Written By: Steve Vegvari
E3 wrapped up its weeklong conference and media showcase event in Los Angeles.
Each year, gamers clamour to get more information on upcoming games and new announcements. While some of these titles were expected, a ton of details emerged showing continuing support and new iterations of beloved eSports franchises. Here is our wrap up of crucial E3 announcements.
EA kicked off the four day string of E3 conferences. Each title has been developed with EA’s Frostbite engine, allowing state of the art visuals and immersive gameplay experiences.
The Battlefield franchise returns, this time placing players in the heart of WWII. Battlefield V’s multiplayer game modes will include Grand Operations, Conquest, Breakthrough, Domination, Team Deathmatch and Frontlines. Grand Operations evolves the version of Operations featured in Battlefield 1. Each round is comprised of a “day”. Succeed each day to put your opponents at a severe disadvantage as actions will have a direct impact on the next round. A Battle Royale mode was announced as well, however details will be discussed at a later date.
A trailer was shown for NBA Live 19. Details were sparse, however it was revealed that NBA Live will see the return of The One career mode. This time, opening it to a world-wide campaign to put together a team. Fifa 19 will feature a Champions League. Champions League is an online tournament, allowing players to create custom tournaments using any of the European teams.
Madden NFL 19 brings the return of Custom Draft Classes. EA has also developed new “Real Player Motion” technology which enhances the player animations. Enhanced controls were also demonstrated to give players a sense of heightened controls and responsiveness. This will also mark the first time in ten years Madden will release on PC.
Xbox began the second day of E3 conferences. While having a dedicated community centered towards Halo and Gears of War, did not provide too much context on when the next wave of games would be hitting the market.
Halo Infinite was announced during the beginning of Microsoft’s Xbox conference. Unfortunately, 343 Studios have not revealed a ton of information on their newest title. It does appear that the design of the game is inspired by the earlier titles in the franchise. However, it was revealed that Halo Infinite would be running on the new “Slipspace” engine. While the release may be a far off, we can only hope that the use of the new engine will continue to push the tight mechanics from Halo 5 and overall competitive space that Halo franchise holds.
Islands of Nyne was briefly shown during the ID@Xbox scissor-reel. While Islands of Nyne may be a relatively unknown title in the wide eSports scene, it is a game you should keep an eye out for. Islands of Nyne is a first-person Battle Royale game centered on being built for high-octane, competitive play. Set in a Sci-fi backdrop, players will find familiarity in searching for weapons and ammo while a enclosing wall creeps in. Players can draw comparisons from Call of Duty’s shooter mechanics.
Closing out day two, Bethesda used the reveal of Doom Eternal as a nice segue into Quakecon. Which is held between August 9th through to the 12th. More Doom Eternal news will be brought out on August 10th during the event once again held at the Gaylord Texan Resort Hotel.
Bethesda continued into Quake Champions. Quake Champions, which is normally $30USD for Early Access will now be free for anyone who downloads the title before June 17th. Additionally, a scissor-reel was shown featuring new Champions and skills. The development team promised that new updates are in the works as well. Quake Champions’ spokesperson talked about how the team is dedicated to supporting the eSports community fostered around the title.
The third day of E3 was a little light on eSports updates. Ubisoft brought out their two games that since launch, have cultivated a presence in the eSports industry. Both Rainbow Six: Siege and For Honor are games still relatively new to the space, but don’t seem like they are going anywhere.
Justin Kruger; Community Developer behind Siege came on stage reporting that the playerbase for Siege has reached over 35 million. After this statement, the reality struck on how invested the company is. Kruger revealed the Siege Pro League Majors will take place in Paris this August and the eSports centric documentary; “Another Mindset” will premiere during the tournament. From there, the Siege Pro League finals will be held in Brazil come November. Looking into 2019, the sixth Invitational will be held in Montreal once again.
For Honor was up next. Ubisoft is clearly trying to open the gates to new players. The publishing company will be giving away a “Starter Edition” free on PC until June 18th. This could entice new players, or console users to make the jump to PC and build out the competitive playerbase on PC. Afterwards, the Marching Fire expansion was revealed. Adding in the brand new Win Lu faction. Win Lu will be comprised of four heroes. Only two have been revealed. One being dedicated to blade techniques with specialty dodge mechanics. The other wields a long, wooden staff and specializes in building combos against opponents. Also releasing is a new 4v4 multiplayer mode called Breach. Breach will pits two teams against each other while one defends a castle siege from the other team.
Nintendo closed out the E3 conferences with their Nintendo Direct. Smash’s lead game designer; Masahiro Sakurai walked us through a 25 minute reveal of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The new Smash title is the next big push the community has been looking for. Smash Ultimate will bring back every single character and will boast the biggest roaster to date. More than 60 playable characters will be made available.
Sakurai continued to detail that most characters have been given tweaks on moveset and design. Characters such as Zelda, Sonic, Captain Falco, Bowser, and more have been given new “Final Smash” moves to increase power, speed and visuals.
A large amount of characters have been balanced out since we last saw them. Link is now based off his Breath of The Wild character. His bombs are remotely activated giving players the ability to incorporate more strategy in their use. Wolf’s moveset has been significantly upgraded. Mii Fighters have had their proportion tweaked. Three different classes; Brawler, Swordfighter, and Gunner will help differentiate them and give players more options. Samus can now power up mid-air, but in doing so leaves herself open to attack.
Finally, Ridley has been revealed as a playable character. While the long-requested antagonist has not been given a whole lot of detail on moveset controls, the cinematic trailer did prove that the character is a powerhouse.
Additionally, new stages have been announced. Great Plateau Tower from Breath of The Wild featured destructible set piece that rebuilt itself over time. 17 other stages were announced including the return of Captain Falco’s Big Blue Stage and Snake’s Shadow Moses. Every stage will also come with Omega and Battlefield variants. Eight player battles return to the game as well.
Smaller quality of life improvements have been introduced as well. To start, the wired Gamecube controller will be made available to use for play while the Switch is played docked. A on-screen indicator of who is in the lead has been included. This could be very crucial during the final seconds of the match. Having a small blip of light appear behind the lead character will help players focus on the battle instead of eyes constantly wandering down to the bottom of the screen. Finally, Assist Trophies will offer points for K.Os.
E3 is always a time for updates and announcements. A wide array of publishers are aware of the ever evolving eSports industry and continue to provide top-tier quality titles for the years to come. This means over next few months, we will see an onslaught of new games to hone your skills on.
Steve is based in Toronto, Ontario. His enthusiasm and adoration of the video game industry go back to the days of SNES. Find him on Twitter and join in on the escapades.