As LA returns to normal after a week-long festival of games, and publishers, developers and journalists return to their loved ones, we offer up our personal takes on this years offerings to the gaming masses.
This was always going to be an odd year for E3, from the lack of Sony to the impending generational switch that will happen next year. There were however a lot of games.
A real standout for me was 12 Minutes, a narrative-driven time-loop thriller told entirely from a top-down view of an apartment. I’ve no idea how it plays, but the trailer really drew me in and something in the voice acting really nailed the aesthetic.
Elsewhere, Ubisoft had a decent showing and my living-in-London bias makes me excited to get all cock-er-ney in Watch Dogs Legion. And the new Gods & Monsters intrigued me, coming from the team behind Assassins Creed Odyssey a game I very much loved.
I was surprised at the weak showing of xCloud given it’s due before Googles Stadia and we currently know more about how that works. And even though everyone knew it was coming, the Avengers game should have been a slam dunk, but seems to have bounced off the rim somewhat with a very muted reveal at the Sqeenix show.
Maybe people are saving the ‘big stuff’ for later in the year, but at the very least we have a decent bunch of games to look forward to, could we really ask for any more?
I’d be lying if I said that this year’s E3 didn’t fall a little flat for me. That’s not to say that there weren’t a few highlights, just that there were few highlights and none that particularly resonated with me.
Outside of the titles that got everybody else talking - Cyberpunk 2077 (which if we didn’t think was going to melt faces anyway, the addition of Keanu is enough to confirm as much), FFVII Remake (a game which will categorically never be completed), & Borderlands 3 (the hype train is moving a little slowly for my liking) - as well as the reveal of Project Scarlett which we all 100% knew was coming already, there was nothing that sang to me.
As primarily an Xbox gamer, I never thought I would say that Sony’s involvement was sorely missed from this year’s conference and that the whole event seemed to be without passion or spectacle.
Now, I might just be getting cynical in my old age, but does every single dev conference need to end with a Twitch stream of adolescents playing whatever subpar game is bottom of the 2019 bargain bin?
That all being said, the game I’m most looking forward to next year is Ori & The Will of The Wisps, so what the hell do I know about video games anyway?!
This year’s E3 was a weird one for me, there was so much I liked the look of, and there was a tonne of ground-work set for the future. But at what point does the hype for the event overtake reality? At what point are we all just feeling way too self-entitled, and clamour for MORE, when more just isn’t ready yet? Deep, I know, but I feel like the ‘idea’ of E3 can often outweigh what E3 can actually deliver. Project Scarlett is clearly nowhere near ready to show, the new models of Switch (if they’re real) are clearly not ready to show, cloud-based gaming was shown, but we’ll see how that pans out long-term.
With that, maybe, just maybe, Sony was right to pull out of E3? The PS5 is brewing, but not ready to be shown yet, and we’re already well aware of the last of the first-party exclusives ahead of the next-gen console. So, if they did show up at E3, what exactly would they have shown us? Sure, another look at TLOU2 and Death Stranding would have been lovely, but we already know they’re coming.
Basically, where I’m going with this is that maybe we create too much of a hype bubble around E3 every year. World-class video game experiences and new consoles take years to develop. With that knowledge maybe we, the fans, should just take a step back and stop expecting earth-shattering new titles and hardware developments on a yearly basis. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have an E3 every year, because we totally should! There’s always new titles to show, but maybe we should take a chill pill when we don’t see a new Elder Scrolls game on Playstation 72.6 each time E3 rolls around.
Now philosophy is out the way, let’s take a step back to look at the big picture, SO MUCH GREAT STUFF WAS STILL SHOWN! Here’s a quick explosion of my own hype…
- Breath of The Wild 2(?)
- Luigi’s Mansion 3
- CYBER F***IN’ PUNK 2077
- Astral Chain
- Halo Infinite <3 <3
- The Legend of Zelda Link’s Awakening (Remake)
- Final Fantasy 7 Remake
- Watch Dogs Legion
I probably missed some more, but that’s my top tier hype pile. I love E3, it’s one of my highlights of the year.
Long live E3, long live video games, & keep crunchin’ kids!