E3 2018 Adventures in Gaming: Day 3

Day 3 in Full Swing

The final day of E3 2018 dawned, and the industry once again gathered together to celebrate the world of gaming. We had already seen two jam-packed days of games, but even with those stuffed schedules, Day 3 promised to feature some huge titles from the biggest names in video games. As we said our goodbyes to E3 2018, we made sure the event went out with a bang…or a Smash, if you prefer.






We started by taking a visit to Sony and getting our hands on two of PlayStation’s biggest upcoming exclusives. First was Spider-Man, and the 15-minute demo allowed to us to swing across New York City as if it were our own private playground. Peter Parker’s web-slinging is exhilarating, the bustling city serving as a gorgeous backdrop for Spidey’s adventures. The combat flows freely as well, with Spider-Man switching between enemies with ease. Spider-Man will be one of the biggest hits of the year when it launches on September 7, so do not wait to get your hands on it.

Spiderman is Back

A little further out on Sony’s schedule is Days Gone, and this one is a brutal hellscape set in the backdrop of lush Oregon forests. A pandemic sees humans mutated into horrific creatures known as Freakers, who will attack survivors at the slightest sound. The E3 demo was split into two parts: a story mission highlighting stealth, and a Horde mission pitting me against 500 of the Freakers. The story mission shows just how intense the world can be—particularly the scene where a survivor is captured by a demented group called The Rippers—but the Horde mission is what really sold us. Being able to strategically set up explosives and a plan of attack before engaging the horde felt great, and I can only imagine how many other hordes will be thrown our way when Days Gone hits the PlayStation 4 on February 22, 2019.

After Sony we visited a pair of smaller publishers, each one showing off a game worth keeping an eye on. First was Rebellion Entertainment and Strange Brigade, a four-player co-op shooter set in a 1930s-era monster B-movie. The game is a fun romp with three friends, the goofy setting making sure the game doesn’t take itself too seriously, and the missions are filled with tough challenges and big-time rewards. Strange Brigade may be flying under some radars, but we bet the game will win a lot of people over when it hits on August 28.

Next we visited 505 Games to see Control, the brand new game from Alan Wake and Quantum Break developer Remedy Entertainment. Control combines the best elements of both of those games: Alan Wake’s flair for the supernatural and Quantum Break’s tight shooting, and delivers an epic tale of a woman trapped in a terrible situation. This is the type of game that will challenge the mind just as much as the reflexes, and we can’t wait to see more about it leading up to its release in 2019.

We Happy Few

After our Control appointment we spent an hour traveling the world of Compulsion GamesWe Happy Few. This is a world where the powers that be shield its citizens from its horrors, requiring everyone to take a world-changing medicine called Joy. When the effects of Joy wear off, and a citizen can see the dystopian world for what it is, they are forcibly kicked out of society and forced to survive in the wild. One particular citizen tries to unveil the truth to the public, and that’s where we come in. This is a game that will take us to some really unique places, but the story it tells will be worth every single second of discomfort we may feel in the process. Make sure you make room in your gaming schedule for We Happy Few when it launches on August 10, because once you press start it will be awfully difficult to stop playing.

Our second-to-last appointment of the day was a visit to Deep Silver and 4A Games to venture into the harsh world of Metro: Exodus. This new Metro game eschews the tight dark tunnels of its predecessors for a harsh and dangerous open world on the war-torn surface of Russia. Our demo took us to a cult-like church that doesn’t take kindly to strangers, a tower of bandits brandishing some heavy firepower, and a lake swimming with mutated monsters that we had to traverse with nothing but a small paddle boat. Danger lurks around every corner in Metro: Exodus, and we’ll be able to face it head-on when the game hits our shelves on February 22.

The final stop on our whirlwind tour of E3 2018 was Nintendo, which for some of us meant saving the best for last. The company that brought us Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Metroid packed a major one-two punch at this year’s show with a pair of games for the Nintendo Switch that we suspect will be big hits this holiday season.

