This E3 has been one of few truly great reveals for me. I’m happy to have seen gameplay of some of my favourite things from the show floor, and there were some things that looked pretty great.
EA’s livestreams gave us a look at Jedi: Fallen Order gameplay, and it looks like a modern day Force Unleashed in terms of combat options and visuals, and using Kashyyyk as the place to show off allowed them to show off a previously seen location in a new era.
All good then, as did the look at Battlefield V’s latest content and the new pack for The Sims 4, which offers a tropical location to visit along with the usual new careers and extras. Most of that Saturday was taken up with the Nintendo Championships for me, and… it almost lost me.
Nintendo showed quite a bit, bookending the Direct (not counting the one more thing) with Smash DLC. First shown was the Dragon Quest Hero, with every mainline hero looking to be a skin for this one character.
Then for the last thing they followed on from the King K. Rool reveal with another troll. This time Duck Hunt Dog pretending to be Banjo and Kazooie, before the duo come crashing down themselves.
While the Dragon Quest reveal was followed by a Dragon Quest XI Definitive trailer, we didn’t get anything for the Banjo and Kazooie one. There was plenty of other things to get stuck in to, though.
Before we got into all that, Doug Bowser was introduced with a nice gag of the real Bowser showing up. Pokémon Sword and Shield got a recap of its Direct, but also announced that the Pokéball Plus would work with the games.
Ubisoft were… fine. It started off well enough with an Assassin’s Creed Symphony preview – a tour playing plenty of songs from the series. There were a few other things within, and they knew what they were doing by putting a new Watch Dogs first, but it was mostly Tom Clancy: The Conference.
We got Division 2 expansions with some free play days coming soon. A mobile game in Elite Squad. Ghost Recon Breakpoint announced. Rainbow Six: Quarantine bringing PvE co-op action. Rainbow Six: Siege content Clutch Royale.
And for me it was all the weakest part. Trailers split up to allow some talking in-between or talking when showing things would be just as good. And they mentioned that the movie was coming to Netflix.
Microsoft, you knew what you were doing with this. Very little talk, and a lot of action. Plenty of games shown with trailers, some services news, and building the hype for that new console. The conference felt fast and fluid, and the announcements that I was waiting for certainly arrived.
There was The Outer Worlds, Bleeding Edge, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Battletoads, Spiritfarer, and Blair Witch starting things off, along with a new trailer for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Minecraft Dungeons got announced, which looks to be a fun mystery dungeon game playable with friends.
It’s E3 time again! Sony are a no-show, and EA have decided to change how they do things again (is that a tradition for them, now?) by having a livestream from the floor instead of a conference, though everyone else is here.
Bethesda, Devolver, and Square-Enix return, Ubisoft is present as always, and Microsoft is looking one to watch with that roughly two-hour presentation. Then there’s Nintendo, who is going all-out once again with the usual three days of Treehouse streams, a Direct presentation, and a whole day full of Championships. They’re going to be one to watch, but let’s save the best for last.
The Celebration at Chicago proved to be a good one. But for the 20th of Celebration, it seemed a little… sparse. There was certainly a celebration of The Phantom Menace, but aside from its beginnings there seemed little about Celebration itself. It also doesn’t help that this year there seemed less going on during the livestream. It seems bad to say so, but it felt like Anaheim in 2015 – the first Celebration to have a livestream.
Panels that would have been entertaining to watch were missed out even with large gaps of roughly two hours where they could have easily slotted in. The interviews with the guests were good to listen in on, but there were times where they were recapping events we had just seen.
The final day certainly felt like the final day. It was a day of looking back and the final celebration of many 20s. The Phantom Menace, Resistance, and the Closing Ceremony all took the time to look back at all the fun that’s been had with various aspects of Star Wars, and at the end of the day the announcement of the next.
The Phantom Menace panel took a look back at the film, with some of the production staff coming up to talk starting out, creating the effects and designs, and working together to bring these worlds and characters to life.
As well as their favourite moments of working on it. There’s a good number of things said during this half, with two of those on stage talking of their cameos within the film.
Day Three was set to be my favourite of all the days with just those three words. The Clone Wars. And that panel was a great one. There were plenty of things to see from the show floor and the guests, and the continued celebration of The Phantom Menace with an interesting look at its design.
The Mandalorian had Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau talking about how they met and the project got started. Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, and Carl Weathers are brought out and talk of introducing their characters. Those at the panel then got to see some footage that lasted three minutes based on the timer that those on the livestream got to see.
A story of working with the 501st Cosplayers is shared, behind-the-scenes of building props is shown – including the ship that The Mandalorian uses – and using the miniatures in flight tests.
The second day of Star Wars Celebration gave a real in-depth look at some of the stuff that makes up Galaxy’s Edge and how this is the absolute Star Wars experience that anyone can enjoy.
The best part of the day was the fans and their love for the series, as shown in the Rebels Remembered and Sisters of the Force panels. And who could not love getting a first look at the first proper solo experience in Star Wars gaming for more than five years.
Galaxy’s Edge had a preview on the Star Wars Show stage, saying how it will be an absolutely immersive experience. You can feel Star Wars. You can taste it. Smell it. There’s a lot going in to keep it authentic to the Star Wars universe, and everything seen is practical. And the droid from Star Tours is a DJ within the Black Spire Outpost.
The first day of the Celebration Chicago livestream has come to an end. And what a day it was. Guests aplenty, some great reveals, and an absolutely wild crowd that’s relishing every moment. I certainly enjoyed this first day, with the livestream providing good entertainment throughout.
The Episode IX panel proved to answer a few much needed questions, but gave many more. Starting us off were JJ Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy with some hints about the film and providing a few laughs at question dodging. Then came Anthony Daniels. I knew this man would provide great amounts of entertainment whenever he got on stage, and he proved that here.
Then we got confirmation that Lando Calrissian is in the movie as Billy Dee Williams is called on stage. Lando never left him, and everyone was awed to have him on set. And he is sick and tired of getting accused of betraying Han Solo! Did anyone die during the Bespin incursion? I think not!