It’s been so great to have this celebration of gaming return this year. There’s been a lot of fun stuff revealed and some good memories created. Much like in 2018 when Forza Horizon 4 was revealed, the reveal of Horizon 5 – even though it was very much expected – will be one I remember throughout the years. Sure, it might not be as groundbreaking as Metroid Dread’s return – and I say that as someone who has no investment in the Metroid franchise, but it was still a grand announcement.
As ever, I watched as much as I could live, and for the first time tuned in to see Devolver’s wackiness unfold live. It seemed a bit toned down this year, focused more upon endlessly poking fun at just one thing, but it was still a fun if not memorable time. And it made me hungry with the amount of hot dogs they were parading around during it.
Ubisoft’s Forward event had just two games that I was interested in – not counting the DLC for Watch Dogs Legion. Riders Republic is looking as good as it ever did, with a lovely looking world to be exploring. Along with the mountain bikes, skis, and snowboards, there’s rocket-powered wingsuits – which I’m sure will be a lot of fun. There’s a lot going on with this that I’m sure to be enjoying.
Then there was Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope – the sequel to Kingdom Battle that’s expanding on what the first game provided by going into space. Pretty much a galaxy-hopping adventure. I had yet to play Kingdom Battle – until the trailer for the second game and E3 sale pushed me to check it out. I’m having fun with the strategy and humour of it, which I’m sure the second will provide a lot more of.
The Square-Enix event started with a big one – even if it’s another franchise I’m not yet invested in. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is getting a game, and it featured a lot of the game without revealing too much of the story. No commentary about various bits of the game, just letting said game speak for itself through gameplay and cutscenes. I loved watching it, though I doubt I’ll ever be getting it.
Seeing the Nintendo Treehouse streams back in action was also a great memory. I’ve said in years past that the Treehouse team are always a delight to see in action when playing games, and this year was no different. The showcase of Mario Party Superstars was a particularly fun one, but that’s not to say the others weren’t good to watch. The Monster Hunter Stories 2 segment has got me considering whether to get it, as it did look good to play.
While it was only four hours long (which is still more than the three they said it would be), it was a lovely showcase of a range of games that had been shown off in the Direct. Metroid Dread – being the largest of the games – had two showing to bookend the stream, and it does look good. Hopefully next year sees a return to a full three days of broadcasts and perhaps even a tournament or two. Those have always been excellent to watch.
While E3 might be over, there’s still a few events coming soon that continue the celebration of gaming. EA’s Play Live will be in July, which should provide a look at a new Star Wars game. Hopefully. Also in July - right at the beginning of it - is a Nacon Connect, which is set to provide a look at Test Drive Unlimited: Solar Crown. And who can forget the Sonic Symphony which is just under a week away. That event will be magical.