Best of E3 2019: Our Favorite PC Games and Hardware
With a pair of new gaming laptops and plenty of breathtaking software to play on them, this was a hell of an E3. Cult classics made a welcome resurgence while newcomers made us excited for the future of games and how we consume them.
Here are our picks for the Best of E3 2019.
John Wick Hex
This game is only slightly less breathtaking than actor Keanu Reeves. A top- down tactics game, you have to plot the retired assassin's path through legions of goons dedicated to putting a bullet through his eyes. Stay alive by carefully planning Wick's steps while evaluating the time it'll take his enemies to shoot or strike and try to counter and keep him alive. — Sherri L. Smith
Guns, loot and potty humor. What more do you want in a shooter? Borderlands 3 marks the return of one of my favorite loot and shoots, and I couldn't be happier.
The game introduces you to a new crop of vault hunters with their own unique powers and a double dose of trouble from the antagonists, the Calypso Twins. A revamped multiplayer and over 1 billion guns to wreak a wide swath of havok promises hours of fun. — Sherri L. Smith
It's been about 14 years since the original Psychonauts and developer Double Fine's ready to take us back into the fractured mind of evil. Raz, this time a full-fledged member of the titular group finds himself attempting to solve a lingering mystery - who conspired to kidnap the head of the Psychonauts and why. Complete with its signature quirky art style and fun psychic powers, this is one platformer we can't wait to jump into. — Sherri L. Smith
When Oddworld: Abe's Odyssey released in 1997, it was meant to be the first piece of a five-part epic. However, the best-laid plans get sidetracked by financial difficulties. But like a phoenix rising from the ashes, developer Oddworld Inhabitants, Inc. is back with the second part in the series, which is more beautiful than the first. Once again, players take on the role of Abe, a member of an enslaved race fighting to free his people from its cruel overload via platforming, logic puzzles and some good old fashioned projectiles. — Sherri L. Smith
Lightweight, extremely affordable with great sound, the $24.99 LS1 is a chat-focused headset that can easily transition from a game chat to a business meeting. Thanks in part to its single earcup, the seriously light headband is comfortable and can be worn comfortably for long periods of time. — Sherri L. Smith
Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition
If you've only encountered world history through textbooks, the subject can seem pretty dry. But the story of human civilization is so much more than memorizing dates and writing essays. Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition demonstrates that medieval history is full of brilliant technological breakthroughs, devastating intrigue, fierce battles and larger-than-life personalities.
With 35 civilizations and 27 campaigns, AOEII: DE will keep even the most discerning players busy for a long time. After you tackle the single-player scenarios, you can always dive into the multiplayer, and test your society-building skills against other history buffs. Whether you rely on Mongol cavalry archers, Teutonic knights or Byzantine castles, you're sure to find a civilization that suits your playstyle. And who knows? You might just learn something in the process. — Marshall Honorof
Alienware m15 and 17
Two other members of the lineup have gotten a legendary makeover. Both the Alienware m15 and 17 have been upgraded with the Area-51's gorgeous design. But looks are only skin deep. Starting at $1,499, the laptops can be configured with up to a 9th Gen Intel Core i9 processor with a 2TB PCIe SSD and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q GPU with 8GB of VRAM. They also feature an integrated eye tracker courtesy of Tobii. It's the evolution of Alienware and it's absolutely sublime. — Sherri L. Smith
Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
I wasn't particularly excited about another Lego game, but developer TT Games and publisher WBIE games made me a believer. Covering all nine movies, including the upcoming Rise of Skywalker flick, The Skywalker Saga can be played in any order.
However, what you do in other movies can affect what's available (or isn't) in other worlds. And if you're expecting the same old Lego game, buckle up buttercup, because the graphics and combat system has gotten a major facelift. Are you ready to go to a galaxy far, far away? Because I am. — Sherri L. Smith
Xbox Game Pass for PC
Xbox Game Pass set a new standard for the kind of value we should expect from a gaming subscription service, and Microsoft is now bringing that same great package to PC with its own Windows-specific perks. In addition to Microsoft games like Gears 5, Sea of Thieves and The Master Chief Collection, Game Pass for PC will include PC-centric third party tiles such as Football Manager 2019 and Imperator: Rome. And with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, you can get Game Pass for Xbox, Game Pass for PC and Xbox Live Gold for an insanely low $15 per month. — Mike Andronico
CD Projekt Red brought us the Witcher series, so it's only fitting that the studio's next project should also be full of tough choices. In this first-person action/RPG, you can be a brilliant hacker, a deadly sharpshooter, a suave conversationalist or anything in-between. As you navigate the enormous, futuristic Night City, you'll decide whether you want to improve the dystopian world in which you live, or simply amass as much wealth and power as you can for yourself.
Whether you want to gun down every foe that stands in your way or talk down every threat with charm and cunning, Cyberpunk 2077 offers you a chance to play however you see fit. Between its tight gameplay and open-ended narrative, Cyberpunk 2077 may not ultimately be an uplifting game, but it sure looks like it'll be a satisfying one. — Marshall Honorof
Credit: CD Projekt Red; Gearbox; Microsoft; Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment