E3 2019’s Highs and Lows
This year we’re doing our E3 coverage a little differently. We’ll be categorizing the best and worst parts of E3 this year. What won and what lost? What was hype and what was lame? What captivated us and what disappointed us? So without further ado, let’s get into the highs and lows of E3 this year.
The entire Devolver Digital conference (as usual)
As they have the past 2 years, Devolver has been one of the highlights of E3. With their weird, bloody, outside-the-box parody style, Devolver’s conferences are nothing short of entertaining and mind blowing (sometimes literally). This year, they’ve decided to continue a story that the previous 2 years started, beginning with spokesperson, Nina Struthers, incapacitated and trapped in a mental hell where she puts on a family friendly persona. It’s an obvious nod to Nintendo’s Directs and a hilarious parody of them. My words will not be able to do this conference justice, so I’ll be linking it here. If you haven’t seen the previous Devolver Big Fancy Press Conferences, you should definitely watch their 2017 and 2018 shows.
Cyberpunk 2077 Release Date and also Keanu Reeves is in it
Cyberpunk 2077 was one of the earlier games shown in the Microsoft conference, but it arguably had the most lasting effect on social media. Unfortunately, no new gameplay was shown, but we did get a pretty sweet cinematic trailer that seemed to hint at some gameplay mechanics, such as enemies being able to hack the player’s cybernetics. We also finally got a release date for the game and it lands just under a year away, April 16th, 2020. Oh and one more thing, the game will feature America’s sweetheart, Keanu Reeves. We’re not sure what role he plays just yet, but he seems to be an ally, which is good because I don’t want to deal with John Wick hunting me down. You can watch the trailer here.
Final Fantasy VII Remake gets a release date, FINALLY
A new trailer was shown for the Final Fantasy VII Remake and it showed a lot of really exciting stuff, such as being able to switch between characters in your party. We got to see gameplay of Barret, Aerith, and Tifa, who was shown for the very first time. The game looks absolutely stunning, but we’ll have to wait until March 3rd, 2020 to see if it plays just as beautifully. You can see the trailer for yourself here.
They also announced a Final Fantasy VIII remaster. It’s not a remake like they’re doing for VII, but it is still a great chance to play it in case you missed it. You can watch the trailer for it here.
We got to see Jedi: Fallen Order
During EA Play, we got to see actual footage of what the Respawn-developed Star Wars game looks like. Jedi: Fallen Order looks pretty fluid, simple, and fun. I’ve really been missing these nice and simple single-player experiences and this looks like it could be really enjoyable. If you haven’t played Titanfall 2, Respawn’s last game, you definitely should pick it up and play through the story, it was criminally underrated. You can watch the gameplay of Jedi here.
Watch Dogs: Legion has an amazing concept
Speaking of criminally underrated, Watch Dogs 2 flew a bit under the radar for a lot of people and Ubisoft is hoping that Watch Dogs: Legion won’t. This new installment in the Watch Dogs series features one of the coolest mechanics I’ve ever seen in a game: the ability to play as any NPC you want. These NPCs also have different skills and such, meaning you aren’t just swapping character models. This had to have been extremely difficult to create and I’m sure it’ll pay off because this is so creative and innovative that it deserves more attention. Well, as long as you ignore the old memes. You can check out the trailer here.
A look at the new Avengers game
We got to see what the new Avengers game looks like after it was announced last year. It features the MCU cast of characters without the faces that we’re used to, which is weird since Endgame came out pretty recently, but still pretty neat. It honestly looks beautiful, especially the action-packed parts of the trailer. I can’t wait to see more out of this. You can see the trailer here.
Nintendo had the best conference
Nintendo easily had the best conference of this kind of slow E3. Let’s go over the best moments they had really quick.
2 all new Smash characters
They announced 2 new characters for Smash Bros. Ultimate. First was the protagonists of Dragon Quest, which is huge in Japan and pretty well regarded over here in the States. Then, they announced Banjo from Banjo Kazooie, which has been rumored and speculated, but finally confirmed. Both are awesome addition to the incredible Smash Bros. Ultimate roster. You can see the Banjo trailer here and the Dragon Quest Hero trailer here.
