So, it’s that time of the year again, It’s E3! That means that the juggernauts of gaming come out swinging with the latest and greatest that they have to offer. This year was extra exciting as both Microsoft and Sony would be making further announcements of their next gen consoles. On top of that both EA and Ubisoft were making announcements on the next gen games they had been developing and current gen games they have ready. Also Nintendo kinda made an appearance, via a pre-recorded Nintendo Direct. So let’s start an exploration of the best and worst of this years E3.
Ubisoft had a great conference this year. I mean it wasn’t as good as last years, but good non-the less. All of the footage they showed off, including titles like Just dance, whilst not my cup of tea, looked to be sound. The Highlight of this conference was Watch_Dogs. Man that game looks fantastic. It has that whole futuristic, yet not too futuristic thing going for it. Plus as a man who very much would love to find an underground way of sticking it to the man, the thought of playing a character who uses the very surveillance that controls our lives against those who control us is enticing. Also the gameplay looks solid and smooth. I don’t have enough good things to say about this game, and I’m sure more things will come to launch, and I’m sure I’ll gush over it more then, too. Ubi’s conference had one major downside however; it was just treading old ground. There was nothing unexpected or surprising from it. Everything looked good; I just wasn’t wowed by anything new as all of the titles were announced at last year’s conference.
EA did their usual thing, showing off some of their long running series and mixing in a few new titles. With EA recently announcing its partnership with Xbox they started by announcing that a new third-person Plants vs Zombies game would come to Xbox first and PS4 later, and then they started with the real games. Battlefront! 34 seconds of cinematic and I’m already salivating. I love this series and I’m so happy that they are making another. Who doesn’t love Star Wars Battlefront? A next gen Battlefront with amazing online could really be a powerhouse. Then there was the Sports games. I know EA sell a lot of them and they are popular, but this part just felt really slow paced. They took forever talking about balls and ball physics. For a moment I tuned out and thought they were talking about a new Leisure Suit Larry game (yes that was a poor attempt at a joke, just humour me). In all honesty I just don’t care about their reskinned and slightly retuned sports games.
Microsoft had a make or break E3 on their hands. After the disappointing announcement of their console last month, people were looking for reassurance in the brand, and they delivered. Showing off a slew of exciting and nice looking games, whilst also distracting from the whole DRM and preowned issues painted the Xbox One in a favourable light. Microsoft showed off their commitment to the hard-core audience with multiple impressive games. Battlefield looked good, if you like FPSs, fans of Halo will be happy with the latest instalment and Dead Rising 3 looked as impressive as it’s predecessors.
I mean look at that. Open world and zombies. Plus that looks like one scary motherfucker of a game. Metal Gear Solid V looked pretty amazing, I have to say. Still not sure if I’m sold on the new open world direction, but I’ll reserve judgment until I see more of it. For now though, what I saw looked impressive.
Everything was going great, until they announced the price. £429! That’s mental. It’s $499 in the US so if we work this out, it’s costing £100 more in the UK then the US. Even with import taxes that is insane. Plus another highlight was the silence and then even more awkward clap when the price was announced. The price is far too high and sales will likely suffer.
Sony only really had to do two things with their conference. They had to come out and say you could play preowned games without restrictions and that it was cheaper than Xbox One. Turns out they did both. Even with an otherwise mediocre conference Sony still came out looking like gaming Messiahs. My personal highlight was Infamous Second Son.
Life without Cole is going to take some adjustment. Plus it’ll be interesting to see how powers exist after Cole killed all the conduits. The main point is that this game looks quite awesome. I loved the first two and this looks just as good, if not better. Oh yeah and the trailer had Nirvana! I just love Nirvana, and hearing Heart Shaped Box in the Second Son Trailer made my day. Grungegasm! I really have nothing bad to say about the conference. It wasn’t the greatest conference ever, but it did its job, and has positioned the PS4 on the top of the gaming mountain. I think that statement makes a nice metaphorical lead in to my next summary, because if Sony are on top who is at the bottom?
I’m not going to do a best and worst here. Nintendo had to go out there and show the world that the Wii U can be saved. Whilst they went out and showed off some pretty solid looking games, Mario Kart and Smash Bros especially, nothing was really special enough. Overall it was just a bit mediocre. It all just seemed like damage limitation. Even down to the fact that they weren’t at E3. They also announced no price cut to the Wii U, and left me feeling confused as to why they don’t seem to care that their console is failing. Someone help me out here, I just don’t get it. Anyway this is going to become a rant about how I’m sad about the failings of the Wii U and I’ve already covered that before so I’ll stop.
So that was E3. What are your thoughts and your personal Bests/worsts? Let me know in the comments.
By Matt Husselbury