In my opinion, traditional E3 press conferences are dated and tiresome. Why? Because we have all seen an endless amount of nameless PR people and paid celebrities saunter on stage and pretend they aren’t just selling a product, and E3 2019 was no exception (well, besides for the MIA PlayStation show then).
So we were once again greeted by the same old series of trailers and promises we’ve witnessed for the last decade.
This continued ad-nauseam until three years ago when a small company named Devolver Digital broke the tradition (which they again did during their E3 2019 press conference).
While the last two years of Devolver’s events still technically contained the same format of presenter, “audience”, and trailers. However, they mixed it up by presenting it in a fun, gory, tongue-in-cheek take on the industry as a whole (kike making fun of everything from DLC to cryptocurrency, for example).
So, yeah. I think it’s safe to say that Devolver Digital separated themselves from the more corporate-like publishers that we’re all used to.
This year, however, Devolver Digital went against the grain even more by introducing “Devolver Direct” (which more or less is a more chaotic take on Nintendo’s own “Direct” model).
Well, the “Devolver Direct” presentation was filled with loads of cheesy effects, and 80s movie vibes, the story of Devolver’s presenter Nina Struthers continued with even more insane happenings than last time (trust me when I say this, you’ll just have to see it for yourself in-order to believe it).
And more important than the deep lore of Devolver Digital’s marketing team is the actual games on show! And unlike other conferences, we are hit with multiple trailers showing actual gameplay right out of the gate, with only a small bit of rapport before the good stuff comes.
First up is a survival platformer called “Fall Guys“. Looking like a cartoonish, seemingly multiplayer version of the classic Japanese game show “Taskeshi’s Castle“, “Fall Guys” seems to be the wacky, party game you’ll find yourself happy to lose just as much as you would to win.
Reminiscent of “Gang Beasts”, the little plump competitors fight through various obstacles and hurdles to be the last remaining “guy”. I can imagine this being a blast if the game is indeed multiplayer focused.
Next up is a strange collection of “Bootleg” games, which is named the “Devolver Bootleg” collection. The pack includes eight well-loved Devolver published titles, but.. Not really.
As each title is presented as a slightly-off bootleg of its beloved self. Mixing up visual styles, gameplay, and story just enough to be considered legal, the collection is a fun take on the usual rip-off titles we see constantly on the App Store.
The games included are: “Enter The Gun Dungeon”, “Hotline Milwaukee”, “Ape Out Jr.”, “Catsylvania”, “PikuBiku Ball Stars”, and “Luftrousers”. Personally, I find this to be a creative and fun way to create a sort of “spin-off” of great titles that I’m sure fans of the original games will love.
After a bit of gore and body horror, we are treated to the announcement trailer for “Carrion”. So what is “Carrion” all about then? Well, it’s a self-proclaimed “reverse horror” title where you take up the role of an amorphous creature of unknown origin.
In “Carrion” your goal is to escape while you kill and consume all of those who have imprisoned you. Crawling along walls and ceilings, you hunt and annihilate all in your path.
I don’t know about you, but the interesting concept and unsettlingly visuals, albeit pixels, has me completely sold. So I can’t wait to give “Carrion” a try.
That’s just the half of it though. Because just when you thought that Devolver couldn’t produce anything stranger, we’re hit with an actual real-life light-gun arcade cabinet!
And the game in question is called “Enter the Gungeon: House of the Gundead”, which is a classic arcade rail-shooter set in the same universe as Enter the Gungeon.
The full-on arcade cabinet is available for pre-order for both arcade and home consumers. The cabinet looks absolutely beautiful with a 43″ high definition monitor, classic arcade style and top-to-bottom artwork.
So if only I had five thousand dollars laying around, then I’d buy the “Enter the Gungeon: House of the Gundead” cabinet right now.
The next game in-line would be the free DLC for the critically acclaimed title “The Messenger” titled “Picnic Panic”. The free DLC is hitting consoles and PC on July 11th this Summer.
The “Picnic Panic”expansion features all new vacation themed levels with new bosses, magic, story, and more.
Which is a lovely addition to an already fantastic game. So if you haven’t tried “The Messenger” yet, then you should check it out as soon as possible!
The last game shown at Devolver digitals E3 2019 press conference was the absolutely insane looking “My Friend Pedro” (a game which has charmed a lot of gamers with its bleeding style and satisfying gunplay).
Well, for those who don’t know what “My Friend Pedro” is all about, then I’ll have you know that its a fast-paced shooter based around physics, dodging, and bullet-time.
Furthermore, players can use everything from using frying pans to ricochet shots, to using enemies heads to stun other baddies, Pedro looks to be an intense romp that makes the player feel like an action hero.
After the games were over, we were treated to a cliff-hanger ending recording the now robotic Nina and of course a “to be continued” ending. But the storyline to Devolver’s now infamous press event isn’t the point here.
No, because the main point to take away from this year’s “Devolver Direct” is how stale and overly serious the industry has become with E3.
So rather than showing us an entertaining, light-hearted, and real look at upcoming games, we have been getting the same regurgitated game year after year.
You know, personally, I’m tired of buzzwords and broken promises. If I had to pick, I’d much rather have E3 filled with the cheap gore, actual gameplay, and charming “realness” that the Devolver Digital presentations bring.
Entertainment Value: 5/5
Devolver Digital brings what I wish all companies would bring to E3. A short, to the point showing that focuses on actual gameplay, rather than CGI trailers and buzzwords.
I feel like both Devolver and Nintendo Direct are the future of game conferences as a whole. The live event venue is dated, and it shows more and more each year. So thanks Devolver, for the games, gore, and good times.
Robin Ek – Editor and co-writer.
This is a personal opinion of the writer, and it doesn’t necessarily represent the other writers (nor The Gaming Ground´s) opinions.
The Gaming Ground
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