E3 2016. This should ring synonymous with “same old same old”. There were no real bombshells to speak of this year but there are some things worthy of comment. Hold on tight. This is a long post…
Electronic Arts was first up this year starting early on Sunday. For being such a large company they didn’t have much to share and what they did was not that interesting.
The new Battlefield is set during World War I. This is an interesting move considering that Call of Duty is going the complete opposite direction. Let it be said I have no problem with this. Personally, the world wars are an interesting era and I expect that DICE can pull this off no problem. There was some video shown and while none of it was live it was still somewhat interesting. The biggest deal here is there will be access to airship control. That should be an interesting dynamic.
They then showed a montage of Star Wars stuff EA’s studios are working on. I was a little upset at the fact that they went ahead and announced the next Battlefront and the current one hasn’t even been out for a year yet. It feels cheap to me as a way to easily cash in on gamers.
I’m not really sure what to say about this one. It’s an indie title that I’m not really sure needed the exposure at the conference to be honest. It has an exaggerated polygon design and used many shades of a few colours to make it look almost paper mache like. The music was fantastic. Reminded me a lot of World of Warcraft.
Yay sports games! OK that was some exaggeration. I have never followed football and probably never will. It featured some kind of story mode of what I can only assume is a famous football player.
Mass Effect Andromeda
Nothing really new here. We got so seem some pretty pre-rendered graphics and the name of this game’s “Normandy”, Tempest (I think that’s what I read). It was emphasised that this is more of an exploration style game it seemed. Certainly looks pretty but I’ll reserve judgement on that until I have the game in hand. It is worth saying I am looking forward to it as I am a huge fan of the previous installments.
Football, blah, blah, football.
I was not a huge fan of the original title. While interesting the plain always online multiplayer aspect of the game threw me off. If I wanted to play an MMO I’ll play Final Fantasy XIV (though an obviously different genre).
Overall thoughts? I thought the keynote was boring in EA’s typical way of being boring. We all knew that Mass Effect was coming and they didn’t show us much more there. Sports I could care less about and the rest honestly I feel the same.
Second up was Bethesda also on Sunday.
I have to say I never played the original Dishonoured and now that I’ve see gameplay for the second game I went straight away to pre-order the collectors edition, as it comes with a free copy of the HD remake of the original, from Bethesda but apparently since I am from Canada they have no interest in allowing me to order it. Thanks, Bethesda.
Ill be completely honest I pretty much zoned out on the rest of these as I am not really interested in their VR stuff. No way am I buying an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive as they are prohibitively expensive. In fact I only tuned in to this conference because a friend was also tuned in.
Next came our beloved friends from Redmond. I have to say compared to other years, Microsoft’s conference this year was a bit better. They had some interesting things to announce for a change and we got to see some footage from games that interest me quite a bit.
There is a bit of confusion about what this is on the internet but I initially understood this to be the new XBOX ONE S. As it turns out this was actually an announcement of Microsoft’s competitive console to Sony’s Playstation Neo. They’re claiming 6TFlops of computing power from the gpu which is actually more than AMD’s recently announced RX480. This surprises me a bit to be honest and to pair it with an 8 core custom Jaguar CPU (NOT CONFIRMED BUT ASSUMED) seems a bit crazy to be honest. That said developers have unprecedented access to hardware on consoles to it most likely makes it easier to make the games work great on less than stellar hardware.
Halo Wars 2
Final Fantasy XV
We got to see some more Final Fantasy XV gameplay. To be honest I really don’t think we needed to see anymore gameplay for this. I am already as interested as I am going to be for the game. The two demo’s Square-Enix has put out were more than enough to get a feel for it. Still looks fantastic though still not what I consider a Final Fantasy style battle system.
Forza Horizon 3
Going to Australia this time. I am super excited to see what they do with the franchise this go around. I have been a die-hard fan of these titles from the beginning. I am still playing the heck out of Forza Horizon 2 and 3 looks even better.
