The Entire Devolver Digital Direct
For their third year in a row, Devolver returned for their comedic, R-rated, parodied take on an E3 press conference. Except this time, it wasn’t a conference at all. Just like the rest of us have been asking for the last several years, Devolver asks the question “why do publishers have to invest in expensive, time constrained conferences at all, when they can broadcast directly to the consumer whenever they want?”.
The answer comes in an-over-the-top, humorous video direct of exciting game trailers uniquely woven between a Devolver-level crazy narrative. You’d need to have seen Robocop and seen at least last year’s press conference to fully appreciate everything you see in the skit, but at a lean 21 minutes, the direct keeps hitting you with enough announcements to make sure you don’t even care about any confusion you may be feeling.
If you like fun video game trailers and topical satire on the gaming industry, be sure to check it out for yourself.
Final Fantasy VII Remake’s Gameplay Demo
The quality of Square Enix’s press conference this year made the dull display of last year’s seem like a bad memory. For the whole runtime, we were given hit after hit of great titles. Dragon Quest XI for Switch, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered, Oninaki, a remaster of Final Fantasy VIII and most notably from trailers of new games, Marvel’s Avengers and many more. Although, it wasn’t earth’s mightiest heroes who captured the wonder of fans. It was finally seeing a gameplay demo of FFVII.
After 4 years of waiting since the announcement trailer, we at last get to witness Cloud and Barret’s start to the epic adventure, including their first boss fight against the Guard Scorpion in Midgard. The gameplay is a wonder to behold, most especially as it incorporates elements from Final Fantasy games new and old. For example, as Cloud fights in real-time, you build up his ATB bars. Once you fill up these bars, you can spend them to enter tactical mode, slowing down time so you can strategize and unleash spells and special attacks however you wish. Not to mention the remake’s debut of Sephiroth. Oh my.
Merely praising this amazing demo wouldn’t do it full justice. Watch it for yourself and hop on the hype train.
Ikumi Nakamura Becomes Best Girl of E3
Bethesda’s 2019 press conference was a mixed edition. Although there was no surprise trailer or additional news for The Elder Scrolls VI or Starfield, we got some decent updates in other areas. Free Fallout 76 DLC, Doom Eternal, Blades on Switch and what turned out to be the best announcement, Ghostwire Tokyo.
Made by Tango Gameworks, the developers who made both The Evil Within games, Ghostwire Tokyo gave us a new trailer about the paranormal tale of mass disappearances throughout Tokyo. It was the game that made this the best announcement though. It was the creative director, Ikumi Nakamura.
After being given the stage to talk about her game, Nakamura’s excitement was immediately conveyed to the fans with her nervous glee. Previously working as an artist Bayonetta, Okami and The Evil Within, her resume of experience already speaks for her creative ability. However, what captured the hearts of the audience was Ikumi Nakamura’s whimsical energy expressed through her adorable poses and the obvious dedication for the game she’s heading.
The Kinda Funny Games Showcase
Yes, this is technically another direct featuring a load of games. Nevertheless, it isn’t a favourite moment because of it being 48 minutes in length. It’s because of what this showcase represented. When Sony pulled Playstation out of E3 2019, for the first time in E3’s history, they also withdrew the Playstation support for indie developers that comes with the E3 spotlight. Afterall, the gaming industry is VERY crowded one. If a game doesn’t get the enough buzz around it at the right time, it’s easy for it to all into obscurity.
Kinda Funny stepped in to help indie devs in need with their own E3 showcase. Laced with humor and a hard-hitting passion for gaming iconic to the Kinda Funny brand, the Greg Miller and Tim Getty’s-lead showcase featured 63 indie titles, some being brand new and others being ported to new platforms. There was some excellent titles in there, which you can know more of here.
It’s heartening to see charismatic influencers like the Kinda Funny crew use their brand and the massive reach they’ve built to help Indie developers get their games the attention they deserve. It’s an E3 lesson of “it’s important to look out for the little guy”.
Since it’s second trailer at E3 2018, we’ve been ridden in anticipation, waiting for more information on CD Projekt Red’s newest AAA project since The Witcher 3, Cyberpunk 2077. Come the opening seconds of Cyberpunk’s new trailer for E3 2019, we were already thrilled. Almost photo-realistic visuals, a peek into the story deeper than expected and engaging sci-fi violence that feels like Blade Runner mixed with Ghost in the Shell on speed.
Then at the very end of the trailer, in a shot at the point of view of our protagonist as he lays on the ground, a stranger with a silver arm approaches. At this crucial moment in Xbox’s press conference, we’re thinking at most it’s just some cool new character whose look has been whipped up from the general science fiction repertoire.
“Wake the F*ck up, Samurai”, the stranger says, in a gruff voice. “We have a city to burn”.
He kneels down. It takes a second for our brain to register the familiar figure in front of us as he removes his aviators with his cybernetic hand. Thanks to the fierce stare we’ve seen him bear on our cinema screens so many times before, we verbally gasped as we look back at not just a regular NPC, but at John Wick himself: Keanu Reeves.
As our faces widened with more delight than at any other moment at E3 2019, the crowd cheered on the same scale in tandem as the door to the Xbox stage opens up. Surrounded in light and smoke, the black silhouette of the legendary actor himself walked forward and Keanu Reeves made his E3 debut.
Sure, recent E3’s have had Hollywood celebrities come to the stage themselves in recent years, but never like this. As Keanu strolled onto the stage, his attitude and smile could only be described as pure joy whilst he elaborated on the game along with his excitement towards the project, including his role as the character, Johnny Silverhand. It felt like a presentation has never been so sweet and funny simultaneously. With every cheer thrown his way, he only appeared to give gratitude back ten fold. Like the compliment shouted at him from the crowd and the same one he returned to the entire audience, he was breathtaking.
Watch the whole thing and let it warm your soul.