e3 2018

The Best Open Worlds Of E3 2018

by Matt Miller on Jun 15, 2018 at 02:00 PM

The open world sandbox experience continues to be a big winner; games that feature the opportunity to explore a vast and dynamic playspace continue to fascinate gamers. As such, some of the biggest games on display at E3 2018 were the ones that allowed for that style of discovery and freedom.

Here are some of our favorite open worlds we witnessed and played at the show, with links to dedicated previews where you can learn more.

Cyberpunk 2077

CD Projekt Red finally pulled the curtain back on its futuristic role-playing game, and we learned that it plays as a first-person open world experience. Moving through the game world, the world is filled with a breathtaking array of unique characters and personalities, and the game offers ways to learn about these individuals’ stories simply by looking at them. The developer’s eye for intricate details is also on display, as Cyberpunk 2077 is filled with ambient events that beg to be investigated, from taped off crime scenes to robotically-enhanced boxing matches. It’s a world we can’t wait to learn more about – learn about everything we saw in the extensive demo in our full impressions, watch the new trailer, and learn how the game is handling romance and sexuality

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Ubisoft came out swinging with a gorgeous new setting for its next foray into the universe of Assassin’s Creed. Players can explore lands and seas of Ancient Greece, filled with mythical statues, vibrant cityscapes, and glistening waters. The setting itself aims to match or even exceed the grandeur of Ancient Egypt that was on display in Origins. And we’re especially excited to see a return to seafaring adventures. Beyond the setting itself, the new Assassin’s Creed features an open world in which your decisions will have a greater effect on how the story progresses than ever before. You can see that dynamic in our lengthy video feature, which shows off the way various choices can take things down different paths. Or read up on all the new features in a look at the game’s RPG elements, and a rundown of the most important things to know about the game.

Generation Zero

Like your open worlds with a bit of a horror twist? Keep your eye on Avalanche’s Generation Zero, which finds players exploring an alternate history version of 1980s Sweden that has been overtaken by creepy killer robots. Moving across a landscape of muted colors and fog-enshrouded forests, players must survive the onslaught of eerie automatons while scrounging for supplies and ammo. The visuals look amazing, but it’s the uncomfortable atmosphere and abandoned signs of civilization that really keep things tense and exciting. Read our full preview to get the scoop.

Forza Horizon 4

Playground Games has made something of an artform of mixing high-octane racing with open world exploration, and the latest Forza Horizon installment looks to be upping the ante. Players will be driving around historic Britain, and early glimpses of the setting are especially picturesque. Increased focus on multiplayer options means that you can wander the world and encounter up to 12 real-life other drivers as they make their own way through the content. The most exciting feature is likely the new season concept, which sees the environment slowly rotate between autumn, winter, spring, and summer, with new events, map areas, and vehicle handling unique to each time of the year. If driving exploration is your thing, check out our in-depth preview for all the details.

Ghost of Tsushima

Sucker Punch is moving on from gritty urban superheroes, and instead exploring historic Japanese epics. The story rockets players back to the Mongol invasion of the island of Tsushima in the 13th century, where they play as a stoic samurai facing grim confrontations. The art design of Ghost of Tsushima perfectly recalls the great samurai films of yesteryear, but with an eye for vibrant color and presentation that is hard to tear your eyes away from. Glimpses of the game offered breathtaking vistas of the island landscape, which simply beg to be explored. Watch the gameplay debut for yourself, or learn more about what Sucker Punch has planned in our interview-focused preview.


Insomniac is going all-in with its take on everyone’s favorite webslinger, and a big part of the appeal is the remarkable detail and richness of the New York City setting. Swing close to buildings, and you can actually see the details of the interiors beyond the windows. Scale the Empire State Building. Or people watch on the streets of the urban sprawl. Spider-Man’s swinging and motion options are vast, but they’re made all the more fascinating thanks to the vast environment through which he moves and fights the bad guys. Check out our extensive hands-on impressions.

What were your favorite open world games of E3 this year? Let us know your picks in the comments below.