Our editors sat down and discussed their favorite games from E3 2018. The conclusion? This year's E3 was one of the strongest, most diverse lineups we've seen in a long time and our editors had a slew of different games they thought were the best of E3 2018.
Sea of Solitude by Jukka Piira
The Last of Us Part II, Death Stranding, Cyberpunk 2077, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey…. So many big games! And most importantly, Shadow of Tomb Raider, the game I have been personally waiting for ever since finishing Rise of the Tomb Raider for the first time (not counting all the gazillion replays). Still, the game that impressed me most wasn’t about saving the universe, taking up the revenge, fighting against a zombie horde, stopping the worldwide conspiracy or anything else that pompous. A third-person action adventure Sea of Solitude by German indie developer Jo-Mei Games and published by EA under their Originals label deals with loneliness, longing, fear and anger. Something so human and so familiar to us all, as experienced in the game by a girl transformed into a monster. Despite her black, tangled fur and piercing red eyes - or maybe because of them - she’s so adorable! I just want to reach out and hug her and say everything’s all right. The best thing I can do for her is to solve the conundrum of her world where the lonely people are turned into monsters. I expect a solid game with good entertainment and a profound message.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice by Rom
I’m never going to give this to something shown off by a cinematic trailer, and what Sekiro brough that I didn’t expect was a lot of fast-paced, awesome-looking gameplay, something I didn’t expect to see from the company currently making its name from the fame of the famously deliberate and timing-oriented Dark Souls games. Sekiro’s inclusion of the grappling…. Arm…. thing (Bionic Commando style, baby!!!! But hopefully….. With less wife arms) gave it a high-flying and fast-paced feel that completely sold me over on it in a way that I never thought would happen - getting in close like that so quickly seems like a lot of fun, and an interesting new wrinkle to the genre. Maybe this is going to finally be the first of this type of game that I actually get into! I can’t wait to see if that’s the case.
Devil May Cry 5 by Mike Takahashi
The DMC series has a special place in my heart – except for DMC2, there’s no need to talk about that one. Ninja Theory’s DMC was a decent game on its own merits; however, I think its style flew in the face of the original games and its tone was irksome. I have been hoping for a true sequel for a long time, as unlikely as that was. Much to my surprise, DMC5 is finally here, and it looks fantastic. While the aesthetics and music are definitely more in line with the reboot, the tone and gameplay appears to be reminiscent of the older titles. Portions of Nero’s moveset even look completely unchanged from his DMC4 counterpart, which for a long-time fan is a sight for sore eyes. While the story has never been all that compelling, I’m really looking forward to the character interactions between Dante and Nero, as it seems the torch has properly been passed. Overall, DMC5 was given a fantastic showcase that had enough gameplay and cutscenes to give a good idea of what it’s shaping up to be, and I can’t wait to see how it all works out.
The Last of Us Part II by David Silbert
For as disjointed as that Sony press conference was, PlayStation sure had some great games to show off. While Death Stranding, Spider-Man, and Ghost of Tsushima all looked fantastic in their own rights, my favorite game of the conference, and of E3 in general, has to be The Last of Us Part II. The first Last of Us struck me deeply with its cruel world, empathetic characters, and pulse-pounding gameplay. With TLOU Part II, the stakes are only looking even higher. Playing as an older Ellie is bound to be a truly harrowing experience, not simply because she's a young woman growing up in a heartless, savage world, but because we've already grown to feel for her by way of the first game, just as Joel had. If that shocking hanging/gutting execution mid-way through the demo is any indication, TLOU Part II is shaping up to be even more tense, violent, and heart-wrenching than the original game. Add in improved AI, deeper crafting mechanics, and oh gosh those visuals, and TLOU Part II stood high above the rest of the competition as the best game on display at E3 2018.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice by Garland Pan
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is the game I never knew I wanted. As a fan of the Souls games, I was eager to see what From Software was working on next after Dark Souls 3. Samurai Dark Souls has already been somewhat done with Team Ninja’s Nioh. However, that game didn’t really provide me with the kind of experience I was looking for. Mechanically, it was reminiscent of a Souls game, but the adventure aspect was unfortunately segmented in levels and it lacked the sense of craftsmanship found in Miyazaki’s works. Though the environments were nice, they paled in comparison to the creativity found in a From Software game. When I saw the trailer for Sekiro, I was stunned. I was never all that thrilled with games based in Feudal Japan, but the Sekiro really won me over. It's visually stunning and I absolutely love the cold, snowy environments that contrast so well with the intense fire. Furthermore, the little gameplay they showed us in the trailer looks engaging as well as gorgeous. The developers really know how to capture a sense of weight and tension in their combat systems. The addition of the side jump and grappling hook really impressed me. I’m eager to try it out for myself once it comes out. Though I noticed that Activision is the publisher, I’m sure that From Software will be able to craft a real work of art regardless.
Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass by John K.
I think that I put Serious Sam 4 on my list of “most anticipated games” way back in 2015 - that is how long I have been looking forward to the next chapter in Croteam’s legendary first person shooter series. We have now finally gotten to see the first footage of this game, even if it is just in trailer form. But that trailer, as short as it is, showcases the two features that define the Serious Sam series - the humor and the ridiculous hordes of enemies. I don’t know about you guys, but I can’t wait to desperately run backwards while shooting a bunch of headless guys with bombs in their hands who are running at me yelling “AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”’
Dying Light 2 by Brandyn Boyd
I never saw this game coming, and certainly could not have predicted that I would be so hyped up to get my hands on it. I did not play the first Dying Light. While its parkour system definitely looked fun and interesting, I cannot say that I have any interest in partaking in yet another zombie game. The sequel on the other hand - man, it’s just pressing all the right buttons.Modern Dark Ages? What a cool aesthetic. A focus on choice and consequence? Yes please. CHRIS. AVELLONE? Designer and writer behind games such as the Baldur’s Gate franchise, KOTOR and Fallout: New Vegas? Get me on board this train, right now.
Super Smash Bros Ultimate by Alex Mateo
If anything I said in my favorite conference write-up revealed anything, it’s that I am stoked for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. I was initially excited about the reveal trailer, thinking we’d see the original eight characters and then a few newcomers. Imagine my surprise when not only did they show the entire roster from Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS, but also every single character that was ever cut from Melee and Brawl. As soon as I saw Ice Climbers, whom I had mained in Melee, I went nuts. I was literally screaming “Snaaaaaaake!” at my TV when I saw the Metal Gear Solid protagonist on screen, after his absence in the Wii U/3DS versions. Once the words, “Everyone is here” flashed, I honestly lost it and thoroughly enjoyed the cavalcade of Nintendo mascots. I was always hoping for a definitive Super Smash Bros. that incorporated every character that was ever in the history of the game, even the bad ones like Pichu. The only other thing I could ask for were more newcomers. Unfortunately, we only have a few, but they’re of quality. Of course, the Inklings had been revealed before and look like they will fit in great. Daisy was revealed as an “Echo Fighter,” otherwise known as a clone character. However, it was one big reveal that sold it for me: Ridley from the Metroid series, who looks amazing in-game. The whole breakdown reminded me why Super Smash Bros. speaks to me; it’s reverential to the Nintendo franchises that I’ve known and loved all my life. It celebrates every character’s history through the movesets, stages, and music. Needless to say, I am thrilled for this December.
Spyro: Reignited Trilogy by Michael Hoover
Between this one, Smash Bros, and Tomb Raider, my choice ultimately came down to which one had the most striking gameplay presence. For that, I’m handing it to Spyro. Look at the animations! The character designs! The voice acting! Moreso than even Smash, this remake is absolutely overflowing with cartoon charm. On top of that, we get the same stellar level design and the same fast-paced, kill-it-all, collect-it-all gameplay as the originals. Plus, we’re getting an outstanding degree of attention to detail (Spyro’s flame breath singes the grass, for example). They only showed stages from Spyro 1, though; I can’t wait to see what they did with 2 and 3! Even with my nostalgia goggles off, this looks like a bright, fun, well-paced experienced. Now with my goggles on… ZOMG ONLY GAME I EVER NEED!!1 Ahem. So I’m looking forward to it.
Fallout 76 by Brandon Brodsky
There are so many amazing games that I am beyond excited for at E3 this year, but the one that has won my heart belongs to Bethesda’s post-nuclear Fallout series. Fallout 76 has everything that the previous game had, but seemingly taken to a whole new level. While I was worried about the multiplayer aspect of the game at first, Todd Howard calmed my nerves by telling us that the game was completely playable in single player. I simply love the aesthetic design and many choices you can make in this game, and I can’t help but to imagine all of the moments that you can create alone or with a friend. The competitive and dynamic aspect of the game, I believe, will really help keep the game feeling fresh even after a full playthrough. This is going to be a very interesting game not only for myself, and not only for the fans, but for the gaming landscape as a whole. There is a ton of experimental content that I am very excited to see with my own eyes.
Daemon x Machina by James Robinson
What was this mysterious mech game? I find myself deeply intrigued and drawn in. I love giant robots, and this certainly looks like it can scratch an itch I have. It came out of nowhere and left just as quickly. Maybe it doesn’t fit under the umbrella term of the “best game,” but it certainly has piqued my interest more than anything else.
Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey by Allen Kesinger
Even though it represented a stark departure from the classic Assassin’s Creed formula I grew to love, Origins was a really great game that shared the origin story of Bayek’s quest to form the Assassin Brotherhood. After Odyssey was unveiled, I was a little concerned that it seems to be Origins 1.5. But after getting hands-on time with the game, I can safely say that it ended up being my game of the show. This has nearly everything to do with Kassandra, the newest female protagonist to grace the franchise. I loved watching her interact with various NPCs and be a total badass in combat, kicking fools to the ground and ripping their shields away. But Odyssey is more than its lead character. Naval combat has been integrated Into the game proper, rather than switch over to Aya for self-contained missions at sea. And best of all, there are Greek sea shanties! I’m also really interested in the large-scale battles against Athenian armies, where you must fight your way through hundreds of soldiers to face their leader and take him down. I can’t wait to get more time with Odyssey when it comes out!
Spider-Man by Marcus Gonzalez
There has been so many Spider-Man games in the past and I’m sure everyone has had their own memories featuring the famous web-swinger. This newest iteration of our friendly neighborhood do-gooder however, has fallen into the hands of one of the most capable studios, during a time when developers are given more range for artistic expression and after the era of games being a movie tie-in cash grab. Watching Spider-Man chase Electro through the RAFT prison scenario, there were so many aspects to dissect and piece out. Using your web to grab onto environmental objects, juggling combatants in combos and learning about which arch-enemies Spidey would be facing was a rush of information. This whole scene was so ‘shockingly’ good it put the ‘AMAZING’ right into Spider-Man. Diving into deeper coverage of the open world, you can see how much effort was taken to get the swinging just right. Insomniac is using some new techniques to pull of some stunning contextual animations that other games cannot hold a candle too. Depending on the placement of objects in the environment, where you are in the world and spacing; Spider-Man actively changes what he does and how it affects how he pulls off his super powers. Whether Spider-Man is pulling an enemy from a car when you’re on the hood, web shooting buildings to grind the car to a halt or tossing the guy out when you’re perched on the side; there seems like an endless array of scenarios that can and will unfold in any given situation. Unlike other games that can get repetitive or feel like a collectathon; this game has shaped up to be so dynamic and mastering Spidey’s skills will lend to long playthroughs and high replayability that will keep us coming back for more. The next couple of months cannot swing by fast enough.
Cyberpunk 2077 by Jonathan Miley
There was definitely some exciting stuff at the show and much of it has been mentioned here, plus games like Wolfenstein: Youngblood, Metro Exodus, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Ghost of Tsushima, The Adventures of Captain Spirit, and Control. But there’s only one game that makes me smile just thinking about it, the next game from the studio behind The Witcher 3, obviously. Originally announced in 2015, CD Projekt has been silent about Cyberpunk 2077 since, but thankfully the trailer at Microsoft's press conference did not disappoint. It’s just so gorgeous and everything I hear about the demo makes me long to see and play the game in a way I haven’t in a long time. I can’t help but feel like Cyberpunk 2077 could be the heir apparent to both Deus Ex and Blade Runner. And if anyone can pull that off, it’s that dang crafty Polish studio. Whatever year Cyberpunk is released cannot come soon enough. Hopefully it’s not 2077.
Death Stranding by Jonathan Paris
There were so many games this year, it's hard to choose one that stood out the most. From AAA titles like Metro: Exodus, Cyberpunk 2077, and Anthem to smaller titles like Ori and the Will of the Wisp, there was something for every type of gamer this year. Ghost of Tsushima, was a game I had my eye on going into E3, and was left very impressed by the gameplay reveal. Other games such as Devil May Cry 5 being announced and Dying Light 2 were other standouts to me. With that said, Metal Gear Solid being my favorite video game franchise, it would be almost amiss to say Death Stranding isn't my favorite game shown. In typical Hideo Kojima fashion, the "gameplay" trailer left more questions than answers, but still looks fantastic nonetheless. Norman Reedus, Mads Mikkelsen and Guillermo del Toro, what else is there to say? 2019. Hopefully.
Ghost of Tsushima by Ed Bobincheck
To date, my favorite game is still Sly Cooper 2: Band of Thieves. The stylized world and colorful cast set in an engaging story with a fantastic blend of gameplay and story makes it a game I have yet to find equal to. ucker Punch, developer of the Sly Cooper series, as well as the inFamous franchise, came out strong during Sony’s conference with a look at their next project, and it does not disappoint. The visuals shown off were jaw-droppingly gorgeous. Not only did the entire trailer show off a consistent aesthetic, but the atmosphere was thick, with leaves blowing across the screen, the background as alive as the characters. Speaking on them, the main character looks to have a past worth exploring and a cause worth following. Sucker Punch has show to have the chops to keep the controls and game side of things tight and fun, while the writing ability to weave everything together. Ghost of Tsushima is a title that was unexpected to be seen, and I’m already anxiously awaiting it’s release to explore the next new world from an often under-the-radar team.
I'm the Owner & Editor in Chief of Darkstation.com. After spending seven years as the reviews editor I took over the site in 2010. The rest is history. Now I work with our amazing staff to bring you the best possible video game coverage. Oh and I really like sports games.