If you are familiar with Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3) you already know it’s one of the biggest video game trade shows in the world. With it being titled that, E3 is the place you want to go if you want to hear about some of the biggest titles from companies such as Microsoft, Sony, Bethesda, Ubisoft, Activision, XSEED Games, Square Enix, Microsoft Studios, and many, many more developers come in and show what they have to offer. This is where we can officially say that E3 began to shine this year for the first time since 2008. With big guns having been pulled out and shots fired, we’ve decided to take a few closing thoughts to the Best of E3 2015. So what does this mean? We’re going to list our best, but also our worst moments we thought of E3 2015.
/-/ The Good /-/
This year we saw some amazing press briefings from Bethesda, Microsoft, Sony, and even Square Enix. Among many of those big companies we decided that the best moments came from each of these companies; some of them having lifted to an alltime high. This means we’re going to count down our top five picks for “The Good”.
#5 – Halo 5: Guardians
Halo has been a franchise I’ve always held dear to my heart. It was one of the first franchises that introduced me to things such as “First Person Shooter” (aside from Call of Duty and Delta Force back in the day of well PC games being the best place to go for the experience), but this series helped introduce true online competitive play, but also drove the ideology that games should be open and fully co-oped. With Halo 5: Guardians, the tradition continues, but so does some draws from the old franchises. At E3 we got to see massive amounts of gameplay, and that gameplay gave us a glimpse that 343 Studios has decided to take a few daws from the recently remastered Halo 3: ODST. We got to see Buck (Nathan Fillion; Serenity, Firefly, Castle) back in the action, but this time as a Spartan compared to an ODST officer like he was with his old team. The question is? Just how far do we go in the campaign with him and will he be referencing his old squad? Our answer in short? We hope so, but there is a small ugly apart of this, the Microtransactions that spin towards the REQ points needed to acquire certain gear and items needed. We’ll see how long it takes before that changes since the Pay-to-Win feature is a bit overdone these days.
#4 – DOOM
It’s no surprise when you hear a gamer who knows the DOOM franchise go into awe over a new title. A year ago we reported on the title where we got to see a close room demo played by the late Steven Serafin (id Software, DOOM’s technical producer) demonstrated for us, and at E3 we got to see that same gameplay once more demonstrated, but this time, even more-so than ever. This time it included steadier gameplay, sharper graphics, and even enhanced gameplay, but also more blood than before, which was the icing on the cake to many DOOM fans. The thing that topped the cake for us wasn’t necessarily just the fact they demonstrated something that we had hoped to see, Much like what we watched Marty Stratton discuss last year at QuakeCon, we know this is for certain; DOOM isn’t just necessarily a reboot, it’s a continuation of a tradition that we know, one that includes blood, bigass guns, and even a even more aggressive than ever.
With them having demonstrated and outlined some of the campaign, which we witnessed at both a UAC Base and also Hell itself. The question is, will we see Hell on Earth like in DOOM’s original concept art that leaked a few years back? We can only assume not this time around, but possibilities are large and wide. We can also only hope that we see something unique with the multiplayer, which includes both a full on classic style multiplayer, but something unique coming with Bethesda’s announcement of mods for consoles through their upcoming operation: Bethesda.net, which we can only assume will come with Fallout 4 this fall for Xbox One and PC This year, and PS4 to follow with it later on. At this rate 2016 can’t come soon enough.
#3 – Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Even as Uncharted seemed to just having gotten started, the series has been long running, having launched back in 2007. This time around we’re seeing the same tradition that we’ve seen in the previous title return, but it looks like Naughty Dog has taken some heavy notes from The Last of Us Remastered and definitely taken on with that. That includes better graphics, quick reaction times, amazing detail to terrain, and even the depth that we saw before. This time? The demo they played had shown us some high-action packed moments that had shown drake running for dear life as bullets went buzzing by.
Unfortunately, we didn’t see much about the multiplayer; if there is one, but we also saw anything going on compared to normal. There isn’t much speculation about what’s going on though aside from the fact the game is well underway in development, and we’ll be seeing it in March of 2016. We just hope it says looking as good as it does so far.
