There were a lot of announcements coming out of E3 2019, and our three days there were spent watching – and in some cases playing – a number of them. From massive upcoming releases like Cyberpunk 2077 and the Final Fantasy VII remake to an indie release destined to be the next great party game, these were our favorite things we heard about while out and about on the show floor.
Disclaimer: Because of our schedules, we were unable to see everything available at the show, so if something has been receiving accolades everywhere but doesn't appear here (looking at you Link's Awakening) it's probably because we didn't have time to see the game and couldn't in good faith include it.
Release Date: April 16, 2020
Cyberpunk 2077 is already looking like a front-runner for game of the year in 2020. The level of detail we saw in the demo was unlike anything else at the show, from the lighting, to the character customization, to the fact that there are no loading screens. We also saw a deeper look at how different character builds can tackle the same mission, a look at how character creation and your chosen background can affect dialogue options, and got story hints at just how important Keanu Reeves' Johnny Silverhand will be in the game.
If Cyberpunk 2077 somehow wasn't already on your radar, make sure it is now.
Release Date: March 2020
The Final Fantasy VII remake is very clearly a labor of love. Players will return to Midgar and play out the familiar story from the 1997 classic in a gorgeous world made with current-generation graphics. Particularly in the pre-rendered cutscenes, all your favorite characters can be seen in fully detailed HD, right down to the pores in their skin. The traditional turn-based combat system has been abandoned for something smoother and more dynamic. While you still have to fill up your ATB (Active Time Battle) meter to unleash more powerful attacks, you can switch characters on the fly in a much more action-focused and fast-paced approach to combat. Whether you loved the original or you want to try something new, you should definitely think about getting the Final Fantasy VII remake when the first episode releases in March of 2020.
Release Date: March 6, 2020
The big hook for Watch Dogs: Legion is being able to play as any NPC in the game, and seeing it in action was quite impressive. Every NPC not only has specific positive and negative stats they start with, but they also have their own lives and schedules. One person you can recruit might have appeared on a televised singing competition so he's now considered a celebrity and camera drones and people are more drawn to him, for better or worse. Another may have a secret drug problem you can learn about and exploit to get them to join the DedSec cause if they've got some perks worth having on the team. The inclusion of perma-death for each of your new recruits adds a layer of tension to each encounter.
It'll be exciting to see if Watch Dogs: Legion can stick the landing come March, but it's looking very promising so far.
Release Date: September 13, 2019
The demo we played introduced us to a new Vault Hunter, Moze, and her mech, Iron Bear, and detailed how the new leveling and class system was being handled. Overall the combat and gunplay feels a lot smoother, they've added more ways to make your hunter and guns customizable, and there are more options for socializing with friends through the game without actually needing to play through it with them. It's also nice to see that we'll be able to explore more planets in the Borderlands universe – like the swampy forests of Eden-6 – instead of just sticking to the deserts of Pandora.