AJ’s E3 2019 Roundup

Well, the 2019 Electronic Entertainment Expo wrapped up a few days ago and it was definitely a memorable one for quite a few reasons. There was plenty of exciting news from the world of video games, as well as the typical head-scratcher or two. As with most E3s, there were far too many games shown and announcements made to possibly be able to cover everything in a single post, so I went ahead and condensed it down to a more easily digestible dozen for you. So without further ado, here are the top 12 highlights I have selected that were either unveiled or reconfirmed at the event.

Microsoft's preshow conference was again one of the premier events of E3, where they made several huge announcements and showed off numerous incredible-looking games, including...

  • Gears 5 - The fifth numerical entry to the crazy popular Gears of War franchise is slated to arrive September 10 on Windows 10 and Xbox One. Among the features shown was a dramatic new exfiltration mode called Escape, and a special pre-order bonus in the form of a cross-promotional Terminator: Dark Fate multiplayer character pack.
  • The acquisition of Double Fine - At one point during the conference, famed game designer, Tim Schafer, came onstage to help announce that his development studio, Double Fine, had recently been acquired by Microsoft's Xbox Game Studios division. Schafer also used the opportunity to show off a new trailer for...
  • Psychonauts 2 - With a decent-sized trailer and a tentative release date of next year, the long overdue follow-up to Double Fine's cult favorite original appears to finally be nearing completion. It's hard to believe it's been 14 years! The anticipation is getting palpable.
  • The Outer Worlds - Microsoft actually kicked off the conference with a trailer for the upcoming first-person action-RPG from another recent Microsoft acquisition, Obsidian Entertainment. The Outer Worlds is particularly intriguing because it looks to be a spiritual successor to Obsidian's excellent 2010 game, Fallout: New Vegas...in space! Due to previous obligations, The Outer Worlds is expected to arrive for multiple platforms, on October 25.

  • Star Wars - Jedi: Fallen Order - Despite publisher EA's highly disappointing news of one Star Wars game's cancellation, earlier this year, they, thankfully, still had another one to show off at Microsoft's event, courtesy of Titanfall developer, Respawn Entertainment. Star Wars - Jedi: Fallen Order will apparently follow the adventures of Cal Kestis, a Jedi on the run from the Galactic Empire, following the events of the third Star Wars episode, Revenge of the Sith. The trailer did a respectable job of building fan hype and even featured an appearance by a younger version of Saw Gerrera, a reprise of Forest Whitaker's character from the Rogue One Star Wars film. Fallen Order is set to arrive on November 15.
  • Cyberpunk 2077 (Now with Keanu Reeves!) - Without a doubt, one of the most breathtaking surprises of Microsoft's conference occurred at the end of an incredible new Cyberpunk 2077 trailer, when screen legend Keanu Reeves unexpectedly appeared, first in the game, and then live, onstage. After playing to the understandably excited crowd and confirming his participation in the game, Keanu then introduced another trailer that showed off more of the game and then displayed a release date of April 16, 2020.
  • Project Scarlett - One of the biggest reveals of the show came towards the end when Microsoft officially announced their next console, codenamed Project Scarlett. In addition to some of the vague technical specs and features it will offer, it was also revealed that the new system would be fully backward compatible with all existing Xbox One accessories and games (including all 360 and original Xbox games that are currently backward compatible on the One). In addition, the first launch title for the new console was announced to be none other than...
  • Halo: Infinite - Not only will Halo: Infinite supposedly mark a return to the series roots (presumably in more ways than merely being a launch title), it is also being said that it will include the return of split-screen options, the absence of which in the last installment was a source of considerable disappoint among fans. Here's hoping developer 343 Industries can deliver something special this time.

Of course, Microsoft wasn't alone at E3. Nintendo once again got in on the action with their annual E3 edition Nintendo Direct video, in which they showcased some pretty exciting games. Some of which included...

  • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - A greatly-enhanced remake of the 1993 Game Boy classic (and 1998 Game Boy Color rerelease) of the same name. Although the game was first announced earlier this year, a more detailed trailer was shown during the E3 video which included a newly revealed create-your-own dungeon feature. The Link's Awakening remake is due to hit the Switch on September 20.
  • Luigi's Mansion 3 - Nintendo also revealed more about the next installment to their popular Luigi's Mansion franchise, Luigi's Mansion 3. The game will once again follow Luigi as he battles ghosts in a spooky setting, this time, with a host of new abilities and even a goopy sidekick clone called Gooigi. (Get it?) Luigi's Mansion 3 also will see the return of the multiplayer ScareScraper mode from Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon. The only release date that's been given thus far is Q4 of 2019 and while I'd love for that to be clearer, I'm really just hoping it will materialize by Halloween.
  • The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild sequel - The biggest announcement from the Nintendo Direct presentation had to have been the incredible revelation that a sequel to 2017's wildly successful Legend of Zelda title, Breath of the Wild, is already in development. Not much was revealed, other than a short trailer of Link and Zelda both entering some sort of dungeon where they appear to inadvertently awaken a creepy malevolent mummified corpse. There's no telling when the game could see a release (and considering how long the original took, we could even be looking at several years down the road), but one thing is certain, fans are already developing an insatiable hunger for it.

In addition to Microsoft and Nintendo, publisher Square Enix also held their own E3 presentation where they showed off several noteworthy titles, the biggest, by far, being the...

  • Final Fantasy VII (Remake) - First revealed back in 2015 (and suspected to be in development for many years prior to that), the Final Fantasy VII remake, like Link's Awakening, has been greatly-enhanced and remade from the ground up. It features all new, cutting-edge graphics, and new story elements and gameplay mechanics. Final Fantasy VII was likely the most hotly-anticipated title to appear at E3 this year and will undoubtedly sell millions of copies (again) when it is released for the PlayStation 4 on March 3 of next year.

Well, that does it for my E3 roundup. Let me know what announcements and/or trailers you're most excited about.

(This is a repost of an article that also appeared on 12/12 Games.)

[Images: Microsoft, EA, Nintendo, Square Enix]

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