E3, the biggest video game news event of the year, is taking place next week in Los Angeles – and as it is every year, it will be preceded by press conferences and livestreams where Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo and the rest will hype up their forthcoming games. E3 very much concentrates on the Hollywood blockbusters of the video game world; here are the 16 games generating the most buzz.
We’ll be liveblogging the first three days of E3 2018, including the press conferences. Join us at theguardian.com/games from Monday 11 June.
Operating somewhere between Destiny, The Division and Mass Effect, the new game from Bioware sparked interest at last year’s E3 with its luscious alien landscapes and its promise of an epic cooperative adventure – with jetpacks. Now delayed until early 2019, we’ll be expecting a lot more information about the world, and those cool customisable exosuits, in Los Angeles.
A pre-E3 leak revealed that the Assassin’s Creed series, most recently set in ancient Egypt, is headed for Greece next – extremely welcome news not only for classics nerds, but for anyone who loves the idea of climbing the Parthenon.
EA Dice is returning its military shooter series to the second world war after last year’s well-received first world war outing. The game is promising to look at some of the war’s more leftfield characters and conflicts. With new multiplayer modes, revamped weapons modelling and intricate dynamic environments, there is much more to this game than the sorry “controversy” surrounding its use of female soldiers.
This one surprised everyone at last year’s E3 by being a) a prequel to a 15-year-old game and b) unexpectedly foul-mouthed. Its weird, Fifth Element-flavoured world, which features anthropomorphic animals and space travel, is refreshingly distant from the military or postapocalyptic settings that dominate the rest of this list.
Developer Treyarch has finally killed the traditional CoD single-player campaign, focusing instead on a range of new multiplayer options, a narrative-based zombie co-op adventure and an intriguing battle royale mode.
The jury is still out on whether Hideo Kojima’s first post-Metal Gear project is a visionary take on the action-adventure genre or a self-indulgent egofest. With actors Norman Reedus and Mads Mikkelsen on board and some remarkable visual flourishes, this spiritual tale of life, death, rebirth and (probably) stealth combat will at least be one of the more unusual titles on the show floor.
A squad shooter that you could play online with friends, The Division was set in a quarantined New York following the mass outbreak of a disease and charged you with keeping order. A sequel that ventures out of Manhattan and brings together all the improvements that developer Ubisoft has made to the original over the years would be very nice indeed.
Bethesda has announced only a name for Fallout 76, part of a series of games that explore what would happen to humanity in the wake of a nuclear holocaust. Gossip suggests it will be an online survival game set in the immediate wake of nuclear war rather than a couple of hundred years in the future.
Since The Last of Us in 2013, there have been many post-apocalyptic zombie-themed games, but none with the heart and craft of Naughty Dog’s. The two leads, Joel and Ellie, are joined by new playable characters to continue their story. Early trailers have hinted at a more violent, more nihilistic tone, but we will see if that bears out.
Nothing whatsoever is known about this much-anticipated new entry in Nintendo’s long-running science-fiction adventure series. E3 would be a great time to lift the curtain.
A modern sort-of-remake of Pokémon Yellow that connects to Pokémon Go, this is a new kind of Pokémon game that we’re curious to find out more about. Set in the world of the original Pokémon games, Kanto, it’s a nostalgia bomb that will appeal especially to parents who played the 2000 originals and now want to play Pokémon with their kids.
The first Rage (2011) was a cult postapocalyptic shooter from Id Software, combining the combat mechanics of Doom with the vehicular thrills of Mad Max. The sequel is being handled by Id and Avalanche Studios, creator of Just Cause and the excellent Mad Max game – so expect engrossing gunplay, factional conflict, crazed vehicles and lots of battered, deadly landscape to explore.
Lara Croft’s next chapter opens in Mexico, where she accidentally triggers the apocalypse by finally messing with one too many mystical ancient artefacts. It’ll be a mix of puzzles and shooting in beautiful places, bolstered by one of the most likable heroes in gaming.
We’ve already had one pirate adventure this year – the fun but disappointingly thin Sea of Thieves – but Skull & Bones is different: it’s got a big single-player story AND multiplayer pirate-sailing.
If any developer can bring Spidey to full interactive life on the PlayStation 4, it’s Insomniac, the team behind Ratchet & Clank, the massively underrated Resistance series and the visually astonishing Sunset Overdrive. Players get an open-world version of Manhattan to parkour around, using a variety of special abilities, but it looks like set-piece missions will involve highly choreographed sequences. Hmm, our “oh God, please not quick-time events” senses are tingling.
Beloved both by its fanatical hardcore following and by millions of casual players at parties, Smash Bros pits all of Nintendo’s many characters (and some guests), from the world-famous to the obscure, against each other in a battle arena. It’s going to be enormous fun to find out which old favourites Nintendo has chosen to pluck from the back catalogue.
Nintendo is credibly rumoured to be bringing back Star Fox as a racing game, and there are whispers of an N64 Mini similar to the NES and SNES Mini models released in the previous two years. Persistent rumours of a port of the wildly popular Fortnite for Nintendo Switch have also been gaining credibility in the past few weeks.
The Guardian’s sources have suggested that new Gears of War and Fable projects are in the works on the Microsoft side, the latter at UK studio Playground Games – and it’s also about time we heard about a new Halo, though we’ve heard nothing about what that might be or where it’s being made.
We’ve heard word of a new Splinter Cell game, a new Devil May Cry from Capcom, and the next Just Cause from Square Enix. As for what FromSoftware, the studio behind Dark Souls, is up to, a teaser trailer from last year suggested a possible sequel to Bloodborne – though it could just as easily be something new in a similar style.