The DinoByte E3 Review!
The E3 2017 press conferences ended yesterday, and we've had a blast checking out all the new upcoming games. As with every E3 there were highlights and let downs. These are Christian and Louise's personal opinions on each conference!
Louise's Thoughts: I'm usually a big fan of the stuff EA brings to E3 because they often show a good variety of games from sports and racing (which honestly I don't care much about) to RPGs and even mobile games. This year I was a little underwhelmed with what they brought, since the BIG focus was sports and then Star Wars Battlefront 2. That being said one of my all time favorite developers Bioware did reveal a brand new IP ~(Anthem) which I will be keeping my eyes on. A Way Out looks like it will bring something really different to social play and couch co-op which is something I have been missing for a while. The highlight though was (I'm probably the only person who thinks this) EA Seed since we rarely get any glimpse into how player research happens and shapes games!
TLDR: Bioware did a thing and Lou likes it!
Best announcement: FIFA18.. just kidding! EA Seed is super interesting to me as someone who geeks out over player research.
Chris' Thoughts: I guess I went into the EA show not expecting much, and I went out feeling quite excited, but I'm not really sure why. I mean, Star Wars Battlefront 2 definitely looks great. Unlike the previous one, this looks like the old ones (which everyone seems to have sort of forgotten), and I LOVED those, so this gets EA a few points for me, but that's more or less it? Anthem looks cool enough, if veeery similar in aesthetic to Destiny (not necessarily a bad thing). The highlight for me was the excitement from Josef Fares over his game A Way Out (which also looks quite interesting), as well as post-demo Janina Gavankar, who presented Star Wars, because she seemed genuinely excited to be at E3. Oh, and I think it's sort of cool that sports game are doing story modes now!
TLDR: Star Wars Battlefront 2 looks promising and Anthem looks maybe OK?
Best announcement: Star Wars Battlefront 2
Louise's Thoughts: Yes. I will fully admit, I am an Xbox fangirl, and I'd probably trust Phil Spencer with my life, so MAYBE I am a little biased going into this conference. Firstly they opened up with the Xbox One X (I call it the XoX?) reveal, and I know it's a minor detail to some, but it meant a lot to me that the player in focus here was a female. Then from that to a Forza 7 trailer where AGAIN the protagonist driver was a female! The truth is, a lot of the games on show were things I hadn't heard of or didn't have much interest in till seeing it at E3, but games like Metro Exodus, Dragonball Fighter Z (anyone who grew up with Toonami nerdgasmed here right??) and Ashen made me excited! I even liked the look of Super Lucky's Tale mainly because I think it highlights that Xbox is a platform which is inclusive for everyone, unlike some companies who are trying so hard to cling to their mid-twenties hard-core demographic (sorry but that's not a good business move if you ask me). I also love the focus on ID@Xbox, here's hoping DinoByte Labs will one day have something on there! I also think not enough people are talking about how great it is that the XoX is backwards compatible and will actually IMPROVE the games you currently have. Listen.. Like I said.. I'm very biased and excited by Xbox..
TLDR: Lou loves Xbox and Phil Spencer and this won E3 for her. Best announcement: Xbox One X and the original Xbox backwards compatibility
Chris' Thoughts: Let's get it out of the way: Xbox One X is awesome. However, I'm probably not going to get one. I have an Xbox One, and I'm not going to spend $500 to upgrade my visuals, when I don't even have a 4k TV. That being said I'm excited by it, and I love that they went so far to make it so powerful. I think it's cool when the industry pushes forward, and the XoX is a leap and a half in the right direction. As for the rest of the conference, I thought they did a great job. There was variety, it was nicely paced and overall they showed some good stuff. I hear a lot of people say they think Sony wins on exclusives, but honestly for me Sony has one or two big ones, and Microsoft has a bunch of smaller ones that I'm probably more likely to check out, so it doesn't really sway me either way. I'm still sort of excited for State of Decay 2, and Middle-Earth: Shadow of War looks pretty good, but it's the smaller titles that got my attention this year. Cuphead, Ori and the Will of the Wisps and Ashen have amazing aesthetics, and I'm honestly kind of intrigued by Ooblets. And of course Life is Strange: Before the Storm is a must play, even if it's not developed by DontNod.
