E3 2015 – The Final Verdict

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So, we’ve made it, dear playchums. Another E3 has passed, but what a show. It was one of those years where everyone pulled it out of the bag. Well, almost everyone. There were some lows, but these were mostly overshadowed by the soaring highs.

Here are my best bits, worst bits and huh!? bits.

First the best bits…

The Bethesda Bomb

Bethesda kicked the doors open at E3 2015. It was their first solo

Dishonored 2 E3 2015
Dishonored 2 gets a female protagonist

press conference and the crowd was buzzed. Bethsoft didn’t disappoint. There was DOOM 4, which looked insane, followed much Fallout 4 coolness. Not only was there an app game launched that night, but there was a Pip Boy special edition and oh, by the way, the game is out in November.

I’m also really excited about Dishonored 2. I wasn’t expecting a sequel and I wasn’t expecting a female protagonist. The first game was great and I have high hopes for this one.

X Marks the Spot

The Xbox show was one of their best ever. It was good to see them finally realise that there’s more to their console than streaming films and sports.

They ticked lots of boxes with Halo 5: Guardians, Gears 4 and Tomb

Recore e3 2015
A nice surprise at the Xbox E3 2015 conference

Raider. Then there were some surprises, such as Recore, which looks interesting. In addition, Xbox is courting more indies and Japanese talent, which is nice to see. Ashen was another standout title for me there.

However, Hololens stole the show, when that Minecraft city emerged from a tabletop. I was floored and excited. Team Xbox clearly has its eye on the future and it looks awesome.

PlayStation Legends

By the time the Sony press conference came along, it felt like they had no hope of grabbing any headlines. How wrong could we be.

The return of The Last Guardian, with a nice long look at the gameplay, was happy, happy news.  Then they hit us with Shenmue III. For my thoughts on this, hit the latest episode of Argue the Toss.

The Sony show was all about the games, with Mirror’s Edge 2 looking gorgeous. Then Media Molecule threw in Dreams for some indie weird. But I’m really excited about Fire Watch. I want to play that now.

New and Old at Square Enix

First there was the guy in the mask, who I later discovered doesn’t like to show his face. So, he’s basically the Daft Punk of the gaming world, which is cool. But he’s also the director of NeiR New Project, which is a game that has me intrigued.

I’m thinking they could have put more effort into the working title,

NeiR New Project was a real teaser
NeiR New Project was a real teaser

but I like what I’ve seen so far. I’ve heard NeiR was a weird, but cool cult hit, so I’ll have to check it out. The developer provenance on this game is awesome – we’re talking Clover, so they’ve done the likes of Okaymi and Viewtiful Joe. And more recently, as Platinum, they were behind Metal Gear Rising Revengeance. I’m hoping it keeps the melancholy tone of the teaser, but the team said Platinum is on board to bring their experience with action.

And now for the worst bits…

Underwhelming Ubisoft

I was really disappointed with this show. I used to look to Ubisoft for new IP and something different. This E3 they were so mass market, that it was basically Tom Clancy shooting games and sequels. It was safe and a bit dull. If you need to roll out some celebs to bring the buzz, something’s wrong.

Where were the UbiArt announcements? I want the next Child of Light style game or another Valiant Hearts. Must do better Ubisoft.

EA?

So Peter Moore from EA managed to kill any buzz at the Xbox show, by droning on about EA Access. It was like car crash TV, as you could feel the crowd glaze over.

Then there was the EA press conference, which had over 10 minutes of Pele droning on about football or something. He’s a legend, but can we see some games already. And when we did see something interesting, such as Mirror’s Edge 2, they had some woman droning on over the top of it. This was a masterclass in how not to do an E3 show.

Nintendo?

It’s a funny year for Ninty. They have new hardware lurking, so I suspect all the games people wanted will probably hit at E3 2016. Either that or they’re holding back for TGS. But apart from the puppets, this cutesy display was a bit lacking in anything.

And in other news…

Although Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture wasn’t at any of the big conferences, it was on the show floor and the latest gameplay footage looks gorgeous. The happy news is, the game launches at the beginning of August, so I just might have to jump onto a PS4 by then.

I was hoping to see Ghost of A Tale, which is a pet project of mine. A game about a minstrel mouse, inspired by the Redwall books, among other things. I checked the developer’s website and he said he couldn’t afford the time or the cash to go, so fair enough.

Another game I hoped to see, was WiLD. I’ve heard that Beyond Good and Evil has been canned, which is bad news, in the wake of Shunmue III and The Last Guardian, but hey. However, it does mean that Michel Ancel must have full focus on his new project. A bit of a shame that they didn’t have anything to show. I suspect that this ambitious project might be a 2017 job.

There’s a lot to be happy about after E3 2015. Almost everyone did a decent show. The real winner this year are gamers. Developers are also in a good place, with new AR/VR tech and console manufacturers fighting to snag the next big thing in indie. Enjoy the year of gaming and see you for E3 2016.

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2 thoughts on “E3 2015 – The Final Verdict”

  1. The director of the new Nier project was dressed as Emil, a character from the first Nier game. I didn’t know he doesn’t like to show himself in public (though I can empathize), but at least he dressed on topic! This announcement was a pleasant surprise for me – I loved the first Nier.

    Of the new IPs announced, I was very impressed with Horizon Zero Dawn. What’d you think of it?

    1. Ah, thanks for the explanation. I’m adding Nier to my must play list.

      New IP is always good to see, so Horizon Zero Dawn looks interesting. The voice actor sounded a bit like Chloe from Life is Strange. Definitely one to watch.

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