One of the biggest weeks in the gaming world has once again rolled around in Los Angeles, with the 2018 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) giving fans a preview of what companies like Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft have in store.
For the uninitiated, E3 is an annual conference that runs over four days and features press briefings from some of the major players in the video game industry.
Although Nintendo jumped the gun and announced their two new Pokémon games for the Nintendo Switch a few weeks ago, and notoriously leaky Ubisoft's upcoming Assassins Creed game was confirmed through a photo of a promotional keychain, there were plenty of surprises in store.
Some of the press conferences were at ungodly hours of the morning, but we have you covered — here are some of the biggest moments people will be talking about.
The battle bus comes to Switch
This was heavily rumoured in the lead-up to E3, and like many of the other leaks, it turned out to be true — the most popular battle royale game, Fortnite, is coming to Nintendo.
It's not hard to see why. Fortnite is huge at the moment — 3.4 million concurrent players were counted back in February — and given an iPhone version has already been released, it's not like it would be overly difficult to port it to the Switch.
The colourful and cartoony graphics, lack of gore and general madcap mayhem make it a perfect fit for Nintendo, and being able to play it on the big screen or in handheld mode (while still having actual button controls, rather than mobile ones) is a definite plus.
Perhaps the best thing is that it's also free — and Epic Games have made it available to download today, so people can hop on the battle bus and jump right in.
A glimpse at Skyrim's sequel
It was only 37 seconds long, and it dropped right at the end of game company Bethesda's conference, but it was enough.
When the opening bars of the iconic theme played in the packed conference hall, as the camera moved slowly over a rocky mountain range towards the sea, people loved it. And then when "Elder Scrolls VI" came up on the screen — the cheer.
The previous Elder Scrolls game, Skyrim, was released back in 2011 and was absolutely huge. It was massively popular, and has been re-released, remastered and ported to other consoles more times than you can poke a Daedric Sword at.
The fact that you can sit down today — seven years after it was released — and still get blown away by the graphics and the gameplay shows what sort of role-playing game Bethesda is capable of producing, and shows why people are so keen for a fully fledged sequel.
There are still a lot of unanswered questions, of course — where is it set? When will we be able to play it? Will it be on this generation of consoles or the next? We'll likely be waiting a while to find out.
A new challenger approaches
Super Smash Bros — a fighting game featuring some of Nintendo's most famous characters — has long been a mainstay on Nintendo's home consoles, and the Switch is no different.
Nintendo revealed the existence of a new Super Smash Bros before, but was pretty light on the details.
But in their overnight Nintendo Direct video, they've revealed Super Smash Bros: Ultimate, as it's called, includes every fighter from every past iteration of the game — meaning you'll be able to choose from more than 60 characters to beat up your best friends or decide that argument among housemates.
Some fighters have also been updated, both in terms of appearance and skill set — Link, for instance, wears his Breath of the Wild outfit and can wield remote bombs, while Mario wears Cappy from Super Mario Odyssey.
The game was one of the most anticipated reveals for Switch owners at E3, and Nintendo also announced it would be available on December 7, meaning we don't have long to wait.
A cyberpunk Grand Theft Auto?
When we first heard about Cyberpunk 2077 from CD Projekt Red, makers of The Witcher series, it was 2012. Since then, we've had brief teasers and glimpses, but nothing solid. Hype was building, people were keen, but there was no sign of it.
Until Microsoft's press conference, when just as it was about to end, lights flickered and it looked like the presentation was being hacked — and then the trailer played.
Cyberpunk 2077's name is an indication of what to expect — set in a gritty, dystopian future, people can change their bodies and abilities with synthetic implants and augmentations.
We didn't see any gameplay, but the trailer looked pretty, and it gave off a Grand Theft Auto meets Deus Ex: Human Revolution vibe — that is to say, something that looks very cool indeed.
And as a cool Easter egg, as code flashed up on the screen during the "hacking", CD Projekt inserted lines containing free codes for downloading The Witcher 3. A nice touch, for those sharp enough to catch it.
Marvel's on a high
Things are currently going pretty well for Marvel. The Avengers: Infinity War was massive, and their new Spider-Man, Tom Holland, has apparently won over the internet with his take on the webslinger.
So it makes sense that now is a good time for a Spider-Man game — and unlike many video games based on comics in the past, it actually looks like a lot of fun.
Sony's showcase wasn't a surprise in any way — we knew Spider-Man was coming, and we already knew a fair bit about it — but the trailer showed off a bit more of the storyline, as well as a good chunk of gameplay.
Basically, some of Spider-Man's biggest enemies have broken out of prison — but really, it's just a great excuse to swing around the city, perform insane acrobatics, catch bad guys, and be your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man. It'll be out later this year on September 7.
- Microsoft's Gears of War troll. We saw the logo, got hyped — and then it turns out to be a Funko Pop spin-off. Unbelievable. They managed to pull it off by then revealing a RTS Gears spin-off game, and then the highly-anticipated Gears of War 5. Well played Microsoft, well played.
- Microsoft again, for raining down autumn leaves on the audience while showcasing the changing seasons feature in Forza Horizon 4. Ten points off for not switching on the sprinkler system to demonstrate rain though.
- Bethesda's joke reveal of Skyrim for Amazon's Alexa, etch-a-sketch, pager, and fridge. There have been a LOT of Skyrim ports, and it's a running joke that by this point, you'll probably be able to play Skyrim on almost anything with a screen. Bonus points for the fact that you actually can play a (very stripped-down) version on Alexa, complete with voice commands.
- Kudos to Sony for having both banjo and shakuhachi performances while introducing two (awesome-looking) games. Now if they could show off gameplay footage of the Final Fantasy VII remake, that'd be just super.
- Also the Last of Us 2 trailer, which featured the same gripping storytelling that made the first game so powerful and showed Ellie is NOT someone to be messed with. (Warning: it's graphic stuff.)