TLDR: Great conference, with cool indie titles! Best announcement: Extension of backwards compatibility, including original Xbox (please add Morrowind soon!)
Louise's Thoughts: The intro really brought home what E3 is about, the developers, and it was wonderful to see such a DIVERSE team highlighted from Bethesda, because a lot of the time I do feel there is an overwhelming amount of men up on stage representing us game makers. I was reeeeally excited to see Fallout 4 VR (as well as Skyrim in the Sony conference), and Dishonored: Death of the Outsider looks amazing. Trailers like The Evil Within 2 and Wolfenstein 2 peaked my interested even though they are games I doubt I will play (mostly because I'd rather not have nightmares for days). Nothing about this conference WOWed me, but everything was pleasantly good and well presented so I can't really fault them. TLDR: I want to see more behind the scenes from the devs at Bethesda pls!
Best announcement: Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus (I might actually play this one)
Chris' Thoughts: I love Bethesda (a lot), only a little more than I love Todd Howard (who broke my heart by not showing up). However, I'm not entirely sure why they have a whole press conference? Yes, it was awesome the first year, but they don't have that many games, which is probably why we got a lot of DLCs and VR versions etc. Not that I necessarily mind that. Their VR stuff has me the most excited I've ever been to actually play a proper game using VR technology, and as a huge fan of the original Morrowind, the new Elder Scrolls: Online expansion is a welcome addition to what I think is a good MMO. All that being said, I think Bethesda did OK, I liked their Bethesda Land presentation, I like what they do, but at the same time there wasn't anything huge announced that I didn't know about from before. TLDR: Bethesda will never be a loser in my books, but they didn't announce anything that truly got me going crazy.
Best announcement: Legend of Zelda loot in Skyrim on Switch
Louise's Thoughts: If this was 3 years ago I would be more excited for Ubisoft's conference, but lately I feel like it's been letting me down more and more. Maybe that's not so much to do with Ubisoft, but more than I realize their trailers are often better than what they deliver, so my skepticism wall is up. I will say, their little intro with CEO Yves Guillemot and Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto was just so adorably awkward and I loved it to bits. When it comes to the games however, I feel like I have played enough Assassins Creed games for a lifetime at this point, and I don't think I will pick up another till a full title with a female protagonist comes out again. One thing that did peak my interest was Tranference the VR game with a sudden Elijah Wood appearance?? Oh and Just Dance used a Kpop song! Finally there was of course the mic drop which was the Beyond Good & Evil 2 trailer, and I'm sure everyone has said everything that can be said about it already. More than loving the trailer, I actually loved seeing the devs behind it and how emotional and excited they were to finally get to show off their hard work. I think Ubisoft rounded everything off beautifully with all the devs coming up on stage, a nice reminder that E3 is supposed to be about the INDUSTRY, not just a fan show. TLDR: Ubisoft loves their devs and Guillemot x Miyamoto is very kawaii.
