Over all it was a pretty good E3 this year. There was nothing mind blowing, but overall, it was solid. If you followed my tweets, then you know that I had a good time during the show. There were quite a few demonstrations of gameplay that were very exciting. Before I continue on, I should say I did not see everything, but I did watch every big conference. There may have been a gem or two I missed.
I am also mostly going to focus on how the big three did. I love PC, I own a really nice one, but for this article I will be focusing on consoles and how each individual console maker did. I will be giving each company an overall score. This score simply reflects E3 and not how I feel about each console maker. Even though games make the console, I won’t be spending to much time on each game. I will try to do separate previews on each game, instead. I am just going to give an overall summary. Let me start of with Microsoft:
There were some really great games shown off by Microsoft. Gears of War looked really fun! I am glad they are keeping co-op alive in Gears. Some of my best experiences in previous versions of the game came from co-op sessions with friends. They also announced Forza Horizon 3, which looked beautiful. Killer Instinct, Season 3, was also announced, with General Raam as a playable character. If you haven’t played Killer Instinct and you are a fighting game fan, you should give it a shot. It’s quite fun.
There were really four games that stood out to me during the XB1 conference. First, there was a game called Sea of Thieves, which is a Rare(yes, THAT Rare) game were you work with other Pirates (individuals) to sail a ship and do other piratey things. It looks like the Rare charm is very much present in this title.
The next title I would like to talk about is ReCore, which looks really fun. It is an action-adventure made by the same team that brought us Metroid Prime and Keiji Inafune’s new company, Comcept. It looks solid and it definitely has a great pedigree behind it.
Then there was Scalebound. You control a man who controls a Dragon. The game looks epic! I can’t wait for this one. I have a whole preview write up done on this game, so I won’t spend any more time explaining what it is.
The last game I would like to mention is an Indie game called Cuphead, which was designed by two Canadian brothers. It is a side scrolling shoot-em-up platformer that looks like a 1930’s cartoon. I have a write up done on this one, as well. Let’s just say I have never seen anything like Cuphead and it looks amazing!
There were a few other games sprinkled in here and there, but not a whole lot.
Microsoft also announced two consoles, first the Xbox 1S. It’s a smaller cooler Xbox 1. I was quite impressed by the aesthetics of this console, and you can get up to 2tb’s of storage, which will cost you $399. It will be released in August and you can preorder it now.
The next console released is the Scorpio. It has 4 times the power of the Xbox 1, they say. We didn’t get to see what it looked like and its not releasing until 2017. The overall power intrigues me, but they didn’t show us anything. They just talked about it. I am a sucker for new hardware, so I can’t wait to learn more. The Play Anywhere announcement was also very cool! You can start playing on your console, save it and continue on your PC.
Despite the console announcements, nothing surprised me. I already knew the consoles were coming and the games, although great looking, were mostly standard fair. The biggest problem was that by the time Microsoft hit the stage, everything had already been leaked, so there really were no surprises. It was a good conference though, and I can’t really fault Microsoft for the leaks. So I would have to say, Well Done, Microsoft!
Sony was all about the games. They started off with a fantastic Orchestra and dove right into gameplay. There was no mention of Neo at all. No “Its coming” or “More details later”. Absolutely nothing. They literally just focused on the games. I wouldn’t be surprised if they announced it at a later date with higher specs then the Microsoft Scorpio. Just my thoughts. I don’t have any insider knowledge on this. They did bring the games though.
Games: Sony unveiled a whole slew of games including a few surprises. There was The Last Guardian, which looked amazing and Horizon Zero Dawn, which is also looking better and better. Gravity Rush 2, looks interesting, since I really liked the first one on Vita. Until Dawn:Rush of Blood is a VR game based off the excellent Until Dawn. Farpoint is an interesting looking Sci-Fi shooter. Here They Lie, looks to be a good-looking, creepy, psychological horror game. They had one great-looking game after another!
The Spiderman game was a real surprise! Usually I would just shrug off another Spiderman game, but this one is done by none other then Insomniac Studios, who were the creators of the excellent Ratchet and Clank and of course, Spyro the Dragon, back in the PS1 days.
One of the biggest surprises was when Kojima walked out and announced his new game, Death Stranding. They didn’t show any game play, but what they showed was very intriguing, indeed. I can’t wait to see gameplay. No doubt it will be a solid, emotional title.
They also showed off an interesting looking game called Being Human. It was a great trailer, but there was no gameplay. The last game I will mention is the new God Of War, which was possibly the Game of Show. It wasn’t really a surprise that Sony would release a new God of War. It just looked so good! Not just visually, but the story as well. They actually showed in-game footage and I was absolutely floored by what I saw! I am sure I missed a few games, but they should be listed in my breakdown of Sony’s conference. Everything had that Sony “shine” to it. I didn’t see one game I wasn’t interested in.
Overall : B+
Nintendo, as usual, did their own thing. They had what they called a Nintendo Tree House. I was impressed with the few games they showed, including a few surprises. I just wasn’t impressed with their presentation. I miss the days when Reggie would come out and talk smack, or Miyamato would come out with a Zelda shield and sword. I watched the Pokémon Sun and Moon demo, and although the game looked really good, I had a hard time staying focused. Of course, what they showed off of Zelda was very impressive. It was supposedly running on a Wii U. I always look forward to a new Zelda game, which is my favorite series, period.
They also showed Yokai Watch 2. I played the first one and it was fine. I would rather play Pokémon or Summoners War mobile game, which was excellent. They unsurpringly showed off Monster Hunter Generations. If you have played a Monster Hunter Game you pretty much know what to expect. There will be a demo June 30th, so you can check it out for yourself.
As far a surprises, go there was Dragon Quest VII for the 3DS, which looked fun. I do like the Dragon Quest series a lot. There was a new game called Ever Oasis, which looked like a Zelda-style action RPG. They also showed off a new Paper Mario game for the Wii U called Color Splash. Mario has a hammer that colors the surroundings with paint when he uses it. So there are a handful of really good looking games; just not a whole lot. Don’t get me wrong, I love Nintendo. Thanks to them I had some amazing gaming experiences. They just seem to be in their own world. There was no mention of the NX, even thought it’s supposed to release sooner than later. So, except for a couple of games, no big surprises.
In my humble opinion, this year Sony was the winner. Some won’t agree with me, and that’s ok. It was very close. I just wasn’t that wowed by Microsoft’s announcements. What really helped Microsoft get close was that the Xbox 1S is super sexy and the Scorpio is very intriguing. They did a good job of getting me excited for what they didn’t really show.
Sony, however, just had game after game that looked polished and left me wanting more. Had they shown the NEO, or even talked a bit about it, they may have gotten an A. There were also a few trailers and such for the Vita, but once again, no love during the conference. Still all in all, I couldn’t stop smiling during Sony’s conference. There are too many games to look forward to.
Nintendo. . . Well, what they showed was great. Mostly. They just didn’t show us a lot. Had they shown the NX, they would have been graded better. At this point, we know nothing, which isn’t good news. There are still people who don’t understand what a Wii U is. They need to do a better job of building up hype.