This is going to be my personal opinion of all the conferences and games that were shown during E3. I am going to critique what I, personally, liked and not necessarily what was good for the console or in general. I am going to go through the games that I liked the most and which got me most excited during E3. I am also going to rate each conference by what appealed to me.
Bethesda started the whole show by firing off a big opening salvo with the reveal of DOOM. It wasn’t just some sort of teaser, they showed off almost 20 minutes of gameplay. They also revealed modding/map maker content coming with the game next year. The gunplay seemed tight with shotguns taking center stage and the chainsaw making a return in the series. It also seemed to be very similar to the old Doom, with gory graphics and updated graphics. Dishonored 2 also made its debut with a pre-rendered CGI trailer that didn’t do a whole lot for me, as it doesn’t really show the game itself. It only tells the setting of the game and introduces the characters. The announcement of Dishonored 1 for the new consoles and PC, also doesn’t really do much for me. I know a lot of people were looking forward to Fallout 4, but I didn’t have that much hype for it myself. It looks to be a solid game, and I hope they can get rid of the bugs that Bethesda is so known for in their games. I would say that it was a solid conference, with no nonsense and a straight forward approach.
Microsoft showed off footage of their biggest upcoming titles, but to me it felt like more of the same. It was Halo 5, Fable Legends, Forza 6, Gears of War 4 (and the Ultimate Collection) and last, but not least, Rise of The Tomb Raider. Tomb Raider is only a timed exclusive though, and will eventually be coming to other platforms. You had a new IP in Recore, but it was only a cinematic trailer for the game (albeit one that showed off the principle mechanic). You had a F2P game in Gigantic and Rainbow Six Siege, now with more flash bangs. The only game that actually interested me was Cuphead, which looked unique and refreshing. The biggest announcements Microsoft had weren’t actually games, but options for the console. Backwards compatibility was a big thing, and then you had the demo of the Hololens using Minecraft. The demo was amazing to look at, and blew my mind. The thing that gave me a bad taste in my mouth was that the field of view was later revealed to be much more narrow than Microsoft showed it. The Backwards compatibility doesn’t really phase me, as I still have my 360. The console also still has problems with older games, dipping under 20 frames with Mass Effect, so unless the performance issues with each game are ironed out, my expectations are tempered.
The only thing that actually got me the most excited game was the gameplay shown for Rise of the Tomb Raider and Cuphead. Both of those you can get on other platforms however.
The biggest mixed bag of E3 was EA. They finally showed off Mass Effect 4, now Mass Effect: Andromeda. They showed off the feel of the game, the Mako, space travel and combat. It’s what I expected a Mass Effect trailer to be, and it excited me for what they’re doing with the series. The new Need For Speed also fulfilled the needs of fans clamouring for a third installment in the sub-series of the franchise: Underground as the similarities to that sub-series showed, with the tuning of cars and racing at night. They even showed off gameplay of the game itself, even though it’s over a year away. That in itself is very impressive, but I also have to be critical because the game might not look like that upon release. If it is anything similar to the Underground series, I think it’s going to be very good. A big issue I have with it though is the DRM, that is nota concern to shy away from.
There was also a new expansion for Star Wars: The Old Republic called Knights of the Fallen Empire. Bioware promised that the game is going to include more storytelling from Bioware. If this means that there are going to be more class quests, then sign me up. Then all of the sports games took center stage, which was something I could not care less about. As a big football supporter it was nice to see Pele, perhaps the biggest footballer ever. Even with all the nonsense EA was throwing around, it was nice to get a talk with one of the biggest players of “the beautiful game” as he himself calls it. I also don’t like the focus on the female players in the upcoming game, because it shifted attention away from massive server issues that have plagued FIFA the last few years i’ve played it. Use resources to fix that, and then add all the female teams and players EA wants.
After that, there was footage from the new Mirrors Edge: Catalyst. I personally have never seen the appeal of the game, so it didn’t really get me excited. Then EA commited one of the biggest sins possible as they dedicated a big portion of their show to showing off mobile games. This wasn’t anywhere near what Bethesda did, by revealing a new app to play for those who want to. This was them pushing several games that no core gamer wants to play. This was probably the most boring part in all of E3 for me personallly. Then at the end, EA showed Battlefront. A game i’ve been waiting the last 10 years for. Even after all my personal scepticism of the game, I recognize good gameplay when I see it. Even if it was heavily scripted, I still liked what I saw. That doesn’t erase all my concerns, but makes them less of a factor. Overall a good conference with a few very bad parts in my humble opinion.
