There are a lot of mixed feelings about this year’s E3 and what was shown, but there’s no denying that there were plenty of great games. We got the chance to roam the show floor, attend appointments, and get our hands on a number of new and upcoming games at the show. Instead of handing out generic awards this year, we decided to highlight what the games we liked most, as well as having a bit of fun with the categories. Here are PlayStation LifeStyle’s Best of E3 2018 awards.
To be eligible for this list, we had to have either gotten hands-on time with the game or seen an extended hands-off gameplay demo, except where the category specifies otherwise.
Best Game That Didn’t End Up Being Bloodborne 2
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (Read our preview)
FromSoftware partnered with Activision to take a bit of a different direction from the Souls series and Bloodborne. While rumors were frantically flying around that Bloodborne 2 was going to be at the show, From’s tease from last year turned out to be a brand new IP. Sekiro will still be a difficult game, but the death mechanics have now changed. This is not the Soulsborne style we’ve come to know. We’re excited to see this studio explore what they can do when not constrained by a franchise name on the box.
Best Unexpected Sequel
RAGE 2 (Read our preview)
RAGE 2 came out of nowhere. Leaked before E3, nobody thought it could be real. RAGE was a middling game that nobody was asking for a sequel to. Bethesda finally revealed the game fully, a bright and colorful take on the apocalypse developed by Avalanche and id Software. Color us intrigued, but it wasn’t until we got hands-on time with the game that we were fully convinced about this marriage between Avalanche, the open-world behemoth, and id Software, the studio that makes some of the most viscerally fun shooter games ever.
Best Respect for the Blade
Ghost of Tsushima (Read our preview)
Sucker Punch’s open-world interactive samurai film is unique in a number of ways, but I was most stricken by the way it respects the samurai sword as more than just another throwaway tool for digital murder. Everything that Ghost of Tsushima does is in interest of that blade. The tension of the intimate combat, the dynamic blood spatter physics, and the real wounds appearing on enemies all lend themselves to a focus on the sword. It’s amazing that Sucker Punch can make a sprawling open world with such a core focus on the steel in the scabbard on your hip
Best Zombie Game to Rise Again
Resident Evil 2 Remake (Read our preview)
We finally got our first look at Resident Evil 2 Remake this year, and it looks like far more than just a fresh coat of paint. They’ve completely rebuilt the game in the spirit of the original, but with intent that was missed due to limitations 20 years ago. This is purely Resident Evil 2 if they had built it today, including new areas, rooms, and puzzles, in addition to switching up the camera angles and a whole graphical overhaul. Who knew that a 20-year old game could make a run for the title of best horror game in 2019?
Best New Game Mode
Destiny 2: Forsaken Gambit (Read our preview)
There are few developers that can roll into E3 with not much more than a new mode and still steal the show. While Bungie was showing off some story content behind closed doors (RIP Cayde), we were really impressed with Gambit. The new PvE/PvP hybrid mode pits players in a frantic battle against waves of enemies and another team of players. Every moment of each match is full of risk and reward, and there’s something for players of every style to love about it. You may have thought that this year would be the year of battle royale, but Destiny 2: Forsaken’s unique Gambit mode proves that Bungie’s still got it.
Best Evolution of a Series
Dying Light 2 (Read our preview)
As much as I loved the first Dying Light, I wasn’t really sure I wanted a sequel. It only took a short gameplay demonstration to quickly change my mind. It helped that the presentation didn’t even really focus on zombies or infected at all. Techland showed off a lot more of the politics and economy of the world, narrative standoffs with human opponents. Those choices can change the entire landscape, creating new relationships and even altering howyou get around the environment. Add that there are now double the number of parkour moves, and you can begin to see that Techland learned a lot from the first game.
Best Overdue Sequel
Kingdom Hearts III (Read our preview)
It’s a game that’s been a long time coming, but that’s about par for the course with Square Enix’s Japanese developed games. 2018 has been the year that we finally got a release date for Kingdom Hearts III, and the game was playable at E3. This game is very, very real, and we’re closer to it now than we’ve ever been before. Square Enix knows that and beat us over the head with trailers in almost every press conference. I’m almost surprised the game didn’t show up at EA Play or the Bethesda E3 Showcase with how much they are pushing it this year! Regardless of being long overdue–or perhaps because of it–we’re really excited to finally get our hands on Kingdom Hearts III.
Best Fake Church Setup
The Last of Us Part II (Read our preview)
There really wasn’t another contender in this category. I mean, there aren’t a lot of fake churches that get set up at E3, and in past years, this category has had zero winners. We were just happy to actually get a nominee in this field this year. When we stepped into Sony’s press conference, we started dancing around because we knew we could finally post this winner. Oh, and I guess The Last of Us Part II looks pretty damn cool too, if you’re into that sort of thing. But that fake church!
E3 2018 “Game of Show” (Wink, Wink)
Trover Saves the Universe (Read our preview)
What am I supposed to do when Justin Roiland himself uses his video game character to speak directly to me as a journalist and reviewer, and asks me to give Trover Saves the Universe our Game of Show award? The E3 2018 demo was self-referential, completely aware that it was at E3 2018 and that there was some video game journalist playing the game. Trover, the game’s main character, then asked me to consider giving Trover Saves the Universe game of show. Well, here we are Trover. You’ve earned this spot, and all you had to do was ask nicely and hilariously.
E3 2018 Game of Show
Cyberpunk 2077 (Read our preview)
Is anyone really surprised that Cyberpunk 2077 took this spot? There were a lot of great games at E3 this year, and the battle would have been a tough one had CD Projekt RED decided to stay home, but instead they came out with cybernetic arms swinging. Cyberpunk 2077 looks like the kind of game that will not just define a generation, it will define an age. It will be talked about as a sheer and unsurpassed marvel in gaming, the same way Skyrim has been for so many years, and that’s just based on what I’ve seen in a 50 minute demo. That’s quite long for most E3 demos, but still barely managed to scratch the surface in showing what Cyberpunk 2077 is all about. The sheer depth and scope of this game is staggering. Though CD Projekt RED says otherwise, I’m convinced it will herald the arrival of a new generation of consoles at a significant turning point in the video games industry.
What were your Best of E3 2018 awards? Do you agree with our picks? Let us know in the comments below.