Even at only 40 minutes in length Nintendo seemed to have finally seemed to perfected the art of the Direct. They started with a trailer for the next character for Smash Ultimate, which is the hero for Dragon Quest 11, with apparent palate swap that makes them look like different protagonists from the series. After that they showed the trailer for Dragon Quest 11 Definitive Edition S, with a few new tidbits that were not included in the trailer during the Square Enix conference, such as more monsters that can be ridden, increased battle speed, as well as to be able to travel to other worlds from earlier games in the series, with not additional information given.
After that Doug Bowser made an appearance for the first time officially, and helped to announce Luigi's Mansion 3 which takes place in a hotel. They showed off the new Poltergust G-00, which includes new attacks, such as the ghost slam, and a burst which allows for higher jumps, as well as Gooigi which is a ectoplasm copy of Luigi which allows for puzzle solving and co-op play, the also announced a multiplayer mode called The Scare Scraper, with a 2019 release window. After they showed a trailer for a game in the Dark Crystal universe titled The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance Tactics, with a 2019 release window, they detailed the remake of The Legend Of Zelda: Link's Awakening where the most surprising addition shown was the presence of Dampei from Ocarina Of Time, in which you bring him maps you pick up from dungeons that you use to create your own custom dungeons.
Two surprise games were announced, first was a remake of Trials Of Mana is to be released globally in early 2020, along with Collection Of Mana which contains the first 3 Mana games on the Switch later today. A bit of news that will surprise nobody who pays attention to game news, The Witcher 3, is coming to the Switch, while it does look like a bit of ass, it is on a portable console with all the DLC, after that there was a trailer for Fire Emblem: Three Houses with the release date of 26 July 2019 reiterated at the end. After a silly commercial letting us know that Resident Evil 5 and 6 coming to the console in the fall, No More Heroes was announced with a 2020 release window.
A new Contra game was shown off, titled Contra: Rogue Corps, while it looks fun the graphics are kind of gross, it includes 4-player co-op and releases 24 September 2019, they also showed a new trailer for Daemon X Machina that shows off on-foot segments, and the release date of 13 September 2019. Another surprise announcement was the remake of the original Panzer Dragoon, which has a release window of winter 2019, following a Pokemon Sword and Shield trailer that only really showed the new water gym leader, Nessa they showed off a new trailer for Astral Chain. With a bit more of a highlight on the story behind the world which details the enemies called Chimera, and that you capture Chimera to fight alongside you it was another stylish trailer from Platinum for a game that releases 30 August 2019.
After that they announced Empire Of Sin, a top-down game where you are seemingly in a gang with Al Capone in 1920s Chicago, with a 2020 release window, quickly moved along to Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 which showed some new characters, and announced DLC that will come in the fall. After a short trailer for Cadence Of Hyrule and Mario And Sonic At The Summer Olympics, coming in July and November 2019 respectively, they finally showed gameplay of the new Animal Crossing. Titled Animal Crossing: New Horizons, it seemingly takes place on a deserted island, and you build it up yourself, with a 20 March 2020 release. After a montage that showed a number of games that are coming to the Switch, such as Spyro Collection, Ni No Kuni Remastered and more they announced another character for Smash Ultimate slated for release in the fall, Banjo Kazooie. The last thing announced was a full sequel to Breath Of The Wild, being an announcement we are not likely to hear more on it for a while yet.
Overall, Nintendo had a strong showing this year, so Square Enix and Nintendo have invariably saved E3 2019, hopefully next year can keep up this trend, especially due to the likely release of new consoles, good work Nintendo, good work.
Before this conference started, Square Enix fans were expecting the developer to bring the fire, and for the first time at E3 this year, they got the closest to perfection, and boy what a show it was. They started with a bang by showing Final Fantasy 7 Remake in an amazing way. The original opening cinematic was shown in the remake engine and what a beautiful sight it was. After that Kitase Yoshinori made his way on stage, letting the world know that this remake is allowing them to make this experience and story more in depth, with enough content to take up two blu ray discs. This means that the Midgar section of the story will be it's own stand alone game. They also did a deep dive on the action combat which looks amazing. Which while the combat is action based it uses the active time battle which activates a slower tactical mode which allows you to use items, magic, and abilities. The materia system is back and better than ever, and you get to switch characters in your party on the fly.
