It's almost here: the annual absurdity and week of no-sleep that is E3. Sony's not attending this year, so we won't get anymore Last of Us 2 or Death Stranding details for a while, but there's at least seven other games that we should know a little more about by this time next week.
CD Projekt RED has already described E3 2019 as their most important year, and that's for one glaring reason: Gwent. No, I'm kidding. It's Cyberpunk 2077, the RPG that was first announced in 2013 before getting a proper reveal last year.
It's an enormous effort, far larger than The Witcher 3. Development has been so long and rough that CD Projekt RED pre-emptively spoke to Kotaku about the studio's work-life balance, noting that developers have already been asked to work — voluntarily, they argue — nights and weekends.
One mandate is that holidays can only be taken at certain periods. One of those periods is immediately after E3 2019, which is an indication that the studio (like most of the industry) has been working overtime to prepare whatever they're about to show next week.
Cyberpunk 2077 is probably the most anticipated game in the industry right now. The studio already spoke to Kotaku last year about the complexity of CP2077's quest system, customisation, companion characters and the ability to move freely between classes.
It's hard to talk about CD Projekt Red's Cyberpunk 2077 without talking about the studio's last game, The Witcher 3. And so it came to be that a lot of our E3 interview with Cyberpunk's quest designer involved discussion of both games.
Whatever CD Projekt RED has to show next week, chances are it'll probably steal the show.
We've already heard that Playground Games, the studio behind the Forza Horizon series, has been working on a new single-player iteration of the Fable series. It's super early in development from what we know, and isn't likely to come out anytime soon. But enough chatter has been floating around, so hopefully Microsoft lift the lid on what Playground's vision is.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake
Square Enix's conference last year was a colossal disappointment, mainly because there was bugger all new footage — and nothing from FF7 whatsoever. That shouldn't be the case this year, with PlayStation having revealed some gameplay during their recent not-a-Direct monthly livestream.
We know the combat isn't turn-based anymore, but how deep does the FF15-esque system go? What are some of FF7's classic cities like remastered? How weird will Honeybee Inn be? Are Square still going down the episodic route?
There's a lot of questions on the table. Square has promised to answer some of those. They're the last conference on the Tuesday, so it'll be a gruelling run to get there, but it should be worth it.
Animal Crossing (Switch)
We know there's a new Animal Crossing this year, but we know so, so little about it. Tom Nook's putting together a new village, although if I'm being honest, I'm here for the soundtrack.
The proper title for the new Animal Crossing isn't known, and we don't know when it's coming out. We know bugger all about what new systems or mechanics will be introduced, or the level of integration with Nintendo Switch Online or other Switch consoles via local wireless.
Can I make cults? Prisons? How can I fuck with the sleepy-eyed landlord Tom Nook? Will I have only four houses to choose from? How close to extortion will Tom's loan be? I need to know, Nintendo.
Baldur's Gate 3
Obsidian nearly made Baldur's Gate 3, and now it seems like Larian Studios, the makers of the Divinity: Original Sin games, are on board. I'm already sold — just show me what it looks like.
Are the developers behind my favourite role-playing game of the decade making a sequel to my favourite role-playing game of the decade before? It sure seems that way, as Larian Studios, makers of Divinity: Original Sin 2, are teasing news of a Baldur’s Gate 3.
Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order
Possibly the most hyped thing from an EA conference in years — maybe next to whatever hopes people had for the Battlefront reboot — is Respawn's single-player take on Star Wars. We know there's going to be "cinematic", methodical lightsaber battles, along with some wall-running and a lot of cutscenes.
EA has 30 minutes of footage scheduled for early Saturday morning. Respawn know how to put together a single-player solo campaign, so fingers crossed it works out, but I'm really just keen to see how close to Jedi Knight we get with the Force powers.
Shark RPG (Maneater)
Remember the game last year about a shark who wanted to take revenge on humans for killing their shark mother? That's Shark RPG, which is actually called Maneater, but I'm stubbornly just calling Shark RPG. The game's supposedly out sometime this year, and Tripwire Interactive have shown up to the PC Gaming Show every year without fail. So I'm hopeful they'll have more to show this time around, including what the shark progression system looks like.