The Ubisoft conference started with a big surprise. A new South Park game got announced called: The Fractured But Whole. The creators said they now knew how to make a game, and wanted to try again, even with all the stress of The Stick Of Truth’s development. A great announcement, I must say. I didn’t really care for the game For Honor, but I did enjoy the new footage from The Dvision. The most interesting part was how the pvp actually worked with loot as you could do a risk reward type of thing. Being in the extraction zone with other players mixing pvp and pve. The cherry on top was that the last man standing left his team members behind, taking all the loot. It looks really interesting, and it looks like a game I am going to be playing next year, though I will have to see more before I actually choose to purchase it. The only other games that interested me during the conference were the new Ghost Recon: Wildlands game and Trackmania coming to consoles. Those two are games I am probably going to get down the line if they both hold up and are good games. Ubisoft had a pretty solid conference, but it also had the most cringeworthy moment of the entirety of E3. Jason Derulo came up on stage to perform some of his “hits” and proceeded to just have one of the worst performances possible. It didn’t just stop there, he wanted Aisha Tyler to come on stage, she refused and he continued even after the song was done. Trying to hit on a married woman live in front of millions is just freaking bad. Otherwise the whole conference for my part seemed really solid with gameplay shown pretty much for every game.
Sony just blew this one out of the water now didn’t they? The Last Guardian, which has been the Half Life 3 for Sony, was finally shown. I’ve been fascinated by the games made by Ueda and I am looking forward to what this game is in the future. Final Fantasy VII being totally remade is incredible. Square has also said that they’re also considering doing it with the other entries as well. The conference showing those two games alone made them win E3 for my part. We can only hope those games are going to be good as well. I want Final Fantasy VII also to stick true to its roots, and not change the combat to what Final Fantasy XV is doing. Shenmue 3 was also a huge announcement for many, but not for me. I’ve never really been into the first two games and they never appealed to me personally. Media Molecule announcing Dreams is really interesting to me. This developer has always been one of the most creative in the industry. I need to see more before i can totally judge it, but it’s looking good. Guerilla Games showing off Horizon: Zero Dawn was the best new ip of the whole event. Dinosaur robots and third person RPG looks really good. The graphics looked stunning and the developer said they’ve been working on this for 4 years.
It’s safe to say that it shows promise as an exclusive game for PS4. No Man’s Sky also had a great gameplay demo. Showing how the planets are actually going to be like, gathering resources, Alien species and spacebattles. That looks to be a huge game! World of Final Fantasy looked interesting, because I am a really big fan of turn based battles in the series. There’s not a whole lot otherwise in the conference that interested me in particular, but the rest wasn’t bad either. I thought it was a solid conference in showing games, Which is the most important thing about E3.
Square Enix was the conference which had just the overall worst pace of them all. There weren’t a lot of games that were shown that interested me, or anyone else, in particular. Kingdom Hearts 3 and Hitman being shown was pretty good as I am looking forward to those games. The most important thing was gameplay from Kingdom Hearts 3 being shown. Hitman Absolution was very good in my opinion and I hope it is a quality entry in the series. They did show a few other titles, but they didn’t really interest me at all. It was an ok conference for me, but I hope they do better for next year.
This was the overall worst conference of them all. EA had some big screw ups with their mobile and sports games, but at least they showed games most people were interested in. They should have just called the Wii U dead this E3, because there was nothing that actually made me slightly interested into that console. I was getting really close to actually buying the Wii U a year ago, but then they rolled out their youtube partnership, which just stifles and censors content creators. Also them not showing worth anything for the Wii U for me is not making it better. They showed of some good games for the 3DS, But games for the 3DS just don’t interest me anymore. Them also releasing a new version of that handheld console doesn’t make it any better. Nintendo needs to come back down to earth. For Iwata to lecture that people didn’t “get” what the Wii U was is not their fault, that just says it all about Nintendo’s arrogance. It’s your job to make a console appealing, not us as consumers trying to figure out what you’re actually selling. It was a disaster and it’s a shame for all the developers actually making good games at Nintendo.
