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Sneak peeks pique interest: Here are the best game trailers of E3 2018

By Gabe Gurwin


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E3 2018 has begun, and with the wave of new game announcements have come several excellent game trailers. These short videos give publishers a chance to show their game to the public rather than just tell us why we should buy it, and a few of these have stood out to us as exceptionally effective. From the loudest and biggest AAA games to smaller-scale, intimate titles, these are the best game trailers of E3 2018.

‘Anthem’

Electronic Arts and BioWare chose to save the best for last at EA Play 2018, EA’s pre-E3 celebration. Following a so-sotraditional cinematic trailer for Anthem, the development team at BioWare sat down with host Andrea Rene to show off an incredible cooperative mission. Multiple players — armed with their Javelin suits — soar through the air as they search for the source of a poison being weaponized by the local “Scars” before they discover it originated underground. As the teammates move forward, they’re bombarded with enemies and make use of their special abilities, such as a rocket barrage, to take out several targets at once. They’re soon forced to venture even further underground before coming face to face with … something like a giant bug creature before the trailer cuts away.

We would have loved to see that boss fight, but Electronic Arts has certainly piqued our interest. We can’t wait to see more of Anthem, and a longer playable demonstration is available for those attending EA Play.

Anthem is out for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on February 22, 2019.

‘Unravel Two’

Unravel Two was announced and released during EA Play 2018, and its trailer certainly has us looking forward to controlling the adorable Yarny once again. Stripped of his “spark,” Yarny is joined by a blue friend in his journey this time around, which meansUnravel Two is playable cooperatively. In the trailer, we see our two heroes escape from a vulture-like bird by using a combination of platforming and puzzle-solving, and Coldwood’s environmental design is just as sharp as it was in the original game. We also see Yarny in peril, similar to what Lara Croft faced in 2013’s Tomb Raider, as he’s sent flying off a ship in the middle of a vicious storm and his yarn begins to, well, unravel. We’ll cross our fingers that he and his friend aren’t harmed too much in this sequel.

Unravel Two is out now on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.

‘Sea of Solitude’

Jo-Mei Games gave viewers a peek at its adventure game Sea of Solitude during the EA Play press conference, highlighting how the game explores themes of loneliness and depression. Characters gradually turn into monsters as they succumb to these negative feelings, and we see protagonist Kay morph into a terrifying, shadowy version of herself as she attempts to discover how to reverse her transformation. The trailer gives us a good sample of Sea of Solitude‘s art style, which features similar colors to Rime, but with just enough darkness and disturbing imagery to make it stand out.

Sea of Solitude will release in early 2019.

‘Halo Infinite’

Rather than announce a new numbered entry in the series, Microsoft and 343 Industries instead revealed Halo Infinite. Despite the name, this is the next chapter in Master Chief’s story, and the game will focus on his story rather than that of another Spartan or marine. The trailer didn’t give too much away, but several other marines are seen walking with Master Chief trailing behind them, and it takes place — at least in part — on a Halo ring. This was teased during the Legendary ending of Halo 5: Guardians.

No release date was given for Halo Infinite, but it will be on both Xbox One and PC.

‘Devil May Cry 5’

Nero and Dante return in Devil May Cry 5, and the game was announced with a brilliant trailer during the Xbox E3 conference, with director Hideaki Itsuno on stage to introduce it. The teaser we saw — bolstered by a nice techno beat — showed Nero tearing into disgusting, giant demons with the flair we expect from the series, and despite its darker tone, they still leave room for a few jokes. We also get a brief look at combat, which appears to be just as polished as 2013’s DmC: Devil May Cry, and Nero even appears to have some sort of fancy futuristic skateboard. We want more.

‘Fallout 76’

Bethesda Game Studios still hasn’t revealed exactly whatFallout 76 is, but during its spotlight at Xbox’s E3 press conference, director Todd Howard revealed that its game world will be four times the size of Fallout 4. During the short teaser, we saw a man in power armor witness the nuclear bombs dropping, and we see his still-armored corpse buried in the ground as survivors explore the landscape. As a prequel to the rest of the series, it has the potential to give us more context to the geopolitical conflict that led to the apocalypse, even if it isn’t a traditional role-playing game.

‘Gears 5’

It has only been two years since the release of Gears of War 4, but The Coalition brought a trailer forGears 5 to the Xbox press conference, and it didn’t disappoint. We’ll be playing as Kait this time around, and the trailer showed a variety of playable environments, including snowy areas and green ravines that would look at home in anUncharted or Tomb Raider game. The conflicts we see in Gears 5 will not just be between humans and the Swarm, but between humans and other humans — it has the potential to shake up the series’ formula when it arrives in 2019.

