Editor’s Note: Check out all of our E3 Expo 2017 show coverage.
E3 Expo 2017 has now come and gone, and it’s time to see if I was right or wrong about my predictions. Let’s just get right to the details, as well as my grade for each press conference:
Looks like I was pretty much right about how the EA conference would be dull. Sure, we had the expected unveil of Star Wars Battlefront II, as well as showing Madden 18 using the Frostbite engine and the usual FIFA 18 montage. But two titles did interest me. The first was A Way Out, a two-player experience that awards something that needs to be brought back into the industry: couch based co-op. In this age where everything has to have online multiplayer for the sake of online multiplayer, I am glad to see EA of all companies break the mold. The other game is one I will mention during the Microsoft review, but it did show a small taste of what the (then) called Scorpio could do: Anthem.
But in the end, it was a rather dull conference, but thankfully no 15-minute interview with Pele.
EA Grade: C-
MICROSOFT (the only conference I watched in 4K60 thanks to Mixer):
If you all remember my previous columns I predicted two things about Project Scorpio: that it would be called the Xbox One X and it would retail for $500. Just get it out of the way and call me Nostradamus. Yes, I figured the $500 tag would be on the high side, and I’ve heard about it non-stop, but keep that in mind when the PS3 was announced at $600 (and yes, I know about the $500 basic model) back in 2006, which equates to $727.57 in 2017 dollars! I also wish that Microsoft shown more about the abilities of the Xbox One X, even if they had a pre-E3 unveil in the way they did the 360 and the original X1. But what they did show was games, 42 in total with 22 being console exclusives. They weren’t kidding about that because it was game after game after game in rapid succession.
But at least we were able to get a good video of triple A titles such as Assassin’s Creed Origins (with an amazing setting in Ancient Egypt) and Middle of Earth: Shadow of War. I will admit, seeing a humorous orc partner with a hilariously bad Cockney accent might have broken me, and thankfully the Nemesis System that I loved in the first game appears to be back. I’m looking forward to how the game will look on the X. I’m not as interested in Sea of Thieves but that’s just me. But at the end they shown Bioware’s latest project: Anthem, which was said to be running on actual Xbox One X hardware. Even though it was very early in development what I saw looked amazing, a title which I do hope becomes a true Destiny killer. We can only wait and see, and maybe then, the sour taste of Mass Effect Andromeda will be gone for good.
Original Xbox has been added to backwards compatibility, which is a nice touch, and though it won’t help me as much I know there are those who are looking forward to it. If Microsoft adds OG Xbox games to both Games With Gold and to Game Pass, it will make both services an even better value. In the end, Microsoft had one of the better showings.
Microsoft Grade: B
And now we come to perhaps my biggest disappointment of this E3. At first there was nothing that interested me. I didn’t care for the Dishonored 2 DLC, as we all know how I feel about the game in the first place, and the announcement of the Bethesda Creation Club left a sour taste in my mouth because it appears once again that Bethesda is trying to implement paid mods into their games. I know there will be those who are looking forward to Evil Within 2, but not me as I didn’t care for the first game, and it was about then I was about to brush off the Bethesda conference and give my first ever F.
And then Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus was shown!
My wish came true, a true sequel to New Order, and I couldn’t have been any happier. What they shown looked amazing, and kept the dark humor that made New Order such a fun game. Seeing as it is going to take place in the United States got me asking a few questions. For instance, how was BJ able to survive the nuclear blast at the end of the first game? Also, would we be going into an atomized New York City? I hope so. After all, BJ has been on the ****ing moon!
Granted it wasn’t enough to win me over for the whole conference, but at least it raised the level up just a bit.
