E3 has been a bit quiet this year, hasn’t it? On the eve of a new generation of consoles, the biggest names in the industry are keeping their cards close to their chest, focusing on existing games and preparing to wow audiences the year after instead. That doesn’t mean that E3 2019 was a wash. In fact, it still had some great moments and reveals, all of which deserve to be celebrated. Here’s a look at ten of our favourites.
Ikumi Nakamura saves Bethesda’s press conference
A lot of the time, E3 press conferences can be kind of boring. That’s not the fault of the hosts themselves, but rather because the corporate culture of the event dictates how a press conference should play out. It’s a typically American style, to have every aspect of a press conference rehearsed to the Nth degree and make certain that nobody goes off-script.
It has its advantages, but it also results in events that feature a terrified game developer reading lines from a teleprompter that were dreamed up by some fella in marketing who has no idea how to use “yeet” properly. At Bethesda’s press conference, that was very much the case until ikumi Nakamura came on to stage. A veteran of the industry, Ghostwire Tokyo was the game that she happened to be in charge of, and her delivery was wholesome, heart-warming and a reminder that behind video games, are real people with real dreams, wanting to entertain the masses.
You’ve got to hand it to CD Projekt Red, because the Polish studio knows how to keep a secret. Years in the making and with excitement dialled up to 11, how could Cyberpunk 2077 be even more tantalising? By ending its showcase of things to come at Microsoft’s E3 press conference with everyone’s most lovable action movie star popping up and telling the player that it’s time to burn a city down to the ground.
That alone was fantastic, but seeing Keanu strut out on stage and go off-script in a moment of spontaneity? Simply breath-taking.
Watch Dogs Legion has killer grannies
Ubisoft may not have had much to show off this year, and that may be the understatement of the century. In a press conference that was mostly centered around DLC for existing games, Watch Dogs Legion was the game that stole Ubisoft’s show. It looks bonkers, it’s a sandbox that actually takes a side for once and the ability to recruit members into DedSec looks insane.
But adding killer assassin grannies to your hacktivist squad? Now I’m intrigued. Well played Ubisoft, well played.
The Breath of the Wild 2 announced
If you own a Nintendo Switch, I’d wager all my rupees that you also own one of the best games ever made in the form of The Legend of Zelda: The Breath of the Wild. It’s one of the defining games of this generation, a monumental achievement in design and well deserving of all the 10/10S lavished on top of it. You simply cannot make a better Zelda game than this.
So what do you do if you’re Nintendo? You expand on that mythos, and take Link in a familiar yet bold direction into sequel territory.
Final Fantasy VII Remake shows off its combat
If you stayed awake for RPGs, RPGs and even more RPGs, then Square Enix probably thrilled you a’plenty with their press conference. Between all the teases and remakes of classic JRPGs, the show-stealer game was easily Final Fantasy VII Remake, a stunning reimagination of a classic title that deserves all the love it gets. Seeing that game emerge once again was just what the doctor ordered, but seeing it in proper action as it blended old school tricks with new school ideas?
We’re going mental already waiting for it.
Final Fantasy VIII gets an HD remaster at long bloody last
On the other hand, this was my personal highlight. A classic from the past, long considered to be a black sheep in the Final Fantasy fan community. Whatever reason Square Enix had for not remastering Final Fantasy VIII sooner, I don’t care. Maybe it was ponying up cash to use Eyes on Me, maybe there was a desperate scramble to find lost source code.
Whatever the real reason is, it doesn’t matter because Final Fantasy VIII will live again and introduce a whole new audience to the tale of Squall Leonhart and Rinoa Heartilly.
Xbox Scarlett teased
It feels unreal, but we’re on the cusp of a new hardware generation. The last five years have seen gigantic changes and shifts in the industry, and it always feels like next-gen consoles sneak up on players when they least expect it. But this week, is where the next console generation truly begins. The tease from Microsoft of things to come may have been as vague as could be, but it was tantalising stuff.
It was mysterious but exciting, an enigma wrapped up in a promise to think outside the Xbox. Microsoft has fired the first salvo in the race to claim hearts and minds from 2020 onwards. Sony, it’s your turn.
Wondering why CD Projekt Red has a mountain of dead goats who have all the blood drained from their bodies? Well now you have an answer, because the technical wizardry needed to bring The Witcher 3 to Nintendo Switch must have required a ton of sacrifices.
Conan Chop Chop goes from joke game to real game
There’s something beautiful about a joke going from parody to actual living project. April Fool’s Day may have been swamped with fictional games that may never be, but Funcom decided to take their gorgeous little slice of parody and run with it. Part Conan, part Cyanide and Happiness in its visuals, Conan Chop Chop is proof that dreams can come true.
Banjo Kazooie in Smash Bros
Honestly I’m just including this here because Geoff told me to. Something about a Microsoft owned character in a Nintendo game? Cool! Maybe I should play Smash.
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Last Updated: June 13, 2019