‘Doom Eternal’

Id Software absolutely knocked it out of the park with the 2016 Doom game, and the studio — including game director Marty Stratton and creative director Hugo Martin — is back for Doom Eternal. The teaser trailer for the game shows the famous Doomslayer on Earth, where demons run rampant, as he closes the choke on his Super Shotgun and gets ready to kick some ass.

Doom Eternal will feature twice as many different demons as the first game, and Id Sofware promises the Doomslayer will feel even more powerful. The game will arrive in 2019, and we will get our first look at gameplay during Quakecon in August.

‘Wolfenstein: Youngblood’

A knack for killing Nazis can be passed on to your children, as MachineGames demonstrated with the first trailer for Wolfenstein: Youngblood. Set in 1980s Paris, Wolfenstein: Youngblood stars B.J. and Anya’s twin girls, who are fighting the fascists together. The game will be playable solo, but it will also feature cooperative play so both sisters can team up. Wolfenstein: Youngblood arrives in 2019, and a separate virtual reality experience called Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot is also on the way. We’re ready to kill more Nazis regardless of platform, and can’t wait to see the new ways we’ll get to do it.

‘Babylon’s Fall’

Square Enix brought a total of two new game announcements to its E3 2018 press event, but one of them has us very intrigued. The announcement trailer was shown for Babylon’s Fall, a project developed by Nier: Automata studio PlatinumGames, and it is coming to PlayStation 4 and PC in 2019. The footage we saw makes mention of an apocalypse occurring about 3,000 years in the future, with the world entering a period of “punishment” before its “awakening.” We see two armored figures face off in combat, and one of them disarms his opponent with a spell before turning his own sword against him.

‘Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’

Ubisoft continues to move the Assassin’s Creed series into role-playing-game territory with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, which is set in ancient Greece during the Peloponnesian War. You’ll be able to choose to play as either the male Alexios or the female Kassandra, both of whom are Spartan “outcasts-turned-mercenaries” who appear to have joined the Assassins Brotherhood. The gameplay shown during Ubisoft’s E3 press conference included a look at the game’s new dialogue choice system, as well as a giant beach battle that looks like it was pulled right out of the film Troy.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is out for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on October 5.

‘Skull & Bones’

The online open-world pirating gameSkull & Bones is one of Ubisoft’s most promising upcoming games, as it expands on the excellent naval combat first seen in the Assassin’s Creed series. The gameplay demonstration shown during the Ubisoft E3 press conference was of the “Hunting Grounds” mode, which pits multiple players against enemy ships, as well as each other. We see players make use of a disguise for their ship to avoid being detected by a local fortress, and once they have captured a nearby merchant vessel, an enormous frigate nearly wipes them out before they have a chance to enjoy their gold. With the frigate destroyed, the players turn on each other, as only one will keep the treasure.

Skull & Bones is out for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in 2019.

‘Beyond Good & Evil 2’

Long-awaited follow-upBeyond Good & Evil 2 is an incredibly ambitious game, with Ubisoft Montpellier attempting to create an online and alive open world without sacrificing the direct storytelling that made the first game so loved. In the game’s E3 2018 trailer, we see the variety of environments we’ll be exploring, including a frozen planet and a dense metropolis. Ubisoft has been surveying fans through its “Space Monkey Program” as it creates the game, and the company will take this to the next level in a partnership with Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s HitRecord company. User-created songs, artwork, and writing will be included in the game, and those who work on the project will be compensated.

‘Starlink: Battle for Atlas’

The toys-to-life genre has shrunk considerably over the last few years, but Ubisoft is looking to bring it back to its former glory with Starlink: Battle for Atlas. The trailer we saw during the company’s E3 press conference showed off a bit more of the space traveling we’ll be doing when it launches on October 16 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, and Switch, but it was an unexpected guest appearance that blew us away. Fox McCloud and his Arwing ship will be included in the Nintendo Switch Starter Pack version of Starlink,and Nintendo legend Shigeru Miyamoto even took the stage for a second straight year to help celebrate.

‘The Last of Us: Part II’

Naughty Dog kicked off the PlayStation E3 2018 press conference with a lengthy demonstration of The Last of Us: Part II, focused entirely on Ellie, who serves as the playable character instead of Joel. The video we saw began and ended in a church during a community dance, where Ellie and her partner Dina — played by Westworld star Shannon Woodward — have a tender moment before we’re abruptly thrust into a violent confrontation with several outlaws. The trailer is extremely violent, but by book-ending it with the romantic scenes, it shows us the ideal life Ellie hopes to have versus the one she’s forced to live. The Last of Us: Part II is a PlayStation 4 exclusive, and it doesn’t currently have a release date.