Even cooler when they showed an early boss fight and showed off that they added phases to these fights, they also decided to reveal Tifa, and boy does she look amazing, which is another character in this game that looks like an updated version of their original appearance rather than needlessly changed, which is a good thing. This game looks to be one for the record books, and if they keep their eye on the prize this will be amazing, the future for this game is looking good when part 1 releases on 3rd March 2020. After that there were a few trailers for a number of games, first was Life Is Strange 2, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remaster trailer, which while looking graphically slightly better, still seems to be suffering with frame rate, but it has till winter 2019 to fix the issues. They showed a trailer for Octopath Traveler, which is now on PC, and Last Remnant is now available on Switch digitally.
Dragon Quest Builders 2 had a really good trailer, which showed the co-op, along with some of the new features added to the game, such as swimming, and gliding, with a demo coming to PSN on 27 June. After a trailer showing Dragon Quest 11 Definitive Edition S for the Switch which releases in the fall, they brought up the Square Enix Collective a intiative that helps indie devs get their games out into the world, and they mentioned two games, a top-down racing game called Circuit Superstars with a 2020 release window, and Battalion 1944, a competitive multiplayer FPS which has integrated tournament capabilities available today on Steam. After a short ad letting it be known that Square Enix music is now available on music streaming services they showed off an old trailer for the Kingdom Hearts 3 DLC.
Thankfully that was quick and painless, after which Yoshida Naoki; the director and producer of Final Fantasy 14 appeared on stage to show the launch trailer for the new expansion Shadowbringers. After that revelatory trailer a short trailer for Dying Light 2 was shown, while new it wasn't really all too interesting, aside from the info of a spring 2020 release. But what was interesting was the announcement that two games from the Saga series that never made it out of Asia is making their way to the west, Romancing Saga 3, and Romancing Saga Scarlet Grace. After an interesting trailer for Final Fantasy Brave Exvius, and they next chapter War Of The Visions, they showed a trailer for the new game Outriders which was cool, but sadly they also went the way of the dev diary, after informing of a release window of summer 2020, and the game is 3 player drop-in drop-out co-op that looks interesting.
They showed a trailer for Oninaki that finally gave enough of an idea of the game to increase interest and showed that there is a lot more production value in this than the previous Tokyo RPG Factory games, they gave a surprise of something that was completely unexpected to ever happen, a remaster of Final Fantasy 8, with a release window of sometime in 2019, releasing on everything. They then closed the conference with a blowout on the new Avengers game. Started with an interesting trailer that give the general idea of what the story is, aesthetically they are definitely more close to the comic version of the Ultimate version of the Avengers, while retaining their own game specific individuality. The game is going to be a singleplayer game that can also be played co-op with up to four players, at launch there will be 5 playable Avengers, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, and Iron Man, with more to be added later. You will be able to customize your chosen hero, and more areas in the game will be added, along with more heroes, both of which will be for free, with cosmetics being their form of monetization. Luckily there will be a lack of loot boxes and pay-to-win items. The game will release on Console, PC, and Stadia on 15 May 2020, with extra goodies going to Playstation, who also gets early access to the beta.
Overall while this conference was a bit long in the tooth in the mid point, the there were enough strong points to it that this is by far the best conference of E3 2019. They could have easily cut out some trailers, or at least made some of them slightly shorter, but for the power of a large amount of the announcements, and the info given, this one gets the highest score so far.
This conference for once, started differently to has it has in years, without Just Dance. If you thought that was strange, they started it with the Assassins Creed Symphony, in which the idea sounds cooler than the execution, the song choices were good, but due to it being live there were a bevy of technical issues, thankfully it was short. Thankfully the montage was short and sweet, then the highlight of the show appeared, Watch Dogs: Legion.
Sadly, it was leaked before E3, but even so, what was shown was pretty amazing. Taking place in near future London, you build a resistance as a part of Dedsec where you recruit civilians based on their skill set. Whether that is a hacking specialist, assassin, done or robotics expert, the major draw is the characterization of every npc that you recruit, with it feeling like a more involved version of what they had in Assassins Creed Brotherhood. Every npc in the game has a fully simulated life and schedules, and you have to complete their origin missions to recruit them, with a release date of 6 March 2020.
After a small tease of a show coming to Apple+ that is produced by the actors from It's Always Sunny In Philidelphia, titled Mythic Quest: Ravens Banquet, they moved on to info on the new Rainbow 6 content drop titled Phantom Sight. After a weird trailer for that they revealed the addition of Adventure Time characters coming to their free-to-play game Brawlhalla, which will include Finn the human, Jake the dog, and Princess Bubblegum. They then spent way too much time on the information drop for Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, which in itself would not be a bad thing, if the info wasn't dry, drawn out and already given earlier. Though they did announce a community content hub for the game that you can sign up to called Ghost Recon: Delta Squad, and a beta that you can sign up for at ghostrecon.com today, which starts on 5th September of this year.
