41 must-see PC games at E3 2019: Watch every trailer
- 11 June, 2019 20:30
E3 2019 is probably the most PC-centric show we’ve seen in years, what with Microsoft announcing Xbox Game Pass for PC and bringing its future first-party games to Steam. Those are big moves for a company that’s long seemed to tolerate its Windows-based audience more than embrace it. And with Sony's absence, it’s safe to say pretty much every game at the show (aside from Nintendo’s) will come to PC at some point.
What games? Well, we’ve rounded up a whole big list for you—nearly every trailer we saw over the last two days, from Outer Worlds to Microsoft Flight Simulator, and from Doom Eternal to Watch Dogs Legion. It’s been an exciting E3, and we haven’t even hit the show floor yet.
We’ve listed these games roughly in the chronological order of their announcements, so be sure to check out the whole thing to avoid missing out. And while we’ve covered all the big reveals, we couldn’t squeeze every new game trailer in here. If you’re looking for trailers for some smaller games and expansions, be sure to check out our coverage of the Microsoft, PC Gaming Show, Bethesda, Ubisoft, and Square Enix events.
Baldur’s Gate III
Technically Baldur’s Gate III is the first trailer we saw at E3 2019, right? Sure, Google’s Stadia event happened last Thursday, but I’m counting it as part of the festivities. And it was one hell of a way to start the week, both a surprise-sequel I thought we’d never get and an absolutely horrific trailer that teases an invasion of Mind Flayers, one of the creepiest and most threatening Dungeons & Dragons enemies.
Oh, and it’s being developed by Divinity: Original Sin studio Larian, which is probably one of the best-case scenarios you could ask for. All in all, there’s a lot to be excited about here.
Destiny 2: Shadowkeep
If we’re going to count Google’s Stadia primer as an E3 event, then we might as well include Bungie’s Destiny 2 expansion announcement as well. Hell, I want to include it. This was Bungie’s big moment, its chance to show us a post-Activision Destiny 2, and Bungie delivered. With a free-to-play version landing alongside an extraordinary looking new expansion due in September, plus a shift from Battle.net to Steam, the future of Destiny 2 looks pretty promising. It’s taken a while, but Bungie’s finally hit its stride and delivered the game fans wanted all along.
Jedi: Fallen Order
EA Play felt a bit empty this year, but it did allow Respawn to show off its upcoming Jedi: Fallen Order ahead of its November 15 release. Problem is, it didn’t really show anything that hooked us. What little we saw looked a bit like The Force Unleashed, crossed with a bit of Sekiro—not a bad combination, but nothing too exciting either.
Game Informer’s cover story sounds more promising, with interesting ideas like real-time space travel and a Metroid-style approach to exploration. Those ideas are harder to demo though, and will probably take an entire game to fully appreciate.
Microsoft started its press conference with Obsidian’s Outer Wilds, one of my most anticipated games this year. Once again we got a tightly edited trailer that gives little context or hint at the overall structure, but there are plenty of beautiful sights to admire and I’m sold on the Fallout: New Vegas-looking conversations alone. I also think I saw a shrink ray among the more routine weapons, which seems like a fun gimmick. The October 25 release date can’t come soon enough for this one.
Ninja Theory revealed its first game as part of Microsoft’s rapidly expanding family of studios, and it looks a lot more DmC: Devil May Cry than Hellblade. Bleeding Edge is a hero-driven 4v4 combat game that shares a lot of similarities with Gearbox’s ill-fated Battleborn at first blush. Fingers crossed this one winds up more compelling.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Another year, another Ori and the Will o’ the Wisps trailer at E3. It looks as gorgeous as ever, but I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to, you know, actually play it. Maybe someday.
It took more than a decade, but we’re getting a Minecraft spin-off. Minecraft Dungeons blends the core game’s blocky artwork with what appears to be Diablo-style dungeon crawling, complete with 4-player co-op both locally and online. I’m already jazzed to play this with my kids.
“The Blair Witch game is made by Bloober Team.” Brad typed those words into our chat and I went from being sort of interested to eager. I didn’t see their name in the trailer, but they’re the ones who uploaded the trailer and thus it’s safe to say the Layers of Fear and Observer devs are working on this found footage adaptation. It’s hard to imagine any team outdoing Outlast, which was that concept in everything but name, but Bloober’s been on a streak these last few years and I’ll be curious how they meld an established universe with their fever dream approach to horror.
Cyberpunk 2077 is releasing sooner than I ever anticipated: April 16, 2020. Less than a year from now, we’ll have it in hand. I still can’t believe it.
But that’s not even the wildest fact we found out during Microsoft’s press conference. Turns out Keanu Reeves is making a celebrity cameo in the game, as you’ll see at the end of the latest trailer—which if I had to guess appears to be the beginning of the game, with a deal gone sour and your character apparently left for dead at the end.
Dying Light 2
Cyberpunk 2077 isn’t the only major April 2020 release, if you can believe it. Dying Light 2 is also releasing before I ever expected, and also targeting that same month.That makes two sprawling, story-heavy games due within weeks of each other. It’s going to be an embarrassment of riches.
