During the short duration of E3, LA becomes the salon of video games, where international wrestlers-developers collide in an all vs all match to show off what they have been doing for the past few years. Hemingway’s “A Movable Feast” comes to mind when trying to describe the feeling of attending E3, only 100 years later and with a focus on games and not art (or is it?)
2015 is no exception, in fact is probably one of the best shows in recent memory. Usually the important announcements come accompanied by filler content, and during the show, when the hype is real, news like “exclusive content for X or Y” gets everyone excited. Even the big companies announcing companion apps alongside AAA titles during prime time. C’mon big companies, leave the apps for us, you already dominate the AAA market. Just kidding. Maybe.
That’s why now that the dust has settled, looking back at each of the major players conferences -and some announcements made on the side-, these are the news that still ring in my ears:
1) The baseline: VR, in all its forms
Oculus bundled with Xbox one gamepad?
Morpheus is great and has a new controller?
Manus VR glove shows quite a lot of promise?
2) Bethesda: After years of silence they announced Fallout 4. Not only that: it’s coming out in 5 months. This is probably the first time in history this happened. Then there was a ton of fan service (who doesn’t want the bottle head figurines at the end). Some of the announcements were meh -even the audience didn’t clap that hard- but Todd Howard was awesome, as usual.
Still don’t know what to think of Doom, looks fine, but doesn’t look surprising. Am I the only one who thinks it’s very colorful?
3) Microsoft press conference came with a lot of announcements, we had heard that VR bundled with Xbox One, but Gears of war 4 was definitely a surprise. Also the HoloLens looks cool, but at this point it could still be a gimmick. I have mixed feelings about the Retro compatibility, is it really that important?.
4) EA showcase began with a first look at the new Mass Effect: Andromeda. The game takes place in a new galaxy but appears to have the same sci-fi style and action that players of the original trilogy have come to expect.
But EA saved the best for last, ended with an extended look of the gameplay footage in Star Wars: Battlefront. The game is showing a lot of promise, and it’s coming for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on November 17th
5) At the Ubisoft press conference they announced South Park: The Fractured But Whole, the follow-up to The Stick of Truth. Trey Parker and Matt Stone, South Park creators, are helping develop it.
For Honor is a brand new game from Ubisoft Montreal. The world has been torn apart by war and three factions now fight over the few remaining resources. For Honor puts a blade in your hand like and sets you loose in a medieval battle.
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate is as bloody as you can imagine. It takes place in Industrial Revolution-era London, and as you can see in the gameplay footage, some people need to get assassinated in a particularly bloody way.
6) Sony: The bomb here definitely was Finally I mean Final Fantasy VII remake. After 18 years of waiting. Of course happy to see The Last Guardian but at this point it’s more hype than anything. Better looking games are getting less hype. Apparently putting a game in the drawer for years works out well in the end.
Shenmue 3, of course: fastest founded game in Kickstarter, ever. Don’t know what to think of this sincerely. Where does Kickstarter go from here? Obviously they can’t achieve to make a game like Shenmue 3 (if they want to keep the standards of Shenmue 1 & 2) on 2 millions dollars. There’s something (big) that we don’t know about Shenmue 3. Let’s hope players don’t expect to see games of that caliber built for such a ridiculous amount, this could heavily influence how founders perceive bung for buck in future games and make kickstarter a sad sad place. Probably this is just a pessimistic point of view and we’ll all be fine. But I wonder… Would be nice to know how much it ends up costing, where are they getting the rest money from or if everyone is working for free.
7) Nintendo: always doing things your own way. Not a big fan of Nintendo’s fragmented shows. News are coming from everywhere and you seem to never be able to get it firsthand. It’s always a Facebook post that spoils the fun. I rather find out alongside everybody else while watching a press conference. Of course, they have a digital event….
But well, let’s imagine for a second that Nintendo is all there is to play. 10 or 15 years ago I would be ok with this, since Nintendo was at the crest of the wave. But now?… (I also want to play my Uncharted 4 experience on Nintendo, that’s the other part of it, the high tech and high end games that drive technology and story-telling forward). A part that Nintendo is completely ignoring, a company that held that position once.
8) Other news: the last trailer that Hideo Kojima puts together for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain at E3. The trailer was awesome, and created under such difficult circumstances for him. Everyone go give the man a hug or a high five. Kudos to the man for creating a 30 year old monster that still keeps us entertained. Does MGSV (and that disturbing trailer in particular) reflect the state of mind Kojima is going through? I really feel the man deserves better, though it’s hard to know without insider information. MGSV is one of the biggest (if not the biggest) title of the year, and didn’t have real coverage inside the big press conferences. Weird.
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