This year, Nintendo needed to bring the heat, and did they do it? Again, as is the trend this E3, yes, and no. After an interesting enough montage,showing a number of games, they moved right along with the spotlight itself. While the monologue by Reggie left a strange taste, that was immediately remedied by a trailer for Xenoblade Chronicles II, while the trailer itself was, okay at the very least it ended with a release window of holiday 2017, so that was good. Moving quickly from that a new Kirby game for the switch, simply titled Kirby was shown, and given a 2018 release window.
Then they shot themselves in the arm slightly, with an "impromptu" "announcement" for the next core Pokemon game coming to the switch, no logo, no launch window was given, just that it is "at least a year out." After that the interest was once again given a boost with the reveal of Metroid Prime 4 being currently in development for the Switch, with this one, not only was it an acknowledgment of the series, but they showed a logo. While more info would have been amazing, the simple fact that they gave fans the acknowledgment they wanted was more than enough, for now. After that, Nintendo then went back slightly again, with the announcement of a yoshi game, simply titled Yoshi for the Switch with no indicated release window for it. Another personally exciting game was shown with another slightly lackluster trailer for Fire Emblem Heroes, which received a launch window of fall, 2017. They also spent too much time talking about Rocket league, while that game is amazing to those who enjoy it, all it really needed was the release date, especially since this spotlight was so short.
After another weird monologue by Reggie, and a thankfully short, if not otherwise pointless Skyrim on Switch trailer, they moved right along to Zelda: Breath Of The Wild DLC information. The first DLC The Master Trials, showed off its features, while receiving a 30, June, 2017 release date. The second DLC The Champions Ballad was given a trailer that showed the previous champions, along with Zelda, and no reall information was given, not even a release window, out of the already known "winter 2017," after that they revealed four amiibo of the original champions, with no indication of their in-game function. They ended the spotlight with an amazing gameplay trailer for Super Mario: Odyssey, which included some peeks into how the game plays, and some of the different hats and powers you have, along with a 27, Oct, 2017 release date.
Was the conference disappointing, no, was it as amazing as it could have been, no, but it is definitely a step in the right direction for Nintendo, and hope they continue to improve. They could have focused more on games that have not had much information given to them, and spent much less time on ARMS, and Splatoon 2 E-sports talk, and shortened the monologues given by Reggie. That said, while not chomping at the bit due to hype after this, it is a vast improvement over the last two years, so good effort Nintendo, keep it up.
This was the big one, that we were all waiting for, and the question is, did it deliver or did it fall on its face? Well, the answer is not so cut and dry, yes; there were a number of amazing showings this year, and yes, the conference was one game after the other, with the smallest amount of chatter. That was not really the issue this year for Sony though; the largest issue was, instead of keeping the orchestra from last year, they tried to up themselves, with stage interactions. The idea sounds amazing, and likely was; at the venue, the problem being that did not translate very well with streaming. Not to say that it was terrible, because you would be wrong, it more distracted from what the focus should have been, the games.
Anyway, the conference itself started strong, with some traditional Indian music, with a nice water sheet show happening behind the musicians. After that, they cut to a good story trailer for Uncharted: The Last Legacy, which apparently got a boost in overall scale, and that is evident by what they showed. Moving right along from that, they showed new endgame story DLC for Horizon: Zero Dawn titled The Frozen Wilds, with a window of 2017 for release. Swiftly changing gears; they started a gameplay demo for the new Sony Bend game Days Gone, which showed a more detailed idea of the in-game world and how the protagonist interacts within it, with a spotlight on how the horde reacts to what happens in the world.
After this was a one, two punch of hype inducing trailers. First they revealed the first Monster Hunter game to appear on consoles since Monster Hunter Tri; Monster Hunter World. That title seems quite literal, since not only is the size and scope of the world they showed, large and interesting, but the way you traverse through it, and combat the multitude of monsters inhabiting it. The addition of environmental attacks, and traversal, and attacks through use of a grapple hook are welcome, was given a release window of early 2018. The next game to be shown, while not particularly new, was still more than welcome; Shadow Of The Colossus is apparently being what looks to be completely remade, by the studio BluePoint. The trailer was beautiful and showcased the graphical overhaul it is receiving, while apparently the official word is of it being a remaster, the work put into it seems to point more to a rebuilding of the game, but more information is needed on that front.
Then this is where the conference begins to slow. The story trailer for Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite is revealed, and while the story stuff in the trailer, the issue is the appearances of some of the characters, there seems to be a lack of cohesiveness to the looks of characters, like they came directly from their own individual franchises. While the aesthetic was weird, the comic art style at least allowed for the characters to look like they were a part of the same world. That said, the game has a story, and it looks interesting, also they announced that you can download a demo of the story mode, right now on PSN. Next was a multiplayer trailer for Call Of Duty: WWII, it looked like it plays like Call Of Duty, just no robot arms, or jump jet grafted to your character. The largest issue with the trailer was it was a multiplayer trailer, but unless you knew what you were looking for, you would likely miss the clues, plus the music choice was meh, at best.
Moving right along from Call Of Duty, they transitioned to their PSVR segment which showed a total of six games, of varying quality and personal interest. Firstly they showed, Skyrim VR, which due to the platform it was on, looked markedly downgraded in the graphics, and had the standard floating arms, and the weirdly moving weapons. The next game showed was The Inpatient, developed by Supermassive games, it looks like a decently creepy psychological VR experience, after that there was a trailer for Star Child, which on the surface looked okay, but more info needs to be shared, that game is published by GameTrust. Then we got a weird one Final Fantasy 15: Monster Of The Deep, which seems to be the VR experience they showcased last year, just with fishing, and other content added onto what was a "Prompto combat and ride-along" simulator. Next we have Bravo Team, also developed by Supermassive games, which appears to be a super serious cover based military shooter, while it could be fun, more info is needed. Lastly they had Moss; a cute game, developed by PolyArc games which has you helping a mouse warrior traverse a dungeon by assisting with traps, and puzzles. As it stands now, none of these games indicated a release window.
After that less than stellar, the next trailer seemed to be a play to get interest back up, that being a story trailer for; God Of War. This story trailer set the tone for the more reserved and personal story that they are trying to tell, and it was amazing, also revealed that it was shaping up for an early 2018 release window. The misstep with the somewhat flat Destiny 2 trailer with the Sony exclusives at the end dampened those feelings a bit. They were brought up slightly, with a darker Detroit: Become Human trailer that focused on another character. Finally the last game shown was a decently long gameplay demo of the new Spiderman game being developed by Insomniac. Personally, the QTEs were not an issue, because they made contextual sense for why they were there, while showing enough new things to get you interested, also announced that it is on track for a 2018 release. After that, they closed out with an unneeded montage trailer.
At the end of the day, Sony achieved what they set out to do; giving us a conference that had a similar style to what they offered last year. While they did not exactly achieve what the same level as the previous two E3, it was still a well done show, and showed that they understand, for the most part, what works best for their demographic. Perhaps if they would have put more focus on the unknown quantities that the customers really want to know about, especially as the end to the show, offering something new, it would have been better received. Even though personally, it was second best, behind Ubisoft. Good work Sony, and hope you continue to improve.
This year, Ubisoft brought the fire. Not to say that their show last year was terrible, it was perfectly fine, but this year, they really pulled out all the stops. they started off with Mario+Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, and to say that the game was a pleasant surprise is putting it lightly, the bright colors and well done dialogue free storytelling mixed with the SRPG gameplay, makes it look like it will be quite the fun experience when it realeses 29, Aug, 2017. From there they moved on to an Assassin's Creed: Origins trailer, that should have been the reveal, it is looking good, it is good to see the direction the series is headed.
The Crew 2 was revealed, and they have increased the number of motorsports, to include boats, planes, and bikes. It looks vastly improved over the first game, it seems to have gotten an increase in budget due to selling well enough. Though there is not really much detail given, the story "The King Of Racing" aspect seems weird, though judgement will be held till more information is given. The release date is set for early 2018, and you can sign up for the beta at thecrewgame.com/beta. There was a short, yet entertaining trailer for South Park: The Fractured But Whole showing a bit more of the story, and character interactions, while entertaining, not particularly interesting personally, but it does look well made, with a release date of 17, Oct, 2017. The next thing shown was a strange VR experience called Transference, more of a reveal trailer, and not much was really give, but looks interesting, with a release window of spring 2018.
