Skull & Bones
Brad: Pirates and video games go together like peanut butter and jelly. I’m as excited as Hayden is to see what Sea of Thieves winds up becoming, but I’m also just as intrigued by Skull & Bones. Sailing the high seas in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag was a blast. If Ubisoft manages to recreate that feeling in a standalone pirate simulator that revolves around naval battles, ship customizations, and new sea shanties, my timbers could very well wind up shivered.
Ubisoft’s focus at E3 was squarely on Skull & Bones’ multiplayer, though. I’m far more personally interested in a singleplayer campaign to scratch that Black Flag and Sid Meier’s Pirates itch. Hopefully we’ll hear more about the prospect as Skull & Bones sails toward a release date towards the end of 2018.
Hayden: Going into E3 I was skeptical of Destiny 2. I still am, actually—its blend of RPG and shooter mechanics has never really sounded appealing to me.
But after demoing the game in Nvidia’s booth, running on a PC equipped with an Intel Core i7-7700K and an Nvidia GeForce TX 1080 Ti, I can say this: The game is damn pretty. It may be the best-looking shooter I’ve ever seen on PC, with DICE’s work on Battlefield 1 and Star Wars Battlefront as the only real competition. That’s all the more impressive considering Bungie hasn’t put out a game on PC since 2004’s Halo 2.
It played better than I expected, too, with the guns feeling snappy and powerful despite the bullet-sponge boss enemies. It didn’t feel nearly as contrived as, say, The Division and its faux-realism. If Bungie can summarize three years of Destiny lore for a new PC audience, I think this might end up one of the year’s best shooters.
A Way Out
Brad: Between being raised on consoles and being a dad, I’m a major fan of couch co-op games. They’re an unfortunate rarity on PCs, but Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons bucked that trend and punched you in the gut emotionally.
So I’m thrilled to hear EA’s working with Brothers developer Hazelight on A Way Out, a strictly multiplayer co-op game that puts you and a friend in control of a pair of criminals hell-bent on escaping prison. Driving, adventure, exploration, narrative choices—all done with a partner, shrieking and arguing just like the in-game duo would. Hazelight’s history has me excited about this one.
Brad: The Crackdown series never managed to perfect its explosive, open-world superhero action—but the first two games were an absolute blast to play, especially co-op. Crackdown 3 is the first to ever hit PCs (thanks to Microsoft’s Xbox Play Anywhere initiative) and it looks ready to lean into the over-the-top antics I adore from the series. You can even play as avowed PC enthusiast Terry freakin’ Crews, as shown in the glorious 4K trailer above.
Beyond Good & Evil 2
Hayden: The rest of my picks for E3 2017 are more concrete—we’ll see all of them if not this year, then the next. Beyond Good & Evil 2 is my pie-in-the-sky pick though. After over a decade of rumors, of starting and stopping the project, of hearing vague rumblings that Michel Ancel was working on a sequel, it’s finally true.
All Ubisoft needed was a short CGI trailer, not even any game footage, and people were instantly swept up in nostalgia. Whether it’ll actually be any good, and when we’ll even see it? Who knows. But for the moment I’m content just knowing it’ll see the light of day. Another year, another long-shot game announcement. Sometimes the publisher has a heart after all.
But wait, there's more!
To dig a bit deeper into what's new in gaming, PCWorld has rounded up all the big PC game reveals of E3 2017, collecting all the trailers in one convenient location. Sit back, relax, and enjoy while we wait for all these games to actually hit the streets.