Another E3 is in the books, and since we’ve already covered the major announcements from most game publishers this week, let’s wrap up our coverage by going more in-depth on the most exciting titles to emerge from E3. And since we’ve stuck to consoles for the most part, let’s kick off this report by focusing on PC publishers and the 40 news games that were announced this week.
Bethesda has always been a strong supporter of releasing titles on both PC and Console, and this year will be no different. We got a look at WOLFENSTEIN II: THE NEW COLOSSUS, the standalone DISHONORED: DEATH OF THE OUTSIDER, THE EVIL WITHIN 2 and the PC-only title QUAKE CHAMPIONS, which is currently in beta and free-to-play for all PC gamers. We learned that Wolfenstein‘s B.J. Blazkowicz will be pulling double-duty and crossing over from the world of Wolfenstein as a playable character in the new Quake.
The real-time strategy series AGE OF EMPIRES is getting an update that includes 4K graphics, smarter AI and support for online-multiplayer, which will be in beta soon.
KILLING FLOOR 2 will be getting an expansion with new challenge modes, weapons, and terrifying carnival-themed enemies with the SUMMER SIDESHOW update.
Meanwhile, the insanely popular PlayerUnknown’s Battleground, which has been dominating PC gameplay and comes to the Xbox One soon, will be receiving a massive update including two new maps, mods and weather patterns.
Additionally, I was able to get hands on with a number of titles at E3 this week.
One of my favorite upcoming releases was the ambitious and wacky SUPER MARIO ODYSSEY, which was the clear highlight of Nintendo’s booth at E3. In the game, you play as Mario in an open-world, 3D setting that was similar to Super Mario 64. The exploring is endless, allowing you to climb on anything and everything, discover hidden secrets, and bump in to characters that will give you quests. The weirdest new addition to the game is your magical hat ‘Cappy’ that you can use to smack and even ‘mind-control’ other characters with. I have a feeling we will all be spending hours joining one of our favorite characters on this “odyssey.”
Another title I was able to play while at E3 was CRACKDOWN 3, which will be out on PC and Xbox One and One X this November If you haven’t played the Crackdown series yet, you get to run and shoot your way through a massive open-world cityscape as a ‘super’ cop. The next title in this series is bigger, badder and more outrageous, with more than twice as many maps as previous games. I was able to play the single-player mode and it didn’t disappoint, although I’ll need more hands-on time to really get a feel for the controls and gameplay. The game will also make use of the super-powerful new Xbox One X that will release this fall, utilizing its 4K, HDR and spatial audio capabilities to create a more detailed, immersive experience.
Lastly, I was able to get my hands dirty with Bethesda’s DOOM VFR, which brings one of last year’s biggest titles to Virtual Reality. While not a recreation of the entire campaign from the console version of Doom, it does encompass the insanity and non-stop frantic gameplay of its predecessor.
Already intense and claustrophobic, the game was made even more so with the VR headset on, and you travel using a teleport system where you use the trackpad to point and click to move. I thought that might take away from the feeling of running around at full-speed and killing demons from Hell, but once I adjusted, it became second nature.
The demo also didn’t have ALL the guns yet, so we only had access to the gatling gun, shotgun, assault rifle, plasma rifle and pistol, but I was reassured rockets would be added very soon. While not a port of the revamped Doom game that came out last year, the VFR experience was built from the ground up to make use of Virtual Reality capabilities. The Bethesda rep I spoke with said the full game will be about 4.5 hours of demon-killing madness.
That’ll do it for our E3 coverage this year. See you next summer, folks, and remember to keep it above 50!
Jack Traven | Contributing Writer