Thoughts on E3 2017 Press Conferences: A General Lack of Awe

E3 is that yearly celebration for gamers being the world’s biggest stage for video games. It’s a chance for video game companies’ marketing teams to really go wild with their funds.

Right now, I only have a potato computer but I still watch the show every year.

On this blog, my last coverage of the event was from 2013, when the Xbox One and the PS4 was announced. Now, all of the major conferences are done, I have nothing else to write about, so here are my thoughts about E3 2017.

If we’re going to compare it to last year’s shows. The drop in quality is Watch Dogs-esque. But I think there were enough surprises this year as well to make a lot of gamers excited.

Let’s look at the highlights for the shows from EA, Bethesda, Microsoft, Ubisoft, Sony, and Nintendo.

EA

ea press con

Let’s start off with EA since they were the first ones to hold a show.

Personally, I’m not very fond of this publisher. I don’t think they’ve made a game that I played and enjoyed. Yes, they do have Battlefield 1, but I haven’t played it yet (look gorgeous, though).

They start off their E3 2017 conference with a drum line to introduce the story-driven football game Madden NFL 18: Long Shot. Then, they follow this with news about Battlefield 1 DLCs (which I don’t think anyone really appreciates.

They also had a nervous Youtube personality to talk about some Forza. Meme potential detected.

They also introduced a new game titled A Way Out, from the developer of Brothers: a Tale of Two Sons. I haven’t played Brother, but A Way Out looks awesome and is a couch co-op, too. The world should have more of these types of games.

They also showed some NBA Live 18 before finishing with a full match of Star Wars Battlefront II multiplayer. It’s still in development so it doesn’t really have that wow factor yet (although it might be different for fans of the game or the movie), but from what I saw, it does look fun.

ea press con star wars battlefront 2

ea press con star wars battlefront 2 live multiplayer

Bethesda

The Bethesdaland presentation concept has been leaked a few weeks ago so I guess that lessened the impact, but they still had a worthwhile show.

They know how boring it is to have a guy talking on-stage about a game instead of showing it.

So, they made 80% of their presentation a video. Boredom avoided!

They don’t have much to announce this E3 2017 though. Their showcase is mainly about updates to their existing titles like VR-compatibility for Doom and Fallout 4 (Skyrim VR is announced in a different event).

They also showed off The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind which I will definitely play once I get a PC that can run it.

bethesda e3 conference elder scrolls morrowind

As for Skyrim, it’s getting a CCG spin-off titled The Elder Scrolls Legends: Heroes of Skyrim. Alternative name is Yet Another Cashgrab For a Game Released 6 Years Ago.

For the horror fans, we have The Evil Within 2 coming this October 13, 2017. I was a little shocked because I always thought the first game was made by a Japanese company. Oh well.

bethesda e3 conference wolfenstein 2

If there’s one thing that got all their fans excited though, it would be Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. Now I haven’t played any game in this series (I just realized that there are so many games that I haven’t played yet), but the setting is honestly very interesting. Like a game version of Man in the High Castle.

And that’s it! Moving on to the next.

Microsoft

Microsoft e3 2017 press conference

The message is clear in Microsoft conference: The new Xbox One X can do 4K.

They started their briefing by singing praises about their newest console, the Xbox One X. They have done lots of hardware improvements that not only allows the upgraded console to play games in 4K, it also improves already-released games. And also, they made the device even smaller.

Microsoft e3 2017 press conference xbox one x reveal

That’s nice. Now let’s gloss over the biggest games that they have.

They follow the hardware reveal with Forza Motorsport 7. I believe this part was supposed to be when the crowd goes into a frenzy, but I guess people can’t be video games and car enthusiasts at the same time. They unveil the Porsche GT2RS to the world for the first time, to mediocre reactions.

Microsoft e3 2017 press conference forza motorsport 7

Forza would look amazing on VR. Oh wait, XB1X doesn’t have a VR headset.

One game that did get the appreciation was Metro: Exodus. There was a short but sweet trailer that showcased the post-apocalyptic setting as well as some fast-paced combat with giant wererats (I don’t know what they’re called in-game).

Surprise reveal! The next Assassin’s Creed: Origins is set in Ancient Egypt.

State of Decay 2 is also revealed at the event. Interesting. Looks like a mix of Left 4 Dead and Sims.