They went straight into a reveal of a new IP called Skull And Bones, a game that seems they took the boat segments from Assassin's Creed 4 and made a multiplayer focused game out of being a pirate in the early 1700's. The game looks really slick and stylish, and while the game itself looks fun, personally not one for specifically multiplayer focused games, while that may not be the case at release, due to the game not releasing until at least fall 2018. You can once again gain access to a beta type experience for the game at www.skullandbonesgame.com. Just Dance 2018 was revealed in standard fashion with dancers, and music, not much else can really be said. A quick trailer was given for a South Park themed card based RPG on mobile, titled South Park: Phone Destroyer, once again, South Park is not personally interesting, it looks well made.
After that, they introduced a new IP, titled StarLink: Battle For Atlas, which is another game that has a release window of fall 2018. Aside from the art style, and science fiction feel to it with fighter ships and space combat, is the added of physical toy fighter ships that can be augmented with extra parts that change the appearance in game. The strangest, or coolest, depending on your opinion, is the ships themselves will attach to the top of your controller, though there is a digital option for those who do not wish yo collect toys to play the game. Other than it coming to all consoles, and first to the Switch, little information was given. A short announcement of an Olympic themed DLC for Steep, releasing in December titled Road To The Olympics. After that they showed a decently detailed trailer for Far Cry 5, the best part of the whole conference was the surprise reveal of Beyond Good And Evil 2. Developed of course with Michel Ancel, and his team, it is a prequel to the original game, that takes place before the birth of Jade. They showed an amazing trailer that gave a taste of their plans for the game is exciting. While there is no indication of any sort of release window, like Final Fantasy 7 Remake, and Shenmue 3, that is perfectly acceptable because the more attention the game get, the better it becomes.
In conclusion, as it stands Ubisoft has raised the bar significantly over the others this year, There was a small amount of slow going midway through, but the energy and presentations were energetic and passionate. While their normal hostess of Aisha Tyler was absent, for whatever reason this year, they did a good job of keeping it interesting without forcing it, and the only true competition to them presentation wise at this point, is Sony. 6 pm is the time the Sony conference starts, and the hype level for it is in the stratosphere see you there!
Thankfully this conference was short, and that it ended with two games that made the rest of it somewhat more tolerable. That being said, Bethesda, honestly did not have enough to really need to have another E3 event for the third year in a row. With that being said, it was not a terrible event, it was just, shall we say, unneeded. The introductory video that humanized the people that make these games was a nice gesture, and with it being short, it did not feel out of place. However, they played a montage of games that have already released, it rang hollow, because that was how the conference started last year.
It was a blessedly short segment, that did not need to be there. After that they introduced "Bethesdaland" which was their attempt to be cute it seems, though the introduction lasted slightly longer than it should have, and was needlessly chatty. After that, after that Pete Hines came out, and sang the praises of their recent titles with video being played, which was also utilized by them last year. Bethesda VR was mentioned, and Doom VFR was shown, which uses teleportation movement, and seems to take place before the main game, along with Fallout 4 VR which seems to be the full game, playable in VR. Both of these games are seemingly releasing this year, and so far, only for the Vive. There was a video pertaining to the new "Morrowwind DLC" for The Elder Scrolls Online, which had no real purpose to be there than other to take up screen time.
After that, there was the announcement of the Bethesda Creation Club, which is a more in depth marketplace to get mods for your Bethesda games, on consoles, and PC. This seems to be the revival of their idea to charge for game mods, which went over so well last time, apparently you need to buy credits with real money in which you use to be able to download "premium" mods to your Bethesda games. Moving on from that, they showed the "Heroes Of Skyrim" pack which releases on 29, June, 2017, and the game will come to Android and Apple at the same time. Skyrim on Switch has been officially been announced, it has Amiibo support, and it looks pretty terrible graphics wise. The Dishonored series will be getting a Standalone game where you play as an associate of Doud's, Billie, which is titled "Death Of The Outsider, with a 15, Sep, 2017 release date. A cringe inducing Quake: Champions video was shown and mention of a Quake competition being held at QuakeCon, they moved right along to the reveal of Evil Within 2, which looks good, with a release date of Friday, 13, Oct 2017. Before the stream ended they showed an extended story trailer of Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, with a 27, Oct, 2017 release date.
