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E4 2020: Shack Staff's favorite E3 trailers

A look back at some of the best video game trailers and announcements made at E3.


E3 is but a distant memory at this point. To think, that one year ago we were all enjoying E3 2019 and all the trailers and announcements that came with it. And now, several chaotic months later that add up to a year, we’re here without an E3. But what we lost in E3 we gained in Shacknews’ E4. To remember E3, let’s take a look back at some of the best E3 video game trailers and feature announcements from the past!

The Last of Us Part II

The Last of Us Part II reveal trailer was a beautiful moment in gaming history. After the extremely emotional story of the first game, players weren’t sure if they’d ever get a chance to revisit this intense world. Not only did we get an announcement, we also received actual gameplay showcasing an adult Ellie, taking down marauders with some brutal attacks. 

God of War

Who’d of thought that God of War, a hack’n’slash game that is, admittedly, rather adolescent, could grow up and show real emotion. With E3 2016 came a monumental shift in tone for the God of War franchise. In it, we see a somber Kratos (albeit always with rage bubbling below the surface), deal with a situation many of us thought we’d never see: the God of War raising a child.

Halo 2 reveal trailer

There are those who thought this day would never come. The release of Halo 2 was one of the biggest moments in entertainment history. The buzz surrounding this game was beyond comparison to anything today. It was before the time of widespread social media, before gaming had really gone mainstream, and it all had to start somewhere. This reveal trailer showed to players for the first time what they were fighting for: Earth. Unfortunately, the Covenant was already laying waste to the surface. Good thing the Master Chief was there in his shiny new armor, ready to get to work.

Beyond Good & Evil 2 reveal

No one could have guessed that a sequel to Beyond Good & Evil was in the works. Though there were always rumors circulating, Ubisoft had remained tight-lipped, not spilling anything. It wasn’t until E3 2017 that fans got their first glimpse of Beyond Good & Evil 2, and boy howdy, was it something truly fantastic to behold. Later on, actual gameplay footage was revealed, and since then very little else. We remain cautiously optimistic about this title, and hopefully we’ll hear more soon.

Xbox One Back Compat announcement

Though it wasn’t a game reveal, this announcement by the always-smiling Phil Spencer received resounding applause throughout the community. The Xbox One would be receiving a backward compatibility program that would go on to be a cornerstone of Xbox as a company. It was one aspect that helped turn the ship around after the Xbox One’s less than stellar release. A while later, Spencer took to the E3 stage once more to announce that not only were more Xbox 360 games coming to the platform, but that the team was also bringing original Xbox games to the mix. Three generations of Xbox games on one console. An unimaginable success for gamers everywhere.

Smash Ultimate - Everyone is here!

If you think about ultimate crossover events, you might think of Marvel movies or some events in Fortnite. However, one that blows them all out of the water is the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate trailer from E3 2018. In this huge reveal, Masahiro Sakurai answers players’ dreams by showing off the biggest roster in Smash history. Literally everyone is here! Ultimate would continue to amaze with its DLC releases, which featured some incredible characters like Banjo-Kazooie, Joker, and Terry, with more coming this year.

Sea of Thieves reveal

For a lot of gamers, Rare was the video game company that helped them fall in love with games. Whether you started playing Rare games on the NES or the Nintendo 64, the love was almost immediate. Then, sometime around the Xbox One days, it seems that Rare was designated as the company that was to make Kinect games. A lot of gamers thought that the once proud days of Rare’s past were just that, in the past. Then in 2015, Rare showed off a game that would become one of the most popular games on Xbox Live: Sea of Thieves. It was a game that offered players the ultimate pirate fantasy: digging up treasure, fighting skeletons, and setting sail on a huge galleon to fight other players. Since it’s release, it had gone on to new and powerful heights, becoming a must-have title for all Xbox and PC players.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess may not have been the most popular Zelda title ever released, but you wouldn’t know that from the 2004 reveal. At the very end of a presentation, Nintendo did the ultimate mic-drop by unveiling The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. There was a standing ovation as the crowd went wild, cheering on the Hero of Time.

Half-Life 2 E3 2003 demo

Nothing gets PC gamers more excited than Half-Life. Back in 2003, fans got their first-look at Half-Life 2 in the form of a full demo. It showcased what would become a pivotal moment for gamers, and one of the last times they got a brand new entry in the series (aside from some expansions) until Half-Life: Alyx released in 2020. Perhaps in another 17 years we’ll get Half-Life 3. Or Episode 3. Whatever the case, this demo was a technical marvel back in 2003 and remains as impressive today as it did back then.

Reveal trailers and E3 go hand-in-hand. From humble new IPs to a complete fresh take on a beloved franchise, these are some of our favorite E3 trailers to ever grace our screens. What are some of your favorite trailers or announcements from E3? Be sure to join us in the Chatty thread to continue the memberberry experience.

Guides Editor

Hailing from the land down under, Sam Chandler brings a bit of the southern hemisphere flair to his work. After bouncing round a few universities, securing a bachelor degree, and entering the video game industry, he's found his new family here at Shacknews as a Guides Editor. There's nothing he loves more than crafting a guide that will help someone. If you need help with a guide, or notice something not quite right, you can Tweet him: @SamuelChandler 

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