‘Ghost of Tsushima’

The feudal Japan samurai gameGhost of Tsushima was only revealed last last year, but Sucker Punch brought gameplay to the PlayStation E3 press conference, and it looks every bit as stylish as the studio’s previous work with the Infamous and Sly Cooper series. Protagonist Jin attacks several enemy soldiers with methodical and precise strikes from his blade rather than the super-flashy swordplay we see in series like Dynasty Warriors, and we also get to see a bit of stealth as Jin creeps into a nearby building and plans an attack from above. Before the video concludes, allied woman Masako kills a nearby monk who Jin was trying to protect, and the two subsequently face off in a one-on-one duel.

‘Death Stranding’

Hideo Kojima’sDeath Stranding could be a performance art project at this point, and we’d believe it, but Sony and Kojima Productions did finally show us some gameplay during its E3 press conference. Norman Reedus’ character Sam Bridges treks through several environments, including a facility of some sort and a cave formation, and he is nearly attacked by invisible, floating creatures before he’s saved by a covert operative. Eventually, he utilizes a baby in a fluid sac and a detection device to stealthily move past the creatures, but the trailer ends with him being “eaten,” anyway. While he will return, the area will apparently turn into a “crater” as a result. We have no idea what we watched, and we love it.

‘Resident Evil 2’ remake

Capcom already released a remake of the original Resident Evil, but the game wasn’t that different from the version made for the GameCube several years back. Resident Evil 2′s remake looks to be a completely different story, with absolutely stunning environments and characters that look like they were completely redesigned for the current-generation systems. It still retains that classic Resident Evil 2 horror, however, but with a third-person perspective similar to that in Revelations and Resident Evil 4, 5, and 6. It arrives this January, and we’ll keep a fresh pair of underwear nearby before we start.

‘Control’

If you’re like some of the gaming team at Digital Trends, you don’t think Remedy Entertainment’s Quantum Break was given a fair shake. Luckily, the studio hasn’t given up on world-bending third-person shooters, as the multiplatform Control — revealed during the PlayStation press conference — appears to be playing with similar themes. Rather than focusing on science-fiction, Remedy and creative director Sam Lake have created a supernatural game centered on a powerful government agency and a monstrous threat.

The game’s setting, a mysterious location called the “Oldest House,” appears to shift at a moment’s notice, and protagonist Jesse has access to a weapon called the “Service Weapon” that can also transform as she fights against the “otherworldly Hiss.” Remedy intends for the game to be less linear than its past work, but it will still include the studio’s strong storytelling.

‘Super Mario Party’

We never thought a Mario Party trailer would get us excited during a Nintendo E3 press event, but that’s exactly what the Switch exclusiveSuper Mario Party managed to do. The gameplay we saw showed off the game’s Switch-specific features, including the ability to place multiple systems on a flat surface and have the action carry over from one to another without pausing. The trailer also gave us a peek at a variety of mini-games, including cooking, baseball, cycling, and horse racing, all of which look fantastic on the Switch’s screen or on a television. Super Mario Party will be a more tactical game than past entries in the series, according to Nintendo, as it makes use of character-specific dice.

Super Mario Party launches for Switch October 5.

‘Fire Emblem: Three Houses’

Nintendo had previously confirmed that a Fire Emblem tactical role-playing game was in development for Nintendo Switch, but the game got a full reveal trailer during the Nintendo Direct E3 event. Fire Emblem: Three Houses brings a similar 3D-visual presentation to that of the recent 3DS games, but with a dose of anime-style coloring that makes it much more striking. We also see new camera angles that put the perspective directly behind the players’ units, and certain areas will be freely explorable in real-time.

There are three separate main characters this time around — Edelgard, Dimitri, and Claude — who find themselves in conflict with the Church of Seiros and its authoritarian control of the land of Fdlan. The trailer includes several cinematics, as well, which we hope are used generously over the course of the game.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses is out for Switch in spring 2019.

‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’

The game everyone was waiting for at Nintendo’s E3 presentation was given a huge chunk of time during the show, and it did not disappoint.Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is — like the name suggests — the ultimate Super Smash Bros. game, bundling together every single character to ever appear in the series either as standard fighters or downloadable content.

Certain characters like Ike will even get multiple forms with different voice-acting based on their appearances in separate games, and we will also get a few brand new characters, including Ridley from the Metroid series and the Inklings from Splatoon. Even better, the game will fully support GameCube controllers, so those familiar with the series won’t have to adapt for the Joy-Con controllers, instead, and you will be able to buy new GameCube-style controllers if you don’t already own them.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate releases for Switch on December 7.


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