E3 comes around each year with mind-boggling trailers of games which ultimately turn out to be mediocre. Over-the-top trailers and expectation exceeding claims make up for a fair bit of the hype and games can seldom live up to that anticipation. No Man's Sky, Star Wars: Battlefront, and The Order 1886 all come to mind when talking about games which failed to surpass the hype. But there are the extraordinary few which don't just stop with building hype, they deliver on it.
DETROIT: BECOME HUMAN (E3 2016)
The most recent game on this list, Quantic Dream's Detroit: Become Human was first showed off as a tech demo back in 2012 titled “Kara”. And four years later at E3 2016, we got to see that Kara was in fact a part of Quantic Dream's new game. The trailers and the visual display on show created a lot of excitement and buzz around Detroit and I believe that the anticipation was worthwhile. The Ps4 exclusive is one of the most important titles of this generation. It's the sheer attention to visual detail, down to each facial animation and the delivery of each line, which helped this game stand out. The game not only beat the hype but it takes story-driven games one step further into uncanny territory.
MIDDLE-EARTH: SHADOW OF MORDOR (E3 2014)
When this game was first announced back at E3 2014, everyone was sure that this would be a copy of the successful Batman Arkham series. The other side of the hype train was eagerly anticipating an action game set in J.R.R Tolkien's Lord of the Rings universe. But to everyone's surprise, Shadow of Mordor was much more than the sum of its anticipated parts. The game had an expansive world, jaw-dropping combat, and the nemesis system is still as revolutionary as it was back when it was released.
THE WITCHER 3: WILD HUNT (E3 2013)
While the first two Witcher games were great in their own rights, CD Projekt Red's third outing stands out as a masterpiece of this generation. When the gorgeous trailer for The Witcher 3 dropped, fans of gaming knew that a new generation was upon them. This was the next best thing to seventh generation's Skyrim. There's not a lot you can fault The Witcher 3, and the fact that you can't shows that it's possible to make a huge game and still maintain the shimmer of a AAA title.
BIOSHOCK (E3 2011)
Ken Levin, the director of both the Bioshock games, was unaware of what the first Bioshock game would be when work began. But seven years after E3 2011, Bioshock is remembered for its unique dark atmosphere and the underwater utopia of Rapture. Bioshock seized the then FPS formula and with a deeply enriching narrative, made way for the renaissance of horror in the first person. It is still considered as the best Bioshock game and perhaps one of the most fulfilling games of the last generation.
SUPER MARIO 64 (E3 1996)
This one is an homage to not only a game which beat the hype, but also to new technology opening gateways to the future. 3D gaming hadn't made its way into homes yet but along came E3 1996, the Nintendo 64, and our tenacious plumber boy with all his polygonal goodness. This game was the stuff of dreams back when it was announced and ended up becoming the stuff of legends upon release. Super Mario 64 and Zelda: Ocarina of Time were instrumental in shaping modern gaming and if these titles failed to surpass the hype, then 3D gaming would have taken a lot longer to become relevant.
E3 is not only the biggest showing in gaming, but also a heavy handed look into the future of it. This short list is an indication of the fact that, even titles with major precedence can deliver much more than anticipated. And perhaps this is reason enough to expect great things from CyberPunk 2077, Death Stranding, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and all the others games of E3 2018.