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That was E3 for 2019, ladies and gentlemen. And now, time to take stock. Who rocked it, and who whimpered away into the night with their tail between their legs? Who brought us countless joys to look ahead to, and who let us down by not delivering the reveals we were hoping for?
Truthfully, there were no 'losers' at E3 - every conference and showcase had something for someone, somewhere, and we all have a host of great new video games to look forward to. Sure, some titles were disappointingly absent from the various pressers, but that just gave other projects time to shine.
However, where's the fun in saying: hey, everyone wins! Forget that. There can be only one 'winner' of E3, as media tradition demands. Demands, we say. And here's our very scientific* ranking of all the presentations of E3 2019, from bottom at the top to top at the bottom.
(*There's no science to this at all - we just kinda throw it all into the air and see where it lands.)
Games we loved the look of: So for context, Limited Run releases games that were previously, mostly, digital-only, in limited-edition physical runs. So when we say that standout titles coming soon to its (Switch, PS4 and Vita) catalogue include the likes of Night in the Woods, Papers, Please, Metal Slug, Super Meat Boy, Transistor (still one of the best gaming OSTs ever), Freedom Planet and a whole heap of old-school Star Wars titles, you understand that this is a niche that's being catered for. A niche that we're into. Nice niche.
Games we could take or leave: Look, I bought a Mega-CD back in the day, and it had some crackers on it. But do we really need the FMV nightmares of Corpse Killer and Double Switch in the 21st century? Readers, we do not.
Standout moment: That "one more thing" that was the rush of Star Wars games - including TIE Fighter, Shadows of the Empire, Bounty Hunter, Dark Forces, Episode 1: Racer and Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy - complemented by a Money Island musical tease. And 14 games coming to Vita? Truly, Limited Run, you are spoiling us.
Games we loved the look of: There's no denying that Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is shaping up to be the Uncharted-like single-player experience we've been after for yonks. Wattson looks like a really cool addition to Apex Legends, too. So, two from two from Respawn, basically.
Games we could take or leave: Okay, so LAD's gaming team is all British, which is a factor in this. But that much of a focus on Madden was a total snore-fest. Sorry. (And TBH, we didn't really need that much on the next FIFA, either.)
Standout moment: Apart from those gorgeous tropical climes of the next expansion to The Sims 4? That'll be every time that Fallen Order's little back-riding robo-buddy BD-1 was on screen. Yes, we want one of our own, immediately.
Games we loved the look of: Seeing more of Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 was something we'd been anticipating, but it didn't disappoint. Chivalry 2 looks like a whole lot of bloody good fun. Frontier's Planet Zoo looks perfect, and the creepy Mosaic has tickled our Limbo-loving fancy.
Games we could take or leave: It pains me to say this, but Shenmue III seems awkwardly stuck between two worlds - the Dreamcast era of its predecessors and the high-def one we play through today. Its story is what's going to matter, though, so we're going to reserve judgement 'til we've played it for ourselves.
Standout moment: Press #F to respect the shark. And Maneater *does* look pretty cool.
Games we loved the look of: I mean, goodness me, there were over 60 of them. But, if we had to grab just a few of the indie treats on show: SkateBIRD is a feathery skateboarding game that sorta does what it says on the tin; Hamsterdam sees us play as a kung-fu hamster and yes we're into that, frankly; An/Round is a mesmerisingly minimalist cube 'em up (I guess?); 2D action-platformer Forgone could well scratch the same itch as Dead Cells managed; and it was great to see more of Afterparty, the Hell-set drinking contest game coming soon from the makers of the amazing Oxenfree.
Games we could take or leave: So, with any compilation of 60-plus indie games, there's always going to be a few that look like the runts of the litter. But nobody wants to tell them that, right?
Standout moment: Are we allowed to pick a favourite, though? Okay, it's SkateBIRD.
Games we loved the look of: Our bodies are 110% ready to rip and tear through DOOM Eternal. A massive update to Fallout 76, including the introduction of a 52-player battle royale mode, could well have us venturing into the wasteland again. Ghostwire Tokyo looks like a terrific new terror from Tango Softworks, the team that brought us The Evil Within.
Games we could take or leave: It might be coming to our portable platform of choice, the Switch, and for free too, but I don't think anyone's rushing to play The Elder Scrolls: Blades right now. Commander Keen could have stayed in stasis, too - this is a mobile-only revival we never thought we'd see, and now we have, no thanks. (Also, all that hooting and howling, crikey let's never have an audience like that again, please.)
Standout moment: We'd be lying if we said a little bit of pee didn't creep out when Deathloop got its world premiere - that's one time-looping triumph of an elevator pitch that we cannot wait to play for real. That, and every second that creative director Ikumi Nakamura was on stage, introducing Ghostwire Tokyo with the kind of genuine, money-can't-buy enthusiasm that's become such a rarity at tightly-scripted, high-pressure E3 pressers.
