Extendable trailer specs

The Not-E3 Awards: our favorite game and trailer

No-E3 is complete. Well, wait, right? Watch closely and you’ll see it bleeds a bit into the days and weeks beyond the weekend, with Capcom giving a presentation today (opens in a new tab) and Ubisoft should still do something in July, we think.

Even with the different format of this year’s presentations, the spirit of the thing was the same: we flew to Los Angeles and played games, we watched a lot of trailers, and we get out of this process with a series of feelings. And you, dear reader, are the recipient of these sentiments. It’s the closest thing to an award we give for this year’s Not-E3, G3, “Keigh3”, or whatever your favorite portmanteau is.

👑 The best Not-E3 game: Warhammer 40,000: Darktide

Morgan Park, Editor: I walked into our Darktide demo confident that the folks at Vermintide know how to do great melee combat and a little worried that the shooting might not hold up. I left the demo excited that Fatshark could have made some of the most rewarding video game guns in years. I want this whole game now. Give me.

Wes Fenlon, Editor: Darktide has really succeeded on two fronts: the game itself rips, and it was also the most substantial preview of any game in this odd non-E3 season. We had to run an entire mission, multiple classes were available, no arbitrary cutoff time – just play the game the same way we will play it in September. That’s how you make a demo.

Finalist: Street Fighter 6

We s: The only reason I put Street Fighter 6 behind Darktide is that Street Fighter’s airplay was more limited: I could only play with four characters and couldn’t see the big single-player mode that Capcom is working on. Otherwise I think this is the most exciting fighting game in years.

📺 The best non-E3 trailer: Skate Story

Evan Lahti, Global Editor: With blurry neon red titles like “YOU ARE A DEMON” centered across the screen, Skate Story looks like Tony Hawk’s Stranger Things.

The trailer doesn’t do anything inventive to show us Skate Story – there’s no voiceovers or clever twists, no gimmicks or cinematic flourishes. It just presents a bit of gameplay elegantly, but the effect of the trailer is huge: Why have we been putting skateboarding games into the real world all these decades? We could have been “demons made of glass and pain” doing 360 reverse heelflips all this time? ! Why didn’t I play a game where my body crumbles into glistening shards of glass when I die? It is a real public service to have reality checks. As our contributor Lincoln Carpenter put it on Twitter, “Ever remember video games have a right to look crazy as shit?” I haven’t seen such a scary, cool, and concept-centric game since Devil Daggers.

Finalist: Demonschool, by Ysbryd Games & Necrosoft Games

Evan: I’m biased on this one – Demonschool debuted in the PC gaming fair, which I help set up, but in an indie landscape that often feels like a set of cookie-cutter games bringing together visual styles or mechanics from each other, Demonschool mixes 2D and 3D art d in a way I had never seen before. It immediately grabs my attention and was an instant Steam wishlist for me, and it comes from someone skinless in the Persona series that it’s partly inspired by. The song in this trailer also slaps.

🤔 The most absurd claim made by a developer: Forza Motorsport

We have completely overhauled our driving experience. This includes a 48x improvement in the fidelity of our physics simulation.”

Ted Litchfield, Associate Editor: This line from the Xbox storefront is lodged in my brain like an ice pick. PC Gamer F1 fan Jacob Ridley pointed out that it’s surely a quantifiable thing, not an unreasonable assertion to make, but I don’t care. It is so… E3. Quantifying something as tiny as it is meaningful is something the editors should have left behind when we stopped bragging about how many polygons a character, car, or world contained. I don’t know how much my gaming experience could be changed by a 48X improvement in physics simulation or time of day temperature variances affecting tire traction, but by God we get both.

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