Video game fans across the globe have been locking their eyes on the news coming out of E3 in Los Angeles over the past week. There has been no shortage of news either despite no new home consoles to show off. This year has been all about the games, which is always refreshing for E3. Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo, as well as some of the high profile third-party developers, got their chance to show off some upcoming games for the second half of 2018 as well as some looks at games coming in 2019.
Microsoft seems serious about investing in actual games
For a company that has essentially sold consumers three different versions of its latest home console, the time is now for Microsoft to start making sure those systems have games people want to play and can only play on an Xbox One. Microsoft spent a bulk of their presentation showing off the first looks at some great third-party games coming to the system that will also be available on the PlayStation 4, including for the first appearance by a Kingdom Hearts game from Square Enix (“Kingdom Hearts III”). But Microsoft has heard the complaints and concerns and addressed it by announcing the acquisition of four developers; Ninja Theory, Playground Games, Undead Labs, and Compulsion Games.
That’s fantastic news for Xbox One gamers starving for more games only they can play other than another Halo game. By the way, Microsoft teased “Halo Infinite” at the beginning of its presentation.
The issue with Microsoft’s new investment is these are studios that were most well known for their work on Xbox games already, so it is not exactly known just how much more this will add to the Xbox gaming library for the Xbox One. Any new games from these studios will likely be down the line. With that being the case, along with Microsoft announcing development is underway on the successor to the Xbox One, it is more likely these studios will help to create a solid library of games for whatever the next console offering from Microsoft is.
So is this good news for the Xbox One? In the short term, mildly. For the long term? Perhaps not quite as much as Microsoft wants us to believe.
But take a look at “Forza Horizon 4,” which changes the game mechanics based on the season.
Fallout 76 is an online world builder
The hype for Bethesda’s “Fallout 76″ had been building going into E3, but not much was known about the next installment in the Fallout franchise. Now we know not only is this a prequel in the Fallout timeline, but it is also taking the action entirely online. Every character in the game will be another player playing in the online community. That sounds pretty interesting, although the idea that anyone in the game could potentially make their way to one of the nuclear missiles in the game and completely destroy anything at any time poses some mild concerns for some.
Imagine dedicating your time to building the best shelter you can, perhaps with some friends, only to have some kid put his hand on the nuke button” to completely undo everything you have worked tirelessly on. But hey, the game looks great.
Nintendo unveils Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which includes every character ever to appear in the franchise
This was the second E3 for Nintendo since the launch of the Nintendo Switch. The first year of the Switch was a big one as the console easily removed any memory of the WiiU thanks to the launch title of “Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” and the later release of “Super Mario Odyssey.” This year at E3, Nintendo placed a heavy emphasis on the Super Smash Bros. franchise with half of their presentation focusing on the newly named “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate,” coming to the Switch on December 7 just in time for the holiday season.
The biggest news about the game was the character roster, which includes every character to ever appear in a previous Super Smash Bros. title.
Every. Single. Character.
Naturally, this sent YouTubers into a frenzy. (This guy even broke one of his shelves while NSFW reacting to the reveal.)
Of course, the game will also include updated moves and features as the game makes its debut on the Switch. And it does appear to be a brand new entry in the game rather than a port of the WiiU title, although much of the framework from the WiiU version may have been used to mold this title.
Spider-Man looks fantastic on PS4
Sony’s PlayStation presentation felt out of rhythm from the very start with the crowd gathered in a church-like setting and a banjo performance with some music from “The Last of Us.” It wasn’t until the crowd saw the first look at “The Last of Us Part 2” that the church setting made sense. The trailer for “The Last of Us Part 2” drew some shockwaves on the internet with two girls kissing while dancing, but the action sequences and the attention to detail throughout showed Sony knows what it is doing with its PS4 lineup.
Every game showed by Sony during their somewhat disjointed presentation — highlighted by “Ghost of Tsushima” and “Death Stranding” — looked absolutely stunning. Sony closed things out with a bang with the latest look at “Spider-Man,” a PS4 exclusive. We got a first look at the game at E3 a year ago, but we got a brand new look this year just months ahead of the release. Our favorite friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is up against a gang of his worst enemies including Electro, Scorpion, Vulture, and Rhino and he seems to be outnumbered.
The new Spider-Man game is already drawing some lofty comparisons to the Batman Arkham series, which is high praise. The game looks worthy of being one of the most anticipated games of 2018. “Spider-Man” is coming September 7.
