Games, games, everywhere. That's what annual gaming expo E3 is all about: revealing the hottest games to come... to get your gamer's thumb shaking with anticipation. There are also exciting new consoles making their debut in the coming months, like the new Sony PS4 and Microsoft's X Box One X.
The Electronic Entertainment Expo, known to most of us mortals as E3, is the annual conference where people go hang out in sunny L.A. and spend hours each day sitting around playing video games, all in the name of work.
Other than being super-jealous of jobs that involve creating/testing/playing video games for most of our waking hours, why do we care about what a bunch of gamers did in L.A. last week?
Thing is, this conference is probably the most important thing in the yearly schedules of anyone even vaguely into gaming: it’s the huge moment when all your soon-to-be future gaming obsessions make their debut.
And when you can start analysing said games on every internet forum out there until their official release…
Before we dive into the games, E3 is also where the devices you’ll be playing them on are showcased. Y’know, the ones which’ll soon be taking up shelf space next to your Nintendo Switch.
We’re talking Sony’s latest, the PS4 Pro, and Microsoft’s Xbox One X, which goes on sale November 7, 2017 and comes in at a spendy £449.99 (about £100 more than the PS4 Pro). Then again, it’s going to be the most powerful console to date: 4K, supersampling (so games still feel awesome on 1080p) and 12GB GDDR5 memory as well as a slew of new (and exclusive) games. Also cool? The Xbox One X allows for cross-player action with the Switch (sadly, the Sony PS4 does not).
Ready for the games at E3 which are so worth the carpal tunnel syndrome they’ll be causing?
The Artful Escape
Visually arresting, this Xbox console-exclusive game is steeped in ’60s and ’70s nostalgia and psychedelia.
Published by the guys behind What Remains of Edith Finch, Annapurna Interactive have created a game replete with crazy characters and great new ideas that is bound to go down a storm when it releases later in the year.
Sea of Thieves
Funny, slapstick-y and downright entertaining are just some of the words that come to mind when you sail the (virtual) seven seas with this game. Hapless pirates, choppy seas, hungry sharks and virgin islands… what could possibly go wrong? Rare are hoping to release the game in early 2018 and we can’t wait. Not just for the laughs but also because of the in-game item buying, that’s apparently going to complement the player’s actions – an unusual twist. So, if you’re a bloodthirsty pirate, you’ll be offered up kit to make yourself look more fearsome, like an obligatory hook for a hand.
Killing, maiming and wreaking havoc as ‘freelancers’ – humans in robotic suits – Anthem lives up to all it’s known for. This latest instalment, expected to arrive in 2018, is console-neutral and can be played on PS4, Xbox and PCs. Destiny can quake in its multiplayer, third-person shooter boots now with Anthem pitching up with such strong competition.
Forza Motorsport 7
The Microsoft-exclusive racing game plays out in 4K 60fps as well as in HDR and releases on the same day as the Xbox One X. As far as racing games go, this is the best one to showcase everything that’s brilliant and fantastic about the new Xbox One X. Stunning visuals, aided by super-high resolution as well as nuanced gameplay, pushes it to the top of our list of favourites.
Insomniac’s Spider-Man is a PS4-exclusive and the game trailer by Sony echoed the movies with their irreverent humour, fast action and interesting story developments. Miles Morales popping up in a cameo was a move designed to make fans want more. 2018 cannot come sooner.
Sony had a PlayStation VR game up their sleeve and Moss made an appearance in L.A. Chronicling the adventures of a mouse, guided by a white spirit through the wilderness, the puzzle and mystery game has echoes of The Legend of Zelda. A far cry from the need-for-speed-and-gore type games, we would even go as far as calling this ethereal game absolutely stunning.
Beyond Good and Evil 2
Two words: wildly ambitious. The original was released in 2003 and quickly gained a cult following. So the minute-long trailer that games journalists and enthusiasts got to see at E3 surprised and amazed in equal measure. The biggest highlight of the game is choice. You can select who the protagonist gets to be – down to whether it’s a human or humanoid. You also get to start the game wherever you want to, giving it a level of personalisation that only 14 years in-the-making can afford.
Super Mario Odyssey
The hat has eyes. No, really! In this new version of Mario, our lovable plumber’s iconic red hat has superpowers (and eyes). Able to fully transform anyone or anything that under it, the hat is the real hero of the piece. Should the game have been rechristened Super Mario’s Hat Odyssey? We think so… especially after seeing the trailer where a NYC yellow cab is the one sporting it.
Main pic: Getty via David McNew