Keanu Reeves might have been the biggest surprise to come out of last week’s Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles but the annual video game show had more up its sleeve than an unexpected visit from John Wick.
From the first reveals of upcoming titles to a seismic shift in the way people will play games in the near future, E3 2019 was full of things to talk about. Still, every silver cloud has a dark lining — that’s how the saying goes, isn’t it? — and there was plenty to be bummed about, too.
Here’s a rundown of the coolest moments, and biggest disappointments, from the year’s most massive video game event.
Keanu goes Cyberpunk
Canadian-born actor and Renaissance man Keanu Reeves made a surprise appearance at the glitzy Xbox E3 briefing to promote Cyberpunk 2077, in which he’ll play a character named Johnny Silverhand. (Old-school nerds will remember Johnny from the pen-and-paper role-playing game Cyberpunk 2077 is based on.) It’s further proof that anything can be made better with a dash of Keanu. BUT… the game isn’t coming out until April of next year, crushing some fans’ hopes for a release in 2019.
Nintendo spreads joy
Beloved gaming giant Nintendo showed off a slew of upcoming games for its red-hot Switch console, including Luigi’s Mansion 3, Animal Crossing: New Horizons and a sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. BUT… Animal Crossing: New Horizons has been delayed until March 2020, and Ganon only knows when we’ll see the Breath of the Wild sequel. Maybe 2021?
Gaming in the clouds
Before E3 got underway, Google unveiled its upcoming Stadia cloud gaming service, which will let people play graphically intense games without the need for a console or PC. At E3, Microsoft talked, a little confusingly, about xCloud, its own upcoming game streaming service. And yet, more subscription services were announced, including Ubisoft’s Uplay+. BUT… as companies race to become the Netflix of games, we’re faced with a dizzying plethora of choices. It’s going to take some time to see how this all pans out.
A new generation
New game consoles are on the way, with a next-generation Xbox — currently codenamed Project Scarlett — due in stores for holiday 2020. BUT… Microsoft didn’t announce features or pricing, or even show pictures of what the new console will look like. Likewise, Nintendo didn’t say a word about new models of the Switch rumoured to be coming out this year. And with Sony sitting out this E3, we’ll have to wait until it hosts its own event to find out more about the upcoming PlayStation 5.
Ubi good now
Global gaming giant Ubisoft, which has development studios in Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City, revealed a host of new titles at E3, including Gods & Monsters and Rainbow Six: Quarantine. Most buzzworthy was Ubisoft Toronto’s Watch Dogs: Legion, which will transport players to a dystopian, near-future London and allow them to recruit citizens into an anti-government resistance. BUT… some of Ubi’s best-known franchises were a no-show at E3 2019, including Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry. And no sign of the wildly ambitious Beyond Good & Evil 2, either.
Mark your calendars
Lots of hotly anticipated games were given release dates at this year’s E3, including the bizarre, Norman Reedus-starring Death Stranding (Nov. 8), the awesome-looking Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (Nov. 15), Doom Eternal (Nov. 22), Final Fantasy VII Remake (March 3), Cyberpunk 2077 (April 16) and Marvel’s Avengers (May 15.) BUT… release delays are common, and there are still a ton of other games with nebulous “to be confirmed” dates. We might just see some of these make a reappearance at E3 2020.