This is year's E3 was a bit of a strange one, with Sony a no-show, Microsoft delivering quantity but failing to blow us away with its console reveal, and then Nintendo sneaking in at the end with a crowd-pleasing mic-drop in the form of the reveal of a sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Not your typical E3, then, but certainly one with plenty of positives.
As atypical as the lineup might have been, that didn't stop us from getting our collective hands on a bunch of games at this year's event, including a number of triple-A blockbusters as well as a smattering of quirking indie titles that have piqued our interest. It was a real mixed bag this year, and our games of the show article very much reflects that fact. An so, without further ado, let's take you on a quick tour of our favourite games from this year's E3.
At Gearbox's presentation at E3, the developer revealed an all-new playable character and plenty of bombastic action. During this E3 we were introduced to a gunner called Moze, who along with her mech adorned with mounted laser cannons, miniguns and rocket launchers (depending on the customisation options selected), kicked some ass on the planet of Eden-6 and its various Louisiana-inspired environments. Much like everyone else we were floored by the much-anticipated third main instalment of the franchise, with its fluid and delightfully explosive gameplay and tongue-in-cheek attitude.
Building on the adventures of old, Borderlands 3 offers space traversal, meaning players won't be confined to Pandora. On top of that, we're also getting a vast customisation system where even the most ordinary-looking guns can turn out to be extraordinary, some beautifully bombastic boss fights, and of course, there's plenty of crazy characters to meet along the way. As we move closer to launch, we'll be looking forward to returning for more chaotic combat and plenty of sweet, sweet loot, in what turned out to be the team's favourite game of this E3.
Better late than never, right? We finally got our hands on the long-awaited episodic reboot of the all-time fan favourite JRPG from Square Enix, and it didn't disappoint. We were blown away by the visuals, and there are so many fan servant nods in there that we think anyone who played and loved the original will have a swell time revisiting the first part of this epic tale when it lands next year. It's just a shame we're not getting it all at once, but at least subsequent waits between episodes won't be as long as the gap between announcement and release.
Luigi's Mansion 3 (Nintendo)
It's not very often we get hyped for a spooky title in the dead of summer, however, Luigi's Mansion 3 definitely triggered something in us. The charming ghost hunting experience had some of the smoothest mechanics and most surprising additions (ahem... Gooigi), made for a hands-on demo we didn't want to put down. Every year Nintendo slings out a game which is truly brilliant, solidifying its spot as a top publisher, and this year Luigi's Mansion 3 is that title. We can't wait for it to release later this year.
Oddworld: Soulstorm (Oddworld Inhabitants)
Yeah, we're surprised too, though, given the storied history of this particular franchise, we probably shouldn't be. Abe is back and he's never looked in better shape than he does right now. We loved the style and substance of this quirky platform adventure, but we were also blown away by the tech that's powering the liquid flames that we saw demoed in LA. Soulstorm went right to the top of our E3 wishlist after this year's demo.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (Respawn Entertainment)
We were never really too sure what to think about Respawn's Star Wars title, at least that was the case before we got a proper hands-on look. The mechanics seem to have a depth unlike any other in-game Jedi experience, coupled with a storyline rooted to the long-running franchise, looks to have the perfect balance of lore and developmental polish. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is looking to be one of 2019's biggest titles and potentially even the best.
Scavengers (Midwinter Entertainment)
Scavengers fuses the best parts of the battle royale and survival genres and then delivers a fresh-feeling multiplayer experience that lurches between cooperative and competitive multiplayer, giving players a unique experience every time they pick up the controller. As we discovered firsthand during our hands-on demo at this year's E3, it's not just a case of fending off opposing players, there are also significant environmental dangers to contend with.
Creature in the Well (Flight School Studio)
One indie gem that caught our collective attention this year was Creature in the Well, which impressed us greatly when we got our hands on it during Microsoft's showcase ahead of the proper opening of E3. This adventure game features action-packed platforming and pinball-themed puzzle mechanics to make a truly unique experience. We want to see how the impressive blend of ideas comes together over the course a full playthrough, but our early hands-on left us wanting more, and that's always a good sign.
The Dark Pictures - Man of Medan (Supermassive Games)
Pretty much everyone on the team was eager to take another look at Man of Medan, the next narrative adventure from horror specialists Supermassive. Once again the studio is pushing the limits with its branching narratives and deadly gameplay decisions; you never know when you might get a character killed by doing something stupid or ill-advised, so it's always worth keeping your wits about you during this interactive adventure.
Doom Eternal (id Software)
Bethesda was showing off the upcoming Wolfenstein: Youngblood at this year's E3, but it was Doom Eternal that really knocked our socks off. id's sci-fi shooter is doubling down on challenging combat for this demonic sequel, and we loved the mix of gameplay elements that force the player to push ahead and play on the front foot. The new Doom is utterly punishing but the visceral blend of combat mechanics also makes it immersive and engaging, and we can't wait to take the fight back to the minions of Hell when the game lands later this year.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (Infinity Ward)
Another game we didn't see sneaking into our top list was Modern Warfare, but after our second meeting with Infinity Ward's shooter, we're really interested in seeing how this one pans out. The first Modern Warfare was a seminal game for so many reasons, and while the series has never looked back in terms of multiplayer, the first game to bear the Modern Warfare subtitle was a high point for the series in terms of narrative. Will this gritty reboot return that side of the series to the top? Based on what we've seen so far we're feeling hopeful.
Cyberpunk 2077 (CD Projekt Red)
Cyberpunk 2077 has been one of if not the biggest presence at E3 for two years in a row and while it may seem strange to list the upcoming sci-fi RPG from CD Projekt Red for a second time, Cyberpunk 2077 keeps blowing us away. With a vast world, an equally vast customisation system, consequences for every action, intense action sequences and a seemingly gripping, branching narrative, this one should leave a mark on the world of gaming.
Watch Dogs: Legion (Ubisoft)
Watch Dogs has been around for a while at this point. We've followed disturbed men fighting for their families and wrongfully convicted men just trying to set things right, but in Watch Dogs: Legion, the player can be whoever they want to be. Any person roaming the streets of London can be recruited and taken over at any time and there's plenty of missions to take on as part of the resistance. Wreak havoc by hacking cargo drones hauling explosives or sneak your way to success. It's up to you.