While the conference did end pretty strongly, the inconsistent pacing, and the sheer lack of any real substance made this show a bit of a letdown, but thankfully the show was as short as it was, otherwise it would have been a bit worse, but it still felt like with what was actually revealed there was no need to have a conference, especially with how late it was broadcast. Tomorrow starts early with the PC show at 10 am, and here is hoping that it is at the very least as entertaining as it was last year.
The Microsoft E3 conference this year, while better than what has happened in the past conferences, there was something that still lingered from previous years. Obviously there was the official reveal of the release date and price point of the Scorpio, now known as the Xbox One X. After they sang the praises of their new console, repeating the specs that have been released to the public for a while, they moved on to Forza Motorsport 7. While it is a beautiful game, that will likely be good fun for those that prefer that style of racer, there was really not much shown that was new, and no real info was given. The release date of the game is October third, and will have 700 cars in the game, including the new, premiered Porsche 911 GT2 RS. They mentioned how they have a "diverse" library of 44 games to show, with 22 of them being "exclusive" in some capacity. The first game shown was the premiere of Metro: Exodus, while very beautiful, there is not much information to go on, other than presumed to be a sequel due to the title.
This is a trend continued throughout this conference, while there are a few standouts, most of the games get a short comment, and a trailer, before moving on to the next game on the docket. Assassins Creed: Origins was next, and it got a bit more attention given to it. The game is confirmed to take place in Egypt, while no specific time period was given, it was shown with the character fighting Roman Centurions, so It is at the latest, the time of Cleopatra. Other than this the gameplay trailer showed off some new additions to the game itself. The eagle vision that has existed since AC 1 is changing, it is no longer an inherent ability that you have to identify enemies and your assassination target, rather you have an eagle that flies above the area you are infiltrating in order to scout ahead, and mark targets. The world itself looks larger, and more filled out than in previous games. Also, the combat looks to be changed yet again, and for the better it seems. Lastly there seems to be a fair amount of RPG style changes to the game that appear to give the player more choices, with a level and ability point systems.
There was a quick shot block of exclusives shown that are of a smaller scale, depending on who is asked. The first of these games was Player Unknown's Battleground, which is console exclusive to Xbox. After that they revealed an interesting looking mining/horde style game called Deep Rock Galactic, which if nothing else looks interesting. There was a segment showing State Of Decay 2, which has a release window of spring 2018. After that was a game called The Darwin Project, which was confused initially with Culling Time, due to the similarity in gameplay and appearance, there was not any release information given. After those games were shown, there was a bit of time given to Minecraft and some interesting info. Firstly, there is something that is called the Mincraft Community Marketplace, nothing concrete was given towards that, other than it includes cross-play between PC, Mobile, and Consoles. With that they revealed that the game will be receiving 4K capabilities, along with a "Super Duper Graphics Pack."
After that was another block of games, starting off with the new DragonBall fighting game, from Arc System Works, which is going back to the side scrolling 2.5D fighting style, also includes 3 v 3 battles, and the cell shaded look is quite stylish. They then moved on to some games that were identified as "Console launch exclusives" while that is annoyingly vague it likely means, that when they finally do arrive on consoles, it will release 'first' on Xbox. The three games shown at this point was the buy to play MMO Black Desert, a game called The Last Night, and a pretty interesting music based platformer called The Artful Escape. After a pretty cool trailer for the Bandai Namco game CodeVein, which releases in 2018, they went into a pretty cool showcase of the game Sea Of Thieves, developed by Rare.
After an entertaining romp through Sea Of Thieves, which still has no release window, they moved right along to another block of exclusive games. Tacoma was shown first with a trailer and a release date of August 4th. After that was a cute platformer called Super Lucky's Tales releasing on 7, Nov, 2017, then once again they showed off Cuphead, which finally has a release date, with 29, Sep, 2017. Then quite the entertaining trailer which had Terry Crews was shown for Crackdown 3, which received a release date of 7, Nov, 2017, after another trailer montage, and some more chatting about the greatness of ID@XBOX, the console launch exclusive game Ashen is show, which looks pretty good, they transitioned directly into the trailer debut for Life is Strange: Before The Storm. The game is a prequel to the first, has three episodes, and releases on 31, Aug, 2017. Middle Earth: Shadow Of War got a lengthy trailer showcasing the more fleshed out nemesis system, and a release date of 10, Oct. After a somber trailer for Ori: And The Will Of The Wisps, they mentioned that there were currently 300 backwards compatible games playable on the Xbox One, but they are also going to be adding original Xbox games to the line-up, more information will be released as it is closer to launch.
