Microsoft brought the fire with Project Scarlett
We guessed, we pondered and supposed what might happen at E3 2019, and Microsoft certainly came to play with the official announcement of Project Scarlett.
The next-gen Xbox is almost here, and Microsoft is calling it ‘the future of gaming’. That’s a big claim to make, but they are backing it up with some powerful hardware so we can see why they’re aiming high.
It’s built around some substantial hardware from AMD, which includes their new Navi graphics architecture and a Zen 2 CPU. It’s designed to make loading screens a thing of the past and get you into the game as quick as possible, and some of the figures and stats are mind-blowing.
Microsoft employees said it’s four times more powerful than the current gen, with four times more powerful performance too (when it comes to loading times). If that’s the case, this could be the biggest boost we’ve seen from one console generation to the next.
While PC gaming still holds the spec advantage, consoles are doing their best to catch up. The next Xbox promises 120FPS, 8K quality and even ray tracing (supported by dedicated hardware), which will be an impressive achievement if so! Today, even the most powerful PC hardware struggles to achieve those numbers, even with a basic game, so the next Xbox will have to perform pretty impeccably for it to be able to get there.
But, Microsoft are certainly confident and they aren’t shy about making these claims and promises, so we’ll just have to wait and see when it lands.
When will that be? Well, they’re saying it’s going to be ready for release by ‘Holiday 2020’, and while there were no specific dates given, we expect that’ll be somewhere between October and December 2020.
Everything else Microsoft announced
Microsoft had some other pretty exciting announcements alongside Project Scarlett…
Lengthy trailer for Halo revealed
One of the most exciting announcements for Xbox fans is that Halo Infinite will be launching along with Project Scarlett, and we got a nice meaty trailer to tantalise us as well. It’ll be available on Xbox One and PC too though, so you won’t need new hardware to play it.
It’s said that the story will mark a new chapter for the hero, Master Chief, so if you haven’t played Halo before, this could be a great place to jump in.
By the time it’s released (towards the end of 2020) it will have been more than five years since Halo 5: Guardians hit the shelves, so we’re more than excited to get our hand on it when it arrives. From the looks of some of the stunning textures in the teaser trailer, it’s going to be quite the masterpiece.
Keanu Reeves will star in Cyberpunk 2077
As if we weren’t already excited enough by the next game from the geniuses that brought us The Witcher 3, CD Projekt Red managed to achieve the ‘wow’ factor by inviting none other than Keanu Reeves to announce that he will be starring in the futuristic new game.
And, as if that wasn’t enough, they finally went ahead and announced the release date, 16th April 2020. The epic, cinematic trailer has obviously left us wanting more, so we’re glad the countdown is now on until we get to experience it for ourselves.
Gears 5 is closer than we thought
It might not be called Gears of War 5, but that’s pretty much what it is. It’s been given a release date of 10th September 2019, although you’ll be able to get your hands on it four days earlier if you’ve got Game Pass Ultimate or you pick up the Special Edition.
It was first announced last year at E3 2018 and will star Kait Diaz who first made an appearance in Gears of War 4. Gears 5 has a new game mode called ‘Escape’, where a squad of players has to infiltrate a Hive and then plant a bomb before, you guessed it, escaping. If you can’t wait for some of the other games set for release this year, at least this one isn’t too far away.
Elden Ring got an official announcement
If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you’ll be excited to hear that George RR Martin has been collaborating with Dark Souls creator Hidetaka Miyazaki to create a brand-new epic game called Elden Ring.
It’s said to be the biggest title yet created by the FromSoftware studio and promises to be much more than an action-RPG game. The trailer didn’t give much away though, so we’ll have to be patient to see what this game has to offer.
The best of Bethesda’s showcase
Bethesda had already stared off by letting us know we wouldn’t be seeing Elder Scroll 6 at E3 2019, but that didn’t stop them from having a bunch of exciting announcements. Here’s a round-up of the best that they showcased.
Confirmed release date for Doom Eternal
And, it’s not too far away. Ready in time for Christmas, Doom Eternal’s release date has been confirmed as 22nd November 2019.