And Wow?! A 4K Minecraft?! *thinks if there’s anything more unnecessary*

Microsoft e3 2017 press conference minecraft 4k

A couple of games later and we have a lengthy demo of Sea of Thieves, which honestly looks like a fun pirate simulator. Especially thanks to the multiplayer mechanics.

Another emphasized title in the event is Shadow of War, the sequel to the hit LotR-based game Shadow of Mordor. They show a few combo-ridden fight scenes as well as a bit of humor from the orcs, which really lightens up the atmosphere of the game.

To end the show with a bit of a flash, they reveal a new IP coming from Bioware that looks absolutely gorgeous. It’s giving a bit of a Mass Effect vibe but with less space warfare and more trees. The title of that game is Anthem, which is sure to get some more coverage in the coming days.

Microsoft e3 2017 press conference anthem

Remember folks; the Xbox One X can do 4K!

Ubisoft

I have to say, the Ubisoft presscon was a bit hard to understand at the beginning. It was kicked off by an English-speaking Frenchman and a Japanese game dev. The show progressed well though so no worries.

Now, Ubisoft has its fair share of adult-oriented IPs, but they first and foremost show a game with a crossover so unlikely that it wasn’t included in any E3 predictions lists. That is Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. Unlike traditional Mario Games (Or Rabbids), this is going to be a turn-based tactical strategy game a la-Xcom.

ubisoft e3 2017 press conference mario rabbids kingdom battle

I have a feeling that there are a lot of people that are not yet sold on the idea, but I’m also excited to see how this game turns out. If it does turn out well, it looks like it can be a competitive game.

ubisoft e3 2017 press conference assassin's creed origins

They show more clips of AC: Origins. I think they’re not gunning for historical accuracy here anymore, but the environment still looks fantastic and they seem to make the dynamics of AC work in the setting of Ancient Egypt. Quite curious for this one.

Another showcase is The Crew 2, which I’ve heard of but have since forgotten. If you have the need for speed but is not restricted to just cars, this is good news for you.

ubisoft e3 2017 press conference skulls and bones

Oooh and we have another pirate simulator in the form of Skulls & Bones! Unlike Sea of Thieves, the focus here seems to be on naval battles and has you controlling ships instead of individual crew. Graphics are looking good!

ubisoft e3 2017 press conference far cry 5

And the game that everyone was waiting for: Far Cry 5! I absolutely loved my time with the third game in the series, and am still finding time to be able to play the 4th as well as the Primal spinoff. The Montana setting may sound a bit weird, but I guess that’s what makes it interesting. Looking forward to more news about it.

ubisoft e3 2017 press conference beyond good and evil 2

And when people thought that’s going to be the show ender, they give the crowd Beyond Good & Evil 2. Granted, most of the reveal was a cinematic and no gameplay, but it still got an obvious approval from the crowd. There’s an emotional dev team groufie in there too. Very heartwarming…

Sony

I’ve always been a fanboy of Sony because I’ve been getting their products since my childhood (I started gaming on a PS1 Fat).

If you’ve watched their 2016 presentation, too, you can’t help but anticipate their conference this year. And they seem to have stuck with the same theme this E3 2017: they rented out an auditorium. The levels of immersion is to the roof (literally and figuratively)!

sony e3 2017 press conference

I enjoyed it very much.

They start off with a live performance of a band playing middle-eastern music with beautiful waterworks, announcing Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. Now I’ve made the GREAT MISTAKE of selling my PS3 without playing the first trilogy, but I look to rectify this mistake and pretty soon too. On this game, the story’s main will be Chloe Frazer instead of Nathan Drake.

sony e3 2017 press conference uncharted lost legacy

They follow up with a DLC for Guerilla Games’ newest game which is Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds. Damn, I really have to play this game soon!

It’s not too long before they showed us another snippet of a new IP titled Days Gone. The developers, Sony Bend, are the same people behind the excellent Syphon Filter series as well as the Vita titles for Uncharted. They showed a gameplay trailer with some story elements, and it looks really, really interesting. Left 4 Dead meets The Last of Us levels of success..?

sony e3 2017 press conference days gone

We are just a quarter in through the presentation when Sony drops yet another bomb, blowing minds everywhere in the auditorium. I’m talking about Monster Hunter World. After years of being confined to portable consoles, it’s finally returning to consoles and PC. Soon, this series is going to get the graphics it deserves. Tickets to the hype train are soon to be sold out.

sony e3 2017 press conference monster hunter world

What’s that? My fanboyism is leaking too much? Okay, okay, I’ll tone it down.

