The Biggest Games of the Year
E3 2018 is slowly drawing to a close over in LA and what a week it has has been. With fantastic showings all the way through from all who attended, we’ve got some great information on brand new IPs, highly sought after re-makes and a fair few surprises along the way too.
On what was initially thought to be an ‘off’ year, E3 2018 has been anything but.
We’ve put together our top 10 games shown at E3 this year, which was no easy task as we’ve been spoiled for choice with what has been on display. Without further ado, lets dive in.
Our top pick at E3 2018 was BIoWare’s highly anticipated Anthem. First announced at E3 2017, Anthem is positioning itself as a Looter/Shooter to compete with Bungie’s Destiny and Massive Entertainment’s The Division.
The demo we played at E3 was all about the combat, the movement and the capabilities of the Javelin Mechs you’ll be piloting to keep humanity safe from various monster threats.
The controls felt beautifully fluid as you rapidly switch between running, flying and hovering. The movement of the mechs felt weighty and impactful as you move through the world and above all the game just feels fun to play and move around in.
The weapons feel powerful when you use them, and combining assaults from the different mech classes in the game creates combo attacks that directly reward team play.
We know BioWare can do storytelling and RPG elements; it’s their bread and butter. What they were showing off here at E3 this year is that they can do fun, impactful and well-designed combat too – and they really surpassed our expectations on this one.
If Bioware can pull all of these elements into one cohesive game, then we really are in for a treat.
Anthem is due for a global release on 22 February 2019 so check out our full preview here.
One of the more highly anticipated titles at this year’s E3 was Cyberpunk 2077 by CD Projekt Red, a developer widely loved by fans all over for their no-nonsense approach to game development and the sheer quality of the titles that emerge from their studio in Poland.
Cyberpunk 2077 is what happens when GTA, Bladerunner and 80s tropes all smash into each other at unapologetic force.
The game provides a look into a dystopian future where corporations rule like governments and the gap between rich and poor is really more of a chasm. Cyberpunk by name and nature, you’ll be finding biological implants, hover vehicles, stimulants and few morals in the seedy streets of Night City.
The game will play as a first-person RPG shooter, in the vein of Fallout with it’s character customisation and storytelling, and Borderlands with pop-up damage numbers and wide array of weapons.
Coming from the studio that brought us the Witcher, the game will be an incredibly deep, dense RPG experience. Extremely mature in nature, and hopefully not just for the sake of it, Cyberpunk 2077 looks to set a new standard in first person RPGs.
We have a full preview of the game just here, and if pushed we’re guessing at a late 2019 launch as it will be available on current generation hardware.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Nintendo showed up to E3 this year with one agenda. Push Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and push it hard.
The latest instalment of their fighting-brawler franchise will be the biggest yet, featuring every character the series has seen including some new faces, and some gameplay tweaks. Thankfully, it was a game worth pushing.
While it’s not strictly an entirely new game from the ground up, we’re seeing some heavy influence from the Wii U game’s engine as a starting point, there are some substantial graphical boosts to make the most of the Switch hardware.
We’re seeing some focus on the more competitive side of things, with gameplay tweaks such as direction mid-air dodging and an actively discouragement for repeated dodging on the spot, and also some more casual inclusions such as 8-player fights where any strategy you had going in will quickly disappear into a button-mashing frenzy in a matter of raw seconds.
The inclusion of Ridley and Inkling are interesting additions to the game, bringing in some interesting mechanics to the field.
Our own Dominic Preston got a hands-on look at E3 this year and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will release exclusively on the Nintendo Switch on 7 December 2018.
The Division 2
The Division 2 was one of the larger games coming into E3, produced by Massive Entertainment and published by Ubisoft, we’re hoping to see some solid improvements over the original title which certainly had its issues at launch.
This time set in Washing D.C rather than New York, the gameplay is opened up into less claustrophobic environments as we step away from narrow streets and subway tunnels into wider avenues and open parks.
While we’re not exactly seeing anything revolutionary here when compared to The Division 1, we didn’t really get anything earthshattering from the transition between Destiny and Destiny 2 either.
You can expect the same looter/shooter gameplay, with some new bells and whistles attached. The core gameplay was never really the problem before, and nothing much has been done to change that. Outside of the setting, you could be forgiven for thinking you’re still playing the original game.
Having said all that, Ubisoft have been engineering themselves a reputation of constantly improving their games. Rainbow Six: Siege and For Honor both had some fairly rocky early days, but are now both fantastic games thanks to continued effort on behalf of their developer and publisher.
If The Division 2 can give us some great new experiences, and provide a solid level of customisation and content, then we can forgive the fact that this second try is less than revolutionary.
However, if it suffers from the same issues as The Division 1, then we’re not going to be impressed.
