E3 2019: The games you can play right now

E3 2019: The games you can play right now, from Trials of Fire to Borderlands 2

No E3 would be complete without some surprise title launches, and this year’s event was no different. Kicking off with Microsoft’s briefing on Sunday afternoon, Phil Spencer and his team announced a whopping 60 games across the 105-minute show – some of which you can play right now. Almost every show had a full game or update ready to release during E3 itself. With the whole event now coming to a close, we’ve rounded up all the brand-new E3 games you can play right now. For a list of all the games announced during the show, check out our round-up here.

New Games

Devolver Bootleg (PC)

Announced in true Devolver Digital style, the delivery of the Devolver Bootleg announcement came across like a joke. It was not. Developed by doinkSoft, the folks behind the recently released Gato Robato, it’s a collection of “rip-off” demakes of popular Devolver Digital games with suitably cheap names like Hotline Milwaukee, Super Absolver Mini: Turbo Fighting Champion, and Enter the Gun Dungeon. The collection is cheap enough already, but who can say no to that sweet, sweet 1% discount on Steam?

Garden of the Sea (PC, early access)

Released in “way too early access,” Garden of the Sea is a relaxing, brightly colored VR farming sim. With a little cottage on your own magical island, your only real task is to shape your space as you see fit. You have a house, a boat, a watering can, and some cute little penguins and birds to pet. What more could you want? Fishing? That’s in the works.

Cris Tales (PC, demo)

A love letter to classic JRPGs made by a small team over in Colorado, Cris Tales might not be releasing in full until 2020, but you can play its debut demo right now. Able to see the past, present, and future all at the same time, your actions in one will directly affect the other. If you need to see those gorgeous modern cartoon visuals in action, check out the demo.

Mini Mech Mayhem (PSVR)

Releasing close enough to E3 week for us to slide in here, Mini Mech Mayhem is Futurlab’s humorous take on chess-style gameplay. Silly characters, a cartoony artstyle, and super exaggerated combat animations aim to make Mini Mech Mayhem into a strategy party game. As you can guess from the trailer, it’s PSVR only and releases next week, June 18.

Roller Champions (PC, demo)

Technically leaked a few weeks before the event, Roller Champions stole the show during Ubisoft’s presser. The cel-shaded 3 vs 3 sports game is best described as a mash-up between Rocket League and a roller derby. There’s potential for this to find a wide audience, and you can play a demo during E3 week by hitting up Uplay. They’re only confirming a PC release for now, but that can easily change.

Bloodroots (demo)

Developed by Paper Cult and releasing on Nintendo Switch, PC, and PlayStation 4 this Summer, Bloodroots is a “ultraviolent” title that tasks you with one thing – kill everyone. As gruesome and cruel as it sounds, its soft cartoon art style and exaggerated animations make this fast-paced indie action title far easier to appreciate. You’ll have to sign up to the game’s mailing list for a demo key.

An/Round

After three demos in around six months, An/Round had a surprise launch following the Kinda Funny Games showcase. This minimalist platformer breaks the boundaries of physics, challenging you with guiding the An/Round android around a simulation taking place in its own mechanical mind. You won’t find this one on Steam. Instead, hit it up on Itch.io or the developer’s official website.

A Duel Hand Disaster: Trackher

Developed by a rather vocal individual in El Paso, A Duel Hand Disaster: Trackher is a twin-stick action title you play in split-screen. By yourself. If you’re not confident in your multi-tasking skills, this might not be the game for you. It’s built around the classic arcade idea of racking up a high score, but dying before you can “extract” means going home with nothing. Greed won’t get you far. The game has been available on Steam for a few years now, but it just surprise launched on Nintendo Switch.

Looking for Heals

If you pride yourself on being the healer of your gaming group, Looking for Heals might be right up your alley. Rather than have you chopping down legions of enemies, this 2.5D indie strategy rouge-lite title wants you to focus on healing those heroes. With “boss fights inspired by MMO dungeon raids,” developers Blue Bomber Games must know what they’re doing. It’s now in early access, to expect plenty of updates over time.

Trials of Fire

Forget your apocalyptic settings, this is a post-cataclysmic fantasy world. Cards, characters, and loot define the strategy gameplay of Trials of Fire. Created by Whatboy Games and available now through early access, the actions your characters can take when fighting around this procedurally generated world are defined by the cards you’re dealt.

The Last Remnant Remastered

After being pulled from the platforms it had called home for 10 years prior, The Last Remnant returned during the Square Enix press conference as The Last Remnant Remastered. There’s no word on whether the title will arrive back on storefronts like Steam and PSN, but it graced the Nintendo Switch eShop at the end of the event. It’s an underappreciated title that gently mixes the turn-based battle formula with squad-based tactical combat.

