Feature | Rating The E3 2019 Conferences

The “look at what shit we have” portion of E3 2019 has been passed, and we’re left both empty and satisfied by the proceedings – much like the after affects of going to a Chinese all-you-can-eat restaurant. But, how were the showings themselves? It’s time for my rating (read: berating) of the E3 2019 Conferences!

EA Play

Oh EA, one of these years you will have a conference at E3 that I actually care about, but given that you’ve shut down almost every studio you’ve acquired that were actually making interesting titles, or moved great studios that (thankfully) still exist onto lesser projects, I doubt it.

This being said, this year you have showed us Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, a game that you briefly teased last year. I have to admit that I’m looking forward to it based on what you showed. It’s not groundbreaking, but it’s fucking Star Wars, so it gets a pass.

It’s not all in the game – [1/5]

Xbox

60 games, the reveal of the next Xbox console (kinda) and an update to the Elite control pad. If nothing else, you can’t say that Microsoft were resting on their laurels this year. The reveals were quick fire, the talks on stage cringe-worthy, and Project Scarlett decidedly meh.

But, this was the conference that had Keanu fucking Reeves on stage, breaking down the walls of my cynical shrivelled gamer heart, to reveal that he will be in Cyberpunk 2077. The game looks out of my comfort zone for sure, but I genuinely want it in my life.

Keanu fucking Reeves – [3/5]

Bethesda

Did that one guy in the front take drugs or something before this conference? I know that a lot of people have brought this up already, but that fucker was whooping at fucking everything, including occasions when the people on stage had said nothing of any value at all.

This was a very Bethesda conference and so had very little for me. Also, there was a lot of mobile games shown. I’m not against mobile at all, but they translate well into being shown in this manner. DOOM Eternal stole this one, same DOOM just with more guns, more demons, and more action.

“WOOO, YEAHH!” – [2/5]

Devolver Digital

These guys have quickly become the thing I look forward to each E3, and with good reason. They’re almost laughably aware that they’re surrounded by companies bigger than they are, so they work at tearing them all down with beautifully crafted, and hilarious, parody conferences.

This year was no exception, taking the ever-living piss out of the Nintendo Direct format, and continuing the frankly batshit insane narrative they’ve been telling and showing some pretty damn good games. Carrion was my personal highlight, and looks to be a fresh take on survival horror.

Bloody brilliant – [4/5]

Ubisoft

I often forget how few of the titles that Ubisoft develop and publish appeal to me until E3, and boy did it show this year. The whole show was pretty much a procession of meh with occasional splashes of brilliance, like the now annual (and welcome damn it) Just Dance stage routine.

Really, for me, Ubi blew their loads at the beginning of the conference with my personal highlight – Watch_Dogs Legion. I can’t claim to be a big fan of the series, but I love the set-up and am genuinely intrigued by the “recruit anyone” concept. Plus, there’s a gun-toting grandma.

Helen for PM – [2/5]

Square Enix

I had very high hopes going into this one, even if the release date for Final Fantasy VII Remake had already been revealed, and I was (mostly) not disappointed. There was a lot of JRPG love here, with a release window for Crystal Chronicles, and the Final Fantasy VIII remaster announcement.

In fact, besides the racing game I’ve immediately forgotten the name of and a VERY ropey looking Marvel Avengers game, the whole lot looked great. My highlight, predictably, was the Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers trailer and Yoshi-P getting his fine ass up on stage. So excited for that.

Hydaelyn and Zodiark are what? – [4/5]

Nintendo

Holy fuck this was great. Nintendo have the Direct format down to an art form now and it shows. The showing was formulaic in structure, sure, but more than made up for it in terms of overall content. So much so that I’m sitting here struggling to pick out a single highlight from it.

We had better looks at existing games like ASTRAL CHAIN and Luigi’s Mansion 3, the reveal of both Dragon Quest Hero and Banjo and fucking Kazooie for Smash Bros Ultimate, and a host of new titles. My highlight though, New Super Lucky’s Tale for Switch. Bring on the fox!

A Direct hit – [5/5]

All-in-all, E3 2019 was a mixed bag for me. Nintendo, Square Enix, and Devolver provided some brilliant conferences and stupidly hype moments. However, everything else was mostly meh, with me spending a lot of the run times of these conferences utterly bored.

What did you think though? How was E3 2019 for you, and what were your highlights? Let me know in the comments, or on Twitter.

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