So that is my review of E3, what did you think of the whole event? Do you agree with me or am I totally wrong? Let me know!
There used to be a time where anualizing games was a strange phenomenon. Games came out left and right but most of them used to be new IP's. It started with sports games. FIFA is the most known and it started this whole trend (editors note: Dennis, being from Europe, Refuses to acknowledge Maden NFL which technically started the trend 2 years earlier in 1988, which is reasonable, because you rarely use your feet with the ball). Sports games followed this as a whole, my favorite sports franchise, Pro Evolution Soccer, was not a game that was released every year. The competition pressured Konami into releasing it each year and the quality suffered at first. EA is largely to blame for this trend, but you can't forget Activtion in all this.
You can criticize Konami for all the stuff they've done lately, but in my humble opinion they release the best football aka soccer games. The franchise would have been better each time it got a release if it had more time to develop the game. There are other games that followed this structure and you can see the quality of the series taking a hit. Assassin's Creed, Call of Duty and others are relying on the yearly sales and are not making anything new anymore.
Assassin's Creed 3 and Unity both were games that were rushed way too fast to the market. One was a mess because it had a new / barely tested engine and tried to rush out a complicated story while Unity was a buggy mess right from release. Call of Duty seems to be the same game each year with no real change to their games. Instead of actually doing something new in the series, it's the same brown shooter that it's always been. It's the same for some of the sports games as well. The same game every year. NHL 15 even had fewer modes and options than the year before.
There is no risk taking or anything new coming from these games. They're the same as the previous games for the most part with very few exception. What I am trying to get across is not to award stagnation in the industry. Everyone in the industry wants to be able to make money of their product, that is a given, they are a business after all, but when these developers are holding the industry back by just releasing the same game every year, it holds everything back and ingrains the idea that new is bad.
When the rest of the industry sees that they can make a lot of short term money from this, it will stifle the art-form that is games, slowly killing its growth and the money that comes with that. In the end we have to make a conscious decision as a consumer and not reward these practices that hold gaming back, and to recognize good games and award them with your time and money.
Nintendo makes fantastic games, but ever since the N64 there hasn't been anything that has interested me in getting a Nintendo console. To me there haven't been games like Golden Eye, Mario Kart 64, Super Mario 64 or even the original Super Smash that have appealed to me. Exclusives have always been excellent and polished, but ever since the Gamecube, Nintendo consoles have seemed to not peak my interest at all. It's the overall experience that makes me interested in a console.
When the 6th generation of gaming console were coming out, nothing interesting came from Nintendo that caught my eye. Instead of trying something new, I felt they were doing a lot of the same games that they were before. Therefore I didn't buy the Gamecube and got a Sony console for the first time instead. The PS2 had third party support, lots of different games and a DVD player installed in it. Gamecube didn't have any of that.
After that, came the Wii. The Wii had an appeal with allot of people because of the Wii Sports games that you could play with others, otherwise there wasn't really anything that caught my attention for it. I played the Wii Sports games, and it was fun when you had someone you could play it, but you couldn't play online and playing just alone wasn't really appealing. It had its share of good games, but again it lacked in third party support. Even though it had games like Zelda, Mario Galaxy, Mario Kart, Last Story, etc. There wasn't really anything making it appealing for me as a gamer, while the 360 and PS3 had games like Arkham City, Red Dead Redemption, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, etc. It was still releasing the same old games on that console.
Now we have the Wii U. Now it's not just the games and the library that is lacking, it's the attitude towards its audience. Gamers who love Nintendo want to show it off their videos online, but they're not allowed to with out going through some major hoops. Nintendo is stuck with their old ways. Don't get me wrong, not everything that's old is bad. Like not releasing DLC for every game is good, you know you get a full game when you buy Nintendo. Even with their good practices on releasing good games, this doesn't excuse them from being anti-consumer when it comes to the online world and videos, something that is a major draw for gamers. It seems that some companies like Nintendo don't get that. That's the biggest reason why I haven't given them any money. They frankly don't deserve it from my point of view.
I don't hate Nintendo, I actually admire Nintendo and the way they make games. But that doesn't excuse them from making an outdated console that's a fraction as powerful compared to the other two consoles that Sony and Microsoft have released. If they can listen to developers and the consumers more, I think more people would actually buy their games and consoles.
