It was the biggest week of the year for video game news, but surprisingly little fanfare greeted E3 last week.
E3, the Electronics Entertainment Expo, is one of the top events in the video game world, but in the last few years, the trade show has lost some of its prestige. This year, Sony’s PlayStation line was absent from the show floor, and Electronic Arts held a separate event event a few days earlier.
Despite that, there were still plenty of new video games and even a new console announced at E3
Nintendo showed off a lot of new high-profile games, including a sequel to “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild”, a new “Animal Crossing” game for the Switch (alongside its March 2020 release date) and a Sept. 20 release date for a “The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening” remake.
While Microsoft’s game lineup wasn’t quite as strong as Nintendo’s, they gave an official release date for their next Xbox console, currently titled “Project Scarlett,” and announced the sixth mainline Halo game, “Halo Infinite,” will be on the platform at launch. They also had one of the most memorable moments of the entire show when Keanu Reeves took the stage to talk about his role in the upcoming CD Projekt Red game “Cyberpunk 2077.”
Microsoft also revealed the Sep. 10 release date for “Gears 5,” the second version of their high-end Elite controllers and announced that they had acquired Double Fine Productions, the developers of “Psychonauts 2,” the sequel to the 2005 cult classic.
Bethesda Studios, the high-profile third-party developer of the “Fallout,” “Elder Scrolls,” and “Doom” series, showed off the new story mode for “Fallout 76,” their heavilly-criticized multiplayer entry in the “Fallout” series. They also showed some gameplay from this year’s “Doom Eternal” and announced “Deathloop” and “GhostWire: Tokyo,” which are two new games from the teams behind “Dishonored” and “Evil Within.”
The third-party publisher Ubisoft came out strong with an ambitious trailer for “Watch Dogs Legion,” promising players that every person in the near-future London would be recruitable and playable in the story. They also showed off a new competitive multiplayer roller derby game called “Roller Champions” and the newest “Rainbow Six” game called “Rainbow Six Quarantine.”
In what might be the most unexpected segment of the convention, Ubisoft also brought out Rob McElhenney, best known for his role as Mac on “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” to show off his new Apple TV+ show about video game development.
Square Enix’s conference was mostly devoid of heavy hitters this year, but the publisher finally showed some “Final Fantasy VII Remake” footage and announced the March 3 release date for the first installment of the episodic remake. It’s still not clear how many games are expected to be in the remake, but the March 3 release won’t cover the entirety of the PlayStation-era classic.
Square also showed off a little bit of gameplay from “The Avengers” — a new game entirely seperate from the Marvel Cinematic Universe Avengers the world has come to know in the past decade.
While E3 might not have had the same kind of blockbuster year its traditionally used to, at the end of the show there were still signs encouraging visitors to come back next year, so the show may be on it’s death knell, there’s at least one more E3 to look forward to.