Battle Royale trend continues
With the recent rise in popularity in games like “Fortnite” and “Player Unknown Battlegrounds” (PUBG), the battle royale trend was impossible to ignore at E3. Making the jump into battle royale is “Battlefield 5” from Electronic Arts. This was expected to be announced given the trend and how Battlefield games seem perfect for this kind of mode. Fans of the game will have to wait until October for the game to be released.
Nintendo also got in on the battle royale fun with the expected announcement that “Fortnite” was coming to the Nintendo Switch. The game went live on the Nintendo e-shop shortly after Nintendo’s digital presentation. Switch players can go head-to-head against anyone playing Fortnite on Xbox One and PC, but PS4 players are still locked out from the rest of the battle royale fun. Also, apparently PS4 Fortnite players are mad they cannot access their profiles on the Switch.
Some of us who never played the game got our first taste of “Fortnite” on the Switch yesterday. Some of us could use some practice.
— Kevin McGuire (@krmcguire) June 13, 2018
FIFA 19 adding Champions League
Listening to the demands of FIFA fans all over the world, EA is finally able to bring the Champions League to FIFA, beginning with “FIFA 19.” The Champions League previously could be played in Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer franchise, but EA has obtained the rights and is now able to bring it to FIFA for the ultimate FIFA experience.
In addition, EA added the World Cup to “FIFA 18” and confirmed “FIFA 19” will be landing on the Switch (although in a downgraded version like FIFA 18 was compared to the PS4 and Xbox One versions).
EA’s update on their next Star Wars game
EA seems to know they have to take the Star Wars franchise seriously. In addition to some new content coming to “Star Wars Battlefront 2,” the company announced its next Star Wars game will be coming in late 2019. The game, titled “Star Wars: Fallen Order” did not have any footage shown, but expect it to be a headliner at E3 next summer. It will take place in between Episodes III and IV in the Star Wars timeline and will seemingly focus on the downfall of the Jedi order following the events of Episode III.
But will it tie into any events that unfold in either of the Star Wars stories movies, Solo or Rogue One? For now, EA is being pretty tight-lipped about it, but the tease of being able to play with some lightsabres is enough speculation for now anyway.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey takes on Greek warfare
Have you ever wanted to Sparta-kick a foe off the top of a cliff? Well, “Assassin’s Creed Odyssey” looks like it will allow you to live out your “300” fantasy once and for all. The next installment in the popular franchise from Ubisoft is dropping you in ancient Greece, which looks absolutely stunning. You will take on a role in the middle of battles between Sparta and Athens in the Peloponnesian War. It may be time to bone up on your Greek history before taking on this latest challenge for Alexios (or Kassandra).
Skull & Bones lets you carry out your pirate fantasies
Or perhaps you are more interested in life as a pirate. Yo ho ho ho, a pirate’s life for me!
Ubisoft has you covered here with “Skull & Bones,” a game featured on sailing the seas on a pirate ship looking to obtain loot from the British Empire and anyone who stands in your way. You can build a fleet to take into battle when you need the assistance. The sea battles to be had here should be exhilarating.
“Cyberpunk 2077” didn’t exactly pop out of nowhere at E3 this year, but it may be walking away with one of the most talked-about trailers from the show. From CD Projekt, the creators behind “The Witcher 3” and the company that introduced the Good Old Games distribution service similar to Steam, “Cyberpunk 2077” showed off a look at the future with a trailer that feels like it is for a movie.
What to look for at E3 in 2019
As you can gather from some of the nuggets above, E3 in 2019 should be a fun one. Here are a few quick things teased at E3 this year (or last year) that should get some more attention at E3 in 2019:
Metroid Prime 4: Nintendo teased the development of its long-awaited Metroid Prime game at last year’s E3, but provided no additional footage of the game during their presentation this year while focusing on “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.” Expect Metroid to be the big game from Nintendo next summer.
The Elder Scrolls VI: Ubisoft closed out their conference with the reveal of a new Elder Scrolls game that is in development. That’s about all we know, so expect to see that on display beginning next year.
Star Wars: Fallen Order: As noted above, EA announced the name of its next Star Wars game. We may get more information about this game at an event like Disney’s D23, but regardless, this game should be expected to be featured at E3 next summer.
Halo Infinite: Microsoft started this year off with the teaser trailer, but that was it. Halo is Microsoft’s Mario and Sonic, so don’t be shocked if Master Chief is getting much more revealed next summer.