The preview of highlights showed just how much fun this fast, first-person shooter can be. The new trailer hinted at the story where you can take down demons in both Heaven and Hell, and even take a trip to the Sentinel home world.
They also gave us a teaser of the Battlemode multiplayer, which has multi-round matches where one super-powered slayer is pitted against two players, who can summon reinforcements for help. We don’t have long to wait before this game hits the stores, but we’ll get to see more of it at QuakeCon in July too.
Fallout 76 gets an update
If there’s one gripe players have had about Fallout 76 it’s that the world is a pretty lonely place because of the great devoid of characters to interact with – but that’s about to change.
In the latest expansion pack, Wastelanders, Fallout 76 is reinstating beloved NPCs, with full dialogue trees that will apparently offer players ‘choices’ and ‘consequences’. The update is free to all players, coming this autumn, as part of a two-year plan.
Bethesda is offering players the chance to play Fallout 76 for free from June 10th-17th, so if you want to give it a try before taking the plunge into the Wasteland, now is a perfect time.
Fallout 76 is also getting battle royale
It seems like ‘battle royale’ is all over the place in games at the moment, and Fallout 76 is no exception with the Nuclear Winter update. The 52-player battle royale will have you running away from a giant ring of fire, while trying to out-wit other players and monsters until you’re the last one standing.
It hasn’t got a release date yet, but it’s another free update that Fallout fans will soon be able to get their hands on.
New game from the makers of The Evil Within
GhostWire: Tokyo is the latest action game from Tango Gameworks, headed by Shinji Mikami. The seriously cinematic trailer is satisfyingly spooky, and seems to feature different kinds of spirits wandering and haunting modern Japan.
The spirits are described as “some dangerous, some peaceful”, and this style seems to be a little different than the horror-survival of The Evil Within series. In the game, the people of Tokyo start mysteriously disappearing, and we catch a glimpse of what could the hero character.
Ikumi Nakamura, the creative director, became an instant E3 crowd favourite too, thanks to her exuberant presentation that was definitely different than the usual speech delivery. She warmed everyone in the crowd with her passion, you only have to take a peek a Twitter to see the love!
The next game from Arkane Studios
The studio that brought us the Dishonoured series and the Prey reboot have been working on something wonderful for its next game, titled Deathloop.
It features two protagonists who seem to be trapped in a time loop, where they murder each other continuously and infinitely. Black Reef is a place where chaos reigns and shootouts can happen at a moments notice, and Colt and Julianna are stuck there. Using swords, sniper-rifles and even some teleportation abilities, the two must fight to the death on repeat, hence Deathloop.
The premise is intriguing and exciting, and something a bit different than we’ve seen before, so we can’t wait to find out how they break out of that violent cycle.
Elder Scrolls – not 6, but Blades
Elder Scrolls: Blades is a mobile spin-off game that’s been thriving with players on Android and iOS. But now, Bethesda have decided it’s time to bring the game to the Nintendo Switch later on this year.
If you’re already a mobile player, you’ll be able to carry your progress over from the mobile version. Or, if it sounds like something you’ll be getting for your Switch, you can get started with the game on your phone, ready for the move this autumn.
Other updates coming to Elder Scrolls: Blades include solo arena battles, custom jewellery and a new questline featuring dragons.
The announcements from Square Enix
The presentation from Square Enix lived up to what we were expecting to see, but that’s not to say it wasn’t exciting to see the new footage of the games that are almost at our fingertips. Here’s what they brought…
Marvel Avengers is coming - May 2020
The Marvel Avengers game from Crystal Dynamics has been kept under wraps for quite some time, but now we finally got a good look at some cinematic trailers. The main heroes you get to play as are Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow and The Hulk.
The story seems to pick up five years after an attack on San Francisco, which results in the destruction of the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s a completely independent storyline from Avengers: Endgame, though.
There’s also a live-service game where up to four players can team up and play, and there’s plenty more content planned for years to come, they promise. This will include things like more heroes, which will be free to get for all players.
It will be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC and even Google Stadia from the 15th May 2020, and PS4 players are in for a special treat with access to an early beta and other “unique benefits to be revealed”.