The latest trailer introduces us to protagonist Aiden Caldwell, who floats between the various factions at each others’ throats in Dying Light 2 and will change the fabric of the city by siding with one or another, a feature I hope we see more concrete examples of during this week’s E3 demo.
Next page: The trailers continue!
Microsoft’s promised Battletoads resurrection indeed looks like Battletoads, and yes, that means the long tunnel sequences are back. The real question: Does that old-school Battletoads gameplay still hold up in the modern era?
Microsoft Flight Simulator
FLIGHT SIMULATOR IS COMING BACK! Now that’s a surprise. Time to dust off the flight stick I bought for Elite: Dangerous.
Age of Empires II Definitive Edition
It seems a little silly to do a second remaster less than a decade after releasing Age of Empires II HD, but consistency of branding and all that I guess. Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition will update the game with 4K support and update the audio, but there’s not much reason to upgrade if you’re content with your current version—aside from a new “The Last Khan” campaign.
Obsidian isn’t the only beloved CRPG maker now in Microsoft’s pocket. InXile created Wasteland 2, our 2014 game of the year, and at E3 2019 the developer showed a fresh trailer for Wasteland 3. Set in post-apocalyptic Colorado Springs, a massive change of pace from the series’ usual desert browns, the game looks ready to blend dark humor and turn-based action just as adeptly as its predecessor. Hopefully Microsoft’s bags of money can help InXile apply a healthy layer of polish before launch. I can’t wait for this one.
Microsoft continued its acquisition streak at 2019. This year there was only one studio purchase, but it was a big one: Double Fine.
With Double Fine comes the rights to Psychonauts 2—but wait! In a show of generosity, Microsoft says Psychonauts 2 will still come to the PlayStation 4 (and Linux). Pretty cool. In any case, there’s also a new trailer to peruse ahead of its release, supposedly sometime in 2019.
Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
The Lego games are coming full circle. About 15 years after Lego Star Wars kicked off the (surprisingly fun) Lego-branded genre of games, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga brings together adaptations from all nine mainline Star Wars films into one big package. The real question: Will they return to voiceless pantomiming to keep the new film adaptations stylistically consistent with the original six? I hope so.
Yes, Gears 5 returned at E3 2019, potentially as one of the last Xbox One exclusives before the holiday 2020 launch of the “Project Scarlett” console. The focus this year is Escape, a three-person co-op mode that sounds almost like user-generated Horde Mode levels—playable in couch co-op too, from the sound of it. Hopefully local multiplayer makes it to the PC, too.
Forza Horizon 4: Lego Speed Champions
Forza Horizon is great. Lego games are great. So Forza Horizon 4’s Lego Speed Champions expansion should probably be pretty damned good. The blocky cars and tracks look awesome.
Gearbox’s Borderlands 3 trailer proved light on actual gameplay footage, but it highlighted the special powers of the classes you’ll be able to play when the game launches this fall—and some of them are pretty damned wild. We’re catching some hands-on time with the game during E3 2019 so hopefully we’ll be able to tell you how Gearbox’s iconic looter-shooter actually feels sooner rather than later.
A new collaboration between From Software and George R. R. Martin, with luscious environments and fantastic-looking monsters? That’s a damned exciting combination. If you loved Dark Souls, Bloodborne, or Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, keep your eye on Elden Ring.
Next page: The trailers continue!
Microsoft announced that Halo Infinite will be a launch title for the next-gen Xbox “Project Scarlett” console at the end of 2020, which isn’t that surprising given rumors we’ve heard about “big changes” to the Halo formula. 343 showed off a new cinematic trailer with the announcement, and it paints a pretty bleak post-Halo 5 picture, though we’d love to feast our eyes on some actual gameplay.
Fallout 76 still isn’t very good, but Bethesda’s not willing to abandon ship yet. The free Wastelanders expansion adds sorely needed NPCs, dialog trees, and quests to the game, along with a 52-player battle royale mode. Sigh. Does anybody actually want to play a battle royale with Fallout’s janky combat mechanics? The game’s holding a free trial June 10 to 17, so you can determine the answer for yourself.
The Evil Within 2 is one of my favorite horror games, easily the best-playing release in recent years until the Resident Evil 2 remake matched it in January. Thus I’ve eagerly awaited Tango’s next project, and now we know it’s Ghostwire: Tokyo. As you might have guessed the game’s set in Tokyo, left desolate by a populace that’s vanishing into thin air—as if the rapture came and went, leaving only demons behind. It falls to you to figure out what’s going on, though the debut trailer didn’t give much of an idea what that entails.
Regardless, I think we can all agree that digital bowl of ramen looks delicious.
It’s been nearly two years since Wolfenstein II released, which is making Wolfenstein: Youngblood feel like less of an expansion, more of a brand-new entry in the series—especially given the shift to a 1980s setting and the addition of co-op play. The modern Wolfenstein games kick ass, and the 80s kicked ass, so Bethesda doesn’t have to sell us much on this one.
