EA Play, EA's scheduled press event for E3 2019 happened Saturday morning, and the company devoted 30 minutes to Apex Legends season 2. Among other things, we learned the game will start July 2, with a new weapon, new skins, a ranked mode and the 10th Legend of the game, Wattson.
Natalie "Wattson" Paquette can build her own defensive structures, a counter to the game's typical aggressive characters. Her tactical ability involves electric fences for building defensive perimeters that damage and slow other players, while her ultimate ability, Interception Pylon, places an electrified pylon that destroys incoming ordnance and refills her teammates' shields.
Wattson's story is that she and her father helped build the Apex Arena, and she's considered the "kid sister" of the other Legends. That means she has a bit more lore in comparison to the other characters.
The new weapon of the season, the L-Star, can shatter doors and do big damage. Fans of the Titanfall series will recognize the weapon from multiplayer matches.
Apex Legends season 2 also includes a ranked mode. It'll be available only for the best players to compete against each other and will have its own rewards. There'll also be some rebalancing weapons, including the Mozambique shotgun.
Respawn Entertainment also announced a "double xp" weekend on June 7-9 where players will earn twice the Battle Pass and base experience points.
The final montage video for Apex Legends gave a quick glimpse of a giant eyeball that's teased as a "big thing" coming to Kings Canyon in Apex Legends season 2.
The big press conferences
Many of the biggest announcements happen before the show even opens, during a weekend of press conferences from the industry's biggest names. All except Sony, which this year said itduring the show, .
The rest, however, will still be planning big announcements just before the show.
Saturday, June 8
- Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. It also announced last-man-standing battle royale game, offering a new character and weapon to play with. The company also showed off a new paid update for The Sims 4, called Island Living, that brings the series to a tropical beach. Finally, the company did discuss drama over the mixed reviews for its Anthem action adventure game, saying it " " and had more updates and features planned soon.
Sunday, June 9
- Microsoft / Xbox -- The gaming giant's biggest news was Project Scarlett, its next-generation Xbox, coming in 2020. The new device is up to 4x more powerful, the company said, and like the next-gen PlayStation it'll include a fast non-mechanical SSD hard drive, and it'll be powered by custom innards built with the help of chipmaker AMD. The company also announced that Halo Infinite will launch alongside Project Scarlett next year. Meantime, Microsoft is starting public tests of its Project xCloud streaming service in October, promising people the ability to play high end games on their mobile devices while away from home. While fans wait, Microsoft announced an update to its Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 as well as a slew of new games. And action star Keanu Reeves, fresh off the success of John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum, was on stage to announce his involvement with Cyberpunk 2077, which is coming next year.
- Bethesda -- Bethesda kicked off its event with humility over the mixed response to Fallout 76, but quickly went back on the offensive. Fallout 76 got a new Battle Royale mode, Wolfenstein Youngblood received a new trailer and a co-op mode. We got a new game called Deathloop from the clever folks behind Dishonored and Bethesda introduced us to Orion, a piece of tech from ID Software designed to make game streaming better on services like Google Stadia. The lion's share of attention, however, went to Doom Eternal, which looked fantastic in both single player and multiplayer.
Monday, June 10
- PC Gaming Show -- This annual PC Gaming Show is held at a theater a short walk from the Los Angeles Convention Center, but still draws a large crowd, filling the 1,700-person capacity Mayan Theater in downtown Los Angeles. Inside, the usual suspects, from Halo to Doom, were nowhere to be found. Instead, the crowd cheered for PC-centric games including Zombie Army 4, Baldur's Gate 3 and Terraria: Journey's End. (No, the game sequel problem isn't any better on PCs.) The highlight was a brief on-stage appearance by legendary game designer Yu Suzuki, responsible for classic such as Hang-On and Virtua Fighter. His long-awaited Shenmue 3 is expected in November, 18 years after Shenmue 2.
- Ubisoft -- The French gaming giant announced its next big dystopian hacking adventure game, Watch Dogs: Legion, launching March 2020. The new game is set in near-future post-Brexit London, where the economy is failing and government is breaking down. The company also announced a new television show, called Mythic Quest, that will launch on Apple TV Plus. And it celebrated the 10th anniversary of its Just Dance party games.
- Square Enix -- 6 p.m. PT (9 p.m. ET)
Tuesday, June 11
- Nintendo (livestream only) -- 9 a.m. PT (noon ET)
Originally published June 8, 10:30 a.m. PT.
Updates, 10:37 a.m.: Adds Wattson tweet; 10:47 a.m.: Includes background info; 10:58 a.m.: Adds more ability info; 11:46 a.m.: Adds info on ranked mode; 11:56 a.m.: Includes more background info.; 2:05 p.m.: Adds more details about other press conferences.