Loads of gameplay from Final Fantasy 7 Remake
Not only did we get an extensive amount of gameplay to excite us in the presentation, but we also got a confirmed release date – 3rd March 2020.
The gameplay was focused on Cloud and Barret, who go up against the legendary Scorpion Sentinel boss (from early on in the story). They had to take cover to avoid the incoming lasers and be on the move constantly to avoid attacks. Then, we got our first look at Tifa, and if the melee combos she pulled off are anything to go by then we can’t wait to try it out.
Survive a hostile alien planet with Outriders
Outriders is a new shooter game from People Can Fly, and the epic trailer had plenty of horrifying scenes to show off that are waiting for you in this creepy game. The land is filled with some terrifying monsters, but the good news is that there’s some nice, ornate guns to blast them with.
It’s a co-op shooter where up to three players can fight to survive, but there’s nothing stopping you tackling the world by yourself. It will be released in Summer 2020 on PS4, Xbox One and PC.
What Ubisoft brought to play
The presentation Ubisoft put on at E3 2019 was quite the mix, from trailers for TV shows, live music and some surprise reveals. Here’s the highlights…
Grannies get guns in Watch Dogs Legion
Ok, so it’ not just grannies, but in Watch Dogs Legion (formerly known as Watch Dogs 3), London has become a drone-filled surveillance state in the near-future, plagued by organised crime. We got to see how the player has to switch between different characters that are part of the DedSec resistance in some extensive gameplay footage, but the highlight of the demonstration was for sure Helen.
Helen is a retired assassin who looks like she’s in her 80’s, but that didn’t stop her from bringing down armed guards with a creepy spider-drone, or blasting people square in the face with her pistol. She might be a little slow, but who would ever suspect a weapon-wielding grandma?
Watch Dogs Legion will be launched on the 6th March 2020.
Ghost Recon Breakpoint and the Terminator?
Jon Bernthal came to present Ghost Recon Breakpoint, and while he looked innocent enough up there with his lovely dog Bam Bam, he actually plays the leader of the villains in the latest game. Ghost Recon Breakpoint will bring back AI-teammates to help out anyone who would rather play solo too, and the beta will begin on the 5th September. The game officially launches on the 4th October, but you can sign for it now on the website.
It seems like the Terminator is involved somehow too. The teaser was painfully brief, but it included more than a hint of the iconic musical score along with a pair of glowing red eyes. It might seem a bit of a weird mash-up but we’re excited to see what happens with it!
Three upcoming episodes for The Division 2
You heard right, The Division 2 is getting three new episode additions as part of a one-year content plan. Episode 1, which will be coming in July, has some new main missions as well as the ability to roam outside the boundaries of Washington D.C. This includes landmarks like a presidential compound in the woods and the Washington National Zoo.
Episode 2 is coming in autumn and in that, you have to reclaim the Pentagon from the Black Tusk faction during an eight-player co-op raid. Then, Episode 3 which will arrive in early 2020, takes you to Coney Island where you have to hunt for “someone you used to call brother.”
They also made a quick mention of The Division movie, which will star Jessica Chastain and Jake Gyllenhaal. It’s coming to Netflix, though a release date hasn’t been given yet.
Leaked Roller Champions gets its first official look
Just before E3, Ubisoft’s roller Derby game Roller Champions was leaked, but it wasn’t anything compared to the first official look during the presentation.
This multiplayer sports game has two teams trying to get the ball, while they try to make three hoops around the track. Dodging the competition is harder than it looks as you try to get a slam dunk!
Fight with friends to survive Rainbow Six
Rainbow Six Quarantine is another game which sadly got leaked before E3, but again there was plenty on offer at the show. It’s a full game version of the limited PvE mode that was on Rainbow Six Seige and even stars the same operatives, except now they’re part of a three-player team who have to fight against hordes of the infected.
There’s no firm release date, but we can expect it sometime early in 2020.
Mobile RPG from one of our favourite operatives
This is one we weren’t expecting. Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad is a free mobile RPG, which stars the many iconic characters from the Clancy-universe.
