All the E3 news in one handy place
What a week it’s been! With the E3 conferences all wrapped up – and a lot of news flooding out of each one, we’ve decided to give you a handy guide to the biggest points of what happened. So, as always, get yourself a cup of something, a bite of something, and back into bed to catch-up with the must-know news from E3.
What do you want to know about?
Take me to Sony
Take me to Microsoft
Take me to Nintendo
Take me to PC
Take me to Ubisoft
Take me to Bethesda
Take me to Square Enix
Take me to EA
Take me to Limited Run Games
Take me to Devolver Digital
Lot’s of show, but not much tell from Sony
The Sony conference had a lot to live up to based on what we got back in 2017, when we got a slew of exciting looking exclusives. Since then, we’ve only seen a small number of those exclusives released, with God of War being touted as a “game of the decade” by many, whilst Detroit: Become Human was received with a fairly tepid response. And it looks like Sony weren’t put off by the task they’d given themselves, coming across rather brazen throughout their whole conference, Son took us a little deeper into what Naughty Dog, Insomniac Games, Kojima Games, and Sucker Punch have been up to in that year.
What we saw was a lot of gameplay, and a lot of cinematics, but no real information. The Last of Us 2’s gameplay trailer – which showed off a stealth takedown segment that, being out of context, probably wasn’t the best choice to show off, went on for a good 10-15 minutes. And at the end of the trailer, we didn’t get a release date, we didn’t really get anything. As far as we know, TLOU2 is still slated for a 2018 release, but specifics were glaringly absent.
It was the same with Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding, which took us on a stress-inducing journey, as Norman Reedus travelled around, carrying boxes that seemed to all carry babies, before losing a bunch of them, being stalked by invisible monsters, spoken to by a strange mysterious lady, and then having to creep past a bunch of floating dead bodies – I bloody hope they were dead. In short, it was a fairly normal trailer for Hideo. But, much like, TLOU2, Death Stranding wasn’t in a giving mood and we still have no specifics as for when the game will arrive on PS4.
It was perhaps Insomniac’s Spider-Man and Ghost of Tsushima that gave the most information during the conference. Well, we already knew that Spidey would be arriving in September, but we didn’t have much more information on Tsushima, with both Sony and Sucker Punch going fairly dark on the game after last year’s E3, so the short gameplay trailer we got – whilst not giving us any release date, at least showed off a stunning looking world.
Yes, there wasn’t much breaking news coming out from Sony this year, with perhaps the biggest surprise of the night being that PS Plus members can get Black Ops 3 for free until July, 7. Sony’s conference perhaps put too much into those four big games, and whilst they all look great, but there wasn’t too much on sow that looked to grab viewers – not that it’s going to stop us rabidly clawing for copies of the games when they do – eventually – arrive.
Microsoft come out swinging
Whilst Sony relied a little too much on the work they put in last year, Microsoft took E3 by the horns, shaking it furiously, and probably yelling “Look at me!” Basically, they took the opportunity to show that they are still very much competing for our playtime.
We already spoke about the recent studio acquisitions Microsoft made during E3, with the move looking to open a new stream of games for Microsoft to possibly use as exclusives. But they weren’t happy with just that.
Along with those acquisitions, we saw a return to the platform’s mascots, with Halo Infinite and Gears 5 both being announced for 2019. It’s a move that makes sense for Microsoft, seemingly in a position where they have to rebuild their credibility, the return to such popular franchises is one they’ve most likely had planned for some time.
Though, along with those marquee exclusives, there wasn’t any sign of a return to the Fable universe, with Fable 4 not even getting a concept announcement or mention during the conference. The omission doesn’t mean we’ll never see a return to the series, and even announcing an exclusive RPG that – whilst the series was brilliant – was never a real mainstream hit, it may still seem a little risky for Microsoft to give the greenlight to a project that’ll only pull in a portion of its players.
Instead, we saw a ton of new IP s announced for Microsoft, with the platform unveiling Session, which will arrive on early access for Xbox One and PC later this year, before its full release in 2019. Along with that, we also got a new glimpse of indie darling Tunic, which may fall into the a category of “generic indie exclusive” but it looks like the title ha already won over a lot of hearts in the gaming world.
And Microsoft weren’t just looking to the future, they focused on what they could do in the here and now, offering up a selection of must-play title joining their Game Pass program, with Fallout 4, The Division, and Elder Scrolls Online all joining a cast that already includes Sea of Thieves, Rise of the Tomb Raider, ReCore, State of Decay 2 and all the Halo and Gears of War titles.
The conference was a much needed injection of life for Microsoft, who took the chance to pretty much do what Sony managed to do in 2017 – whethr or not we’ll be saying these moves worked out for them next year remains to be seen, but at the very least, it’s a bundle of news that’ll fall on welcoming ears.
