Big, was the watchword from Xbox’s announcements at E3, currently going on in sunny Los Angeles. It seems like everything they unveiled was bigger than the last – enormous sweeping landscapes, colossal terrifying monsters, giant sprawling narratives. Big big big!
Here are some of the highlights of what they showed off…
1. Halo: Infinite
The franchise that sold a million original Xboxes is back, along with a familiar-helmeted hero – Master Chief, everyone’s favourite often-mistaken-for-a-cooking-show protagonist. There are also, excitingly, enormous amounts of rhinos, which it’s probably fair to say nobody saw coming from a Halo game. The game is powered by a brand-new engine called SlipSpace, created by 343 industries, which from the looks of it could be a game-changer – look at all those dang rhinos!
2. Fallout 76
We knew a few details of Fallout 76 pre-E3, but this is the first gameplay footage to be unveiled, and it looks pretty fantastic. The irradiated West Virginia of the game is reportedly four times as big as the world of the already-massive Fallout 4, and it’s the first game in the franchise to have a real focus on online multiplayer. And come on, a John Denver cover is always welcome.
3. Devil May Cry 5
The franchise with the greatest hair in all of gaming is back, a mere decade after the fourth instalment. If anyone ever says anything disparaging about video games, show them the bit in this trailer where the giant, building-sized demon shoves a truck into the gaping wound in its chest then turns itself into a projectile weapon by exploding the truck out of there. Video games are awesome.
4. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
A new franchise from the confusingly-named From Software, the makers of cult favourite Dark Souls, this incredibly stylish looking game seems to share a lot of qualities with that one – it looks really beautiful, ridiculously difficult and absurdly violent. However, it’s switched up the Gothic, castle-filled world of Souls for a more Japanese-inspired world – albeit one where the rules of life and death and the limits on how big a person can get don’t apply.
5. Gears Of War 5 (and more)
Microsoft have big plans for the Gears franchise, also announcing a mobile game aimed at younger players and based on the Funko POP toyline, and a turn-based PC game. This is the one that has us most excited though – we’d be into it for that glacier kite-surfing bit alone. Seriously, we’d play the hell out of a Zen-as-anything free-roaming version of that where you just peacefully, beautifully traverse glaciers. This Gears iteration looks to be turning the franchise on its head a little, with landscapes this series has never seen before, narrative twists and turns and a female protagonist.
And the rest…
- There’s a Frozen-heavy trailer for Kingdom Hearts 3, if that’s your thing.
- Indie darling Ori And The Blind Forest has a sequel with a beautiful trailer.
- Life Is Strange has a spin-off, The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit.
- Forza: Horizon 4 is set in Britain (about time).
- Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 is zzzzzzzz, sorry, nodded off just thinking about the first one.
- Just Cause 4 looks to be continuing that franchise’s “really big and really silly” ethos rather beautifully.
- Cyberpunk 77 – not a sequel to Fallout 76 – is looking pretty badass.
- If you’re into anime, Jump Force has an all-star lineup of Dragon Ball, Naruto, One Piece and Death Note characters.
But most importantly…
Battletoads is/are coming back, in some form or other, in 2019. EXCITING!