We're at E3 2017 covering the year's biggest gaming event. Be sure to check out all our coverage on our E3 2017 hub!
Every year, E3 demands our time and energy, and every year, we feed our essence into the hype machine. E3 is a hungry, greedy god, but it's not without benevolence: In return for our sacrifice, we're treated to the game industry's best trailers.
No matter how short, no matter how coy, nothing gives you a shot of adrenaline like a teaser for a new entry in a series you love (well, except for an Epipen). But since E3 2017 comes at a time when the market's already full of established game consoles with well-anchored audiences, most of the trailers we saw from Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, and third-party developers skewed towards the meatier, more informative side.
That's not a bad thing, though: Even some of the games teased last year managed to offer up some surprises this year. Here are the ten E3 2017 trailers / demonstrations that most successfully managed to needle through our fog of E3 exhaustion and remind us why video games are way past cool.
Super Mario Odyssey
We expected Nintendo to showcase Super Mario Odyssey at its digital presentation, but we weren't quite prepared for the game's gimmick: Mario uses his cap to possess other living creatures and bend them to his will. Frogs, dinosaurs, innocent guys racing model taxis on the streets of New Donk City – everyone is fair game. It's a fascinating, horrifying mechanic, and Nintendo frames its reveal in a catchy, brassy song sung by Donkey Kong's former maiden in distress, Pauline. Nintendo, you are the master of mixed messages.
EA lifted the curtain on A Way Out, a co-op puzzle/action game from Joseph Fares (who brought us Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons in 2013). Its core premise revolves around breaking out of prison and dodging the law. You need to team up with another player to get through this one, since every puzzle requires an extra set of hands and a different perspective to solve. Social media's interest was piqued as soon as we learned the ins-and-outs of the game. Grab a friend, or to make things really interesting, grab an enemy.
When Twitter received visual confirmation that the beleaguered Beyond Good and Evil 2 is a real thing, it collectively made excited animal noises. We don't know when we can expect to see the game drop, but you will believe … that a pig and a monkey can say a lot of swear words.
The Yakuza series is masterful at switching between hilarious and dead-serious themes without a single hitch. As a writer, it makes me insanely jealous. Sega's trailer for Song of Life treads on the "serious" side, as we learn Kiryu's surrogate daughter, Haruka, is in a coma – and she left behind a baby of uncertain parentage who Kiryu resolves to protect. Getting a real "Lone Wolf and Cub" vibe from this one.
The trailer for the new Wolfenstein game goes to many places, all of them great. It's worth a shout-out for its Nazi-flavored parodies of classic '50s television shows alone. How do you win a round of "German or Else?" What happens if you lose? The thought intrigues and horrifies me.
Nintendo offered us a teasing flash of Metroid Prime 4 at its digital press event, but just as the internet finished asking "Where's 2D Metroid?" Nintendo broke out footage of a Metroid 2 remake at its live Treehouse event. Like Zero Mission before it, Samus Returns retools the gameplay of its source material and adds to it: We see Samus dispatch a Zeta Metroid (like in the original game) by grabbing its tail and slamming it on the ground (not like in the original game).
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Ori the forest spirit is coming back. That means more gorgeous environments, more heartfelt music, and more sad story moments like the one we see in the game's trailer. Don't worry, owl buddy. We'll save your parents.
South Park: The Fractured but Whole
Whatever you may think about South Park's political message(s), the show is undeniably at its best when the kids are just playing make-believe. That's The Fractured but Whole to a tee: South Park's young denizens dress up as superheroes, most with names that are double entendres, and re-enact Marvel's Civil War plot thread. You, the "New Kid," are at the center of the maelstrom. Will you be a faithful spy, or a filthy traitor?
This year's trailer gets a spot on the list for "He called us douchebags. In my mind." "He did?"
Griftalnds is an upcoming RPG from Klei, the company behind Don't Starve. Don't Starve's grim but charming visuals are a serious attention-grabber, and going by the trailer, Griftland really kicks the style up a notch. It appears your character can be a paragon, a super-jerk, or anything in between. Really looking forward to this one.
Dragon Ball Fighter Z
The trailer for Dragon Ball Fighter Z makes you say, "Damn, it's about time." Fighter Z is a 2D tag-fighter featuring characters and environs from the extensive Dragon Ball Z universe, and it literally looks like the anime come to life. I guess it's not surprising this game took so long to get here: If you caught sight of this in 2004 when Dragon Ball Z was all over Toonami, your head surely would've exploded. Now you are ready, grasshopper.