E3 2018 vs E3 2017: More gameplay shown off than ever before

Matt Sayer 13 June 2018 NEWS

Fewer CG trailers and vague teasers made this year's E3 one of the strongest in recent history.

If there's one thing that can kill the excitement of a new game announcement, it's the dreaded teaser trailer. While slow-mo CG firefights and gorgeous concept-art panoramas can be captivating, too often they have little to nothing to do with how a game is actually going to play. Worse, some teasers – *cough* Dead Island *cough* – flat out misrepresent the games they're for.

In these situations, you're left with two equally problematic choices: either buy into the hype and risk disappointment when that epic space exploration game proves too ambitious for its britches, or play the pessimist and never experience the excitement of anticipation.

Thankfully, this dilemma is cropping up less often these days. Game studios are shifting away from teaser trailers in favour of proper gameplay videos, even resorting to pre-alpha footage in an effort to avoid another Aliens: Colonial Marines debacle.

Nowhere is this more evident than at E3, where this year we saw more honest-to-god gameplay than in any year past. Out of the 162 games shown during the press conference presentations, 135 trailers included footage of the game in action. For clarification, this could mean footage of a full-blown HUD and control interface as with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, or it could be the clear third-person perspective of Death Stranding.

As you can see in the charts above, E3 2018 maintained the strong emphasis on gameplay that last year's E3 established. This points to a promising trend in the industry, highlighting the fact that gamers are simply too savvy to buy into the flashy pre-rendered sizzle reels that dominated previous console generations.

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