E3 2019 games: Here are the biggest games from the show

Psychonauts 2 

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date:
2019 

It's a miracle Psychonauts 2 is even a thing, let alone a thing so close to release. God willing, Psychonauts 2 will be out this year, and it looks and feels like the caliber of sequel fans have been waiting *checks notes* 14 years for. We saw an E3 2019 demo of Psychonauts 2 helmed by Double Fine's Tim Schafer himself, and we can report that it's not just faithful to Psychonauts, it is Psychonauts. It has the exact same art style, feel, and humor of the original game, and it picks up right where the first one left off. It's got both new and familiar powers and characters, and it's still largely about platforming around trippy, introspective levels based on people's minds. Psychonauts is back, baby, and we are so ready to play it. 

Tales of Arise

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date:
2020

From its reveal trailer alone, it's clear Tales of Arise is handily the prettiest Tales game yet, and Bandai Namco says it will feature "updated combat" on top of markedly better graphics. Like Tales of Xillia before it, Arise seems to have two protagonists: the masked man in the trailer, and the pink-haired girl that he… pulls a rifle out of using some space magic? Oh yeah, this is a Tales game. It's exceedingly anime, it's got elemental weapons and bosses, and it's set in the gorgeous world of Dahna. Plenty of questions need answering - life if that was a legit dodge-roll in the trailer - but no complaints can be made. 

Zombie Army 4: Dead War

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release date:
Early 2020

The Zombie Army series stepped out of Sniper Elite's shadow with Zombie Army Trilogy, and now the story of slaying undead in an alternate-history World War 2 will continue in Zombie Army 4: Dead War. This new game features drop-in/drop-out co-op for up to four players, with several new class selections that bring their own abilities to help the party survive against hordes of horrors. The Sniper Elite lineage is still there, of course, so you'll get to see bullets pierce rotten brains in X-ray vision. Oh, also, Hitler is there and he's a zombie too, which just means you get a second chance to kill him.

 Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines 2 

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release date:
Q1 2020

Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 not only has an incredibly long title, it's also a long-awaited sequel to a cult-favorite immersive sim (think Deus Ex but with blood curses instead of cyberware). We finally got our first lengthy look at how the game will play at E3 2019, and it gives you options. You could lurk on the rooftops, leaping down to engage opponents in supernaturally agile combat. You could hang back and send in swarms of bats to assail your enemies, letting your little winged mammalian friends soften them up for you. Or you could try to resolve things politically like the proper Machiavellian night monster you are. 

Shenmue 3

Platforms: PC, PS4
Release date:
November 19, 2019

Years after Shenmue 3's Kickstarter campaign concluded, we're finally closing in on its release date (barring any last-minute delays), and that also means a new gameplay trailer to admire. Let's be 100-percent up front here: the game is looking cheesy. That's hardly a failure on its part - it's simply the continuation of the first two games' legacy as old-school, kung-fu movie inspired melodramas. Where else can you see a group of monks doing their daily exercises in front of a not-SEGA-branded arcade, then watch a heroic young man save a little girl from falling off a ladder before resuming his chase for a sneering villain?

Planet Zoo

Platform: PC
Release date:
December 2019

Planet Zoo is ostensibly about building and managing your own zoo, but you'll probably just end up spending all of your time watching lion cubs sleeping, and that's ok. It's coming from Frontier Developments, who also brought us 2013's Zoo Tycoon, establishing the studio as the foremost experts in virtual animal arrangement. You'll be able to design your own habitats from the shape of the land all the way to the greenery, and you'll even be able to assign people to come through and suck up all the hippo poop with these impressive looking handheld vacuums. Is that a real thing in zoos now? If not it should be.

Chivalry 2

Platform: PC
Release date:
2020

With Mordhau out here tearing up the multiplayer medieval melee charts, it's time for Chivalry 2 to take back the throne. The first gameplay trailer showed off new battlefields and just the sort of constant chaos you'd expect, all enhanced by the new presence of horses as a battlefield option. The developers said that adding in mounted units to the games helps create an even more hectic atmosphere, cleaving a bit closer to the sort of massive, hectic battles you'd see in Game of Thrones. Chivalry 2 will arrive in 2020 first on the Epic Games Store, which should set it up for some grudge matches against Mordhau on Steam.

Evil Genius 2: World Domination

Platform: PC
Release date:
TBA

Rebellion announced its intentions to make an Evil Genius sequel a few years ago, and now it's brought that vision closer to reality with its first cinematic trailer. It's basically like watching a cartoon Bond movie from the bad guy's point of view, as a super villain and his legion of goons descend on a tropical island to convert it into their secret lair. The trailer confirms that you'll once again build your base both to host your schemes for worldwide domination and to foil interference from intrepid, hopefully soon-to-be-dead heroes. We're still waiting to see any actual gameplay, but it's good enough to bask in those bright visuals and dark ambitions for a while.

 Wolfenstein: Youngblood 

Platforms: PC, PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One
Release date:
July 26, 2019

If you thought Wolfenstein: The New Colossus was pretty good but could use more synthesizers and a friend to slay Nazis alongside, hoo boy are you in luck. Bethesda debuted a new trailer for Wolfenstein: Youngblood at its E3 2019 presentation that was 1/3 story - BJ Blazkowics has gone missing in Nazi-controlled Paris, and his twin daughters are gonna get him back - and 2/3 f#$&ing up fascists. Wolfenstein: Youngblood's nearly here as it's set to arrive in July, and you may want to investigate the Deluxe Edition if you already have a friend lined up for co-op (it comes with a complimentary buddy pass).  

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: Early 2020 

I can still perfectly hear the English dub of Vegeta shouting "KAKAROT!" in my head, which makes Bandai Namco's next Dragon Ball Z game an instant winner in my book. If you're not familiar with the Vegeta and Frieza sagas of Dragon Ball Z, Kakarot is Goku's original Saiyan name, and this third-person fighting game retells those stories in anime-style 3D. The story of Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot captures the first time Goku ever goes Super Saiyan, which will be quite the throwback for longtime fans.