E3 Nintendo Direct: Breath of the Wild 2, Smash Bros and other best games

An icon of 1990s gaming is returning to a Nintendo console for first time in nearly 20 years

Nintendo Direct 2019
Banjo-Kazooie (centre) will appear in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate later this year
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Nintendo had a treat in store for gaming fans at its Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) keynote yesterday, showcasing a range of new titles set to launch on its Switch console.

The Japanese games company has always done E3 differently to its competitors and did so once again at this year’s event - which wraps up tomorrow at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Instead of hosting a live conference, the firm released a light-hearted, pre-recorded briefing about all of the games being developed by its team.

And while there was no news on the rumoured Switch 2, the 45-minute Nintendo Direct presentation left gamers with plenty to be excited about.

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Here are the best games from this year’s E3-based Nintendo Direct:

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2

The biggest surprise of Nintendo Direct was the announcement of an upcoming sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

The open-world adventure game was “one of the biggest, best and most beloved” titles yet when it launched on the Switch back in early 2017, so the reveal of Breath of the Wild 2 “quickly took the internet by storm”, says Den of Geek.

The entertainment news site argues that the preview trailer’s “horror” tone suggests the “beautiful landscape” of Hyrule, the world explored by players in the first game, may be ripped to “shreds” by a villain similar to Breath of the Wild antagonist Calamity Ganon.

Nintendo is keeping quiet about when the new title will launch.

Luigi’s Mansion 3

The Luigi’s Mansion series has been a hit with fans since debuting on the Nintendo GameCube in 2001, so it’s “reassuring” that the upcoming third instalment “does not reinvent the wheel”, says Eurogamer.

While his brother Mario is off saving Princess Peach from the clutches of Bowser once again, Luigi is left to explore a dingy hotel that has been overrun by ghosts.

However, Luigi’s Mansion 3 “refines the formula” of its predecessors and adds a range of new features - such as the controllable “Gooigi” figure that helps Luigi dodge traps - which feel as though they’ve “been there since the GameCube original”, the news site adds.

There’s no official release date yet, but the game is expected to arrive before the year is out.

Banjo-Kazooie stars join Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

The Super Mario franchise may be Nintendo’s most popular series but Banjo-Kazooie was one of the key games that defined the Japanese firm’s N64 console generation in the 1990s.

Following the success of Banjo-Kazooie and its sequel, Banjo-Tooie, developer Rare was bought by Microsoft to create games exclusively for its Xbox consoles. Sadly, the series hasn’t been extended since the release of the polarising Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts in 2008.

Now, however, Nintendo has struck a deal with Microsoft to bring both Banjo the bear and Kazooie, a bird with attitude, into its latest fighting game, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

The two characters can be downloaded for the game in the autumn, with new heroes from the Dragon Quest series arriving too, says Metro.

No More Heroes 3

Travis Pastrana, the colourful protagonist from Suda51’s fighting game No More Heroes, will soon be starring in another action-packed game on the Nintendo Switch.

A trailer for No More Heroes 3 shown during Nintendo Direct reveals that players will once again be put into the shoes of Pastrana as he fights hordes of enemies to become “the world’s best assassin”, says Polygon.

No More Heroes 3 continues the weird energy of the previous games”, with the story picking up directly after the events of the second game, the site adds.

Expect a 2020 launch on the Nintendo Switch.

Pokemon Sword and Shield

Following on from last year’s popular Let’s go, Pikachu! and Let’s go, Eevee! games, Pokemon’s first traditional role-playing game (RGP) launches on the Nintendo Switch later in 2019.

Nintendo has revealed a host of new features for Pokemon Sword and Shield, including dynamic weather and an in-game smartphone that players use to track their Pokemon, says Engadget. Players also get a rotating, third-person camera for the first time, which “will completely change the feel of exploration”.

The Pokemon Sword and Shield launch in November and will be available as two separate games. Although the core story and world of each game is identical, players will be given unique Pokemon to collect depending on which copy they choose.

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