The Finally Happening, The Who'd Thunk It, And The Whoa! Edition
HWM Singapore|July 2019
We talk about E3 every year with a roundup of what we think are the best games to look forward too. That’s about what’s to be expected, but this year’s E3 feels different. It’s more energetic, more passionate and more importantly, fun.
Zachary Chan
Fun I haven’t felt in years from the rote formula of recycling franchises into the ground. Sure, E3 2019 has the usual suspects of Battlefield and Call of Duty updates, another year another FIFA, and the trend of remakes and ports. But, these are not the games we’d feature in this list. For me, the E3 hype lives in the fringes of nostalgia with updates to some of the original cult classic franchises, and whole new worlds of brand new IPs.

THE OGS RETURN

VAMPIRE: THE MASQUERADE BLOODLINES 2

- Miracles do come true! A sequel to 2004 RPG classic Vampire: the Masquerade – Bloodlines is in the works by Hardsuit Labs and new publishing owner Paradox Interactive. Now set in Seattle, the game will once again center on a fledgling vampire (you) born and caught up in dire circumstances.

Expect plenty of political intrigue, stealth, and blood – loads of blood – as our new “thin blood” comes to grips with their powers and investigates who or what is responsible. Like the first game it all plays out in first-person, with a strong focus on role-playing and some delicious vampire combat. In even more good news, Brian Mitsoda from the first Bloodlines has been confirmed as the lead narrative designer.

While the game was announced and teased at GDC 2019 earlier this year, we got to see a full 20-minutes of pre-alpha gameplay at E3 2019 courtesy of PC Gamer. Those who’ve played the original may remember the frankly awful combat systems, which goes to show just how much Vampire: The Masquerade achieved on its RPG aspects alone. From the 20-minute demo, it would seem that the RPG elements are intact, which bodes well for the title. Combat is still rough around the edges; you might even say old school. I like.

BALDUR’S GATE 3

Baldur’s Gate 3 comes a whopping 19 years after its predecessor, although the fanbase hasn’t died down in the hiatus. On the contrary, passion for the series has been kept alive through word-of-mouth and the many enthusiastic recommendations by older RPG fans. Helping the cause are relatively recent remasters for the first two games, and the rapidly growing popularity of Dungeons & Dragons in general.

Now that a sequel is actually a thing and not some dream, fans are foaming at the mouth to know more. And who can blame them? 19 years is a long wait.

The hotly-anticipated RPG is in development by Larian Studios, the Belgian team behind the critically acclaimed Divinity: Original Sin 2, widely seen as one of the best modern RPGs of all time. To have them helm the third installment of a landmark series from gaming history is pretty much a match made in heaven.

Larian Studios has vastly expanded to give Baldur’s Gate 3 the treatment it deserves. A PC Gamer interview revealed that 200 people are now working on the game internally, with another 100 external developers joining in as well. Just imagine what possibilities that might mean, after seeing their great work in Divinity: Original Sin 2? This game will be huge and that’s a definitive fact by this point.

FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE

Square Enix played the crowd like no one else at this year’s E3 conference, coming in super hot with Final Fantasy VII Remake!

Producer Yoshinori Kitase mentioned that FF7R will contain two Bluray discs’ worth of content. AT E3, they revealed that FF7R will feature a hybrid combat system that blends real-time action with tactical combat.

This mechanic comes in the form of two ATB bars. Most of the time, a character can only make regular real-time attacks, like Cloud whaling on a hapless SOLDIER with his Buster Sword. However, once those ATB bars are filled up, Cloud (or any other character) will enter a different mode. Tactical Mode freezes time and gives you the option to use Limit Breaks, Items, and other special commands. The ATB bars fill up slowly over time, but landing your normal attacks lets you build them up much faster. It’s mentioned that Tactical Mode is entirely optional and can be switched off for more action-based combat.

Thanks to the extended E3 trailer, we finally get to see the childhood crush and idol of many young players during the ’90s: Tifa Lockhart. We also got a chance to see Tifa in action, including her acrobatic Limit Break, Somersault. We also got to see the Shinra headquarters in full view, and even sections of it being explored. Sephiroth makes an appearance too, taunting Cloud as he usually does. Excites!

DOOM ETERNAL

Ok, the last Doom reboot wasn’t too long ago, but after all these years, Doom Eternal is the first game in the series’ long history to introduce something new to the mix. Doom’s never been known for its story, but this game might change that. From what was teased at Bethesda’s E3 conference, Doom Eternalis diving head first into demon lore, and it seems that our beloved Doomguy not only has to fight hell on earth, but a mysterious faction of holy-looking creatures as well.

In a trailer just under two minutes long, we see sweeping landscapes of bloody, gory red mixed with white, regal castle-like structures. Red demons are here in abundance, but so are these flying angelic ones, somewhat reminiscent of the Valkyries from God of War (2018). If these creatures are from up above, then it seems that Doomguy doesn’t get along with either heaven or hell.

The story supposedly will continue past the original release as well, with two post-launch DLC expansions already planned. Those who get the Deluxe Edition will have those DLCs bundled in.

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