Tuesday, 21 June 2016

E3 2016: My opinion

I find that as I get older and harder to impress, the annual E3 show becomes less and less exciting. Gone are the days when I'd be refreshing the news sites for the latest announcements or watching the conferences as they happen. Now I tend to just catch up once it's all over and usually there's not a lot that wows me. Well, I suppose that wasn't true of E3 2015 with its aresenal of geeky bombshells but could 2016's event match last year's?

The problem was that a lot of the games we were shown were games that we already knew about or had seen footage of previously. Microsoft didn't surprise me at all when they failed to show anything that would convince me to covet an Xbox although I will concede that the revised Xbox One S is a big visual improvement on the current model. EA and Ubisoft? *yawn*.

There was still plenty to digest however and more decent stuff for me to look forwards to than my grumpy outlook may have you believe. Below is a run-through of everything that caught my eye, proof that even an average E3 (by E3 standards) can still promise to hurt a wallet in the future.


Games I will definitely be buying:
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Wii-U)
So gorgeous it makes Scarlett Johansson look like a warty old witch in comparison. I love the promise of free exploration, the climbing, gliding and superb detail. I could stare in awe at the grassy plateau area forever but I have the feeling that I will need the time to actually go and investigate every nook and cranny. The game world actually reminds me of the excellent Dragon's Dogma but in a brighter and less stressful form. Easily the best thing that I saw from E3 2016 and I just pray that it still releases on the Wii-U in a completely uncompromised fashion.


  • Horizon Zero Dawn (PS4)
Wow, have I ever seen such a beautiful and convincing game world? Rarely. It's a shame that the presence of deadly machines might prevent the player from simply standing still and admiring what looks to be an incredible feat of design and detail. The fusion of a vaguely primal 10,000BC sort of world with futuristic technology and machines is an odd one but it's certainly original. Throw in a strong female lead and we have what looks to be a fantastic game - a game I'm very much looking forward to.
  • Detroit: Become Human (PS4)
Quantic Dream's cinematic, story-driven titles are a bit of a marmite thing really. Some people (like me) absolutely love them while others bemoan the fact that they aren't "real" games. I love proper games but I also love cinematic games that craft believable worlds and characters so Detroit is something that really grabbed my attention.
  • Friday the 13th: The Game (PS4)
Okay so on a technical level this looks nothing special at all but what it DOES look like is a love letter to one of the best film franchises of the 80's. I would buy this based on my love for the Friday the 13th films alone and I'm so glad the developers are going back to the real series and not the remake or any sort of modern update.
  • Days Gone (PS4)
E3 2016 seemed to be a show of richly detailed, interactive open game worlds. Do we need another zombie game? Probably not but when it looks this good and also looks more exciting than any recent Resident Evil, who cares? I've pretty much avoided all the zombie TV, films and games in recent years so it's high time I had a stab at one.
  • Spiderman (PS4)
A Spiderman game by Insomniac? Yes please. The trailer was short but it looked amazing and with Insomniac at the helm, I have every faith it will be a great Spidey game. Will it finally top the free-roaming gem that was Spiderman 2? It's about time somebody did...


  • The Last Guardian (PS4)
Because it's about time and because a game from the Ico and Shadow of the Collossus stable absolutely will not be bad in any way.
  • Tekken 7 (PS4)
I've been following this for ages now and I've posted about it here several times so I didn't really need E3 to tell me I wanted Tekken 7 but here it is anyway. 


  • Paper Mario: Colour Splash (Wii-U)
This seems to be getting a lot of hate on the internet. Okay, it's not going to be as good as the first two Paper Mario games because it's not the same RPG-styled formula and the characters exclusive to this sub-series are again absent but it's Paper Mario FFS. It's going to be fun and it's going to have buckets of charm. Give it a chance first. I know I will.



Games of potential interest:

  • Resident Evil VII
I like the fresh new direction of the trailer but will the final product be the same? It's too early to tell yet and I'm also fairly used to being let down by Capcom with this series now.
  • Skyrim Special Edition
I didn't play the original on the count of the PS3 port being crap. If Betheseda can fix all the issues and put out a stable, non-buggy game (admittedly highly unlikely) then I might finally show The Elder Scrolls some attention. Might.
  • Crash Bandicoot Remaster
Will they be full on remakes or just HD remasters? There's the humour, music, gameplay and characters to consider...if Activision do too much remastering then they might bugger up one of my favourite trilogies. The jury is still very much out on this one. At least it might help drive down the wacky prices of the original PS1 games on the pre-owned market.
  • God of War
It looks stunning and only ends up on this side of my list because I'd ideally like to catch up and play GoW3 + Ascension first. I'm a bit behind y'see.
  • Final Fantasy XV
Sometimes I think this looks alright and other times I reckon it looks atrocious. It doesn't look like FF in any case and I can't see myself rushing out to buy it. Amusingly, all of the thumbnails for the FFXV videos on Youtube show that cleavage-tastic moment from the VR segment. Not that I'm complaining of course but it kinda says it all about the game. Does anybody remember anything else that was shown? Probably not.

So that was E3 2016 then. I suppose there was a healthy amount of software for me to sink my teeth into but having said that, I still highly doubt I will have the time to buy and play everything on my 'Definitely Buying' list let alone consider the others. At least the choice is going to be there though eh? PS4 certainly seemed to win the show by bombarding gamers with loads of amazing-looking titles. Xbox didn't do too badly either but in terms of exclusives to tempt me into buying another machine, only Platinum's Scalebound got my attention but even that looked underwhelming and not at all what I expected from a Platinum-developed game. Nintendo disappointed to a greater degree however by barely having a presence and STILL keeping the NX under wraps. Thankfully they redeemed themselves to an extent with the mind-blowing Zelda gameplay footage.

Virtual Reality played a big part at E3 2016 with several big games highlighting VR compatibility. I'm dubious as to whether VR will actually catch on this time and the tech is just far too expensive for me to consider but I must admit that I'm feeling pretty postive about the whole concept and the possibilities that are there. It was the smaller tech demos such as the Star Wars game and er...Summer Lesson (?!?) that impressed me the most however so let's hope that some full (good) games comes of it.

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