The first was Pokemon Let’s Go: Pikachu and Eevee, the first core Pokemon experience to appear on a Nintendo home console. A remake of 1998’s Pokemon Yellow, Let’s Go combines the simple mechanics of the mobile smash hit Pokemon Go with a grand adventure fans have enjoyed since the days of the Game Boy. The game can also come bundled with a brand new accessory called the Poke Ball Plus, a small Poke Ball controller specifically made for Pokemon Let’s Go. We used the Poke Ball Plus to play the game just as a normal controller would, and it felt comfortable and natural in our hands as we caught a few Pokemon, battled some Trainers, and explored the world. Despite being a remake, Pokemon Let’s Go will be a landmark entry in the franchise, and Trainers around the world better be ready to catch ‘em all on November 19.

Super Smash Bros.

The final game of E3 2018 was Super Smash Bros Ultimate, the largest Super Smash Bros game Nintendo has ever made. Every character from previous Smash games will be playable in this new game, as well as new faces like the Inkling from Splatoon and the space pirate Ridley from Metroid. Up to eight players can face off in a match, which can lead to absolute pandemonium and a ton of fun. Each stage hails from one chapter in Nintendo’s storied history, from classic games like Super Mario Bros 2 to new favorites like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Super Smash Bros has evolved from a fighting free-for-all to celebration of all things Nintendo, and this new game will be the Ultimate version of that party when it launches for Nintendo Switch on December 7.

With that smashing display, the 2018 Electronic Entertainment Expo came to an end. Gamers now know what to expect in the coming year from all of their favorite publishers, and it’s safe to say that no matter what genre of game you like, there will be something you will love. Be sure to check with London Drugs for the latest information on these games, including pre-order dates so you can guarantee you will be first to enjoy all of these much-anticipated games.

Submitted by Jason Fanelli.

E3 2018 Adventures in Gaming: Day 2


Day 2 of E3 2018 was the longest on the schedule, ten straight hours of gaming goodness to take in, and boy did we make the most of it. Our second day on the floor was filled with many of the biggest names in all of video games, as well as a few smaller studios that will soon make a big impact on the scene. Here’s everything London Drugs saw on Day 2 of E3 2018.







Jump Force

Our first stop was Bandai Namco, who boasted a massive lineup of six playable games at its booth. First on the docket was Soulcalibur VI, the return of the popular sword fighting franchise. We got to play over a dozen characters in this demo, including the guest character Geralt of Rivia from The Witcher. New Critical Edge attacks add new strategies to each battle, while new slow motion effects in close matches add a flair for the dramatic. Fans of Soulcalibur should mark October 19 on their calendars, as that will be the day SCVI returns to the stage of history. Next up was Jump Force, a 3-on-3 brawler just announced three days prior at the Microsoft conference. Fan favorites from Shonen Jump’s vast library, like Naruto Dragon Ball Z’s Goku, come together in this fast-paced fighter, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the famed Weekly Jump Magazine. This one is a ways off, coming in 2019, but there’s no doubt this will be a hot item once it hits shelves.

Speaking of Dragon Ball Z, the Nintendo Switch port of Dragon Ball Fighter Z was next on our agenda. The game shines on Nintendo’s portable, playing just as well as the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions, and Nintendo fans should be very pleased with the new game once it arrives later this year. After that we stuck with the anime fighting games by trying out My Hero One’s Justice, a new game in the critically acclaimed My Hero Academia series. All of the top heroes from the saga are here, from the main character Izuku to the supremely strong All Might. Fans of the franchise have a lot to look forward to when this game launches this August, as the over-the-top fighting and strong roster of fighters will give them plenty to chew on.

Our final two games at Bandai Namco’s booth involve giant adventures, the type of the games in which players can easily invest hundreds of hours. First is Code Vein, an anime-styled action role-playing game that will challenge every single one of your skills. This is an unforgiving game, rife with dangerous and powerful enemies, and it’s one that should not be taken lightly when it launches on September 27 of this year. Divinity Original Sin II Definitive Edition, the last game on our plate, will suck you in and never let go. The brief demo we played had us escape from confinement using powerful spells and weapons, but the 15-minute experience barely makes a dent into the full experience. Adventurers should be ready to set out when the game launches in August, but do not expect to re-emerge until well into the holiday season.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

The second stop of E3 Day 2 brought us to Square Enix, where we went hands-on with Lara Croft’s latest adventure Shadow of the Tomb Raider. The final game in this prequel trilogy will absolutely bring Lara full circle, as she’s already showing a more aggressive and ruthless side in the demo we’re trying out. Her bow skills are unmatched, her stealth takedowns are brutal, and her ability to explore uncharted tombs is a thing of beauty. Lara’s latest adventure raids store shelves on September 14, so be prepared to descend into tombs unknown with the mighty heroine very soon.

