GameSpot's Most Anticipated Games Of E3 2019: Animal Crossing, Final Fantasy 7 Remake, And More
Everyone at GameSpot is incredibly (and naturally) excited to see all the new games the industry's biggest publishers and developers are bringing to E3 2019. If this year is anything like previous, we'll hopefully see plenty of surprises in store in the days ahead, and with any luck, they will be awesome. However, the team has also been eagerly awaiting details on existing games that we've been desperately wanting to play for a while now.
In this feature, you'll find some of the biggest games that GameSpot's editors and video producers cannot wait to get their hands on. Many of these titles have been confirmed to be at the show, while a couple of others we're guessing we'll hear about based on rumors and list of companies on the official E3 homepage.
Most of these games will be shown before E3 2019 starts during the various press conferences. If you're keen to know when to tune in, check out our E3 press conference schedule. We're hoping many of the games listed here are playable at E3, but even if they only show up in the form of a brief teaser, it's still another chance to get a feel for what's ahead.
Like previous years, GameSpot will be covering E3 around the clock. To make sure you're up to date on the latest news, previews, trailers, and gameplay, be sure to refresh the homepage often. While this feature contains only a selection of the games we're most excited about, you can check out our other more comprehensive features covering all of the biggest games at E3 2019. But what games are you most excited to see at the show? Let us know in the comments below!
Animal Crossing (2019)
I've lost countless hours to the Animal Crossing series over the years, so to say I'm eager to finally learn more about the upcoming Switch installment is something of an understatement. All Nintendo has revealed about the game thus far is that it's in development and is slated to launch sometime this year, so we know practically nothing about it at this juncture. We don't even know for sure the company will talk about it at E3; Nintendo is usually frustratingly tight-lipped about its E3 lineup heading into the expo, but it did at least confirm that this year's Direct will focus on Switch games coming in 2019, which presumably means we'll get our first look at the title then.
I've been a fan of Animal Crossing's charming brand of life simulation ever since the series made its western debut back during the GameCube days, and I'm curious to see how the Switch game will push the formula forward. After Wii's disappointing City Folk, it looked as if the series was doomed to regurgitate the same ideas over and over again, but New Leaf for 3DS did an excellent job rejuvenating the franchise by placing players in the role of mayor and giving them greater agency over the experience. I'm eager to see how Animal Crossing for Switch will build upon the strides New Leaf made.
More than anything, though, I want to see how the game looks. The Animal Crossing series has never been a graphical showpiece, but it has its charming art style, and I'm curious to see how that will translate to an HD console. Will it look anything like the Animal Crossing course in Mario Kart 8, or will it be more akin to a prettier New Leaf? I can't wait to find out. -- Kevin Knezevic, Associate Editor
How does this sound: one part Nier Automata, one part Bayonetta, with a dash of sci-fi mecha anime. That's the pitch for the upcoming Nintendo Switch exclusive Astral Chain, coming from Platinum Games, and I'm on board. It appears to be in Platinum's wheelhouse as a fast, hyper-stylized character action game with chaotic fights against massive enemies 10 times your size. Takahisa Taura, lead designer for Nier Automata, is making his directorial debut by taking the reins for Astral Chain, under the supervision of Bayonetta creator Hideki Kamiya, while manga artist Masakazu Katsura (known for the Zetman series) is at the helm for art direction.
What seems to set Astral Chain apart from its lineage is the way in which you can control two separate characters in what Platinum calls "Synergetic Action," which will make for some interesting skills and combat mechanics. And also, it seems like your own mechs are channeling some big JoJo energy, since they look and function like Stands. Outside of combat, you'll be exploring the futuristic open-world city known as The Ark to do some investigative work--or picking up trash and putting it in the correct bin.
The setup is the you're a rookie police officer in a special task force called Neuron. An alien force appears and threatens the world and it's up to you to solve mysteries and save humankind. You're definitely a cop, but at least you're an anime cop. -- Michael Higham, Associate Editor
Cuphead's The Delicious Last Course DLC
In the past, I haven't expressed intense interest in DLC. The last DLC I was excited for was Splatoon 2's Octo Expansion. But no DLC has given me such a guttural reaction like Cuphead's The Delicious Last Course.
