Nintendo once again skipped hosting a traditional press conference at E3, and instead hoeld one of its famous Nintendo Direct presentations. It was filled with new game announcements, as well as new trailers for games that Nintendo has in the works for the next year. There weren’t a huge number of first-party game announcements, but Nintendo managed to excite us by showing just how many of its upcoming Switch games are only a few months away. Here are the biggest games and announcements from the Nintendo Direct at E3 2019. For more information, including details on Panzer Dragoon, The Witcher III, and upcoming indie games, watch the full presentation above.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is not only one of the best Nintendo games of all time, but one of the best video games ever made. We weren’t expecting to hear news on a follow-up so soon, but Nintendo closed its presentation by revealing that a full-fledged sequel is in the works. It looks to maintain the locations and art style of the original game, and in the sneak preview, we see swirly green energy that eventually sprouts an enormous mountain in the middle of Hyrule.
It appears that Zelda herself will play more of a role this time around, as she accompanies Link when he discovers a demonic-looking monster at the bottom of a valley. No final title or release information was offered, but we anticipate hearing more about this game in the not-too-distant future.
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
Speaking of Zelda, Nintendo also took the time to show off its The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening remake during the presentation. The game continues to impress with its modernized art style, and its snappy combat looks like a welcome return to the classic era of Zelda games from the early ’90s. You will be able to collect different chambers during your adventure that can then be customized into your own creative dungeons, and by completing these, you can earn rewards.
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening will release for Nintendo Switch on September 20, during a very busy period for Nintendo.
Luigi’s Mansion 3
Previously teased without any concrete details, Luigi’s Mansion 3 was fully revealed during the presentation, and it looks to be one of the Switch’s most promising exclusives. The game finds Luigi, Mario, Peach, and Toad headed to a gorgeous hotel for a getaway, but they soon discover it is much more nefarious than it appears. Ghosts roam the halls, and Luigi must make use of his Poltergust G-00 to eliminate them. He has access to new abilities like a slam and a suction shot to help him in his mission, and a “burst” that knocks ghosts away.
Luigi is joined by a jiggly alter-ego called “Gooigi” to assist with certain puzzles, and if you want to play the game cooperatively, one player can control each character. There is also an eight-player mode called ScareScraper that has eight players searching for Toads. You’ll be able to experience it when the game launches later this year.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Teased earlier this year with a small video of Tom Nook, Animal Crossing: New Horizons was announced during the E3 2019 presentation. The game is set on a desert island, where Nook, Inc. has given certain citizens a getaway package to set up their dream living arrangements. The game will allow you to craft on Nook’s workbench, chop down trees, grow plants, make your own pathways and snowmen, and everything else you can imagine from Animal Crossing — such as owing Nook money.
Originally slated to launch this year, Animal Crossing: New Horizons needed more time in the oven and will now arrive on March 20, 2020.
No More Heroes III
The spinoff game Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes just launched this year, but a full-fledged sequel will be released by Grasshopper Manufacture in 2020. The game looks to be a return to the style used by the first two, ditching the isometric perspective but retaining the eccentric Travis Touchdown and the series’ knack for the goofy and ridiculous.
New Super Smash Bros. Ultimate characters
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate isn’t done releasing DLC characters, and two more from very different franchises were announced during the presentation. This summer, to celebrate the release of Dragon Quest 11: Echoes of an Elusive Age — Definitive Edition S, “The Hero” from the Dragon Quest series will be playable. He or she will make use of a sword and shield, as well as magical abilities, and they will have access to a menu similar to turn-based role-playing games. The character will come to the game this summer.
Perhaps even bigger news was that Banjo-Kazooie will be coming to the game this fall. The two-person team will be capable of dealing projectile damage from a distance while brawling up close, and they will have a floating mechanic to survive after being knocked off the map. Banjo-Kazooie is a franchise owned by Rare, a subsidiary of Microsoft, and the move seems to signify the closer relationship shared by Microsoft and Nintendo recently.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order is just over a month away, and the Nintendo Switch exclusive received a flashy trailer during the Nintendo Direct. In the trailer, we saw characters like Spider-Man, Thor, Ghost Rider, Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America, and Thanos engaging in classic action-role-playing battles. Fans of the two previous games should find themselves right at home when it launches on July 19.
More characters will be released as part of the game’s expansion pass. Heroes from the Fantastic Four and X-Men will be added this fall.
Contra: Rogue Corps
The Contra series makes its triumphant return September 24, with Contra: Rogue Corps, a new take on the classic run-and-gun action game. Heroes who found themselves involved in the Alien Wars will band together to take on new alien threats and save the world, and the game will feature several different perspectives, including an isometric style and one more like a traditional third-person shooter. The game will be available with wireless and online cooperative multiplayer.
Additionally, the Contra Anniversary Collection is available on Nintendo Switch today. The game includes Contra, Super Contra and Super C, Contra III, Super Probotector, Contra: Hard Corps, Probotector, and Operation C.
Pokémon Sword and Shield
A special presentation for the upcoming Pokémon Sword and Shield was just released earlier this month, so there was not a wealth of information provided during the Nintendo Direct presentation. However, we did learn that the Poké Ball Plus accessory from the previous game will be compatible. It will not work as a controller, but you can put one of your monsters inside and take them for a walk.
Astral Chain, developed by PlatinumGames and directed by the lead designer of Nier: Automata, is releasing for Switch on August 30. A new trailer shown during the presentation focused on how the hero character will interact with a “Chimera,” which is an extraterrestrial creature. By bonding with one of these, called a “Legion” when allied with a hero, the protagonist is able to use the monsters as weapons. If one half of the body is about to die, the Legion can instinctually save the hero. Little else has been revealed about the game’s story or world thus far, but its combat looks to be flashy, complex, and over-the-top.
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics
By far the most bizarre and unexpected game shown during the Nintendo Direct event, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics takes the cult-hit Jim Henson film’s Netflix television series spinoff and turns it into a tactical role-playing game. The basic gameplay loop looks similar to Fire Emblem — which also got a brief cinematic trailer during the E3 presentation — but with the classic fantastical and creative character designs we saw in the original film.