E3 2019 Special: All the weird and wonderful things that have happened this week13 Jun 2019 0
You would have to be hiding under a rock not to realise that this week has been all about E3 – the biggest annual showcase & convention in the world of videogames. As a whole, it’s never really been about mobile games specifically, but It’s position as a focal point for the entire industry means that we always get a healthy smattering of announcements.
On top of that, companies not involved in the show like to try their arm and announce things anyway, which makes for one crazy, news-fuelled week that can be hard to keep track of. As E3 starts winding down, I’m going to take a moment to recap everything that I’ve seen or heard this week that may be of interest.
Phantom Doctrine heading to mobile
Technically not an E3 announcement, this underappreciated PC game marries the turn-based tactical action of XCOM with all the intrigue and espionage of the Cold War and is actually a pretty fun game all around. The turn-based battles have a great system of allowing you to sneak around before hell breaks loose, in theory allowing you to complete a mission without ever getting into a gunfight.
The developers tweeted this week that it’s coming to mobile, which is pretty exciting as we haven’t had a decent XCOM-like game in a while (and XCOM 2 doesn’t look like it’s going to show up). Read our sister site Strategy Gamer’s review of the PC version.
Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad
Ubisoft had a mobile announcement or two for us during their press conference earlier in the week. Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad looks to try and cash on all the love people have for various franchises and characters with a new “real time action RPG” spin-off on mobile.
You’ve got to assemble your team of characters from across Ubisoft’s games and pit them either against other players in the PvP Arena, as well as PvE campaign mode. It kinda feels like it’s trying to draw some of the elements from AutoChess, but they’re not marketing it as a branded competitor, which is a shame because I reckon they’d have gotten a bit more traction (plus an AutoChess-like with Rainbow Six Siege (and other) characters sounds super compelling). It's due on iOS and Android although no release window was given.
The most mobile announcements, surprisingly, came from Bethesda this year. Their headline announcement wasn’t a game, but a technology – Orion. Perhaps trying to keep with or a least challenge Stadia, this is a streaming technology that’s platform agnostic and tied to specific games engines as opposed to hardware and is supposed to reduce latency and bandwidth usage.
There is a trial planned for iOS later this year and it will involve streaming the single-player content form Doom; you’ll need iOS 11 at least. Plans for Android and PC do exist as well.
Apart from that, there were a couple of game announcements like a new Commander Keen game, as well as updates for Elder Scrolls: Blades, which is apparently doing very well for itself. We should get on that.
The other Elder Scrolls related announcement was a new expansion coming to Elder Scrolls: Legends. Moons of Elsweyr will arrive at the end of the month on June 27th with new cards and new mechanics and is already available for pre-order.
Square were also keen to show mobile some love during their conference this year.
First up they announced that the Crystal Chronicles Remastered edition would be coming to tablet and smartphones when it releases later this winter. Crystal Chronicles was an interesting side-story in the Final Fantasy saga, releasing on the GameCube originally and offering a co-op based action-RPG twist on the usual dynamic. It will be coming to both iOS and Android, and hopefully will feature cross-play between all platforms (including PS4 & Switch).
The other announcement concerned War of the Visions, the tactical RPG spin-off from the Final Fantasy Brave Exvius game. It will be coming to both iOS and Android globally later this year as well. Not sure yet if it’ll also be Free-to-Play like its progenitor, but I suspect it’s likely.
Have you spotted any other mobile-related announcement this week that got you excited? Let us know in the comments!