So another E3 has come and gone, allowing me to sit in my home to report on the steams and pick at the bones of the E3 announcements. Thankfully nobody comes to Caps N’ Coins for breaking news, because that’s not what we do. This site is an outlet for me to vent my opinion and just like last year I am going to be writing a single post to summarise all of the press conferences; mostly because my time is currently stretched so thin that it is all I can presently muster.
So this year there was 5 press conferences, Electronic Arts (EA), Bethesda, Microsoft, Ubisoft and Sony, two of which were “technically” not even at E3 (EA and Bethesda). All of these companies came to show us what they have been working on for the last year, and overall I have mixed emotions about what I saw. Perhaps it is just that I have gotten older and my tastes have changed, or it could be that these companies had, what I perceived to be, very little new announcements. Most of the games at the press conferences were already showed last year and I estimate that most of these press events were half the length of the ones that were at last year.
Bethesda probably had the smallest lineup of new “games”, but they did have some interesting things to show. They showed off trailers, not of game play footage (a recurring theme through most of the press conferences), for Quake Champions and Prey. These were the two new games that they announced at this press event. The rest of their time was filled with announcing DLC plans for Doom, Fallout 4, expansion packs for Elder Scrolls Online, giving an update to their Collectable Card Game Elder Scrolls Legends and showing some gameplay of Dishonoured 2.
Most of what they were showing did not really excite me, and I am able to admit that this is an issue with me and not with them. The announcement of Quake Champions didn’t move my needle because I am no longer interested in online shooters the way I once was. The announcements for Elder Scrolls Legends didn’t interest me because I am too invested in Hearthstone and Magic the Gathering, and on the whole I am never, ever, excited for DLC announcements. The one exception to this is when I saw footage of Elder Scrolls Online. What I saw really made me what to pick up that game and try it out; especially because it does not have a monthly subscription. Alas being a single parent doesn’t give me a lot of time to put into a MMORPG, and if I were to get into another one, I doubt I would ever have the time to work on this site again.
From there I watched the EA press event. This is the only other press event that was not actually a part of E3. EA had dedicated an incredibly large chunk of their press event to talking about their sports franchises, and in past years I think that I was unfairly hard on them for this. The fact of the matter is, Sports and Sports franchises are a big deal, they make EA a lot of money. Just because I am not interested in Football or American Football doesn’t mean that other people share in that opinion. I would imagine that without these sports games, paying the bills, they would not be able to develop other games that I would be interested in.
That being said, with the exception of TitanFall 2, Battlefield 1 and FE the rest of what EA had to show was so weak it was basically non existent. I take that back, it was actually non existent. What I mean is, they showed off some really, REALLY, early footage of Mass Effect Andromeda and they announced that all of their internal studios are working on Star Wars games, and the only games that had footage, are the ones that are already finished and playable. All of the other games that they said they are working on were not shown, and it was incredibly disappointing. But TitanFall 2 does look really interesting and I anxiously await that release.
Microsoft possibly had the most to show, and they had the best press event at the whole show, in my opinion. Despite this, even they suffered from the same issue that the other press events had. Almost every single game at their press event was featured at previous E3 press events. The opportunity that they had to show off some brand new games, at the ID@Xbox showcase, was just a montage of quick clips of games from independent studios using the ID@Xbox program.
Gears of War 4, Final Fantasy XV, Inside, Scalebound and Sea of Thieves were at other E3s, that I have even commented on in the past. The difference is that while in years past these games were just quick trailers, they were now game play demos showing how these games actually worked. Thankfully I will be able to play most of these first party titles without even owning an Xbox because one of the major points that Microsoft kept hammering home is that all of their first party titles will be playable on Xbox One and Windows 10. Also, in light of the leaks about the new, more powerful Xbox One, Microsoft came out and took that leak head on by officially announcing the new platform, so it looks like the Xbox is going to officially have a hardware cycle like the iPhone where a more powerful version will be released every other year, possibly.
I feel that Sony was a bit of a mixed bag. They had a collection of titles that I am incredibly interested in and a large collection of titles that I have absolutely no interest in. For example, I do not care about God of War. Full Stop. Do not care. Even after seeing the footage and learning that God of War looks like a completely different game than the previous titles. I am so burned out of the franchise that I do not think that there is any amount of work they could do to make me care. Which is an issue with me and not with the game, because if it were any other franchise I bet that it would look super interesting. I also have little to no interest in Days Gone, for whatever reason that game is just not doing it for me.
The titles that I do find myself incredibly anxious to play include The Last Guardian, Detroit: Become Human, Spider-Man, whatever the hell Death Stranding turns out to be. I continue to be impressed with Horizon: Zero Dawn, to the point where I think that it is the most interesting game at all of E3, last year and this year. I have yet to see a single game that has me more excited than that.
Finally we come to Ubisoft. Oh Ubisoft. Every single other press conference was easy to sit through, but Ubisoft’s press conference was a chore. For every single trailer that was shown, there was 10-15 minutes of the host talking to one of the developers, or somebody else coming out to give a painful speech about the game, and just about every single line was cringeworthy.
Producers came out to talk about the Assassin’s Creed movie, every multiplayer demonstration had fake radio chatter that doesn’t sound anything similar to what people actually say in voice chat. The whole thing top to bottom was painful to watch. This isn’t even me trying to rip on Aisha Tyler, because i’m not doing that. It was everybody else trying to be as witty as Aisha that made me want to stop watching.
For what it’s worth, every game that they showed had a game play demonstration as well as a cinematic trailer so that we could see what, Watch Dogs 2, Steep, For Honor and Ghost Recon: Wildland played like.
And there we have it, E3 in all of its glory has concluded for another year, and I now feel like I need to go take a shower after talking about it.