Cadence of Hyrule – Crypt of the NecroDancer

As an indie dev, you know you’ve made a quality product when Nintendo bestows upon you one of their most valuable IPs. Revealed earlier this year, Cadence of Hyrule arrives on the Nintendo Switch eShop a few short days after the E3 Nintendo Direct. If you played Hyrule Warriors and wanted to jump around to its metal covers of classic Zelda songs, this is Cadence of Hyrule should be on your radar.

Contra Anniversary Collection

Finally revealing Contra Rogue Corps after a meaningless tease last year, Konami surprise dropped Contra Anniversary Collection at the end of the Nintendo E3 Direct. The collection was known to us since March this year, but tossing a bunch of Contra games at us the moment they properly announce a new entry should help keep the game from fading into obscurity by the time it releases in September.

Collection of Mana

In a similar fashion, Square Enix used Nintendo E3 Direct to drop Collections of Mana, an anthology of the Mana action-RPG franchise that spawned with the Game Boy game Final Fantasy Adventure back in 1991. It’s the first time the third entry, Seiken Densetsu 3, has released in the west – only now it’s known as Trials of Mana. The trilogy pack should be on the Nintendo Switch eShop right now.

Game Updates

Audica beatmap editor

The kings and queens of rhythm music-based games used the E3VR showcase to announce a pretty sizable update to Audica that includes two new songs and a beatmap editor. If the League of Legends’ “POP/STAR” beatmap wasn’t tough enough for you, why not do it yourself?

Fallout 76 Nuclear Winter update & free week event

The redemption continues – Fallout 76 is going free for this week only, and it’s bringing a sneak peek of its new 52-player battle royale mode along with it. Bethesda isn’t known for quick fixed to its sprawling open-world titles, but Todd Howard and the team are hard at work making Fallout 76 into… well… Fallout. A free week event sounds like a great time to see what all the hubbub was about. Battle Royale fixes everything, right?

Borderlands 2: Commander Lilith & the Fight for Sanctuary

Almost seven years after the release of the game, Borderlands 2 received an all-new DLC story drop during Microsoft’s briefing. Helping to ease us back into the wacky world of Sanctuary, Commander Lilith & the Fight for Sanctuary drops you into new locations with new loot and an increased level cap. Did we mention it’s free?

State of Decay 2: Heartland expansion

A surprise drop during Microsoft’s briefing, State of Decay 2: Heartland is the game’s biggest expansion yet – and you can play right now. Whisking you back to Trumbull Valley, the location of the first game, you’ll face off against new plague freaks and catch up with familiar faces as one of two characters returning to the location for different reasons. It’s included with Microsoft’s Game Pass subscription.

Forza Horizon 4: LEGO Speed Champions expansion

The Forza Horizon franchise has always sat in the sweet spot between realistic and arcade-style racer, and the new Forza Horizon 4: LEGO Speed Champions expansion is more proof than you’ll ever need. Drivers will get to explore a unique LEGO themed world and city in brick-based versions of iconic vehicles like the Ferrari F40 Competizione, the McLaren Senna and, for the classic fans, the 1967 Mini Cooper S Rally. It’s coming on June 13.

Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey – Story Creator Mode

In a blink and you’ll miss it moment, Ubisoft’s preshow surprise dropped a cool new bonus for Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey — a custom quest maker! It’s available now for players to tinker around with. And it’s crossplay-enabled!

Brawlhalla: Adventure Time Crossover

Speaking of games (and cartoons) that just keep sticking around, Adventure Time made the jump to Brawlhalla during Ubisoft’s big show. Jake, Finn, and even Princess Bubblegum have all been added as playable characters alongside the Tree Fort map and the new “Buddy” game mode. It being free somehow isn’t the best part about it.

For Honor: Shadows of the Hitokiri event

Another one of Ubisoft’s multiplayer redemption stories, For Honor: Shadows of Hitokiri dropped during the publisher’s press conference. This limited-time event builds upon the two recently released heroes. Vikings, Knights, Wu Lin and Samurai battle against each other in Soul Rush. Kill targets, collect their souls, and bank them to score points. You’ll find more details here.

The Division 2 freeplay event

If you’ve yet to get in on The Division 2, this week is a great time to check it out. Alongside the announcement of a slew of upcoming updates, the game is going free for most of E3 week. From June 13-16, you can download and play it for free on your platform of choice.

Rainbow Six Siege: Operation Phantom Sight

The first of two recently announced operators for Rainbow Six Siege has landed. Operation Phantom Sight is now in full swing, and the first of those new characters, Warden, is now available. Check out the accompanying trailer to see him take the edge in a 1 vs 5 match-up.

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