We saw well over 100 games throughout our time at E3 and whittling that down to just 8 was difficult. We had seven staff at the show and each of us chose one game and we collectively chose the final one, which so happens to be the last game on this list. Below you'll find all 8 and why we gave them the award.
A Plague Tale: Innocence
By Alex ParkerWhen I first sat down in the demo room, I was not sure what I was walking into. I took my seat and looked up to a menu screen full of rats, which is slightly off putting when you do not know which direction this is heading. The dev team began the game, and I was instantly sucked into the world of A Plague Tale: Innocence. The level design was detailed, intuitive, and not overtly complex. I also noticed how beautiful the color palate and lighting engine were in this world based on a grim storyline.
The core function of the gameplay is based around puzzles and a more toned-down approach to combat. Protecting your loved ones and distraction from the plague is the ultimate goal of the player; you just need to figure out how. The creators of the game are intensely passionate about their project and that is only a good sign. I am really looking forward to the release of A Plague Tale: Innocence as it has the potential to blow fans away with a perfect balance of gameplay, storyline, and beautiful graphics.
Black Future '88
By Alex Santa MariaSometimes, a game just clicks. A collection of aesthetic choices and gameplay mechanics reach out and grab you as if it was designed in your dreams as you sleep. Black Future ‘88 is that game for me.
From the default double shotguns to energy rifles and explosives, the game’s arsenal is varied and powerful. As you blow everything away, you’ll stare in awe at the visual effects, including crunchy pixels and wispy smoke trails. This side-scrolling synthwave-infused roguelike is filled with equal part hard-hitting guns and a pounding soundtrack that will keep you running against the game’s strict eighteen-minute time limit.
Not that you’ll hit that time limit in your first go around. Black Future lays on the difficulty. There are three characters to choose from initially, and new players will be learning the ropes for quite some time. Thankfully, developer/composer Don Bellenger was able to keep me alive long enough to explore just a bit of the game’s depth.
Rooms are handcrafted, but levels are procedural, much like Enter The Gungeon. This similarity extends to the combat flow, which relies heavily on a dodge that makes you invincible for a short time. You can even dash down for a three-point hero stance, and upgrades can turn that into an explosive attack.
Like the best synth songs, a run of Black Future is exciting, overwhelming, and over way too soon. I was only able to scratch the surface during my demo, but what I did experience was just plain rad. Black Future ‘88 kicked my ass in just the right way, and it was the best indie game at E3.
By Samuel GuglielmoDuring Sony's press conference we finally got a look at Remedy's new game. Control's trailer was weird, showing off an interesting environment and setting that I immediately knew I wanted to see more of.
Then I got to see more of it. Now I'm sold.
Taking place in a giant building only know as "The Oldest House," you'll play as Jesse Faden, who is trying to figure out what happened to the Bureau of Control. Upon entering you find people floating in the air, in a trance. Most people, at least. A mysterious force that is known as "Hiss" has begun to possess people, turning them against you and forcing you to battle them.
Here's one place where Control really shined. Jesse has a variety of supernatural powers available to her, allowing her to put up shields, throw objects into enemies, or even fly. The powers appeared to be effortless to use and were fantastic in motion. Not only this, but Jesse's gun was able to transform, taking the form of either a pistol or a shotgun depending on what she needed.
It's not just combat that made the game shine. The atmosphere and setting in Control were basically perfect. The Oldest House is weird, changing environments from one minute to the next simply by turning on a lamp. You can see objects that have powers in them, not too much unlike popular web series SCP. The developers told us the game is similar in design to a Metroidvania, and that as you unlock new powers you'll have new places to go.
Control was an impressive showing, and when I was finished seeing it I knew it needed some kind of award. So we're more than happy to name it one of the best of E3 2018.
By Andrew OttonCyberpunk 2077 is one of the most impressive looking games I've ever seen. Of course whether it is good or not remains to be seen once it's released, but nothing CD Projekt RED showed has me worried in the slightest. The 50 minutes of gameplay I saw displayed one of the best synergies of visual and gameplay design ever, all in an effort that certainly paid off in what I saw in creating an incredibly immersive experience.
CDPR have made a lot of promises on things like character creation, significant choices, a living open-world, tons of side activities, and a million options to make your playthrough wholly unique to you. Nothing I saw convinced me that any of those promises won't come true, and that is what has me so excited for Cyberpunk 2077.
