With the first day of E3 coming to an end, gamers are roaring about reveals, remasters, and revivals of old classics. Overall, both EA and Bethesda had fantastic conferences that allowed for a fantastic start to this year’s E3.
Fantastic use of grappling hooks, the first real evidence of innovation in a sports game in years, and life-like WW1 battle simulation were certainly some of the highest points of EA’s conference. While there were absolutely some missteps in their presentation, their genre diversity definitely shined through their hour long show. Let’s take a look at what went well and what could have gone better.
The Good (EA)
- Grappling Hooks. Anyone who has played the original Titanfall will tell you that the game is as smooth as butter. Moving from building to building with ease makes the player feel like a real super soldier, but this sequel is taking everything to the next level. Players can now pull themselves to a ledge, swing around structures, and even pull enemies in with this nifty new gadget.
- True Innovation in an annualized sports game?! This is a rare sight, everyone. As much as fans love the annualization of Madden, Fifa, and 2K Basketball, it is a common occurrence for developers to play it safe with these releases. However, EA is changing the game (literally). The next entry in the series will feature a fully cinematic single-player campaign. The story seems like your typical rags to riches tale, but it is exciting nonetheless.
- That Battlefield 1 gameplay trailer. So damn beautiful. Dice has shown that they are serious about giving the shooter genre a healthy dose of change. In the current state of oversaturated Sci-Fi space shooters, it is great to see a large company take a risk and go against the current. Fans were wowed by the cinematic teaser last month and are now even more convinced that this is the shooter we have all been waiting for. Those destructible environments and crisp visuals make for one of the most awe-inspiring shooters I’ve ever seen.
- Mass Effect: Andromeda looks absolutely stunning. Although the reveal itself was not spectacular, the small amount we have seen already looks very impressive.
The Bad (EA)
- Awkwardness. The live acting pitch for Fifa’s story mode and uncomfortable banter with Zac Efron and Jamie Fox was definitely unnecessary. EA, your games are incredibly popular and well polished. You do not need actors and pop stars to show off your work.
- Lackluster reveals. EA spent a decent amount of time showing off Mass Effect: Andromeda and their slew of new Star Wars games, yet presented them in the most mundane way. If you’re going to reveal a game, please do not show me simple one-liner interviews with developers working at their desk. If your game is not quite yet ready to be shown, perhaps it is best to hold off on showing it.
Any news about Fallout or The Elder Scrolls is guaranteed to get any crowd hyped, but thankfully Bethesda did not strictly rely on their biggest sellers. This year they put older and lesser known IP take the stage, a move that I personally respect very much.
The Good (Bethesda)
- QUAKE IS BACK. Perhaps the best-kept secret of the night, the classic shooter is returning. Quake Champions is a competitive arena-style first-person shooter for the PC. They described this revival of the series as incredibly fast-paced while also being welcoming and accessible to new players. Their details focused very heavily on their plans to integrate this shooter with eSports, even revealing their plan to have leagues.
- Skyrim Remaster is confirmed. This is an announcement that would have made the crowd go wild if it wasn’t leaked days before the conference. However, it still looks awesome! The beautiful rehaul of the graphics is certainly and improvement from its last-gen release.
- Prey returns! This reboot was given little detail, but the trailer was very intriguing. I am looking forward to hearing more details about this revival at Quakecon.
- Dark Brotherhood DLC for Elder Scrolls Online! This announcement made me reminisce on my favorite parts of the Elder Scrolls franchise. The Dark Brotherhood was by far the quest line that stood out the most in Skyrim and Oblivion. It will be very interesting to see how they integrate my favorite piece of lore from the universe into an MMO environment.
The Bad (Bethesda)
- Not enough Todd! While he was in the prerecorded presentation for the Fallout 4 and Skyrim Remaster reveal, I can’t help but feel that Todd Howards presence was underutilized. E3 conferences are almost always awkward. People stumble over their words, sweat profusely, and often do not do a fantastic job of convincing gamers why their games are so amazing. However, Todd’s stage presence is phenomenal. I only wish they would have had him on stage for the Fallout DLC and Skyrim remaster reveals.
- The Dishonored 2 demo. Despite how beautiful and intriguing this game looks, the demo was much too long and lacked excitement. The use of stealth and powers seem like a ton of fun, but the dull presentation allowed for a drab finale to an otherwise fantastic conference.
So, who won?
First off, let me just say that the real winners of E3 are all the gamers. We all got an inside look at some fantastic games that we can all look forward playing soon. E3 is not a competition, but one conference was certainly more enticing. Bethesda gets my vote for the night. The combination of a decent amount of surprises, solid presentation, and mostly well-done demos have awarded Bethesda with my imaginary “Day 1 E3 Trophy”.