The landmark gaming expo is over for another year but what did we learn? After one of the biggest E3 shows in recent memory, here’s a handy round-up of the 15 most earth-shattering titles to make an appearance at this year's show.
1. The Last Guardian
Six years since it was last shown to the public, mysterious on-again, off-again title The Last Guardian made a triumphant reappearnce at Sony’s E3 conference. A mystical fairy tale adventure from teh creators of Ico and Shadow Of The Colossus, The Last Guardian has spent almost ten years in development hell but will finally be with us in 2016. Can it possibly live up to our expectations?
2. Shenmue 3
Another colossal mic drop from Sony’s fan-servicing presentation. The long-awaited, thought-never-to-be-seen-again open-world Shenmue series is returning, with a Kickstarter project that smashed its $2 million target within 10 hours of going live. It also set the Guinness World Record for the fastest crowd-funded project to reach $1 million – in just 102 minutes. At the time of writing the game has raised $3.5 million with 24 days to go. A franchise that routinely tops gamers' lists of favourite ever titles, there's enough appetite for another Shenmue to ensure a sizeable chunk of change is sitting in the developer's pockets before the funding period is up.
3. Star Wars: Battlefront
2015 is a massive year for Star Wars and it wouldn’t be the same without a new instalment of the Star Wars: Battlefront series – last seen back in 2009. Developer DICE, famed for its Battlefield series, showed the game for the first time at Star Wars Celebration and still managed to close EA’s E3 showing with a bang. 40-player online battles on iconic planets like Hoth, Tatooine and Endor, as well as survival modes against waves of enemies will more than keep us occupied until The Force Awakens arrives.
4. Final Fantasy VII Remake
A few months back, Square Enix managed to disappoint everybody by announcing yet another Final Fantasy VII remaster. This E3, though, we got the real deal: a fully fledged remake of one of the most beloved games of all time. Cloud, Sephiroth, Tifa and co will return in a fully updated, HD remake of the game, although not much else was revealed. But, to be honest, now that a new FF7 is incoming, what more needs to be said?
5. Halo 5: Guardians
Xbox One’s big game for Christmas, E3 saw an extended gameplay demo of Halo 5, showing off next-gen Halo in a big way. Master Chief's triumphant return looks fantastic, but retains much of what makes Halo one of the most distinctive shooters out there, keeping things colourful, fast-paced and theatrical. It also features Nathan Fillion as Gunnery Sergeant Edward Buck, earning serious bonus points.
6. Rise Of The Tomb Raider
Tomb Raider is another big reason to own an Xbox One this year and developer Crystal Dynamics has gone all-out to continue what it started (again) with 2013’s reboot of the franchise. The stage demo shown off at Microsoft’s press conference looked gorgeous, showing a brief glimpse of its expanded mechanics and the many new and interesting ways in which Lara can meet a sticky end.
7. Fallout 4
Lots and lots of Fallout 4 content was shown off at Bethesda’s press conference, with attendees taken back to the fifties-inspired post-apocalyptic landscape made famous by the franchise's previous instalments. We saw more of the Boston wasteland, the pre-war story and the sheer depth of detail that’s packed into every part of the hugely anticipated sequel. There’s was also a neat little iOS game released called Fallout Shelter, which gives you control of your own survivors' vault to manage and maintain. Fallout 4 will land in November this year.
8. Dishonored 2
Only a CGI trailer for the stealth-punk assassination sequel at this stage, but we could glean tit-bits from what was shown. It’s still the same Whale-oil-powered Victorian vibe, but this time with a much more futuristic neon, tropical (judging by the palm trees) look. Similar to the first game, a plague seems to have decimated the city’s population, and you can now play as a badass Emily Kaldwin - your young daughter-figure from the first game.
9. No Man’s Sky
Hello Games’ Sean Murray took to the stage for Sony’s conference to show off his universe exploration simulator, which is mind-boggling in both scope and ambition. No Man’s Sky is one of the most beautiful, ambitious and intriguing games ever conceived, but without a release date it could still be a while before we’re playing this one.
10. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Developer Naughty Dog delivered big with its demo of Nathan Drake’s latest artifact-hunting adventure. It channelled classic action-adventure movie mayhem with a reckless car chase through a bustling unknown town. Nathan and pal Sully are well and truly back in business, and with Naughty Dog saying this will be Drake’s last outing, here's hoping the franchise goes out on a high.
11. Gears Of War 4
In an unexpected shift for the Gears Of War series, Microsoft showed off a slow, very dark demo with two new characters exploring uncharted territory. It's a change of pace for the frantic, cover-based shooter but if Gears takes a more horror-focused direction with its storytelling than the usual round of bloody mayhem, it could prove an interesting turn for such an action-focused franchise.
12. Horizon: Zero Dawn
A brand new intellectual property from Guerrilla Games, Horizon: Zero Dawn looks very promising. Imagine a post-apocalyptic wasteland (think I Am Legend meets Enslaved: Odyssey To The West) that has been reclaimed by nature and then filled with towering mech-wildlife. It looked a lot like Capcom's Monster Hunter, a formula that has dominated the Eastern gaming market for a long time.
13. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
It’s been a tumultuous year for Konami and gaming legend Hideo Kojima, but it’s only a couple of months before Solid Snake gets another outing in The Phantom Pain, which will be the pair's final collaboration. With an unapologetically Kojima-esque trailer that went on for over 6 minutes, The Phantom Pain is a revenge story that relies on decades of backstory and character development to deliver what looks to be one of the most in-depth stealth experiences ever created.
14. Mass Effect: Andromeda
BioWare has been quiet on the Mass Effect front for quite some time, but the sci-fi RPG franchise's return received its first tease at this year’s E3. The trailer is brief, but it shows a range of different planets, all varied and alien in appearance, before an unnamed N7 captain warps to one of them before darting around in the – the moon buggy that makes its return from the first game. A tentative release date of Late 2016 suggests Andromeda is quite far on in development.
15. Dark Souls III
Having left the crumbling majesty of Dark Souls for the more frenetic, gothic charms of Bloodborne in 2015, FromSoftware announced a return to the Souls universe next year, with Dark Souls III. The brutally unforgiving franchise's third instalment will make its appearance in early 2016, so expect to die. A lot.