With E3 2017 over and done with for another year, the team had a chance to put together their thoughts on the various conferences they were able to watch over the last week. All images were taken from the E3 2017 Photo Gallery.
Despite having a rather lacklustre spotlight on paper, Nintendo undoubtedly won the show for me. The way they did it was unexpected too. It wasn’t with the announcement that both Metroid Prime 4 and a Pokemon RPG are coming to the Switch, or doubling down on a 2017 release date for Xenoblade Chronicles 2, it was with a single trailer for a little game called Super Mario Odyssey. This trailer took me to dizzying, euphoric heights, surpassing my response to every other major announcement. Anthem? Beyond Good and Evil 2? Emotional developers? None of it compared to the sense of wonder and delight I felt watching Mario possess animals, machines and people with his hat. Metroid being brought back from the dead is mere icing on the cake.
Sony got a little too serious this time around. Their 2016 conference opening with a live orchestra playing over a reveal of God of War was classy as hell, but this year I got the impression that Sony succumbed to the pressure to one-up themselves. Having waterfalls and zombies hanging from the ceiling, while cool, is a little overboard. Also, and I never thought I’d be saying this, I kinda missed hearing from actual humans. The reveal of Shadow of the Colossus especially could’ve benefited from someone coming out to talk about it. Why had they decided to remake it? Who was championing that decision? That trailer did it’s job, no question, but it lacked heart. The Spiderman demo felt similarly superficial to me, with a very structured, ‘safe’ demo with a hell of a lot of QTEs.
It seems like this year’s E3 was in one of its many filler states because a lot of big titles have already released. The focus for a lot of companies was on the far away horizon of 2018 with little to be excited for coming out soon. With that being said there were a few surprises along the way. For me personally the highlight of the entire show was Monster Hunter World releasing on console and PC in 2018. The fact that Capcom has taken another leap of faith into the mainline console market is a huge step forward for the Monster Hunter series and I’ll be hanging onto every scrap of information until its release.
While the big announcement of Microsoft’s Xbox One X (XboneX, really?) console it really needs some stellar games to come out for it and soon. You can dish out the big 4K specs and boast about teraflops all you want but if it’s running nothing decent at a choppy 30fps then it’s going to be a deal breaker for a lot of people, including me.
From what we have seen filled in this year at E3, I feel like 2018 is going to be a huge year for the games industry. Companies are exploring new territories, developing new IP’s, experimenting with VR and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible on a console. Bring on 2018!
We’ve had a huge start to 2017 already, so leading into E3 I was excited to see how the industry as a whole could keep the momentum going. My biggest takeaway from the show, however, was of the exuding passion of developers and creators, shown time and again. The curious bliss of Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle was grounded by a shot of the audience, where director Davide Soliani was openly weeping with joy, and pride. When the trailer for Beyond Good and Evil 2 finally (finally) played, director Michel Ancel was brought to tears by the rapturous response.
In the midst of a buzzword-guzzling, “influencer” pandering, hot mess of an EA press conference, Janina Gavankar shone like a beacon of honor and glee. She was passionate, informed, exuberant to be a part of the game. Immediately before her segment, some youtuber couldn’t tell you the name Need for Speed; immediately after, some shoutcaster managed to make Star Wars boring. In between the muck and the mire, however, was pride, and passion of an industry.
We play, read about and discuss games every day of our lives. E3 is finished, but the world still spins: there are more games for us to play, and discuss, and read about for years to come. The passion and unification of an industry was a welcome surprise to me, and more than any piece of software or hardware, it is that passion I’ll take from this E3.
E3 has come and gone for another year. From this year’s show, my highlights were the Xbox One X and the rise of AAA titles making their way onto the VR platform. Although it was a given that Microsoft was going to reveal an updated Xbox, having a more powerful and smaller console is definitely appealing. Being able to play my current library of games in 4K, along with future titles such as Forza Motorsport 7, is something I am definitely looking forward to later this year.
It was a surprise for many to see Bethesda leading the charge for AAA titles coming to VR. Even though Skyrim has been out for almost six years now, seeing it from a VR perspective is something I would be interested to try. The same can also be said for Fallout 4. Instead of VR primarily seen as a platform for indie developers, we might now see VR being progressively accepted by other AAA dev studios in the years to come.
After watching the Xbox Conference, I was left wondering if PlayStation could go one better for theirs. Well, they didn’t. Apart from a few new reveals, the majority of what was shown was slated for release in 2018. Although this was a let-down for me and what I was hoping to see from them this year, I think PlayStation will win us over for next year’s E3.
With E3 2017 opening to the public this year while Xbox continuing with their Fanfest and EA allowing gamers to get hands on with EA Play, the attendee numbers were increasing. There were a lot of mixed emotions coming from the general public from that they were happy to be there, to want to play games and even people who wanted to learn or develop their fan base but one thing most of them had in common was they were all playing a game called line simulator. This has also impacted the media attendees commenting hopefully this could be improved in the coming year with designated public/media access days or lines.
One thing that was common with all the press conferences was that they were all short with what they wanted to show. This was a good thing because they just got down to the point of what was more important like Bethesda’s press conference with all updates to current games and the upcoming The Evil Within 2 and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, whereas Playstation’s conference felt like it was an extended trailer to last year’s teaser E3. Even though Ubisoft’s press conference was compact like others, it was a great joy watching it due to the games shown pulled you in and there was a lot of emotions and passion seen from all the Ubisoft staff.
I get it, EA tried to spice things up with getting influencers on stage and incorporating them into their games but it just felt like a bit of a letdown unless you were one of their fanbase. With the uncertainty of the Switch at release with the number of games that were available after launch did worry many but Nintendo won people’s hearts by announcing game after game that would be coming to the Switch. Although Xbox only revealed their newest console Xbox One X, the lineup of games (Original Xbox games, indie and AAA titles) saved the day.
Considering all parties had their downs and ups the one thing that shined for everyone is the lineup of games for this year’s E3 was looking stronger while seeing many develop or have the addition of Playstation VR support. Microsoft’s Xbox One X is apparently capable of VR but it seems like they are still keeping a lot behind the curtains. While Ubisoft is entering with their toys to life game, Nintendo kept adding to their strong selling Amiibo lineup. Overall the battle for first place for sure would have to be between Nintendo (Metroid Prime 4, Super Mario Odyssey, Kirby) and Ubisoft (Beyond Good and Evil 2, Skull & Bones, Assassin’s Creed: Origins) with them ticking most of the boxes with their fresh joint effort on Mario+Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, revamped and extended lineup of games and DLC. Coming in with last place, EA would have suffered with the influencers and skipping information on the single player mode of Star Wars Battlefront 2 even though they intrigued people with Anthem and A Way Out. There is still some punches that Xbox and Playstation may not want to reveal till Gamescom and TGS but it will be interesting to see how things shape up in the second half of 2017.