With all the big conferences at this year’s E3 event finally winding down, now’s the time to recap some of the biggest and most exciting announcements we’ve seen. Finding all of the biggest news pieces in one place is still something of a mess and we’ve decided to fix that. Without excessive preamble, here’s a breakdown of the biggest reveals and announcements of the past week.
Starting off with EA’s biggest showing, DICE presented an early trailer for Battlefield V that demonstrated our first glimpse at the setting, which takes players back to World War 2 with something of an alternate history twist. Expect a heavier emphasis on team play and a reduction in arcade shooter elements that Battlefield has shown in the past, except for the inclusion of a Battle Royale-style mode that has become eerily popular over the past months. Expect it to drop on October 19th of this year for standard editions.
Instead of another dive into the Battlefront series, the next Star Wars-themed game will follow a Jedi player character and seems to be a more focused, story-themed experience. Jedi: Fallen Order is coming late 2019 and though it wasn’t shown in any proper form, sources refer to it as a third-person action game.
Finally, EA’s biggest titles round out with Anthem, a sci-fi action shooter much in the vein of Warframe that allows up to four players to take cybernetic shells out for a joyride filled with futuristic shooter scenarios. Furthermore, EA has relented on lootboxes by promising Anthem won’t host any, but will host microtransactions for cosmetics when it drops on February 22nd.
The remainder of announcements for this block followed smaller games that are still of note, including Unravel 2and Sea of Solitude. They also trotted out the corpse of Command and Conquer via Rivals, a mobile game that will hopefully turn out better than their last attempts to revive the franchise.
Cyberpunk 2077 is by far the most exciting project shown during Microsoft’s portion of the conference. While it wasn’t certain if it would be shown at all, a last-minute “hack” of the event showed off an in-engine trailer that showcases the world of Cyberpunk out of its usual element: A brightly lit, albeit still dystopian, future that showed off a solid mix of action and potential story hooks. Later information confirmed that the title is indeed a first-person RPG with driving and gunplay, while also touting an RPG style experience mechanic alongside a sort of street cred that allows deeper storyline progression as it increases. Still no official release date, but it’s still hinting at a June 2019 window.
The venerable Gears of War series will continue with its fifth instalment launching sometime in 2019 alongside Devil May Cry 5. While Gears follows the natural progression of the series and looks infinitely less disappointing than the Funko Pop-style spinoff, Devil May Cry follows its fourth instalment, not the recent reboot DMC. It seems to star Nero rather than Dante, and should arrive next spring.
Dying Light 2 has been shown for the first time, though it boasts no release date and might be several years off at this rate. Expect a world deeper into the apocalypse where fights for basic resources like water are central to the plot, rather than a chase for the zombification cure.
From Software has teamed up with Microsoft for Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. which seems to be a Japanese-themed take on the Dark Souls formula. Again, 2019 is our vague release window.
Finally, a very brief snippet of Halo: Infinite rounds things out with a fairly straightforward reveal, albeit a light one.
As you’ve no doubt heard, Fallout 76 is not going to be your average post-apocalyptic outing. You’ll be heading into the wasteland twenty years after the bombs dropped in the hills of West Virginia and encounter a land where every survivor and raider you meet will be another player. There are no NPCs except for helper bots, though quests and a central plot are still key to the experience. At launch, dedicated servers will be the norm, though private servers will follow. It appears to use a modified version of the Fallout 4 engine with an emphasis on gathering supplies, survival elements and establishing bases through the previous game’s construction mechanics.
The game launches November 14th and will have an open beta a few weeks prior to launch.
Rage 2 had a strong showing with a strangely colourful view of the apocalypse, showing off a lot of high-octane shooting action combined with some unusual changes to the previous game’s fairly straightforward formula; It’s not every day you see a shooter where you short-distance teleport just before sending a psychotic raider cartwheeling into the sky with an explosive boomerang.
If continuations of classic shooters are up your alley, look forward to Wolfenstein: The Youngblood and Doom Eternal. Doom’s sequel takes notes from its predecessor, Doom II: Hell on Earth in its trailer that showed off a post-invasion Earth that has been overtaken by demons. Meanwhile, Youngblood follows the twin daughters of B.J. Blazkowicz in alternate history 1980s France in a world where the Nazi regime still marches strong. It will be interesting to see how the series continues the concept of rebellion many decades after the war it focused on and having co-op available should only make the experience more enjoyable.
Finally, the briefest of snippets were shown for the most anticipated game Bethesda’s been hounded over: The Elder Scrolls VI. Unfortunately, the only snippet shown was a short title card animation, but internet sleuths have already suggested the game may take place in Hammerfell or High Rock, pointing to the homelands of the Redguards and the Bretons accordingly. More details are sure to unfold as the game nears release, but it’s only entered pre-production. Similarly, Starfield finally saw the light of day as a brief teaser, but Todd Howard expounded on the title by referring to it as a single player sci-fi game that is Bethesda’s first wholly original IP in a great many years.