#2 – Mass Effect: Andromeda
Lets just say that even with what little information we know about Mass Effect: Andromeda, we can tell that BioWare has been going to town on development, but also making sure they have an engine that can power the game to such an extent that it easily rivals games such as Battlefield Hardline, Battlefront, and many other games that will press what defines the graphics on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
With the game being years and years, but also light years away from the events of the Commander Shepard Trilogy, we’re getting to see what the game looks like, but the question at home is? What will we see as far as gameplay, mechanics, and sheer game size? We’ll find out soon with the game aiming for a holiday 2016 release.
#1 – Final Fantasy VII Remake
Let me state before I begin, that this game was unexpected, and I’m sure many of you know why. After last years “troll”, many of us fans were rather concerned about the future of Final Fantasy VII, but at Sony’s E3 conference, many of us had our jaws on the floor when the trailer video had shown across the screen. All we can say? If the game is set in a nearby update within the next year or two we can’t wait. For now? We’ll let the teaser speak all the words we need it to.
/-/ The Bad /-/
We know E3 as stated, is where game companies come to show off and give us a show of our year, but there are a few things that just.. Let us down and the worst part? Seems like a lot of us have the same feeling. So lets take a look at our Top 5 of “The Bad” parts of E3.
#5 – Destiny’s The Taken King
It won’t be hard to say that I’ve played a metric-sht-ton of Destiny as my friends would say. I’ve put in hundreds if not almost thousands of hours into Destiny to ensure that the game itself would actually be quite enjoyable. The downfall of the newly announced Expansion? Price points that are showing a 40 USD digital version or a 59.99 USD physical version that comes with the games expansion, but also The Dark Below and House of Wolves. By the way, did we mention that it will require both to play, but it will also require a bit of your hard drive space. We can only assume about the same size as the original title. The upside to all of this? New talent trees, new armor, new planets, raids, pvp, and even more. The ugliest part is that it wasn’t included in the Season Pass even after how HORRIBLE the two DLC’s are. We just hope this thing doesn’t eat up your console’s hard drive itself.
#4 – Activision Console Exclusivity
This is something I’m sure many of us can agree that is turning into a problematic practice. While I’m one that admittedly loves to buy DLC and vice versa for my PlayStation 4. Though what may have triggered this is the fact that Destiny has made such a big splash on PlayStation 4, but a huge portion of it is the fact that the PlayStation is started dominating the market for the first time since the days of the PlayStation 2. Unfortunately, this puts a lot of fans on the back burner compared to those who don’t have the console itself. It’s a pity that the cycle has decided to repeat and continue on from where it did before. This time around? The Xbox fans are being left in the dark while the PlayStation fans reap the rewards.
#3 – The Legend of Zelda Wii U Absence
As long as it has been since we heard about it, we all know that The Legend of Zelda for Wii U has been one of the biggest talks for it next to upcoming titles Xenoblade Chronicles X, Yoshi Yarn, Star Fox and many more. The issue here? We know the game hit a few hiccups, that the game has been known to go through, we are currently waiting to see where the game will go, how it will end up, and when we can expect it. All we know is that this new open world adventure that promised to be bigger than tiles such as The Elder Scrolls Skyrim or even Fallout, we can only hope that the game carries through with that promise and we see it at Tokyo Game Show (TGS) this year. With the silence it can only make us wonder what happened to the game that could possibly help bring more sales to the Wii U as faltering as the console has been since the release of Super Smash Bros. Wii U.
#2 – Microsoft Xbox Kinect Being Absent
When the Xbox One had been announced, we knew that the console would be driving itself around the Kinect to bring interactivity to a whole new point, and this meant that the console would be powerful, but so would its player immersion with this device. With it having been very loosely used for some of the past titles, we also know that the console itself has been struggling a bit till the prices dropped, and a few games began to land on the Xbox One that actually used it in some intriguing ways. The problem here is obvious; Kinect seems like it may be out of the future of the Xbox One.
#1 – Missing Exclusives
We know that E3 is all about showing off those exclusives that were tailored around the console announcements that both Sony and Microsoft had pre-E3 2015 that revealed games such as Shadow of the Beast (PS4), Quantum Break (Xbox One), Scalebound (Xbox One), Deep Down (PS4), and even titles that seem not to matter such as Adr1ft (PS4). It seems that many of these games were absent and hopefully will be talked about at conferences such as GamesCom and TGS. Here’s a good luck to that as we hope that something will come out of these soon.