Luigi’s Mansion 3
They announced Luigi’s Mansion 3, which is a niche series I’m really glad to see continuing. They showed off a trailer for it and Gooigi returns as your co-op companion. There also seems to be quite a few new abilities and an all new multiplayer mode that allows up to 8 players called The ScareScraper. The game looks awesome and as a Switch owner, I’m excited for it.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is delayed, but it’s still really cute
Animal Crossing fans have been feeling neglected by Nintendo for a while, and with how little information about the new game was out, they feared that it would be quite a while before they’d see it. Luckily, Nintendo pulled through for them in the latter half of the Direct, showing off a new trailer for the game and even early gameplay during Nintendo Treehouse. In short, the game is cute as hell. There seems to be a wealth of improvements and changes to how the game works. There was also a release date given, and even though it’s later than expected, at least there’s a solid date. March 20th, 2020 is when you can expect to come and hang out in New Horizons and start repaying Tom Nook. You can see the trailer for it here.
A sequel to Breath of the Wild is in the works
One of the biggest surprises to come out of this year’s E3 is the announcement that there will actually be a direct sequel to 2017’s game of the year, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Usually, the Zelda team take new approaches to each installment in the series, but this looks to continue the story with a large emphasis on horror this time around. A lot of people are thinking this sequel will be similar to how Majora’s Mask was handled, which would be incredible if true. Zelda also seems to be in a more significant position this time around, adventuring alongside Link. Maybe it’s hinting at being able to play as Zelda at certain points? Who knows. We’ll likely be waiting a while before we see more of it, though. Not much information was given, no gameplay or anything like that, but it’s nice to know that they’re working on it. You can see the very spooky trailer for it here.
Besides these heavy-hitting titles, Nintendo also announced a few great ports for the Switch, like The Witcher 3 and Dragon Quest 11. They even announced a sequel to the cult classic series, No More Heroes, which I know a lot of people are waiting for. I think it’s safe to say that Nintendo really killed it this year.
Project Scarlett wasn’t shown
During the Microsoft conference, there was a segment where Phil Spencer was seemingly about to unveil the next generation Xbox. Unfortunately, though, all we got was a reel of employees telling us how cool it is. They talked about how it’ll be compatible with 8K TVs and how it’ll use the cloud, but never really showed us what it is. One of the worst ways to get a crowd excited for something is to tell us what you’re making rather than showing us, and that’s exactly what they did. It’s likely that they’re saving the grand unveiling for next year’s E3, but it’s a strange choice to use stage time to attempt to get us excited for something you’re not going to show us for another year. It’s like your parents telling you on your birthday that they’ll get you a dog next year. Like, cool, you’ll get a dog, but why tell us now when there’s nothing to show.
Fallout 76 is adding basic elements of RPGs and a battle royale mode
Fallout 76 has been one of the biggest disasters in recent history. From the game being an absolute mess to marketing canvas bags and giving fans low quality nylon bags instead. Bethesda are attempting to at least fix some of the in-game issues by adding living NPCs and questlines that give you choices. You know, the things you’d probably expect from any RPG game in the last decade. If you’re unfamiliar with the game, this probably sounds really strange. Fallout 76 launched without any living NPCs to interact with and barely any decision-making for quests. It literally made no sense, but at least they’re trying to right their wrongs.
Something Fallout 76 probably didn’t need, though, is an all new battle royale mode. It seems like the battle royale craze is dying down a bit, but if you’ve been playing Fallout 76 and been dying to play a new battle royale, I guess you’ll get your fix.
Overall, this entire portion of Bethesda’s conference just made me go, “… really?”
An overall lack of gameplay
The biggest thing missing from E3 was gameplay. We got a lot of trailers and a lot of ideas and concepts, but we didn’t really see a lot of gameplay for these ideas that would make us understand what they were or get us excited for it. There were a lot things I wanted to put in the highs, like Ghostwire Tokyo and the extremely passionate woman presenting it, but I have no idea what that game even is. There was even a game called Deathloop, starring two black protagonists, which sounds awesome, but again, what is it? Show me gameplay. Luckily, Nintendo came through showing plenty of games off in their Treehouse live streams, but not enough studios did that. Hopefully next year’s E3 will truly let us see into the future of gaming and give us more realized ideas than CG trailers and games that are already out.
That’s our coverage of his year’s E3. This year was a bit slower and less action-packed than last year’s, but I assume everyone’s saving their big next gen announcements for next year. I know there’s some things I missed like the Gears 5 and Halo: Infinite trailers, but these are just my personal highs and lows of the show. Let us know what you thought of this year’s E3 and stay tuned to For All Nerds for more on games, comics, movies, and everything geek!