Nintendo Play Catch Up in the Best Possible Way
Nintendo’s usual whirlwind conference was all about building on their history whilst showing that they can now play with the big boys after some years away. Still relatively young as a console, the Switch managed to show off a bundle of exclusives and draw on the facet of titles that we’ve had over the last few years.
The big news was that Switch fans would be getting a new Super Smash Bros. Later this year, along with a new Mario Party, and we got look at Let’s Go Pikachu in a trailer that was just as awful as the advert for the Switch that had people taking a break from a basketball match – something I’m still sure hasn’t happened yet.
But along with those exclusives, Nintendo fans got a whole catalogue of third party titles making their way over to the console, with Hollow Knight, Overcooked 2, and Fortnite announced for the Switch. Both Fortnite and Hollow Knight are available right now, whilst Overcooked 2 will arrive in August.
Meanwhile, we also got word that both Mario Rabbids and Splatoon 2 would be getting DLC expansions, with Splotoon’s already being released, and the Rabbid’s DLC – which will star Donkey Kong, arriving later this year.
Substance over Show-boating at the PC Show
It seems that the PC show tends to get left behind every E3, but every year they tend to show off some fairly tantalising titles. And this year was no different, with the likes of Neo Cab, Overkill’s The Walking Dead, and Star Citizen all making appearances.
It was perhaps Neo Cab that garnered the most buzz, with the game’s premise summing up much of what the PC platform offers players – strange games that sound pointless but usually end up being a title that becomes a hit. Neo Cab sees you take control of the last real life cab driver in a world that’s been overtaken by automated cars, you’ll spend your time chatting with passengers as you try to find your lost friend.
But, there were some titles that seemed to be missing from the Show, with the most notable being any update on Age of Empires 4. Having been announced at Gamescom last year, it seemed that E3 would’ve been the perfect time to show off another teaser for the game, but no – looks like Gamescom will be the next stop sign for Age of Empires 4, maybe.
Everything we already knew from Ubisoft – but again
Ubisoft’s conference didn’t offer much in terms of surprise, we were all waiting for the return of Splinter Cell or Watch Dogs, but neither actually appeared. Instead, we got a lot of news about the games we already knew were on the way. So, let’s save some time and list what happened:
- The Division 2 got a bunch of trailers, showing off both the story and the co-op side of the game.
- Beyond Good and Evil 2 showed off some more cinematics and announced partnership with Hit Record for art and music in the game
- Skull and Bones shows off some gameplay – looks exactly like the sailing segments in AC: Black Flag, and the hub looks eerily similar to Sea of Thieves
- Rainbow Six Siege making a documentary about its esports players
- Assassin’s Creed Odyssey will have dialogue options, large scale battles, romance options, and keeps pretty much everything that Origins nailed in it
That’s pretty much all the big news from Ubisoft, had we not had leaks for pretty much everything they planned to announce, it would’ve been a show-stopper, but we did, and whilst it all looks great, we’re still a long way off for most of those titles, with Odyssey being the closest to release on October 5.
Bethesda look to the future
Bethesda gave us loads to look forward to, how long until we get our hands on some of thos titles is fairly uncertain at the moment. But, whilst their announcements of Starfield and Elder Scrolls 6 are – for now – a long old way off, there was enough being announced to get us excited. So – again in bullet points – here are the best bits from Bethesda:
- Fallout 76 will arrive on November 14, offering the first multiplayer experience for the game. Don’t worry, you can still play solo, and servers will only contain a small number of players. There’s a return to has building, and there’s even going to be nuclear missile silos that you’ll be able to find and use either as weapons or (presumably) disarm.
- Prey returned with three bits of news: it now has a survival mode and new game plus, its first piece of DLC – titled Mooncrash – is now available, pitting players against an everychanging simulation run on a moon, and a future update will introduce a hid and seek style mode, called Typhen Huneter, where one player has to find and kill five other players who have the transformng powers of the Mimics.
- Elder Scrolls Online got two new expansions announced, which will focus on werewolves and the Argonons – y’know, the lizard people
- Doom Eternal was announced, arriving in 2019 – we know nothing else about it other than the game’s minute-long teaser
- Wolfenstein Young Blood will arrive in 2019, set during the 1980’s in Paris, you’ll play as BJ’s twin daughters in a gae that can be played in co-op or solo
- There was no sign of Dishonored or any other new IP from Arkane, sad face.
It’s EA, what are you expecting?
Dubbed the most “boring” of the conferences – but I’m sure Square will dispute that title now – EA’s conference was fairly by the book.
The biggest surprise was that Unravel 2 was both announced and released in one fell swoop – with the game offering up the same charming design and a new co-op mode.