/-/ The Ugly /-/
You’ve already guessed it. There is something to be said that there is a worst of the worst, but the funny part? This is where we feel that companies have truly dropped the ball. Lets take a look at our top 5 of E3’s “The Ugly” moments.
#5 – Nintendo’s Presentation
Nintendo, Nintendo, Nintendo, why can’t you just seem to learn? I can’t say that they don’t at least try, but the problem is? They try in all the wrong ways. When it comes down to it, Nintendo has yet to learn that you can’t keep rehashing the dead horse and hoping that it comes back to life since well, one something’s dead; it kinda needs to stay dead. The same can be said for them bringing back titles like Star Fox and Super Mario Bros.. While these titles are good and all, which they are, Nintendo has shown a lack of innovation and want to work with third party teams. E3 would have been a chance for them to show off some of the future works with DeNA, but also a chance to show off The Legend of Zelda Wii U, The NX, or even a whole new IP in its own right? We’re at least happy that Fatal Frame: Oracle of the Sodden Raven is heading this way under its new name; The Black Haired Shrine Maiden. Good job on that one Nintendo, now learn how to market, or there can be some true problems here.
Downside of Nintendo? Unless they do something quick, they may as well leave the console market, and focus on the Nintendo 3DS, which has seen massive success and support from fans. The only thing left? Why didn’t they show off their big hitters that could have done with the New Nintendo 3DS via exclusives since it has taken fans by storm with the amiibo support? And speaking of amiibo’s, a discussion about the scalping and shortages would have been a great idea seeing as fans are starting to lose their faith in the company.
#4 – Sony, Show the Vita Some Damn Love Already
Alright, we know this is shooting the dead animal with a high powered rifle just to see what we can hit that is left of it. The issue here with Sony? The Vita isn’t as dead as they think it is. Thanks to exclusives coming out of Japan and third party support, I think it’s fair to say that this game is still very much alive, and needs all the support it can get, but this means Sony actually needs to pull their heads out of the grown and actually do something about it before they do lose the fan base that’s there. WE could use some love here Sony. Where’s our Soul Sacrifice 2, Killzone Mercenary 2, and or even a Gravity Rush 2? Those were great games that could use a fair bit of attention and well… They’d sale quite frankly if you actually marketed them.
#3 – Games to Release Soon Being Displayed
Well, we know how this goes, and I’m pretty sure this topic explains itself. We’re not seeing games that are coming out in the near future such as Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain or it’s online component Metal Gear Online, but also titles such as J-Stars Victory VS, Onechanbara Z2: Chaos, and even more. Though they were on the showroom floor, it would be nice to see companies take these to the big stage so that the niche games get a bit more of highlighting.
#2 – PC Game Exclusives
With the Steam Machine line starting to get into production for this winter, it’s no surprise that we’d have hoped to hear more about this, the games it’ll support on launch, but also the fact we’d love to have known more about what Steam had in mind for this thing. That brings in the question: Why don’t we get to see the exclusives that will launch on Steam for this thing? We’re as confused as you are, but the answer might be simpler than I think: Steam gets enough exclusives that they could have an entire convention surrounding just PC Games and PC Games alone.
#1 – The Future of PlayStation Firmware
We know, we know, and we know that this might be a lame deal, but the thing is? Microsoft has shown what it takes to improve their consoles, this means a Windows 10 style updated, backwards compatibility, and even more power being dedicated to power things such as Direct X12 and even better graphics engines. This is something we didn’t hear out of Sony, and this is definitely something that we hope we get to see a bit of. Why is that? Because Sony has a lot of room to make up for, and the painful part for them is that they aren’t seemingly trying due to how they pushed sales with the PlayStation 4 in its current state. We still would like to see them quit with the PlayStation Now and finally admit that the PlayStation 4 itself still has a long way to go in order to catch up to the recent news from Microsoft. Till then? All we can see in the PlayStation 4’s future is more stability updates and that’s about it. There’s ALWAYS the next big show Sony, always the next big show.
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter @GamingAnomaly, Google+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.