The Xbox briefing promised the largest showcase of games this year. There were a few surprises thrown in, alongside what we already expected to see, totalling a whopping 60 titles.
Anyone seeking the perfect peripheral for Project Scarlett (we loved the original) should take a gander at the Elite Controller Series 2, which features adjustable-tension thumbsticks, new interchangeable components and up to 40 hours of rechargeable battery life. It's available to pre-order now.
Xbox Game Pass is expanding with a ton of new titles already added to the library and more on the way, including a dizzying amount of id@Xbox games. Game Pass Ultimate combines an Xbox Live Gold subscription with a membership for Game Pass on both Xbox One and PC. The PC version of Game Pass is now in beta and Game Pass Ultimate is live, with your first month costing only £1 (check out Sam’s forum post for how to get the best value out of this offer).
Old favourites return en masse
New entries in (and expansions for) some of Microsoft's first-party franchises are currently in development. Exactly none of those titles are Fable 4.
Some stage pyrotechnics and an eerie teaser introduced Gears 5, which launches 10 September and will be available on Game Pass from day one. Those with Game Pass Ultimate can jump in four days early and also access the Terminator: Dark Fate character pack.
More will be shown this summer, including a look at Horde mode during this year's Gamescom, but before then players can go hands-on with a multiplayer tech test in July.
We can expect plenty of new features in this instalment, and a cinematic trailer shed light on one of them: the new co-op mode, Escape, where three players have to infiltrate an enemy hive and destroy it from within. Gears devotees will recognise this mode and its characters from the ongoing Hivebusters comic book series.
A sequel to another of Xbox's flagship series was shown off with a CGI trailer. Developed by 343 Industries for Xbox One, Project Scarlett and PC, Halo Infinite continues the story of Halo 5: Guardians and "takes the franchise in ambitious, unexpected directions."
Infinite will launch alongside Project Scarlett.
Minecraft Dungeons is a new-yet-familiar adventure game inspired by classic dungeon crawlers, launching on PC and consoles in spring of next year.
Forza Horizon 4 is getting an unexpected expansion in LEGO Speed Champions. From 13 June, players can race around the new LEGO Valley, completing challenges and seeking out hidden Bonus Cubes in a variety of LEGO rides, such as the McLaren Senna, Ferrari F40 Competizione, and 1967 Mini Cooper S Rally.
Microsoft announce a surprise acquisition, Xbox Game Studios looks stronger than ever
Microsoft announced the acquisition of Tim Schafer’s Double Fine Productions. Psychonauts 2 (which follows on from PS VR game Psychonauts and the Rhombus of Ruin) will be available through Game Pass on Xbox and PC, but PS4, Mac and Linux versions are all still going ahead as planned.
Ninja Theory (DmC: Devil May Cry, Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice) were snapped up by Microsoft just last year, but their first title to be published by Xbox Game Studios is already almost here.
Touted as a one-of-a-kind multiplayer experience, Bleeding Edge is a 4v4 team brawler which rewards "technique, timing and teamwork" and allows players to "freeze foes in time, control minds, ride missiles and unleash electrifying guitar solos."
You can sign up now for the opportunity to take part in the technical alpha on 27 June.
Undead Labs is another feather in the cap for the publisher.
State of Decay 2's Heartland DLC is available now and free with Game Pass. The campaign features two storylines, set in Trumbull Valley, the location of the original State of Decay. A far more advanced and deadly form of the blood plague exists here, resulting in "new dangers and unspeakable horrors."
Foreign developers are leading the way with RPGs
Elden Ring, the fantasy RPG developed by FromSoftware (Sam will be pleased) and Bandai Namco in collaboration with George R.R. Martin, was officially announced with a trailer. Whilst there wasn't much to go on, the cinematic trailer was an audiovisual treat and the idea of a Dark Souls/Game of Thrones hybrid is all anyone needs to get hyped.
Bandai Namco are also busy with Tales of Arise, the next chapter in the long-running JRPG series, which is due to hit stores sometime in 2020.
The popular MMORPG, Phantasy Star Online 2, is making its western debut in spring 2020, coming to Xbox One in North America. SEGA have issued a statement via Twitter regarding a release in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, saying there's "nothing to confirm" at present but to stay tuned for updates.
