I’ll say it now, this was the briefing of the year Ubisoft made some stellar announcements this year. The conference started without Aisha Tyler for the first time in a few years now. The first announcement was the Mario + Rabbids game we totally didn’t know about, Shigeru Miyamoto came to the stage to join Yves Guillmont and talk about the game which would of been quite the moment had it not been leaked about 500 times in the past 2 years or so. The game will be a Switch exclusive (obviously) and will be out August 29th which is nice to not have to wait 500 years to play it. The next game out the gates was Assassin’s Creed: Origins, again, another game had it not been at Microsoft’s conference and had it not leaked all over the place would of been another nice surprise, it looks like The Witcher III with an Assassin’s Creed paint job but set in ancient Egypt, if you’re in to Assassin’s Creed this is probably exciting, I’ve never been a big fan. Moving on next to the Crew 2, which was just a showcase of driving round in beautiful landscapes taking in the scenery, I like the idea behind The Crew but I can’t really be bothered in sinking in the time to get the most out of it. Looks good though.
South Park: The Fractured but Whole made another appearance with an October 17th release date, a South Park phone game was also announced which looked funny but phone games are unbearable free-to-play trash and this will probably be no different. Then a surprise where Creative Director at Spectrevision pitched a VR game. Looked freaky and by all means I hope it does well, because VR was quiet this year.
Ubisoft Singapore’s new game was then shown who were the team behind Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag and that shows with this new game the pirate game that has been floating around. The game is called Skull & Bones and it’s basically For Honor on water. A 5v5 PVP game which is a shame because with a pirate game I want to go out and explore the great sea not unlike Zelda: Wind Waker and see what’s out there. I prefer the gameplay to Sea of Thieves but this has some good ideas and hopefully when it’s released it’s not too awkward to control because that is a deal breaker. No release date but Ubisoft made sure that they had plans for a beta soon.
Just Dance 2018 made an appearance because it’s Ubisoft and of course it did, they then went on to announce a game which combines No Man’s Sky’s exploration with Skylanders toys in the name of Starlink: Battle for Atlas. This game looks like it could be a good time, obviously going after Skylanders success, let’s hope this one doesn’t fall off a cliff like Disney Infinite. Then Steep was mentioned and they spoke about that for a bit, they were probably trying to bleed new life into it because I don’t think it sold as well as they particularly hoped for.
Obviously Far Cry 5 was there, looks like another dose of Far Cry which is another one of them if you like it bring it on, if you don’t move on moments. The subject matter for this year’s Far Cry is awesome in my books, the bad guys are some religious cult which is horrifying and interesting at the same time. The trailer featured a terrifying rendition of Amazing Grace and I think this game will be fine, it will sell well and there will be a Far Cry 6 before you can scratch your arse.
Then the almighty ‘Oh, just one more thing’ moment at the end of the show. Yves Guillmont came out and spoke about one last thing he wanted to show of a and I quote ‘beloved Ubisoft franchise’. This got my blood pumping, could they after all this time finally be giving Beyond Good & Evil the sequel it deserves? The screen went black and the trailer started, a world filled with corruption, run down but with amazing technology. There was a humanoid pig and I nearly screamed but it wasn’t Pey’j and he was talking to this monkey, at this point I accepted the fact that this probably wasn’t BG&E2 and admired the trailer, it looked like a run down Fifth Element kind of thing which featured a high-octane car chase through the heights of whatever city was being shown, the trailer finished the screen turned to black and the white letters appeared on screen, “BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL 2” and the crowd went wild. After the trailer Guillmont appeared again this time with Michel Ancel who was a man who looked like he’d been through so much shit in trying to get a sequel made to his magnum opus. I’d love to hear the story one day as to why it had taken so long to get into fruition. This was the moment of E3 2017, with Ancel in tears it was an awesome site to see that it had finally happened. The game probably won’t be released for 4-5 years or so, but the reassurance is satisfying.
I had high hopes for Sony this year, they have slayed it at pretty much every E3 since the PS4 was announced, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every single one of their conferences however this year was the first sign of a filler year in the PS4’s existence.
