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June 16, 2017

Best games of E3 2017: Xbox One, PS4 and Switch games that stole the show

by John_A

Giant videogames show E3 2017 is well underway and we’ve already got our hands on several amazing titles coming up later this year or beyond.

As well as a brand new console, the Xbox One X, the show has potentially yielded the best Call of Duty game in many years, an amazing new outing for Spider-Man and, of course, Super Mario Odyssey – playable for the first time.

So here’s our round-up of the best games we’ve played or seen at the show so far. We’ll also be updating this list as we get time with additional blockbusters.

  • E3 2017: All the games and announcements that matter

Call of Duty: WWII

  • Format(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • Release date: 3 November 2017

Activision

The latest Call of Duty (affectionately known as COD: WW2) returns to its second World War roots to great effect.

Gone is the madcap, sci-fi action of the last few games in the franchise and in comes a more tangible, gritty tale of brotherhood on the battlefields.

We got to play a couple of multiplayer modes at the show, with team deathmatch and the all-new War Mode on offer. The latter was especially interesting because it had different objectives to meet in an elongated round, with two teams of five taking turns to play as the axis and allies.

There are multiple fighter classes to choose from and each was great for a particular strategy.

The game looks stunning, so we have great hopes that series is to return to its very best.

Strange Brigade

  • Format(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • Release date: “Coming soon”
  • Strange Brigade gameplay preview: Undead onslaught is oodles of fun

Rebellion

Sniper Elite developer and publisher Rebellion had many a tongue wagging during the show thanks to its oh-so British co-op action game Strange Brigade.

It draws on the derring do tales of matinee programmes of the 40s and 50s, with mummies and the undead facing a bunch of odd, powerful adventures and the end result is something new and refreshing.

The game is more action-based and faster paced than the Sniper Elite series, but is still played in third-person. Hordes of enemies stream towards the players, whether there be two to three of them. It can also be played solo and is subsequently tweaked to provide a challenge but still beatable.

We particularly like the stiff upper-lipped narrator who, we were told, might even give you some wrong directions and information at times.

Far Cry 5

  • Format(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • Release date: 27 February 2018
  • Far Cry 5 gameplay preview: A politically charged, unflinchingly brutal return to form
  • Far Cry 5: Release date, trailer, screens and everything you need to know

Ubisoft

The new Far Cry outing has the potential of being teh most brutal yet. It also touches on a sensitive and current subject matter, with the villain this time around being a cult and militia leader in the north west of America.

He has enslaved many of the populace of Hope County and it is your job as a local deputy sheriff to bring him and his family to justice and restore the local towns to their former safe havens.

We played a great level, even fished and flew an aircraft in the game. A much wider variety of vehicles are drivable this time around and the Guns for Hire feature, where you can employ the services of another character, even a dog named Boomer, to help you get through missions.

Spider-Man

  • Format(s): PS4
  • Release date: 2018

Sony

The game given the biggest fanfare at Sony’s E3 2017 press conference wasn’t The Last of Us 2 but Spider-Man.

Insomniac’s new open world superhero adventure certainly looks the part, having been shown in 4K and with HDR.

However, it should be its gameplay that impresses most. It very much seems to be a Batman Arkham game in brighter coloured tights, and there’s no harm in that.

Spidey can swing through a Manhatten four or five times the size of Sunset City – as in Sunset Overdrive, Insomniac’s last open world title. He can also use different gadgets throughout the game to take down bad guys in ever more spectacular ways.

FIFA 18

  • Format(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • Release date: 29 September 2017
  • FIFA 18: Release date, what’s new and everything you need to know

EA

We actually spent several hours with an early build of FIFA 18 prior to E3, but the game had improved a bit more in time for the show.

It is excellent this year, with astonishing graphical fidelity and the attention to detail to get players and stadiums right is great. They really do look almost photo realistic this time around.

The animation engine has also been dramatically improved, which doesn’t just make the game look better, but play better too. Animations are now rendered on a frame by frame basis, so the response time between you moving the thumbstick and the player reacting is significantly enhanced.

Oh, and there are wondergoals. We’ve already scored (and have been victims of) some proper crackers.

Destiny 2

  • Format(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • Release date: 6 September 2017 (PS4 and Xbox One), PC version to follow
  • Destiny 2 preview: Hands-on with PS4 and PC campaign, strike and PVP modes
  • Destiny 2: Release date, screens, formats and everything you need to know

Activision

As with FIFA, we played Destiny 2 extensively ahead of the show, but just seeing the buzz it generated amongst the public on the show floor was incredible.

The four versus four PVP mode Countdown was available to play and its every bit as good as we’d remembered.

In Countdown your team alternates between defending or attacking two specific points on the map. During the defence round, you have to prevent your rivals from successfully placing charges on the points, defusing them if necessary. And then it’s vice versa.

It quick-paced and dropping the action to four players on each side makes it easier for newcomers and mid-level players to get to grips with it quickly.

Super Mario Odyssey

  • Format(s): Switch
  • Release date: 27 October 2017
  • Super Mario Odyssey gameplay preview: Aces and oddities

Nintendo

Possibly the game we were most itching to see at this year’s E3, Super Mario Odyssey was playable on the Nintendo stand – something apparent by the enormous queue that snaked around it.

Fun and funky in equal measure, the game had several worlds you could visit in the demo. It was also playable using motion controls, with each Joy-Con of the Nintendo Switch performing different actions depending on how you swung them.

It takes a bit of getting used to, but no more so than Super Mario Galaxy did on the Wii. You can also play the game with a conventional Pro Controller or using the Joy-Cons in their grip.

As for the gameplay, it’s great, bonkers and everything we could have hoped for in a Mario game for a new platform.

Skull & Bones

  • Format(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • Release date: “Fall” 2018

Ubisoft

It’s early days for Skull & Bones as it’s not expected until next autumn, but we had a couple of frenzied five-versus-five PVP battles on a pre-alpha build and it has a lot of promise.

The competitive online game was certainly easy to pick up for us, being big fans of Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag. The ship sailing and combat mechanics are identical to the seabound sections of that game.

We, and four other players on our team, had to destroy merchant ships, pick up their loot and then escape the hunter ships and choppy waters. The other team had to do the same and the end result is some excellent, frenzied firefights.

You could choose one of three different classes of ship, which complement each other when you get a good balance amongst the team. We chose the Enforcer, which has the best firepower but is by far the slowest to turn and manoeuvre.

We’re really looking forward to playing more of this one next year. 

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