After that they quickly moved on to a Tom Clancy themed mobile game called Tom Clancy's Elite Squad, that is open to pre-register right now. Weirdly enough they decided to show Just Dance 2020 in their normal way in the middle of the conference, moving quickly along they showed off a trailer for a limited time in-game event in For Honor called Shadows Of Hitokiri, that goes on until the end of June. It looks fun for those who enjoy playing For Honor, they then revealed Rainbow 6 Quarantine a new 3 player squad based co-op game that releases in early 2020. After a decent content reveal for the near future of Division 2 detailing the free story content coming in July, fall 2019, and early 2020 for chapters 1, 2, and 3 respectively, they conference decidedly slowed to a crawl, thankfully it was close to the end.
First they showed off their Uplay+ which is similar to EA access in services and price at 14.99 a month, though if you sign up now, your first month will be free when it arrives to PC in September. Finally Roller Champions was shown, which is a roller derby game, a mulitplayer skill based team PvP game, with a pre-alpha demo available on PC through Uplay today. As is their m.o. they had one more thing to show, which was a new game from the Assassins Creed Odyssey team titled Gods And Monsters, and even though they gave a release date of 25 February 2020, not much info was given.
Overall, up to this point, this was the best conference of E3, and while it had it's slow and snore worthy moments it was still entertaining especially comparatively to Bethesda and Microsoft. Though to be honest this was not Ubisoft's best showing at E3, Watch Dogs: Legion was good enough to give it the best score yet.
Now, this is an interesting conference, once again started with the "we are Bethesda' video, that seems to be a piece that is going to stay, for better or worse. After Todd Howard arrives on stage and tries and fails to be funny, they start with Fallout 76 and the changes that will be brought, then they move onto The Elder Scrolls Blades, which is adding a new update tonight, with new jobs, arena battles a jewelry system, along with dragon battles, which drops tonight. Then they announced that it will come to switch this fall. They then went back to Fallout 76 to announce the next update called Wastelanders, which brings human NPCs to the game (should have been there since the beginning) new quests, choice and consequences (allegedly) with new rewards and dialogue choices, this update will release in the fall. There will also be a free trial that starts tomorrow and goes to the 17th the free trial period will give you access to the Nuclear Winter content that is, (because everyone needs it) a battle royale mode where you fight to become the overseer of Vault 51.
After that, Shinji Mikami made his way onto the stage, in order to show off his team's new game called Ghostwire: Tokyo, an action adventure game that takes place in Tokyo Japan, where you deal with harmful and helpful spirits, while you try to figure out and fix why people are mysteriously disappearing. They move quickly on to the Elder Scrolls Online segment, talking about the recently released DLC Elsweyr, then tease the next DLC called Dragonhold, and the next Dungeon DLC Scalebreaker, and while the trailer for Dragonhold was cool, not much information was given. Zenimax decided to ruin Commander Keen by making a mobile game, that looks like it will take advantage of fans new and old alike. Elder Scrolls Legends is making it's way to mobile, with a new expansion on 27 June.
New info about the future of Rage 2 was given where they don't really give details, other than to say that you will be getting a decent amount of content, ranging from free weekly content to Story DLC with the first of that being titled Rise Of The Ghosts. The various content will include new cheat codes, new vehicles (including 'mechs') new enemies, gameplay modes, weapns, and areas. They briefly talked about the two Wolfenstein games coming this summer, the VR game Cyber Pilot, releasing in July, and Youngblood, which takes place in the 1980s 20 years after New Colossus, with a release of 26 July. After that was the announcement of a new game from Arkane, called Deathloop, which deals with a time loop, other than that, not much info was given.
After an announcement of a streaming service called Orion, they did a 'deep' dive on Doom Eternal. The trailer they showed was cool, they also showed and detailed the new PvP mode where two player controlled demons versus a single doomslayer, and the demons can summon ai demons to fight with them. That was thankfully the end of the conference.
Overall while they did a better job than last year, it was still terrible, it just felt like pure pandering, as a way to prove that they are 'about' the gamers. This conference did have good segments to it, but in general is really felt at least 45 minutes too long, and the audience was by far the worst part, hopefully next year they can shore up their deficiencies but don't know if they care enough to do that.
