So E3 is over. I can say with authority that of all the E3s I’ve seen over the years, this was the… most recent.
We’re in such a weird spot with this stuff now. E3 as a show used to be the thing. It was the industry’s Wrestlemania, where all of the new storylines for the year were set up. We’ve almost reached the point of pure formality now, making a production of info that we either already knew or were going to find out quickly anyway. It’s not to say that the show was completely useless. I like a well cut piece of marketing as much as the next guy. It’s just that the show has never felt less essential, especially when the primary message from most companies this year was “we’re gonna try some stuff in the future maybe, I don’t know? Look, it’s going to be good, probably. Teraflops.”
What Microsoft is looking to do, in theory, is smart. By introducing the Scorpio and Xbone S together, along with the introduction of Play Anywhere, they’re putting forth the idea that no one will be left behind. No matter your budget or how you prefer to get your games, there is a way to be part of the Microsoft ecosystem. They’re not resetting the userbase, they’re simply adding to it. Where it gets tricky is whether or not the Scorpio is actually going to be what they’re promising. All we have to go on is a very cringy video about “high quality pixels” and some stats that don’t seem powerful enough to do 4K gaming. Seems like a weird thing to shoot for anyway considering how we still haven’t mastered 1080p 60fps and 4K simply isn’t that prevalent. Seeing as we’re over a year away, we won’t have to deal with specifics (or the truth) until much later. As far as the game line up, it was a lot of dudes with guns, as expected, though We Happy Few looks incredible.
On the Sony side, it was much more games focused in light of the news that Neo wouldn’t be making an appearance. It was for the best since we finally got a Last Guardian date and a look at the next batshit thing Kojima is doing, though there was a severe lack of any new info on the Neir sequel. Come to think of it, there really wasn’t much of anything on the smaller or indie fronts. We’re getting another post-apocalyptic zombie game. Another God of War. I’ll give them credit for mixing up the formula even if I’d be content to never see Kratos ever again. The first-party offerings from Sony haven’t blown me away since the days of Jet Moto and Crash. I think I just accidentally implied that Jet Moto was better than God of War. One of those games features sick jumps and Mountain Dew. I’m just saying.
Shockingly, I’m actually really excited for the new Zelda. My primary complaint with the series for years has been the recurring sameness, so to see Link in an almost Dark Souls-esque context really intrigues me. I’m still waiting on those hot Wii U price drops, but I may actually be ready to bring some Hyrule back into my life when the time is right.
As for everyone else – Ubisoft was a bummer. This may very well be their last year at the show and they only have two franchises I care about, neither of which were present. The South Park thing went too long, as most South Park things do. No new Rocksmith. No Beyond Good and Evil 2. No happy Damien. Copy and paste the same for Bethesda, though I could be open to trying some Dishonored 2 or Prey down the road. I’ll be looking at the free DOOM demo tomorrow, so they’ve got me there. Selfishly, I would have prefered some news on a new Elder Scrolls rather than another release of Skyrim, a 6 year old game that everyone already has. Maybe that’s just me.
What’s that? EA had a conference too? Weird. I must have missed that.