Think about it, you are paying for a statue that Nintendo is artificially making a demand for and locking away content on disc. Everyone seems to ok with this and it’s because it’s Nintendo doing it everyone seems to be alright with this. Don’t mistake Amiibo’s for the same as Skylanders and Disney Infinity. Because they only apply for one game. Amiibo’s have locked away content on most games they appear on. This is not acceptable.
I don’t see any outrage regarding the Amiibo’s, in fact people are happy about them and want to buy them left and right(including many of the staff on site). It seems to me that people love Nintendo too much and don’t criticize them for this practice enough. Not making enough statue’s and then apologize for it is unacceptable. Don’t apologize for things you can do something about. They have no excuse that is valid for not making enough Amiibo’s to satisfy the market and its demand. Fix this Nintendo!
We also have the issue with them locking on-disc DLC only for those who actually buy the Amiibo’s as well. This is not a practice we should support as consumers. If there’s content on disc that’s locked away, there is something wrong. Capcom, Bioware and other companies have heard it from the consumers about how upset they were about this practice. Unfortunately this is a trendwhere people keep buying into bad consumer practices and award them for it.
What I am trying to get across is that you should know what you’re getting for your money. When you give your money a company for a product, you’re agreeing with the product and the practices around it. You are also saying that you want to spend money on that product and get similar products like that in the future. At the end of the day, your wallet is the most powerful tool to vote with in a consumer market.
We’ve seen the seventh generation of single player games tacking on multi-player and vice versa. This is a practice that should stop in my opinion. Developers should focus on making a great game, instead of forcing some mode the game doesn’t need. It only takes resources from the game itself. We’ve had a lot of examples of these practices lately, and it is a growing concern when modes are tacked on when they don’t have to be. It’s also forcing games to have it as a pseudo DRM on single player games, which does not make any sense.
We’ve seen it with games like Titanfall, where the story is so thin and the single player is so bad that it shouldn’t have been there at all. But on the other hand, Evolve completely removes the story losing any sort of lore or background that the game desperately needed. This comes from a game that is full price and is sold at retail but filled with micro transaction. Either give a complete game that has enough content to sustain only multi-player, or give it a solid single player to actually make it a good game.
We also have games like Tomb Raider who tacked on multi-player for no reason at all. The game did not need a multi-player. It was completely different in terms of quality compared to the single player. The only reason it was put in, was to not make people trade it in and get additional money with DLC. The multi-player died really fast because it didn’t have value or the quality needed for multi-player gamers.
Games should not include modes that the company is not going to use a standard amount of resources on. It’s insulting to the consumer. When you have tacked on modes that the game doesn’t need, you can see the quality drop all around. When you’re putting money and effort into something the game doesn’t need, you only waste money for something gamers don’t want in the first place, so why do it.
Some companies can pull this off, but not many. For instance, even if you don’t like the pre-order business Sega did with Alien Isolation, it had an extremely solid single player mode. Same goes for games like Wolfenstein. It did something new (debatably) by focusing on doing a great single player. There wasn’t anything tacked on when it comes to those games. You got a single player experience that people liked. The resources for the game didn’t get stretched out or too thin.
There are many multi-player only games that only focus on online play. Counter Strike, World of Warcraft, EVE Online, League of Legends, etc. They have enough content to only focus on online itself. There is lore you can get into, but you can still enjoy the game without the story (a whole new meaning to “Grinder”) . You can just play competitively with others and the main game won’t be deluded by tacking on any sort of mode that’s not necessary. The core game is solid and many gamers enjoy it. For one reason, forethought.
I would like for publishers to stop water down their games to fit the “everyone” that does not exist just because they feel the need to. Let’s move away from the age of tacked on and let’s move on to the age of forethought.
Some of you might have lost a save being corrupted or losing a save somehow. I have lost them several times and in quite depressing manners as well. So let me just start it.
The first one i ever experienced was when my PS2 broke down after a few years. I had to buy the slim. It's not the biggest thing in the world, but it still kinda sucked.
The first one and the least problematic one was losing my harddrive because my 360 died on me with the hold harddrive. Making it impossible to get my old saves and my profile. Where i had not registered for an online account. I managed to backup some of my saves. But i lost all of my Batman Arkham Asylum progress and probably a lot of other games. The worst one was losing 200 hours of progress on Forza 3. That was a big set back for me who had not only buy a new console, but play the games all over again.