Cyberpunk 2077 is looking to be one of the biggest, most consequential releases in recent years, which is saying something. If you want to learn a lot more about Cyberpunk 2077, check out this article.
Dying Light 2
By Rutledge DaugetteDying Light 2 looks to improve upon the first game in numerous ways, even adding some new features that enable a vast amount of player agency and worldbuilding by choice throughout the game. With a beautiful city that players will be able to explore, and some expanded parkour tricks that have been added to make that exploration even more fun, there's no place you can't reach within the game. What makes this game stand out, however, is how the choices you make will affect your game. Every choice has some impact upon the game world, and as you make your decisions, you'll see the city around you change with them. Dying Light 2 is a game that both veteran and Dying Light players should be excited to get their hands on.
Resident Evil 2
By Nick MailletAs a '90s kid, growing up involved a whole lot of PlayStation vs N64 arguments on the playground, but one title always seemed to lead to an agreement between Sony and Nintendo kids all over: Resident Evil 2. I'll never forget staying up all weekend with two of my friends, fueled by junk food and late '90s energy drinks, trying our hardest to brave the dark and cramped alley ways of Raccoon City as Leon Kennedy before we had to go to school the following Monday. Naturally, when I watched the reveal of the remake to one of my most cherished childhood memories at this year's PlaySation press briefing, I was bouncing out of my seat.
Needless to say, I had astronomically high expectations when walking up to Capcom's booth on the show floor this year. Within minutes of playing the demo I knew that developer Capcom had knocked it out of the park with this one. The lighting, music, sound design, and seemingly invincible zombies brought back those memories of a 10 year old me and my friends frantically trying to shoot a zombie cop off of Leon. For those wondering, yes it's much scarier than 4 and definitely not an action game like 6. Survival horror is back, and I can't wait to get lost in Raccoon City all over again.
By Samuel GuglielmoI've come to love VR and the way it builds up the atmosphere in nearly every game. It has this amazing ability to take something simple and amplify it into something genuinely fantastic. So what happens when you already have something fantastic? Transference is what happens.
A psychological horror game, you play as, well ... yourself. You're trapped in the mind of a professor that has dumped the consciousness of himself and his family into a computer in an effort to make them live forever. Naturally, this has gone horribly wrong.
The section I played took place in a twisted apartment building. Thanks to some fantastic music and visual effects, I didn't doubt that I was in a broken memory segment for half a moment. Items phased in and out of existence, sections of the world were corrupt and missing, and there's a weird second world hidden inside of the first one.
Using this mechanic, you have to travel between the two worlds, bringing items with you and adjusting things so you can remove the corruption and hopefully figure out what happened. Of course, there's a monster. A horrible glitchy monster that teleports in short erratic jumps. This monster killed me, ending my demo and ensuring I would fall in love with Transference.
Spider-ManBy Alex Santa Maria
Growing up as a fan of Marvel comics, I didn’t have blockbuster movies or endless merchandise of my favorite heroes at my disposal. The most well-known characters were in films that seemed embarrassed of their roots. However, gaming was ahead of the curve. The string of Activision character action games presented an authentic Marvel Universe that matched the comics and let me play out intense battles with my favorite characters. From Web of Shadows to Ultimate Alliance, no character got more love than our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
It’s been a while since those times, and gaming has changed quite a bit. The team behind Infamous are picking up where Beenox left off, and they're making my entire childhood obsolete. Insomniac’s Spider-Man made me nervous last year with its seemingly QTE-heavy boss sequences, but getting my hands on the near-final product has really sold me on the next step for Spidey.
Never before have I been able to string web-based attacks with agile punches and kicks so elegantly. Not to mention the effortless web-swinging that can transition immediately into combat if you so desire. All the moves I remember are there, including a few seemingly ripped right from Marvel vs. Capcom. The developers have simply filled in the in-between, leading to a flowing combat that feels smoother than Arkham Asylum.
Add in a classic Sinister Six villains and the non-Lego gaming introduction of Mr. Negative, and you have a game that will satisfy Spider-Man veterans and fans of Homecoming alike. This could be the best virtual showing for the webhead yet, and it was certainly one of the best games I played at E3.