- We also got another look at Bioware’s Anthem, showing off some new gameplay and a story trailer that’s actually sowed off how the game is more than just a Destiny clone.
- Respawn also made a showing, but there wan’t much to it. They gave us a brief update on their upcoming Star Wars game, names Fallen Order, the game will follow the demise of the Jedi between Episodes Three and Four.
- We learnt that FIFA 19 will be the last outing for Alex Hunter in The Journey. Whether of not FIFA returns to the story concept remains to be seen. And we got confirmation that the Champion’s League proper would be appearing in FIFA 19 having cut ties with the PES franchise.
Square had lot’s to show, but didn’t show any of it
AT the moment, when we think of Square Enix, four things tend to come to mind: the Final Fantasy 7 Remake, Kingdom Hearts 3, omb Raider, and Life is Strange. With all these most certainly in the works, it seemed odd that Square didn’t jump on E3 as a chance to update us. In fact, teir whole segment was over in half and hour and seemed more like an awkward meeting they had to stumble their way through rather than anything they wanted to do.
So, we got a release date for Kingdom Hearts 3, but it was already leaked days before the conference, and the trailer we did get – bar one shot – was identical to the trailer we saw during the Microsoft announcement. Final Fantasy was a no-show, with upcoming expansions for Final Fantasy 14 being made instead, and Life is Strange was replaced with… the Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit… hmm.
Captain Spirit will be set in the same universe as Life is Strange, and will be available for free in July.
Square’s conference wasn’t a waste of time, but it was far more of a consolidation of what we already knew rather than an update of what’s going on with the publisher.
Night Trap on the Switch and more from Limited Run Games
The Limited Run Games conference was a brief one, showing off the upcoming physical releases of games, there’s not really much more to say on the matter. But, if you’ve been waiting for the chance to pick up a couple of games you missed out on over the years on a hard copy, here’s your chance. The list below, taken from Destructoid, were all revealed during the conference and will be making the jump to boxed releases soon, or soon-ish for some.
- Golf Story, September 2018, Switch
- Iconoclasts, Q3 2018, PS4 and Vita
- Observer, July 2018, PS4
- Layers of Fear, October 2018, Switch
- Thumper, July 20, 2018, PS4, and Switch
- The House in Fata Morgana, Q1 2019, PS4, and Vita
- Read Only Memories, and VA-11 HALL-A June 29, 2018, Vita
- Senran Kagura Bon Appetit, Summer 2018, Vita
- Ocean Horn Monster of Uncharted Seas, pre-order now for Switch
- Cosmic Star Heroine, TBA, Switch
- Night Trap, July 2018, Switch
- Yooka-Laylee, August 2018, Switch
- Spelunky,TBD, PS4, and Vita
- Exile’s End, Summer 2018, PS4, and Vita
- Phantom Breaker Battle Grounds Overdrive, Summer 2018, PS4 and Vita
- Salt and Sanctuary, August 24, 2018, PS4 and Vita
- Dust an Elysian Tail, TBD, Switch
- Double Switch 25th Anniversary Edition, TBA, PS4
There’s a lot to look forward to in that list, with Golf Story being compared to Stardew Valley – but with sports, Night Trap offering a bizarre trip down memory lane – and on the Switch too!
And finally… Devolver Digital stay weird and announce some games
A lot was made of Devolver Digital’s press conference in 2017, becoming something of an overnight legend thanks to their over the top antics. But this year, they went all out to show us just how professional they could be – and it went as badly as you’d expect.
It began with “new CEO” Cinco Miller having his neck broken and being dragged off the stage by someone in a mo-cap costume, before the audience were angrily abused by Nina Struthers. It was an absolute gem of a conference, that spent 20 minutes taking the piss. But in that 20 minutes we actually got some game announcements as well.
First up was the announcement of Scum Season 2, which brings back the hardcore survial that saw the game become a cult hit. Season Two will arrive on early access in August.
We were then treated to a short intermission in which Nina introduced the new Devolver Digital cryptocurrency/lootbox, something you can actually buy now at a price that changes every hour “for no discernable reason.”
Next up was My Friend Pedro, offering a 2.5d bullet-hell shooter that’s sure to be the star of many a YouTube compilation video when it arrives in 2019 on Switch and PC.
Then came the Devolver Digital Entertainment System Classic, which turned out to be a repainted Sega Dreamcast, with a pirated copy of Metal Wold Chaos disc. When demo play Geoffrey bought this up, he was beaten with a baton… before being dragged off by the mo-cap man.
And then the conference was wrapped up with the reveal of Metal Wolf Chaos XD, offering up a return to the over the top action with mech, a White House, and more. Metal Wolf Chaos XD will arrive on Xbox One, PS4, and PC in late 2018.