E3 2019 is dunzo, all the post-conference stuff is wrapped up as well and I can safely say it wasn’t the most exciting year, except for maybe a select few folks. I count myself among these as some of the titles on display had the hype meter almost explode on this ol’ cynic. The next few quarters should be a very exciting time for RPG fans in particular, but here are some of my favorites from E3 2019.
Seeing as The Witcher 3 has climbed up rapidly on my personal list of favorite games without even an ounce of nostalgia bonus attached to it, it should come to no surprise that Cyberpunk 2077 is one of my most anticipated games ever. While the general public hasn’t seen any new gameplay footage we now know much more about the plot and while I thought the general gist of it sounded kind of tropey, including the celebrity companion even if it is general sweetheart Keanu Reeves, I completely trust CD Projekt RED to turn this into one of the most fully realized video game worlds I have ever witnessed.
Reading about their ambitions in terms of bringing the quality of the gameplay in line with the story and world-building elements I can’t wait to finally get my hands on it and see for myself in what ways I will be able to interact with and shape the world of Cyberpunk 2077. The possibilities presented so far seem to even surpass those of the Deus Ex titles where CDPR make it seem as you’re character will be able to act more flexibly inside the game world, which is an absolute plus in my book. Hopefully, we’ll get to see the currently closed doors gameplay demo asap.
Baldur’s Gate 3
Google Stadia’s pre E3 showing didn’t quite catch my interest, but the Baldur’s Gate 3 cinematic trailer in combination with the fact that arguably the reigning kings of the top down RPG genre Larian Studios are attached had me knocked off my socks instantly. The Baldur’s Gate series in particular and the Infinity Engine games, in general, are absolute classics and games like Pillars of Eternity and Divinity: Original Sin brought that style of gameplay back in a big way, but with Larian at the helm of a true sequel I think the old school style of CRPG will be elevated to new heights.
My only worry is that the independent studio is in over their heads, yet their independence is what enabled them to truly make their games shine and deliver on their promises. With what little info we have from interviews it seems we’re still in for quite a wait until we can get our hands on it, but I am so ready to gather my party before venturing forth. So far only a couple of hard facts have been released and after the initial announcements Larian Studios have kept very quiet, markedly CEO Swen Vincke and Dungeons & Dragons creative director
Mike Mearls at the PC gaming show has had absolutely zero new information to put out there with none of the juicy questions being answered. I’ll be happily scooping up every piece of info for sure in the coming months, maybe even years.
The Outer Worlds
When the news broke that Obsidian was bought by Microsoft I instantly felt uneasy, especially in regards to The Outer Worlds. Of course, this knee jerk reaction has been mitigated somewhat after countless assurances on the developer’s part that in the end the game has no traces of the tech giant’s influence and we’ll get a true, at least in spirit, follow up to what Obsidian has started with Fallout: New Vegas. The latest trailer shown at this year’s E3 lets us take a much closer look at the protagonist’s place in the world and it makes it seem as though we will be able to make a huge impact in the game’s plot with classic Obsidian moral dilemmas.
In a sit-down between IGN and game director Leonard Boyarsky we found out that the areas we can explore will be more similar to something like Knights of the Old Republic, where you are not faced with one big open world, but instead, multiple smaller open areas with different themes and I’m loving it. Looking at what kind of game footage was shown to the public so far and the way the team speaks about the game inspires confidence and I hugely enjoy their willingness to show off still janky sections of their game. It’s a transparent way of presenting your own product not many developers and publishers are willing to go for in this day and age. On the other hand, looking at Obsidian’s track record I only hope they can polish the game enough for its November launch, so maybe hold off on that day one purchase.
Luigi’s Mansion 3
Nintendo absolutely didn’t come empty-handed to E3 either and while we didn’t get a fancy live stage presentation or a lot of new announcements the drip feed of fresh info aka Nintendo Direct was jam-packed with awesome footage. Speculations as to what exactly will await us in the upcoming Switch exclusive Luigi’s Mansion 3 ran high after a long radio silence following the last trailer and the new material should come as a big clarification for some of these talking points.
Some folks didn’t like the change in direction Nintendo tried when comparing the first Luigi’s Mansion and it’s sequel Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon and so far Luigi’s Mansion 3 looks to be the best of both worlds. The boss fights from the original seem to make a return as seen in the latest trailer, bringing back an element dearly missing from the 3DS’ Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon. Drawing from all kinds of inspirations a colorful cast of characters will await us and I’m all for it. The gameplay footage from the Nintendo Treehouse at E3 also makes it seem as though Nintendo has moved away from the level based structure used in Dark Moon and you’ll once again be able to explore the whole hotel to your heart’s content where the only obstacle is if you’ve actually unlocked the floors.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 just oozes atmosphere from what I’ve seen so far and it’s shaping up to become the best entry in the series yet.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
As with Luigi’s Mansion 3, there were rumors if Nintendo would actually stick to both games original release window of 2019 and unfortunately in the case of Animal Crossing: New Horizons we will not be able to dump hours on end into the newest entry in the series before 2020.
A swift look at the gameplay trailer should reveal that Nintendo is working hard on changing up the series’ formula as this time around players are being sent to a deserted island with much more opportunity to shape the world around them. In the expanded Nintendo Treehouse gameplay video we get to see how far they took this idea, completely overhauling many of the aspects deeply ingrained within Animal Crossing.
A huge new element to the main series is the implementation of a crafting system, which appears to be incredibly detailed, adding upon the usual core gameplay in a way I really love. I have put a lot of hours into Animal Crossing: New Leaf, but at some point, I just stopped as new games came around and after that, I unfortunately never picked it up again, so I’m a little fuzzy on the details. New Horizons seems like a perfect way to either get back into Animal Crossing or get into the whole series period, as the revamped style of gameplay should be very interesting to both audiences.
Gathering Nook Miles through something similar to achievements should make for sheer endless motivation to play and that in addition to the seemingly huge crafting system, the new multiplayer options and the usual Animal Crossing experience on top of all of that looks like Animal Crossing: New Horizons will be the perfect rest and relaxation game for any Switch for a long, long time.
So there we go, these are my five most anticipated games we got to see at E3 2019. Of course, there was much more to be seen and among other stuff, I’m also looking forward to Pokémon Sword and Shield as well as Doom Eternal and Elden Ring. Suffice it to say, I think I’ll be a very happy gamer in the coming months. And totally broke.