We're at E3 2017 covering the year's biggest gaming event. Be sure to check out all our coverage on our E3 2017 hub!
A Youtuber flubbed his lines in the midst of a worldwide reveal; sports personalities did a comedy routine to crickets, and a beautiful looking indie came under fire thanks to the creator's questionable tweets from 2014. Yep, it's E3 time.
After rolling through the first four conferences, the biggest piece of news by far is the fact that Arc System Works is making a Dragon Ball Z fighter. I mean, seriously, have you seen this thing? Just look at it.
Anyway, there was plenty of news. Here are the defining moments from the first four press conferences.
EA: The Men in Blazers Sell FIFA to Crickets
EA's press conference was mostly empty calories: a teaser for Anthem, a handful of quick trailers for their sports games, and Youtube stars flubbing their lines. Then the Men in Blazers came out and performed their sports comedy schtick as everyone stared blankly. Well, one person was excited.
This is pretty typical of EA: They live in a bubble of vocal, hardcore fanbases, and a good deal of their presser was devoted to pandering to those elements. Many soccer fans love the Mein in Blazers, but the broader public has no idea who they are or why they're popular. In that regard, EA's press conference was long on cringe and short on details.
Microsoft: Xbox One Offers a Slew of Lightweight Exclusives
Microsoft had one mission going into E3 2017: sell everyone on the Xbox One X as a powerhouse of a console. Well, Microsoft did their best, but with the confirmation that the Xbox One X will cost $499, they ran into a new problem: the lack of a definitive system seller.
Microsoft touted 20 or more exclusive games, and the majority of them were indies (Ori and the Will of the Wisps), popular Steam games (Playerunknown's Battlegrounds), and Forza 7, a hardcore racer. But what they offered in quantity they lacked in quality, or at least in games that could justify the Xbox One X's hefty price tag.
It concluded with Anthem, a showstopping Destiny competitor from BioWare. It was the system seller that Xbox One X needs... but it will be on PS4 as well (and PC). If that doesn't summarize Microsoft's current plight, I don't know what does.
Bethesda: Link Makes his Triumphant Appearance in... Skyrim?
Skyrim is more than five-years-old now; but as Bethesda's press conferences showed, it's still as relevant as ever. In the course of showing Skyrim for Switch, they revealed that it will have Amiibo support that allows players to don a Link costume, eliciting reactions like this.
Link in Skyrim may be story of the show.— Talmadge Blevins (@talign) June 12, 2017
Mostly, it was a reminder that Bethesda is still very much riding the Skyrim train (and the Fallout train, too). Aside from showing Skyrim for the Switch, they also highlighted a new variant on the Creation Club store that will feature heavily curated user mods, and announced a Heroes of Skyrim expansion for Elder Scrolls Legends. But hey, tons of people are still playing Skyrim, so why not?
Really, though, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus stole the show at Bethesda. After the success of the first Wolfenstein reboot, it seems that Bethesda is fully prepared to embrace the first game, and I couldn't be happier.
Ubisoft: Beyond Good & Evil 2 Blows the Doors off E3 2017
Beyond Good & Evil creator Michael Ancel actually got choked up on stage, and why shouldn't he? Beyond Good & Evil 2 has been trapped in development hell for nearly 15 years now (!), seemingly doomed to never come out. It had been so long since we were last teased with Beyond Good & Evil 2 that I had literally forgotten it existed. It had seriously been that long.
What Ubisoft showed on stage was preciously light on gameplay or details, suggesting that it won't be out until 2019 at the very earliest, but its very mention is a huge win for the company. Beyond Good & Evil was a beloved game back in its day, and the sequel looks to capture much of what people loved about it while taking it in a whole new direction. Of course, this being Ubisoft, there's also talk of an "online sandbox." What does that mean? Who knows. But hopefully this doesn't get screwed up.
All told, it was a very strong conference for Ubisoft, which revealed some strong games for the present (Far Cry 5, South Park) and some for the future (Skull and Bones). Of course, Ubisoft is never short on great ideas. It's just the execution that tends to come around bite them in the ass.
Regardless, Ubisoft managed to upend what had been relatively safe and expected E3--the definition of a mid-generation showing. Will Sony and Nintendo blow the doors later tonight? Never count them out, but we'll just have to see.
This Week's News and Notes
- The USgamer team is currently busy following all the news and reveals from E3 2017, so no capsules from us this week. Our apologies! Please accept this exclusive shot of the USgamer E3 War Room in its place.
- I never thought I would replay XCOM 2, especially after that atrocious final mission, but 2K's massive expansion has me rethinking my original stance. It's a very different game now, and a new playthrough ought to make it feel almost like a sequel. I'm looking forward to this one.
- Klei Entertainment is a developer with a great pedigree, so I'm thrilled, thrilled that they're making a turn-based RPG. No joke: GriftLands might end up being my Game of the Year if they get it right. Just look at it.
- But let's be real, Anthem is my real Game of the Show so far. If BioWare manages to get this right, it might be the Destiny competitor that I actually play.
- I argued yesterday that I can't see FIFA on the Switch being a meaningful success. I stand by that statement. The main counterargument I've seen is that it's not for a hardcore audience, but a casual audience that likes portable games. But what does the casual FIFA player look like? They're the single guys who own a PS4 and a copy of Call of Duty. They're the dads who sneak into their office for a few rounds at night. Does this sound like the Switch's primary audience? Don't get me wrong, I'll buy it; but as a career mode loving portable gamer, I'm in the distinct minority. There aren't nearly enough people like me out there in the world.
- The Last Night creator Tim Soret apologized for tweets from 2014 after it came to light that he had supported Gamergate. That has done nothing to quell the anger around his game, which features a dystopian world that is supposedly the result of progressive politics run amok (Soret has since said that is not the premise). Not much else to say about this one save that anyone who supports Gamergate, an online movement notorious for harrassing female game developers and journalists, is ultimately going to suffer the consequences with the broader gaming public. Soret is suffering them now.
- Star Wars Battlefront 2's single-player is like Shadows of the Empire... but good! It's nice to see that Star Wars games are carrying on the tradition of tying in heavily to the lore of the universe.
- There's still a lot of E3 2017 left to go, and USgamer will be on the ground covering it all. Stay tuned for our thoughts on the Playstation and Nintendo press conferences, as well as all of our impressions as we hit the show floor tomorrow. And, of course, we'll be talking RPGs on our podcast Axe of the Blood God. See you there!
We're geared up and ready to go for the Xbox presser in the USG E3 war room ✨✨ pic.twitter.com/j9uK1tlACx— USgamer (@USgamernet) June 11, 2017