CD Projekt Red's Cyberpunk 2077 was flaunted with an all-new cinematic trailer, exploring the dark world of Night City, a "megalopolis obsessed with power, glamour and body modification."
One of the biggest reveals was the news that Keanu Reeves is playing one of the characters, Johnny Silverhand, providing full-body motion capture, along with voice work.
Cyberpunk 2077 releases 16 April 2020 and pre-orders are now live, though that fancy Collector's Edition may not yet be available in your region.
Plenty more went down at the Xbox E3 2019 conference, so be sure to check out Microsoft’s showcase in full below if you still have an appetite for games, games, games.
Share your thoughts on the Xbox showcase with us in the comments here or over in the forums.
Congratulations to Kuba Smith (@tynhgc) on being drawn as our 11-11: Memories Retold giveaway winner.
Kicking off proceedings as they have done for the past few years, EA brought the big guns (and lightsabers) to its EA Play showcase. Read on for our full rundown of the highlights of the show.
The first thing that struck us was how this gameplay wasn’t choreographed to the nth degree, the player got hit multiple times - as you might expect when you’re a lone jedi taking on fierce new purge troopers, despatched by the Emperor to wipe out the jedi post Order 66.
The gameplay itself takes your character Cal Kestis (portrayed by Gotham’s Cameron Monaghan) as he infiltrates an imperial refinery on Kashyyyk, employing a variety of force powers, some familiar; others which feel a bit different.
Reaching the Apex
The smash hit Apex Legends may have made a big splash when it flew onto the scene back in February, but we’ve been waiting to see how the free-to-play battle royale title would evolve. Our answer comes in the form of a new character, skins and ranked play for season 2, beginning at the end of June.
With Wattson’s introduction, the game is making a play for the lore-building heights of Overwatch, which frequently fleshes out its world with the introduction of each new character. It seems young Wattson is a child of the arena, referred to as the “kid sister” of the other legends she grew up around while her father was building it.
Battlefield V goes forth
Despite not knocking socks off when it was first released, Battlefield V is undoubtedly an excellent game, and shows no signs of slowing down as it enters its fourth chapter: Defying the Odds.
Fifa, Madden and more…
Volta Football is the newest mode to be added into the Fifa franchise, leaning on the nostalgia many players have for 2012’s Fifa Street, but brought up to date with the latest enhancements the series has to offer.
You’ll be able to tour the world on the streets, from a rooftop in Tokyo, a cage in London and an underpass in Amsterdam. Featuring smaller teams and the ability to bounce the ball off walls to go past opponents, Volta is a more intimate, raw experience which - according to Man United and England legend Rio Ferdinand - leaves you nowhere to hide.
Players can create their own teams or play with household names in a variety of team matches, from 3v3 and 4v4 (with or without keepers) to 5v5. Volta Football will not be available on the Nintendo Switch version of the game.
There’s innovation in the main game as well, with a reworked free kick and penalty mechanic, strafe dribbling and controlled finishing to give you more clinical control of the ball at those crucial moments on goal.
Madden (undoubtedly our most anticipated game of the entirety of E3…) recapped its upcoming innovations which include a new career mode which re-introduces playable college football and lets you take a player all the way to the NFL.
Series fans will also be happy to hear Pro Bowl is back, plus there are expanded playbooks, dynamic scenarios which tweak the gameplay for unique challenges and ultimate missions.
Finally, The Sims 4 has more content for you to live vicariously through. The next expansion is called Island Living and sends your sims on a jet ski-powered holiday to a sandy paradise, available 21 June.
There’ll be plenty of islandware to chill in as the sun beats down on your Sims. You’ll also be able to send them into the open water for the first time for a spot of paddling, snorkeling and the aforementioned jet skis.
Did you check out EA Play? What are you most excited about? Leave your thoughts in the comments.
E3 2019 officially kicks off this weekend and we'll be around to chat and share in the laughter and tears over on our Live Events page. We also have a handful of Xbox and PlayStation gift cards to give away during the event.
EA Play - Saturday, 8 June at 5:15pm
Xbox - Sunday, 9 June at 9:00pm
Bethesda - Monday, 10 June at 1:30am
Devolver Digital - Monday, 10 June at 3:00am
PC Gaming Show - Monday, 10 June at 6:00pm
Ubisoft - Monday, 10 June at 9:00pm
Square Enix - Tuesday, 11 June at 2:00am
Nintendo - Tuesday, 11 June at 5:00pm
Let us know what you're looking forward to below or over in the forums.
