The 2019 E3 Expo, which took place this past June in Los Angeles, gave us a look at the upcoming video games, consoles, and peripherals from major companies in the industry.
Press conferences from Bethesda, CD Projekt Red, Microsoft, and Nintendo showcased a handful of exciting upcoming releases that make it clear that the current generation of consoles isn’t over yet. While the absence of a Sony Press Conference left a void in the show, we still got glimpses of a few PS4 exclusives. In addition, the AMD conference let PC gamers in on the latest in AMD hardware. Perhaps the biggest announcements came from Google and Microsoft, both of whom made major announcements about upcoming software and hardware.
In our first ever BestReviews E3 Awards, we take a look at all of our favorite games and hardware that will be releasing in the near future.
EA’s massively popular soccer franchise announced its latest title, which features some changes to defending and attacking that should give players a fresh feel. The standout feature of this new edition is the Volta Football mode, which brings vibes of FIFA Street with 3-on-3 to 5-on-5 matches in both indoor and outdoor stadiums. This mode will include its own campaign, online play, and highly customizable players. It’s refreshing to see a FIFA breaking the pattern just a little bit. FIFA 20 is expected to release on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, though no official announcements have been made as of yet. The game will release on September 27.
Cyberpunk 2077 was our most anticipated game going into E3, and that didn’t change by the end of the expo. Keanu Reeves made a surprise appearance to announce his minor role in this near-future RPG set in a massive metropolis known as Night City, which looks absolutely dazzling in its neon grittiness. Developer CD Projekt Red first announced this first-person RPG back in 2012, and it will finally come to consoles and PC on April 16, 2020. Expectations are high, but if the world of Cyberpunk 2077 is as immersive as CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, we have a lot to look forward to.
A fan-favorite superhero series is getting a reboot with Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, which will be a Nintendo Switch exclusive developed by Team Ninja. Collecting dozens of classic Marvel characters in one place, this action-RPG pits our heroes against Thanos and his Black Order, which threatens the very safety of the earth. With up to four-player online or couch co-op, as well as single-player, there are many ways to enjoy this reboot of a classic series, which comes out on July 13.
We already knew Halo Infinite was on the way, but the Microsoft press conference revealed that it will launch with the next-generation Xbox console, Project Scarlett (more on that later.) Developed by 343 Studios, the team that has worked on the series since Halo 4, the latest Halo title aims to conclude the second trilogy of games. A lot is weight on this triple-A title, but we are hopeful it can bring new life to one of the most popular video game franchises of all time.
While there was no Sony press conference this year, there were still a few major announcements, the biggest of which was Square Enix’s remake of the classic Final Fantasy VII. This is a major exclusive title for the PS4, and while you can play the original PlayStation One classic on several consoles, this is the first true remake of the game. There have been rumors about this highly coveted remake for years, but we will finally see it come to fruition on March 3, 2020.
The Elite Controller was already one of the best wireless controllers available. With the announcement of the Elite 2, fans of this premium controller can expect a few updates and tweaks for an even smoother gaming experience. Some key features include a ridiculous 40-hour battery life, rubberized grip, and comfortable lightweight design. This premium controller releases on November 4 for $179.99 and is compatible with both Xbox One and PC.
AMD comes closer to dominating the world of processors with the launch of their third generation of Ryzen processors, the Ryzen 3000 series. This line of processors offer a serious challenge to the industry leader, Intel. With the newly announced 7nm Zen 2 cores, the Ryzen 3000 series of processors promises to outperform the competition. This new line was released on July 7 and has been tremendously popular among gamers.
Since its announcement at E3, the Ryzen 9 3950x has become one of the most coveted CPUs. The world’s first 16-core mainstream CPU is far more powerful than Intel’s 8-core CPUs, with a base frequency of 3.5 GHz and boost frequency of up to 4.7 GHz. Expected to launch in September, this is a CPU that could really shake up the industry and push gaming PCs to their max.
While it wasn’t announced at E3, Google Stadia still made an appearance. This cloud-based gaming service works similarly to previous attempts at no-download gaming like the OUYA’s streaming service. However, with Google at the helm, cloud-based gaming is looking more feasible than ever. E3 saw the announcement of an impressive list of titles that will be available with the launch of Google Stadia. The Founder’s Edition of this gaming service releases in November 2019 for $129.
The Xbox Game Pass has been a fan favorite for years, and with the announcement that it is making its way to PC (specifically Windows 10), Xbox fans who play on PC have many reasons to be excited. The lineup of this service includes over 100 popular titles, and while it is currently in its beta, the $5 monthly price tag makes it well worth it.
No one was expecting the classic Flight Simulator series to make a return—yet it is, and Microsoft Flight Simulator is looking to be a stunning reboot that will please old fans and new. The game uses satellite data to allow players to experience a variety of geographies across the globe. We don’t yet have a release date, though it is possible that Microsoft Flight Simulator will be a launch title for the upcoming Project Scarlett console.
Microsoft promised to go big at this year’s E3, and they certainly delivered. Case in point: the announcement of the September 10 release date for Gears 5. That’s “Gears” as in “Gears of War,” the franchise that arguably influenced two generations of third person shooters. Once developed by Epic Games (of Fortnite fame), the Gears games have been developed by The Coalition starting with Gears 4, and this new entry picks the story back up, this time focusing on Kait, who played a role in the fourth title. Giving Kait the helm is an exciting story decision, and we’re hoping the weather-driven environments that made Gears 4 so much fun will make a return as Kait faces down the Swarm.
The newest game from Tokyo RPG Factory is shaping up to be a fun and frantic action RPG in an interesting setting. Oninaki was announced back in February, but we were given a release date and a new trailer. This action RPG is set in a world where the dead need assistance to pass on to the Beyond. That’s where you and your team of five “Watchers,” each of whom have unique abilities, come in to send the souls on their way and restore balance. Oninaki releases on August 22, 2019 for Switch, PS4, and PC.
Announced at last year’s E3, the highly anticipated Wolfenstein: Youngblood made an appearance at the Bethesda conference. This co-op adventure puts you in the role of either Jess and Soph, the daughters of BJ Blazkowicz, who has gone missing in Nazi-controlled Paris. This alternate history FPS continues the tradition of one of the industry’s most beloved franchises, promising guns, explosions, and lots of dead Nazis. Wolfenstein: Youngblood releases on July 26, 2019 on PS4, Switch, Xbox One, and PC for just $30.
The announcement of Bloober Team’s Blair Witch, based on the cult classic movie, surprised—and frightened—many. This horror game puts you in the shoes of a former police officer named Ellis who is helping to search for a boy who has gone missing in Burkittsville, Maryland in 1996. This first-person horror adventure promises a deeply disturbing and immersive experience that we can’t wait for. Blair Witch releases on August 30 for Xbox One and PC for $30.