SHADOW OF THE COLOSSUS REMASTER! Giant stone beasts with realistic hair is coming soon to PS4.

For them ‘muricans that love shooters, Call of Duty WWII is also showed onscreen. I guess that is the acknowledgment of their total and obvious loss to Battlefield 1 last time.

To show love for PSVR, Sony showed their upcoming titles for the platform but the interesting ones to me are Skyrim VR and… a Final Fantasy Fishing Game, Monsters of the Deep.

They also gave us more God of War, showing more combat and more mythological creatures to speculate on.

sony e3 2017 press conference god of war

And in a bid to tire every journalist in the audience, they follow it up with a story trailer for Detroit: Become Human. The game is about sentient cyborgs that have had enough of oppression and decides to rise above the humans. A video game with a theme around insurgency sure sounds ambitious! I wonder how the gameplay will be like.

sony e3 2017 press conference god of war

That is followed by some clips for Destiny 2 before finishing with a bang with none other than Spider-Man. The lengthy gameplay showcase seems to be one of the story missions, and shows Spidey storming a building in pursuit of one of the villains.

sony e3 2017 press conference spider-man

I honestly thought that the game was being developed by Rocksteady (Batman Arkham series) because of the very reminiscent combat, but it’s actually being made by Insomniac Games. I’m not really a fan of the wall-crawling hero, but I’ll be sure to check this game out.

Approved.

Nintendo

nintendo switch spotlight e3 2017 press conference 2

Nintendo is probably the most innovative among other console developers in the market today. While everyone was struggling to one up their competitors by upgrading every hardware it can, Nintendo focuses on how they can make things more fun for their fans.

Just look at the Wii, DS, and Switch. Sorry Wii U.

nintendo switch spotlight e3 2017 press conference

Even with E3, I think they’re trying to distinguish themselves by NOT having a press conference (or maybe they just don’t have enough marketing dollars). Instead, they settled with having a pre-recorded video called Nintendo Spotlight for the fans to watch.

It’s still entertaining, though.

nintendo switch spotlight e3 2017 press conference xenoblade chronicles 2

Reggie starts off with the sequel to the Wii’s greatest RPG title. I’m talking about Xenoblade Chronicles 2. This is followed by a trailer for a 2018 release of Kirby. Not the best titles to start with in my opinion, but hey! I haven’t really played those games so don’t listen to me.

nintendo switch spotlight e3 2017 press conference metroid prime 4

They also announced that Metroid Prime 4 is being developed for the Switch. It’s amazing that they only showed the name of the game and yet people are already dead hyped for it. I guess that’s just how good this cult classic is?

Yoshi is getting another platformer for the Switch.

We’re also getting a musou game (One character against hundreds of cannon fodder) in the form of Fire Emblem Warriors.

nintendo switch spotlight e3 2017 press conference legend of zelda breath of the wild expansion pass

Link appears twice, first as a playable character in Skyrim (more like a skin really), then in a trailer for DLCs for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The first expansion is titled The Master Trials while the other one is The Champion’s Ballad.

nintendo switch spotlight e3 2017 press conference super mario odyssey

They show a couple more skippable games before ending with a generous and sizzling trailer for Super Mario Odyssey. Putting Mario together with realistic looking people? Now that’s a bold move for the next Mario game.

E3 2017 Conclusion

E3 2017 may not have been as bombastic as last year’s, but it still has its fair share of goodies for us gamers.

My favorite presenters this year is, unsurprisingly, Sony. The game that I’m most looking forward to is also from them, which is the rebooted God of War. It’s a little disappointing that there are no updates about Death Stranding or The Last of Us 2, but we’ll just have to wait for Gamescom for them, I guess.

I believe the best new IP to watch out for is Bioware’s Anthem, given the talented team behind the game as well as the great, first look that they gave us.

Regarding the Xbox One X, I think for $500, it really is a very good gaming console. They say that it’s equal to a PC with a GTX 1070, but you can’t really build a good gaming computer with $500, so I think they did a good job there. But it needs more games, and maybe some compatibility with existing VR headsets like Oculus or Vive just so they don’t get left behind.

How about you? What do you think of E3 2017? Did you cringe, or cheer for the games to come? Let me know in the comments below!

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Jerem

Jeremiah is a Broadcasting graduate with a passion for Journalism. His goal is to experience as many things as possible so his children and grandchildren will always have stories to hear before bedtime. In his free time, he watches movies, pawns n00bs, learns Japanese, and other trivial stuff.

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