Best announcement: Beyond Good and Evil 2
Chris' Thoughts: I think I like Ubisoft? I certainly used to, and I'm trying to not hold Uplay against them too much. I still enjoy Heroes of Might and Magic (though yes I do think they're getting less great), I've had some fun playing Assassins Creed, I played the first Far Cry a lot, and Rayman was part of my childhood. I guess what I'm saying is that Ubisoft has done some good stuff, but I'm sort of confused because I don't know if think they currently are? The last few years they've shown some interesting games that didn't quite pan out, and this year they've shown some games I'm kinda skeptical to. I think it's cool that they're making a Mario game, but not because I think it looks like a great game (it looks OK). It's just cool that Nintendo is starting to open up their IPs and letting this be a thing. I like that Assassins Creed have more RPG elements as well, but I'm not convinced by the game otherwise. Transference was the most interesting thing they showed, though it didn't really tell me much about the game. TLDR: A lovely conference that had some OK games, and we're all excited for Beyond Good and Evil 2
Best announcement: Beyond Good and Evil 2
Score: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ for content, ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for presentation
Louise's Thoughts: Firstly leading in with 2 titles with female protagonists, I just have to say it again, it is so wonderful and refreshing to see great diversity across the games of E3 this year! Days Gone looks like a lot of fun, basically an open world Walking Dead game, though I am not a big fan of quicktime events.. A couple of the games shown looked, well... honestly a little cheap, graphics wise, like Marvel vs Capcom and Monster Hunter World.. But I liked the overall show they put on with the off screen effects like hanging zombies and snow falling. Until Dawn and Moss were surprising games that I was really interested in, but their big finale of Spider-Man just fell flat with me. Again I don't like quick-time event based games, and honestly while Spider-Man might be one of my fav comic universes, I've never felt compelled to play in his universe. The main bummer for me from this show was that it was just a bunch of trailers. No devs, just trailers, and I feel like that is a bit unfair to the hardworking teams who should be allowed to go up there and show off what they've made.
TLDR: Cool looking titles, but where are the devs to tell me about them??
Best announcement: Uncharted: The Lost Legacy Score: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Chris' Thoughts: I'm curious why Sony had such a short conference. Obviously it was made shorter by not having basically anyone up on stage talking, which is sort of weird for something called a press conference, but they also had a lot more games to reveal. Crash Bandicoot, Undertale and Gran Turismo were just casually given trailers outside the conference. Either way, Sony had some good trailers, they have good games. I'm not one of the people who need to play most of the Sony exclusives, so I don't really feel that pull, but Uncharted: The Lost Legacy looks pretty good. A lot of the VR games look good too, though I'm not convinced by the gameplay (though Moss looks really cute). And speaking of gameplay, there were a lot of quick-time events, which I'm not a huge fan of. I don't mind some, and on occasion it can even add something interesting, but just don't overdo it. Shadow of the Colossus remake looks visually very nice, I like WW2 for Call of Duty and Days Gone looks like it could be interesting.
TLDR: Was it a press conference, or just a video reel (of decent games)?
Best announcement: Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
Louise's Thoughts: Nintendo's streams always feel like a trip, but unlike the usual happy dancing muppets or Miyamoto dressed as a fox, this felt kind of like a bad trip. The presentation was just so low energy and unexciting, and honestly maybe it's because I've grown up a lot as a gamer, but none of the titles really wowed me. The Zelda add-ons look cool, and they really quickly slipped in a sentence about Game Freak making a core Pokemon RPG FOR THE SWITCH, but everything else felt like a flop, including the strange abrupt ending.
Best announcement: CORE POKEMON GAME ON SWITCH?? How do you just drop that on us and then say nothing else?
Chris' Thoughts: Is it even correct to judge Nintendo on the same level anymore. They don't have a live conference, they have a pre-recorded stream, so obviously it's different from the other shows. That being said I normally like what they do, even if there are less big announcements. Mario looks crazy, and I can imagine loving it, but we knew it was coming and nothing shown now really changed my excitement level. It looks different, it looks good, but I already knew that. Zelda expansions are more than welcome, and if the second one is a prequel story with the 4 champions I'm so ready. All the memory segments from the main game has really made me want an anime or something to tell that story, but a DLC game is maybe even better! And the announcement that Rocket League has cross-platform play with Xbox is pretty cool, if not relevant to me directly (why is it always Sony who's lagging behind on these things). I just like that the industry is moving towards a place where these things get opened up more on console.
TLDR: Nintendo is Nintendo, but theirs showing was not their strongest this year.
Best announcement: Second DLC for Zelda (if it's the prequel story), or the main series Pokemon game on Switch
So, those were our thoughts on E3! Maybe we have a few different or dare I saw unpopular (??) opinions, but we hope you enjoyed our take on it! We'd love to know if you agree or disagree with us, and who do YOU think won E3? Let us know in the comments!