Editor-in-Chief Ed McGlone: The original Borderlands game kicked off the looter-shooter genre last generation. While it took a few years for other developers to catch on, now there are plenty of games that have adopted the model of kill, loot, and kill harder things into their own games. At E3 2019, Borderlands proved that it still has what it takes to be a top tier gaming franchise.
The OG is returning finally in this generation by way of Borderlands 3. Fortunately for fans of the series, it’s shaping up to be a grand return.
Even in just a 30-minute demo, I was able to check off of all of the boxes of things fans want to see: distinct classes, gritty looking art style, lots of guns and explosions, and its trademark sense of humor.
Although it has the same art style, the upgrade to current-gen has done wonders, and it looks incredibly slick. The gunplay felt familiar (in a good way) and I’m happy Gearbox didn’t mess around with it. You can weave in more abilities now and as a result, the action is more fun & chaotic than ever before.
Features Editor Greysun Morales: Remedy is straying away from a linear narrative-driven experience this time around with Control, and thanks to the excellent improvisational combat that feels extremely satisfying to play around with, the game is shaping up to be one of the sleeper hits of 2019 and was one of the best games at E3 2019.
With the time I spent with Control, I can honestly say that the variety of options when it comes to fighting enemies is rather impressive as well as the presentation of the world. The main character, Jesse Faden, can use telekinesis to lift up objects all around her to fling towards enemies, making for some gratifying encounters. Installing mods to your service gun and to Jesse herself can alter the gameplay to your liking, letting you play whoever you want to play.
Being able to explore The Oldest House at your own pace, investigating and finding clues, and gaining new abilities that help you traverse the environment are all elements that make Control one of the most interesting titles that I’ve played at E3. Remedy might have a GOTY contender in their hands.
Dying Light 2
Deputy Guides Editor Tom Hopkins: The first Dying Light game was a fun, if limited, open world action game. Ever since the sequel’s first reveal in 2018, Techland has insisted that they wanted make the story something that truly mattered and was at the forefront of everything the player did.
I’m not sure I believed them, at least not until I had the chance to see an extended gameplay demo at E3 2019. From smaller interactions that altered how you would approach combat situations to more important ones that could see you play one of two entirely different mission paths, choice has a real impact.
However, it’s your ability to change how the entire map looks and feels that is most impressive. Key choices can unlock new areas that other players would have to wait for, and you can change how other large areas are run and controlled by the game’s factions. This is all on top of improvements to the parkour system. The new protagonist, Aiden, has so many more options.
And the presentation seemed to be a real step forward in terms of cinematics. The new narrative focus had led to a more beautiful world, better detailing for characters, and improved voice acting work. I was shocked at how much of a step forward Dying Light 2 seems to be. If it all comes together, it could have everything you want from an open world action game.
Editor-in-Chief Ed McGlone: Doom (2016) snuck up on a lot of fans and journalists that weren’t sure if they would see another truly great Doom game or not. Doom Eternal isn’t going to sneak up on anyone. It’s going to fire into a crowded holiday-season of games and rip and tear the competition.
Doom Eternal is everything fans of the original could want. It’s the same brutal and metal gameplay now with a few new layers of complexity thrown on top.
New platforming elements that involve dashing and climbing open up the maps even more than they were before.
You can still chainsaw and glory kill, but now you can also use blood punches and a flamethrower to gain bonus health and armor too. And, on top of that, you can earn extra lives to help revive yourself after death.
If you think this will make the game easy, think again. You’re going to need all of those new helpful abilities to survive cause the forces of hell are as brutal they have ever been.
Not only was Doom Eternal among the best games of E3 2019, it’s going to be a GOTY contender later this year for sure.
Senior Editor Hayes Madsen: The Yakuza series has hit a recent wave of popularity in the West, with a flood of titles over the last few years. Judgment uses the same gameplay foundations of Yakuza, but it introduces a brand new story and a host of unique mechanics that make it feel like a fresh new take on the series.
It’s clear that Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio has gotten a fantastic hold on the Dragon Engine with Judgment, as it looks and feels better than ever. Yagami has two dynamic fighting styles to switch between, Crane that focuses on groups of enemies and Tiger that focuses on single enemies.
Judgment’s serious main story is in stark contrast to the wacky side content, and there’s a ton0 of that to jump into. You can play a House of the Dead kind of minigame at the arcade, take on a game of Mahjong, race your drone, and more.
Judgment seems like just as robust a game as the Yakuza series, and its original story makes it the perfect place for newcomers and veterans to jump on. It’s unique personality and style makes it one of the most memorable Japanese games of E3 2019.
Final Fantasy VII Remake
Editor-in-Chief Ed McGlone: Everything about Final Fantasy VII Remake at E3 2019 this year could have been a total disaster. There is so much emotion wrapped around this game after years of fans calling for it, the reveal, and now the years of waiting for it. Square Enix took their shot this year and nailed it.
Final Fantasy VII Remake looked incredible in its E3 2019 presentation and fortunately, it wasn’t all smoke and mirrors. The game plays just as good too. Switching to an action-RPG style of gameplay was extremely brave and controversial on Square Enix’s part, and it’s a bold move that’s paying off.
The game plays so well, and smartly, combat mixes in elements of both turn-based and action-RPG gameplay. Considering how quickly you can fill up your ATB provided you’re playing the way you should be, you can spend a ton of time in tactical mode, and carefully plan out your next move.
If you hate turn-based gameplay and were happy about the change, you can also just quickly access abilities on the fly using L1+R1 to keep the action going.
While there’s still a lot of work to be done, especially when it comes to making sure the writing, voice acting, and story match the excellent combat and visuals, Final Fantasy VII Remake impressed the hell out of us, and many others that played at E3 2019.