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LOS ANGELES – Game over, man. Game over.
Another edition of the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo wrapped up this week, with nearly 70,000 attendees jamming the cavernous halls of the Los Angeles Convention Center to check out hundreds of upcoming video games.
Normally an industry-only trade event, E3 was open to the general public for the first time this year, with 15,000 three-day passes sold at $ 249 US a pop. Popular games like Super Mario Odyssey and Call of Duty: World War II had massive lines, with some fans waiting more than four hours for a hands-on game demo lasting as little as five minutes. Such is the draw of these digital diversions.
Most years I compile a list of my top five or 10 games of the show, but this year’s E3 had too many worthy titles to whittle down to a mere handful. So, in no particular order, here are my top 17 games of E3 2017.
Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo Switch; Oct. 27)
The plucky plumber’s first 3D adventure on the red-hot Nintendo Switch is exactly as great as you’d expect. Actually, no – it’s better.
Marvel’s Spider-Man (PlayStation 4; 2018)
Based on just a short snippet of gameplay, this action-packed, super-cinematic affair could be one of the best superhero video games ever.
Far Cry 5 (Xbox One, PS4, PC; Feb. 27, 2018)
Far Cry comes to America, and somehow rural Montana seems just as exotic – and dangerous – as the previous games’ locations.
Sea of Thieves (Xbox One, PC; early 2018)
Working with friends to sail your pirate ship and plunder far-flung islands is good, giddy fun. Especially after a cup or two of grog.
Middle-earth: Shadow of War (Xbox One, PS4, PC; Oct. 10)
This sequel to the excellent Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor adds a ton of new gameplay goodies to the awesome orc-slaying mayhem.
Starlink: Battle for Atlas (Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch; late 2018)
Build your own starship toy and fly it into battle on your TV screen? Swapping out weapons and wings in real time? Where was this when I was a kid?
Call of Duty: World War II (Xbox One, PS4, PC; Nov. 3)
A return to Call of Duty’s roots gives this franchise a much-needed jolt of creativity. I was getting really tired of exoskeletons and energy weapons.
Star Wars Battlefront II (Xbox One, PS4, PC; Nov. 17)
The only thing missing in 2015’s incredible Star Wars Battlefront was a single-player storyline of some sort. This one has it – and you play as a baddie.
Assassin’s Creed Origins (Xbox One, PS4, PC; Oct. 27)
After taking a year off, the assassins are back in an open-world game that revamps gameplay and takes us back to a sprawling, detailed ancient Egypt.
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle (Nintendo Switch; Aug. 29)
The only thing weirder than Nintendo’s most famous hero meeting Ubisoft’s raving Rabbids is the fact this is a turn-based tactics game. But it really works.
Anthem (Xbox One, PS4, PC; late 2018)
Not a lot of this online sci-fi action game was shown at E3, but the fact it’s being made by the wizards at BioWare in Edmonton earns it a spot on this list.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (PS4; Aug. 22)
Uncharted fan favourite Chloe Frazer teams up with Uncharted 4 villain Nadine Ross for a meaty spinoff/sequel that’s just as pretty as its predecessors.
Detroit: Become Human (PS4; TBA)
For the second E3 in a row, this blend of video game and cinematic storytelling was captivating as heck. Now we just need a release date.
The Last Night (Xbox One, PC; 2018)
Literally everything I know about this game is from its short trailer, which makes it look like a mix of Out of This World and Blade Runner. Sold.
Destiny 2 (Xbox One, PS4, PC; Sept. 6)
I thought I was done with Destiny, until I went hands-on with this fall’s sequel. No one does sci-fi gunplay quite like Bungie. I’m back in.
God of War (PlayStation 4; early 2018)
Having killed every monster and deity in Ancient Greece, an older but no less angry Kratos starts carving his way through Norse mythology. Gloriously.
Beyond Good and Evil 2 (TBD; hopefully sometime before we die)
First announced seven years ago, it might be another seven years before we see this one – that’s how insanely huge, ambitious and amazing it looks.