Let’s quickly run down what stood out to me at the swirling nightmare known as E3 this year.
The big trend from the publisher’s press conferences this year was a bigger focus on games that are coming out this year. Nowhere was this trend more apparent than if you compared EA’s press conference this year to their one from 2015 when everything they announced was super early and most wound up canceled before release. I just think that with the speed that information consumption works on the internet trying to get people excited about a video that’s not gonna be out for at least 3 more years is a bad move. I feel like No Man’s Sky is a shadow that looms over E3.
Although it still makes some sense for the platform holders to get people interested in purchasing the hardware. If the game doesn’t come out it’s less of a deal to them if it already helped them move consoles. That’s why something like Anthem only got cursory mention at EA’s own conference with the real presentation coming on Microsoft’s stage.
EA’s conference honestly felt only tangentially related to E3, which makes sense because they’re not really at E3. Instead opting to run a community focused event nearby, but independently. With their focus on Youtube influencers it felt more like a piece of a larger community building and marketing strategy. This was a safe, predictable lineup of games coming out soon. They didn’t even get into the single player component of Battlefront II.
A Way Out
The one big surprise was a big co-op game from a studio with the developers of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons at the top. Making a big game that’s focused on couch (and online) co-op seems crazy in this day and age, but it’s kinda an open space so I guess it makes sense. It looks neat, in that it looks like a co-op game where they actually bothered to really think about co-op in a meaningful way to create moments that you couldn’t have without that.
I don’t know that I’d have someone to play through it with even if I end up wanting to. But it’s at least interesting and different and looked pretty cool, so thumbs up.
Microsoft sure showed off a lot of games… that I can play on my PC.
Scorpio = XBox One X = XBOX
It’s $500 USD. It has no games that aren’t on some other platform. That’s really all that matters to me.
It’s really cool how they managed to nail the sweet spot of making me have zero interest in their platform, even though as a consumer I think they’re doing a better job than Sony. It’s kinda magical.
Backwards Compatibility Gets More Backwards
Original Xbox backwards compatibility is cool mostly because that console still hasn’t gotten a good emulation solution. Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge was a really cool online experience in 2003, 14 years ago. But as someone who played his 360 in the past week, that’s still a great console I own that works that plays all these games.
Dragon Ball FighterZ
Game looks dope. I liked that they showed off Fat Buu in the trailer. I will play that game.
Cuphead and Tacoma get release dates
This is the right way to handle games that have been shown off at E3 a while ago: in and out quickly with an explicit release date.
I don’t know that I actually want to play Tacoma.
I know that I want to play Cuphead.
The Life is Strange Prequel
A three part prequel story? Ok. I will play that. I will see if they can pull that off well. I hope they can capture what worked about the Life is Strange story without falling into the same pitfalls along the way. That goes for the actual Life is Strange 2 too, whatever that ends up actually being. I’m a dude who really liked Crisis Core so I’m up for a tragic prequel story.
Super Lucky’s Tale
The “Super” stands for “We took the VR out.” I just think that’s hilarious. Zero interest in this game.
Shadow of War
I just think the main character of these games is boring as dirt. That this game has become a weird tactics strategy thing is crazy and kinda compelling to me. Also no one stole the thing from that first game I thought everyone would steal, so this is more intriguing than I expected it to be. Still don’t know that I’ll actually play it.
They actually showed literally nothing. This is kind of indicative of what I don’t like about Ori. If it just plays like the last game though I’m 100% in.
Microsoft gets to show off Bioware’s new Destiny-like thing. Jetpacks are cool, but it’s been 10 years since WoW added flying mounts so also kinda whatever. This could be fun but I couldn’t even really get an impression of it from that video. Loot games turn on very small things. Also this is not what I’m looking for from Bioware, and makes the Andromeda disaster sting that much more.
Wake me when Dragon Age.
Oh right VR still exists
Fallout 4 in VR is an interesting experiment, I’m curious what people think about that once they play it. DOOM in VR looks bad. Tying the movement to teleport seems like a good way to fuck up that game. (Also I guess Skyrim is coming to VR too but they didn’t show it here. Whatever.)
The Evil Within 2
My hope is that this one will have more crazy, fun bullshit and be less boring than the first game. I guess if they made a good game that would be OK too.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
This game looks cool. Taking what worked about that last game, amping it up and getting a littler weirder with it is what I’m looking for.
They gave Miyamoto a Gun
That’s cool I guess.
Mario Rabbids is XCOM
Fucking dope. I will play that. I will play the shit out of that. I mean let’s be real, this is XCOM for babies, but defined levels and not being broken are two things I want from an XCOM game after playing XCOM 2.
Ubisoft is continuing to make Ubisoft Games
Some of their other games could be cool I guess. Their games kind of all blend together and whether or not they’re good is gonna depend on how they feel to play.
Beyond Good & Evil 2
Ok, but what even is this game though?
They made Shuhei a cop.
That’s not so cool.
I am totally up for some more Horizon. What a good game.
Monster Hunter World
That’s a good looking version of Monster Hunter. A fully modern version of that game sounds really cool. Wonder how far behind the PC release will be from the console releases.
Final Fantasy XV Fishing
This is what VR was made for.
Marvel vs Capcom Infinite
Hopefully Capcom has learned their lesson from Street Fighter V and doesn’t fuck up this release.
Arkham Combat and QTEs… not… not what I’m looking for. But this game is gonna live and die on whether it’s fun to swing around the city. So I’m still wait and see on this.
Games. Games never change.
New Kirby. That sure looks like another Kirby game.
Nintendo is making video games we swear
A main series Pokemon game and Metroid Prime 4 are in Development for Switch. So those will be video games one day I guess.
Maybe it’s just early but this Wooly World follow up looked not great from what was shown.
Super Mario Odyssey
God this game looks great. Sure Nintendo had basically nothing else new or interesting to show, but who cares Mario Odyssey looks incredible.
Till all are Mario.
Oh also there’s a new 2D Metroid (A reimagining of Metroid 2 even (But not the one you’re thinking of)) coming to 3DS, but that wasn’t in the main stream because who gives a shit about that really?
Thank You For Your Time.