The Electronic Entertainment Expo (more widely known as E3) is one of the largest highlights of the year for gamers. The event typically spans several days and gives us insider knowledge and access to projects from various developers, publishers, and hardware manufacturers.
The most anticipated part of E3 is its press conferences. This year was the 25th staging of the event and while there were some lackluster moments, our focus is on the ones that blew our collective minds. Join us as we review the highlights of E3 2019.
Keanu Reeves in Cyberpunk 2077
After CD Projekt Red gave us classics such as The Witcher Trilogy, anticipations were high for their next venture into the RPG world. These expectations were exceeded as the reveal trailer for Cyberpunk 2077 showed amazing visuals and gave us a preview of an interesting story where cybernetic modification and technology use has been taken to worrying extremes. As the trailer played, excitement only grew until it culminated in a fever pitch when a fully video game rendered Keanu Reeves showed up on screen. Things only got better when the John Wick star took to the stage to tell us more about the game. In one of the greatest E3 moments of all time, as Reeves was describing the game’s environment as “breathtaking”, an excited fan shouted, “You’re breathtaking!”, which saw an eruption of laughter from the live audience. Reeves would then respond in kind letting us all know how breathtaking we are. This moment will no doubt live on inside our minds forever.
Devolver Digital’s Big Fancy Press Conference
You know it’s special when we include an entire conference as an entry on our list. Devolver’s conferences seem to get more interesting and more creative each year. Though their conferences are short, they are the only publisher that maintains high audience interest for the entirety of a press conference. This is because they’re not afraid to poke fun at themselves and parody the video game industry as a whole. In fact, they even took shots at the relevance of E3 this year, which shattered any semblance of a fourth wall.
Within the fun and madness were a couple of well-received indie game reveals such as Mediatonic’s Fall Guys that we can’t wait to get our excited hands on.
Final Fantasy VII Remake (Tifa and Sephiroth Reveal)
Square Enix started their conference with a bang, causing everyone to go wild at the site of a familiar menu screen. After the disappointment of not hearing anything about this much-anticipated remake at E3 2018, Square Enix needed to wow the fans this year, and wow us they did. The graphics in the reveal were stunning. We got a look at some of the gameplay, mechanics, and we even finally got a definitive release date of March 3, 2020.
Everything mentioned above was amazing, but two reveals got a reception unlike anything else in the entirety of the trailer. We knew all our favorite polygon shaped characters of old were getting a major high-definition facelift, but the sight of the beloved Tifa and the nefarious but charming Sephiroth were the icing on a very well-made cake. After years of waiting with bated breath, we are simply counting the days down to release.
Watchdogs Legion Reveal
Though the Watchdogs games have always revolved around one of the best game mechanics of the modern era in the wake of hacking, the franchise was never as well received as Ubisoft would’ve liked. While the second entry, Watchdogs 2, was a great game, the sour taste in the mouth of gamers from the first title meant that it never got the chance to shine.
After a long hiatus, Ubisoft returned to the title in a big way. The reveal for the 3rd entry, Watchdogs Legion, was almost unanimously well received. Taking place in a post-Brexit London, the story sees the city fall under constant surveillance and oppression. With an interesting permadeath system and the ability to “recruit and play as anyone”, it seems the possibilities are endless for the franchise’s newest entry.
This fact came to light in a big way as the now beloved Helen was revealed. Helen is a grandma (yes, you read that right) who has some serious hacking and combat skills and she shows no signs of slowing down. Her "balls to the walls" personality and her athleticism that rivals that of people a quarter of her age are just two of the reasons the community is unable to stop talking about her.
Ghostwire: Tokyo’s Ikumi Nakamura
Most conferences see publishers talk about games and produce cringeworthy moments. That was not the case in what may have been the highlight of Bethesda’s showcase. Creative Director of Ghostwire: Tokyo, Ikumi Nakamura, came to tell us about her game and stole our hearts as she did so. Ghostwire: Tokyo is an action-adventure game that makes use of paranormal elements.
While the game looks to be great, the real highlight was Ikumi, who emanated enthusiasm with every line she spoke. She blended excitement, passion, humor, energy, humility, and appreciation in the short time she took the stage. She all but broke the internet and spawned a series of fan art and discussions.
The final entry on our list is a game that the gaming community was quite skeptical about after it leaked. After Square Enix’s showcase, however, we can honestly say that we are looking forward to this game’s release. We must acknowledge the fact that the character models are not our favorite in terms of faithfulness to the source material, however, the graphics we saw in this game are nothing short of remarkable.
Initially, you’ll have access to Captain America, Thor, Iron-Man, Black Widow, and The Hulk. More heroes are on the way and we were quite impressed to hear that they’ll be free. There’ll be no loot boxes and no paywalls, which is a welcome change in the current era of microtransactions.
The cast is just as strong as the graphics as the game features Nolan North, Troy Baker, Travis Willingham, Jeff Schine, and Laura Bailey as Iron-Man, The Hulk, Captain America, and the Black Widow respectively.
Those are our picks for the top highlights of E3’s 25 staging. We don’t know about you, but we won’t soon forget any of these moments. What was your favorite moment in E3 2019?