E3 Overview and General Reactions


E3 is done and most have had a chance to chew on the announcements. Yes, this may be a little late, but I think it may be interesting to have the viewpoint of a time-strapped, overworked dad who still likes to game. I’ll go through each conference and give my overall thoughts on the highlights. Let’s begin…

Bethesda: Overall, I thought this was an excellent conference. It was an incredibly strong showing. The line-up was very strong. There was something for everyone during this one.

    Fallout 4: What can I say? It’s Fallout 3 and New Vegas, but better. Better graphics, awesome looking crafting system, the good ol’ weird V.A.T.S system. I was stoked to see the sweet weapon crafting system. The OCD side of me is going to collect everything and try to build each weapon. The fact that Bethesda is going to release PC mods to the consoles is just a cherry on top. I already pre-order the Pipboy Edition.
    Doom: Doom looked like a fun diversion. A bit heavy on the orange color palette, but looked like fun.
    Dishonored 2: This could be promising. The cutscenes looked very intriguing, but the problem is that I didn’t see much as far as gameplay. We’ll see how this goes.

Microsoft: Wow. Microsoft turned things around with this one. Talk about a focus on games. On top of it all, backwards compatibility with the 360.

    Halo 5: Hmm… I’m not too keen on the multi-player on Halo. Strangely, I’ve never been high on it. I do love the story of the Halo universe so I’m in for this one. Is it going to be one of the best ones in the series? I’m not sure, but I’m a fan of ODST and Nathan Fillion is back as Buck so count me in.
    Recore: This looked interesting, but I’m not sure what to make of it since this was a trailer. I’ll hold judgement until more is revealed.
    Forza 6: Car racing… Cool, I guess?
    Sea of Thieves: This could be kind of cool. Open world, multiplayer, pirate theme. If only I had friends who gamed…
    Dark Souls 3: Damn it… This is going to suck my time away if I let it. Yes, it’s cool. And brutally hard. I kind of want it.
    Rise of the Tomb Raider: Looks pretty good. I was never a Tomb Raider fan, but this looks like a great addition to the series.
    Gears 4: I was mildly interested in this. I’ve tried to get into Gears, but something about it never really captured my interest.

EA: I think EA may have made good on its word to turn things around. I won’t go into every game, but rather talk about really interesting announcements.

    Mass Effect Andromeda:
    It was only a cutscene teasing the next installment. I don’t care. I’m buying this. I absolutely love this series. I thought all the whining about the ending that 3 had was unwarranted. I’m stoked for more on this universe.
    Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst: This looked great. I can’t wait to see how the first-person parkour experience has been upgraded. This is another buy in my opinion.
    Star Wars Battlefront: At first, I was wary on this one since there’s really no campaign, but after watching the gameplay, I was blown away. The only thing I want to understand is how matchmaking is going to work. This looked like I could dive into what I think is the greatest sci-fi universe in the genre’s history. The Hoth scenes were just incredible…

This was a great year for all (except for Nintendo fans, sadly).

Ubisoft: I think Ubisoft had some flops with its recent Assassin’s Creed entries, but things looked pretty good here too.

    South Park: The Fractures but Whole: Yes, please. If this is better than the Stick of Truth, then we’re in for a fun ride.
    For Honor: Now this was an awesome introduction of new IP. What a cool take on medieval combat. Knights, Vikings, and Samurai… The concept is cool and the execution looked great.
    The Division: I was really excited about this and I still am, but I think it depends on how the single player experience is realized. After getting exhausted on Destiny, I’m wary of the multiplayer aspect. If the storytelling looks as good as the trailers make it out to be, I’m buying this one.
    Rainbow Six Siege: Looks like fun, but I’m not the hardcore multiplayer guy so I’ll pass on this one.
    Assassin’s Creed Syndicate: I just don’t know. I was in love with the series, but it keeps letting me down. I want to like it, but I’m probably going to pass on this one.
    Ghost Recon Wildlands: This looked pretty cool. My opinion of this one will depend on how strong the single player experience is. It’s a wait and see for me.

Sony: This one took first place in a strong E3 showing all-around. It started with a bang and although it slowed down a bit in the middle, ended with a bang.

    The Last Guardian: It’s great to see this coming out. I said I was stoked to see this coming out, but I don’t know if it had the impact that Shadows of the Colossus had on me. The control of the bird-dog thing was a bit janky. I’m still optimistic on this one, but I’ll be keeping a close watch on further reveals.
    Horizon: Zero Dawn: Where did this one come from? Holy cow, did this blow me away. I want to know more about this world. The gameplay looked great. Definite buy for me.
    Hitman: Hmm… I’ve never been into this series, but it looked pretty good. Will probably pass, but it did look promising.
    Firewatch: The story looked fascinating. Creepy without being depressing. I’m in.
    Uncharted 4: I don’t think the flub in the beginning wasn’t such a big deal like some are making it out to be. The game looked awesome. I love the storytelling behind Uncharted. I love the characters and the rapport they have with each other. Definite buy!

Nintendo: Sigh. What happened to this once mighty company? I’m guarded on the NX announcement and this “conference” seemed like a throwaway until the NX comes into fruition. I’m going to skip the handheld stuff.

    Star Fox Zero: Shrug. Is it just me or does this look only marginally better than the N64? I’m not convinced this is going to be a lot of fun.
    Super Mario Maker: Interesting concept, but nothing to get me excited enough to go out and buy a Wii U. I get to make Super Mario levels and play stuff the community makes. Sounds ok, I guess. This sounds like something for stalwart Nintendo flag-wavers.

Square Enix: This was a funky conference. Quite a few missteps, but it had some promising moments.

    Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness: Not much for me to go on, but I do like JRPGs. This could be interesting, but I need to see more than the tidbits from the conference. Wait and see…
    Final Fantasy 7 Remake: Hmm… I love this game. The remake is supposed to build upon the original release. Am I definitely in? No, but I’m open to the idea. We’ll see as time goes on.
    Kingdom Hearts 3: I don’t get the love this series gets. I’m not a fan of the gameplay. That said, I’m sure fans are champing at the bits for this one and it seems like a great addition to the franchise.
    Deus Ex: Mankind Divided: I love the Deus Ex series. I liked Human Revolution which got mixed reviews. This looked even better than Revolution. I like the protagonist, Jensen. This is a buy for me, but I can see why some will pass on it. I think it’s the world and lore that sucks me in.
    Nier 2: As I said earlier, I like JRPGs. I don’t know much about Nier 1, but this could be a winner. It’s a wait and see for me, but I’m hopeful.

Some final notes… Batman: Arkham Knight has already come out. I’ve seen some streams and this looks amazing. I’m picking it up. I was cautious about No Man’s Sky, but I’ve read several people saying that extended hands on time with this one was amazing and convinced them to get excited. I’ve only seen the exploration, but journalists have said the gameplay is engaging so it’s back on my watch list. Project Morpheus and Occulus Rift (for the Xbox One since I don’t PC game anymore) seems to have made even more converts. I’m going to wait and see what the accompanying software is before I make a decision. I want to love it, but we’ll see. The demo for the Hololens looks crazy. Seeing Minecraft come out from the table blew my mind. One thing to keep in mind though was that the actual Hololens has a smaller field of vision. How will this translate into user experience will be the question. I believe that AR and VR are the future, but will it be next year or 3 years from now? That’s the question in my mind.

This was a great year for all (except for Nintendo fans, sadly). There’s so much coming out in the near future, albeit in 2016 for PS4 since so much has been pushed into next year. Gaming looks bright and there’s a bunch of stuff that will take from my sleep.

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