E3 explores the next year in gaming: Sequels, spinoffs and new releases
Announcement hangover. It’s usually difficult to keep up with the latest release dates for video game franchises and downloadable content, but E3 was a whirlwind of a week.
This year, fans of the expo feared the worst, yet hoped for the best. We laughed, we cried, and we cringed. Without Sony, Blizzard Activision and Electronic Arts, the show goes on, but attendance fell from the previous year by a little over 3,000 people.
As speakers from different game studios took the stage, the audience heard things like “this is the single most creative and energizing time in game history,” and “this is the largest showcase of games on any stage, any year.” All gab, no gameplay. Resident sleeper.
In the end, E3 delivered a wealth of information about anticipated titles. After all, the variety of games available these days is as diverse as the people who play them.
Microsoft’s conference introduced at least 20 games for Xbox, all of which will be included in the Xbox Game Pass. The lineup includes sequels to award-winning games such as Ori and the Will of the Wisps and, the game that started it all in 1982, Flight Simulator. New titles were announced, too, including Blair Witch coming this August.
Keanu Reeves showed up to declare that we are all breathtaking. Arguably, Reeves was the most breathtaking part of the event. He surprised the audience and introduced a new game by CD Projekt Red (creators of The Witcher franchise), Cyberpunk 2077, which will release April 16, 2020.
Gearbox presented gameplay from Borderlands 3 and dropped DLC for Borderlands 2 that ties story arcs from Tales of the Borderlands (created by TellTale Games, R.I.P.) to the series. Smilegate revealed plans to release Crossfire X on the console for the first time. And we witnessed the trailer for Gears of War 5: Bound by Blood, which releases Sept. 10, and Wasteland 3: Welcome to Cultural Colorado, coming in spring 2020.
Bethesda opened their conference by acknowledging the work that goes into making great games and their difficult launch of Fallout 76. They rewarded loyal players with DLC and a new game-mode called Nuclear Winter, a 52-player battle royale. The studio also presented gameplay from DOOM: Eternal, coming Nov. 22. Fans of Wolfenstein or Rage 2 will experience new in-game content as early as this summer.
Devolver Digital presented their usual anti-conference filled with blood and guts via scripted video this year, and branded it as a “direct.” But the skit was more memorable than the trailers they revealed.
Ubisoft announced Rainbow Six Quarantine, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint featuring Jon Bernthal (“The Punisher” and The Walking Dead’s Shane Walsh) and Just Dance 2020. In addition, the company announced a spinoff of Watch Dogs set in post-Brexit London titled Watch Dogs Legion. The company also confirmed during the conference that games like For Honor and The Division 2 will continue to experience new content in-game through events and DLC.
For fans of The Legend of Zelda, E3 was a surprising success. In addition to dropping Cadence of Hyrule and announcing a release date for The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (Sept. 20), Nintendo teased a direct sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Nintendo also presented a trailer to introduce two new characters to Super Smash Brothers Ultimate, and promoted popular titles that will be ported to the Switch this year like Dead By Daylight, Resident Evil 6 and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
Japanese developer PlatinumGames Inc. announced an upcoming action game Astral Chain, and Nintendo pushed the release date of the next Animal Crossing to March 2020, but gave fans a glimpse of what’s ahead in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The company also announced the third installment of Luigi’s Mansion, a classic ghost-busting adventure, will release this year.
E3 2020 is scheduled to take place at Los Angeles Convention Center June 9-11. Until then, we have dozens of games to play while we anticipate announcements from both Microsoft and Sony about the next generation consoles.
Upcoming & recent June releases
June 20: My Friend Pedro
June 21: Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled, The Sims 4: Island Living expansion, Judgement
June 25: Monster Jam Steel Titans, Mutant Zero: Road to Eden
June 27: Tour de France 2019, Virtua Racing, Wonder Boy: Monster Land, The Sinking City
June 28: F1 2019, Super Mario Maker 2Hunter Harrell