After what feels like a decade of non-stop rumour mongering, Kingdom Hearts 3 has finally been slated for release at the end of January. Fans have only been waiting for this one since the end of the PS2’s lifespan, so the hype surrounding it is understandable. A few interesting additions to the roster include Pixar mainstays in the cast of Toy Story alongside Disney’s Frozen, Tangled and Big Hero Six. There’s also word that there are no Final Fantasy worlds slated for the game currently.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider showed a trailer that revolves around heavy stealth and takedown-oriented gameplay, which seems like an unusual take on the Tomb Raider formula, all things considered. It’s yet to be seen if the game will take on an entirely stealth-focused approach or if it will retail the tomb delving and mystery-solving elements that made the series initially popular or if it will continue to diverge from older titles. Expect to see it on September 14th.
After a round of interesting leaks, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey received a fresh batch of info regarding its setting that has surprisingly confirmed a few anonymous tidbits. For starters, it follows up in the footsteps of Origins with a heavy RPG focus that now includes playing as either a male or female character supposedly of your own creation, albeit with a pre-determined name. Expect to explore Greece during the Peloponnesian War between Sparta and Athens as a character with an allegiance to neither side after being cast out of Spartan society, instead choosing to roam the world as a mercenary.
While some features return from the previous game including sea-faring mechanics and a fairly straightforward RPG system, expect some streamlining as weapon types have been combined and your character will no longer start with a hidden blade. Instead, you’ll get the Spear of Leonidas, an artifact gifted to you by your parents that imbues you with supernatural abilities. It’s refreshing to see Assassin’s Creed mixing up the formula, as this isn’t a direct sequel and doesn’t seem afraid to shake up what Origins previously changed. It’ll be out October 5th of this year.
The Division 2 moves the series to Washington, D.C. and seems to have shifted its engine to something more similar to Ubisoft’s Wildlands, the latest entry in the Tom Clancy franchise of games. With yet another deadly outbreak plaguing a cityscape that has been abandoned for six months, expect more loot-and-scoot gameplay with a heavy focus on tactical combat and team-oriented maneuvering. Coincidentally, there’s already a beta signup despite the game not slated for release until March of 2019.
Hideo Kojima’s freshman outing under his new studio in Death Stranding continued to drip out features for a game we know precious little about. Granted, it did finally show off what is likely in-engine gameplay in the form of third-person stealth elements involving creeping away from hostile monsters, though the trailer doesn’t end on the happiest of notes.
The new Spider-Man game debuted its web-slinging and quick combat mechanics to a crowd that seemed pleased to see it in action; After all, the game has been in development since at least 2016 and ensuring the web-swinging aspect of the chatterbug of a superhero will ultimately make or break it in the eyes of its fans. So far, it’s drawn many comparisons to the recent Batman series in how its combat flows albeit at a slightly higher level of speed and complexity. It’s slated for a September 7th release.
E3 wouldn’t be complete without a showing for The Last of Us 2 which stars Ellie from the previous entry series as a hardened adult living in a violent, brutal world full of bandits and monsters who want nothing more than to chew her face off. The trailer did highlight a few notes of cute romance between Ellie and an unnamed female love interest before snap-cutting back to the grit and violence the series is known for, showing off its cinematic combat in a way that transitions between its stealth and frantic close quarters melee in a much smoother manner than before. It’s yet another example of a big-name title getting a new trailer but no release date and 2019 is looking less likely as the weeks tick by.
Fire Emblem Three Houses will finally bring Nintendo’s popular tactical strategy game to the Switch, boasting battles on a much larger scale than before, tactical and dynamic camera control over your battles and units who lead multiple other units into battle rather than individual units making up the bulk of your party, all showing up around Spring 2019.
Yet it was quickly overshadowed by Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which has absolutely blown expectations out of the water by promising to include every single character from every other Smash game that has been released. Though the process by which you unlock them seems to have been simplified, there’s still plenty to be excited for if you lost a fan favourite over the years. Fans of Metroid will also be pleased to hear of the inclusion of Ridley, and people who are unable to let go of the Gamecube will be glad to know you can use your old controller with a silly C-stick for yet another generation of smashing things up when it lands on December 7th.
That’s not every single game that made a showing at the event, but E3 is big enough that it’d take at least another dozen entries to really grind down to the minutiae of the developer conferences; Still, there are a few extra tidbits that are worth looking into like the announcement of PC ports for Yakuza Kiwami and 0, with the latter coming out in just a few short months.
So chances are you’re already overloaded on gaming information for the next few weeks and there’s plenty to look forward to in the next several months alone. It’s hard not to get a little excited over upcoming events after this many big-ticket announcements, so here’s to hoping the trend continues into 2019 and beyond.