E3 is the marketing bonanza you love

The biggest trade show in video games, E3, was held in Los Angeles last week, and with it came a plethora of announcements from some of the world’s biggest publishers. Here’s the big stuff you need to know.

Bethesda started off the week-long show with more details on Fallout 4, Doom and Dishonored 2. Fallout 4 will feature intricate weapon-crafting and a base defense option that gives you a huge range of building options. Doom was a weird mix of nostalgia and somewhat outdated graphics, which shouldn’t come as a surprise since the game has been in development forever. Dishonored 2 will feature two playable characters with unique abilities.

Microsoft kicked off their conference with backwards compatibility for the Xbox One; later this year you’ll be able to play Xbox 360 games on the new console. Halo 5 will also have a new strategic mode called Warzones. Gears of War 4 was announced, much to the surprise of no one, and the characters look significantly less bovine. Great! The folks who made the stellar Metroid Prime are making a game called ReCore. Dark Souls III and Forza Motorsport 6 are video games you can buy at a later date. Sea of Thieves is Rare’s new pirate MMO. HoloLens is a virtual display headset that uses holograms and looks totally nuts.

Electronic Arts orchestrated yet another E3 fever dream that mercifully ended with some lengthy gameplay footage of Star Wars: Battlefront. The stoically titled Need for Speed looks slick and will feature some blessedly bad full-motion video cut scenes. The transitions looked nice, but the acting was bonkers. Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 will put you in the boots of the zombies this time. Mirror’s Edge Catalyst tells the back story of Faith, the protagonist from the first game. Also, sports games. EA makes them all, and you can expect more. Finally, Unravel is a small passion project starring a red fox plushie that looks intriguing.

If EA put together a fever dream presentation, then Ubisoft was chugging the peyote butter. South Park: The Fractured but Whole will carry on the story of South Park: The Stick of Truth. For Honor will pit Vikings, samurai and knights against each other. Tom Clancy’s The Division is still a cooperative but nebulous open-world survival game. Anno 2205 will bring city planning to the Moon. Rainbow Six Siege is a shooter with destructible environments on small household maps. Assassin’s Creed Syndicate and the newly revealed Ghost Recon Wildlands both look like open-world Ubisoft games. Finally, play Trackmania Turbo when it comes out on consoles. Trust me.

Sony brought down the house with the gameplay reveal of the long-awaited The Last Guardian, the story of a boy and his bird-dog. The hits kept on coming with the reveal of a Final Fantasy VII remake and Shenmue III on Kickstarter. The newly announced Horizon: Zero Dawn imagined a world far in the future, where our descendants hunt robotic dinosaurs across ruined urban sprawl. Sony has Street Fighter V exclusivity. No Man’s Sky made a token appearance. Dreams by Media Molecule will let you explore art projects other people create. Uncharted 4 will let you drive fast and make bang-bang-boom with manly gun and brother-man. There were a lot of games, but most came with a projected release date in 2016 or none at all. Morpheus, Sony’s virtual reality headset, was notably downplayed. Worrisome.

Nintendo still makes video games, and they proved it with the reveal of Star Fox Zero, in which the Arwing can turn into a tank, hovercraft or chicken mech. Fire Emblem Fates will come to 3DS at some point. Xenoblade Chronicles X will hit shelves in December. Yoshi’s Woolly World is proof there is still some good left in the world. Mario Maker, Nintendo’s Mario level creator, will come out on Sept. 11 of all days.

Square Enix opened their presentation with the destruction orgy that Just Cause 3 is turning out to be. Rise of the Tomb Raider will continue the story of Lara Croft and will come to the Xbox One first, followed by the PS4. Kingdom Hearts 3 finally got a gameplay reveal; Goofy was in attendance. Hitman murdered some fools and was beautifully bald. A sequel to the underwhelming role-playing game Nier was announced, this time the highly skilled developer Platinum Games. Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness won the award for best subtitle. Lastly, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided lets you be a robo-man. Can’t argue with that.