Xbox Design Lab
This was an interesting announcement and one that I will be taking advantage of as soon as the service is up and live. Microsoft announced that this service will allow you to design custom coloured controllers and even engrave them to order. That is pretty awesome. Huge kudos to you Microsoft.
Gears of War 4
I really enjoyed the first Gears of wars games. One and Two were great. The later entries I could take or leave them. The game looks good but nothing really overly interesting to say about them.
Xbox Play Anywhere
Microsoft is pushing the Xbox platform truly multiplatform now. Not only are they allowing one purchase for games between PC and Xbox but they are going to allow PC and Xbox players to play together in games. Oh and Cross-Platform saves. Pretty great. As a side I have really been enjoying Forza 6: Apex on PC and can’t wait to see what they can do with this initiative.
So that was about it for Microsoft that was interesting to me. A few good looking titles. A pretty good showing really.
I always have high hopes that Ubisoft will sweep me off my feet but alas this year was not that exciting but for one game announcement.
Star Trek: Bridge Crew VR
I’m going to call this for what it is, essentially what every Star Trek fan has ever wanted. It is basically a reboot of Star Trek: Bridge Commander but with VR. You are on the bridge working as a team to run the ship and destroy bad guys. They had Levar Burton and some of the other actors try it out and they looked like they were having a blast. My biggest issue with the game is that is just look cartoon-like. I would like to see a more realistic style to the people on the ship. Otherwise this is honestly a VR seller for me.
I thought the first game was terrible. This game visually looks better but the gameplay just looks uninspired to me.
This is the big announcement that Ubisoft left for the end of their keynote. Basically it’s a multiplayer snow sports game. That’s about it. Not much to see here.
This had to be the most impressive E3 keynote I have ever seen. Half of the game trailers and gameplay was backed by a live orchestra. It was fantastic.
It was interesting to see that Insomniac Games was developing this. While the white spider on the suit looks a little odd to me I will reserve judgement until I play the game. And yes I think this is the first Spider-Man game I will ever play. The style of the game just really worked for me. Looking forward to it.
Crash Bandicoot 1, 2 and 3 HD
This was a cool announcement though I think everyone at the conference was thinking that they were going to announce an all new Crash game. I didn’t play much of this when I was younger but I always loved Crash in the commercials and the games weren’t bad either.
Final Fantasy VR Experience
This looks to be a mini game addon just for the VR users out there. You play as the gun wielder and almost looks like you are playing a on rail shooter. Not bad but nothing that interesting to me.
Horizon: Zero Dawn
This game just keeps looking better and better. While the protagonist reminds me a whole lot of Heavenly Sword’s protagonist the game sure doesn’t remind me of Heavenly Sword. The game looks great and is definitely on my to play list.
Resident Evil 7
This was totally unexpected. It is optimized for VR so it’s first person which is not actually something I am looking forward to but the trailer was totally out in left field. Gone was Leon S. Kennedy and Chris Redfield. In was a spooky house and cockroaches. Really interesting.
God of War
A boy is talking to his father who is sitting in the shadows. When the shadowed figure is shown its a bearded Kratos! I never played the originals I must admit but this game looks to be taking the franchise in a totally different direction. Almost felt a bit Tomb Raider-ish in style though there was no platforming.
The Last Guardian
Still looks good. Finally has a release date.
This was Sony’s mic drop I think though it was not at the end of the keynote. They had a triumphal entry of Hideo Kojima and he introduced the game he’s working on. Turns out Norman Reedus is indeed still in a game with him. It looks like Kojima basically is going to go ahead with is idea from PT/Silent Hills and run with it. Love it.
Sony’s keynote was by far the best of E3. There were some other games I would have liked to hear about like Persona 5 and Final Fantasy VII Remake. I would also have liked them to acknowledge that the PS4 Neo is coming. Especially with Microsoft’s reveal the day before. Regardless it looks like Sony has a lot of great stuff coming
So that’s about it for E3 really. AMD announced some more Polaris cards. The RX460 and RX470. So we at least know these exist. Not really the cards I am interested in personally.
What did you think of this years E3?