I don’t care what anybody says, E3 is my favourite time of year by a fucking mile. I actually quite like the press conferences (even when they’re shite) and I absolutely love everybody’s reaction on social media ranging from absolutely fumin’ to sheer elation and everything in between. Some of my favourite memories gaming steer clear from when I’ve got a controller in my hand and I’m watching one of these conferences and an absolute banger of a trailer drops, most recent one comes to mind is Final Fantasy VII Remake. Everyone was ecstatic when that dropped at Sony’s conference in 2015. There’s just something about a good trailer (even the none-gameplay CGI ones) that just brings us all together to celebrate video games as the ultimate medium and even when we disagree, which let’s face it, is a lot. Times like this are always so special.
Overall there were 7 conferences at this year’s E3 event if you include Devolver Digital’s event. And I’m going to briefly go over them and discuss the pros and cons of each one and I’m going to decide which one is best (Feel free to disagree with me), so, in order of appearance…
EA aren’t really a part of E3 in the general sense, starting last year they hold their own event because they’re EA and they can do as they please. Everyone counts them as at the show anyway because we’re a great bunch us gamers. Starting from the beginning it was a massive improvement over last year’s showcase which was fucking terrible. They opened up with the percussion which performed I believe for some NFL team and they went straight into Madden which has it’s own version of The Journey from FIFA (which has it’s own continuation this year). They showed a Need For Speed gameplay trailer which may as well as been ‘Fast and Furious: The Game’, which isn’t a bad thing. The creator of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons was also at this conference and showed off his new game called A Way Out, which is a narrative driven co-op game, which sounds weird but when you watch the trailer you get it. EA announced Bioware’s new IP, Anthem with a short trailer and a promise that it will have it’s full reveal at Microsoft’s Xbox briefing. And finally the game-play trailer of Star Wars Battlefront II, which looks good even though it doesn’t look that much different from the first one, albeit with more heroes and the elusive single player campaign which the first one was notorious for missing, the conference ended with a 30-minute multiplayer match, or matches, I dunno I lost interest at that point.
Not the best briefing by any stretch of the imagination but leaps and bounds ahead of last year.
This was a big year for Microsoft, lagging behind the Playstation for at a rate of 2-to-1 the last time I checked, Project Scorpio HAD to deliver. Spec wise Microsoft aren’t lying, it is the most powerful console to ever come off the production line, I won’t bore you, you’ll just have to take my word for it. The show started with Project Scorpio, which is now called Xbox One X and will be at retail for $499 on November 7th 2017. Everybody assumed it was the “Next Generation” of consoles but it’s akin to what Sony is doing with the PS4 Pro but the Xbox One X is way more powerful.
Microsoft showed 42 games at this show and 22 of them have some form of Xbox exclusivity so forgive me for not naming them all. Considering this conference was 100 minutes long the pacing was good, Microsoft are getting the message clear slowly but surly that E3 is ALL about the games. Some of the games which stood out are the new Metro game called Metro Exodus, Forza 7 both show the absolute power of the XBOX ONE X, Cuphead was given a release date of September 29th. Crackdown 3 is still in development with a trailer featuring Terry Crews. Overall a decent show from Microsoft, but with weaker exclusives than Sony, they can’t rely on Gears and Halo forever.
A noble offering from Microsoft but Xbox One X wasn’t the counter attack we were hoping for. Regardless of how powerful it is.
When Bethesda started doing these things back in 2013, I was a bit sceptical as to how much steam they’d have, I mean Microsoft and Sony struggle every couple of years to put out interesting shows and they have consoles with mountains of third party support whereas Bethesda are respectable in their own right but have acquired about 4 studios and it showed this year with a show of only about 40 minutes and half of that was Elder Scrolls Legends. Elder Scrolls answer to Hearthstone and Gwent. Skyrim for Switch got a new trailer and is compatible with amiibo to grant access to Link’s Breath of the Wild outfit and sword in the game.
Don’t get me wrong, Bethesda announced one of my games of the show in Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus which looks fucking awesome and Evil Within 2 looks really good as well but pretty much everything else they announced was filler, all you had apart from what I just mentioned is DOOM VR (called DOOM VFR) and Fallout VR. A quiet day and a day they could of easily sat out and it wouldn’t of made a difference.
Wolfenstein II and Evil Within 2 not enough to save this one. A decent but forgettable offering from a company who usually nails it.
To be continued…