The 5 most jaw-dropping E3 trailers of 2017

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What makes a great trailer is always subjective. That being said, here are the 5 best E3 trailers, and if you disagree with them you are objectively wrong.

5 – God of War: PS4 Gameplay Trailer

There’s been a very positive trend at E3 this year. Purely cinematic trailers were almost non-existent. Instead, we got a lot of gameplay-heavy footage. In my mind, this is essential for a great game trailer, because it, you know, actually lets us see the game.

The trailer for God of War deserves a special mention in regards to this due to how seamlessly it transitioned from its scripted cutscenes to actual gameplay. I don’t know if there was some special editing going on behind the scenes or if we’ve reached a level of graphical sophistication, but I can’t see the seams anymore. By the end, I couldn’t tell nor did I care what was pre-rendered. Everything just looked freaking great.

Technical nitty-gritties notwithstanding, there’s a lot of other stuff to like in this trailer. You’ve got Kratos moving away from the rage-filled, foaming at the mouth, caricature that he became after God of War 3. Now he’s trying his hand and parenting again. I sure hope it works out better than it did last time.

Sorry, was that too soon? Source – Paste Magazine

I’m also looking forward to how they’re going to explain away what happened since the ending of God of War 3. The walk from Greece to Scandinavia is a bit of a trek for a man with a sword through his chest. If the upside is that Kratos gets to fight his way through the Norse pantheon, I will buy any justification they throw at me.

Despite all the changes, God of War seems to be keeping the franchise’s bread and butter: heck-ton of weapons, even more enemies, gory finishers. Have fun.

4 – Marvel’s Spider-Man: Gameplay Trailer

Not since Spider-Man 2 in 2004 have we had a decent Spider-Man game. And I find that fact criminal.

It’s not like the formula is too difficult. First, hand the property over to a decent developer. Second, don’t make it a tie-in with a movie so production dates get rushed to meet movie deadlines. Finally, and most importantly, make sure the web-slinging is fun.

Seeing as Insomniac Games (the studio behind Ratchet and Clank) are on board, I’ll say they’ve outdone themselves on the first factor. And while Spider-Man: Homecoming is under a month away, this game has absolutely nothing to do with it. That’s two for two if you’re keeping score.

All that is left is to see how the friendly neighbourhood web-slinger holds up… I put the trailer at the top of this section so I’m just going to assume you’ve seen it and know that it looks awesome. Even if it was peppered a little heavy with quick time events.

And while the combat borrows a few beats from the stealth/action gameplay of Arkham Asylum, there is an agility and playfulness to it that suits Spider-Man perfectly.

Throwing in Mr Negative as a villain also builds some nerd cred, but I’m still holding out for the Big Wheel.

3 – Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus: Full Reveal Trailer

In 2014 if somebody told me that Wolfenstein: The New Order would be the most emotional shooter of the year, I would have called them a liar. After all, it was a game about fighting Nazis where the protagonist looked like John Cena and the villain was called Deathshead.

However, The New Order took its weirdness, played it completely straight-faced and even took the time to flesh out its characters. The result was a story brimming with something honest to say but disguised behind a mask of action-schlock.

This formula worked wonders for The New Order and it doesn’t surprise me they’re bringing it back in The New Colossus.

My weird crush aside, Wolfenstein has and should always be the old man of the FPS genre. When the industry moved to chest-high-cover and regenerating health, it stayed with health packs. When the industry wanted more realism with its combat, it chose to double-fist machines guns while fighting giant, fire-breathing, robot, Nazi dogs.

You thought I was joking. Source – VG247

In an event dedicated to showing off the best of gaming in the modern age, a game like The New Colossus with its old-school sensibilities feels like a breath of fresh air. And for that reason alone, the trailer earned its place on this list.

2 – Beyond Good and Evil 2: Reveal Trailer

Remember that thing I said before about good trailers needing to show actual gameplay? Forget it, because Ubisoft dropped one of the biggest E3 trailers during their conference and they didn’t show even a second of in-game footage.

To be fair they could have shown a black screen with a title and I would have still considered placing it on this list. That’s how much people wanted this game.

Beyond Good and Evil meant a lot back in the day and the fact that we’re only getting a sequel now is, well… it sucks. Or prequel as it was, seeing as it is set before the birth of Jade, the protagonist from the original.

It is hard to judge how the game will actually play, but sometimes it is more important for a trailer to capture the tone. Beyond Good and Evil 2 looks like a fun and frantic romp through a crazy sci-fi future. That’s all I really need to get excited.

They also had an ape-man with a robot hand and a jetpack. That was pretty sweet too.

You can find more out about Beyond Good and Evil 2 in this article.

1 – Super Mario Odyssey: Game Trailer

Leave it to Nintendo to steal the show.

The company has been dialling back its physical presence at E3, but it has only ramped-up its presentations. Any of their E3 trailers this year could have earned a spot on this list. That’s the benchmark Nintendo operates at. But, we’re not fooling anyone. There was only one choice for this spot and that was Super Mario Odyssey.

No matter how old I get, Nintendo still has the power to transport me back to the awe I felt when I was a kid playing my first Mario game. And even though the number of dimensions and mechanics have only grown, the nostalgia that runs through the trailer is undeniable.

My hat is off to you. Source – Nintendo

I’ve tried quantifying why Nintendo is so good at this, but any explanation almost feels disingenuous to the emotions. The best I can say is that the combination of the vibrant visuals, infectiously catchy song and fluid mechanics that shut down the more critical parts of my brain and let me have fun.

I could point out that placing Mario in a city with more realistic people looks strange. Or, the whole hat possession mechanic opens up disturbing ethical questions. But I don’t want to.

I just want to play this game, and at the end of the day, that’s what all good trailers should make us feel.

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