The Biggest PC Games Of E3 2018
Created by GameSpot Staff on
PC has always been a fantastic platform for gaming. Thanks to the added horsepower, people can experience the latest games running at their absolute best. With E3 2018 on the horizon, there are a ton of exciting new PC games that'll be showcased. We're already in the thick of the current generation of games, so the focus at this year's show is likely going to be on gameplay and trailers for many of the games we already know are releasing this holiday, as well as a slate of new and unannounced games.
Here, in alphabetical order, are some of the biggest PC games we're pretty sure are going to be at E3 in some form or another. Hopefully most of them are playable, but even if some only show up as a trailer, it's another chance to get a feel for what lies ahead. Many of these titles have been announced, but others are titles we're guessing based on the list of companies on the official E3 homepage.
The first potential look we'll get at most of these games will be during the press conferences before E3 even begins. To make sure you're up to date with the times as well as the location for our E3 livestreams, we have a hub rounding up all of that info as well.
The following games are only a potential sampling of all the exciting titles that will come out of E3, and be sure to check out our editor's picks for the games we're most anticipating. But in the meantime, what games do you hope to learn more about at the show? Let us know in the comments below!
Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown
Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown is the latest in Namco Bandai’s arcade jet-fighting franchise, and as the first numbered series entry in over a decade, it marks a return to the series’ roots in military and political melodrama. The lead writer from beloved entries Ace Combat 4 and 5, Sunao Katabuchi, is back for Skies of Liberation, which is a very good sign.
Ace Combat 7 was first revealed at PlayStation Experience in 2015, and we’ve seen a little bit about its story, had a brief hands-on with its campaign demo, and heard a lot about its VR mode. It’s a beautiful-looking game, with a lot of new technological work going into its clouds. But after a delay last year, we just want to know when it’s coming out. Hopefully, Bandai Namco will tell us during E3 2018.
BioWare is one of the most beloved developers in the industry. It's best known for single-player RPGs, but with Anthem, it appears to be trying its hand at crafting a competitor to Destiny. That's an intriguing prospect in its own right, although at this point BioWare and EA have shared very little about what we can actually expect.
Destiny appears to be the best comparison based on what we know, which is that you're playing in a shared world as a "freelancer" wearing an exosuit. One thing BioWare has offered reassurances about is that multiplayer is optional. It promises "you can choose to play through the story with only your friends, or even on your own." Games have often struggled with making the story in a multiplayer game feel like you are truly the central character, but BioWare is "taking this problem head-on and structuring the entire game design to provide a specific solution for this."
Again, that's extremely vague, but BioWare is at least saying the right things. EA Play should provide us with a much better sense of how the studio is blending open-world action and third-person shooter gameplay, as well as whether it can avoid the pratfalls that have held Destiny back. Anthem is due out early in 2019.
Ashen is an open-world survival game that pits players against a hostile environment. Set in a world with no sun, Ashen puts you in the role of a wanderer in search of a place to call home. Along the way, you'll encounter other players who are also trying to make a living. In addition to a combat system inspired by Dark Souls, Ashen features unique multiplayer where the characters you encounter are other players with their own agendas.
Ashen was first announced back at E3 2015 and was even shown off at E3 2017. As one of the few exclusives in Microsoft's roster, we're hoping to see more of the game at E3, as well as a firm release date.
The Avengers Project
We don't know much about the upcoming Avengers Project, but there are plenty of reasons to be excited about this mysterious collaboration between Marvel and publisher Square Enix. With a terrific-looking Spider-Man game coming up soon and back-to-back blockbuster entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, anything even tangentially related to the Avengers sounds like a sure bet.
And Crystal Dynamics in particular has been earned plenty of good will. After the very good Tomb Raider, then the even better Rise of the Tomb Raider, it's exciting to imagine what might come about from the combination of Crystal Dynamics' development cachet and the Avengers' effortless mix of humor and blockbuster action.
The website for the Avengers Project says it will have a "completely original story," but it'd be great if there was some kind of crossover with the movies, especially in this post-Infinity War world. Maybe the game could offer a glimpse into stories that'd be too far-reaching for a three-hour movie to tackle.
