I can’t do a third day of E3. I just can’t. I’m exhausted. I played all the games I wanted to except for Final Fantasy VII Remake. I heard it was playable at Square’s booth, but I never made it over there. As much as I’m looking forward to it, that alone is not enough to make me go back. So now that E3 is essentially over, we thought it would be fun to list our top 5 most anticipated games from E3 2019.
Ace’s Top 5
Hollow Knight: Silksong (PC | Switch)- It was a complete and total surprise that this game had a playable demo at the Nintendo Booth. It was stupidly popular too, commanding the longest wait times from a non-first party game at Nintendo’s booth. It really is a testament to the quality of Hollow Knight and the level of excitement and anticipation from its loyal fanbase. Silksong looks and plays like a proper sequel, in that it is both familiar and new at the same time. Instead of playing as the Knight, you play a secondary character from the first game instead, Hornet. She has her own set of moves and attacks. The controls are tight, fluid, and polished. No release date has been set yet but it can’t be that far off. I can’t wait!
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (Switch) – I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the demo at E3. The art direction, like I’ve said before, is just adorably cute. Navigating dungeons uses the room slide technique when passing through doors that takes me back to the original The Legend of Zelda game on the NES. That was my first Zelda game. I skipped everything after that until Phantom Hourglass and played a few here and there after that. So this re-imagining of Link’s Awakening is new to me in more ways than one. Link’s Awakening comes out on September 20th, 2019.
Final Fantasy VII Remake (PS4) – Like I said in my other post, the music really stirred up the feelings of nostalgia. It looks nothing like the RPG I played back in the day. And that’s a good thing! I’m looking forward to the remake to see what they can do with it and how they can expand it to be what is sounding like a juggernaut of a game. The new battle system alone looks pretty interesting. It won’t be released until March 3, 2020, which is right around my birthday. I’m already planning a day off to play it.
Other than those three games, I don’t think I can come up with two more. There are games that are being developed but weren’t shown at E3 that would make the list. Metroid Prime 4 and The Last of Us II would round it off but I purposefully didn’t include those since we are focusing on games that were shown. Sure I’ll be getting Pokemon Sword and Shield but I don’t want it enough to put it on this list. I’ve always wanted to play Witcher 3 but that’s on the same level as Sword/Sheild. The BOTW sequel is right up there but other than the “of course we are making a sequel” announcement, there wasn’t much shown to get excited over.
So that’s my list. I turn the mic over to one of the other guys now.
Nick’s Top 5-ish
I was somewhat mixed going into this E3. I didn’t really know of anything that I was especially excited for, most of what I wanted had already been announced.
Watch Dogs: Legion (PC | PS4 | Xbox One) – Assassin Hacker Grandma. I repeat, Assassin… hacker… grandma. I really like the Watch Dogs series; the second one scratches a particular itch of mine in games that manage to capture a fun gameplay loop with decent writing and over-the-top action; the sort of game that doesn’t take itself so seriously and is willing to look towards the player and give a little wink. It sort of shows in some of my favorite games of recent years: Saints Row IV, Fallout 4, and Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey all come to mind for different ways.
Even without the comical action in the gameplay trailer, I was already interested in this game. What I saw, and what it looks to offer, makes this the sort of game that I’m likely to buy to enjoy when it comes out, because I know even if it doesn’t wow me, I will still get a lot of enjoyment out of it. And if it captures even half of the magic that the second one did with some of its quests and activities… we’re in for a great time.
Final Fantasy VIII Remastered (PS4)- Sure, I’m going to play the Final Fantasy VII remake when it comes out… but there are some things that bug me about it. That it’s being released as an episodic format and they won’t even say how many episodes it will be gives me pause. It looks fantastic, and I love the original game, but SquareEnix is 10 gallons of BS in a 5 gallon bucket most days and they will find a way to screw it up.
In their press conference, though, they dropped a surprise bomb that they were releasing a Remaster of Final Fantasy VIII, which for some reason is the neglected stepchild of the Final Fantasy games, having never gotten a re-release or any sort of port past the abysmal PC port when it was first released. While it didn’t hit the zeitgeist notes that VII did, VIII was a well reviewed and received game that sold extremely well, so it was odd to have been pushed out view so hard.
It’s coming to Switch, PC, Xbox, and PS4, so I look forward to buying it multiple places to be able to play again. Now if only they’d go back and port the old DS and GBA ports of I – VI to the Switch…
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 (Switch) – There was one game that I would have put on this list before E3, but after watching the reveal, and listening to what they were going to make, it fell off my list hard. That was the Marvel Avengers game that Square showed off. It looked like last-gen graphics, where the characters looked kind of like the MCU version, but not so much that they’d pay likeness rights. The problem is that they still looked like them enough that it felt wrong. On top of that, the gameplay itself looked dull and the presentation of it after the fact made it sound like a live service game, which I give precisely zero craps about supporting. Seriously, industry, stop with the live service stuff.
When the Nintendo stream came along and showed their exclusive for Ultimate Alliance 3, and it had everything that I wanted in the other game. We got to see bonkers action, new and interesting characters, and just a colorful comic set. At one point, we saw Miles Morales, Ms. Marvel, and Spider-Gwen together and I’m not ashamed to say I stood up and squealed at that (given that they are probably my three favorite characters, currently). I was at work, so it was awkward, but whatever. This game looks glorious, and that it’s on the Switch feels like the perfect fit.
