I know its intention is to be an awards show for video games, but honestly, the thing that excites me the most about this event these days are the world exclusive reveals. Kudos to Geoff Keighley for turning this event into a mini-E3 and the industry as well for going along with it.
Don’t ask me to repeat who won what awards because I couldn’t tell you. Red Dead won a lot, God of War took home Game of the Year, and…yeah, that’s about all I can recall from that side of the show. Today, we’re here to talk about some of the big name reveals and world premiers at last night’s event. There were a lot of bombshells and plenty of indie games, many of which I won’t get to.
Also, before we get going, can I just say how awesome it was to see Xbox’s Phil Spencer, Nintendo’s Reggie Fils-Aime, and Sony’s Shawn Hayden all be on the stage together at the same time. Absolutely loved to see that moment and it’s also something I never thought would actually happen ever. Sure, they may all be competitors, but seeing a sort of unity for the sake of the games community like that was super cool.
Alright, here are some of the biggest items from this year’s show:
Epic Games Goes After The King: So one of the biggest pieces of news came from EPic. No, not Fortnite (though that game was HEAVILY featured throughout the night) but the company actually launched a brand new Steam competitor. Not only that, the service launched with a bunch of exclusive games, one of which is a new game from SuperGiant Games called Hades. I’m a huge fan of the developer (as previously stated numerous times), so to not only see a new game reveal from them but to also see that it was available now in early access really took me by surprise.
I can’t speak on the new Epic Game store, but they seem to have a decent understanding of things, so here’s hoping they don’t quite end up like some of Valve’s competitors.
The Outer Worlds: One of the announcements I was highly anticipating was coming from Obsidian, especially after seeing some of their teases the past couple of weeks. The art deco style advertisements and rumors that the game was being published by Take-Two had me hopeful that it was related to BioShock in some capacity. So that wasn’t in the cards but what we did get, The Outer Worlds, looks fantastic and could really fill the sudden and huge void that was left behind by the failings of Fallout 76.
Remember, these are the guys that originally worked on the classic Fallout games (a point which they made abundantly clear in the trailer) and gave us New Vegas as well as classics like Knights of the Old Republic, so they know what they’re doing with RPGs. To me, this new game looks like Fallout in space, though the engine is wildly better than what Bethesda tries to duct tape together for each new game. Characters emote, have stronger facial expressions, and the dialogue has some humorous moments. I’m really intrigued by the game, and I can’t wait to see more.
Ed Boon Trolls Everyone and Finally Gives Us Mortal Kombat: Let’s face it, we all knew this was coming. Still, Ed Boon, ever the internet troll that he enjoys being, couldn’t help himself at the show. He comes out and everyone is freaking out, knowing what’s coming. Instead, he begins by saying he’s honored to be there to announce the winner of the best racing/sports game. The trailer starts and BAM, Scorpion’s spear smashes through the screen. Classic troll, Ed.
While the trailer was very cool, I absolutely hated the music they used. In my opinion, it didn’t fit at all and I’m kind of confused as to why they thought that was a good choice. Ah well, the content of the trailer was the meaningful part and that delivered in spades. A corrupted Raiden ended up fighting two different Scorpions. It was brutal, violent, and oh so Mortal Kombat. I’ve heard plenty of rumors hinting that time travel could be a big component, meaning the game could bring any character back to the game. With a massive roster to pick from throughout the long history, we could be getting the biggest day 1 roster Mortal Kombat has ever seen.
I think the biggest shock here was that Mortal Kombat 11 is continuing the spring release cycle the studio has established, launching in a short 5 months from now in April 2019. Expect to see a lot more on this game very soon.
Super Smash Bros Ultimate DLC: Part of me was expecting a full reveal, and while we didn’t get that, Nintendo did deliver one reveal which no doubt shocked and delighted a huge number of fans. In a very cool trailer, fans found that the Persona 5 protagonist Joker is arriving as the first character inside of the 5 post-launch DLC fighters.
What makes this announcement even more surprising and kind of hilarious is that Persona 5 isn’t actually available on the Switch. Perhaps a release sometime around the same time as Joker arrives? We shall see.
EA Hits Hard with Dragon Age 4 and Anthem: For all of the gameplay we’ve seen lately, one thing that BioWare has kind of avoided showing was the story components of Anthem. We finally got a new trailer that gave some context to the world, showed off more of the characters you’ll be interacting with, and also giving a glimpse at what appears to be the antagonist. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by what I’ve seen form this game lately and I hope the final product is as good as it looks.
BioWare wasn’t done, however, as a teaser trailer for Dragon Age 4 showed up later in the night. No gameplay was shown, but longtime fans heard plenty to know what’s going on. Picking up after one of the storylines ended from Inquisition, it appears that The Dread Wolf is back in town. We’ll have to see what that means whenever the game launches…likely 2020 or later.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance Is Back…for some: A franchise fans have been clamoring to return was the Marvel Ultimate Alliance series. Well, it’s coming back! Only, not for everyone. In a shocking move, Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order is a Nintendo Switch exclusive. Also, it’s being developed by Team Ninja. Seriously, how crazy is this?
A New Dawn Rises: Although it leaked prior to the show, it was cool seeing Far Cry: New Dawn, a game that picks up after the events of Far Cry 5. I believe this is the first time, under Ubisoft’s direct development, that the next game to be revealed actually picks back up where the previous one left off.
Again, the game almost has a Fallout style quality to it, with civilization trying to pick the pieces back up after that big twist ending from Far Cry 5. I don’t know the time jump here or if the two women featured heavily are the protagonists or antagonists, but for those looking for another reason to head back into the Montana woods, keep your eyes on this one.
The Indie Rush: Alongside these major franchises, Indie games got a halthy amount of time in the spotlight as well. Hello Games introduced The Last Campfire, Journey is now available on PC through the Epic Game Store, Stanley Parable is getting an Ultra Deluxe version, new games from new dev teams made up of industry veterans were revealed (Journey to the Savage Planet and Scavengers), the monster hunting game Dauntless got a cool new trailer, and Patrice Desilets finally showed off gameplay from his new game Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey. There’s a ton more that I’m no doubt forgetting, but it was a great new for independents.
Also, I’m thrilled that Microsoft is bringing back their Xbox Live Arcade events again. This time we have the Winter of Arcade event all month long with some really impressive looking games like Below (FINALLY!), Ashen, Mutant Year Zero and a ton more. Here’s hoping the Summer of Arcade makes it back in 2019 as well.
Well, those are some of the highlights for me. Make sure to come back this weekend as I’ll have all of the new trailers up in the Sunday Video Round Up. In the meantime, what stood out to you at this year’s show? I thought the event was fantastic and really kept my interested throughout. It has certainly come a long way from where it was 5+ years ago.