A screenshot from Watch Dogs Legion shows an elderly character tasering a security guard. (Ubisoft)
Google says its new video-game streaming platform Stadia will kill the console as we know it
Every year the videogame world’s biggest developers and publishers gather in Los Angeles for the Electronic Entertainment Expo — E3.
And in 2019, everyone’s talking about Keanu Reeves, some Avengers and rogue British grandmas.
The show floor has now opened, but over the last four days we’ve been treated to a string of media conferences unveiling the biggest games that’ll hit consoles, phones and PCs in the next 12 months and beyond.
If you weren’t up in the wee hours to catch every media conference, we’ve got some of the best bits for you.
Everybody loved Keanu Reeves
Keanu Reeves is going through a little bit of a renaissance lately. A Kean-aissance if you will.
He made an appearance after it was revealed he’ll be a part of the hotly anticipated Cyberpunk 2077 from developers CD Projekt Red.
We don’t know exactly what role Reeves’s character will play in the new RPG from the developers of the Witcher series, but you can catch his brief cameo at about 3m30s in the trailer above.
Keeping watching for a wholesome heckle from a fan in the crowd.
We know when we’ll get the next Xbox
It’s called Project Scarlett (at least for now) and it’ll be available in the last quarter of 2020.
Microsoft says it’ll be four times more powerful than the current Xbox One X and come with an SSD (that means much faster load times).
We also know it’ll launch with the next instalment of Master Chief’s story — Halo Infinite.
Despite Sony not holding a flashy press conference this year (more on that later), Microsoft chose to keep most of the specifics about Project Scarlett close to its chest.
Which means we’ll probably be waiting until next year’s E3 for the full reveal.
George RR Martin has been writing … a game
While Game of Thrones fans have been waiting for Martin to pen the next book, the author has been teaming up for a collaboration with FromSoftware’s Hidetaka Miyazaki.
It’s not the most unlikely combination, when you think about how both creators love a brutal end for their characters (in Martin’s books) and players (in Miyazaki’s games).
Elden Ring will be a new property from the creator of Dark Souls.
In a Q&A, Miyazaki said the game will be an open-world, third-person action RPG, with more focus on the RPG elements than the studio’s most recent release, Seiko: Shadows Die Twice.
He admitted to being a huge fan of Martin’s and said the American author had written “the overarching mythos for the game world”.
There’s no release date for the new title.
Nintendo delayed a favourite … then dropped the mic
Everyone was expecting Nintendo to go big on Animal Crossing (its adorable town/life/mortgage simulator).
But instead, we got a small teaser and news of a delay until March, 2020.
What nobody expected though was how the Big N ended its Direct presentation.
In classic, “one more thing” fashion, it announced a full sequel to its critical and commercial smash, 2017’s Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
To borrow a phrase from another E3 presenter everyone feels in love with … it’s spooky.
Ubisoft gave us Resistance grannies
The catch with Ubisoft’s latest entrant in its hacking series is that anyone can be recruited to your resistance.
That includes an adorable old lady named Helen, who just happens to be a retired assassin.
In Watch Dogs Legion, you’ll aim to take back the city in a post-Brexit London that’s fallen into disarray.
What’s got plenty excited is the man behind it, Clint Hocking, who is known for the way-ahead-of-its-time Far Cry 2.
The new Star Wars game had an adorable droid
We’ve known about EA’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order for a while, but this was the first extended look at Respawn Entertainment’s work.
It’ll be set between the third and fourth Star Wars films, and players control an escaped Jedi Padawan with a super-cute droid friend named BD-1 (short for Buddy Droid).
The new trailer revealed players will work with Saw Gurrera from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
After disappointing fans with its last offering, Star Wars: Battlefront II, EA will be hoping for a better reception when it releases Fallen Order on November 15.
The Final Fantasy VII remake is finally coming out
Don’t check your calendars, this isn’t April 1st.
First shown off as a tech demo 14 years ago, the long-promised remake of one of the most beloved games of the PlayStation era is finally here.
Square Enix showed off a bunch of footage from the remake, which replaces the turn-based battles of its predecessor with a real-time system.
Fans will be able to return to Midgar in March, 2020.
The Avengers aren’t done yet
Not quite over the events of Endgame and need some more time with Iron Man and Cap? This one’s for you.
There has been plenty of hype over Marvel teaming up with Japanese developers Square Enix for this Avengers title.
Marvel’s Avengers: A-Day will have a story completely separate to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which probably won’t surprise you when you see how your favourite heroes look in this one.
Fans were quick to point out how they didn’t *quite* measure up to their real-life counterparts.
@MedinaEriksson: Well, they finally announced the avengers games, oh boy, that announcement was something else, haha
Wait … where was Sony?
Normally E3 is all about the big three — Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft.
But Sony announced it was skipping this year’s event, saying in 2018 it was “looking for inventive opportunities to engage the community” instead.
Reading between the lines, this year’s event was always going to show an industry in a holding pattern, as it waits for the next generation of consoles to drop in 2020.
Instead of showing up without any details of the next PlayStation, Sony chose to sit on the sidelines.
They did host a “State of Play” briefing last month to keep everyone’s attention, which included a long look at Death Stranding, the latest project from auteur Hideo Kojima.