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The 10 best trailers unveiled at E3 2014

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From the long-awaited, deeper look at Tom Clancy’s The Division to the return of the heralded Uncharted series, gamers received an enticing glimpse of what’s to come on Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo’s flagship consoles at E3 2014. However, not all titles showcased gameplay, often leaving their lasting impressions in the form of debut cinematic trailers. For instance, who doesn’t remember Ken Levine showing off Bioshock Infinite during the 2010 E3 conference? Simply put, a solid trailer builds or destroys a game’s immediate reputation among its harshest critics — the gamers themselves. We’ve compiled a list, in no particular order, of the 10 trailers that left us wanting more the moment the video ticked to 0:00.

Additionally, check our our best of E3 2014 awards for a quick look at our favorite upcoming titles, along with our expansive catalog of E3 2014 game trailers and all our E3 2014 coverage.

Destiny offers new beginnings

The studio behind the massive hit Halo returns with another futuristic shooter in Destiny. Although Bungie touted the forthcoming game for some time, the New Beginning’s trailer shown during Sony’s press conference shed a whole lot more light on this massively multiplayer role-playing game. Fans of the Halo series may recognize Destiny’s similarities, though its open-world style of play and RPG elements give it a unique taste more akin to the Borderlands series than the company’s previous offering. Bungie’s Destiny may well revolutionize the shooter genre akin to what Halo did some 13 years ago. Our hands-on impressions left us longing to explore more, but thankfully, the beta arrives on the PS4 July 17. An official release date is also slated for Sept. 9, 2014, on current and next-gen systems.

Tom Clancy’s The Division gameplay demo takes you underground

The recently-showcased cinematic trailer for Tom Clancy’s The Division initially impressed audiences with its fast-forward visualization of a deteriorating New York City. Its deeper gameplay trailer though, is where The Division truly shined at E3. The trailer opens with two players making their way through a rundown version of NYC’s subway system and highlights many of the game’s interesting features. The Division uses a unique map system which creates a 3D model of your surroundings for a quick look at your location and where you need to go. As you continue to venture street side from the subway tunnels, it’s clear the graphical output and depth of Ubisoft’s Snowdrop engine is incredible. Once outside, an intense shootout highlighting different class loadouts, weapons, and accessories ensues. If the game is anywhere near as impressive as the gameplay trailer when it debuts in 2015 on next-gen systems, then the Tom Clancy franchise has yet another winner.

Inside trailer paints a beautiful, bleak picture

It appears Limbo’s 2010 success isn’t a one-hit wonder for indie developer Playdead. Praised for its engrossing style of play and haunting visuals, Limbo took players on an incredible journey through the depths of Hell. Its spiritual sequel, Inside, looks to do much of the same while building upon the foundation that made the first game such a joy to play. As shown during Microsoft’s press event, the title brings back the simple platforming elements introduced in Playdead’s first game, along with the difficult puzzle dynamics and unique visual flare. The trailer alone sets a terrifying stage for Inside, one that appears to be one heck of a frightening ride. Inside is currently scheduled for 2015 release.

No Man’s Sky’s gameplay demo shoots for the stars (and beyond)

Perhaps one of the more ambitious titles unveiled at the 2014 E3 conference, the Hello Games-developed No Man’s Sky aims to let gamers explore the contiguous universe. The trailer shows off the massive open-world scope of No Man’s Sky, which the developers call a “game without limits,” providing a stunning glimpse of what the game’s massive universe has in store for gamers. From discovering new species of interplanetary dinosaurs to hopping in a spaceship and jetting to foreign planets in distant galaxies, the No Man’s Sky gameplay trailer is something to behold. The game will still debut on the PS4 at an undisclosed date, despite the studio’s building flooding earlier this year.

Rainbow Six: Siege gameplay demo reimagines the shooter

The Rainbow Six franchise will bring tactical shooting to next-gen consoles with its latest entry, Rainbow Six: Siege. This phenomenal, six-and-a-half-minute gameplay trailer shows off Siege’s commitment to multiplayer and impeccable attention to detail. Watching the way the game’s Rainbow team plots and executes its plan to save a hostage is both thrilling and vastly different than most titles within the field, but given Rainbow Six games have always boasted life-like realism, it’s no surprising Siege takes realism one step further in its demo. The next installment of the franchise will feature fully destructible environments and debut sometime in 2015, so developer Ubisoft has plenty of time to work out the few kinks we experienced first hand at E3.

