The best trailers of E3 2015 – so far
E3 2015: it’s been an absolutely cracking show so far. We’re having a hell of a time deciding what we fancy the most from a line-up bristling with future delights.
There have been so many perfectly stunning trailers flitting through the headlines that we felt the need to round up our favourites and make sure you’ve seen ‘em: the best trailers of E3 2015 – so far.
To save time and precious energy we’re going to focus on trailers not videos in general, so we won’t be including gameplay demonstrations and demos in the list. Let’s get cracking. In absolutely no especial order:
1. Fallout 4
The Bethesda E3 2015 presentation brought us so, so many excellent moments of video, but in terms of pure hype generation the montage trailer in which the Vault Dweller asks Dogmeat whether he’s ready to go fuck some shit up is definitely the best.
Bethesda had just spent a pretty substantial amount of time showing us new features like character customisation, crafting, equipment customisation and base building, and while all that was really, really exciting, it was the familiar gameplay shown in this trailer that sealed the deal.
Loads of awesome weapons. Plenty of nasty monsters. The combination of the two in devastating ways. No complaints, except that Bethesda hasn’t given us a high-res embed yet.
2. Dishonored 2
Bethesda’s livestream slip-up of the day before ruined the “surprise” of a follow-up to 2012’s we-have-a-franchise-on-our-hands smash hit, Dishonored. Nevertheless, the reveal trailer knocked our socks off.
It’s an unfortunate comment on our industry that leading with a female protagonist in an E3 trailer is uncommon, and considered bold, but props to Arkane and Bethesda for doing it. My buddies and I were chattering excitedly on IM together – “Look how slender – surely…?” and we were not disappointed.
Emily is only one of two playable protagonists, but we’re already familiar with Corvo. It’s exciting to get a look at the new tricks and trials facing the Outsider’s newest champion.
Bethesda showed off two slabs of DOOM footage during its E3 2015 conference. Fans were excited to see the rapid, brutal gameplay footage but to my mind it was the the E3 2015 trailer that sold the premise.
This iteration of DOOM has copped a bit of flack for being so gory – as did the original way back in the day. Is iD Software trying to push new boundaries? It’s not to everyone’s taste, but the fans seem to be lapping it up. Not literally lapping obviously, that would be super gross.
4. Dark Souls 3
It’s official: I have actually been traumatised by Dark Souls and Bloodborne. Just the thought of Dark Souls makes me feel sick to my stomach. Watching the incredibly beautiful Dark Souls 3 announce trailer, the hair on my neck stood up, and then I wanted to throw up. I don’t think I can go through this again. I really don’t.
But look how beautiful. It captures that atmosphere, doesn’t it? And that huge creature! Who am I kidding, I’m definitely going to do this again.
Keiji Inafune’s Comcept is teaming up with American team Armature Studio for what Microsoft hopes is the beginning of a new franchse. Called ReCore, it’s all a bit mysterious right now, but it involves a desert wasteland, robots both friendly and hostile, lasers and grapple arms.
Whoever made the trailer cheated a bit by pulling our heartstrings unfairly, but this communicated a pretty cool concept which we assume will be part of gameplay. We don’t care what this is, to be honest; we just want to get into it.
DayZ creator Dean Hall has a lot of expectations to meet. His new game, ION, is described as an “emergent, narrative MMO”.
The details of the project revealed so far – it’s an almost isometric affair set inside a space station, not out exploring space – may not have the bombast of explosive mainstream action adventure titles, but this trailer does a good job of communicating a little bit of the wonder and potential of the core ideas.
We tend to forget that Microsoft has a long history of pushing beautiful indies. PlayStation has attracted so many developers, and there’s still so much discomfort over ID@Xbox’s parity clause, that we forget Microsoft first gave us gifts like Limbo and Braid.
There’s a new crop of these potential gems popping up now, and Ashen, while very mysterious, is one of them. Apparently it has passive (aynschronous?) multiplayer and very high risk combat. Watch the Ashen announce trailer below.
8. Mass Effect Andromeda
I wonder if Johnny Cash ever envisioned a future where his music would be so popular for video game trailers? Ghost Riders in the Sky is an interesting choice for the Mass Effect Andromeda announce trailer, and in tandem with the minimal visuals at the start of the trailer helps convey a frontier feeling.
We know Andromeda will have us carving out a presence in a hostile wilderness, beating off raiders and winning precious resources to fuel expansion. The trailer manages to convey that and yet give a tiny hint of the character and narrative we’ve come to expect of the series.
Also, Mako. Ten points for every Mako.
9. Star Wars Battlefront
Look, we acknowledge it – the strains of a Star Wars theme playing at the start of anything immediately pre-disposes us to like a thing. But for once it wasn’t music and emotional manipulation that sold us but the rapid fire pew-pew-pew and explosions in the Battlefront Walker Assault gameplay trailer shown during EA’s E3 2015 conference that won our hearts.
You can’t tell me you don’t want to get into the middle of that battle and start making a ruckus. For the Empire. Or against the Empire? I don’t care, just give me a blaster.
10. Star Wars: The Old Republic – Knights of the Fallen Empire
Speaking of Star Wars, here’s one that went under the radar a little MMORPGs don’t have that E3 mass appeal, but the Sacrifice trailer for the latest Star Wars: The Old Republic expansion, Knights of the Fallen Empire, is excellent.
Stay with it past all the portentous narration for a pretty great battle and a lot of feelings. The expansion’s out in October.
One of the happiest surprises of E3 2015 so far is an EA-backed indie called Unravel. We all consider ourselves pretty hard-hearted cynics around here and yet we took one look at this woolly little beast and started giggling into our fists with delight.