Games we loved the look of: Carrion is a gloriously grotesque pixel art horror where you play as a monstrous, amorphous mess of viscera, unleashed to devastate the scientists that tried to contain you. Its makers at Phobia Game Studio are calling it a "reverse horror game" and it's coming out for PC (and hopefully consoles) in 2020. Devolver Bootleg is a brilliant little treat too, and out now for less than the price of a pint.
Games we could take or leave: Super-colourful 100-character elimination affair Fall Guys has rather split the office here (but personally I reckon it looks like a laugh).
Standout moment: All of its hecking 21 minutes and 28 seconds, obviously, you dumb crumpets.
Games we loved the look of: Final Fantasy VII Remake is totally delivering on our dreams, though the fact that it's going to be episodic, with March 2020's first part only taking us to the point where the party leaves Midgar, is still a little disappointing. Final Fantasy VIII getting a remaster, bringing it onto modern consoles, was a high point, too.
Games we could take or leave: It's not just us saying this, but Marvel's Avengers really failed to make the kind of first proper impression its makers will have hoped for. That the demo shown at E3 was full of quick-time events doesn't fill us with confidence.
Standout moment: The biggest cheer in the house was absolutely for when Remake finally showed off Tifa in action. The fan favourite seems to have us all charmed, again.
Games we loved the look of: Watch Dogs Legion, the third game in the hack 'em up series, takes its techno-action to a London struck by a particularly bad Brexit and some overzealous private security oppression. Watch Dogs rather failed to deliver with its first game, made substantial amends with a terrifically fun second instalment, and Legion looks likely to be the best one yet when it releases in March. The limbs-thrusting sequence for Just Dance 2020 was every bit as boisterous as ever, but we're slightly disappointed that its high-energy moves didn't open the show. Rainbow Six Quarantine is one to watch, as is the beautiful, BOTW-y action-RPG Gods & Monsters.
Games we could take or leave: We're still slightly on the fence with Ghost Recon Breakpoint, but there's no denying that its star Jon Bernthal's appearance on stage, with one of his rescue dogs Bam-Bam, was a stroke of PR genius. And while we love ourselves some Always Sunny, Rob McElhenney rather lost us when introducing the Ubisoft-produced Apple+ TV series Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet, but we'll definitely be looking out for more info on it, when it comes to light.
Standout moment: The two dogs, for sure - the game in London, and Bam Bam on stage. What a very, very good boy. We definitely need a pettable Bam Bam in Ghost Recon, Ubi.
Games we loved the look of: Xbox packed a lot into its 2019 show, making the most of PlayStation's absence and Nintendo's long-term Directs-only approach to E3 to knock it out of the park with big game updates and too many announcements to count. So we got loads more on Halo Infinite, Gears 5, and details on the next Xbox console, Project Scarlett. There was a ton of new indie stuff to get excited for, with 12 Minutes standing out. Ninja Theory's new multiplayer game Bleeding Edge looks like a lot of fun, and FromSoftware's Elden Ring - the game the Dark Souls makers have been working on with Game of Thrones creator George RR Martin - has our interest and then some. But really, the Xbox briefing was all about one game - and not even a first-party title at that - and its Hollywood star.
Games we could take or leave: Gears POP!. Lads, lads. Why?
Standout moment: We, and the world, cannot see past Ted Logan himself, Keanu Reeves, being announced as the character of Johnny Silverhand in Cyberpunk 2077 - and then coming out on stage for his 'breathtaking' moment, and the rest of it. There's no doubt that CDPR has made a few mistakes during its promotion of 2077, which now has a release date of April 16, but the Reeves Reveal really isn't one of them.
Games we loved the look of: I mean, where to start? Animal Crossing: New Horizons looks like the perfect game to chill out with, and is out in early 2020. Luigi's Mansion 3 is coming sooner than that, in 2019, and its co-op Gooigie addition is all kinds of genius. PlatinumGames' Astral Chain looks entirely off the chain; Link's Awakening's build-your-own dungeon feature is a brilliant and unexpected bonus to an already excellent adventure; and the very idea that all of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, DLC and all, is going to fit on the Switch is amazing. And there's a Panzer Dragoon remake coming? Are you shitting me?
Games we could take or leave: It's a tough one, as a lot of what got shown in the Direct was flicking our switches, pun entirely intended. But there's something about Fire Emblem: Three Houses that's not doing it for us, yet; and the Netflix Dark Crystal tie-in, Age of Resistance Tactics, was a whole lot of we probably won't bother with that one.
Standout moment: It has to be the "one more thing" reveal that there's a sequel to the extraordinarily brilliant The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in active development. The creepy teaser we got of the new game, showing Zelda and Link exploring beneath Hyrule Castle, hinted at a darker direction to what was seen in BOTW - so could it be this generation's Majora's Mask to the previous game's Ocarina of Time vibes? Also: Tom Nook handing over an itemised bill. So on point.
Featured Image Credit: CD Projekt Red/Bandai Namco
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