It’s that time again, gamers! It’s our special christmas. E3 2016 came and went as fast as any other thing we anticipate, and with it there were some soaring highs and plummeting lows. I’m going to go down the line and give my thoughts on all of the companies that presented.
EA’s Press Conference:
You know how they say the weakest animals in the pack are the first ones to go? Well, the same can be said for E3 conferences. Electronic Arts’ presentation left a lot to be desired. I went in looking forward to an actual story trailer, or gameplay trailer for the new Mass Effect: Andromeda game. Now, the Mass Effect series is one of my favorite in gaming. So, obviously myself and millions of other fans were looking for some sort of sneak peak at the new game. Well, what we got wasn’t entirely what we expected.
This is the type of presentation we got for EA’s conference. Just behind the scenes footage of people working on a game. It goes to show that Mass Effect, and EA’s new slew of Star Wars games just aren’t ready for the public to see. If that’s the case, why tease us like this? I’d much rather see some gameplay footage than a video of people saying they’re making a game. We already know that!
EA did something new in terms of presenting their products. This year they had a dual press conference, half it was in London and the other half was in LA and they where both streaming at the same time, handing the limelight off to each other one after the other. It was a bit awkward overall. However, EA’s conference as a whole wasn’t all bad. Titan Fall 2 and Battlefield 1 look really cool. Even if the trailers they showed were just repeats of what was shown earlier in the day.
Lastly, the games that took center stage were the sports games. Madden and FIFA were shown extensively, much to a lot of the audiences’ chagrin. As mentioned, EA had a dual conference going on and what’s funny is they showed the sports games to the wrong audience. They showed Madden (American Football) to the British audience and showed FIFA to the LA crowd. Both presentations were met with more of a whimper than a bang.
I’d give EA’s show a 6/10. I wish more of the games that were presented were actually ready for a presentation.
Bethesda’s Press Conference:
Bethesda did a good job this year. It was really a show revolving around Dishonored 2, which in turn makes me want to play the first Dishonored. There were some great things peppered throughout as well.
First of all, they answered a lot of gamers’ prayers and announced a remastered version of Skyrim. Skyrim, for those who don’t know is the 2011 smash hit role-playing adventure and the sixth entry in the Elder Scrolls series . It was first released on PS3 and Xbox 360 and is now making the leap over to the current gen consoles. Of course, PC is out of this equation because that’s constantly being updated.
A very big surprise was the announcement of a Prey reboot. The original Prey was one of the first Xbox 360 games, and Prey 2 was showcased a few years ago. However, Prey 2 plummeted into development hell and unfortunately never got out. So, Bethesda is now starting from scratch.
The rest of the conference was like a hearty soup. Very filling and with lots variety. Bethesda showed off some new and cool looking Fallout 4 DLC as well as an add on to Fallout Shelter, ad a slew of new Virtual Reality stuff. The future is here!
Microsoft’s Press Conference:
Talk about a solid conference. Microsoft opened with a bang by showing off the new Gears of War 4. Last years Gears 4 demo left much to be desired. While it was an exciting announcement, the gameplay trailer they showed was all in the dark, literally. You could barely see a thing. This time around, they showcased Gears 4 in a much more exciting and vibrant fashion.
Along with Gears, the long-since-announced Scalebound was shown, as well as an announcement and trailer for Dead Rising 4. Most of the conference was great, barring a few very cringe worthy moments. But, out of all the new game trailers that were shown, the biggest news wasn’t even about a game at all.
Microsoft announced two new Xbox consoles. First, the Xbox One S. This new machine is 40% smaller than the regular Xbox One and is able to output 4K blu rays. Other than that, it’s virtually the same as the current Xbox One. Then they dropped a bomb with Project Scorpio. This new machine won’t be out until holiday 2017 but it’s lauded as being the most powerful game console ever built. Some of the jargon goes way over my head but I’m pretty sure this thing will be the Superman of consoles.
Ubisoft’s Press Conference:
Wow. Talk about a snoozer. Why did they have to make this two hours long? It’s Ubisoft’s 30th anniversary so I kind of understand if they wanted an extra segment or two in celebration but man, this conference was all over the place.
We start out with a rendition of Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen as a bunch of people dressed in animal costumes dance around the stage. Yup. After that Aisha Tyler, the host and the best part of the whole thing, walks on stage to crack some jokes and get the conference underway.
As it goes on we’re introduced to Watch Dogs 2, Ghost Recon: Wildlands, South Park: The Fractured But Whole, and For Honor Now. They all looked amazing but the main problem was Ubisoft showed way too much. The gameplay trailer for Wildlands felt like a half hour, as their presentation for their VR games. Show a round or two, not an entire match! The rest of it went on with just really long demos and live interviews. It would have been great if it wasn’t over 2 hours.
I like Ubisoft, I think they’re a great company. However, they need to find a better, more constrained way to present at future E3s
Sony’s Press Conference:
Now this is what I call a video game conference. It started out with a live orchestral band that played whenever a demo was shown or an official walked out on stage. At first, I thought it was a bit hokey because they played solo for the first five minutes of the conference, but once the actual show began I immediately ate my words.
From the very beginning, Sony landed an elbow drop. They started off with the new God Of War. Not called God Of War 4 or anything like that, just God Of War. This new entry to the series finds Kratos a older and more broken man with a son he has to protect. If you’re wondering “what gods will he face this time”? well… let’s just say Thor better hang on to his hammer…
Other notable surprises included a PS4 exclusive Spider-Man game, and extended look at Quantic Dreams’ new game Detroit: Become Human, and the return of Crash Bandicoot!! Sony Bend, a developer who has been dormant for over five years, finally announced their new exclusive called Days Gone. It looks like your typical zombie shoot em up game except now you’re a member of a motorcycle gang… yay! I think.
In my opinion, Sony’s conference was the best. They just kept on nailing us with game, after game, after game. That’s, personally, what I want from a video game conference. Just new game announcements.
Nintendo’s Press Conference:
This wasn’t a traditional conference, it was more of a live stream via the internet. How was it? Well, to quote a tweet a saw “Nintendo’s Conference was like handing in an essay with large text and double spaced”.
There was no substance to any of it, I actually lost interest and turned it off half way through. All that was shown was the new Zelda game, which does look great, and the new Pokeman game. Great, fun, exciting looking games but the demos for both of them went on for, what felt like, hours.
And that was it… no details about their new system, no new meteoroid announcement (unless I missed it) just Zelda and Pokemon. Cool.
This years E3 was very exciting. It had some lows for sure, but overall they had more exiting hardware and game announcements in this one than any past one that I can remember.
Now, what’s a good ol’ E3 without a cringe video…