This year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, took place from June 11-13. Before the show floor opens to the public, big-name game companies such as Microsoft, Nintendo and Bethesda, hold their annual press conferences. The conferences are streamed online to websites such as Twitch and YouTube. The games presented give gamers an idea of what is to come for the next 12 months. Those who attend the physical event in Los Angeles may also get the chance to play certain games before they release.
It is only in the recent few years that the public has been able to attend E3. The event was previously restricted to press and retailers only.
The way video game companies announce their games is changing. Companies like Nintendo have begun to take advantage of the popularity of streaming to announce their games on their own. By releasing their own video presentations like Nintendo Directs, they are able to control their messaging better. They are also able to stand out from the competition. This year, Sony announced that the company would not be attending E3.
Earlier this month, Colin Campbell from Polygon wrote a feature story detailing the struggles of creating the first E3 in 1995. It explains why and how E3 exists today.
While companies may be relying on E3 less to announce their new games, there was no lack of exciting games shown this year. Here are a few of the games that excited me the most from E3 2019:
Developer: id Software
Release date: Nov. 22
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC and Google Stadia
A trailer for Doom Eternal, containing graphic content and narrated by 2016 Doom’s antagonist, Samuel Hayden, was among the new footage released at E3. Doom Eternal appears to start where the previous game ended. It features the player character, the Doom Slayer, looking more demonic than ever, wielding exciting and powerful weapons such as a double-barrel shotgun with an attached grappling hook, a minigun which can split into four smaller miniguns, a shoulder-mounted flamethrower and more. There is also a section in the video where the Doom Slayer shoots a button and swinging axes slice multiple demons.
An extended gameplay demonstration shown at E3 revealed new features such as an air dash. There appeared to be more environmental interaction, such as being able to jump off certain walls and target and destroy certain parts of demons to disable an attack. Players will also be able to complete platforming challenges.
A multiplayer mode called “Battlemode” was also announced. It is one versus two. It features one fully decked-out Doom Slayer against two player-controlled demons.
“Doom Eternal promises to be the ultimate power fantasy,” Hugo Martin, creative director for Doom Eternal, said at E3. “You are the Doom Slayer, the strongest, the fastest demon killer in existence. Nothing can stand in your way.”
Developer: CD Projekt Red
Release date: April 16, 2020
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC
Cyberpunk 2077 is a single-player, open-world, first-person-shooter, role-playing game set in the future where technology and body augmentation has run rampant.
“You play as a mercenary outlaw going after a one-of-a-kind implant that is the key to immortality,” according to the Cyberpunk 2077 website.
The main draw of Cyberpunk 2077 is the scale of the world and production value. CD Projekt Red is well-known for making The Witcher games which also featured a vast open world. The first teaser trailer for Cyberpunk 2077 was released in 2013. Fans have been eagerly anticipating it for six years.
The Cyberpunk presentation included what is undoubtedly one of the highlights of E3 2019 when it was revealed that Keanu Reeves, an actor who played Neo in “The Matrix,” would play a character in the game.
Reeves came onstage at E3 to talk about the game and reveal the release date. However, before he could do so, he was interrupted by an audience member who yelled “you’re breathtaking!” Reeves returned the compliment to him and the entire audience.
Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield
Developer: Game Freak
Release date: Nov. 15
Platform: Nintendo Switch
The games feature a new land to explore called the Galar Region, which appears to have been visually inspired by Europe. New starting pokemon are also available, including Grookey, a grass-type chimp, Scorbunny, a fire-type rabbit and Sobble, a water-type lizard.
Unlike previous games, in Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield, players will be able to control the game camera and look around freely. Players will also be able to explore the Wild Area, which will feature different pokemon depending on the weather. Players will be able to encounter pokemon traveling through the Wild Area and through random encounters in tall grass.
The major new battle feature of Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield is called Dynamax. It can be used once per battle by the player. Pokemon who Dynamax become larger and have stronger, flashier attacks. After three turns, the Pokemon will return to normal.
“Max Raid Battles” are able to be activated at certain points in the Wild Area. They are cooperative multiplayer battles against a Dynamaxed wild Pokemon with up to four players. If the players succeed in defeating the wild Pokemon, they will get the opportunity to catch it.
There was a lack of big surprise announcements this year. This is partly because the next generation of consoles will likely release next year. This year at E3, Microsoft announced their new console, code-named Project Scarlett. The PlayStation 5 also seems likely to release next year, according to Jason Schrier from Kotaku. The lack of surprises was also because of leaks, such as Amazon listing Watch Dogs Legion ahead of its announcement. In spite of all this, there are still plenty of good-looking games to look forward to in the coming year.