My love for Cuphead stems from my passion for animation, especially traditional 2D animation. Given that Cuphead is a reflection of the 1930s style of animation, The Delicious Last Course, to me, is the icing on the cake as a fan of both. I get to go back to this world, with new characters, a new isle, and a whole new story. The Delicious Last Course will also provide more charms (smoke bomb charm still OP) and new weapons, and finally, I will get to play as the cutie Ms. Chalice, who will have her own unique move set.
Having beaten Cuphead too many times, I'm fully prepared for the next isle and world. However, I know that being thrown new items and a new character to play will require me to adapt my playstyle. I'm ready to change things up within the world of Cuphead and even go back to see how the new items fare against bosses I've defeated countless times.
I don't know if StudioMDHR will stick to a release date this year since they've recently announced Cuphead for Switch and Tesla, but I remain hopeful and will continue to persistently ask on Twitter if we'll see Cuphead The Delicious Last Course at E3. -- Lily Zaldivar, News Video Producer
I'm a sucker for any action RPG that allows me to explore a brand-new world that's been fully fleshed out with interesting characters, intriguing tidbits of lore, and well-written side stories. Throw some character customization in there and sprinkle in some romance (if I'm going to spend two hours crafting the perfect protagonist, she better have someone to give her the love she rightfully deserves), and you've got my attention. CD Projekt Red seems to be delivering this experience in spades with its upcoming game, Cyberpunk 2077.
The fact that we're getting a new game set in a cyberpunk setting at all makes me excited. Fantasy subgenres cyberpunk and steampunk are rarely appreciated and explored in video games. In the last gameplay demo, CD Projekt Red has shown Cyberpunk 2077's characters and side quests at least capture the aesthetic of the subgenre. But it remains to be seen whether the developer can capitalize on the game's setting to deliver something new to the themes and messages already explored in other iconic stories, like Blade Runner and Battle Angel Alita. CD Projekt Red has proven itself an excellent storyteller though, and I have faith the studio can pull it off. -- Jordan Ramée, Associate Editor
Dragon Quest Builders 2
Dragon Quest is a series that's recently become near and dear to me. I grew up loving JRPGs and DQ character and monster designer Akira Toriyama, but I never had much access to the games until the last couple of years. While I've only spent about 20 or so hours across most of the mainline series (I purchased every game after DQ III), the one DQ game I've managed to clock over 60 hours into is the spin-off Dragon Quest Builders.
Something about Builders' loving expression of DQ's unique fantastical charm and its focus on Minecraft-inspired building mechanics resonated with me so deeply. It kept me glued to the screen for days, inspiring in me a constant drive to gather resources and build up my own towns, while defending them from menacing, adorable monsters. So you can see why I'm thrilled to learn more about its upcoming sequel at E3 2019.
While Dragon Quest Builders 2 is technically already out in Japan, my strict policy of avoiding spoilers has kept me unaware of its newest features. A laundry list of changes is sure to come, which I'm sure are super cool. But what I want to see the most at this year's show is the new local and online cooperative multiplayer in action. My greatest desire as I played the original was to be able to play with my girlfriend and build alongside her fanciful creations (her total playtime clocks over 210 hours). For that reason alone, I cannot wait to play Dragon Quest Builders 2, so that I can finally share in the joy of its style and inventiveness with the person I love the most. -- Matt Espineli, Editor
Dying Light 2
2015's Dying Light really caught me by surprise. I was mostly lukewarm on developer Techland's previous game, Dead Island, which released during the height of the zombie craze in the early 2010s. However, those feelings were cast aside once I finally gave the game a chance. Diving into the massive world of Kyratt, leaping over massive swathes of infected during the day, while sneaking and evading the more numerous and deadly monsters at night was all sorts of exciting and empowering. It was a game that steadily expanded, opening up new traversal mechanics and weapons that changed up the flow in surprising ways. I can say that Dying Light is one of my favorite zombie-games in recent years, and I was delighted to see the sequel revealed last year.
