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Eye candy: best of E3 2014

Sunday, June 15th, 2014 | Posted by Jim Thacker

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Honorable mention: wisely not trying to match the pathos of the original, the trailer for Dead Island 2 is beautifully paced – but doesn’t quite make our top five cinematics from E3 2014. Find out what did below.

By most people’s reckoning, this year’s E3 wasn’t as huge, or as hectic, as last year’s show. But with no new consoles to promote (if you discount the Alienware Alpha), the focus was back on the games.

And new games means new trailers. Below, we’ve waded through the dozens of cinematics released at the show to bring you our own personal top five.

No handhelds, no cartoons, some hitting below the belt
Before we begin: the usual rules. This is a completely subjective selection, and it’s based on how good we think the trailers are from a graphical point of view – not how good we expect the games themselves to be.

By and large, that means near-photorealistic animation, so it tends to select against indie and mobile titles. And some of these titles feature adult content, so you’ll need to be logged in to YouTube to view all the videos.

All clear? Good. Then on with the eye candy…

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5. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

The trailer for Uncharted 4 doesn’t give much away. Recently unretired fortune hunter Nathan Drake wakes up on a river bank after what probably wasn’t the happiest of boat rides, and heads off into the jungle. But the animation – captured entirely in-engine by Naughty Dog – is beautifully detailed, and that snags it fifth spot.

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4. Destiny

There was a pretty nice E3 trailer for Halo 5, but for our money, you got more bang for your buck with the original developers. Bungie’s first release since handing over the reins of the Halo franchise describes itself as ‘mythic science fiction‘, and the trailer for Destiny certainly thinks big. Not ground-breaking, but very pretty.

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3. Far Cry 4

Ubisoft’s big reveal for Far Cry 4 dispenses with the niceties of editing highlights together, instead opting to show you the first five minutes of the game in its entirety. “Self-imposed dictator of Kyrat” King Pagan Min seems to share a barber with Far Cry 3’s Vaas Montenegro, but the other in-game assets look gorgeous.

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2. Tom Clancy’s The Division

If you’d told us a week ago that we’d be featuring a Tom Clancy game in our E3 round-up, we’d have told you that you were either (a) deluded, or (b) part of Ubisoft’s marketing department. The content of The Division is the usual post-apocalyptic nonsense, but goddammit, Blur Studio’s faux stop-motion intro is stylish.

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1. Assassin’s Creed: Unity

We named Assassin’s Creed III our trailer of E3 2012, its successor the trailer of E3 2013 – and here we are again. The historical settings change, but Digic Pictures’ mini-epics for Ubisoft’s action adventure series continue to outstrip the competition, both for their sheer scale and for their genuinely cinematic quality. Top spot, yet again.

Do you have your own favourites from E3? Post them in the comments below.

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