We also went hands-on with the highly anticipated Kingdom Hearts III, and this franchise continues to fulfil our Disney/Final Fantasy fever dreams. This demo saw Sora, Goofy, and Donald Duck turned into toys and partnering with Buzz and Woody of Toy Story fame against the evil Heartless. My special weapon became a massive hammer I could use to pound enemies into submission. I could summon classic Disney characters like Wreck-It Ralph and Simba into the fray. Best of all, I could also call on classic Disney theme park rides to aid in my quest. It’s amazing how satisfying it is to slay Heartless while riding the tea cups. Kingdom Hearts III releases just after the holidays on January 29, and it will kick off the 2019 calendar year with a huge bang.

Capcom was next on our schedule and they also want to start 2019 off right, although Capcom prefers a more spine-tingling approach. Resident Evil 2 Remake, a complete re-imagining of the classic Playstation game, stole the show at the Sony press conference and the show floor with a 20-minute playable demo. The moody and dark atmosphere, the intense gunfights while trying to keep zombies at bay, and the brutality of being caught by one of the monsters is more than enough to get the blood pumping. Resident Evil 2 Remake will scare the pants off of everyone who dares pick it up on January 25, 2019.

Coming a little sooner than 2019, Capcom is also resurrecting the Blue Bomber in Mega Man 11, a hearkening back to a classic game franchise. This new game brings the retro Mega Man format to the current gen, adding a new Gear system that allows for more powerful weapons or slowing down time. The rest of the game is classic Mega Man action complete with eight bosses to conquer and a slew of platforming challenges to overcome. Mega Man returns to the spotlight in Mega Man 11 starting October 2.

Black Ops 4

After finishing with Capcom we moved on to Activision, where we got a first-hand look at Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s classic multiplayer offerings. Ten of us joined together in a frantic, high-octane match of Team Deathmatch, with our team proving victorious after over ten minutes of intense firefights. Black Ops 4 makes the controversial decision to remove a single-player campaign, but based on the quality of the multiplayer and the other modes coming to the game we suspect gamers will be pleased with Black Ops 4 when it hits October 12.

Next we took on an entire prison break’s worth of alien enemies in the latest expansion to Destiny 2 entitled Forsaken. This brief demo was big on action and sweet kills as I stormed through the prison break, blasting any low expectations I had for the expansion out the window. Forsaken could very well be the shot in the arm Destiny 2 needs to ascend to the heights of gaming, and we’ll find out for certain when the new expansion pack drops on September 4.

Our final two stops on Day 2 could not have been spent on more different games. GungHo Online Entertainment of Puzzle and Dragons fame showed off a new ninja-based game in Ninjala, while Techland brought us back into the world of Dying Light. Ninjala from GungHo is very difficult to describe, but it stars a group of trained ninja warriors that chew gum then use that gum to generate weapons and armor for a free-for-all battle. It certainly sounds corny, but we think this game could “stick” in the minds of young gamers when it launches on Nintendo Switch in 2019.

The final game of our Wednesday was Dying Light 2, the return to the desolate wasteland of post zombie apocalyptic world. Bandits roam the streets causing trouble wherever they can, while rival factions pop up all over town. The intrigue of this game seems to be less about killing zombie hoardes and more about keeping an eye on the survivors themselves, as they can be as ruthless and dangerous if given the chance. Dying Light 2 will unleash its hoardes on the gaming industry when it launches in 2019.

That’s a wrap for Day 2. Tune in again shortly for what we saw during the last day of the open show floor.

Submitted by Jason Fanelli.

