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RECAP | E3 2019: Games, Set, and Matched

E3 2019 presents an interesting year for gaming, now caught in the middle between two generations of consoles – we see publishers now focusing their efforts towards the future.

Despite the lack of new game announcements and Sony’s total absence, we still had some great announcements from this year’s E3 even if there weren’t too many surprises.

Below I’ll run down my personal top 10 announcements from this year’s E3.

10. Marvel’s Avengers

We got a lot of information about Square Enix’s take on Marvel’s Avengers including a release date of May 15th 2020. Despite a flashy cinematic trailer we still don’t actually know much about how Marvel’s Avengers will play. Here’s to hoping we’ll get some more details and maybe even a gameplay trailer soon.

9. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot presents us with a highly stylized retelling of the Dragon Ball Z series’ first two sagas, though it does make you wonder if it really needs to be retold. Being developed by Cyber Connect 2; the developers behind the Naruto Ultimate Ninja series, one thing is for sure, there’s bound to be grand spectacles and eye-popping delights. Time will tell if this will be more than just eye candy and fan service to Dragon Ball diehards, and with a release date in early 2020 the answer isn’t too far away.

8. Tales of Arise

The Tales series has always been looked at favourably as one of the better JRPG franchises to hit the global market despite the usually dated graphics and re-used battle system. Tales of Arise looks to change all that, with graphics that seem like it’s finally moved into this generation of gaming and a combat system that’s also apparently been refreshed, but as more gameplay is revealed we’ll see how much really changes. Tales of Arise is slated to release in 2020.

7. Final Fantasy 8 Remastered

Square Enix announces the remaster no one was asking for, but everyone is happy to get, and with a 2019 release I can finally tell everyone who’s been telling me to play it all these years to leave me alone.

6. Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order

We got our first look at gameplay footage of Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order which is being developed by Respawn Entertainment, the same company that brought you Apex Legends and the Titanfall series. So far, what we’ve seen looks great. Lots of stylish action and an emphasis on calculated, deliberate actions make it look almost like a game in the Soulsborne franchise. Though considering the publisher is EA it’s unlikely we’ll see that level of challenge here. With a November 15th 2019 release date it won’t be long until we can join the battle to bring balance to the force.

5. Watch Dogs Legion

Ubisoft kicked off its E3 presentation with what I feel is one of the most interesting concepts coming. Play as anyone. While the Watch Dogs franchise had a rocky start with its first outing, it felt like a lot of the ideas they had for the series were realised in Watch Dogs 2. Now building on that – we have a unique concept where in this future, anyone can be a hacker, fighting against the oppressors of a cyber dystopia. We’ve been told that every single character in the game has a unique back story and a fleshed-out identity. How much will that [[[factor into the story and what sort of variation that will bring to gameplay remains to be seen. Watch Dogs Legion releases on March 6th, 2020.

4. Final Fantasy VII Remake

4 years after the original announcement of the game all the way back in E3 2015, we finally got our first look at gameplay of Final Fantasy VII Remake and damn does it look good. The mechanics, a hybrid of real time hack and slash with traditional RPG elements, looks to be trying something new without losing what made the original Final Fantasy VII such a beloved game. The game finally received a release date of March 3rd 2020 to the delight of Final Fantasy fans everywhere.

3. Elden Ring

Elden Ring is the product of combining the minds of famed Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin and Legendary From Software Developer Hidetaka Miyazaki. Not much is clear about what the game will be, but from the trailer it seems that it will be set in a high fantasy world with some dark elements. Knowing From Software’s pedigree for releasing great action RPGs it will most likely something akin to Dark Souls or Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Whatever it turns out to be, with the minds at work behind this project the excitement and anticipation is palpable. Let’s hope we find out more about this collaboration soon.

2. Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Originally announced to be releasing in 2019, we got a surprise of a different kind when Nintendo announced that the game had been delayed to 2020. Naturally fans were upset with the delay as it was one of the most anticipated games on Nintendo’s line-up and wanted answers as to why there was a delay in release. In an interview with IGN Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser addressed the issue, saying that the reason for the delay was to ensure that their developers could maintain a healthy work/life balance and to avoid unhealthy crunch in the development cycle. As development crunch has been an issue making the rounds lately in gaming industry news, it’s refreshing to see Nintendo taking steps to ensure that their employees aren’t part of this problem. Animal Crossing: New Horizons will let you build your village from the ground up, ensuring that your village is exactly how you want it to be. It will also be releasing with an enhanced multiplayer mode that tackles many of the issues fans had with multiplayer from previous games. Animal Crossing: New Horizons will release on the 20th of March 2020.

1. Cyberpunk 2077

While most of this year’s E3 seemed to feel weak when compared to the presentations of previous years, there was one particularly breathtaking moment. We got to see a new trailer for Cyberpunk 2077 which dove deeper into the story that the protagonist would be involved in. There’s a deal that goes bad, things go awry and the protagonist finds himself in a junkyard waking up to the greeting of Johnny Silverhand, played by none other than Keanu Reeves himself. We then get a very fun presentation from Keanu Reeves in person where he reveals the release date of April 16th 2020. Breathtaking.

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