The last one has to be the most heartbreaking one. I bought the additional router for the PS2, making it possible for it to connect to the internet. The thing though is,, when i set it up the connection froze. I had to turn the PS2 off, but this resulted in me losing almost everything that was on my memory card at that point. Meaning i lost 300 hours of progress on Final Fantasy X. I lost around 150-200 hours of Smackdown: Here Comes The Pain Progression and creation. there were lots of other games as well, but those were the worst offenders. I didn't play FFX until years later again, because i lost so much progression.
So let's hear it everyone, what are your sob stories with games?
Gamers used to earn perks if they managed to beat the game on harder difficulties as a bragging right. During the seventh generation of gaming, microtransactions popped up more than ever. Earning the additional content is no longer earned, you pay for it.
It's become a bad trend within gaming to put microtransactions in full priced retail games. It wasn't always this way. This used to be only restricted to Free-To-Play games. A developer had to make money off the game after all, some how. Some games did it better than others. Not all of them exploited the gamer, but some of them did with gusto. It was understood that you got to play the game for free and you could buy additional content to support the game.
When it entered the paid game space, it started with expansions. They added additional content to retail games which then moved on to Downloadable content (DLC). The most recent thing is microtransactions in games you pay for. In Forza 5 you could <a href="http://www.cinemablend.com/games/Forza-5-Top-Car-Run-You-110-Why-Okay-60798.html">buy a car for 110$</a> of your real money. Gran Turismo 6 offered a <a href="http://www.cinemablend.com/games/Gran-Turismo-6-Top-Car-Cost-Nearly-200-60880.html">car that roughly cost $196.05.</a> Assassin's Creed Unity offered the first week of the release, you could <a href="http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2014-11-14-how-assassins-creed-unity-micro-transactions-work">buy 100 dollars worth in boosts</a> in the game.
There are despicable examples on all platforms. Not too long ago we had War Z. The game was in an unfinished state and unplayable. Yet it had microtransactions left and right. You were heavily limited to a timer if you didn't buy your way out of it, and i am not even mentioning how broken it was. On mobile platform Square Enix in all its wisdom released Final Fantasy All The Bravest. The whole game was built around to pay your way to the next battle. If you lost the battle you had to pay to continue. The balance was so off that every battle was almost impossible to beat. The only reason that game exists is to get money out of the consumer. Microsoft didn't make a good start to the Xbox One either with Forza as i mentioned before. That wasn't the only game riddled with microtransactions. Crimson Dragon and Ryse had it aswell. In Ryse you have pretty much the option to buy everything. From cosmetics to actual weapons. The worst offended I have seen is Train Simulator 2015. <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/24010/">Train Simulator 2015 has <b>$4,548.84</b> worth of DLC and microtransactions</a>, that is absolute insanity. What is the point in this? Is the whole point not to actually get the items from the game, but rather buying it from the developer themselves?
If the microtransactions only gave you the option of cosmetic content, I would be fine with it. That isn't the case in the industry at the moment. They give you shortcuts and advantages for giving out money in retail games that you pay for. I personally think that demanding money in Free-To-Play games for full access is an acceptable way to make a business model for a game. It's not when the you actually pay full price for the game to get shortcuts. When the game itself is long and has grinding, and then ask them to give you money for the game aswell? That is not acceptable or consumer friendly. When you put in barriers by choice when you already have your money, it's just flat out greed. EA tried this by forcing online passes. That didn't work to say the least.
If microtransaction are only limited to cosmetic content, I would be fine with it in retail games. It doesn't seem to be the case however when you can pay more for a car in the game than the actual game itself. Even though most people don't buy them, they will be in the game because the company can make money of from us.
What I am trying to get across is to use the most powerful tool that gamers have; the wallet. Use it to show that it's not acceptable to sort to these anti-consumer methods. Because we've seen that we get less and they require more money. CD Project Red are releasing 16 free DLC's with the Witcher 3 game to thank fans. Mass Effect also released free DLC with its game. Rockstar have also provided free content to its online mode. This is a great way to get gamers invested in your game. If the content is good, people will pay for extra, instead of forcing them by limiting the consumer.
We need to show publishers as gamers that this is not acceptable. When the game is good and the microtransactions aren't forced, you should reward the developers. Otherwise you should stay away from them.