The OnlySP team has been rather negative about E3 2019 as a whole, sharing undisguised disappointment about Ninja Theory, Microsoft, and Ubisoft in particular. However, we are gamers first, and the show had plenty to excite, so we wanted to share at least a small ray of positivity by rounding up some of our winners from the past week.
Best AAA Trailer
Two of the most anticipated games of 2020 topped the list, with Cyberpunk 2077 just pipping Final Fantasy VII Remake. The trailer was exactly what you want from a major production with the insane amount of hype that Cyberpunk 2077 is enjoying: mystery, emotional story moments, and heart-pounding action.
As if all that is not enough, one of the hottest stars of the moment, Keanu Reeves, was revealed as a cast member.
Doubters were all but silenced, and everyone else was gratified. Even better, we got a release date: April 16, 2020. Could anyone possibly lust for more?
Best Indie Trailer
Tie: Spiritfarer and Way to the Woods
As usual, Microsoft brought the ID@Xbox goods to its E3 stage, and we just could not pick between these two.
On the one hand, the team at Thunder Lotus Games finally unveiled its new project, Spiritfarer. The game brings back the glorious hand-drawn art style that had us falling in love with Jotun and Sundered, marrying to a unique take on the Charon myth. Furthermore, Spiritfarer’s low-key charm and gorgeous watercolour was a perfect counterpoint to Cyberpunk 2077, which preceded it.
On the other hand, Way to the Woods got a sparkling new trailer. The two deer are simply gorgeous, and the bright colours and mellifluous music make the game seems a journey befitting the glory days of thatgamecompany. Simple puzzles, a moving story, an entrancing atmosphere… We just want Way to the Woods on its way to our homes.
Favourite New Game Announcement
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Sequel
E3 2019 had no shortage of enticing new announcements, but nothing was quite so enticing as Nintendo’s “one more thing.” After Breath of the Wild set the world on fire in 2017, a sequel was basically a foregone conclusion. Even so, that brief tease set our hopes alight.
In truth, we know next to nothing about this new project—other than that it is set in the same version of Hyrule as its predecessor and Zelda is rocking a slick new hairstyle—but its mere existence is enough.
Keanu Reeves is in Cyberpunk 2077
I may have already mentioned this, but Keanu Reeves is going to be in Cyberpunk 2077.
If we need to explain more, the world of gaming is familiar with seeing TV and film stars cross over—Kit Harington in Call of Duty, Emma Stone in Sleeping Dogs—but Reeves is a particularly hot property right now.
Moreover, the word is that this is more than just a brief cameo. Reeve’s character, Johnny Silverhand, has been a big part of Cyberpunk lore, and CD Projekt RED reportedly spent 15 days capturing his performance.
Even Watch Dogs: Legion looking as though it is finally going to deliver on the promises of the first game is not enough to beat Keanu.
Favourite Stage Personality
Full disclosure: the team picked Keanu, but Keanu can’t win everything, damn it!
Therefore, this award goes to Ikumi Nakamura, protégé of Shinji Mikami, who took the stage during Bethesda’s press conference to reveal Ghostwire: Tokyo. Where most presenters—even developers—are reserved, sharing the soundbites that make the games sound appealing, Nakamura radiated enthusiasm for her project.
Put simply, Nakamura was a ray of sunshine to remind us all that game development is not always about cynicism and monetisation; sometimes, it is about genuine love and passion.
With “gamers” one of the options on the list, I thought this category would be a foregone conclusion. However, the outcome proved that adage about what happens when we assume things…
The team voted for Nintendo, and the why is easy enough to understand. A new Legend of Zelda game will always be an event. The addition of Banjo-Kazooie to Super Smash Bros. is a long-overdue coup. Luigi’s Mansion 3 looks better than it has any right to. Meanwhile, Daemon X Machina, Astral Chain, and Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order all got great new showings, and we officially learned of the arrival of The Witcher III: Wild Hunt and Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch (among other, slightly less exciting titles) on the Switch.
These winners were all decided by those of us who stayed at home. However, you may have noticed that we had Mike Cripe and Dimitric Edwards on the show floor, so they went hands-on with a bunch of games the rest of us could only gawp at.
Over the coming days and weeks, Mike and Dimitric will be delivering previews of Final Fantasy VII Remake, Wolfenstein: Youngblood, and Biomutant, as well as a few interesting interviews, so we’ll have plenty of fresh details for you all to pore over.
First, though, coming tomorrow will be Mike’s hands-off preview of one of the show’s most contentious games: Marvel’s Avengers.
For all those previews and much more from the world of single-player gaming, be sure to bookmark OnlySP and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. You can also join the discussion in our community Discord server.