E3 Nintendo Direct Recap: Breath of the Wild sequel, Banjo-Kazooie, Animal Crossing, Link’s Awakening, and more

That’s it! Nintendo’s E3 direct is over and it was actually pretty good. Especially at the end! Despite no new Metroid Prime 4 footage, no new Bayonetta. The long-rumoured Nintendo Switch update was nowhere to be seen.

But new Zelda folks! A brand new sequel to Breath of the Wild is in development.

So what did we get? We got Banjo-Kazooie in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, more footage of upcoming games like Luigi’s Mansion 3 and Link’s Awakening. And also a whole heap of existing games like The Witcher 3 and Alien Isolation coming to the Nintendo Switch. Oh and Animal Crossing gets a name and release date!

Let’s break it down.

Oh lord! We absolutely did not see this one coming. Nintendo is making a new Zelda game — but it looks as though it’s a direct sequel to Breath of the Wild (probably the greatest game ever made). I am extremely excited.

The fact Nintendo has announced a new Zelda so quickly suggests it could be a Majora’s Mask-style sequel in the same universe. To be clear: this is not DLC, this is a new fully fledged sequel.

Also Link was riding a gigantic elephant/rhino type animal.

Very exciting.

Nintendo had previously said Animal Crossing would be available this year, in 2019. Sadly that is no longer the case.

Today Nintendo announced that Animal Crossing: New Horizons will be released on March 20, 2020.

Not a massive delay, but significant nonetheless. The game is being delayed to ensure that the game hits the quality levels Nintendo requires. 

We got an additional look at the game today at Nintendo’s E3 Nintendo Direct and it does look like the game is en route to hitting those quality levels. In new footage released today we got to see the game in all its glory: fishing, gardening, crafting.

It’s been a long time coming, but finally it has happened: Banjo-Kazooie is coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on the Nintendo Switch, as revealed by Nintendo’s E3 Nintendo Direct

It’s long been one of those character additions that made complete sense, but there’s always been one obstacle: since Microsoft owned Rare, the company who made the games originally, Nintendo didn’t have the rights to reproduce the character on a game solely designed for Nintendo consoles.

But they’re not alone. In conjunction with the western release of Dragon Quest XI, Nintendo is also bringing across characters from that game to Smash.

Banjo-Kazooie is coming to Smash in Fall 2019.


Nintendo

Luigi’s Mansion is low key one of the most underrated Nintendo franchises. We got a fresh look at Luigi’s Mansion 3, the latest in the series, and it looks fantastic.

In addition to the usual gameplay we’ve come to expect, Luigi’s Mansion 3 has found new ways for Luigi to interact with the world: a cool new plunger thing that lets you rip stuff from the game’s environment and — perhaps most importantly — GOOIGI! A green, ghostly version of Luigi that allows you to solve puzzles in the game world.

Nintendo also revealed a four-player co-op mode.

The game is set for release in late 2019.

No More Heroes 3

Fans of Travis Touchdown were rewarded with a new No More Heroes game for the Nintendo Switch. It’s being developed by Grasshopper and while we didn’t get a glimpse of gameplay, it looked pretty good!

Link’s Awakening

LInk’s Awakening looks amazing. Absolutely amazing.

As someone who played and adored the original Link’s Awakening on the original Nintendo Game Boy, this looks like a faithful rework on every possible level. It retains the charm of the original but the new art style looks to elevate it into something truly special in its own right.

Perhaps the most newsworthy part: Link’s Awakening has some sort of new “dungeon creator” that looks like it allows players to design their own dungeons seamlessly. Looks like it could provide a lot of replay value to those who blast through the main quest quickly.

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A lot of old games are coming to Switch

Since the console is portable, it always feels significant when Nintendo brings classics to the Nintendo Switch. At the Nintendo Direct it was announced that The Witcher 3 and Alien Isolation were en route.

Personally I cannot wait to play The Witcher 3 on the bus and Alien Isolation completely curled up in bed.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3

Finally a Marvel game that looks decent? I jest I jest!

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 is a far more stylised Marvel game. It’s also far more of a known quantity given it’s the third in a series that stretches back literally years. We sort of know what to expect with this one: a multiplayer, top down beat em up style game. Could be worse!

All of E3 2019’s press conferences

Saturday, June 8

Sunday, June 9

  • Microsoft / Xbox — The gaming giant’s biggest news was Project Scarlett, its next-generation Xbox, coming in 2020. The new device is up to 4x more powerful, the company said, and like the next-gen PlayStation it’ll include a fast non-mechanical SSD hard drive, and it’ll be powered by custom innards built with the help of chipmaker AMD.  The company also announced that Halo Infinite will launch alongside Project Scarlett next year. Meantime, Microsoft is starting public tests of its Project xCloud streaming service in October, promising people the ability to play high end games on their mobile devices while away from home. While fans wait, Microsoft announced an update to its Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 as well as a slew of new games. And action star Keanu Reeves, fresh off the success of John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum, was on stage to announce his involvement with Cyberpunk 2077, which is coming next year.
  • Bethesda — Bethesda kicked off its event with humility over the mixed response to Fallout 76, but quickly went back on the offensive. Fallout 76 got a new Battle Royale mode, Wolfenstein Youngblood received a new trailer and a co-op mode. We got a new game called Deathloop from the clever folks behind Dishonored and Bethesda introduced us to Orion, a piece of tech from ID Software designed to make game streaming better on services like Google Stadia. The lion’s share of attention, however, went to Doom Eternal, which looked fantastic in both single player and multiplayer.

Monday, June 10

  • PC Gaming Show — This annual PC Gaming Show is held at a theater a short walk from the Los Angeles Convention Center, but still draws a large crowd, filling the 1,700-person capacity Mayan Theater in downtown Los Angeles. Inside, the usual suspects, from Halo to Doom, were nowhere to be found. Instead, the crowd cheered for PC-centric games including Zombie Army 4, Baldur’s Gate 3 and Terraria: Journey’s End. (No, the game sequel problem isn’t any better on PCs.) The highlight was a brief on-stage appearance by legendary game designer Yu Suzuki, responsible for classic such as Hang-On and Virtua Fighter. His long-awaited Shenmue 3 is expected in November, 18 years after Shenmue 2. 
  • Ubisoft — The French gaming giant announced its next big dystopian hacking adventure game, Watch Dogs: Legion, launching March 2020. The new game is set in near-future post-Brexit London, where the economy is failing and government is breaking down. The company also announced a new television show, called Mythic Quest, that will launch on Apple TV Plus. And it celebrated the 10th anniversary of its Just Dance party games. 
  • Square Enix — This was a huge franchise fair. The press conference started out with juicy details on Final Fantasy VII Remake, namely that it’ll be a two-part game. The first part, an entire Blu-Ray disc, will be devoted to exploring Midgar. After a flurry of trailers and an in-depth look at Final Fantas XIV: Shadowbringers, we then got the main event unveil: Marvel’s Avengers

Tuesday, June 11

  • Nintendo (livestream only) — 9 a.m. PT (noon ET)

We’re there

Techhnews will be on the ground, covering covering E3 2019 alongside our sister site, Gamespot. We’ll update this page throughout the show as more games are announced.

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