This year’s E3 was for the most part, quite underwhelming. None of the publishers really put out anything particularly surprising or exciting besides some handful exceptions – like Keanu Reeves in Cyberpunk 2077 (and it wasn’t even technically gameplay), Bethesda’s two new IPs – Deathloop and GhostWire: Tokyo where Ikumi Makamura was more of a talking point than the game itself (Because of the lack of gameplay) and Ubisoft’s announcement for WatchDogs: Legion plus a new IP, Gods & Monsters (again, no gameplay); overall it was just a lot of PR fluff, known releases and announcement trailers with barebones gameplay showcases (if at all).
Now Nintendo though… In my opinion, they brought the thunder to the show. Yes, while it’s true that they also revealed more of many pre-revealed games like Astral Chain, Pokemon Sword & Shield and Legend Of Zelda: Link’s Awakening Remake, they were also the only ones who consistently brought surprises one after the other… All without the filler that other publishers resorted to, thanks to their live stream Direct medium which aired for 40 minutes; in short – dense with content, low on fluff.
So what’s new you ask? Let’s dive in:
First off, is the incredibly shocking reveal of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Complete Edition. Yep, that’s right – yet another game that no one considered possible on Switch. However, Saber Interactive and CD Projekt RED have proved the naysayers wrong with a port that looks incredibly impressive for a 6-inch handheld running at a mere 7-15W of power – with all content in a single 32 GB cartridge to boot. To build up consumer trust, even more, the publisher was kind enough to share screenshots of the game running on Switch on Twitter. We’re quite amazed, for this is a definite technical advancement in the portable gaming space.
Next is the glorious return of Travis Touchdown in a brand new mainline entry – No More Heroes 3. It looks even more Japanesey and over-the-top than the previous two entries were, and creator Suda51 is once again taking the helm with his team at Grasshopper Manufacturer. Let’s hope this lives up to expectations after the previous spinoff, Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes disappointed many gamers – fans have been begging for a third entry since, well forever.
This brings us to not one, but TWO modern revivals of dormant franchises: Konami’s Contra, with the isometric shmup/twin stick shooter, Contra: Rogue Corps and Sega’s Panzer Dragoon with a Switch exclusive remake. Rogue Corps might turn many people off due to it’s aesthetic and gameplay overhaul but Panzer Dragoon Remake will certainly get lots of love from fans due to it sticking to its traditional roots just with a current-gen look.
Nintendo’s adorable life-sim series is also back to consoles as they finally showed off debut footage (and subtitle) for Animal Crossing: New Horizons – and it’s never looked cuter, with some obvious quality of life improvements. Although the fanbase might not be happy about the delay to March 2020, it’s good to finally see a game about chilling and playing at your pace – not many games nowadays are about that.
After the overwhelming success of 2017’s Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, it was obvious a sequel would follow up – and Nintendo has confirmed it to be in development, alongside a (thematically) dark and chilling trailer. We can’t wait for more details, and it’s arguably the best part of their E3 showcase.
But wait, there’s more: new Super Smash Bros Ultimate characters. Square Enix’s Dragon Quest series brings in four protagonists from DQ11, DQ8, DQ4 & DQ3… however the bigger shocker is Microsoft & Rare’s Banjo-Kazooie actually making it into Nintendo’s crossover platform-fighter. I’m still having a hard time believing that, even more so than Witcher 3 – if you’re a longtime Smash player or follower, this reveal HAS be the hypest thing about the Direct.
Overall, the highlight is that most of these announcements were considered a wild dream at one point in time, yet here we are. The Switch is seriously becoming a good console to own (Not like wasn’t before) with more third-party games coming to the platform, especially by a company as big as CD Projekt Red. Seriously though, is this an alternate timeline…? Ponder off in the comments below.