Next page: Five more of our favorite trailers from E3 2014.

Uncharted 4 trailer features Drake’s return and more questions

One of Sony’s bigger E3 announcements was the return of Nathan Drake — outfitted in a henley, of course — and the Uncharted franchise. While Sony divulged little information about the plot of the fourth installment, the trailer’s updated visuals show the impressive power of the PS4. The trailer opens with a shot of a life-like Drake lying unconscious on a remote beach as a narration between him and accomplice Victor Sullivan plays in the background. Developer Naughty Dog teased the sequel last year, hinting at various game locations throughout Africa, but there’s a good chance Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End will likely be a tour de force on the next-gen console given the well-earned success of Uncharted 3: Drake’s DeceptionThe game is currently scheduled to debut in 2015 exclusively on the PS4.

Lara Croft finds herself in the Rise of Tomb Raider trailer

Lara Croft is back in Crystal Dynamics’ sequel to its 2013 smash reboot Tomb Raider. Showcased during Microsoft’s press event at E3 2014, the short trailer for Rise of Tomb Raider depicts a quiet Lara receiving a fair dose of therapy following the events of the first game. Afflicted with flashbacks and anxiety, Ms. Croft comes to the realization the events which transpired in the first game helped her become who she is meant to be. The trailer also shows off the rebooted franchise’s impressive visuals and the same gritty style developed in the game’s predecessor. The game is set to launch in late 2015.

Scorpion and Sub-Zero brawl in Mortal Kombat X trailer

The popular Mortal Kombat franchise made a triumphant return to E3 in all its bloody glory. Fan-favorite Sub-Zero and Scorpion take center stage following a three-year hiatus in the game’s first trailer, and as expected, the two nemeses beat the living hell out of one another to the tune of Wiz Khalifa’s “Can’t Be Stopped.” Developer NetherRealm Studios spares no punches (pun intended), showcasing the game’s familiar blood, broken bones, and even a glimpse of Scorpion’s iconic “get over here!” Still, we will have to wait until 2015 to hear Kiefer Sutherland belt it out.

Snake returns yet again in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

If there’s one thing Metal Gear Solid developer Hideo Kojima knows how to do, it’s how to make a beautifully game trailer. Kojima also does an incredible job of crafting enthralling storytelling and addictive gameplay, and The Phantom Pain looks to carry on tradition when it lands on last-gen and current-gen consoles in 2015. The lengthy trailer for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain tops just over four minutes, shedding some light on the cast of characters and open-world locales in what looks to be the impressive next chapter in Snake’s ongoing saga. Moreover, the trailer shown during Sony’s press conference at E3 indicates the developer is taking full advantage of the PS4’s graphical capability, expanding upon the story established in the excellent Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes.

You’re not alone in the Alien: Isolation trailer

For all the poor attempts at a proper Alien game throughout the years, Alien: Isolation seems to nail the survival horror aspect of the films right on the head. Unlike other Alien games, the campaign isn’t focused on annihilating the Xenomorph race with a band of marines. Rather, Sega has crafted a horrifying “run-for-your-life” thriller. The trailer does a fantastic job showing off the grim outlook for protagonist Amanda Ripley, the daughter of film protagonist Ellen Ripley. Instead of facing the Xenomorphs head-on, you’re tasked with essentially running for your life or hiding in the event you encounter the aliens. Other potential dangers appear to exist aboard the ship, and as showcased in the latest E3 trailer, Amanda is alone and armed with next to nothing. If the finished product turns out as promising and meticulously-crafted as its E3 trailer and our hands-on time with the game, you can expect Alien: Isolation to provide a worthwhile yet horrifying experience, especially when coupled with the title’s October release.

Editors' Recommendations

Rick Stella
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Rick became enamored with technology the moment his parents got him an original NES for Christmas in 1991. And as they say…
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