E3 2018 Adventures in Gaming: Day 1

The opening of the convention halls for the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo is always a momentous occasion for the gaming faithful, and 2018 was a year filled with excitement. After five major media briefings wowed the crowds in the days and hours leading up to showtime, attendees were eager to get their hands and eyes on everything that was revealed and more. E3 2018 was in full swing, and we were right in the thick of it.

Never a dull moment at E3!

Day 1 started with a visit to Ubisoft, where we got to try out five of the publisher’s big games on display. We started with Starlink: Battle for Atlas, the starship shooter with customizable toy starships included. Simply by attaching the ship to my controller using the included anchor, I was able to fly around the galaxy fighting enemies and exploring new worlds. Using brand-new proprietary technology, the ships can be customized on the fly with different pieces. As soon as weapons are attached to a ship, those weapons become immediately available to use. The Nintendo Switch version will include an exclusive ship in the Arwing from Star Fox, complete with Fox McCloud as a pilot. This could be the surprise hit of the holiday season, so be sure to keep an eye on it.

Next we took a look at a pair of historical games: Skull and Bones and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Skull and Bones was first revealed last year, but this new demo put us in a free-for-all on the open seas, with both AI-controlled and player-controlled ships to contend with. We collected intel, sank enemy ships for more loot, and sailed around the Indian Ocean looking for new story elements to explore. Skull and Bones is still a ways off, but its 2019 release should be highly anticipated. Meanwhile, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey allowed us a full hour to explore Ubisoft’s take on ancient Greece, and this game looks to be the best in the series. A sprawling open world, brand new Conquest battles with hundreds of soldiers fighting together, and the ability to choose between a male and female protagonist—Odyssey has it all. October 5 can’t come soon enough.

The Division 2

Ubisoft’s final offerings are two highly anticipated sequels in Trials Rising and The Division 2. Trials Rising is the same crazy motorbike action we’ve seen before, only now on a much grander scale. Stages are giant and filled with jumps, loops, and all other kinds of obstacles, and crashing the bike is just as fun as finishing the track. Trials Rising will bring plenty of silly fun when it launches in February 2019. The Division 2, however, will not be a laughing matter. The plague that turned New York City upside down in the first game is gone, but in its wake is lawlessness and danger in Washington D.C. We got to play as the Survivalist class in our demo, shooting high-powered assault rifles and a bow-and-arrow sporting explosive arrows, all while hoardes of enemy soldiers flanked our team from all sides in some of the smartest AI moves we’ve ever seen. The Division 2 will be a grinding, challenging game when it launches in March 2019, and we cannot wait to play.

All your favourites are here

After finishing the Ubisoft marathon we were off to Warner Brothers, where we got hands-on with two wildly different titles. The first was Hitman 2, where the elite assassin Agent 47 was tasked with taking out a prominent race car driver mid-race. We snuck into the stadium, stole the clothes of a security guard, a waiter, and a pit crew technician in order to gain access to her car in the pit, planted a small device, and watched the fireworks. The ability to stealth my way through this massive party was really cool, and we’re curious what other crazy scenarios we’ll have to face when Hitman 2 drops November 13. We also played the latest in a long line of kid-friendly LEGO games, LEGO DC Super Villains, which as the name suggests stars the best of DC Comics’ fiendish villains. The Joker, Harley Quinn, Lex Luthor and more will jump, shoot, and fight their way through dozens of famous DC Comics locales in their quest to take down the heroes once and for all. Embrace your bad side when LEGO DC Super Villains releases October 16.

The last appointment of Day 1 was with Koei Tecmo, debuting the next installment of its longtime fighting franchise Dead or Alive 6. Koei Tecmo is taking the game in a new direction, focusing on the action in the match instead of the fighters themselves, and so far the results are really showing. Matches are fast and frenetic, the action tense from beginning to end. We were able to try every character in the demo, from the fan favorite Kasumi to the brawler Zack, and each character fits well into the new future of Dead or Alive. Longtime fans and new fighters alike should be pleased when the game releases March 2019.

That’s all for London Drugs’ Day 1 at E3 2018. Check back soon for Days 2 and 3 on the show floor!

Submitted by Jason Fanelli.