Let’s face it folks, this was a pretty average E3. I lost count of the amount of times I typed the sentence “It’s X, if you enjoyed X you’ll enjoy this”. Sequels excreting from every possible orifice with a few expansions packs and some remasters thrown in for good measure. Can you say ‘stagnation?’
Nevertheless, there were plenty of shakeups this year, big announcements both good and bad. So for those of you who missed the riveting show this year, here’s the top ten biggest announcements.
10. Star Wars Battlefront 2
We all knew it was coming but that hasn’t put a damper on the fires of hype surrounding Battlefront 2(.0). Fact of the matter is it seems someone at EA realized it is indeed possible to look at customers as something other than cash cows to be endlessly milked and fed broken, empty games. Battlefront 2 looks to be, at least from the limited trailer we’ve been shown, everything it’s predecessor wasn’t. So in short, it’s actually a good game.
9. Metro Exodus
It’s been four long years since the release of the last Metro game. The Stalker/Fallout hybrid set in the tunnels of Moscow’s Metro system and the irradiated, horror infested surface, is a setting many have been itching to return to. Metro does a brilliant job of doing the one thing it’s two parent games couldn’t: inspiring true, genuine fear. I for one am excited to be actually scared again. While I’m a little uncertain about the introduction of open world to the series and have a terrible feeling it’ll be ‘go here and get scared by this’ I’m hopeful. If it follows a similar pattern to Stalker then I think Metro Exodus will live up to the hype it’s currently building.
8. Spider Man
I said during the Sony conference that I wasn’t a fan of superheroes and I stick by that. But watching the mobility, versatility and freedom the web-slinging of Spider Man affords, I’m stating to change my mind. The action looks fast paced as you’re blasting web in every direction, tying bad guys up, down, to parts of the environment, introducing them to the ground in a whole new way, the list goes on.
7. Metroid Prime 4
Whenever I speak to a Nintendo fan (yes I’m going to generalise you all) they always tell me of their suffering. Of the long years of lamentations waiting, hoping for another Metroid Prime game. Well sometime in the future Nintendo will answer, we don’t know when or in what form it will take but they’ve promised a game. Frankly we all know that’s enough to send Nintendo fans into a rabid frenzy and see the Switch sell more than 50 units.
8. Xbox One X
Microsoft has unveiled what some call a ‘PC Killer’. Which is great because every-time I hear that I double over laughing for a good five minutes, same with anytime someone tells me it’ll run native 4k. Coming in at the same price as the Xbox One, this new console boasts… well jack shit really. Microsoft claims it can run native 4k but neglects to mention performance and frame rates. That and take a good hard look at the lineup of games being announced for it. Can you say ‘Absolutely no exclusives?’ By having everything release as ‘Microsoft exclusives’ they’ve shot themselves in the foot. Everything new that the Xbox One X will have will also be released on PC. Now call me an elitist but I don’t see any kind of reason to throw $500 USD (that’s a lot of money) at a box that will continue to under-perform against the platform that will have the same new games.
7. Shadow of the Colossus
It’s Shadow of the Colossus remastered. If you don’t know the original than you probably don’t care about the remaster.
Ding Dong Bioware’s dea- wait no, what’s this? The barely breathing corpse of a studio clinging to life with EA’s hands around its throat? Well that’s unexpected. I was honestly shocked to see anything from Bioware this year much less something that’s gearing up to tackle and probably beat Destiny. I expected them to sort of fade into the shadows and wait for the inevitable termination notice. Apparently Satan Inc, sorry I mean EA, has decided to give them another chance. Anthem looks to be Destiny but better in pretty much every way. More abilities, a greater emphasis on exploration via the jet-pack and class coherency clearly matters. I’m actually excited to see what Bioware does with this one. Maybe it’ll be Bungie’s corpse that ends up on the front page, not Biowares’.
5. Beyond Good and Evil 2
This was one of those moments when I genuinely wished I was in the audience at E3. Even through the stream you could feel the rush of excitement as the internet exploded in a manner not seen since the announcement of Fallout 4. Yes Ubisoft has apparently done something right in announcing this game and well very little about it. There’s no game-play to be seen, no idea of what one will do in this long awaited video game messiah. Maybe I’m old fashioned but I kind of like to know a little about game-play before buying a ticket on the Hype Express.
4. Age of Empires 1 – Remastered
What even needs to be said about this? It’s a 4k remaster of the original Age of Empires. If you’re not excited about that then I’m sorry but there’s no hope for you.
3. Far Cry 5
Ubisoft showed off plenty of game-play of everyone’s favourite cis-het-white-male slaying game. Because that’s what Far Cry 5 has been turned into apparently. It seems pretty fun to be honest. It’s following the established Far Cry formula of ‘go here + shoot this = good game’. There’s a sniper companion, because of course there is. A dog, because of course there is. And aerial combat which is something I wasn’t expecting. Dog-fighting in Far Cry isn’t the kind of thing I usually expect but nonetheless I’m excited to try it out.
2. Call of Duty: World War II
The multiplayer game-play shown off reveals that Call of Duty: World War II isn’t awful. It’s already exceeding my expectations and I’m actually surprised by that. I expected a remaster of COD 1 or 2 with the nonsense of more recent titles but this game-play looks solid.
1. Creation Club
Ah Creation Club, to me the biggest announcement of E3. Paid Mods 2.0. Bethesda of course has come out denying anything about it being paid mods. It’s just things that modify your game that you purchase with credits that you can purchase from your nearest digital store. No that’s not paid mods at all. The thing that really gets me, even if we say this isn’t paid mods, is that it’s going to work. Why? Because of consoles. Now I’m not going to harp on about how they’re the cause of all our problems because they’re not, just the cause of this one. Fact of the matter is console users will buy into this because they won’t have any other choice. PC users have the glorious site that is Nexusmods but console users are completely restricted in what they can add into their game. No matter what way you look at it, Bethesda is going to pay talented community members a pittance to take their work and then sell it to the consumer. And damn it all it’s going to work. Thing is, where does it stop? What point is too far? Because we all know this is another crack at paid mods to see if they can get away with it. But if this works, what’s to stop Bethesda and other companies using this in other games? Hell what’s to stop them charging for things like the unoffical Skyrim/Oblivion/New Vegas etc etc patches? Mods that fix Bethesda’s buggy and broken mess for them because they know the community will do it. Oh and don’t get me started on the fact that VR Skyrim will be the FIFTH release of the title.
The winner of E3
This was a tough one this year, so many mediocre performances it’s hard to pick who was ever so slightly above average. I honestly have to give it to Microsoft simply because they announced some cool stuff and didn’t piss off the community/have a broken stream. Congratulations Microsoft, you won this years industry circle jerk.