E3 2019 has officially ended, and like previous years, a ton of exciting reveals and new information were at the forefront of the event. Let’s take a look at the highlights from this year’s event.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order – The Beginning to the Road to Redemption?
The handling of the Star Wars IP by Electronic Arts (EA) has not gone exceptionally well. There has been much bad press coming out of their Battlefront games and the cancellation of two prominent anticipated Star Wars games from Visceral Games and EA Motive.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is perhaps the beginning of the road to redemption for the publisher. Developed by Respawn Entertainment, the game was revealed a few months prior to E3, and now we have a better idea of the gameplay.
The gameplay demo starts with main character Cal Kestis meeting up with Saw Gerrera, played by Forest Whitaker in the 2016 film Rogue One, as he is given responsibility to rescue a group of Wookies. Combat is based on mixing lightsaber attacks with Cal’s force powers, which include the ability to stop an enemy from moving. While combat is fast-paced in regards to fighting regular Stormtroopers, players need to be more methodical when facing stronger enemies.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order’s gameplay, together with its focus on a narrative-driven story, gives us some hope that there can finally be a great Star Wars game this generation. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is set to be released on 15 November 2019.
Keanu Reeves is Johnny Silverhand in Cyberpunk 2077
During Microsoft’s E3 2019 Press Conference, CD PROJEKT RED dropped a major bombshell in the form of Hollywood actor, Keanu Reeves.
Cyberpunk 2077 opened with a trailer of the main character, V, dealing with the loss of his partner, Jackie, in the aftermath of a job gone wrong. As he goes back to exchange the loot for money, he is subsequently betrayed and barely makes it out alive. He is awakened later by a man with a metallic hand proclaiming that they have a city to burn, before pulling back his glasses to reveal that it is played by the enigmatic John Wick star, Keanu Reeves.
Subsequent information has since been made known that Keanu will play the character Johnny Silverhand, a rockstar who will be a central part of the story in Cyberpunk 2077. Keanu also appeared on the E3 stage and his enthusiasm was well-received by the general audience.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Sequel
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was a resounding success both critically and commercially for Nintendo, currently having a 97 Metacritic score and over 14 million copies sold since March 2019.
So it was very much a pleasant surprise that the development of a sequel was revealed during Nintendo’s E3 2019 Direct. The reveal showed Link and Zelda exploring a cavern before coming across a mummified corpse that seemingly comes to life and brings about the events that will occur in the sequel.
A departure of ambience from the first game, the game evokes some horror elements. Nintendo has since shared that it does not have any relation to Majora’s Mask and that it is darker in tone comparatively.
No information was provided in regards to the release schedule, but given that Breath of the Wild was released in early 2017, we could see the game release possibly in late 2020 or early 2021.
Final Fantasy Vll Remake Gameplay and Release Date
The development of Final Fantasy Vll Remake has been shaky, to say the least. Having to restart production internally after the collaboration between them and CyberConnect2 didn’t pan out.
Four years after the mind-blowing reveal during PlayStation’s E3 press conference, the game finally looks to be back on track as Square Enix showcased a considerable chunk of gameplay and also revealed the release date for the game.
The gameplay featured hack and slash combat combined with elements from the famed “Active Time Battle” (ATB) system of the original, with the player entering a slow-motion scene upon activation of ATB to select more powerful attacks and spells. Fan-favourite character Tifa was also finally revealed, along with details on how the character plays.
Final Fantasy VII Remake is set to have a staggered multi-part release schedule, with the first part to be set entirely in Midgar. The game is expected to be released on 3 March 2020.
Ghost Wire: Tokyo – a departure from Tango Gameworks’ survival-horror genre
Bethesda’s E3 2019 conference had a lot of steam taken out of it before it even started; two highly anticipated games – Starfield and The Elder Scrolls VI – were confirmed not to be making an appearance during the show.
However, the show did get a lift when new game Ghost Wire: Tokyo was given a surprise reveal. Developed by Tango Gameworks, Ghost Wire: Tokyo is set in a world where strange and sudden disappearances have hit the population of Tokyo, and now it is up to you to investigate and purge the city of new evils that inhabit the city with your mysterious spectral abilities.
It is confirmed to be an action-adventure game – a departure from the survival-horror genre that they are known for. But Creative Director Ikumi Nakamura still asserts that the game will have spooky elements as the player encounters conspiracies and the occult, meeting both benevolent and malevolent spirits along the way.
No release date or platforms were confirmed during its reveal, so could this be a game that launches alongside the next generation of consoles? Time will tell.
Ubisoft’s Gods and Monsters is Unlike Anything We Have Seen
It wouldn’t be a Ubisoft E3 show without ending the conference with something we haven’t seen before. In previous years, we had witnessed game reveals for Watch Dogs, The Division, Rainbow Six: Siege and Ghost Recon: Wildlands.
This year, a new IP by the team that created Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey was unveiled as Gods and Monsters. Set in the Island of the Blessed, an open-world inspired by ancient Greece, players will take on the role of Fenyx, who faces all manner of danger, including Gorgons, Harpies and Cyclops.
The style of the game is a significant deviation from the usual realistic aesthetic as seen in the previous Assassin’s Creed games. Instead, it has a visual quite akin to a Pixar movie, which utilises a cel-shaded and cartoon-like art style.
No gameplay was presented, but it seems that we don’t have to wait long before we get to experience it – Gods and Monsters will be available on 25 February 2020.
Microsoft’s Next Generation Xbox ‘Project Scarlett’: “The Most Powerful and HIghest Performing Console We’ve Ever Designed”
As expected, Microsoft gave us a teaser of what their next console will be during their E3 2019 showcase. Dubbed Project Scarlett, Head of Xbox Phil Spencer described it as the “most powerful and highest performing console we’ve ever designed”, and it will also play a major role in Xbox’s Project xCloud initiative in the years to come.
According to Microsoft, the console will be four times more powerful than the Xbox One X, and it will have a new-generation SSD that will substantially improve load times and performance. It will also house a custom-design processor based on AMD’s Zen 2, NAVI technology, and GDDR6 RAM. These specifications will enable the console to support 8K graphics display, next-generation ray tracing, and framerates of up to 120fps.
The console will launch in late 2020, with blockbuster game Halo Infinite to accompany its anticipated release. Owners of older versions of Xbox games rejoice: The console will not only be backwards-compatible with the previous generation of games but also with the accessories as well, meaning you can even use your good ol’ original Xbox controller.
No price or features regarding user experience were mentioned, so it looks like we will only get to know more details possibly by the end of this year or early 2020.
With two of the biggest entities in gaming – Sony and Microsoft – finally confirming the announcement of their new consoles, we are one step closer to witnessing l how these two giants are going to try to outdo each other.
For more information on E3 2019, visit the official E3 website at https://live.e3expo.com/
Visuals Courtesy of EA, Microsoft and Square Enix