Check out out full preview here and watch for the release of The Divison 2 on 15 March 2019.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
Assassin’s Creed Origin’s did amazing things for a series that was struggling, following the Call of Duty mold of churning a title out every year.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey looks to be another step forward, although we may be stepping away from the assassin vibe and closer towards something resembling The Witcher, as we’re pretty much getting Assassin’s Creed: This Is Sparta. Which we are completely on board with.
For the first time we’re able to play as a female character with included romance options which is a welcome addition if not becoming a bit of a trope.
From what we’ve seen Odyssey builds on Origins with more choices, more customisation, more depth and pretty much more everything. The setting is a perfect move for the franchise too, and as its set on a string of Islands we’re seeing naval combat back with much more of a steady focus this time.
If you liked Origins, you’re going to love this. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is a title that RPG fans shouldn’t miss.
Check out our review here and watch for the release on 5 October 2018.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
The Tomb Raider reboot returns to our screens for some more Lara Croft action in Shadow of the Tomb raider.
In the final chapter of the revived trilogy, we see Lara become one with the Jungle as she struggles between revenge and morality in a dark(er) twist to her tale.
The jungle themed gameplay looks fantastic, as we witness a combination of Assassin’s Creed-esque climbing, verticality and stealth kills, Metal Gear V style use of the environment to your advantage, and a kill system that reminds me a lot of The Mark of Kri, an old PS2 title.
The combat system has been expanded on too, with more options to approach situations with across the board which will help you deal with the promise of more difficult and deadly tombs and a lethal jungle environment.
Read our Shadow of the Tomb Raider review.
Forza Horizon 4
Forza Horizon 4 screams its way into the UK for its next installment with some great new seasonal changes.
From Horizon 3 in Australia, to Horizon 4 in the UK, we’re certainly travelling the globe in these games. While it’s an interesting change of setting, it was primarily selected to show off the dynamic shifting of seasons that the game features – so why not the land of hope and glory.
These seasonal changes in the game are nothing short of impressive, as you’ll see the same environments recreated in spring, summer, autumn and winter as you throw your car of choice town tight, twisting roads flanked by faithfully recreated English countryside.
The open world online multiplayer aims to make playing with other people on the fly as easy as possible, and the game retains its signature arcade feel when compared to it’s more realistic partner, Forza Motorsport.
This game looks like a blast to play with some friends online as it’s been made so accessible but still very fun and pretty.
We’ve got a preview of the game up here, and it will be launching on 2 October this year on PC and Xbox, but sadly no PS4 or Switch
It’s another year, and just like Christmas and New Year, we’re due another Battlefield game.
We’re not complaining though. We got our hands on Battlefield V, and while it’s not exactly a revolutionary step forward for the series, we’re very much looking forward to it.
The shooting is tight and responsive as you’d expect, and the graphical quality and visual feel is as chaotic as ever. Smoke and fog are much in evidence, as shells and bullets shake the screen and add to the madness.
We’re looking forward to a huge level of customisation in the game too, with a wide array of options to make your character your own.
The Grand Operations mode will return, expanded and improved to offer a simulated battle over several days, with the results of each day affecting the next. This could make for some very tense battles, as you get attached to the same team of people you’re playing with across multiple rounds, giving you a sense of comradeship and teamwork.
Battlefield V is sure to be a hit when it arrives on 19 October this year, have a look at our preview here.
Kingdom Hearts 3
We’ve been hearing about Kingdom Heats 3 for a long time now, with more trailers than we know what to do with, 13 years in the making is a long time to wait for hardcore fans – but the wait is almost over.
We’ll be seeing the worlds of Tangled, Toy Story, Monster Inc, Frozen and Mount Olympus feature in the game to the excitement of fans across the world, as favourite characters from multiple different franchuise will get to interact and journey together.
The game will be taking large steps forward in multiple areas, including combat and story, with Kingdom Hearts co-director Tai Yasue confirming that “There’s a lot of stuff we have never ever done before.”
Also see our Kingdom Hearts 3 review.
The announcement of Jump Force at E3 2018 came out of left field, to say the least.
Anime fans will be extremely excited as Dragon Ball, Naruto and One Piece come together for the fighting game cross over. The trailer also teased Death Note too, and with some more series certainly yet to be announced, the hype is real on this one.
The game is hitting all the right notes with fans, the character design is spot on and they all have access to their favourite moves with Goku’s Kamehameha much in show. Combat feels fast and fluid, and weightless too as your characters zip around the stage.
We’re not sure about the strategic level of depth just yet, so it’s potential as an esport remains to be seen. We’re going to keep a close eye on this one and watch it develop.
Sadly no word of a release date yet, but do have a look at our hands on with the game here.
Note: We may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site, at no extra cost to you. This doesn’t affect our editorial independence. Learn more.