We now have a ton of information around the next Battlefield game set in WWII. Although we haven’t been able to play yet in order to confirm what was shown in the first reveal trailer, we have an extensive breakdown of what we know so far. Battlefield V introduces a large number of new mechanics that drive squads together and get them playing objectives. This includes the idea of ammo scarcity, the ability to build and fortify objectives, the ability to tow weapons with vehicles, and a new squad commander radio in order to call in powerful attacks. The campaign will focus on more personal stories from WWII, and some locations already shown are the mountains of Norway, French Countryside, and North Africa. The game will also have a co-op campaign with randomly generated elements called Combined Arms.
Battlefield V will launch for everyone on October 19 and will not have a premium pass. New content is planned to roll out on a regular schedule through the Tides of War live service starting in November. Players will be able to participate in timed events and challenges to unlock a large variety of customization for their soldiers not seen in previous Battlefield games, including individual items of clothing. We should get our first hands-on at E3.
Beyond Good and Evil 2
Beyond Good and Evil 2 is the long-awaited successor to the 2003 original by acclaimed developer Michel Ancel. Revealed at Ubisoft's E3 2017 press conference, the game was long believed to never come out after having been stuck in development for since as early as 2007. The game takes place several generations prior to the events of the first game. You play as a space pirate of who starts the game at the bottom of the world's social ladder.
Unlike the original, Beyond Good and Evil 2 plays more as a traditional RPG where you complete activities and increase your stats. As you progress, you assemble a crew, explore various planets, and create your own society of like-minded pirates. The game also features multiplayer elements, though not much has been revealed about how it'll work.
Unlike recent games in its catalog, Ubisoft has been focused on involving people in Beyond Good and Evil 2's development via the Space Monkey Program, a community forum where people can contribute ideas and offer feedback to developers. While Beyond Good and Evil 2 only entered active development only just before its reveal at E3 2017, we're hoping that Ancel will offer another look at how the game is shaping up at this year's big show.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
Renowned Castlevania developer Koji Igarashi is almost ready to launch his first project after striking out from Konami, and if you're familiar with his past, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. This side-scrolling action game is set in an anime-tinged gothic world built on top of a sprawling map, with plenty of puzzles, boss battles, and upgrades to uncover.
Originally pitched on Kickstarter back in 2015 (a campaign that was fully funded in a single day), Bloodstained is currently set to launch on Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and PC sometime in 2018. Igarashi and his co-developers from Inti Creates might as well take advantage of E3 to keep spreading the word, but a recent surprise announcement has already captured the attention of fans of old-school side-scrollers. A few weeks before E3, an original 8-bit Castlevania-esque game was given to backers and put up on most digital storefronts for about $10.
Anyone interested in Bloodstained's ongoing development can follow the latest announcements over at the game's Kickstarter page. Be sure to keep an eye on the date next to the posts! Igarashi and co pulled a fast one when they announced that Bloodstained would passively mine digital currencies. Thankfully, this one was just an April fool's joke.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
As part of the Black Ops 4's big announcement event in May, we learned that this year's entry in the juggernaut shooter series does not have a traditional campaign. In lieu of that, the game will offer an assortment of solo missions that revolve around each of the game's Specialist characters. Activision says these missions--which are set between Black Ops 2 and 3--will deliver the franchise's iconic set-piece moments, while also diving into some backstory.
In another first for the series, Black Ops 4 will offer a Battle Royale-type mode called Blackout where players will fight to the death to become the last person or squad standing. We don't know all the details yet, but Activision is promising to do battle royale "the Black Ops way," and we're likely to hear more about that soon. Traditional head-to-head multiplayer is also back, along with an all-new Zombies experience. Developer Treyarch created the fan-favourite mode, and this year it looks bigger and better than ever with three distinct maps offering experiences that pull from wildly different things like the ill-fated Titanic and Roman battle arenas. Black Ops 4 launches on October 12 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC (through Battle.net).Crackdown 3
Crackdown 3 has been in development for at least four years; we first heard about it back in 2014 after Microsoft used it to demonstrate its cloud-based server technology, which would allow for environmental destruction on a large scale. The sight of giant buildings crashing down within the context of Crackdown's open world was an exciting prospect, but the game has largely gone dark in recent years.
