E3: Everything you need to know from Project Scarlett to Star Wars
This E3 has been a roller coaster of excitement even without a PlayStation keynote. Read about all the highlights from all of the publishers.
E3 is when the gaming world stops. For six days (including EA Play), we all tune in to see what we have to look forward to over the next 12 months and beyond. The anticipation was high this year, with the public was waiting to see any glimpse of the next generation of consoles, and some did deliver in this part.
RealSport wraps up everything you need to know so far from this year’s event.
EA Play is a great warm-up to E3, with Electronic Arts bringing plenty of fun to the party. Six games were on show, allowing fans to have a go on the upcoming titles.
Star Wars Jedi: The Fallen Order
Coming this November, the latest in the countless Star Wars games had already been teased back in April, but the beast that are Star Wars fans got to see more during EA Play. The game showed us in-game footage on Kashyyyk, the homeland of the Wookies. Wall-running, platforming, force powers and combat all look highly impressive, with the big story being Hollywood A-lister Forest Whitaker reviving his role as Saw Gerrera from Rogue One – reflecting that the game is officially Star Wars’ canon.
It wasn’t the only Star Wars game to be revealed, with the widely loved Lego Star Wars receiving a reboot as The Skywalker Saga – spanning all nine movies.
Apex Legends was EA’s title to challenge Fortnite, and after a successful first season, everyone was eager to see what was in store for Season 2. Wattson is the latest Legend to join the party, and with a remarkable backstory as the creator of the ring’s daughter. The new Ranked Mode will apply matchmaking and see gamers work through six tiers, from bronze to Apex Predator (no RKOs in sight unfortunately). Lastly, a new weapon – L-Star – is a fully automatic plasma EMG that can blast through doors but can only be received in care packages during matches.
After facing plenty of criticism on FIFA 19, EA Sports needed to come back strong for FIFA 20, and they may have got fans back on side with Volta Football. The mode takes the game back to street football for the first time since the last iteration of FIFA Street in 2012, and coupled with a clear focus of gameplay improvements, it’s so far so good for FIFA.
Madden NFL 20
Madden 20 is looking to revitalise the franchise after a stale few years. The introduction of a true Career Mode is a game-changer for fans, while the addition of X-Factor players and an overhauled ratings system means Madden 20 should offer far different gameplay that last year’s offering.
With the absence of their biggest rival, Xbox stole the show announcing their next gen console, revealing Halo Infinite, and gave us an iconic Keanu Reeves moment.
Project Scarlett – The next generation of Xbox
Xbox One had a rocky launch where the company announced the console by showing how it could be the entertainment hub for your living room. Now, Xbox has focused on games, games, games with the upcoming “Project Scarlett” which will feature Solid State Drives (SSDs), a faster AMD created CPU/GPU, and a holiday 2020 launch date.
The as yet unnamed console will reportedly be able to support gaming in 8K, framerates of up to 120 seconds (a resolution yet to be seen), and ray tracing for beautiful experiences. No price was announced or what it will look like, but Halo Infinite (see below) became the first launch title.
A new Xbox One controller also dropped – Series 2 of the Elite. An internal rechargeable battery provides up to 40 hours of play, plus it holds Bluetooth and its own charging dock. The catch? One will cost you £159.99 upon its release in November.
Play your games anywhere with the upcoming Project xCloud, with Microsoft just one of a whole host of names trying to get to the front of the queue in game-streaming. It previews this October, and allows gamers to play console-quality games on their smartphones, tablets and PCs. This could become the Netflix of gaming and change the industry as we know it.
When you first saw the Halo trailer were you blinded? Dumbstruck? Well, despite not showing much, the trailer sure gave fans chills with the graphics, imagery, and potential hope for the franchise. The game feels like a reboot, after Halo 4 and 5 miss key parts of what made the series so great. When will we get another look at the new game launching with the new Xbox in 2020? Your guess is good as good as anyone’s, but Gamescom may see another trailer or a look at multiplayer.
While Gears 5 was shown last year, we were able to get a date for the news Gears launch (September 10th) and a look at a new mode for the title. The new mode is called “Escape” where you infiltrate a hive, plant a bomb, and book it out of there. The Coalition also showed off the Terminator Dark Fate collaboration and the cute Gears Pop mobile game. There has never been a better time to be a Gears fan, but hopefully The Coalition nails how they balance the iconic “gnasher” for competitive play as that was a big problem in Gears 4’s life cycle.
