Our long international nightmare of trailer reveals and community shout-outs is finally over. The haggard survivors have fled the LACC, heroically mustering a final round of Instagram stories of complimentary cocktails before they return to a life of daylight and fresh vegetables. We at home are raking over the last still-glowing embers of news, and coming up largely empty-handed: the penance for having some great announcements at the start of the week appears to be a distressing lack of scoops and scandals at the end of it. Well done, PR professionals, for keeping your spokespeople locked down: we will return to battle next year.
The final trend tally: a cheering degree of diversity in triple-A protagonists and a surprising amount of next-gen hype, which could be a bad thing, but this year is looking pretty strong in the meantime: the addition of Spider-Man, Fallout 76, Hitman 2 and Smash Bros to the traditional year-end rush makes for a really expensive Christmas list. 2019 is also going to start strong for players and disastrously for publishers, with Kingdom Hearts and Resi 2 in January leading into a late-February battle royale with Anthem the likeliest survivor. Look forward to the fallen making a swift appearance in the discounted section of your preferred digital platform, which in Microsoft's case is not Netflix for games so please stop calling it that.
The final day of E3 is traditionally one for last-minute show-floor tours and begging for a look at whatever this year's big hit was, which for 2018 is emphatically Cyberpunk 2077. We learned that colour-coded rare gear, just like a real RPG, and your romance options will be defined by the preferences of the NPCs rather than just letting you flirt you way into bed with anybody. CDPR is promising messy, sexy relationships which is genuinely the best possible feature we can think of for next-generation gaming, and a bullet point we absolutely want to see when Sony finally admits to making the PS5.
Sony execs have mostly been running away from questions on console hardware or Fortnite cross-play, but they did say that their conference was a series of live musical acts because they wanted to avoid being shallow and let "the games speak for themselves", which rather begs the question of why they didn't just let people play them rather than locking them in a cinema and making them watch Norman Reedus remove a toenail. The cross-play controversy continues to grumble along and Sony's share price took a hit as a result, offering further proof that despite a week of million-dollar launch campaigns the entire industry is at the mercy of stuff that just falls out of Steam.
Disappointingly, Shadows Die Twice is named for its respawn mechanic rather than a Bond tribute, and the world will interconnect in the style of the first Dark Souls. Dying Light 2 has four-player co-op but one of you will have to host. Hunk and Tofu are back in the Resident Evil 2 remake, and in the absence of showfloor demos the Community has been diligently picking over the trailers to work out who the third playable character is in Devil May Cry 5.
Forza Horizon 4 might be the first racing game you can complete without ever driving a car. It looks amazing, obviously. You can use the excuse of GDPR to find out why you were reported in Dota 2, which almost makes all the emails and the popups worthwhile. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is not scamming you for Beyond Good and Evil 2, honest. Here are the best E3 2018 trailers you missed while you were watching Cyberpunk 2077.
Our thoughts are with those who couldn't be here this year, such as anybody from Sony who'd comment on their Fortnite problem, most of Nintendo's first-party lineup and Red Dead Redemption 2. Of the other no-shows, the Final Fantasy 7 remake is in active development "alongside Kingdom Hearts 3" which feels like the worst omen Square could possibly have come up with, and Rocksteady still won't admit what it's working on but it isn't ready to show it yet, sorry.