After another delay, Crackdown 3 is currently slated for release in 2018. As such, it's fair to expect to see a sizable portion of it during Microsoft's E3 presentation. The company has been criticized in recent years for lacking exciting exclusives. An open-world game with impressive destruction and the same delightful blend of superhero powers and action would be a terrific showcase for Xbox One.
Yes, the Dark Souls comparison for any game that vaguely resembles the series might be a little tired, but Code Vein is most certainly in the vein of the iconic, brutal third-person action-RPG games. From early gameplay footage it seems that Bandai Namco (which also publishes the Souls franchise) is using the same foundation beat for beat in Code Vein, and we see that as a good thing. Terrifying beasts that deal heavy damage occupy the open world, but at least you’ll have a set of supernatural abilities in addition to hulking swords and spears. A key difference here is the anime-inspired art style for character designs and post-apocalyptic setting with a vampiric theme that offers its own distinct flavor.
Code Vein is set to release sometime in 2018, and we expect Bandai Namco to feature the game at E3 this year. Bandai Namco has been trickling out new screenshots and teasing story elements throughout the year, so we have our fingers crossed for a release date announcement.
It seems like CD Projekt Red has been working on this game forever. First announced in 2012, Cyberpunk 2077 is the developer's next major game after The Witcher 3--which means it has some big shoes to fill. It, too, is a massive open-world RPG, but this one is set in the future, just like Cyberpunk 2020, the tabletop game it's based on. The game takes place in Night City, California, a fictional metropolis between San Francisco and Los Angeles.
The developer has been fairly tight-lipped about Cyberpunk 2077 since the initial announcement, but we do know it's aiming to be even bigger in scope than The Witcher 3 and will support some kind of multiplayer component. But CD Projekt Red has been clear that fans of Witcher-style solo campaigns don't need to worry--it will still feature a meaty single-player experience. CD Projekt Red is confirmed as an E3 2018 attendee, so we hope to learn more soon.
Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age
Will the eleventh core entry in the Dragon Quest saga finally be the one to break through to mainstream western success? The last major DQ game was back in 2010--Sentinels of the Starry Skies on the Nintendo DS--and Nintendo's 3DS handhelds have gotten reissues of the earlier entries in the series since. But outside of the offshoot Dragon Quest Heroes games, this'll be the first entry on home consoles since the PS2 era and the first time the series will be available on PC (in the West) ever.
The alliterative title illustrates Dragon Quest's playful nature, and the colorful enemies and turn-based combat are mainstays of the series. But longtime fans know that Dragon Quest's charm comes from its endearing stories and puns that rival Monster Hunter's loquacious wordplay. And the possibility of yet another great game on Switch makes the wait for DQ11 all the more difficult.
The Division 2
2016's The Division got off to a hot start, but it quickly fell off the map due to lingering issues and other problems that pushed players to different games. To its credit, Ubisoft kept updating The Division to make it better, releasing more content to keep existing players pleased. Many would agree that the game eventually got to a better place. But for many others, that ship had sailed. With The Division 2, which is in the works at the same developer--Massive Entertainment--fans will be hoping for a better-realised, more fully fleshed out multiplayer shooter experience. The first game did many things well, from its intuitive co-op and matchmaking, to its tense and thrilling Dark Zone. It was set in a post-disaster Manhattan and offered a faithfully recreated version of the iconic city. We don't know yet if The Division 2 will also be set in Manhattan or what other advancements it may make, but it's definitely one of our most anticipated games.
Just Cause 4
Just Cause 4 has yet to be revealed, but its name did show up in a recent Walmart leak. The same was true of Rage 2, which has already proven to be real and lends some credence to the possibility that Just Cause 4 exists. With a movie happening (with Aquaman/Khal Drogo himself, Jason Momoa, set to star), it's not hard to imagine there being plans for a game to go along with it.
