frozen! Without Let it Go or Do You Want to Build a Snowman, thank god. Wreck-it-Ralph! Tangled is my favorite Disney Princess! More information was shown in the other conferences, but this was the reveal, so it gets to hang out near the top.
Crackdown 3: Terry Crews simulator 2019. God I wish I had an xbox.
Gears V: We’ve all wanted a new Gears game for a long time, and it’s finally here. Combat looks incredible, the environments are unique and varied, the enemies look awesome, and hell, it’s Gears.
Devil May Cry V: Someone dig up the “oh my god okay it’s happening!” clip from The Office, because Dante’s back. We’ve got a big-ass sword, guns, giant tentacles, and monsters to kill. Fuck yeah. Directors came onstage and promised the best graphics they can offer and controls tighter than a poorly-fit suit. Don’t let us down, Capcom.
Sony: Here we are, the best of the best and the end of the list. Sony had an absolutely spectacular showing of a knockout lineup, so let’s finish this article once and for all by ranking them from “pretty good” to “take my fucking money”.
Black Ops IIII: Filler. You can get a few remastered maps from previous black ops game when you preorder Black Ops 4 from the PlayStation store, and Black Ops 3 will be available on PS Plus. This one really stands out from the others because while Sony’s been stressing a huge focus on deep, engaging single-player campaigns, Black Ops 4 completely lacks that. Because less content is the way of the future.
Destiny 2: Forsaken: Saw a trailer, this was more a segue after the intermission than anything.
Trover Saves the Universe: If we could get an actual trailer for this that would be great.
Resident Evil 2: Everyone’s favorite gory survival-horror is getting remastered January 25th.
Nioh 2: It exists. Get excited.
Control: I’d never actually heard of this one before the conference, but the superpowered gameplay they showed looked really interesting. I wish we could’ve seen more, but if you’re excited, you’ll probably be able to find more before the 2019 release.
Death Stranding: I was eating when this trailer started. That was a mistake. The world looks interesting, but the trailer left me more confused than anything. I know quite a few people are excited for this, and for good reason considering it’s by Kojima, but unfortunately there’s no release date.
Kingdom Hearts 3: So this is their third conference, I believe, and this time they’ve got pirates! There’s more new footage in this conference than there was in the Square Enix conference. Yeah, remember them? All the way at the bottom of the list? Me neither. Kingdom Hearts still rules though, and if you’re a huge fan of the series, there’s a limited edition Kingdom Hearts III PlayStation Pro… AND a bundle of Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5, and Kingdom Hearts 2.8 on PS4!
Ghost of Tsushima: This is what I came in here waiting for. I’ve been a huge fan of Sucker Punch since inFamous came out, and when this was announced last year I was unbelievably excited. Even more so now that we got to see absolutely gorgeous visuals and fantastic combat and climbing in E3’s gameplay teaser.
Spiderman: I’ll be back in just a second, this trailer made me lose control of my web shooter and now I need to change my pants. Spiderman lets you face off against Electro (REAL Electro, not the Dr. Manhattan wannabe from The Amazing Spiderman 2), Rhino, Scorpion, Vulture, and Mr. Negative; and the trailer features Electro luring him to the other four where they bare down on him as he tries to escape. You’ll get to swing around the city, use Spiderman’s powers to perform combos, and perform a finishing move to take down a full wave of enemies. It can be ours on the seventh of September.
The Last of Us 2: Sony started incredibly strong with one of the most anticipated games of the year. We play as Ellie this time, she’s nineteen now and perfectly honed to survive the apocalypse. We were lucky enough to get a gameplay segment where Ellie sneaks through a rainy jungle, utilizing a variety of new mechanics to survive. The graphics are utterly fantastic, and the UI has been overhauled. The Last of Us 2 promises to do everything that the first game did and better, with better combat, a deep and complex story, more weapons, more enemies and ways of dealing with them, even better graphics, and, of course, lesbianism. I couldn’t wait for the game before the conference, and now I’m looking forward to it even more.
So that’s it. Nine conferences and more games than I can care to count, and we finally have a completely subjective and 100% not flawed in the slightest ranking of every game announced during E3 2018. If I crushed your fragile ego by giving a poor ranking to a game you like (no judgement, I’ve been there) or you think I’m stupid for giving a good ranking to a game you don’t like, feel free to go yell at me down in the comment section. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go tell my boss I finished the article so he’ll finally let me out of here.
Max is a student at Rutgers who likes writing fantasy and playing video games such as Zelda, Mario, Undertale, Earthbound, and Stardew Valley.