A beautiful, simple-seeming platformer with a neat physics-based gameplay twist and no speech, Unravel just looks – charming. Delightful. Something you play from start to finish in one sitting just for the sheer joy of it. Can’t wait to go hands-on and see if we’re right.
12. Mirror’s Edge Catalyst
The thing about Mirror’s Edge is: it has a very distinct visual style. Even with the spin applied to the reboot-prequel-whatever, the original aesthetic shines through. Every time you look at it, you have to appreciate the genius of the original design team.
The in-engine Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst announcement trailer shows off a little action, although we’re not ready to believe that’s how the finished gameplay will look. It’s just too good. But as a flavour piece for what DICE is going for this time around it is excellent, and – well, it really is just tremendously good-looking.
13. Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate
Ubisoft gave us two Assassin’s Creed Syndicate trailers, but we liked the Evie one shown suring Sony’s presentation best – not just because Evie is super cool but because it made a great deal more sense.
Nobody expects these montage trailers to deliver a cohesive narrative in 180 seconds or whatever, but Jacob’s trailer was all over the place. GO stop GO stop GO GO GO and then stop for ages and end on a low note. Just show us what a badass he is and worry about inventing a revolution later, Ubi; we all skip the cutscenes.
14. Horizon: Zero Dawn
New reveals are always exciting but the announcement of Guerilla Games’ Horizon: Zero Dawn was really well done.
The trailer started off with a fair bit of slow-paced world building via narration, and we settled back to watch a little move. Then, to our shock, it segued into gameplay. We throw the word seamlessly around a lot but you certainly can’t see where this trailer was stitched together.
We knew Guerrilla could do beautiful things with graphics but heavens to betsy, this looks good. An open world narrative driven action RPG where you hunt robot dinosaurs? What’s not to like?
The Hitman announce trailer is so Hitman, we called it as Hitman bare seconds in, even though we’d had no inkling such a thing was on the horizon.
However you feel about the series being rebooted for a new generation you have to admit this trailer is well swank. That’s the thing about Hitman; it’s all about style, Even back when it was a clunky as heck PC game which repeatedly thrashed you for your failings, it still managed to make you feel suave and sleek when you succeeded. if you succeeded.
16. Destiny: The Taken King
Bungie seems completely incapable of plugging its leaks so there was very little to surprise us in the reveal trailer for Destiny: The Taken King. And yet such is the sway the shared-worlds shooter holds over our hearts that we got tremendously excited anyway.
Is it the new supers? The fancy new gear? The new Destination? For all the flack Destiny’s storytelling cops, I reckon it’s just the lure of the scenario: facing down the vengeful god-king Oyrx and his army o- you see, I just gave myself the shivers. Again.
17. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3
It’s just not E3 without a Call of Duty trailer. The best ones stay away from melancholy music, celebrity live action sequences and yee-haw cowboy shenanigans and just show us lots of guns cutting down lots of fools.
In that spirit then, please admit the Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 multiplayer reveal trailer, which is al that and packs in a minigun robot or something.
18. Xenoblade Chronicles X
If you like JRPGs you must be familiar with the Xeno family of games. Xenoblade Chronicles X represents a major step forward for the loose series of games, in that it’s the first proper open world.
By all accounts, MonolithSoft has done a magnificent job transitioning into more modern RPG conventions without losing the heart and soul of Xeno. Import reviews have been glowing, and we’re very excited to see Xenoblade Chronicles release in December. Just watch this trailer and see if it doesn’t suck you in a little.
19. Star Fox Zero
Maybe it’s the nostalgia talking – no. No it’s not, because no Star Fox game ever looked like this. It’s kind of amazing how good Nintendo is at making Wii U games stand up when the rest of us have moved onto new-gen graphics, isn’t it?
Nintendo seems to have been very clever with its off-screen Game Pad play here, and the Star Fox Zero gameplay debut trailer does a pretty good job of communicating that. But every dyed in the wool Nintendo fan is here to hear “do a barrel roll”, and that happens too, so full marks.
20. Kingdom Hearts 3
Kingdom Hearts 3 sightings come so infrequently that whenever they do the whole fandom goes completely apeshit. Square Enix could probably post 90 seconds of Sora sitting on the toilet and it would nevertheless bring fans to tears of joy.
Despite the temptation to do so, Square Enix instead posted a highly polished trailer full of action and the energetic orchestral sound it has made its own in recent years (along with a side helping of JRPG narration bollocks, naturally). Most satisfying. Has it sent us or even just uploaded a high-res version? Of course not. That would be too easy.
21. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
I have no idea what to tell you about this one. The Deus Ex: Mankind Divided E3 2015 trailer is terrific. It has everything you might want” a big future city. Lots of dramatic dialogue. Stealthy stylings, Brutal smackdowns. Cool gadgets. That magnificent restrained colour palette
There’s some shooting and explosions too, but we all know that’s not how you really play it.
22. Final Fantasy 7 Remake
It’s only a cinematic. The game probably won’t happen for years. Square Enix will probably change all the best bits and ruin it. The old gameplay won’t translate and what’s the point without it. Now that we’ve all grown up and read books we won’t love Sephiroth any more.
These are the things I keep telling myself but every time I watch this cinematic trailer announcing the Final Fantasy 7 remake I get goosebumps and tear up because it’s so damn coooooooool.
Did we miss something?
It’s kind of amazing just how much video E3 produces. An incredible amount of work goes into these trailers, whether they’re purely cinematic or put together with gameplay assets, and every publisher just wants you to love them.
What makes a good trailer is subjective, of course – we’ve picked ones that interested and excited us, but you might prefer the kind that shows features or gameplay in detail. Plus, it’s been such a busy few days that we probably missed something while searching our broken, feeble brains for memories of the conferences. So sound off: what were your favourite trailers?