E3 at the Los Angeles Convention Center
The trending news is that video games will be moving to the cloud. Yet at E3 2019 (Los Angeles Convention Center), one of the most popular game conferences in the world, it was still all about console gaming. Cloud gaming is not quite there yet, so video game developers are delivering the latest games to the console. Google is developing Stadia to bring gaming to the cloud, but it has not yet materialized in a way that consoles are no longer necessary. Consoles are still widely available and popular, so sticking to the existing format makes all the more sense from a business perspective.
This year?s event was huge for Microsoft, Nintendo and Square Enix in the absence of Sony. Sony has skipped E3 this year entirely to focus on their preparations for The PS5 launch in 2020. Sony is also hosting its own event for its community of gamers that will be separate from E3. This no show from a leading game developer has somewhat affected the event, but doesn?t take away from the excitement from its competitors who had a lot on show. Here are some of my favorite highlights from the 2019 event.
Keanu Reeves, best believe that (Source CD Projekt Red)
The cinematic trailer for CyberPunk 2077 was one the main highlights of E3. Probably because it not only featured Keanu Reeves in the game, but on stage as well. Yup, ?Johnny Utah?, ?Neo? and ?John Wick? just made his appearance in person to the delight of the crowd. I don?t know much else about this game, but with Keanu?s presence it got attention. This is yet another cyber-futuristic themed first person RPG gameplay from CD PROJEKT RED. The CG is brilliant, at superior frame rates that an adequately powered PC with a GPU can render. While the trailer was visually stunning, when it comes to gameplay that is left to be seen until its release in April 2020.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
Not meant for multi-player and cross-platform play, one of the takeaways. (Source EA)
I did not like how EA implements game features like ?loot boxes?, in which even the least skilled player can gain special powers by paying for it. This did not go well with die-hard gamers as well i.e. ?Pay-to-Win Controversy?. It is welcoming to see other studios try their hand at Star Wars games like Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order developed by Respawn Entertainment for EA. So this looks like a great title, but there are some takeways from it.
- No multi-player gameplay
- Uses the Unreal Engine instead of EA?s proprietary Frostbite 3 Engine, so doesn?t support cross platform play
- Muddy texture, muted color palette makes the game drab and uninspiring
Is going single-player to avoid any more controversy? Despite those takeaways, gameplay maybe different and it has potential. We cannot base everything on the trailer until it hits the PC and game console.
Marvel?s Avengers: A-Day
Avengers Assemble (Source Square Enix)
Talk about a game made from a movie and the hype it brings. Marvel?s Avengers: A-Day might give you the idea of a game where you can decide the fate of the Marvel universe before Thanos can snap his fingers. This wasn?t that game from Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics. Nonetheless, it looks promising enough to convince me to give it a try. You can play each Avenger?s super-hero individually. The story of the game is set around A-Day or ?Avenger?s Day? which honors the team. However it gets ruined by an adversary and thus the Avengers have to assemble.
DOOM Forever! (Source Bethesda)
Since the first time Doom came out for the PC I have been a fan. Doom Eternal form Bethesda continues the tradition. This sounds like a never-ending Doomfest worthy of hours of shoot-em up and bad assery. This time you are going up against hell itself, and that is going to make this game all the more adrenaline driven first person shooter style. No matter what version of Doom, the theme already relates to an experience that hardcore gamers have been familiar with. Shooting up demons is nothing new, but the experience maybe the same, but it?s been a hit every time.
Luigi?s Mansion 3
Nintendo classic keeps things fun (Source Nintendo)
Luigi is a much beloved character from Nintendo?s Mario Brothers. Luigi Mansion 3 is part of the spooky series. This game was made for the Switch, so it is good for mobile gamers. It looks like another fun game that doesn?t require a big screen or high-end graphics that can also appeal to a younger age group.
Ghost Recon Breakpoint
Breakpoint (Source Ubisoft)
The cinematic surprises continue, this time with Ubisoft?s Ghost Recon Breakpoint. Making an appearance to the event was actor John Bernthal, who is one of the characters in the game. Bernthal is also the ?Punisher? in the Netflix series, so he is a pretty bad-ass character. Ideal actor to portray the main character in the Ghost Recon games. Breakpoint adds the element of survival to give the game some new scenarios. For more challenging missions, multi-player gameplay and strategy, Breakpoint brings more lessons from the wild and how to survive.
Xbox Project Scarlett Specs
The new Xbox specs from Microsoft were announced during E3. Project Scarlett is the next generation game console. So you may have also heard NexGen Xbox or xCloud. Before we discuss those, let?s get to the early specs of the new game console.
CPU: Custom AMD Zen2GPU: Navi Architecture (120 fps)Memory: GDDR6Storage: SSD
It seems Microsoft will have other plans for the new console including VR/AR or mixed reality support. The hardware was built to support 8K and 4K streams, for the best graphics rendering on capable displays. This is the NexGen Xbox that Microsoft planned for.
The xCloud is Microsoft?s own cloud gaming service plan. Microsoft can leverage cloud gaming using its massive infrastructure running the Azure cloud. The new generation consoles will have support for the cloud, allowing streaming gameplay that can also support other devices. This also brings the convenience of digital streaming for gameplay anytime and anywhere.
Halo Infinite is a game that is being associated with the new Xbox. The good thing about this console is it will be backward compatible with existing games which includes all Xbox One games as well as original Xbox and Xbox 360 titles.