Series developer Avalanche Studios has been fairly quiet since the release of its big 2015 open-world games, Just Cause 3 and Mad Max. Just where it could go with a potential Just Cause 4 is unclear, but we do know multiplayer mods for the last two entries have proven popular, and that multiplayer is something Avalanche has discussed. With GTA Online proving to be such a success for Rockstar, some kind of way to play Just Cause with friends would make for an exciting reveal.
Square Enix caught many people off-guard with the surprise announcement of Left Alive at Tokyo Game Show 2017, and while details remain scarce, an eye-catching trailer and list of notable developers was all it took to grab our attention.
Both the teaser trailer and gameplay trailer released at the show set the stage for a sci-fi epic with war as a central theme. With Metal Gear artist Yoji Shinkawa on board, it's no surprise that Left Alive bears some resemblance to Hideo Kojima's iconic stealth series. But don't confuse it for a spiritual successor, as the brief glimpse of gameplay we've seen so far is solely focused on gunplay, and there's another series known for examining the realities of war that's confirmed to be the basis for Left Alive's setting.
According to producer Shinji Hashimoto, a longtime Square Enix employee with a long list of beloved games under his belt, Left Alive is connected to Square Enix's Front Mission series. The typical grid-based mechanics are out, obviously, but the series' iconic Wanzer mechs are back. Chances are you will eventually get to pilot one (we hope) but in an interesting twist, we know for sure that at some point in the game you will have to face towering mechs as a soldier on the ground. The odds aren't in your favor, but this is part of the appeal thus far: What will it take to come out on top? Hopefully, Square Enix intends to tell us at E3 2018.
Mega Man 11
For several years, it seemed Capcom wouldn't be releasing any more new Mega Man games. Since the character creator Keiji Inafune's departure from Capcom, little had been announced for the fan-favorite blue bomber. However, Capcom has since focused more on supporting Mega Man, having since released several collections of the character's most iconic games on modern platforms. This ultimately paved way for the upcoming Mega Man 11, which was announced late last year to commemorate the character's 30th anniversary.
Unlike past games, Mega Man 11 features 3D polygonal characters and environments. Aside from the new visual style, the game seems to play like classic games in the series. Since its reveal trailer, we've heard little about Mega Man 11. However, if there's any time that Capcom should talk about the game, it's E3. After all, the game is scheduled to release later this year, so we're hoping to that Capcom goes into more detail about the blue bomber's latest adventure.
Metro Exodus continues the legacy of the post-apocalyptic first-person shooter series from Ukrainian developer 4A Games. What makes Metro special is its foreboding atmosphere; the underground metro tunnels are home to the human race as the surface is far too hostile and radiated, and the setting truly evokes a sense of vulnerability and desperation. Exodus appears to be continuing this tradition by picking up two years after the events of Last Light’s "good" ending. However, it seems as though series protagonist Artyom is spending much more time on the surface as he flees the Metro system alongside fellow rangers to head eastward and start a new life.
But it wouldn’t be Metro without irradiated beasts roaming the surface, in and around the city streets that once harbored human life. The challenge has always been surviving radiation by scavenging for gas masks and conserving your limited ammo, all while managing the threat of the deformed creatures.
Although it was recently announced that Metro Exodus' launch was delayed to early 2019, publisher Deep Silver is going to be present at E3 2018, so we expect to see a bit more of the game at the show. Exodus was first revealed during Microsoft’s Xbox press conference at E3 2017 and will be also launching for PC.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
The 2015 game Ori and the Blind Forest is like what you'd get if you mixed a Pixar movie with Super Metroid. It's a drop-dead gorgeous game that's clearly inspired by the sprawling side-scrollers of the '90s. It has modern game features like an ability tree and an orchestral score, but it maintains an "old-school hard" level of challenge.
In a teaser trailer that debuted at E3 2017, we got our first glimpse of the sequel, Ori and the Will of the Wisps. It looks more or less like the original, and it still stars Ori, the glowing guardian of the forest. We also get a look at what seem to be bosses that are dozens of times bigger than the diminutive hero.