I was fortunate enough to get an early look of Dying Light 2 at E3 2018, and it appears Techland is making all the right choices. Dying Light 2 is set nearly two decades after the original game.The world has fallen into collapse and the remaining survivors have gotten increasingly desperate and more protective of what little they have. In this modern medieval-era, as described by the developers, resources are scarce and the remaining citizens are at odds with one another, relying on makeshift weapons and junk items to survive. There's even the possibility that you'll never find a proper firearm during your trek through the infested streets of the ruined cities.
The focus on traversing through an incredibly hostile environment with your character's free-running moves is still alive and well, but what I'm most excited about is the greater emphasis placed on the new factions and shifting world state. With RPG veteran Chris Avellone onboard as narrative director--who has previously worked on the Fallout RPG series--several different paths and tangents can result from your actions. I get those familiar feelings of unease and anxiety when looking at Dying Light 2, and I can't wait to be able to see more of the game's evolving setting, and how the infected have changed in the years since the original. -- Alessandro Fillari, Editor
Evil Genius 2
Some of my enthusiasm for Evil Genius 2 stems from the fact that it just seemed so unlikely ever to happen. I only discovered the first game years after its original 2004 release, and it was hard to imagine a sequel to this small game happening a decade later (particularly with developer Elixir Studios having shut down). An offputting free-to-play follow-up did debut in 2012, but it wasn't until 2017 that a proper sequel was revealed.
Rebellion has promised a debut trailer during the PC Gaming Show, and I'm thrilled to see what a modern version of Evil Genius could be. The premise of the original was relatively simple: It's a real-time strategy game in which you play the role of a supervillain, who has to design a secret lair, recruit henchmen, and generally do their best impression of a James Bond baddie. It was basically the 007 franchise mashed up with Dungeon Keeper.
I'd be satisfied with a glorified remaster that irons out UI issues and introduces some quality-of-life fixes. But I'm hopeful for much more than that--though I have my fingers crossed Rebellion doesn't abandon the strategy game core in favor of something more action-oriented. I want more tools for building my base, a greater variety of goals to aspire to, and an expanded lineup of nefarious and hilarious traps to thwart any incursions by pesky Ethan Hunt types. -- Chris Pereira, Engagement Editor
Final Fantasy VII Remake
First thing's first: Square Enix has not confirmed that the remake of Final Fantasy VII will be at E3, but it's not a stretch to imagine that the prior tease of new information in June will coincide with the biggest video game expo of the year. The recent trailer also gave us the most significant look at the game yet. It feels like it's ready to make a splash. There's no game I want to see more of at E3 than Final Fantasy VII, and I'm sure I'm not alone.
At this stage in my life, I've been playing games for roughly 30 years. Of all those first encounters, few stick out in memory as strongly as the day I started playing Final Fantasy VII. It's a game I'd been watching for months--you better believe I bought Tobal No. 1 for the included demo disk. In the weeks leading up to launch, I would stare wide-eyed at its commercials, with the sweeping shots of Shinra Tower and Midgar, and up-close looks at Cloud's then-incredible-looking CG face fueling my imagination. I was 12 when the game finally released and had just recently relocated to the basement bedroom. It was my sanctuary, and the perfect environment to immerse myself in Final Fantasy VII's fascinating world. I get why people criticize the game, but I was able to extract so much joy from it that it will always be special to me.
I will always have the game in its original form, so I don't care that the combat is changing or that things might be cut in the remake. I won't be upset if the game is awkward for this reason or that, or if it somehow fails to live up to the incredible reputation we fans have built up around the original. I'm just happy I have a second chance to experience the world for the first time, and I maintain hope that Square Enix's reluctance to attempt a remake in the past means that we're only getting it now because the team has found a way to do it justice. -- Peter Brown, Managing Editor
FromSotfware's Next Project
Little is known about FromSoftware's next project so far as it’s rumored to be announced at E3 this year. It’s supposedly an open world game inspired by Norse Mythology. It will prominently feature horseback riding, and the player will ride to various kingdoms to kill their rulers and steal their powers.