It is fair to say that 2020 is shaping up to be one of the best years of games in a while. Featuring the “King of our Time” Keanu Reeves, Cyberpunk 2077 stole both the Xbox show and E3 with a visceral trailer that gave us everything we wanted from CD Projekt Red’s follow up to The Witcher franchise. We have not seen gameplay yet (do you expect that from E3 anymore?), but if the cinematic trailer was anything to go by, expect an excellent sci-fi thrill ride.
The iconic movie franchise is being recreated in video game form in very terrifying fashion. The trailer was short on details, but we do know it is first person and will be launching August 30th. Hopefully, this makes up for the Silent Hill game that we were promised on PlayStation, that were never delivered.
Microsoft Flight Simulator
A lot of people were excited for the surprise announcement of a new Flight Simulator coming to Xbox and PC. The original Flight Simulator was a PC “game” favourite (or experience) as it felt like you were learning to fly a plane and were able to see a lot of cool imagery. While Microsoft Flight was a fun but arcadey take on the genre, this seems to be a full return to flying glory with multiplayer and new places to explore in 2020.
Age of Empires
Many AoE fans were a little let down that we did not see the promised Age of Empires IV, but instead were given Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition. While the classic was given the “HD” treatment years ago, this is supposed to bring 4K and a new storyline (and factions hopefully!) to the table. As long as the game is given proper multiplayer so that the community will not have to resort to third parties such as Voobly, AoE 2 DE can be much more successful than its predecessor AoE DE which brought classic gameplay to the modern times with mixed results.
Despite teasing Starfield and Elder Scrolls VI last year, Bethesda had a much lighter impact on E3, but the announcements of Doom Eternal, Wolfenstein, and Deathloop took the sting away.
Everyone turning on the Bethesda conference was waiting on news from their biggest franchise and were promptly disappointed to see the only news being Elder Scrolls Blades coming to Switch. Elder Scrolls VI has been in the works for a long time and Skyrim fans are growing old as the franchise keeps pushing the can down the road.
The new space franchise that Bethesda teased last year might have been the bang that the Bethesda conference needed, but that only happened in another reality. Even smaller but iconic franchises like Quake saw no updates, but with the failure that Quake Champions has been can you really blame them?
Easily the highlight of the show, Arkane studios (creators of Dishonored) showed off an island highlighted by two assassins “locked in an eternal struggle” where they try to eliminate the other but end up coming back to life every time. It is an interesting concept that has a lot of promise, but unfortunately we were not presented with a release date, platforms, or what kind of game it will be.
Every company seems to want to get into video game streaming (Microsoft, PlayStation, Google, Bethesda, Ubisoft, etc), but Bethesda was one of the first to show their technology in person. Displaying the graphically intensive Doom (2016) running on a smartphone, Bethesda wants to prove you can play their entire library wherever on whatever, whenever you want.
Despite launching as a disaster, Bethesda has slowly but surely nursed fantasy survival Fallout 76 title back to life, and is now ready to show off its newest update yet! Titled, “Wastelanders“ the massive free update to the game will feature human NPCs, brand new storylines to explore, and nuclear winter in a 52 player battle royale experience.
The Outer Worlds
The Outer Worlds could be one of Obsidian’s best RPGs to date, and with an October release date, we don’t have too long to wait. This sci-fi themed role-player is a mish-mash of Borderlands and BioShock plus a bit extra, thanks to weapon customisation and “time dialation” – the ability to slow down time while examining your enemies, take aim and fire.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
The sequel to Ori and the Blind Forest, the new Moon Studios title Will of the Wisps revealed yet another beautiful and spooky trailer at E3. Expect intricate platforming and map-expanding abilities upon its release to Xbox One & PC when it arrives in February 2020.
Yep, you guessed it, another big player trying to get in on the streaming act. UPlay Plus will offer over 100 games as part of a subscription servic, with the games served over the web – meaning there’s no need to download The Division, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, For Honor, Beyond Good and Evil, Rayman Legends and Child of Light are just some of the games named to be available. UPlay Plus arrives in September for $14.99 a month.
Watch Dogs Legion
Entirely topical, Ubisoft unveiled that Watch Dogs Legion is to be set in post-Brexit Britain. This in way into the future however, with self-driving cabs, drones ruling the skies and cryptocurrency replacing the pound. The crazy feature is that you can play as any player in the game, due to the intense surveillance that this world is under. Hack into all the characters to control them and add them to the rebellion, as you look to bring back order to the streets of London. This is certainly a game to keep an eye on ahead of its release in March next year.
Ghost Recon Breakpoint
The big seller for Ubisoft, the French producer rivalled Cyberpunk’s Keanu Reeves by drafting in Walking Dead & Punisher star Jon Bernthal, who will be the protagonist for Ghost Recon Breakpoint. Not a huge amount was given away, but the premise involves a group of friends trawling the terrain to take down others online. It looks incredible visually, with open fields, canyons, fog effects, and much more encapturing you into their world.
