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The best explosive new action games

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Columnist Marc Saltzman runs down the titles previewed at E3 that will get your heart thumping.

Get fired up over action games? The future is bright – if what we saw this week is any indication.

The annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (“E3”) has just wrapped up in Los Angeles, once again serving a window into the future of the multibillion dollar interactive entertainment industry.

At the risk of dating myself, this was my 21st consecutive E3, and this year’s expo showcased many action games designed to provide virtual thrills.

Whether you prefer to play on a PC or a console – such as PlayStation 4, Xbox One, on Nintendo Switch — the following are some of the most promising new action-oriented titles to save up for.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus – America Under Siege

(Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Windows PC)

BJ Blazkowicz is back to take on the evil Nazi war machine – but this time, the fight is on American soil. Upon awakening from a 5-month coma, BJ starts this first-person adventure in a wheelchair, and with the help of a scientist, a map, some weapons, and a will to survive – in part, to be reunited with his partner, Anya, who’s pregnant with twins — BJ fights the good fight until he can rid the Nazis from the United States. Due out Oct. 27 from Bethesda, expect an intriguing story, great graphics, and plenty of action in this sequel to 2014’s Wolfenstein: The New Order.

Super Mario Odyssey

(Nintendo Switch)

Nintendo fans were salivating over this one. In this all-new adventure out October 27, Super Mario Odyssey is an open-ended “sandbox” game that folds in action, platforming, puzzle-solving, and exploration. Mario travels to various Kingdoms to perform tasks for familiar characters, and will flick his hat (“Cappy”) to defeat enemies, flip switches, possess objects, and more. Each of these environments have plenty of verticality, too, so you’ll spend time climbing, scaling, teleporting, and blasting up to high areas. And yes, since it’s a Mario game, you’ll collect gold coins, unlock hidden areas, and look for secret items and minigames.

Call of Duty: WWII

(Xbox One, PS4, PC)

Rather than fighting in the future (and even in outer space) as in last year’s Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, the best-selling series is returning to its roots in Call of Duty: WWII. As the name suggests, you’ll climb into the boots of a soldier in World War II, and during the mission-based solo campaign or in multiplayer matches, your goal is to stay alive long enough to help win the war. Along with iconic WWII locations in the European theater of war, players will enlist in various divisions — including airborne, armored, infantry, and so on — each with different weapons and skills. Activision’s near-photorealistic game will be available on Nov. 3.

Spider-Man

(PS4)

Along with Sony Interactive Entertainment’s other impressive action games – like Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, Days Gone, God of War, and a remastered version of Shadow of the Colossus – Marvel’s Spider-Man is a high-flying single-player action game that lets you assume the role of everyone’s favorite Webbed Wonder. Featuring a more mature (23-year-old) Spider Man, swing between New York City skyscrapers, use parkour to nimbly scale obstacles, and engage in stealth and combat sequences. The PlayStation 4 exclusive swings into stores sometime in 2018.

Crackdown 3

(Xbox One, Windows 10)

Along with other buzzworthy exclusives like Sea of Thieves, Microsoft Game Studios’ Crackdown 3 – for Xbox One, Xbox One S, the upcoming Xbox One X, and Windows 10 PCs — marks the explosive return of the coveted franchise. Once again, you’re a super-powered agent who must explore the heights of a futuristic city, race through the streets in a transforming vehicle, and use your abilities to stop a ruthless criminal empire. Play solo or take advantage of cooperative and competitive modes, with over-the-top destruction powered by Microsoft Cloud servers. The game drops Nov. 7.

Assassin’s Creed: Origins

(Xbox One, PS4, PC)

Ubisoft Montreal’s next installment in the Assassin’s Creed franchise – which has sold more than 100 million copies over the past decade – transports players into Ancient Egypt, where you’re tasked with discovering secrets behind the Great Pyramids, the last Pharaohs, and other mysteries. As Bayek, you’ll take on various missions, fight nemeses, engage with characters, and stealthily move around long-lost cities, coastal towns, and deserts. Played from a cinematic third-person perspective, this gorgeous game is the first in the series to incorporate some role-playing elements. The game will be released on Oct. 27.

Star Wars Battlefront II

(Xbox One, PS4, PC)

Star Wars geeks, rejoice! Electronic Arts share more info on Star Wars Battlefront II, a game that lets you experience the untold story of Iden Versio, an Imperial elite special forces soldier. Along with an all-new solo campaign, this multiplatform game features epic multiplayer battles and tournaments — whether you choose to play as a ground trooper, TIE Fighter pilot, or as iconic heroes and villains from Star Wars lore. After the game ships on Nov. 17, you’ll have access to free additional content, including new locations, characters, vehicles, modes, and weapons, says EA.

Other action-heavy honorable mentions include: Anthem, Skull & Bones, A Way Out, Middle-earth: Shadow of War, Destiny 2, Far Cry 5, and Beyond Good & Evil 2.

More on E3:

Follow Marc on Twitter: @marc_saltzman. E-mail him at askmarcsaltzman@gmail.com.

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