E3 2019 took place this week in Los Angelas, California and there were many big announcements that were made during the four day show. Many press conferences surprised the live audience and viewers around the world, while some have been a snooze fest. E3 for the last few years has been trying to get back to their roots especially with last year’s show that disappointed many. Has E3 2019 rised from the ashes of last year’s letdown, we shall see as I rank them from the best to the worst.
Last year’s show of EA at E3 was a huge disaster. It felt like an investor meeting more than a presentation show. This year, was a change of pacde for the better as Greg Miller to take the stage to introduce the developers of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order along with a long trailer and gameplay video which surprised the fans as nobody thought that we would see gameplay from it this year. The game was recieved very well from the live audience and the viewers at home and knowing EA’s track record of the Star Wars franchise, many were spectable if they could actually deliver this time and so far, it seems like they are since this is a single player game. This game reminded me of The Force Unleashed games from a decade ago. Other games that were shown was new content for Apex Legends, Battlefield V, and The Sims 4 along with new footage of Madden NFL 20 and Fifa 20. This was a huge improvememnt of last year’s show as EA realized their mistakes from last year’s show and did not want to repeat them. Every game that was showcased from EA including for its EA Originals program felt like it mattered to the casual viewer and it was all about the games this year instead of the microtransactions, loot boxes, etc.
Final Grade: B
I have no idea if Bethesda paid the entire audience to clap at every announcement it sure looked like it did. With the way Fallout 76 was handled last fall along with the disatrous pre order bonuses that did not come as advertised, you would think that the crowd would have not give them a warm reception but they did when it was announced that a battle royal mode will be coming to Fallout 76 along with more DLC. But besides that, The Elder Scross were showcased which included DLC for Elder Scrolls Online, Blades, and Legends and more trailers for Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot, Wolfenstein Youngblood, Doom Eternal, and Ghostwire Tokyo. All of these trailers look great, but we did not see any gameplay from any of them. There were also some cringe moments during the conference as well, but not to the level of Ubisoft. Good conference, but I felt very underwhelmed with no major announcements from Bethesda.
Final Grade: C+
Mocrosoft on Sunday saved the show so far especially after that miserable PC Gaming Show that felt longer than WrestleMania with Phantasy Star Online 2 finally coming to the west for the first time ever, Borderlands 3, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, Blair Witch, a new Battletoads game which surprised me, Minecraft Dungeons, and even an updated version of the Elite controller. I must say, XBOX’s controllers always felt great to use so I am for this decision to give it a complete overhaul. The bigger games that were showcased were Gears 5 (which was announced last year, but we finally know the release date), and Cyberpunk 2077 with Keanu Reeves making an appearence at the show to present the release date. The fans at the show ate this up as everyone cheered for him as he appeared. The biggest announcement is that the successor of Xbox One titled “Project Scarlett” will be coming in the fall of 2020 and we got little details of what the console will bring once it is in our hands. Also, Halo Infinite will be the launch title of this console just like the very first Halo was for the first Xbox 18 years ago. This presentation saved the show so far at this point even though we did not get any gameplay videos. But this presentation proved that Microsoft has come a long way since the ridicilous E3 2013 conference. They turned everything around year after year and their support from gamers has grown back to where it was before the Xbox One was first announced.
Final Grade: A-
Of all the conferences, Square Enix had the best presentation from the visuals, the announced games, and how they transitioned from one announcement to another. It was announced by different pictures on the wall of the screen each with the camera paning to the next game. It was an interesting idea and change and I think that it worked very well. Final Fantasy 7 Remake finally has a release date and it was showcased with a few cutscenes and the gameplay at Midgar. All of the characters looked very impressive and more brought to life than ever. However, this game will be episodic and Square Enix confirmed that they will release the first part of the game (Which is Midgar) at a full price and have the rest of the game released as different standalone games down the line. This has spawned a mixed reaction from the fanbase. The other announcements we have gotten was Life is Strange 2, Final Fantasy 8 Remaster, Dragon Quest XI, DLC for Kingdom Hearts 3, a new expansion to Final Fantasy XIV, and Marvel’s Avengers. The Avengers game does not look up to today’s gaming standards of visuals and graphics so I hope that it is changed from now until the release date. With those points aside, I enjoyed this conference more than any of the others at the entire E3 week and Square Enix delivered a conference that will be remembered for years.
Final Grade: A+
I still do not know why in 2019 Just Dance is coming out for the Nintendo Wii. Yes, you just read that because that was part of this presentation. A dance off performance that we did not need just to announce the game. But the most interesting title is Watch Dogs Legion as this time around, you are also able to play as the NPC’s and I think that is an interesting twist in a video game I have not seen done before. Eqach NPC has different skillsets as well. We even seen Jon Bernthal present Ghost Recon Breakpoint as it is the newest entry of the series. That was a great way to introduce the game and to see him on stage with the dog. More announcements came to play as we were shown Rainbow Six Quarantine, Roller Champions which is a roller derby inspired video game and it is supposed to be in the same league as Rocket League. DLC was also announced for The Division 2 which will be released in the summer and fall of this year. The announcememnt of a subscription service called UPlay has spawned a mixed reception from the fans as we do not need another subscription servive on top of ones we are already paying for. Good conference, with more questions raised. But at least we got gameplay from most of the announcements.
Final Grade: C
Last but not least, Nintendo at E3 with their Nintendo Direct. It started with a new character announcement for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as The Hero from Dragon Quest was revealed. I never thought that anything from that series would make its way to Smash Bros. The different costumes of The Hero represent another game he has appeared in. We follow that up with Luigi’s Mansion 3, new footage of Link’s Awakening HD, The Witcher 3 coming to Switch as nobody seen this coming, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Contra: Rogue Corps, Resident Evil 5 and 6, Mario and Sonic at the Tokyo Olympic Games, and Daemon X Machina. All of these announcements were absolutely great plus the others I have not mentioned. The biggest aqnnouncements were that Animal Crossing: New Horizons will be delayed (May I mention that you can finally sit down in the game!). Another great announcement is that Banjo Kazooie will be a DLC character in Smash Ultimate. This has been long awaited for many years now and I am happy to see it finally happen! Before the presentation finished, We got a glimpse of the sequel of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and I am totally looking forward to that. Nintendo usually goes all out for their E3 presentations on their Direct showcases. This was a must watch in my eyes.
Final Grade: A+
E3 this year was far much better than last year’s and 2017’s. It really felt like it was for the fans and gamers this time instead of investors and money.
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