This week is the annual E3 gaming convention in Los Angeles, when the video game industry gets together to show off all their latest and greatest fare. This year Microsoft gave a sneak peek at the next Halo game, Sony gave an in-depth look at “Spider-Man,” Bethesda let us wander the wasteland of West Virginia, and much, much more. Here are the best game trailers from E3.
1. Halo ‘Infinite’
Microsoft kicked off its E3 presser with a bang like only Master Chief can. The next big adventure in the Xbox’s signature series returns with an all new graphical engine, called “Slipspace.” We don’t know much else, except that Master Chief will be more front and center than he was last time around.
The original “Halo” was ground-breaking, and one of those games I remember all too well (so does my college GPA), but recent versions of the series have really dipped in quality. It looks like Microsoft may be looking to recapture some of the original magic with “Infinite.”
2. ‘The Last of Us Part II’
Sony kicked off their E3 press event with a reveal of the “Last of Us Part II” gameplay trailer. It’s beautiful, brutal, and amazingly polished, as we have come to expect from the folks at Naughty Dog Studios. It features a kiss that has everyone talking, and violence that looks gut-wrenchingly real.
In an interview with Kotaku, Neil Druckmann, creative director on the “The Last of Us Part II,” addressed some of the criticism of the game’s violence: “For the player to feel repulsed by some of the violence they are committing themselves. It felt like that is the most honest way to tell this story.”
3. ‘Fallout 76’
Bethesda’s most in-depth reveal at E3 was a full unveiling of “Fallout 76.” It’s an online “softcore” survival RPG, where you’ll be matched on servers with just a few dozen other players in the wilds of West Virginia and tasked with resettling the wasteland. This is a big departure from the series, which has always been single-player in the past.
With a map that is a whopping four times the size of “Fallout 4,” buildable settlements and wildcards like discoverable nuke launch codes, this game could be what some Fallout fans are looking for. I’m not sure I’m one of those, though. “Fallout 76” debuts this November.
4. ‘Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey’
The biggest news to come out of Ubisoft’s E3 event was undoubtedly their reveal of the next Assassin’s Creed game. This time the game is headed to Ancient Greece, and it looks like we’ll see more RPG elements than ever before—like dialogue options, character customization, and more side quests. With all the water on the map, it also look like the return of naval combat is in the cards, something that was incredibly fun and popular when it debuted in “Black Flag” several years ago.
“Odyssey” also looked gorgeous from what we saw this week. The colors, battle scenes, and even the menus suggest this may be the best-looking Assassin’s Creed game yet.
5. ‘Ghost of Tsushima’
This was the surprise hit for me from the show this week. “Ghost” is an absolutely stunning Samurai action-adventure game that looks so real it will seem like you were dropped straight into an Akira Kurosawa film. I mean, come on, look at the leaves in that trailer!
I never thought I’d want to run out and buy a game about the Mongol invasion of Japan. I was wrong. This game looks, sounds, and feels incredible.
6. ‘Rage 2’
Bethesda’s other big AAA title coming out of E3 is the follow-up to the “Eh, it was just okay” original “Rage.” This fully open-world-run-amok shooter helmed by Avalanche Studios looks like it could be a total blast—if they can pull it off. It has a lot of promise, I’ll say that.
7. ‘Gears 5’
The next installment in the shoot ‘em up “Gear of Wars” franchise sees some big changes because Kait Diaz gets the spotlight as the main character in this generally bro-tastic series. Don’t worry, though: you’ll still be able to blow up awesome monsters with your chainsaw-gun and teach them who’s boss. The cold Arctic landscapes of the game also look refreshing.
EA has had a rough year—a rough couple years, really. With poor reception of the last Mass Effect game, the controversy of loot boxes, and the subpar performance of “Star Wars Battlefront II,” EA is hoping that next year’s “Anthem” is the game title that brings them back.
Made by the Mass Effect team, “Anthem” is an open-world multi-player RPG where everyone essentially has an Iron Man suit they can customize, then fly around in with other gamers to complete missions. Reviews from people who played demos have been pretty favorable, but this game has been delayed multiple times already, and will likely be delayed at least once more.
9. ‘Cyberpunk 2077’
From the team that brought you “The Witcher” comes “Cyberpunk 2077,” a futuristic RPG set in the Night City. Your character is a hired gun on the rise with a cool car, an apartment, and an arsenal of futuristic weapons in a violent city of warring corporations and crime lords. Sounds pretty awesome, and with a team like the “Witcher” folks behind it, you know it will be packed with details and experiences like no other game.
10. ‘Super Mario Party’
The Nintendo Switch not only hooks up to your gigantic TV, but can also come with you on car trips or to your friend’s house. This is part of the fun behind the “Mario Party” series of games and the latest version coming out this fall takes it to the next level.
By bringing together more than one Nintendo Switch console, you can adapt the map for some of the games in “Mario Party.” That’s pretty incredible! Nintendo’s Switch certainly isn’t the beefiest of the consoles, but they’ve found a way to carve out a niche that has made Mario and Company relevant once again.
11. ‘Marvel’s Spider-Man’
This game has been a long time coming, and it looks like it just might deliver. The gameplay demo from Insomniac’s “Spider-Man” looks mind boggling. It seems the Sinister Six have broken out of jail and are terrorizing New York, and yes, you’ll be able to swing into action through the buildings of the Big Apple to save the day.
12. ‘Elder Scrolls VI’
Finally, we got an official announcement that Bethesda is working on a follow-up to one of the greatest games of all time. That brief bit of video and music was it, just a tease, but at least now we know for sure: Bethesda is hard at work on the sequel to “Skyrim.”
In the meantime, you can occupy yourself with “Skyrim” on Alexa and “Blades,” a new mobile game that looks way too good to be called a mobile game, coming this fall. It’s not likely that “Elder Scrolls VI” is even going to be on this generation of consoles.
In an interview this week, Bethesda guru Todd Howard said, “We’ve obviously taken our time with [“The Elder Scrolls VI”], as opposed to jumping right into it. We know what we want it to be, and that’s gonna take time, technology, other things that we need to build to to really pull it off. And that’s what that franchise deserves.” That sounds to me like the technology isn’t quite there yet, so don’t get your Nordic hopes up quite yet.