Now, normally this wouldn’t be enough to get me excited, mainly because it's yet another open-world game in a market that's oversaturated with them. But, it's who else is rumored to be attached to this project that makes this the number one game I'm excited to hear about at E3: George R. R. Martin.
While I’ve been a fan of FromSoftware since their King’s Field days, ever since Hidetaka Miyazaki began directing at the company, I feel their games have been stellar. And, while George R. R. Martin’s involvement is relatively unknown outside of acting as a consultant, combining his knack for world building and writing with FromSoftware’s beautifully built worlds and lore is something I cannot wait to see. FromSoftware regularly sets the bar in how they design their games, with gameplay mechanics they introduce often nicked by other companies, so I’m eagerly awaiting to learn more about their possible take on the open world genre. -- Dave Klein, Video Producer
It's been nearly four years since the release of Halo 5: Guardians in 2015, so it is high time that Microsoft talks more about and shows off Halo Infinite at E3 this coming week. As a fan of the series since the beginning, I'm excited to see the new direction of the ambitious-sounding Halo Infinite. It's being developed on a brand-new engine, Slipspace, that will presumably unlock all kinds of new gameplay opportunities. Not only that, but Halo Infinite seems like a prime candidate for Microsoft to showcase on its new, next-generation Xbox.
Halo's bread and butter is its multiplayer, and I'm excited to see Microsoft showcase how combat has again evolved. Halo 5's MOBA-style, massive-scale Warzone mode was an exciting step forward for Halo's multiplayer, and I'm excited to see how Microsoft outdoes itself again with Halo Infinite. On the story side, it's intriguing to learn that Halo Infinite will re-focus on Master Chief after Halo 5's story strayed away from him. There are countless stories to be told in the Halo universe, and Microsoft has a real chance with Infinite to win back lapsed players and bring in newcomers. -- Eddie Makuch, Editor
In the Valley of the Gods
It feels odd for me to say, “I can’t wait for In the Valley of the Gods," because it’s being made by a developer I trust: Campo Santo. Recently, it has become difficult for me to rely on the pedigree of a developer's previous work to fuel the hype for an upcoming title. After years around the top of the shooter totem pole, Bungie dropped the ball with Destiny (sure they fixed it, but it took them years), Bioware flubbed Mass Effect: Andromeda (No, I haven’t heard of this “Anthem”. Please tell me more!), and let’s say that after Fallout 76, I have reasons to be skeptical of Bethesda's next release.
That’s why new studios like Campo Santo are exciting to me. Firewatch was my favorite game of 2016. Its world was beautiful, its music was meditative, but more than anything, its writing felt organic, weighty, and meaningful in the same way we find ourselves choosing our words more carefully around someone we admire. If In the Valley of the Gods ends up anything like Firewatch, we can hope it’s banter is just as sharp, it’s mystery burns just as slow, and at its core, is a story between two characters we feel lucky to have shared.
I don’t know much about In the Valley of the Gods other than what was shown in the first trailer. But I know it’s made by Campo Santo, so frankly, I don’t need to know anything else. -- Nick Sherman, Coordinating Producer
The Legend Of Zelda: Link's Awakening
I have a strange relationship with the Legend of Zelda series. My first game in the franchise was Wind Waker HD (yes, I was late to the party, leave me alone). I didn't like it--it's quite slow, isn't it?
Later, despite some hesitation on my part after not really getting on with Wind Waker, I tried A Link Between Worlds. I loved it--it's amazing, isn't it?
Encouraged by my unexpected love for ALBW, I immediately bought Breath of the Wild after getting a Switch, and, again, despite universal praise from critics, I didn't like it. I found it directionless--I didn't know what to do, where to go, which weapons to use, and why certain armor was better than others.
I thought I was the problem. Maybe I'm just weird, I thought.Maybe I just don't like the 3D Zelda games? I should try another 2D one. Argh, they're all old, and as we all know, all old games are Bad™.
Fear not, dear reader, for I persevered. After bouncing off at the first time of asking, I returned to Breath of the Wild a further two times, and on the third try it finally clicked. Suddenly I had decent gear and a few hearts and I could explore without fear of immediately being killed. I realized that getting lost was sort of the point, and that it didn't matter where I went. I'm not weird! I thought. I do like Zelda!
