Monday, June 22nd, 2015 Posted by Jim Thacker

Eye candy: the best game trailers from E3 2015

Honorable mention: Eidos Montreal’s tech demo of its new Dawn engine was a highlight of E3 2015’s inaugural PC Gaming Show, but it doesn’t qualify for our pick of the show’s best cinematics. Find out what did below.

The West’s biggest gaming show took place last week. And with no new hardware to announce – at least, not console hardware: AMD had some pretty impressive new GPUs – the spotlight at E3 2015 fell on the games.

For starters, Bethesda chose this year to host its first E3 press conference, which meant that we got to see Doom 4 and Fallout 4. Not to be outdone, Nintendo held its first live conference since 2012.

Throw in show stalwarts like Sony, Microsoft, EA and Square Enix – and even a new AMD-sponsored conference devoted to PC gaming – and that meant more new titles on display than ever before.

But if you didn’t have time to watch the conference livestreams – all 10-plus hours of them – don’t despair. Below, we’ve waded through all of the new announcements to bring you our pick of the eye candy.

But first, a few disclaimers
As with our previous E3 retrospectives, this is a round-up of the best games trailers, not the games themselves. It isn’t a prediction of how good we expect a title to be on its release.

By and large, that means AAA titles, not indie games; and pre-rendered cinematics, not in-engine footage. Also, some of these trailers feature adult content, so you’ll need to be logged in to YouTube to view them.

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

Blur Studio cemented its reputation as one of the finest cinematics houses at E3 2015. Its ‘The White Masks‘ spot for Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege features a nuanced facial performance from a CG Angela Bassett, but for our first pick, we’ve gone with the studio’s first in-engine trailer. Rendered in UE4, its ‘Moonlight’ spot for 505 Games’ Gravity-esque ADR1FT shows things going badly wrong for an astronaut, in nightmarish slow motion.

4. Hitman
Just like the games themselves, the new trailer for Hitman is all about anticipation. The teaser for the fashionably un-numbered sixth title in Io-Interactive’s series of stealth action games follows four of Agent 47’s victims through what will be their last days on earth, intercut with Agent 47 himself running through a snowy wilderness. The payoffs, when they finally arrive, are elegantly understated.

3. Dishonored 2
The second Blur trailer in our round-up takes the steampunk stylings of Arkane Studios’ original Dishonored and turns them up to 11. Directed by Dave Wilson, the three-minute spot follows the protagonist through a series of shifting corridors in a vast clockwork secret lair – revealing midway through the would-be assassin is not Corvo, but the now fully grown Emily Kaldwin, the orphaned Empress from the first game.

2. Star Wars: The Old Republic – Knights of the Fallen Empire
There were a lot of Star Wars-related videos from E3, including a gameplay video for Battlefront that has already racked up 10 million views on YouTube. But the finest was Blur’s ‘Sacrifice’ trailer for SWTOR expansion Knights of the Fallen Empire. A four-minute epic, following its twin protagonists from boyhood to ill-fated conflict with their father, it arguably packed in more of the spirit of Star Wars than the entire prequel trilogy.

1. Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate
Digic Pictures‘ Assassin’s Creed cinematics have come top in our E3 round-ups for the past three years, so we debated whether to bump Syndicate down a peg, on general principles. But from the opening shot, which sends the camera soaring over the rooftops of Victorian London, it becomes clear that this is not your average trailer, but a vast, lovingly detailed CG world: by turns grimy and gorgeous, and filled with memorable characters. If Digic didn’t keep making these things so goddammn beautiful, we wouldn’t have to keep picking them.

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