There were two new games that were announced in the name of Monster Hunter: Worlds, which is fucking massive and puts a massive dent into Nintendo’s audience for that game. Is it really worth buying a Switch now for Monster Hunter XX now if this game is out on PS4 and let’s face it you’ve probably already got a PS4. It looks like the most ambitious Monster Hunter game to date with massive landscapes and awesome monsters to hunt, if you’re into that game you’re in for a treat. The other new announcement was a PS4 remake of Shadow of the Colossus, the beloved PS2 classic which everybody played on their PS3’s. I’m pretty sure from the trailer it’s not a remaster but a full on remake, which people were excited about.
The show started off with Uncharted The Lost Legacy and when I saw that I knew what kind of show it was going to be straight away, don’t get me wrong, Uncharted looks great, but we’ve seen this already and then they went on to show more of Days Gone and God of War, which both look great as well but like Uncharted The Lost Legacy we have seen this before.
There was some VR love with Skyrim coming to PlayStation VR (unclear if it’s PSVR exclusive), Bethesda really milking this cash cow now for all it’s worth. I love Skyrim as much as the next man but do we really need yet ANOTHER version? I know Elder Scrolls VI is years off but they can’t be serious at this point.
Detroit was also there in the shape of an impressive trailer that showcased the effects the choices you made had an effect on the world around you but still, no release date. The only other exclusive that was worth talking about is Spider-Man, which looks like the sequel to Spider-Man 2 we deserve.
Destiny 2 looks decent and Call of Duty WW looks like a magnificent return to form.
A quiet show from Sony, but you get the impression they’re working on far more than what they showed us.
Nintendo finished off the “conferences” with some big news. They stuck to their Direct style for this year’s E3 calling it Nintendo Spotlight 2017 and it was a 25 minute video, the shortest showcase by a mile. To kick things off they are bringing the universally acclaimed Rocket League to Nintendo Switch which is massive, late to the party but massive nonetheless.
After the opening announcing Rocket League and showing off a bit more of Splatoon 2 and Arms and after confirming Mario and Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is a thing they jumped straight in with a new trailer for Xenoblade Chronicles 2 which looks great, it showcased the battle system, some of the characters and a bit of the backing story and also they are still committed to a 2017 release date, which I believe they’ll miss but putting 2017 on the trailer and first here, they seem pretty committed. When it was first announced to be released in 2017 I laughed it off but who knows at this point.
There is a new Kirby game coming to the Switch which hasn’t got a title yet, it looks like a follow up to the 3DS games that have been coming out over the past few years, it has a release of 2018. They did the same thing with a Yarn Yoshi game looks decent but it has no title and also has a release of 2018. The video then jumped to Gamefreak where they officially confirmed they are working on a new Pokemon game for Nintendo Switch, stating that it could be ‘more than a year off’ but that’s the news we care about. For a change.
Speaking of news we care about out of nowhere Nintendo dropped arguably the biggest bombshell of E3. Metroid Prime 4 is in development and that’s pretty much it, they showed a logo and it brought the house down, it’s probably 3 or 4 years off but it’s in development and that’s all that matters.
The Zelda DLC was the next stop, this looks awesome, includes a master mode for greater difficulty and new content in the name of the Trial of the Sword which also looks challenging. The amiibo for the four champions of Hyrule are also being released to coincide with the release of the DLC pack one which is out June 30th.
And to put the icing on the cake they finished the video with some Super Mario Odyssey gameplay and safe to say it was gorgeous, looks like a blast to play and it’s that typical Mario charm, all due respect to other games, but Mario games just have that jena se qua about them which make them feel special.
At first coming into the conference I was a bit concerned, but with a vast amount of games coming out for a change and pretty much a big title per month for the rest of the year, it’s so far so good for the Switch.
BONUS – Devolver Digital
A great video to watch if you’ve got 15 minutes, revealing a few games in the process in Ruiner and Serious Sam’s Bogus Detour but the show was basically a piss take of these shows and pre order culture.
If you’ve got the time check it out, it’s quite funny.