Fast forward to 2019 and I cannot wait for Link's Awakening. I'm a full-on Zelda convert now, and I'm hungry for more. A critically acclaimed game, remastered for the modern age on the most convenient and delightful console ever, all in that wonderful cartoonish 2D art style? Sign me the hell up. -- Oscar Dayus
I love Marvel comics. I like the Marvel Cinematic Universe well enough. Outside of maybe a handful of Capcom fighters, I haven't really loved many Marvel games, but that's starting to change. I loved Marvel's Spider-Man and thought it set a pretty high bar thanks to the talents of Insomniac Games. Now, two studios whose work I also love, Crystal Dynamics (Tomb Raider, Rise of the Tomb Raider) and Eidos Montreal (Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Mankind Divided) are assembling to reveal their upcoming Avengers project at the Square Enix press conference.
We barely know anything about it (Okay, there were some leaks, but let's pretend I didn't read those and keep the mystery alive). We know that the core Avengers are probably going to be featured, and their marketing hashtag, #Reassemble, probably means we'll be putting a team together, potentially after a devastating loss. But I'm excited about all the possibilities.
Nintendo's Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 has the safe, action-RPG route locked down, so I'm cautiously hoping for something way more ambitious with Marvel's Avengers. We know Crystal Dynamics has been staffing up with former devs from Naughty Dog and Visceral Games, so strong storytelling is hopefully going to play a big part. Crystal Dynamics has a legacy of cinematic action, and Eidos Montreal has been known to pull off compelling non-linear gameplay. I don't care whether it meets my expectations or not, I want to see what this thing is going to be, and that's why it's my most anticipated. -- Edmond Tran, Editor / Senior Video Producer
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
It’s difficult to overstate how incredible Ori and the Blind Forest was not only as a game but as a debut from fledgling indie developer, Moon Studio. All of the excitement and respect and love that I felt for that game when I called it my Game of the Year in 2015 has poured into hope for the developer's follow-up, Ori and the Will of the Wisps.
A modern-day Metroidvania has been so overdone its cliche, but hardly ever with the level of care as Blind Forest. Every movement was perfectly fluid; every platform meticulously placed to a precise degree of enjoyable challenge. The world was beautiful and begged to be explored. More importantly, the denizens of that world served to tell an original fable about redemption, grace, the power of familial bonds, and the families we make ourselves. It did all this with impeccable and almost-wordless storytelling that delivered an emotional punch.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps seems to make some notable changes to the systems of Blind Forest, such as different save and upgrade systems. These could be alarming, but Moon’s first outing gave me a high degree of trust in its instincts. Mostly I want to visit Ori's world and its inhabitants again. If it’s anything like the first, it will be something special. -- Steve Watts, Associate Editor
Tim Schafer’s work has had a profound effect on me, as though he’s inadvertently molded every aspect of who I am through his games alone--he’s practically my father; my gaming dad--which is why I can’t wait to see Psychonauts 2 at E3 2019.
In the midst of games like DOOM Eternal, Wolfenstein: Youngblood, Death Stranding, and Cyberpunk 2077 (all games I’m unabashedly excited for), I’m relieved and eager to see Psychonauts 2 among the mix. Not because it’s a welcome contrast to the other titles at this year's E3, but because I think it’s important for the industry. The way Double Fine has maintained its presence and creative integrity in the face of an ever-shifting market is simply a marvel and a testament to its presence in the gaming medium. Double Fine is a force of awe-inspiring wonder that continues to impress me and breathe much-needed air in the industry’s landscape, while telling sincere and hilarious stories, and displaying incredible design.
I’m excited to see how Psychonauts 2 expands the imaginative world it so brilliantly established back in 2005, and revisit the 3D platformer genre that is sorely underrepresented today while introducing itself to a new audience and generation of players. Not to mention the addition of co-writer Erik Wolpaw (Portal), which the name alone is enough to pique my interest.
I can’t wait to go back to Whispering Rock Psychic Summer Camp and explore the minds of its diverse, twisted, and wholesome characters. -- Kurt Indovina, Host/Writer