The teaser closes with a shot of a sad owl looking at the statues or bodies of two larger owls. While it's not stated outright, this seems to be a child of Kuro, the villain of the first game. As the owl mourns, Ori comes in and puts an arm around its shoulder. That's all we know so far about this sequel, but we will probably learn more at E3 2018.
Maybe it's a coincidence, or maybe it's impressive damage control on Bethesda's part, but the recent reveal of Rage 2 and the release of two trailers came hot on the heels of the unusual leak from Walmart just weeks prior to E3.
So what has Bethesda shown thus far? A lot, surprisingly. The first trailer didn't feature any gameplay, but set the stage for Rage 2's new tone with a fun track by rocker Andrew W.K. and a lot of neon-tinted actors in punk-ish, post-apocalyptic armor rocking out. The gameplay trailer was obviously more revealing and gave us a glimpse into a dreary yet-oddly enticing wasteland. Compared to the original Rage, the sequel doesn't seem to take itself too seriously, and will take advantage of that fact by giving you access to outlandish vehicles and weapons with which to battle twisted mutants and other deranged survivors.
All of this is set to take place in an open world. The gameplay seen thus far seems reminiscent of Destiny or Borderlands' first-person action, but with Avalanche Studios behind the wheel it's safe to say that Rage 2 will have a feel all its own. For a more reasonable example of what the team may do with the world, we can look to two of its previous projects: Just Cause 3 and Mad Max. It's also been confirmed that id Software (Doom, Rage, Quake Champions) will co-develop Rage 2, hopefully to keep an eye on the shooting mechanics. We should find out a lot more during Bethesda's E3 press conference on June 10.
Skull & Bones
Inspired by the best part of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag--the sailing--Skull & Bones is a standalone adventure on the high seas. While there will be a multiplayer treasure-hunting component, and you'll also be able to challenge other pirates in their customized galleys, S&B will include a single-player campaign if you'd prefer to go it alone.
Ubisoft has revealed very few gameplay details so far, and there's little chance that the game will even be released this year. But for anyone who might've gotten a taste for piracy in Sea of Thieves (or who really miss AC4), there are going to be a lot more looting adventures to learn about during E3.
Resident Evil 2 Remake
Resident Evil 2 Remake was confirmed in 2015, a year after a fan-made version was first shown off (Capcom even asked for feedback on the fan-made remake). The team behind the Resident Evil HD Remaster was confirmed to be tackling 2, but the last we heard from them was in April 2016, when producer Yoshiaki Hirabayashi discussed the impact of Resident Evil 6 feedback on the remake project.
Two years later and the project remains veiled in secrecy. Heck, we still don't know if the Resident Evil 2 Remake will retain the original's camera angles or adopt the first-person perspective from Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. However, it's likely that we'll hear more about the game at this year's E3. After all, 2018 marks Resident Evil 2's 20th anniversary, which should be ample reason for the remake to finally release. We're crossing our fingers for a release date at least.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Shadow of the Tomb Raider is the third entry in the Tomb Raider reboot series. Square Enix officially revealed the game was in development March 2018, though it was technically leaked last year when a Square Enix employee was spotted in a subway train working on a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation with the game's name. While the game will be developed primarily by Eidos Montreal, it's worth noting that original reboot developer Crystal Dynamics will provide additional development on the project.
You once again play as Lara Croft, who is on an expedition to Latin America in search of a Mayan relic. However, Trinity, a paramilitary organization who tried to hunt down Lara in the previous game, is also seeking the relic for its own gain. During the expedition, Lara sets off a Mayan apocalypse, which throws her down a journey to save the world.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider sports a few key additions to the series formula, which includes revamped swimming controls for underwater exploration as well as more sophisticated stealth and AI systems. The game is scheduled to release on September 14, but we're hoping Square Enix intends to offer more details about the game at this year's E3.
During the same Sony press conference Final Fantasy VII Remake was announced, it was revealed that Shenmue III was in the works. Revered Sega developer Yu Suzuki would finally get the chance to close out the trilogy he planned decades ago. Sega had given Suzuki the greenlight; he just had to get the game funded independently. The first Shenmue was originally conceived for the Sega Saturn, but the series would ultimately debut on Sega's next console, the Dreamcast, followed by a sequel which was also ported to the original Xbox. In other words, it's been a long time since Shenmue II left fans hanging; 17 years, so far.
