Every year the month of June sees thousands of both professionals and avid gamers flock to Los Angeles for the Electronic Entertainment Expo, also known as E3. Their mission: to catch a glimpse of upcoming releases for software and games. Rumours are abound and announcements are eagerly expected, but there are always a few wilds cards which take everyone by surprise and this year was no different. Here are just a few of the revelations that got the gaming community buzzing; we’re starting with the reveal that has already spawned a new meme and the ever-endearing line of “No, you’re breath-taking!” by the beloved Keanu Reeves. Yes, this is the announcement of Cyberpunk 2077 in which the aforementioned actor will be playing a major role. Based upon Mike Pondsmith’s tabletop roleplaying game of the 80s, and drawing on classic sci-fi like Bladerunner and Ghost In The Shell, CD Projekt Red have built a sprawling city whose obsession with body augmentation now mean anything is possible. The game is set to be released in April 2020 and it may well have been the most hyped game of the expo. On a similar vein of tabletop games turned virtual, Larian Studios released more information for the highly anticipated sequel to the acclaimed Baldur’s Gate series. It was confirmed that Baldur’s Gate 3 will follow the 5th Edition rule set of D&D, rather than the 2nd like the previous two games and will be tied closely to the tabletop RPG Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus. As of yet there is nothing close to a release date with Creative Director Swen Vincke going for the it’ll-be-ready-when-it’s-ready approach.
Also, if technology gone mad is your kind of genre, then keep an eye out for Watch Dogs: Legion dropping in March. Hitting close to home, it was finally confirmed that the game will be taking place in a post-Brexit London where you play a part of the resistance fighting the surveillance organisation of Albion. What will make-or-break this game is its decision to make every Londoner you see playable. Depending on the skill set you require for a mission, anyone is recruitable to your cause.
In other news, if you wondered what George R. R. Martin has been getting up to since the end of Game of Thrones (the TV show at least), he has been working with Hidetaka Miyazaki – of Bloodbourne and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice fame – on a brand new addition to the Souls franchise. Whilst details are slim for now, it would appear Elden Ring will follow in its predecessors’ footsteps of dark fantasy, but with a more open world feel. A release date has not been confirmed as of yet, but it is most likely to drop towards the end of next year.
If you’re looking for something a little cuter in its gameplay, Nintendo has got you covered with plenty of recognisable faces returning in the coming year. Probably the most exciting was the further information on both Luigi’s Mansion 3 and Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The two games will be released on Nintendo Switch in October and March respectively, having first been announced all the way back in 2018. While very little is known about the newest Animal Crossing, it would appear the character of Tom Nook will be returning, and crafting will be a much greater part of the game. In terms of Luigi’s Mansion 3, Nintendo’s time at E3 was used to show a longer gameplay trailer which revealed great graphics and new combat options.
There were hundreds more great reveals at the E3 this year, including Star Wars, FIFA, Zelda, and a Blair Witch game, all of which look fixed to set a high standard of game releases in the coming 12 months and beyond.