This year Microsoft is running unopposed, with Sony being a no-show this year, and that could, and should have led to a ridiculous showing that put them on top for the foreseeable future. While they started pretty strong with a new trailer for The Outer Worlds, that showed off a few of the choices that can be made. Along with the official announcement of the new Ninja Theory game titled Bleeding Edge, which is a 4 versus 4 physical combat game in the same vein of Overwatch, with a tecnical alpha people can take part in starting June 27th there was just a sheer amount of meh, and similarity to last year's showing. Ori: And The Will Of The Wisps brought an interesting boss trailer, with an announced release of February 11th 2020. Somewhat interestingly there was the announcement of a new game from the Minecraft devs titled Minecraft Dungeons, which is a top down four player Diablo-esque dungeon crawler that takes place in the Minecraft world with a release window of 2020.
Weirdly enough these announcements were before the Head of Xbox Phil Spencer even made his way onto the main stage. After a speech that didn't need to be as long as it was announced that the new console will be revealed before the end. After a slightly interesting trailer for Star Wars: Fallen Order was quickly shown, they moved quickly along to Cyberpunk 2077. This trailer was obviously the highlight of the entire press conference, while it was disappointingly CG only, it was still interesting enough to see, especially with the reveal that Keanu Reeves will have a role to play in the story of this game, with a release date of April 16th 2020, next year seems to be preparing to be quite a doozy. A new indie game titled SpiritFarer looks interesting, with no real release info given, it is likely to have more info throughout the week. Battlletoads was finally properly shown, and it is kinda ugly, but the 80s aesthetic and lighthearted attitude might give enough reason to keep interest, though there is still time to alter parts due to there being no launch window given.
After an interesting trailer for an indie rpg called The Legend Of Wright, they went into their block of service shilling for the Games Pass, the beta for PC starts today, and also announced Game Pass Ultimate which will cost $15 a month and include a subscription to Xbox Live Gold. Moving swiftly along they announced a new Flight Simulator game with no year subtitle, or release window given, after a pretty lame trailer announcing Wasteland 3, the head of Xbox Games Studios, Matt Booty arrived on stage to talk about all the studios they have acquired so far, and to announce the acquisition of Double Fine studios, where Tim Schaffer shows off a new trailer for Psychonauts 2 which while looking like an improved version of the first game didn't really show much other than combat or out of context story beats.
They then revealed Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, which includes all 9 movies in one game, Bandai finally revealed the proper name of the Project Z: Kakarot, and other than a decent trailer, not much extra info was given. Two more indie games were shown, 12 minutes, a top down interactive thriller, that looks compelling, and Way To The Woods. where you play as a buck where you lead a young deer to the woods from the city. After that is when the conference took a downward turn with the info dump of Gears Of War 5: Bound By Blood. After a silly, and mostly nonsense CG trailer they announced the release date of September 10th 2019, and they still haven't shown any gameplay since last year. Aside from the new co-op mode called escape, with apparently class-based gameplay, they didn't really show much to really explain what this is. also they announced there is a Terminator: Dark Fate character pack for the Escape co-op mode.
After a pretty dry announcement for the new Elite controller series 2, as they called it, which is more customizable, has bluetooth functionality, rechargeable batteries with a charge dock and 40 hours of play time, it is available for pre-order and priced at 179.99, they showed a Dying Light trailer with a spring 2020 release window. Forza Horizon 4 showed an interesting expansion titled Lego speed champions. Sadly Gears Pop decided to make a repeat appearance which was a lame as feared, and a pretty meh trailer for State Of Decay 2 DLC titled Heartland was shown. Interestingly enough Xbox has finally done, it, they have got Sega to bring Phantasy Star Online 2 to the west, with a really cool trailer, after that was a trailer for Crossfire X an FPS made by smilegate, coming to the west for the first time in the west. The amazing trailer for the new Tales game, titled Tales Of Arise, with a 2020 release window. After a pretty cool Borderlands 3 trailer, they announced that new Borderlands 2 DLC is released which bridges the story between 2 and 3 is out today, and will be free on all platforms till July 8th.
As the end of the conference approaches the trailer for the new From Software, which has George R. R. Martin contributing to it titled Elden Ring, the trailer while beautiful and interesting, is confusing as hell, then the boredom fully enveloped the conference. After a pretty info light talk about X Cloud service, which mentioned it beginning in October of this year, they revealed also the start of console streaming. After that weird bit, they announced that the new console, currently titled Scarlet will be releasing holiday of 2020, thankfully after a boring trailer touting the power, and SSD and whatnot they showed a trailer for Halo Infinite, which releases alongside the Scarlet.
Overall, while this is nowhere near the worst conference Microsoft has had, however, with this Sony free E3 they had an opportunity to show their best, and for the most part, they didn't and that feels like a waste of their chance, hopefully they can improve upon this and really pull out all the stops.