After a typically excruciating buildup, E3 is soon to be over. As per usual, there’s been more reveals and announcements than it’s possible to keep up with so we have put together our own personal top 3 of the very best from 2018’s biggest gaming event.
For good reason, big franchises always dominate the column inches and comment sections at this most wonderful time of the year and they came good once again. We’re always keen to see who’s pushing things forward from a technical and gameplay perspective so here’s what caused us so to sit up and listen in LA this week.
The Elder Scrolls: Blades
Mobile gaming is particularly close to our hearts and we’re always keen to see who is raising the bar. After E3, you’d have to say that it’s Bethesda. Having raised the blood pressure of all in attendance at their E3 press conference with an extensive look at Fallout 76, a revolutionary step for that franchise, Todd Howard (Game Director) risked all-out frenzy with a sneak peak of The Elder Scrolls: Blades. It is a standalone game for iPhone, iPad & Android with astounding visuals and several game modes. The game’s detail, vision, scale and performance mark it out as a truly groundbreaking project. Watch the preview and see which features got people most audibly excited here.
Due out in Fall of this year, Blades is the game that we’ll be watching most closely going forward but Bethesda deserves recognition on several other fronts. Staying in Tamriel, the first images associated with The Elder Scrolls VI gave fans something to pore over while they wait for more details. Fallout 76, mentioned above, brings a new MMO element to the legendary single-player franchise. Finally, Howard announced Starfield – an entirely new original single-player RPG franchise set in space. It really was an exceptional press conference.
Both Microsoft and EA made sure to make some headlines by announcing their intentions to build game-streaming services which ultimately make console-standard games available to play on smartphones and other devices. Though neither company dwelled for long on the subject, the development of console-quality streaming to any device will have as big an impact on gaming as anything we have yet seen and its implications will be further reaching than any of the individual games or even game portfolios showcased in 2018.
Fortnite comes to Nintendo Switch
A couple of days ahead of Nintendo’s press conference, news inevitably leaked that Epic Games’ runaway success was to drop on the Nintendo eShop during E3. The game is already available for download and bringing Fortnite to the world’s hottest console could well grow Fortnite’s 125 million player count to record levels. It has to be said that initial excitement has been somewhat dampened by Sony’s decision to block access on the Switch to all accounts created on PlayStation, thereby preventing cross-play and progression, but fans will hope that their public outcry is enough to change the minds of PlayStation’s top brass. That said, Sony’s power play doesn’t seem to have dissuaded many players from getting involved – Nintendo racked up 2 million downloads in the 24 hours that followed the announcement. The Switch’s version of Fortnite joins Xbox, PC and iOS versions in cross-platform compatibility and, while the sting may have been taken out of the announcement by leaks and brand warfare, Fortnite’s not-so-surprising arrival on the Switch remains a massive deal for Epic, Nintendo and all of their respective fans.
If E3 2018 had one pervading theme, it was battle royale. With the absence of any important hardware announcements, several massive games took the opportunity to announce their arrival on the battle royale bandwagon and the king of the genre – Fortnite – made sure to remind all rivals of its position at the top of the pecking order. Bethesda edges our pick for most exciting publisher of the conference and the prospect of widespread cloud streaming for games is definitely something to keep an eye on.