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Dark Aether's E3 2019: Highlights and Announcements

E3 2019 was weird: no Sony, no EA, a few unexpected guests and unscripted moments, and some downright strange or funny as hell segments. Here are my favorite moments and announcements from each of the major conferences:

Microsoft

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Cyberpunk 2077 Still Looks Great; Has A Release Date!

One year after CD Project Red hijacked the Microsoft E3 presentation with a first real look at Cyberpunk 2077, they return with a new trailer and an official release date (4/16/20)!

But the real fun part took place on stage when Keanu Reeves (following a surprise reveal that he is in the game) took center stage to announce the launch date:

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Tales of Arise is the Next Installment in the Tales franchise

Microsoft has never had the best track record when it comes to JRPG offerings and other Japanese developed games, but they’ve been taking steps in recent years to appeal to that market.

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Namco Bandai might have drawn the unlucky leak card this year, but that didn’t deflate a certain JRPG series from making a colorful (and highly graphical) debut on Microsoft’s stage. At a time when more “Anime” games are becoming more mainstream, it’s a strange but wonderful sight to finally see the next major installment one of the biggest niche JRPGs on this side of the world share the same stage as Halo and Gears. It will be out next year.

I’m Intrigued by This Blair Witch Project Game

I’ll admit, I thought this was an Alan Wake game. It didn’t hit me until the brief flash of red, but I was still guessing right up until the eagle eye view of the forest where the iconic logo can be made out.

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As someone who loves horror (but ironically does not play horror games), this could be fun to watch some brave soul play through.

Someone Switched The Forza Car Reveal With a Lego One

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“Guys, I think we brought the wrong car.”

Nope, this is just announcing the Lego expansion to Forza Horizon 4. What could have been another dull announcement for your annual driving sim became one of the best showcases on how to do a reveal: by completely throwing your audience off.

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12 Minutes: An Interactive Thriller About A Man; And Exciting New Game!

One of the most intriguing announcements was a top down game where your character relives the same tragic evening leading up to your death, retaining the knowledge of your previous “life” up to that moment to try and change the outcome.

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They really did not hold back on the tension, immediately showcasing the exact moments where the intruder breaks in, accuses your wife and murder, and then beats you to death. For a game shown from a top down view, some of the alternate outcomes got pretty intense.

Bethesda

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Ghostwire: Tokyo is Revealed

As much as I love horror, I’ve never been brave enough to play horror games alone. From the creators of The Evil Within comes a not-survival horror game. Maybe I’ll play this one!

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The Team Behind Dishonored/Prey Have A Brand New Game

Timeloops seem to be a popular mechanic these days. Aside from two possible lead characters, not much info was given about this game. Based on their previous games, I expect quite a bit of killing.

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Doom Eternal Is Out This Year

The sequel to one of the best modern FPS games is back with more guns, more demons, and more ways to rip and tear to your heart’s content come 11/22.

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Ubisoft

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In Watch Dogs Legions, Everyone Is Playable

Though I haven’t kept up with the series, the latest entry in the Watch Dogs franchise introduces a new gameplay twist. Instead of a central protagonist, you recruit characters around the game world to your cause. Each of your recruitable characters have their own stats, skills, and voice over lines. They can even die permanently if you are not careful.

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Jon Bernthal And His Dog Presented Ghost Recon: Breakpoint

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Aww.

Square Enix

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Square Enix Finally Showed Us More Tifa Final Fantasy VII Remake Gameplay

Despite my overall opinion of Square Enix’s presentation more on the negative (more on that next time), I can’t deny the hype when they showed off Final Fantasy VII Remake to a live audience. Not 100% sold on the gameplay though. Recent FF games have drawn a weird line between trying to be an action game and an RPG, but never fully succeeding at either when balancing both. Sometimes I wish they would just stick to one or let another developer do an action title (*looking at Platinum Games*).

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But really, most of those folks were probably more hyped about Tifa showing up in high def :)

Nintendo

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Smash Ultimate’s Next Two Fighters Are Revealed

Do I really need to say more?

Nintendo’s Summer Lineup is Damn Impressive

Looks like my wallet is about to get wrecked:

Super Mario Maker 2 - June

Fire Emblem Three Houses - July

Astral Chain - August

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening - September

No More Heroes III Is Real!

Travis Touchdown returns! The assassin for hire is coming back for another round, bringing back the weirdness and other nerd references along for the ride against.... heck, I don’t even know what’s going on in this trailer. Suda 51 is back to doing what he does best and I’m all for it.

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The Next Zelda Is Already In Development

So here was something I wasn’t anticipating this early, but we got a very brief teaser at what looks like a direct sequel to Breath of the Wild. Who knows what this will look like or when it will arrive, but I can hardly wait to find out.

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The Two Bowsers Finally Meet

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Well now, this is awkward.”

Gotta love this meme.

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Next time: The Biggest E3 Disappointments

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