THE GREATEST HITS OF E3 2018
(Sidebar: I would’ve reported on all #E32018 news for each day of the event, but my heart gave out from all the details [figuratively, not literally] that I figured a recap would be better.)
Despite the growing number of video game announcements displayed during individual company conventions (i.e. Detroit: Become Human‘s reveal at Sony’s Paris Conference earlier this year), E3 is still the mecca for everything video games and is thus the perfect showcase for release dates or hands-on gameplay footage.
Everyone likes to rank each developer or find out who “won” E3, but this year the fans won. Let’s break down the greatest hits of E3 (sidebar: this will not be a list of every announcement).
Ubisoft kicked off their announcements with a live dance number to reveal Just Dance 2019. As with previous games in this series, Just Dance 2019 will be available for the Wii, along with the other consoles (maybe it’s in the contract). Just Dance 2019 drops in October. The dance was fun and the series can help some parties kick off so this is a nice thing to see.
Pulling a Kojima, Ubisoft announced that Beyond Good and Evil 2 will be a joint production with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and his HitRECord program. Ubisoft will work on the game, while Levitt will crowd-source fan-made art and music pieces to place in the game. Fans who have their work chosen will get paid and be able to say they worked on a video game, so why not give it a shot. Beyond Good and Evil 2 will be a prequel that also features Jade (the first protagonist) who everyone wanted to return. Plus players may know someone who had their art chosen, which adds another layer of detail to search for in the game.
Ubisoft pulled another Kojima by revealing their VR horror game Transference was working in tandem with Elijah Wood’s production company. Wood is known to be an avid gamer and is behind most of the narrative of the game, plus horror is the best genre for VR games in general.
The Ubisoft showcase closed out with loads of Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey gameplay (some YouTubers already have early gameplay videos of the story). This is the 11th game in the franchise and takes place before Origins. The newer features include choosing the dialogue for your character, being able to play as a woman and having your choices actually affect the story. Oh and Odyssey is set in Ancient Greece.
E3 actually kicked off with EA’s showcase on Saturday. EA didn’t actually offer anything astounding besides Unravel Two and Anthem developed by BioWare. Most of EA’s big hits come from their sports games so obviously FIFA 19 and NBA 2K19 were revealed as well.
In order to atone for what happened with Star Wars Battlefront II, EA revealed that Respawn’s take on the franchise will be Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order; set between the Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope films. Battlefront II will also expand with Clone Wars saga DLC.
BioWare’s Anthem seems to be the bread and butter of EA at least until next E3. Anthem will release in February.
Microsoft went all in on their already existing franchises, while making a surprise announcement. The new Xbox console is currently in development and Microsoft has consolidated numerous game studios to work on what can be assumed will be Xbox exclusive titles in the future. This new umbrella of studios is called Microsoft Studios and includes the creators of We Happy Few (Compulsion Games) and Undead Labs (State of Decay 2, although that seemed like a given) among others.
As for returns, the Gears of War franchise gets a fifth game and two spin-offs. The Halo series will return with Halo Infinite and Terry Crews reprises his role in Crackdown 3.
Shockingly, Devil May Cry 5 was announced as a direct sequel to Devil May Cry 4 (no relation to the reboot Devil May Cry from 2013) and it looks to be an Xbox exclusive. This new entry will also be out (hopefully) by next spring.
Bethesda essentially set the bar early for E3 by releasing their trailer for Fallout 76 before the convention even started, then during their conference a full gameplay trailer was revealed.
The Wolfenstein series gets a new addition set in the 80’s with BJ and Anya’s twin daughters, and Doom gets a direct sequel in Doom: Eternal.
Fans got the greatest treat when Bethesda confirmed that The Elder Scrolls VI is in development. Until that game is out, The Elder Scrolls: Blades will launch for your phone this fall and The Elder Scrolls Online‘s next DLC will have you hunting werewolves.
Square Enix got to play both sides of the console wars by having a Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer showcasing the Frozen world debut during Microsoft’s conference and adding Jack Sparrow to the game during Sony’s presentation. Fans finally got what they wanted: the release date of January 29, 2019!
In fact, Square Enix played both sides during the entire conference as Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Just Cause 4 had already been featured in other conferences. That doesn’t mean those games will be bad; it’s just that we expected more from Square Enix.
Finally we get to undoubtedly the best of E3. We got to see just how brutal the world of The Last of Us II really is with a nice flashback after Ellie made out with her girlfriend. The fact that her sexuality is on full display along with her being brutal during the fights is an excellent development of her character (whether or not it still is Ellen Page).
Resident Evil 2 gets a second remake, but we love Leon anyway. That drops January 25, 2019.
Hideo Kojima showed Ubisoft how it’s done by revealing two more actors in his upcoming Death Stranding game. As much as I love Kojima, I can’t really explain what I saw with it’s footage.
Sony closed out their show with…well a movie. Insominac’s Spider-Man is basically the Spider-Man film we really want. And the gameplay is both new and a call back to the older games based on the Sam Raimi films. If it weren’t for the button prompts, you’d probably get lost in watching the crisp, fluid action.
As phenomenal as Sony was during E3, Nintendo may have just won the conference. The newest console on the block, the Switch was granted multiple ports from various developers. Fortnite is available now, along with a definitive version of Tales of Vesperia. DragonBall FighterZ was on demo proving that the Switch can handle crazy fast action along with Daemon X Machina.
Fire Emblem will debut with Fire Emblem: Three Houses next spring, with the darkest feeling ever to come in the franchise.
Of course, Nintendo is really known for two things: Pokemon and Super Smash Bros. and Nintendo delivered on both. During their treehouse conference at E3, a full dive into the upcoming Let’s Go: Pikachu and Let’s Go: Eevee games was streamed. We got to see exactly how the games tie in to Pokemon GO and what to expect from the core RPG game debuting in 2019.
Nintendo won E3 with the release date AND the full roster for the new Super Smash Bros. Ultimate game. Super Smash Bros Ultimate drops December 7th this year with EVERY CHARACTER WHO EVER FOUGHT IN THE FRANCHISE IN THE GAME! On top of that, Ridley from the Metroid series will debut for the series. Nintendo also fully acknowledged that Super Smash Bros. is better when played with a Gamecube controller and are releasing a special edition controller for the Switch in order to play.
While the presentations may be officially over, there are still many more announcements to come. Game demos are also available and may lead to more news to come so keep track of everything by searching #E32018.