E3 2019 seemed fairly quiet compared to previous years. Aside from Nintendo, who went in with all guns blazing, the other conferences were fairly light when it came to big reveals, and Sony decided not to attend altogether. Still, E3 is E3, and there were plenty of interesting reveals and new trailers to get everybody all worked up. Here are my top five most anticipated games from the show:
Rainbow Six Quarantine
I only recently got into playing Rainbow Six Siege, which is by far the most challenging and least newcomer-friendly multiplayer experience I’ve had. Still, I’m hooked on the chaos of it all, and the way the game blends careful planning and balls-to-the-wall gunplay. I’ve always preferred PvE to PvP, though, and that’s where Quarantine comes in.
While Quarantine looks and sounds like yet another zombie-killing FPS, I’m excited to see how well the game incorporates the franchise’s strategic elements alongside the good old bedlam of cooperative multiplayer. Honestly, I’ve never fared all that well in competitive multiplayer, so it’ll be nice to work alongside other players rather than have them shooting at me.
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
I’ve still got a long way to go before I’ve played all the main Zelda titles, but I have a special fondness for Link’s Awakening. So far, I definitely prefer the 2D games to the 3D ones, and Link’s Awakening is just so delightfully weird. It’s not my favorite – I’m looking at you, A Link Between Worlds – but it’s a profoundly charming and sadly underrated entry in the series.
While it is an unexpected choice for a remake, what Nintendo has shown of it so far just looks adorable, and the build-your-own-dungeon aspects are certainly going to add an interesting new dimension to the experience. When I feel like taking a break from playing catch-up with the series – look, Majora’s Mask is pretty hard, okay? – I’m gonna be heading back to the surreal Koholint Island. Can’t keep the Wind Fish waiting!
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Admittedly, the only Animal Crossing game I’ve played so far has been Pocket Camp on mobile. While it certainly did scratch a particular itch, I knew pretty early on that I’d prefer a more traditional Animal Crossing experience. When we finally saw footage of New Horizons at E3 and even got a firm release date, I knew it was for me.
I mean, just look at it. Gaming caters to so many people and tastes, but there’s no denying that the majority of games tend to center around violence. A lot of my favorite games feature violence, whether as a gameplay mechanic or a plot device. Sometimes I want an escape from all that, and Animal Crossing seems like the perfect choice. March 2020 needs to hurry up because I’m excited to just set up camp on a peaceful island and catch some fish.
I very rarely play FPS games, but I ended up buying Wolfenstein: The New Order on a whim a few years ago and, honestly, I was pretty blown away by it. The actual gameplay is exquisitely fluid, and every difficulty setting feels perfectly balanced. The story, earnest in its cheesiness yet also emotionally compelling, was leagues better than anything I’d seen from the genre before.
I’ve played several Wolfenstein games now, and for me, there was only one way to make them even more ludicrously fun: let me murder Nazis with a friend. Wolfenstein: Youngblood does just that, putting players in the shoes of the twin daughters of series protagonist BJ Blazkowizc. I know this entry is a little at odds with what I said about Animal Crossing, but sometimes you’ve just gotta unleash hell on as many Nazis as possible.
Final Fantasy VIII Remastered
I won’t mince words here: I love Final Fantasy VIII. As happy as I was to see FF7 and FF9 brought to current-gen platforms, the omission of FF8 was always a sore spot for me. Not only will I be able to finally play one of my favorite games on my PS4, but the improvements made to the visuals are nothing to scoff at. The game’s character models have always been, well, a little ugly, to the point that their facial features have almost no detail whatsoever.
The trailer for the remastered edition shows vastly improved visuals, with characters looking close to how they appeared in PSP titles like Dissidia. Even putting aside improvements to the graphics, Final Fantasy VIII has always had a special place in my heart – it was, to the best of my recollection, my first RPG – and I’m excited to see it finally get the remastering it deserves.
How about a full-on remake next, eh, Square Enix?