Thoughts on the first half of E3 2019

The Electronic Entertainment Expo for 2019 is nearly halfway done, with EA, Microsoft, and Bethesda having already popped on stage with their respective conferences. Things feel a little different this year, however. Sony has decided to stay home and not put on a conference, perhaps because they have nothing to really gain since they are dominating the industry. Or they’ve just had enough of watching their developers stand awkwardly on stage explaining their games.

In either case, I’ve been watching the first half of E3 2019 and the following is a collection of thoughts from the conferences so far.

  • EA showed off Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, their “single-player game with no microtransactions” via a ten minute gameplay demo. We saw wall-running and climbing in the spirit of Uncharted, light-saber combat, force powers, and a weird looking wookie. All in all, it looks like an enjoyable experience that borrows its gameplay from a few different game franchises. I am sure Star Wars fans will find a way to hate it, complain about it, then whine about how no one makes good Star Wars games.
  • EA also showed off FIFA, Madden, Sims, and likely some other franchises that release titles way too often.
  • During their conference, Microsoft showed off game trailer after game trailer after game trailer. A lot of these looked like cool… trailers. Gameplay was reserved for the highly anticipated Gears of War Funko mobile game, which I dislike so much that I won’t even take the time to look up its proper name.
  • Joking aside, Microsoft did show off a pretty interesting looking game called 12 Minutes, where you are stuck in a disturbing time loop of home invasion from a bird’s eye view.
  • We also saw a trailer for Elden Ring, the FromSoftware game that brings the talent of George R.R. Martin (i.e. the guy who wrote A Song of Ice and Fire and seems dedicated to never finishing it) and Hidetaka Miyazaki (i.e. the creator of Dark Souls) together. Of course, we don’t really know how much either is involved in the project and of course, the trailer had no gameplay. Of course, I want it.
  • Microsoft is releasing another insanely priced controller that weighs a lot. A whole lot of games are coming to their GamePass subscription on their release dates. Which is good, I guess.
  • Ninja Theory showed off their new game, a 4v4 melee title named Bleeding Edge. On first impression, the art style seems like an ill mix between Overwatch and Borderlands, so let’s hope the gameplay is better than the character models.
  • Battletoads is coming out! At some point! Do people actually want a new Battletoads?
  • CD Projekt Red showed another delicious Cyberpunk 2077 trailer this year, with detailed graphics showing off the futuristic world and its characters. Then, Keanu Reeves was revealed to be in the game, and then he was revealed to be on stage, where he then gave a rather refreshingly genuine reading of the back of the game’s box. So yes, that is great, but also let’s hope that the combat in Cyberpunk 2077 is actually enjoyable, not like other games out there with wonderfully crafted worlds but terrible combat. I won’t name any names.
  • Microsoft also showed a video about their new console. The new console will be very powerful, doesn’t have a name, and will come out around Christmas in 2020. No other details were given. Sweet.
  • Bethesda’s conference occurred. There are new Doom and Wolfenstein games coming out. Bethesda is aware that Fallout 76 sucks and they are adding in features such as NPCs that should have been in there in the first place, and also a battle royale mode in case you ever wanted to play battle royale with horrific shooting controls. The phrases “Elder Scrolls VI” and “Starfield” were uttered on stage by the one and only Todd Howard when he stated that neither title would make an appearance during the presentation. Some mobile games were announced. I think that’s it.

Mid-E3 Loser Award: This award is given to Bethesda, specifically whichever weirdos working there are responsible for the overall “feel” of their show. The first issue I have is with Bethesda holding a section of the audience’s families hostage in return for their passionate and obnoxious screaming. Seriously, this section wooed and cheered approximately twice per sentence spoken on stage. The second reason Bethesda gets this award is because of the few times their presenters swore for no reason, which in turn got the “woo section” to cheer enthusiastically. It reminded me of those days in early elementary school when you learn you can say swear words like “sex” and “shit”, and you go around belting them out proudly during recess.

Mid-E3 Winner Award: I’d like to take this time to personally thank the event planners from all three of Microsoft, EA, and Bethesda for not putting a musical performance in the middle of their presentations. It only took a few years for companies to realize that forcing a band to play a song that no one wants to hear during a conference that has nothing to do with music was a bad idea. Maybe one day I will miss watching Andrew WK slowly die on the inside as he performs in front of a bunch of people seated and looking at their phones, but today is not that day.

A few more presentations await at E3 2019: the PC Gaming Show, Ubisoft’s conference, and Square Enix’s presentation. Nintendo will also have an E3 2019 Direct on Tuesday. As usual, I’ll be watching and will share my thoughts in a future article!

Daniel Podborochynski

A Canadian who loves video games, soccer, sandwiches, reading, cats, dogs, Aphex Twin, bike rides, Fallout, Daft Punk, barbecue, and beer.

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