As E3 2019 rolls along, Microsoft laid a whole lot of cards on the table for the coming 18 months.
Over 60 games were announced during the Xbox manufacturer’s press conference held Sunday afternoon. Titles ranged from sequels to big name titles, reboots to dormant franchise and plenty of online-exclusive titles furthering the Xbox Game Pass subscription service. While many titles were announced without release dates, big names were officially scheduled for releases for this and the next year.
The most high-profile announcement and crescendo to the conference was Halo Infinite. The 12th game in the iconic first-person shooter franchise will serve as a launch title for Microsoft’s next generation console titled Project Scarlett, scheduled for a holiday 2020 release date. The crowd at E3 was treated to a new trailer (but no gameplay) to the game, focusing on a random UNSC pilot adrift in space who stumbles upon Master Chief floating in the darkness. When Chief is rescued and re-powered, he comes across a shocking sight: a Halo ring destroyed.
One franchise in-particular received a heavy amount of press: Gears of War. The Coalition heavyweight had two titles detailed during the press conference that were practically at the opposite ends of the spectrum. The oddball was Gears POP!, a mobile real-time multiplayer game featuring Funko Pop Vinyl figures of characters from the franchise. Pre-orders from the Apple App Store and the Google Play store are set to go live “soon.”
There was also Gears of War 5, which got a cinematic trailer (soundtracked by Billie Eilish, of all people) and a trailer for its new Escape mode. Coalition Studio Head Rod Fergusson took the stage to announce the game will drop September 10 this year and detailed a brand new mode: Escape, which consists of a three-person team infiltrating the Hive and planting a bomb while fighting off hordes of enemies. Fergusson even gave three lucky fans a test run: WWE superstars Xavier Woods, AJ Styles and Tyler Breeze.
As a cherry on top, The Coalition also announced a character park featuring characters from Terminator: Dark Fate, the upcoming Terminator sequel set for release this summer. The character pack, however, will be a free bonus at the game’s launch with every pre-order or Xbox Game Pass membership.
One of the more surprising moments of the conference came during the new cinematic trailer for Cyberpunk 2077. CD Projekt Red’s open-world shooter was first officially revealed at last year’s E3 and after such a thorough preview of the game, only one thing could make it even more special 12 months later: Johnny Mnemonic
That’s right, the one and only Keanu Reeves was revealed to be playing a character in the game and then stepped out from the heavenly plains he frequents to greet the crowd. After he beamed with excitement about being part of the project and some adorable fan interaction (no Keanu, YOU are actually breathtaking), Reeves announced Cyberpunk 2077 will hit shelves April 16, 2020.
The conference featured a plethora of other titles with name recognition to them. Psychonauts 2 showcased a gameplay trailer after Microsoft was announced the purchase of its creators, Double Fine Productions. Phantasy Star Online 2, one of Japan’s most popular online RPG’s, will finally arrive on PC and Xbox One next spring. For those still dealing with Game of Thrones withdrawal, Microsoft showed off the collaboration between George R.R. Martin and From Software. Elden Ring showed off little details but a dark fantasy setting that will certainly have fans salivating for more. Fans of the classic era of Rare games were treated to the first trailer for the revival of Battletoads with fresh graphics and plenty of punch-throwing. Other highlights include LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, Age of Empires II, The Outer Worlds and Blair Witch.
What do you think of Microsoft’s showcase? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to stay with The Young Folks for more coverage of E3 2019.