Day 2 of E3 2018 was the longest on the schedule, ten straight hours of gaming goodness to take in, and boy did we make the most of it. Our second day on the floor was filled with many of the biggest names in all of video games, as well as a few smaller studios that will soon make a big impact on the scene. Here’s everything London Drugs saw on Day 2 of E3 2018.
Our first stop was Bandai Namco, who boasted a massive lineup of six playable games at its booth. First on the docket was Soulcalibur VI, the return of the popular sword fighting franchise. We got to play over a dozen characters in this demo, including the guest character Geralt of Rivia from The Witcher. New Critical Edge attacks add new strategies to each battle, while new slow motion effects in close matches add a flair for the dramatic. Fans of Soulcalibur should mark October 19 on their calendars, as that will be the day SCVI returns to the stage of history. Next up was Jump Force, a 3-on-3 brawler just announced three days prior at the Microsoft conference. Fan favorites from Shonen Jump’s vast library, like Naruto Dragon Ball Z’s Goku, come together in this fast-paced fighter, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the famed Weekly Jump Magazine. This one is a ways off, coming in 2019, but there’s no doubt this will be a hot item once it hits shelves.
Speaking of Dragon Ball Z, the Nintendo Switch port of Dragon Ball Fighter Z was next on our agenda. The game shines on Nintendo’s portable, playing just as well as the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions, and Nintendo fans should be very pleased with the new game once it arrives later this year. After that we stuck with the anime fighting games by trying out My Hero One’s Justice, a new game in the critically acclaimed My Hero Academia series. All of the top heroes from the saga are here, from the main character Izuku to the supremely strong All Might. Fans of the franchise have a lot to look forward to when this game launches this August, as the over-the-top fighting and strong roster of fighters will give them plenty to chew on.
Our final two games at Bandai Namco’s booth involve giant adventures, the type of the games in which players can easily invest hundreds of hours. First is Code Vein, an anime-styled action role-playing game that will challenge every single one of your skills. This is an unforgiving game, rife with dangerous and powerful enemies, and it’s one that should not be taken lightly when it launches on September 27 of this year. Divinity Original Sin II Definitive Edition, the last game on our plate, will suck you in and never let go. The brief demo we played had us escape from confinement using powerful spells and weapons, but the 15-minute experience barely makes a dent into the full experience. Adventurers should be ready to set out when the game launches in August, but do not expect to re-emerge until well into the holiday season.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
The second stop of E3 Day 2 brought us to Square Enix, where we went hands-on with Lara Croft’s latest adventure Shadow of the Tomb Raider. The final game in this prequel trilogy will absolutely bring Lara full circle, as she’s already showing a more aggressive and ruthless side in the demo we’re trying out. Her bow skills are unmatched, her stealth takedowns are brutal, and her ability to explore uncharted tombs is a thing of beauty. Lara’s latest adventure raids store shelves on September 14, so be prepared to descend into tombs unknown with the mighty heroine very soon.
We also went hands-on with the highly anticipated Kingdom Hearts III, and this franchise continues to fulfil our Disney/Final Fantasy fever dreams. This demo saw Sora, Goofy, and Donald Duck turned into toys and partnering with Buzz and Woody of Toy Story fame against the evil Heartless. My special weapon became a massive hammer I could use to pound enemies into submission. I could summon classic Disney characters like Wreck-It Ralph and Simba into the fray. Best of all, I could also call on classic Disney theme park rides to aid in my quest. It’s amazing how satisfying it is to slay Heartless while riding the tea cups. Kingdom Hearts III releases just after the holidays on January 29, and it will kick off the 2019 calendar year with a huge bang.
Capcom was next on our schedule and they also want to start 2019 off right, although Capcom prefers a more spine-tingling approach. Resident Evil 2 Remake, a complete re-imagining of the classic Playstation game, stole the show at the Sony press conference and the show floor with a 20-minute playable demo. The moody and dark atmosphere, the intense gunfights while trying to keep zombies at bay, and the brutality of being caught by one of the monsters is more than enough to get the blood pumping. Resident Evil 2 Remake will scare the pants off of everyone who dares pick it up on January 25, 2019.
Coming a little sooner than 2019, Capcom is also resurrecting the Blue Bomber in Mega Man 11, a hearkening back to a classic game franchise. This new game brings the retro Mega Man format to the current gen, adding a new Gear system that allows for more powerful weapons or slowing down time. The rest of the game is classic Mega Man action complete with eight bosses to conquer and a slew of platforming challenges to overcome. Mega Man returns to the spotlight in Mega Man 11 starting October 2.
Black Ops 4
After finishing with Capcom we moved on to Activision, where we got a first-hand look at Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s classic multiplayer offerings. Ten of us joined together in a frantic, high-octane match of Team Deathmatch, with our team proving victorious after over ten minutes of intense firefights. Black Ops 4 makes the controversial decision to remove a single-player campaign, but based on the quality of the multiplayer and the other modes coming to the game we suspect gamers will be pleased with Black Ops 4 when it hits October 12.
Next we took on an entire prison break’s worth of alien enemies in the latest expansion to Destiny 2 entitled Forsaken. This brief demo was big on action and sweet kills as I stormed through the prison break, blasting any low expectations I had for the expansion out the window. Forsaken could very well be the shot in the arm Destiny 2 needs to ascend to the heights of gaming, and we’ll find out for certain when the new expansion pack drops on September 4.
Our final two stops on Day 2 could not have been spent on more different games. GungHo Online Entertainment of Puzzle and Dragons fame showed off a new ninja-based game in Ninjala, while Techland brought us back into the world of Dying Light. Ninjala from GungHo is very difficult to describe, but it stars a group of trained ninja warriors that chew gum then use that gum to generate weapons and armor for a free-for-all battle. It certainly sounds corny, but we think this game could “stick” in the minds of young gamers when it launches on Nintendo Switch in 2019.
The final game of our Wednesday was Dying Light 2, the return to the desolate wasteland of post zombie apocalyptic world. Bandits roam the streets causing trouble wherever they can, while rival factions pop up all over town. The intrigue of this game seems to be less about killing zombie hoardes and more about keeping an eye on the survivors themselves, as they can be as ruthless and dangerous if given the chance. Dying Light 2 will unleash its hoardes on the gaming industry when it launches in 2019.
That’s a wrap for Day 2. Tune in again shortly for what we saw during the last day of the open show floor.
Submitted by Jason Fanelli.