Well, two days of E3 have passed and we here at TOVG have all the wrap up you need in one bite-size eggroll!
EA kicked off E3 by not being at E3. Instead, they opted to host their own E3 just like you threaten to do when you weren’t invited to someone’s sleepover. While staging their event in Los Angeles, veritably a legal stoner’s throw away from the actual festivities, they simulcasted in England because EA is actually a Bond villain. There weren’t a ton of surprises here. Titanfall 2 made an appearance, boasting a single player storyline and grappling hooks. Madden and FIFA offered very little in the way of changes but EA revealed a plan to aggressively support organized competition. Mass Effect: Andromeda is a new direction for the classic series as the player explores undiscovered realms. Battlefield 1 looks fantastic as DICE shows you can get more for gameplay if you restrain some of the player’s abilities. And finally, Star Wars Star Wars Star Wars, because money.
Bethesda kicked off E3 for real with a modest showing. Quake is being rebooted as Bethesda does to 80’s and 90’s video games what Netflix does to 80’s and 90’s TV. Featuring level and equipment designers for DOOM, Fallout and the Skyrim Remaster, it was almost as if the developer was saying, ‘you think this is so easy? I’d like to see you try!’ like a bombing comedian. But unlike a bombing comedian, Bethesda has original content. An Elder Scrolls card game is coming out of beta, a new and stunning Prey will be out soon and Dishonored 2 looks gorgeous and BAMF-y. Plus, Doom and Fallout for Vive VR. Every one of these announcements was met with a woman in the audience screeching with pride as if she was Bethesda’s mom and the studio was bombing stand-up during an 8th grade talent show. But enough about my tortured past.
Microsoft had a strong line up of sequels this year, showcasing Gears of War 4, Final Fantasy XV, Battlefield 1, Tekken 7, and Dead Rising 4. And I’m aware I used the word sequel and none of those games has the number 2. One of them has a 1. The Xbox One is getting a baby brother with the Xbox One S and several new software updates. The systems will soon have customizable background music, streamlined grouping for players of similar interests and further enhancement of Xbox and Windows cross-porting. New IP’s impress with games like We Happy Few and Scalebound. The first being a nightmarish world of brutal emotional oppression and the latter being ‘whee dragon friends, yay!’ Also, look forward to being able to design custom controllers.
The biggest announcement was the confirmation of Project Scorpio. If the XBOne S was the console’s faster little brother, then Project Scorpio is the younger brother that is born a full-grown pro linebacker with six hearts and a Harvard education. Seriously, I had to look up what a ‘teraflop’ was just to figure out exactly how insane this next system is going to be.
Ubisoft had an intentionally confusing opening just so we videogame journalists would talk about it. Therefore, I’m moving on. Ghost Recon: Wild Lands opened the program, but it sounded like everyone was saying ‘Wild Lance’. South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker came out to talk about the next South Park game, the Fractured But Whole. Eagle Flight on Oculus Rift looked like it could be fun if priced correctly and Star Trek VR looks like it will only be fun if you can round up 4 competent friends. For Honor showed some gameplay with a similar combat pacing seen in Assassin’s Creed. Speaking of Assassin’s Creed, they showed a trailer for the upcoming movie, but this is a videogame expo so, moving on again. Watch Dogs 2 seemed to pick up where the previous game left off as far as furthering the exploits on could get up to. And finally a game called Steep showed off the fun of careening.
Sony started late again! The conference was accompanied by a full orchestra which unfortunately went underappreciated. I think Kratos’ beard got more applause than the orchestra. But what a gorgeous Scandinavian face-drape was shown in the new God of War footage. Last Guardian came with a release date this time and the trailer promised to wring every tear out of our hardened gamer hearts. Gameplay was also shown for Horizon: Zero Dawn, COD: Infinite Warfare, and Detroit: Become Human. Detroit looks like it will be the next Heavy Rain, but with robots. VR was ALL OVER the junket as FFXV and a Rocksteady/Batman project and Resident Evil 7.
I was personally surprised but delighted to hear that Crash Bandicoot 1, 2 and 3 were getting a remaster, and surprise doesn’t even COME CLOSE to what I felt after watching what fever dream Hideo Kojima introduced, but lord knows, I will buy it.