I did not expect much from this E3. I thought that companies would not provide as much footage or demos as in previous years. With other Gaming Conferences during the year such as PSX, Penny Arcade and TGS, I thought this year would be tame. To be honest, it was not all that bad. You can see my initial reviews below.
It is hard to lump all of those and compare each. There are the Hardware companies and then there are the developers. For the Hard ware companies I think that I would rank the conferences as
1) XBOX Presentation
2) Nintendo Presentation
3) Playstation Presentation
It was XBOX's year in terms of hardware announcements. I think they answered many of the critiques of the console. They made it clear that they will have exclusive games this year and early next year. People seem to be up in arms in terms of the price. However I do not understand why. There is a higher end 4K Gaming rig for 499$. If you look up prices online the graphic card itself is more expensive. On top of that, for the more price conscious consumer, they can go for the XBOX One S. It is still a great machine and all the new games will play on it. So the people that think that this is for the mainstream, they are mistaken. They could probably have put it at 449$. I am just not sure if they could have done that with the hardware inside. They also announced the Backward compatibility with the original XBOX. There are not many details yet but I found it cool .Microsoft and Phil Spencer, took their fan base and took care of them. Like it or not that is what it was. It was a conference for them and not the masses. We will see if that strategy works in the long run.
Nintendo was my second choice as they had some surprises and they showed what most people wanted to see. So The new Mario looked good. I will be honest, I did not care for the tournament stuff for Splatoon 2 and other eSports. I am excited for Kirby. Another loved franchise getting the Switch treatment. Who can forget the Metroid announcement. It was low key but many people are drooling at a new Metroid game. Xenoblade 2 looks good as well. So all in all it was a Nintendo presentation with the Nintendo way of doing things. I think that they did what they needed to do here.
Playstation was a little bit of a disappointment for me. Let me say that Spider-Man and God of War looks awesome. For playstation owners these look like they will be gems in the library. However there were other games that were really bizarre. What was that fishing game for Final Fantasy XV? I am not sure that is something you should showcase at E3 even though it is VR. The VR stuff did not wow me. There were a few games that I am wonder how they will work. Star Child is a prime example. There were a few games that looked cool like The Inpatient. Shadow of Colossus is a remake from an old game. So players that want to have a version of backwards compatibility, this is it. Bravo Team did not look like anything new. However it was in VR but they could have called it Call of Duty VR and it would have been the same thing. So all in all, there were a few hits but in general I think many PS4 fans would be disappointed after Spider-Man and God of War.
Now as for the Developers. I would rank them as the following
1) Ubisoft Presentation
2) Bathesda Presentation
3) EA Presentation
I know that many will criticize that I put EA as the last one. To be honest, other than Battlefront II there was not much there. I get it that it is the big game for EA but telling us about sports and Madden does nothing for me anymore. Unless they come out with an arcade type sports game, I will not care that much, Need for Speed Payback looked like a Chase H.Q. kind of game. A Way Out looked interesting but I am not sure how it will play in real life. So for me this was the weakest presentation of the three.
The Bathesda Presentation was a middle of the pack presentation. It could have been a toss up for 2 or 3. This also depends on the person but this was my ranking. As you know VR is not a big thing for me so the Doom VFR and Fallout 4 VR did not do anything for me personally. Dishonored looked cool. They also announced the Evil Within 2 which did look impressive. Probably what made me push this to 2nd over EA was Wolfenstein II. I love this franchise and I want to play it. I loved the New Order and it looks like the story is very interesting. I can see myself having fun for a long time on this. That is it. I think Wolfenstein II and The Evil Within 2 were the standouts here.
Ubisoft already had Assassin's Creed announced and it looked pretty good. We got more game play and it looks cool. Apparently now there are like boss battles which is new to the franchise. Nice that they add little things to keep things fresh. I think they benefitted from having a year off the franchise. The announced The Crew 2 which is awesome. Seems that it is branching out from cars to planes and dirt bikes. Nice additions to the game. I was hoping for more of the South Park game but I guess we will get to see it when it comes out. Transference looked cool but it is a VR game. Far Cry 5 looks sweet. The previous demos were cool and this was no different. Beyond Good and Evil 2 was also announced and many online did like this announcement. I did not play the first one so I cannot comment on how good of a game that this is. Through this lineup, there are not many weak links here. I really liked the variety of types of games. It demonstrated that Ubisoft is very creative and they can come out with original games.
In the end, I find it a shame that no one covers the PC presentation. Then again it does look like 4 people were watching it. They also do not make it too interesting. So I do nto blame people not covering.
As for the rest, there were hits and misses like every year. We will see how the XBOX One X fares when it is released later this year, The console itself will be almost useless for consumers if you do not have 4K. But it does have upscaling capabilities. That is where the XBOX One X comes in. I would have called it an Elite instead of X. They place it as being an extension of the XBOX family. This is Next Gen category in my books.
I am really looking forward to Wolfenstein II and State of Decay 2. In general I think there were games for everyone in this conference. Family, FPS, RPG and a great selection of realistic looking games. So I think this will be a very exciting year for games and let us hope that we are not disappointed.
What do you think, let me know your thoughts on the conference.
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