Tuesday, June 13, 2017

E3 Major Conferences Round Up

In previous years I've had the luxury of being able to watch the streams live and comment on them almost immediately. Yeah, that didn't happen this time. I was at a convention and regret my life choices. So I was stuck waiting until I was at a desktop, because screw streaming to your phone on hotel wi-fi, to watch the madness unfold. Instead of going from conference to conference with each developer that showcased these past 3 days, I'm going to lump them all into one post for easy digesting.

Let's look at what the big guns have to show off this year!

- Microsoft: This E3 is all about Project Scorpio; now officially called the XBox One X. At least they are consistent about their naming nomenclature. Releasing November 7th, the system will retail for $499 USD while the original XBox One (S) will drop to $249. Launch titles to look forward to: Forza Motorsport 7 and, well, that's all they really focused on. But Forza is still a big deal for gamers, so they didn't need to do much else to push it. Other news from MC: Minecraft will get boosted to 4K for reasons, and the new BioWare game Anthem was featured. The presentation held some old and new things, but nothing really awe-inspiring. A number of the games mentioned are not exclusive or rehashes of past games in a different wrapping. It wasn't a bad presentation, but it wasn't great either.

- Sony: Last year Sony showed off some new games, talked about VR, and wowed us with a bitchin' looking God of War. This year...it's pretty much the same thing, but better refined. It was more God of War, DLC for Horizon: Zero Dawn, Spiderman, and VR. Meh. The only big freak-out news was that Monster Hunter would come to PS4 and it looks glorious. But let's not hold our breath here. This was pretty subpar as a presentation and showcased nothing that would convince a person to buy a PS4. You can see The Verge's 5 minute wrap-up for the full breakdown.

- Electronic Arts (EA): The company is trying really hard to get us to buy into Star Wars: Battlefront. After mixed reviews from the latest revival, EA spent the last half of their presentation focusing on Battlefront II, which will expand the full Star Wars legacy of episodes 1-6, and multiplayer maps will be free to download so you can continue to keep playing the game. Most importantly, there will be a single player campaign. And it better be good, EA. Don't make it a 3 hour throw-away. EA also focused heavily on sports games, because it is what they do best, and that's really the bulk of their presentation. The other games mentioned, Anthem and A Way Out were blips on the radar that became overshadowed by sports and Star Wars.

- Bethesda: Other then trying to get us to continue to buy more re-releases of Elder Scrolls, the company did do another bump for VR - this time for Fallout 4 and Doom. Yeah. Doom is going VR. That sounds amazing and scary at the same time. Both titles are expected to be out by the end of the year. The company is also releasing Creation Club, a hub for modders that will allow people to access limitless content through all platforms, including Nintendo's Switch, to add content to their games. Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus looks stellar and seems to have a very strong story to drive the content, outside of the typical war games. The company has never been afraid to dive into the political and social foray, and Wolfenstein is coming out at a time when we need it.

- Ubisoft: AssCreed. AssCreed. AssCreed. Oh, and Beyond Good and Evil 2 is a prequel. But mostly AssCreed. I think most of my memory of this presentation was wiped out by Beyond Good and Evil. We've been waiting on a sequel for 15 years, and the trailer came out of left field. No one was expecting it. I re-watched the presentation and was still floored by it. And I think the internet-wide freak-out will be enough fuel for Ubisoft to realize that yes, they need to continue with this project. Scrap it, and you'll have mutiny on your hands! So I don't really remember what else happened. Another South Park trailer, along with a phone game. More Far Cry 5 development. Skull & Bones, a "new" title that uses the Black Flag framework for more piratey goodness. That's about the jist of it.

Nintendo Direct starts at 9am PST today! Don't miss out.

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