They previewed match-ups like Sam Fisher from Splinter Cell, Montagne and Caveira from Rainbow Six, Nomad from Ghost Recon, and Megan from The Division, with many more characters available as well.
It will be available on iOS and Android, but there’s no release date just yet.
Nintendo’s games for this year and next
Here’s the best of what Nintendo announced during their Nintendo Direct at E3 2019…
Animal Crossing: New Horizons looks gorgeous
While it’s upsetting to hear that Animal Crossing: New Horizons won’t make the planned 2019 release, it has got a release date now of 20th March 2020, so it’s not too long to have to wait.
And we don’t mind, since the enchanting gameplay they had on show was more than enough to make it worth it. Tom Nook is there, up-selling the Deserted Island Getaway Package, where instead of managing a town, you get to set up camp on a tropical island. You can decorate your tent to make it nice and homely, and you even get to experience the seasons as they change. It seems it’s not tropical all year round on this island!
Tom Nook is also kind enough to let you use his workbench to craft new items, but of course you’ll be expected to pay for airfare and other accommodation on your island. Multiplayer also looks like it could be a feature, with the trailer ending with other characters grouping together.
Zelda fans can start getting excited about Breath of the wild sequel
There weren’t many details on offer, but Nintendo did confirm that a sequel to Zelda: Breath of the wild is currently in progress. It seems that the game will pick up exactly where the first game left us, with Link and Zelda exploring some weird, subterranean ruins which seem to be corrupted by Calamity Ganon.
We’ll definitely be waiting a while before this one is released, but we can’t wait to hear more about it.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate getting new additions
Sometimes, fans of a series are lucky enough to see their in-game dreams come true, and Smash fans have long awaited the day that they could play as the bear-bird duo, Banjo-Kazooie. And now, Nintendo are making it happen this autumn.
That’s not all though. There was also an announcement for the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC: The Hero, which has multiple Dragon Quest games coming this summer. The frontman is the hero from Dragon Quest 11, but you can use different costumes to make him look like the main character from Dragon Quest 3, 4 or 8.
New abilities and the return of Gooigi in Luigi’s Mansion 3
That’s right, Luigi’s gloopy green clone is back, with the ability to pass through fences and spikes whenever he wants. But, don’t let him touch the water or he’ll die.
Ghosts have taken over where Luigi is, but Mario and Peach are sticking around to help, and the Poltergust G-00 has some new abilities that will help you bust those ghosts with style. You can Slam them to quickly inflict damage, or use the Suction Shot plunger to pull objects and use shields.
A multiplayer mode has also been added called The ScareScraper, where up to eight players rush to to rescue Toad, playing as a massive group of Luigis.
There’s no exact release date just yet, but it should land before the end of this year.
More gameplay from Pokemon Sword and Shield
The release date has already been announced for Pokemon Sword and Shield (15th November 2019), but that didn’t stop Nintendo from showing off some thrilling new gameplay of a battle against the Water Type Gym Leader, Nessa.
They also confirmed that the PokeBall Plus accessory can be used with Pokemon Sword and Shield, you just can’t use it as a controller. If you take your favourite Pokemon with you out into the world though, “something good might happen”!
Tons of games for the Nintendo Switch
Nintendo reeled off a huge list of third-part games which are set to be coming to the Switch:
- Sypro Reignited Trilogy (3rd September)
- Hollow Knight Silksong (no release date)
- Ni no Kuni (20th September)
- Minecraft Dungeons (Spring 2020)
- The Elder Scrolls: Blades (Autumn 2019, announced at the Bethesda show)
- My Friend Pedro (20th June)
- Doom Eternal (no release date)
- The Sinking City (Autumn 2019)
- Wolfenstein: Youngblood (26th July)
- Dead by Daylight (24th September)
- Alien Isolation (2019)
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles (Winter 2019)
- Dragon Quest Builders 2 (12th July)
- Stranger Things 3 (4th July)
- Just Dance 2020 (5th November)
- Catan (20th June)
- New Super Lucky's Tale (Autumn 2019)
- Dauntless (later in 2019)
- Super Mario Maker 2 (28th June).
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