The story of this E3 2018, as far as we’re concerned, has been great games. We all have lapses in our excitement for the medium – it’s natural. But if you went into this year’s event feeling a little fatigued, then no doubt you’ll have found something somewhere to rekindle your enthusiasm. Whether it’s the hushed whispers propagating through the press about Cyberpunk 2077’s super-secret demo, or something on a significantly smaller scale, like the free Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit episode, it feels like there’s been something for everyone.
Mercifully, it’s been a less tetchy show than 2017 as well, where sniping between executives and fans was the order of the day. Things have threatened to boil over with the Fortnite controversy, a boneheaded move whichever way you slice it – but while criticism has been plentiful and in most cases fair, it hasn’t detracted from an event stuffed to the gills with great content. The same too is true of the poor presentation of all but one of the press conferences; we’ve seen better livestreams, but content at the end of the day is king.
And content did the array of publishers bring. Sony’s first-party seems to be in a Motown phase at the moment; the platform holder’s practically a hit factory these days, and all of its so-called ‘Famous Four’ brought the heat – only, perhaps, Death Stranding disappointing slightly by virtue of how early it looks. Sucker Punch will be leaving the show with the broadest smile on its face; one of the Japanese giant’s less recognised teams, the Seattle studio feels like it’s on the cusp of a Guerrilla Games moment, with Ghost of Tsushima stepping things up dramatically from the inFAMOUS franchise.
Naughty Dog, the underdog in many ways going into this E3, reinforced its position as top dog; The Last of Us: Part II just looked above and beyond virtually anything else at the show, forcing some to ponder whether it’s even a PS4 game. And then there was the third-party stuff: a rich smorgasbord of experiences, with a rebounding Capcom demonstrating that it’s getting back to its very best – it’d take a dark heart not to be excited for Resident Evil 2 and Devil May Cry 5, two fan-pleasers of the very highest degree.
Ubisoft continues to churn out massive games without breaking a sweat, and while Splinter Cell’s absence was a disappointment, it’s not like its catalogue is empty. EA’s is, and we’d show some concern for the company if it wasn’t raking in billions of dollars from Ultimate Team; ANTHEM was arguably one of the biggest disappointments of the event, failing to build on the hype from a year ago with a desperately drab demonstration. It’ll sell by the bucketload, the publisher will dedicate a marketing budget to make sure of that – but it left us feeling cold.
Almost everything else, though: excellent. You know it’s been a good E3 when you virtually forget that titles like Dying Light 2 were announced; Techland will surely deliver another dependable co-op zombie romp. Hitman 2? Assassin’s Creed Odyssey? Shadow of the Tomb Raider? Kingdom Hearts III? They all look great. And it’s perhaps worth pointing out that we haven’t even touched upon Spider-Man yet, a game which got the perfect press conference demo considering how close it is to launch – and a title that critics are raving about after going hands on.
If this really was the last E3 with the PS4 at the fore, then it was anything but the usual late generation wash out; the content arguably looks more vibrant than it ever has, and as long as publishers stop dating their wares for 22nd February, then we’re looking forward to adding many of them to our ever-expanding backlog. With so many leaks leading in, it was an E3 perhaps light on surprises – but you’d be hard pushed to complain about the titles on display. If this week didn’t get your juices flowing at least once, then maybe it’s time to find a different hobby.
Were you satisfied with the software on display at E3 2018? Did you think it was a decent show – or a disappointing one? Look back on an eventful week in the comments section below.