Arkane’s new game certainly has Dishonored homages, from the Victorian-looking clock towers to the use of a very Blink-like teleport at one point. But it’s got a fresh style to it, more modern, with two characters trying to assassinate each other in a time loop. You’ve got our attention, Bethesda.
Doom Eternal looks a lot like “More Doom,” and that’s fine with me. Bethesda went hard on Eternal during its press conference, showing off nearly 20 minutes of footage spanning a ton of different faux-Gothic hell environments, a whole arsenal of weapons, and some new enemies as well. There’s not much else to say, except “It looks damn good.”
Evil Genius 2
It’s the year for long-awaited revivals, it seems. Baldur’s Gate III and Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 were both announced in the lead-up to E3 2019, and at the PC Gaming Show, Rebellion announced Evil Genius 2, 15 years after the original villainous lair simulator dropped. The first trailer lacks any gameplay, but it’s full of James Bondian spy hijinks and the traps designed to thwart them.
Chivalry II feels about six months too late already, given Mordhau is already a fantastic spiritual successor and has become one of 2019’s breakout hits. They’re going to need something big to stand out, and so far we haven’t seen anything too promising. It’ll feature 64-player battles and horse combat, but...well, so does Mordhau. So we’ll see.
Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2
We got our first look at Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 during GDC, but Paradox had yet to show any game footage. That changed during the PC Gaming Show. Check out the four-minute gameplay teaser above.
Midnight Ghost Hunt
Coffee Stain’s been churning along on satisfactory since Goat Simulator, but at the PC Gaming Show, it took the wraps off Midnight Ghost Hunt, a new game where teams of ghosts and ghost hunters face off. The ghosts can take control of inanimate objects to rattle the hunters, who are trying to eradicate the poltergeists before midnight—when they get much, much deadlier.
Next page: The trailers continue!
Zombie Army 4: Dead War
Rebellion’s blending the Nazi-killing action of Sniper Elite with Strange Brigade’s squad-based co-op in Zombie Army 4: Dead War.
Planet Coaster is one of my favorite builders of the last few years, next to Cities: Skylines. Thus I’m pretty damn excited to see Frontier pair another of the old park sims with its fantastic construction kit, this time rebuilding Zoo Tycoon as Planet Zoo. Don’t let the lions get out. (Or do.)
The legendary Yu Suzuki appeared at the PC Gaming Show to reveal Shenmue III’s latest trailer, which showcases some of the game’s atmosphere and story beats. The full game drops in November.
In Maneater, you basically play as Jaws. Tripwire calls it “GTA with sharks” and a progression system. That’s all I need to be intrigued. If you need a bit more, the trailer above introduces Scaly Pete, the game’s villainous fisherman.
Warframe showed up for its annual expansion reveal, and let me tell you, Warframe sure does make great trailers. There’s a full reveal planned for TennoCon on July 6, but Empyrean is set to add space combat to the game and allow players to explore the solar system, including a new Venus-set zone.
The latest game from the creators of Her Story, Telling Lies features the same basic gameplay format: You sift through FMV videos, searching for clues to the mystery at hand using a fake computer interface. It sounds silly, but Her Story was great, and Telling Lies expands the format to include video diaries instead of just police interrogations.
Watch Dogs Legion
Watch Dogs Legion sounds really ambitious. There’s no protagonist, per se. Instead, you recruit a pool of characters—any characters, any citizen in Legion’s post-Brexit London dystopia. Want to play Legion as a collection of old gun-wielding grandmas? Yeah, you can do that. And I will absolutely do that, because it sounds amazing. I’m a bit wary of how many guns I saw in the Legion trailer, because I think Watch Dogs is better when it focuses on stealth and hacking, but I’m interested nevertheless.
Ghost Recon Breakpoint
Ghost Recon Breakpoint looks much weirder than Ghost Recon Wildlands, with a legion of Dr. Doom soldiers to fight and a Terminator tie-in teaser. Hopefully that indicates a more interesting story and campaign. The first game leaned too hard on its expansive open world and impressive technology at the expense of the setting itself.
Rainbow Six Quarantine
A tactical co-op game built using the superb Rainbow Six Siege engine? Ubisoft didn’t reveal much more about Rainbow Six Quarantine, but since Siege is still the only shooter that truly feels next-gen, that’s enough to hook us. Expect the game to lean on the lessons learned in Siege’s short-lived Outbreak event, which had players teaming up to take down an alien infestation.
Gods & Monsters
Ubisoft teased Gods & Monsters at the end of its E3 showcase. Created by a team of Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey developers, it escapes the reality-based shackles of that franchise to explore mythology in a much more stylized way. Hopefully we hear more about it soon.
After years of buildup, Crystal Dynamics finally unveiled its Avengers game. You'll have the capability to play as the Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, and Iron Man, both through a singleplayer campaign and online in co-op—a neat touch I wasn't expecting. And apparently Square will be adding superheroes and regions to the mix after the initial May 15, 2020 release, another aspect I didn't expect. Pretty neat though, and what little of the story we've seen looks like a better retelling of the Civil War storyline than the actual film managed.