E3 is over for another year, and this one showcased a bunch of new footage from all sorts of games due out this Fall and in 2015. After watching as many as I could, I’ve come up with a list of my favourites from the show in a two-part list.
Some of the most exciting games talked about there like “Star Wars Battlefront,” “Mass Effect 4” and “Grim Fandango Remastered” didn’t really feature enough footage to qualify for a listing. A pity as they’d all be right near the top.
Some of the biggest Fall 2014/Spring 2015 AAA titles such as “The Witcher III: The Wild Hunt,” “The Order: 1886,” “Destiny,” “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare,” and “The Crew” already feel ‘trailered out’ or have had far better previews released before their E3 showings this year. Thus they didn’t make the cut.
So, without further ado, here’s the second of this two-part look at the trailers that made me the happiest this year:
14. The Last of Us: Remastered – Cinematic
It spoils a bit too much for newcomers, while many of us have already played it and absorbed its greatness. Yet the content is so good and the trailer edited and scored so well that, frankly, who cares. The new remastered graphics look stunning, but the game itself remains the big appeal here and it’ll be fantastic to see it blossom to its full potential on the new hardware.
15. Ori and the Blind Forest – Gameplay
Sandwiched between all those multiplayer shooters at Microsoft’s presentation was this gorgeous looking single player puzzle platformer with an art style borrowed right of the Hayao Miyazaki playbook (“Princess Mononoke” in particular). Yet whilst the atmosphere and design are beautiful, the gameplay looks smooth and interesting as well.
16. The Division – Gameplay
As someone who is not hugely into military-style first-person shooters, it’s surprising how good this looks. It’s also a great sign that despite having a good cinematic trailer, the gameplay trailer for the title is more effective and compelling piece with every frame rendered by the new Snowdrop engine just looking stunning. An excellent demo clip choice by Ubisoft.
17. Crackdown 3 – Cinematic
The first was one of my favorite 360 games, the second a big disappointment. This first trailer for a third game in the “Crackdown” series promises a return to the fun of the first title along with a jump up in the graphical style. Hopefully the world in which we get to play will be as much of a blast.
18. Dead Island 2 – Cinematic
The first “Dead Island” had a cinematic trailer that went viral and is still looked back on with fondness by a lot of people. The game itself is another matter, and very different in tone, so one learns to take “Dead Island” trailers for what they are -standalone entities. This one though, on its own, is a hoot – a delicious swipe at California’s vain, self-centered and often oblivious fitness culture where it’s as much about showing off as getting healthy.
19. Yoshi’s Woolly World – Gameplay
If there was an award for ‘cutest game’, this would be the hands down winner. Set in a word where the environments and characters look like they’ve been entirely knitted together with yarn, ‘Woolly World’ takes what could otherwise be seen as a regular platformer and gives it a stunning coating. Better still, it looks like it makes good use of yarn’s qualities in the gameplay – allowing you to knit and unravel things that can help your gameplay.
20. Halo: The Master Chief Collection – Cinematic
The one title that’s pretty much a mandatory buy for the Xbox One, a lot of people (including myself) can’t wait to revisit Master Chief’s epic adventures – especially the freshly spruced up second one. The trailer sets the mood, showcasing the famed “Halo 2” sequence of Master Chief space surfing on a Covenant bomb and using it to destroy one of their vessels. This time we see it from a different perspective which also teases the new Spartan that forms a part of “Halo 5: Guardians”.
21. ABZU – Teaser
The composer and art director behind the wondrous “Journey” take us from the shifting ethereal sands to a beautiful, peaceful life under the sea in the first trailer for “ABZU”. The beautiful art style, haunting music and fascinating looking environments lead me to hope this will be as transcendent a piece of art as “Journey” was.
22. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain – Cinematic
As someone who has only dabbled in the very complex mythology of the MGS world, a lot of this trailer goes over my head. That said it certainly showcases an ambitious game and works as a fairly good emotional piece on its own. It’s main failing is that it’s way too long, thanks mostly to the need for useless credits. A trimmer, tighter piece would’ve worked better.
23. Bloodborne – Cinematic
The “Dark Souls” and “Demon’s Souls” creators do what they do best – deliver a truly dark and sinister looking medieval style world full of monsters that will no doubt be hard to kill. After being severely limited by the power of the previous gen consoles, it’ll be great to see what they can do with the new hardware.
24. Infamous First Light – Teaser
It may only be standalone DLC, but it’s exciting to see them taking the best PS4 exclusive so far and making a prequel mini-game featuring arguably the two most interesting characters in it – the female Hacker Fetch and the villain Augustine. The trailer promises we’ll see Fetch develop her powers and become a killer, plus it gives us a lot more time to play with that stunning neon effect from ‘Second Son’.
25. Sunset Overdrive – Cinematic/Gameplay
The opening half of this clip basically makes fun of most FPS games, and the hero looks frankly like the biggest tool to walk this Earth – even more so than Jason from “Far Cry 3” or Delsin from “Infamous: Second Son”. What salvages this clip though is the second half, actual gameplay which looks superb and a big improvement on what we saw at last year’s E3. On the surface, this appears to be Insomniac’s best title since “Ratchet and Clank: A Crack in Time” five years ago.
26. Doom 4 – Teaser
A pure tease, the trailer is merely a lot of closeups of a demon with cybernetic implants. But damn it, we’ve all been dying for another “Doom” game for years and it seemed like this one would be stuck in development hell forever. A full reveal takes place next month, but the tease has me keen.