Bethesda Grade: D+
So now we go from the biggest disappointment of E3 to the most pleasant surprise. Who would have thought that Ubisoft had it in them? Yes, we saw what we would expect: Assassin’s Creed Origins, South Park: The Fractured But Whole (which FINALLY has a release date,) Just Dance 2018 and Far Cry 5, but there were a lot of surprises, a new Rabbids game featuring Mario of all people in an XCOM-like strategy setting (yes please!) As well as the unveiling of The Crew 2, and Skull and Bones, a naval combat game that looked like the best parts of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. If Ubisoft can offer a decent single player campaign mode and not make it multiplayer-centric (a la Rainbow Six Siege,) then sign me up.
But the biggest shock came at the end. After all of these years of people waiting and asking for it, a trailer for Beyond Good and Evil 2 was shown. I’m sure the game is a long ways off but if it does come to fruition, it will be a smash for Ubisoft. I might have to go back and play the first one on my PC just to get ready.
Needless to say, Ubisoft nailed it this year, and may have won this year’s E3.
Ubisoft Grade: A
Get the pitchforks out, fanboys. I know you’re not going to like what I have to say. I will start with the good parts: they didn’t announce another Kickstarter campaign, and they too concentrated on a lot of games…for just a 45-minute showing.
But the problem with all of the games shown is the lineup went like this: Uncharted expansion, Horizon DLC, more of Days Gone, Monster Hunter (which is also coming out on other consoles,) Shadow of the Colossus (a remaster,) CoD WWII, many VR titles, Viking God of War, Detroit, and finally, Spider-Man, which looked like it relied a bit too much on Quick Time Events. All of this in a surprisingly short event.
Here’s my problem with the Sony event. Yes, they shown a lot of games, but these are all the same games that were shown LAST YEAR. Even worse, with the exception of the Uncharted expansion (which comes out in August,) all of the games that were announced are not coming out until 2018. All the other conferences so far have shown games that are coming out this year.
Look, I know I have to maintain professionalism, and I played every system, but I can’t see how people can say that Sony won this year’s E3. They didn’t, especially after what Ubisoft did. But then again, how many conferences have cut to fanboys in the crowd worshipping their piece of plastic like some sort of god?
I wish I was kidding…
Sony Grade: C-
In their usual style, Nintendo shown one of their Treehouse events, but to my surprise, the event centered more on the Switch than it did the 3DS, although the 3DS will be getting Metroid: Samus’ Return, which from what I saw looked like a reimagining of Metroid II on the Game Boy. I would say sign me up, but it got me also thinking if this was the reason why Nintendo went after the fan based AM2R (Another Metroid 2 Remake?) Guess it doesn’t matter now. What they shown looked pretty impressive for the handheld system.
But aside from that, everything else was all Switch, all the time. The biggest highlights that I got from Nintendo was more of the Mario Rabbids game shown at Ubisoft’s event, an announcement for Metroid Prime 4 (YES!) and new Switch games for both Yoshi and Kirby.
But the game that may have won me over, and might convince me to finally get a Switch is Super Mario Odyssey. I haven’t enjoyed a great Mario game since Galaxy 2, and with what I’m seeing here, it looks like it might be coming true. Though seeing Mario in a real world environment first gave me flashbacks of Sonic 06, the gameplay is nowhere near that level. In fact, what Odyssey added surprises me considering where I felt its inspiration came from. Mario now uses his hat to take control of anything he comes across, be it a Goomba all the way up to a DINOSAUR! If anyone remembers the classic Genesis shooter Gaiares, that’s what it looks like, and I have to say, I’m intrigued. Even better, Odyssey is scheduled for October 27th!
That’s the other bright side of this year’s Nintendo event, a lot of games are scheduled for this year! No more of games coming out the following year and a simple “please understand” as to why. Are you listening Sony? If you did that, then maybe you might have done better this year!
But still, no F-Zero announcement, so I’m going to have to take that into consideration.
Nintendo Grade: B+
In any event, I’m done with E3 for another year, and up next will be my picks for the best and worst games of 2017 (so far.)
Currently Playing: Injustice 2
Waiting For: Middle Earth: Shadow of War