NetherRealm Studios have shared some juicy info on the DLC characters being added to Mortal Kombat 11.
Nightwolf and Sindel will follow at a later date, along with three guest fighters, the first of which is Todd McFarlane's Spawn.
Also included in the Kombat Pack are:
The Kombat Pack is available as part of the Premium Edition or can be purchased separately for £32.99.
Shang Tsung joins the roster on 18 June.
Let us know what you think of the DLC fighters below or over in the forums.
Metronomik have announced a new partnership with Sold Out, who will be publishing their music action-adventure title No Straight Roads on PlayStation 4 and PC.
The collaboration means No Straight Roads will be getting a physical release on PlayStation 4 alongside the digital editions coming early next year to both the PlayStation Store and PC.
The game was originally scheduled to arrive later this year, but has now been pushed back into 2020. The boxed version of the game will have an RRP of £29.99/€39.99/$39.99.
“Partnering with Sold Out has given us the opportunity to turn the volume up to 11 on No Straight Roads, and we’re thrilled to also release a physical edition,” said Wan Hazmer, CEO of Metronomik.
“Pushing the game to early 2020 wasn’t an easy decision, but the extra time will let us fully deliver on our vision for No Straight Roads while sticking to our studio’s core values of providing a friendly, healthy workplace. We’re so proud of everyone on the team for what they’ve achieved so far, and we can’t wait to bring Vinyl City to life...!”
You can see more of the game in action in our EGX Rezzed video round-up above, and we’ll also have an extended interview with developer Metronomik coming soon, so keep your eyes peeled for more No Straight Roads content in the next few weeks.
No Straight Roads is out early next year on PlayStation 4 and PC.
Let us know your thoughts on the game below or in the forums.
The Pokémon Company and Game Freak today shared new information on Sword and Shield, the next set of mainline Pokémon titles.
Some of the new creatures players will come across are Wooloo, a sheep Pokémon, Gossifleur, a flowering Pokémon, and Drednaw, a bite Pokémon.
There was also an armoured crow Pokémon called Corviknight, which players can use to fast-travel to towns they’ve already visited.
One of the major new features revealed during the stream was the Dynamax ability, a new power that lets players temporarily transform their Pokémon into super powered giants.
Like Sun and Moon’s Z moves, players can only use this ability once per battle, with any Dynamaxed Pokémon reverting back to its regular form after three moves.
Wild Dynamax Pokémon will retain their larger forms throughout encounters, however, with players able to team up with three other friends to take them down in new raid-like battles. Max Raid Battles can be played either online or via the Switch’s local wireless connectivity.
Dynamax Pokémon also make an appearance during Gym battles, which return to the series following their absence in Sun and Moon.
Finally, we got a glimpse of the regions’ new legendary Pokémon – Zacian and Zamazenta – one of which carries a huge sword in its teeth.
Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield release 15 November on Nintendo Switch.
What did you think of the latest Pokémon Direct? Let us know below or over in the forums.
The miniature console will release with a total of 42 pre-loaded titles in September. It's a fantastic line-up and those who owned a Mega Drive will likely stumble across some old favourites.
The Mega Drive Mini will come with two USB controllers, HDMI lead and these pre-installed games:
Mega Drive Mini is slated for release on 19 September and will set you back £69.99.
See anything you like? Let us know below or over in the forums.
The above image comes courtesy of The Nerd Mag, who spotted the listing (which has now been removed) on Amazon.
It's already sounding ambitious. A little further down the page was an apparent confirmation that the next iteration of Watch Dogs will be set in good ol' Blighty.
"Watch_Dogs Legion is set in a near-future, dystopian version of London. It’s a post-Brexit world in which society, politics and technology have changed and altered London’s fortunes. London is one of the most iconic cities in the world and has had a massive influence on all of Western Culture for centuries… London makes total sense for WD, as the city has one of the highest surveillce [sic] levels in the world making this the perfect playground."
File this under rumour for now, but E3 next week would be the perfect time and place for Ubisoft to announce a sequel.
Do you have any faith in the leak? Let us know with a comment below or over in the forums.
Congratulations to Greg Hayner (@gamesguru24), our Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Season Pass giveaway winner!