Continuing on they mentioned that a few first party games, and 30 third party games, will receive upgrades on the X, and that the new console will cost 499.99, and release on 7, Nov. They then went into the EA promised gameplay reveal of Bioware's newest IP, Anthem. In closing, while it was an improvement over their offering last year, there are still quite a few things that they need to change. Mainly, they need to spend less time talking about how cool things are, and show them instead. The largest issue however, is that they spent so much time talking about how powerful the X is, and 4K this, and HDR that, that they failed to prove the viability of the console through the games themselves. Added to the fact that to play all of these "exclusives" you do not actually need to own an Xbox One X shows there is a diminished interest in the console as a whole, especially at the price they are asking. They need to streamline their presentations, while there were interesting parts throughout, there remained too many points where it dragged to a slow crawl. That being said, at this point they are the best conference this E3, but there is tons of room for improvement. Here is hoping that they constantly learn and improve.
EA started us off at E3 this year a day earlier than usual, did this year improve from the circus that was E3 2016? For the most part, yes they took the problems, and fixed them, for the most part. The biggest change with this conference was that they didn't spend too much time, comparatively to last year, on any one specific topic. While they did have points of very slow, dry verbosity it is once again, an improvement of last year.
The conference starts slowly with a drum line dressed in Tom Brady jerseys, which leads directly into a trailer for the Madden 18 story mode "The Long Shot," while it personally looks, okay, it will probably have a willing audience to gobble up that content. Then it slowed down slightly with a bit of talking about the new content coming to Battlefield 1. While it would have been better to show what was mentioned rather than talking about it, thankfully it was a short segment. The new BF1 content to be added will be two night maps, along with details pertaining to the new DLC "In The Name Of The Czar." This will include 8 new maps, and two new factions which you can choose in MP.
After that short coverage, they moved to cover their competitive aspect of their business, stating that being under the EA umbrella to be a part of the largest competitions concerning Fifa and Madden respectively, with a bit of coverage of their plans for Battlefield in the competitive sphere in the future. YouTubers Men In Blazers spent a bit of time talking about Fifa 18, and it story aspect, which is a continuation of what was in Fifa 17, titled, The Journey. Also, it is apparent that the EA sports coverage, is an integral part of their E3 presence, it is also appreciated that they took the criticism from the last two E3 and altered their presentations accordingly to make it more appealing to those not inherently interested in sports.
Next on the docket was Need For Speed: Payback; which, other than a slightly awkward beginning to the presentation seemingly due to a teleprompter issue was a short gameplay presentation. It started with a bit more information about the customization, then went into a demo that showed a bit of their highway heists, that harked back to a distinct Fast And The Furious feel. While it was stylish and fast paced, there was not a lot there, but what was, seemed interesting enough.
The coverage for the EA Original was next, and a personal highlight of the show. The game is the project of the studio Hazelight, who were the creators of the game Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons. The title shown; A Way Out, while co-op like their previous game, is based on two characters who are working with one another in order to break out of prison. The game is purely a co-op based experience, either on the couch or online, and the play style changes based on the character the player chooses. A cool aspect about this, is that while one player is involved in a cutscene, the other player has the freedom to do what they want (within the confines of the narrative only it seems, which is expected.) The two characters seem to have diverse, and distinct personalities that give you two separate avenues with how to approach each part of the game. With an early 2018 release date, it will be interesting to see how this game changes between now and then.