In the three years since the initiative was announced, Shenmue was funded in part by a controversial Kickstarter campaign and was picked up by publisher Deep Silver. Both Sony and Sega continue to support development, according to Suzuki. We don't know when Shenmue III will ultimately be released, though it was recently announced that enhanced HD ports of the first two games will be released for PlayStation 4 in 2018.
While Suzuki and his various teams have released semi-regular updates on the game, the media released thus far has left some concerns in the minds of fans. But given that all footage is from early in development, it's not surprising that it's a little rough around the edges. If Sony has anything new to share, we should get a glimpse during its E3 2018 press conference on June 11.
Fans have been waiting for the better part of five years for a new Splinter Cell game. Ubisoft has not yet announced one, but CEO Yves Guillemot has made comments in the past year that certainly tease the possibility of a new entry. E3 might finally be when we see the game emerge.
If Ubisoft hoped to catch everyone off-guard with a Splinter Cell announcement, it hasn't done the greatest job. The first big update of Ghost Recon Wildlands' second year featured a Splinter Cell theme, complete with an appearance by Sam Fisher. In a key move, Ubisoft brought back Fisher voice actor Michael Ironside, who did not appear in the most recent game, Blacklist. It's possible Ubisoft had plans for more than just a small cameo for Ironside, and his brief appearance is capped off with what could be the setup for a new game's plot. Combined with the Walmart Canada leak, which correctly listed Rage 2 and also listed a game called "Splinter Cell," maybe it's really happening.
Star Wars | Respawn
Titanfall developer Respawn Entertainment is working on a new third-person Star Wars game that's being directed by a of War III director Stig Asmussen. According to publisher EA (which owns Respawn as of last year), the game is an "all-new third-person action-adventure game set in the Star Wars universe." That's all we know about the game for certain, but it's intriguing to think about what the team behind one of the most trailblazing shooters in recent years may do with such a big and beloved sci-fi license. Fans may be happy to know that Respawn boss Vince Zampella met with The Force Awakens director JJ Abrams to talk about their respective works; oh to be a fly on that wall. EA would do well to give an update on all of its upcoming Star Wars projects at E3 this year, so hopefully we will know more about Respawn's game soon.
Star Wars Project | EA Vancouver
We actually know quite a bit about the Star Wars project that's in development with EA Vancouver--at least, the history of what it was, thanks to a detailed Kotaku report. But it's very likely that the single-player adventure game, codenamed "Ragtag" and formerly led by Uncharted director Amy Hennig, has gone the way of Star Wars 1313 and all but completely evaporated. In late 2017, the primary studio behind the Ragtag project, Visceral Games, was sadly closed. It had been working on this untitled Star Wars adventure since 2013, but the original game it set out to make has been effectively cancelled.
EA Vancouver has since taken over completely and will pivot the game to become a "broader experience" and one that will "deliver an experience players will want to come back to for a long time to come," according to executive vice president of EA Worldwide Studios Patrick Söderlund.
The announcement at The Game Awards of SoulCalibur's return was a big, awesome surprise. The weapons-based fighter was once a leading series, and the original was the game to have for every Sega Dreamcast owner. But the series was relegated to secondary status for years while Bandai Namco's other franchises dominated the spotlight. With SoulCalibur VI, it's getting a new lease on life that many would argue is justly deserved. It's also got a few new tricks up its sleeve.
Following in the footsteps of other contemporary fighting games, the introduction of the Reversal Edge mechanic in SoulCalibur VI is designed to give players a more accessible and punishing means of fending off their opponent to turn the tide of battle. It's the biggest addition to the SoulCalibur formula that we know of so far, but there's one big surprise to look forward to: Geralt of Rivia is joining the cast.
There's no word on a specific release date yet, but SoulCalibur VI is on the books for 2018, and that hopefully means we will get a bunch of new info during E3.