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E3 2019 Preview: Who will be the biggest hitters this year?

E3 – the spectacle that gets people’s palms sweaty, breaths held, and dreams come true. it is unequivocally the biggest event happening in the calendar for the gaming industry.

This year’s E3, also known as the Electronic Entertainment Expo, is set to be different from that of last year’s. With Sony bowing out of the expo for the first time since its inception, along with the ever-growing chatter on the imminent next-generation of consoles, E3 2019 is going to be a year of transition.  

This, of course, doesn’t mean that the hype train is slowing down. We expect major news and announcements to pepper the event as the days roll on. Here are the things we think you should look out for.

Cyberpunk 2077

E3 Preview Cyberpunk 2077

CD PROJEKT RED has been a success story in the industry. Once a relatively unknown game developer, they have since achieved critical and commercial success with the release of their Witcher series back in 2011 and 2015.

Now they are delving into new territory as they explore the world of Cyberpunk. Cyberpunk 2077 is a first-person open-world RPG set in the metropolis of Night City. First revealed in 2012, they had gone radio silent until last year’s Microsoft’s E3 Press Conference; showcasing the dangerous world and characters of Cyberpunk 2077.

A few months later, they released the gameplay trailer for the game, which raked in more than 17 million views at the time of writing. Depicting the various gameplay mechanics and player choices within the game, the trailer finally showed the true scale of the game to the public.

The game is set to be the most ambitious one developed by the studio and it’s easy to see why – it is a sprawling open-world filled to the brim with NPCs, armed with the choice to do whatever you want, however you want. CD PROJEKT RED has confirmed that Cyberpunk 2077 will return to this year’s E3, and we can’t wait to see what else they have up their sleeves.

Marvel’s Avengers

When one big saga ends, another might be set to fill the void. This year’s Avengers: Endgame was the culmination of over a decade of films and lore, finally laying the Infinity Saga of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) to rest.

Alas, the Marvel fans can only be quenched for so long and they are now hungry for more from the Avengers. Enter Marvel’s Avengers, the new game being developed by American video game developer Crystal Dynamics and published by Japanese’s very own Square Enix.

Not much is known about the game. Square Enix first announced the then-titled ‘The Avengers’ project back in 2017 as part of a multi-game partnership with Marvel. Famed for its Tomb Raider game series, Crystal Dynamics was also revealed to be developing the game in collaboration with Eidos Montréal, who helmed the soft reboot of the Deus Ex franchise.

2018 came and went with not even a whisper about the project. Now, Square Enix is finally ready to show what the game is. A mysterious Avengers Twitter account popped up recently to tease the game, which is set to be revealed globally during Square Enix’s E3 event on 10 June. We are only mere hours from seeing if this is the start of another long saga.

Microsoft: Biggest E3 announcement yet?

E3 Preview Microsoft

With rival Playstation not making an appearance at the show, it would be unwise to think that Microsoft isn’t taking advantage of their absence.

Microsoft is set to have their biggest E3 yet, with many third-party games presumed to showcase either their new games or updates to anticipated titles in their press conference. There’s also the matter of their own exclusive line-up, having announced the acquisition of seven studios to work on exclusive games last year.

And that’s not even touching on the elephant in the room: Sony broke their silence and released new information about their next generation console to the media a few months ago. This information has gotten the industry into a fervour, and Microsoft would want to keep pace with Sony by revealing their own plans for the next-generation.

Several rumours and leaks are already out in the wild regarding their next console, including two versions named under the codenames, Anaconda and Lockheart. We shall hopefully have more clarity on whether these leaks are indeed true.

Watch Dogs: Legion

E3 Preview Watch Dogs

Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs series hasn’t been doing so great. The first Watch Dogs started off incredibly well, wowing audiences and the media when it was first showcased in Ubisoft’s 2012 E3 Press Conference. Unbeknownst to everyone, it would be the first glimpse at what the next generation of games would look like.

Unfortunately, the game was hit by multiple delays during development, losing all the steam it had. When it finally released in 2014, people were not only bored at seeing the game but they also started seeing the downgrades that the game had in comparison to its first reveal.

Ubisoft took notes from Watch Dogs’ failures, and responded with Watch Dogs 2 in 2016. The game itself was well-received by critics, but audiences simply weren’t interested – resulting in low sales for the game.

Ubisoft doesn’t seem to be giving up on the franchise though, and the video game developer has recently teased the game ahead of their upcoming E3 press conference. News has since filtered out that Watch Dogs: Legion would be set in London, during a near-future post-Brexit timeline. Will the new game setting and ties to real-world events get people excited again? We’ll have to see on 10 June.

Nintendo E3 Direct: Super Mario Maker and more to be revealed

The big N returns to gaming’s biggest event. Like last year, they have a couple of beloved exclusive franchises that will be showcased in this year’s Nintendo E3 Direct.

Among the upcoming games that are set to be featured during the show is Super Mario Maker 2. Revealed in February this year, the game brings back the wacky and interesting Mario-level creation mechanics from the previous game and adds in brand new assets from Super Mario 3D World to play with. Cooperative play is also now included, allowing two people to make a level at the same time.

Marvel ULTIMATE ALLIANCE 3: The Black Order is also confirmed to be covered within the video direct. The franchise returns after a decade-long hiatus and is now exclusive to Nintendo’s platform. Like the previous games, players have a multitude of Marvel heroes to choose to play, with 34 playable characters confirmed.

For surprises, we could see what Retro Studios could have been working on. Although Nintendo has recently revealed that they will be taking over the troubled Metroid Prime 4 development, they have been quiet on the gaming front besides releasing a port of the Wii U game, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze in 2018. It is entirely possible that they have something on the side, and it will be exciting to see what it turns out to be.

Esports: Fortnite celebrity Pro-Am tournament is one to watch

Esports will again have a strong presence at this year’s E3.

The ever-growing popularity of Fortnite has elevated the game to such an extent that esports is now a viable platform for the game to reach more audiences. Last year’s Fortnite celebrity Pro-Am Tournament is a big indicator of this, pitting celebrities against each other to earn bragging rights.  

This year’s Fortnite celebrity Pro-Am returns will return on 15 and 16 June as part of the Fortnite Summer Block Party event. 36 teams of two, which includes celebrities like Joel McHale from the TV show Community and Juventus footballer Douglas Costa, will compete against one another for a Victory Royale.

The tournament isn’t the only thing that happens during the Summer Block Party event; with other activities planned for fans during the Fortnite-themed spectacle. The event will be live-streamed on major streaming sites like YouTube and Twitch, so be sure to check it out!

E3 2019 Conference Schedule

All schedule timings are listed in Singapore’s timezone (SGT).

10 June 2019

0400 – Microsoft Press Conference

0830 – Bethesda Press Conference

11 June 2019

0000 – E3VR Showcase

0100 – PC Gaming Show

0300 – Limited Run Games

0400 – Ubisoft

0730 – Kinda Funny

0900 – Square Enix Press Conference

12 June 2019

0000 – Nintendo Press Conference

For more information visit the official E3 website at https://live.e3expo.com/

Visuals courtesy of Entertainment Software Association (ESA), CD Projekt and Ubisoft

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Russell Matthew Loh

Yes I have two names. no I'm not Eurasian. Self-professed David Fincher fan.

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