So the three day event we know as E3 is drawing to a close, with Nintendo finishing the event with their conferences (although Nintendo actually was not officially a part of E3). A lot transpired with the gaming community these past few days, so let us break it all down and pick out the best and worse highlights of E3 2016. But first, we have a question to answer…
So who won?
So the real answer should be something along the lines of “we the consumer are the winners”. But that answer is no different than when everyone in the classroom receives a “thank you for participating” badge shaped fuck you to the face. Screw that, because at the end of the day E3 is as much for the consumer (and the shareholders), as it is also an opportunity for the gaming giants,to enter the biggest Mountain Dew fueled, Doritos enhanced, pissing contest. So because we all demand blood, the winner of E3, in my opinion at least (feel free to disagree) is…
Honestly, this should come as no real surprise, Sony has been killing it for the few years with their E3 conference and this year was no exception. Last year Sony surprised audiences with some real crowd pleasers, such as the FF7 remake, fans have been yearning for. This year, they doubled down on the games department, announcing a whole plateau of games, a stark contrast to Microsofts more hardware orientated conference. Sony really knows what the fans want and just how much to give them; for example they could of easily of announced the upcoming Crash Bandicoot remasters (or at least hinted towards its development) last year, along with the FF7 remake.
The Sony conference practically bombarded us with game announcements: from a new instalment in the Resident Evil series to a new Spider-man game by Insomniac and even a new IP from Kojima Productions. So with all these games to announce, the conference inevitably moved at a nice and snappy pace, barely pausing for breath. Now this is by no means ,some kind of attempt to “fanboy” all over Sony’s PS4 (hell I don’t even own one), and it’s not like Microsoft had a bad conference by any means; Microsoft had a goal, which was to show off their new hardware (the sleek looking One S) and software, and they achieved that goal. But with so many game exclusives in Sony’s corner, a live orchestra, as well as a surprising amount of VR support shown off, not even Microsoft’s cool sounding “Project Scorpio” announcement could save them in the end.
E3 highlights: Some of the good
With all that happened at E3 this year, it might take some time for viewers to digest it all. So let’s break it down a little and examine some of the best, worst and most WTF moments of E3 2016. Naturally we will start with the good stuff, so in no particular order, let us take a look at some of the best moments and announcements of E3 (and whatever Nintendo named their event this year).
That new Spider-Man game from insomniac
OK, YOU GOT ME, I LIED!!! There is actually an order and I just like Spider-man too much(so just let me have this). So it turns out that, that Spider-man game rumour was bang on the money. Honestly with the timing of Marvel’s civil war, it was a rumour that was easy to get behind. This new edition of the Webhead is brought us by Insomniac and Marvel; needless to say, Spider-man looks pretty incredible and true to form as he flips and zips his way around the city, with the most fluid animation yet. Interestingly Insomniac have put their own spin on the costume design; stripes of white and the large white Spider emblem certainly makes the costume stand out. The costume also draws some cues from the recent Civil War movie as well (just look at those eye lenses go).
Kojima confuses and excites us with Death Stranding
Norman Reedus (Daryl from the Walking Dead) wakes up naked on a beach, there is a baby, handcuffs and a lot of dead fish. Either the plot to Hangover 4 is just phoning it in or we are all really confused. But this is exactly what we got when Kojima revealed his new game “Death Stranding”. The first game he has produced since leaving Konami last year and shacking up with Sony. So why is Reedus naked? Why did the baby turn into oil? why are people floating? How much dead fish is too much? I don’t know and since it’s Kojima we are talking about, here it could all mean literally anything. All I know is that I am both excited and terrified, of what new stuff the mind of Kojima will bring to the table.
Nintendo shakes things up with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
It feels like a long time coming but Zelada has been totally revamped. You could almost mistake it for a more colourful Witcher, and that is not a bad thing, with Zelda’s vast environment and landscapes. I won’t go through all the features in the trailer above (such as some kind of crafting and armour system). What excites me the most is that this game, in many ways, juxtaposes the last big Zelda instalment, Skyward Sword; where Skyward Sword took place right at the beginning of the Zelda timeline, Breath of Wild appears to take place further in the future than any other existing Zelda game chronology. This has enabled the developers to introduce something that I have long awaited to see in a Zelda game, technology.
The Zombie genre in video games really does live up to its namesake, the damn thing just won’t die. Usually with the announcement of any kind of zombie themed game, I relent a little. Don’t get me wrong, I love the zombie genre, but even I can admit that maybe it could do with a break. With that being said, three zombie games from three of my favourite series were announced: Telltale’s The Walking Dead Season 3 (featuring the fan favourite, and now even more grown up Clementine, see above), State of Decay 2 and Dead Rising 4 (ok the last one is not exactly my favorite, but it is good nonetheless).
E3 highlights: Some of the bad
Ahhh shit, more Zombies
Hey look it’s the sequel to Last of Us…oh…nevermind. ‘Days Gone’ is the one zombie game that just did not resonate with me. Probably because I foolishly mistook it for The Last for us 2. Fast forward 30 seconds into the trailer and I began a silent prayer to the gods that this was actually not a sequel to the Last of Us. Still I had some hopes that this would be a different take on the post-apocalyptic genre, one that focuses on survival in the wild and on the human element, with no zombie threat. But then it happened…just look above for all the context you will ever need.
Gears of Boredom 4
Hey did you play any of the old Gears of War games? Yes? Ok good because this is exactly the same (especially evident with that open beta they had a while back) so lets move on…
E3 highlights: WTF?
Who left all this Silent Hill in my Resident evil?
This one is honestly neither good nor bad (at least not yet), I just find it to be somewhat perplexing is all. Capcom had made it pretty transparent that their next iteration in the Resident Evi; series would go back to its more horror roots. Apparently they did not actually mean Resident Evil’s horror roots. I like RE 7 as a game and I welcome any changes to bring back the scares, however, I can’t help but feel like Capcom is trying to play catch up to the Amnesias, Outlasts and P.T.s, with the first person horror genre. RE7 feels and looks just way to similar to Konami’s cancelled Silent Hills project (that some might know better as P.T.). P.T. despite being cancelled, was a hit with fans. So it makes sense that Capcom would look in that direction for inspiration. I just hope that RE7 does not get lost in new found territory.
So to end a rather long post, I’ll leave out the hardware and software stuff for another time (maybe). There are tonnes of games and tech stuff that I left out, but this post could go on forever so let’s call it quits here. E3 this year was a blast as it always is, for better or worse. Feel free to share your opinions and thought in E3 in the comments below.