Not All That Glitters is Gold (But Sometimes It Is)
It’s been a pretty wild week for gamers as the industry’s biggest event brought developers from all over the world to dazzle us with exciting surprises and shiny new trailers to hype us up for the coming holiday season and beyond. Some announcements were more effective than others, and trailers are often the heart of those announcements. So today we’re gonna round up the best of the best trailers, as well as their not-as-best, and sometimes downright painful counterparts. Mother always told me to open criticism with compliments before moving into the negatives, so let’s start off with the trailers that did their job right. In no particular order, here are the best and worst trailers from E3 this year!
The Best Trailers of E3
Let’s get this inevitability out of the way now. Obviously, everyone and their grandma is looking forward to CD Projekt Red’s follow up to The Witcher 3, a game that people have not slowed down heaping praise onto since it’s release in 2015. The cinematic trailer literally crashed the end of Microsoft’s conference, cutting off Phil Spencer mid-sentence to reveal the world of Cyberpunk 2077 in the game’s first showing since it was announced back in 2012. Unfortunately, it doesn’t show any hard gameplay, but it definitely got the world of gaming hyped to dive into a gorgeous and unforgiving future. Since the trailer dropped, a ton of gameplay details have been pouring out of E3, so we’re not totally clueless as to what we’ll actually be doing in the game.
The Last of Us: Part II
Sony kicked off their conference this year in a room constructed solely for the purpose of a single trailer, and as the lights dimmed, the trailer faded in to a virtual version of the exact room that everyone was sitting in. The trailer featured one of gaming’s most intimate kisses ever thanks to Naughty Dog’s impeccable animation and the team’s notorious attention to detail, before launching into a brutally violent gameplay segment in which Ellie tears a group of religious zealots apart, literally. It does a fantastic job of encapsulating everything great about the first game like the heavy focus on emotional connections between characters, and the genuinely desperate horror of survival in a world gone past the edge. Neil Druckmann has gone on record saying that the player is intended to feel “repulsed by some of the violence they are committing themselves,” and it looks like the renowned developer has already accomplished that with flying colors (mostly red).
Look, I know there are a ton of other amazing trailers that I could have put in this slot. Beyond Good & Evil 2, Resident Evil 2 Remake, Gears 5 and Skyrim: Very Special Edition were my nominees here, and speaking personally, I am much more likely to buy any of those games than I am this one, as I prefer single player adventures to fighting games, but this is definitely the trailer I’ve watched the most out of everything at E3. The announcement was so unexpected and surprising, and the animation style in it is absolutely gorgeous. Plus, it’s fun to see all of these iconic anime characters duking it out in what promises to be Shonen Jump’s Super Smash Bros. The irreverant manga publication is the birthplace and home of the vast majority of anime’s most beloved franchises, and seeing as only a handful of characters have been announced for the fighting game, we’re sure to see a ton of exciting additions to the roster between now and the game’s launch. Perhaps Devilman? Vash the Stampede? One Punch Man?