The LA Convention Center, along with other locations in LA, lit up this week for E3. The expo did not let fans down this year, despite some notable absences. Generally, this year’s expo bounce passed the ball to 2020. Project Scarlett, PS5, and all the games in development for those systems are going to come screaming out of the gate a year from now, and the industry will be a year into streaming services. As long as the expo doesn’t crumble between now and then, June of next year should be a great one for gamers.
But what about this year? As for the rest of E3 2019, Sony didn’t even appear, and Microsoft seemed to glide through their presentation, tying up loose ends from this gen. Both companies are pointing at 2020 and their next gen consoles. Nintendo ran their direct and continued their solid presentations in the Treehouse, giving them the edge on Xbox. It was a continuation of their consistent and robust E3 presence. Developers weren’t as easy to decide, as each one came out strong.
Ultimately, Best in Show goes to SquareEnix. They showed their expansion as a company, presented the long awaited Final Fantasy VII Remake and Marvel’s Avengers, and gave us a strong lineup of games as filler between the major title announcements. Ubisoft and Bethesda also had strong line ups as well, but you could tell they weren’t ready to talk about what we all wanted them to talk about. Everyone gave us presentations filled with great new games and content for the current generation, and a lot of them set for releases in the next 6-9 months.
The back half of 2019 is saturated with new titles, and early 2020 is absolutely jam packed with content. We will get to 2020 next time, so let’s start releases for 2019.
Google Stadia – 2019
It wasn’t at E3 in the traditional sense, but Google did release information on Stadia just prior to the festivities of the expo. Due out this year, the $69.99 controller and $9.99 service subscription have all manner of hype surrounding it. Plus, a long list of titles that will be available, a lot of which were announced at the expo this week. Google is a well-known brand, but there is a nagging feeling of optimistic skepticism around this product and service. There is a lot of hope that this works, but don’t hold your breath. Google once tried their hand at internet TV, and that was miserable. It does, however, keynote how games are moving towards streaming. See also UPlay+ from Ubisoft and xCloud from Microsoft.
Pokémon Sword & Pokémon Shield – November 15, 2019
Gotta Catch ‘Em All! The games are pretty standard as Pokémon goes, but there are a few new features introduced that put a new spin on the franchise. Most notably the Wild Area and Dynamax battles. These new features of the Galar region expand the world of Pokémon in a whole new way. The Wild Area brings the open world to the franchise, with new mechanics for interaction with Pokémon in the wild, as well as other trainers. Dynamax is a super-Poké power up for Pokémon, and also introduces multiplayer raids out in the Wild Area. This is looking to be one of the greats for 2019.
Doom Eternal – November 22, 2019
From the wholesome fun of Pokémon, we move to Hell. Specifically, the version of Hell that has overrun Earth. Most of this is just Doom as we know it in modern times. But one thing highlighted during the Bethesda conference was Battlemode. In this mode, one slayer is put against two demons in a strategic, 2v1, player vs players brawl. There will be more on this during QuakeCon, but initially the new mode looks hellishly good.
Gears of War 5 – September 10, 2019
Gears of War is one of Xbox’s best franchises, and Gears 5 is looking to continue that trend. There wasn’t much depth given at the Xbox conference, but that doesn’t take away from the anticipation this game draws from franchise fans.
Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order – November 15, 2019
Another announcement not in the typical E3 expo way, but impactful none-the-less. EAPlay this year brought us 30 minutes of detail on this game, and it is beautiful. Battlefront 1 and 2 left players wanting a good single player campaign. So, in order to take more money from Star Wars fans, they dropped Jedi Fallen Order and players could not be happier with what has been shown.
Some other notable releases for this year are The Outer Worlds from Xbox Studios, Luigi’s Mansion 3 from Nintendo, Wolfenstein: Youngblood from Bethesda, and Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order from Marvel.
There is a pile of games announced, so make sure to comment what you are excited for, whether it is on the list or not. Also, make sure to subscribe because 2020 release recap will be coming up soon, as well as best of show.