Every year we roll into the E3 season week with skepticism of years of unfulfilled promises and misrepresentative trailers, yet each time the week begins we watch, somewhat optimistic that this is the year that will be different, we’ll see games worth the hype, big releases suddenly on the immediate horizon, or jaw dropping reveals no one saw coming.
E3 Day Zero didn’t do that.
Instead we had two big publishers, EA and Bethesda take the stage to get their gaming updates out early and dominate headlines for a news cycle before they get over shadowed by every other company at the show. Let’s break down the highlights.
Gaming’s favorite punching bag of a developer, EA, went first and brought us pretty much what you’d expect. Yes, more MMO FPS games are once again on the way including a Titanfall 2 that looks every bit as good as a Michael Bay Transformers movie (whether or not that’s a good thing is entirely up to you). We’re sure we can enjoy a few hours of this sequel but considering the paper thin story established to justify a largely deathmatch game, we’ll consider this a rental. Despite its counterintuitive title, Battlefield 1 sure had an impressive trailer worth a view but, again, is another MMO FPS deathmatch game and is harder and harder for us to discern from any of the Call of Duty’s.
EA went on to talk a lot about new Star Wars games and show very, very little. Expect two more deathmatch including a new Battlefront in the next few years and one notable Uncharted-style Star Wars game from franchise lead Amy Hennig sometime in 2018 (which is indeed forever away).
Finally EA showed off some of the new Mass Effect that looks more Massier and Effectier than any of the previous Mass Effect games. Shephard’s finally out as we get a new protagonist and a game built in a brand new engine which does indeed look impressive despite creepy grinning technology that clearly puts us on the wrong side of the uncanny valley. No word on release date so don’t expect anything this year.
Bethesda was next and after last year’s Fallout 4 reveal and subsequent launch couldn’t possibly live up to their own expectations. Still they presented a surprising amount of intriguing titles. First, Quake is back (we like to think it was from our incessant tweets to them requesting as much). Unfortunately for us, we were always more Quake 1 and 2 fans than the arena combat that arrived with Quake 3. The new Quake seems focused entirely on those fans hoping to get a space in future ESPORTS competitions for years to come. In addition, Bethesda teased another classic Id game in a trailer showing a potential Wolfenstein sequel called “New Colossus” which we won’t likely see until next year. But after their success with both Doom and Wolfenstein, we’re already stoked to see it. Last but not least there was a mostly CGI trailer for a Prey 2. This game has apparently been in developer hell for years but we did enjoy the first’s mind-bending teleportation schtick and would be happy to see a new one finally see the light of day.
Eager to find money with their existing titles, Bethesda did confirm a Skyrim remaster is coming out this holiday for consoles and PC. That alone is interesting but they’re also allowing mods on the console which means we’ll no doubt means we’ll have to buy it for things like animated fart shouts. Bethesda is also working on a Fallout 4 compatible with the HTC Vive due out next year which could be among the first compelling reasons to shell out the money for that product.
Finally the star of the show for Bethesda was the sequel to their critical-darling, Dishonored. Taking place a few years after the events of the first game, the story sees you controlling both Corvo and Emily to unravel some convoluted conspiracy – though considering you have the ability of time travel this time it really couldn’t be that hard to fix, right? It looks very much like the first game which is completely fine with us. Even better news, we’ll get to play this by November.
So a day of a few FPS deathmatch titles that blur together for us, promises of cool Star Wars or Wolfenstein games to come in a few years, but at least ended on a high note with a great looking Dishonored 2 and a moddable Skyrim that come out in the next few months. Not exactly the showstoppers we hope for but not a bad start.