There were a number of smaller segments that while being slightly out of place, and chatty were thankfully short. The first was information about their S.E.E.D (Search for Extraordinary Experiences Division) initiative, which is something that is used to try and find innovative new ways to change games and the gaming industry as a whole, other than that, not a lot of information was divulged. With a short mention of the Xbox Scorpio, and the beauty that is Madden 18 on the system, they showed a short trailer of the new I.P Bioware has been working on, Anthem. There is definitely a Sci-fi feel to this new game, but other than some verbiage that gave it a Destiny feel, and the appearance of some somewhat interesting armor, there is not a lot to go on. After that was the reveal of NBA Live 18 and its new feature "The One" that lets you play the game between either Street ball, or in the NBA, not explicitly a story mode like their other sports games, they are obviously trying to give their basketball game something to differentiate themselves for their competition, NBA2K. The last aspect of this block of their charity initiative, Play To Give; while they stated they have given 1 million dollars to date to a number of charities, the presentation of it seemed off, but regardless it is good to see them doing such.
The real perceived meat of this conference was the Star Wars coverage. While what they showed was more succinct and less fluff than what was presented last E3, it still left a lot to be desired. When it was mentioned that there would be 30 minutes of Battlefront 2 coverage, it was surprising when a 5 minute multiplayer trailer was shown, and the remaining 25 minutes was spent in a multiplayer match, which was pretty terribly commentated. While this in and of itself is not a terrible way to show off their game, and that they listened to what their customers wanted, there was still a distinct lack of anything new. Aside from a small clip at the end of the trailer, there was no information given on what the single player content will pertain to, other than reiterated information that was already out in the ether of the internet. That said, it was announced that all content for multiplayer (maps, heroes, weapons, and vehicles) will be included in free content updates for everyone who owns the game, post launch. However, even if it was slightly lackluster in actually new single player information, it was still an improvement over the debacle of last year.
In closing, while the conference that EA presented was not as terrible as whatever the hell they presented last year, this year, seemed like it was more of a "checking all the boxes" situation, rather than them putting in a conscious effort to achieve a higher level of presentation. This is not saying that it is a bad presentation, especially not for EA, who in recent history has had horrible E3 showings, though at best; it could be said that this presentation is above average at best. It is definitely a step in the right direction, and whoever made the decision to go in this direction, deserves to be commended, and hope that they continue on this path in the future, both in E3, and their business decisions in general. That is the end for today, tomorrow is a busy day, there are a total of three conferences, starting at 2 pm Pacific Standard Time with Microsoft, then Bethesda at 9 pm, and lastly Devolver Digital one hour later, hope to see you here tomorrow!
E3 officially starts tomorrow, June 10th, 2017 with the EA Press conference at 12 noon, PST. EA over the past couple years has pulled further, and further out of the E3 show floor, while still retaining their presence with a conference. With that said, EA has a lot to prove this year, especially compared to what they presented at E3 last year, which was one of the more boring of the conferences with a distinct lack of games being showcased. While it is obvious that their EA Sports aspect will be a major contribution to the show, and an important one due to all the sports fans who watch specifically for news on those new games, it needs to be more succinct and less self indulgent (though that is wishful thinking.)
Star Wars games is obviously a major part of their business model these days, thanks to their deal with Disney. That being said, the presentations of these games need to be much better than in previous years, especially the "showing" they had last year. There is one simple rule when considering what to present on stage concerning Star Wars games. Simply, if you do not have any actual gameplay to show, please, do not show as studio montage of people sitting in front of desks, or people playing jedi in an office somewhere, show nothing. Mention the game, and that it exists, but please do not waste everyone's time with your self indulgent "look at us, having fun, but not actually showing anything of substance" presentations. Star Wars Battlefront 2 is most likely going to be a part of the show, and hopefully they will go more in depth to what makes this campaign worth playing. Multiplayer will also get some screen time, hopefully they have the wherewithal to show gameplay on a map other than Hoth or Endor.
Other than showing more details on the recently announced Need For Speed: Payback, most likely a gameplay demo showing a more in depth look into the story. If they keep up the trend of the last two years, they can show off a new indie game they have decided to support. The rest is up in the air to what could actually happen tomorrow. All that I really ask EA, is that you keep the information coming, and do not waste our time with interviews, or documentaries that detract from the pace of your show. Here is hoping that this year you can prove that you are here to win, excite your fans for the future.
See you here after the conference, hype!
Just a simple announcement, this year I will be covering E3 2017, which starts this coming Saturday with the Electronic Arts Press conference kicking it off. So please, look forward to updates of news and reveals after each press conference in order. Will do my best to keep all the info coming in as it arrives, and see you on the other side of E3 for the early access of Final Fantasy 14: StormBlood!