Cyberpunk 2077 (PS4 | Xbox One) – I’m honestly not that huge of a cyberpunk fan, as a genre. It’s interesting at times, but just never clicked as an overall thing. That being said, the studio behind this has a proven track record of making fantastic games without a lot of the monetization nonsense (even if their labor record is bad, at best, though said to be improving in favor of workers). The Witcher III, which was also announced for the Switch during Nintendo’s Direct, is one of the best modern RPGs ever made, and they are pouring even more into this.
Having Keanu Reeves around doesn’t hurt either, because he is breathtaking.
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (Switch)- I know I played this game when it was on the Gameboy, and it was pretty startling given the wristwatch power of that particular system… but I don’t have a lot of strong attachments to it. It was fun, but there are other games that resonated with me more on the Gameboy (Final Fantasy Adventure, which was released on Switch Yesterday, Final Fantasy Legends – you know, maybe Ace is right, I might be a Final Fantasy fan boy).
For the most part, I just want more Zelda… and while Nintendo got me incredibly excited for their “one more thing” reveal of a Breath of the Wild sequel, I’m going to play anything I can get between now and then. This game looks like it has the charm of the original, which channeled A Link to the Past (and A Link to the Past is the best Zelda game ever… I will die on that hill), so I will play it. It also feels and looks like Pokemon Let’s Go, which was surprisingly fun, plus they’re adding a builder mode that will add a lot of replayability to the game.
Eric’s Top 5
So, E3. I felt Sony’s absence, mainly because theirs was the conference I really had any true stock in. Plus, they always did the strangest things, like last year’s solid five minutes of instrument solos or, in 2017, when they hung people upside down like zombies to move at certain times throughout the Days Gone demo.
Not always, how would you say, professional, but it beats the hell out of person-in-business-casual #19 or Japanese developer and translator. There’s a certain way to do E3, and I always felt that Sony did it best.
So, unfortunately sans-Sony, here’s the Top 5 games that caught my eye at E3 2019.
Elden Ring – From Software makes the most consistently good games. Demon Souls created a genre. Dark Souls revolutionized and popularized it. Dark Souls 2 was different in some bad ways, but remains my favorite game to relax and play. Bloodborne sits at the top of the PS4 Exclusive list with incredibly fast, fluid combat. Dark Souls 3 merged the best of all the games so far. And Sekiro, that came out in March, yet again completely flipped the formula while still remaining quintessentially a From Software game.
I have no reason whatsoever to think Elden Ring will be any different. We’re going back to a medieval, Dark-Soulsian theme, with an open world rather than the tight, interlocked world of past games. But I know to trust Miyazaki and the boys at From.
Plus, George R.R. Martin built the world of Elden Ring. And if there’s one thing that man knows how to do, it’s build worlds.
Final Fantasy VII Remake – Likely on most lists, there’s nothing about FF7R I’m not ready for. So much care and detail has gone into Square Enix’s crown jewel. I played FF7 as one of my first RPGs, and while it’s definitely dated and even quite bad in some places, when you tie that in with solid 2019 story-telling and game mechanics, a lot of the bad gets better. I’ll admit that the x-number of games concerns me, but we’ll just have to let it run its course. If they can make Midgar feel like a full game, then we won’t have any problems.
Basically, I’m hesitant, because Square Enix is kind of hit or miss lately, but I’m confident, because this is Final Fantasy 7, and they can’t afford to mess it up.
Baldur’s Gate III – Two of the things I like: video games and Dungeons and Dragons. Now, the freedom of D&D clashes with the limits of video games, because you can’t just do everything in a video game. However, the studio behind Baldur’s Gate III, Larian Studios, recently released Divinity: Original Sin 2, a game that damn near reached D&D levels of freedom. Plus, they’re implementing D&D 5e rulesets and combat (although how is currently up in the air). DOS2 wasn’t a perfect game; it dragged quite a bit on the last two acts and began to crack down on that beautiful freedom of Fort Joy and Driftwood. But if Larian learns from their mistakes, and they have the backing of Wizards on the Coast, I’ll trust them.
I can guarantee the first half of the game will be great.
Deathloop (PC | PS4 | Xbox One)- Here’s what I know about Deathloop: Arkane Studio Lyon is making it, the studio behind Dishonored, Prey, and the upcoming Wolfenstein: Youngblood; and Dave Fennoy, voice of Lee Everett from 2011’s The Walking Dead, is in it.
That’s enough to sell me. I have no idea how the game will play, the story will go, or the graphics will look. But, as with From Software and Larian, you gotta just trust a studio that makes good games to continue making good games. That’s one of Newton’s laws, I believe.
Xbox Game Pass for PC (Xbox)- Not a game, per se, but exciting and available! After months of rumors and bated breath, being able to pay an exceedingly low sum for 100 or so games…man, it brings a tear to my eye.
Of course, the PC library doesn’t nearly add up to the Xbox’s, but that’s ok. We’re getting there. The ability to play newly-released AAA games (not that I really play them, but it’s more so the ability to) for a couple of bucks a month seriously puts Microsoft at the top of my list for player accessability. Are their games great? Not really. But they’ve moved so far away from what they were, in the best way. Encouraging crossplay, helping players with disabilities, Xbox isn’t focused on the “game” anymore – they’re focused on the “player”, and I couldn’t be more into it.
And There We Have It
I’m actually quite surprised the FFVII Remake made all three of our lists. It just goes to show that Square Enix is doing something right. I wonder, though, how much nostalgia plays into it. I know for me it’s a big factor. I’m glad it’s coming next year because that gives me time to get through some of my backlog.