By Adlai Rosh
The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is one of the biggest gaming events of the year, every year. It’s a place where publishers and developers take center stage, showing off the latest hardware, tech, and videogames for a global audience. Getting up at absolutely ridiculous hours just to watch the livestreams and announcements is only part of the experience.
So far, we’ve seen announcements from EA, Microsoft, Bethesda, and Devolver Digital, each one packed to the brim with exciting news about upcoming releases. Today, I’m going to list a few of the game announcements that really got me pumped.
Love in the time of human-piloted exosuits.
Anthem was a game I’ve been eyeing for a while. Created by Bioware’s main studio, it’s a third person online shared world action game akin to Destiny or The Division. Piloting Javelins – exosuits packing serious firepower – players uncover the secrets of the titular Anthem of Creation while blasting their way to epic loot. Despite Bioware’s famous (and infamous) romances in their RPGs, apparently Anthem will not have any romance subplots or sidequests – which is a shame, really, because I was really eyeing one of those cute NPC merchants in the trailer…
Announced at the EA Play conference, Anthem drops February 22, 2019.
Kingdom Hearts 3
it’s about time.
Contrary to what the title might have you believe, Kingdom Hearts 3 is actually the twelfth game in a sprawling multi-platform series. Set in the worlds of Disney with characters and elements from Final Fantasy and tied together with a completely original plot, this Square Enix action-RPG puts you in the shoes of keyblade wielder Sora. This time around, he’s running around the worlds of Tangled, Frozen, Toy Story, and others soon to be announced. Explaining the plot would take way too long – but I’ve been waiting for Kingdom Hearts 3 for nearly 13 years! Suffice to say I was excited.
Kingdom Hearts 3 releases on January 29, 2019.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Pouring your blood and soul into a game.
Ah, FromSoftware. The studio known for the ludicrously hard Dark Souls series has stolen my heart yet again with Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. First teased in a cryptic trailer that simply proclaimed “shadows die twice” at The Game Awards, we finally got to see some action at the Microsoft press conference. Set in a feudal Japan-inspired world, Sekiro puts you in the shoes of a dishonored warrior with a strange grappling hook arm and seems to feature more stealth elements than the studio’s previous, decidedly action-oriented games Dark Souls and Bloodborne. As a FromSoftware fanboy and a stealth fanatic, I can’t wait to die twice – and thrice, and four times, et cetera…
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice releases sometime in 2019.
The post-nuclear apocalypse never looked cozier.
Bethesda’s conference was brimming with fantastic news for well-beloved franchises. Fallout 76, despite the tonal shift many fans and critics of the series have pointed out, is still high on my list of games to watch out for. Not for any reason related to playing it, though, as I’m more of a single player guy and Fallout 76 is going to be an always-online title. Something akin to Rust, the game puts you in the role of a vault-dweller emerging from the titular Vault 76, the first vault to chronologically open in the Fallout timeline. This puts it square as a prequel to every mainline Fallout game out there, with base-building, competition, and cooperation being core themes.
The Elder Scrolls VI
At last, something that isn’t a Skyrim re-release.
As funny as joking about porting Skyrim to every conceivable console gets, I admit I was a little hesitant to get my hopes up during the Bethesda press conference. All that changed, of course, when the iconic theme tune played over rolling, rocky hills and nondescript coasts. 15 seconds may have been all it was, but darn it, I’m going to be excited. Now the years-long tradition of making fun of Todd Howard for releasing Skyrim over and over can be put to rest in preparation for the long wait to The Elder Scrolls VI.
Metal Wolf Chaos
Mech America great again.
As horrendously corny as Devolver Digital decided to market it (Mech America great again? Really?) Metal Wolf Chaos is an exciting prospect considering it’s a remastered port of a Japan-only Xbox exclusive from FromSoftware. In it, you take control of the President of the United States, piloting a mech in high-octane action – think FromSoft’s mech-fighting sim Armored Core but on crack, with cheesy voice acting, ridiculous plots, and brimming with enough testosterone to grow a moustache on a baby.
The Last of Us Part 2
Eat your heart out, The Walking Dead.
Sony’s E3 press conference started off strong with an intimate moment shared between two lovers – warmly-lit from lights strung up from the ceiling, Ellie teased her lover about smelling like hot garbage before they shared a passionate kiss, romantic banjo music playing in the background. Then the scene transitioned and now we’re shown the most visceral parts of The Last of Us Part 2’s gameplay, headed off by Ellie brutally cutting a man’s throat out before being forced to kill a band of survivors. I’m particularly excited about the romance between Ellie and Dina; will they wind up happily together, or will they fall victim to the trend of lesbians dying in fiction? In a world as violent and gritty as The Last of Us, sometimes you can’t help but hope for a happy ending.
Kojima shows the world that Death Stranding is, in fact, a videogame.
For a long time people were unsure if Death Stranding was even a real game or just an elaborate series of beautiful, incomprehensible cutscenes birthed from the mind of Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima. At E3 we finally got glimpses of the gameplay. Admittedly, there wasn’t a lot of action, but there was a lot of walking, climbing, and swimming through beautiful locations. We’re still not completely sure just what Death Stranding is about, but I’m glad that Norman Reedus, Hideo Kojima, and Guillermo del Toro finally managed to create something after Silent Hills was infamously canceled.
Ghost of Tsushima
2018 is a good year for samurai era Japan-inspired games.
Produced by Sucker Punch Productions (creators of the Sly Cooper and InFamous franchises), Ghost of Tsushima is an upcoming action game putting you in the shoes of aristocrat Jin Sakai on a quest to defend his home from the invading Mongols. The gameplay debut featured quick and brutal combat implying less of an emphasis on flashy combos and more decisive play. The trailer’s climax was a beautiful duel between two swordsmen in a leaf-filled temple courtyard, flaming arrows from the invading horde setting the scenery alight as the two fought. If Sekiro is a stylization of feudal Japan, this is a more brutal, grounded approach.