And lo, E3 was over. The developers have left their stands, the publishers have packed up their awkward presenters, and all we have left are the cringey moments that make us love E3. Oh, and the games of course.
So much was announced at this year’s E3 that, instead of compiling an exhaustive list, I figured I’d give a run down on the games that excited me the most (Spoiler alert, there weren’t very many). Throw in the games that looked pretty bad (There weren’t so many of those either) and some of the more worrying news, and we’ve got some interesting things to talk about. So, without further ado, let’s start with the good.
I’m a tough customer when it comes to being sold hype nowadays, (After too many pre-order breakups, more on that later) so the games that impressed me most, I’m sad to say, were both sequels, and neither of them have changed much of their winning formula. Let’s start with Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord.
I’ve spent countless hours on Mount and Blade, it’s dated graphics being more than made up for by it’s truly unique gameplay that I’m stunned hasn’t been replicated by another developer. The latest entry into the series sees hugely updated graphics and a massively overhauled UI. This a game I know I’m going to enjoy because, from the combat down to the quirky font, the core gameplay hasn’t changed. Bannerlord aims to be the best kind of sequel, one that delivers the enjoyment of the original whilst fixing its problems and updating it to a newer age, after the first game has been played to death.
The next game on my list had to be Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. Working on the same simple principal as Bannerlord, the game looks to be a worthy sequel, continuing the story of a dystopian future where the Nazi’s won WW2. The originals’ story was surprisingly good for a first person shooter, but what made the game was the combat, which was, although I hate to be on the nose, a blast. Early hands on with the game suggest the sequel is just as fun, and I’m looking forward to fighting more Nazi fire breathing death hounds.
Oh boy did we get some shady moves this E3.
It’d be impossible for me to avoid Bethesda’s new Creation Club feature, which aims to create a marketplace for official mods on fallout 4 and Skyrim special edition. The idea at first glance is reasonable. Get developers to work with modders to create what some are calling “semi-official DLC’s” rather than mods, then let people claim money for their work. PC gamers, even console gamers, have been enjoying the deluge of free and random mods for Bethesda titles however, and after a short but fierce backlash last year, we thought our mods would forever remain free. Alas, Bethesda has returned under a cunning disguise.
“Our mods? We wouldn’t dare to charge for them! You just use points to get them!”
But where great Bethesda do we get our points?
Sorry, what was that?
“You just…buy them with real money. But the mods don’t cost a thing! Mwahahahaha.”
I can’t help but sigh at such a blatantly money grabbing idea. I understand that the company wants to generate a profit, but when it comes at the cost of virtually stifling the mod market, and encouraging creation for profit over passion, is it worth it?
The good news, in the bad news, is that there weren’t many bad looking games on show, not that there usually are at E3. The only game that really disappointed me was the latest Assassins creed title, Origins. Set in ancient Egypt, which is a promising enough location, the series desperately needed to prove it had innovated after a year break, before which the games sales were dropping lower and lower as the gameplay stagnated. From the gameplay I watched though, there seems to be little to get excited about. If Bannerlord and the New Colossus were examples of good sequels, Origins looks to be an example of a bad one: not needed, and providing nothing new.
Oh Star Wars Battlefront 2, how good you look. I’ve watched countless hours of gameplay of the assault on Theed. Darth Maul fighting Rey, the Naboo Starfighters blasting battle droids…all I have to do is click pre-order, “Do it” I can hear Palpatine say…. BUT DON’T. Hands away from the PC. Don’t forget what EA and other publishers keep doing. I firmly believe that pre-orders are an unhealthy policy, after all, what other industry lets you buy a product before you can even try it? Imagine buying an album without hearing it, you’d be stupid, so don’t buy a game without seeing a good amount of unedited gameplay, at the very least.
In all seriousness, EA’S Star Wars Battlefront 2 does look like an improvement on the lacklustre original that I was coaxed into pre-ordering, but I’m seriously sceptical. Not only was Dice and EA’s last shooter, Battlefield 1, big on its hype and lacking in complete delivery, but I’ve yet to see anything that’s convinced me the game is any better than the originals made by Pandemic, or that it’s leaps and bounds ahead of its predecessor.
That basically sums up my view on E3. I know I didn’t delve into Nintendo, the new consoles, or even the new Call of Duty, but you can take from my silence that they aren’t really areas that blew me away, and with gaming now more diverse than ever, each gamer is going to be excited by different things. Regardless, E3 was as silly and over the top as ever. Just remember the golden rule. Don’t buy into the hype.