Rainbow Six Quarantine
One of the most terrifying reveals at E3 is Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Quarantine; a three player co-op zombie shooter. Set a few years into the future after the Rainbow Six Universe, you will battle against ‘infected humans’ (come on Ubisoft, they’re zombies) after an alien parasite attacks the human race. It’s up to Team Rainbow to save the day, but you’ll have to wait until early 2020 to begin the fight.
What’s more on Tom Clancy, The Division is being turned into a Netflix movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Chastain, and directed by David Leitch of Deadpool 2. The release date is yet to be announced.
Ubisoft follow Rocket League (Psyonix), Fortnite (Epic) and Apex Legends (EA) into the free-to-play world, with their answer being Roller Champions. A brief demo of this roller-derby game has been dropped on PC until June 14 and has received a positive response, with the goal-scoring element drawing natural comparisons with Rocket League.
Gods and Monsters
The Assassin’s Creed news was a tad underwhelming with just an update to Odyssey and the birth of the Symphony live tour, but the role-playing title Gods and Monsters comes from the same developing team. Labelled a cross between AC: Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, you’ll play a customisable character in a vast world. Hone your craft with sword, bow, telekinesis and a bird power to float (ring any bells?), in this Pixar-style landscape. It comes to PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC in February 2020.
The climactic end to the Avengers filmed need not be mourned any longer, with the game scheduled for release 2020. A brilliant trailer whets the appetite for a game fans have been calling or for some time, as you look to recover the Avengers’s reputation after being set up in an accident. Unfortunately, none of the film series case reprise their roles, but that shouldn’t stop the excitement for one of the biggest releases at E3.
Nintendo have struggled for some time, but the experts say they bounced back at E3. With no Sony, and Microsoft banking on unfulfilled technologies, the door was open for Nintendo to concentrate on what they do best, and add useful titles such as The Witcher 3 to its expanding repertoire.
The Legend of Zelda
The Legend of Zelda came in two forms at E3, with Breath of the Wild 2 announced as well as a remake of Link’s Awakening, both for Nintendo Switch. The Breath of the Wild sequel is yet to receive a release date, but the trailer gave us a taste of a fresh enemy for Ling and Zelda. With a darker feel, this looks set to be the most engaging game in the series.
Luigi’s Mansion 3
We didn’t expect this at E3, but Luigi’s Mansion returns for a third installment as Mario’s brother goes ghostbusting. He goes up against Gooigi, his ghost form doppelganer returning from the 3DS franchise. If you fancy a bit of fun or want to hand down your gaming memories to the next generation, you can’t go wrong with Luigi, with the game set for release later in the year.
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics
Acting as a prequel to the Netflix series Age of Resistance, the new release of Tactics is a throwback to the grid-based battlefield games of old, perhaps reflective of Jim Henson’s 1982 ‘muppeteered’ original. If you’re an obsessive of strategy games, then it’ll be right up your street with is expected to be released before the series airs on Netflix in August.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The Nintendo Switch has taken its time to move into the mainstream, but the addition of The Witcher 3 is a huge help. Initially released for PS4, Xbox One and PC back in May 2015,it finally comes to Switch four years later. This has drawn praise for the community as being able to take the game out on the go gives them the chance to finally complete it!
EA, Xbox, Ubisoft and Nintendo pretty much covers everything, but there are some other names that have made the headlines at E3.
Final Fantasy VII Remake
If in doubt, release another Final Fantasy right? Well this is a whole different ball game as VII Remake kicks off a series that will span multiple games; with the developer Square Enix not knowing how many just yet. This game is so vast that it will cover two Blu-ray discs upon its release next 3 March 2020, which must get the long-term die-hard Final Fantasy fans excited.
Game of Thrones fans have to settle for flimsy video games in the past, and although one isn’t on the way, Throners should get excited by the upcoming release of Elden Ring. Well, A Song of Ice and Fire author George RR Martin collobarated on the game, giving in heaps of extra kudos. The title comes from FromSoftware and could be answer to the Thrones shaped holes in our lives at the moment.
If you want horror, then GhostWire: Tokyo could be for you. Coming from the same team as Evil Within, some of the most frightening games in recent times. The tagline “Don’t fear the unknown. Attack it.” suggests an eery and uncomfortable playing experience, but for all of the right reasons. The trailer is not for the feint-hearted, but no release date has been named yet.
What was your favourite release at E3? Let us know in the comments section below.