Off the E3 2018 Hype Train…?
E3 2018, essentially Gamer Christmas, has come and gone. That wonderful time of year has left us with some pretty odd ups and downs this year. In case you missed it, we’re going to do a quick rundown of some the big press conferences that happened.
That’s Decent, I Guess…
I’m going to be honest with this one. I did not expect much from EA for E3 2018. I haven’t had an EA presentation excite me for some years. This year, it wasn’t really that different for me. EA mostly presented games that we already heard about (like Battlefield V and FIFA ‘19) with a little more info. They spent a lot of time going over gameplay for their new mobile game Command and Conquer: Rivals, which really bogged down the conference. There was also a bit more about Bioware’s action RPG Anthem.
They mention several points throughout the show that will not have loot boxes for many of these games. It’s sad that’s the type of thing we get excited for in an EA conference now, but at least it shows EA has learned something from this year’s grievances.
My personal highlights of the show were the indie games Unravel 2, Sea of Solitude, and A Way Out. Unravel was an adorable game about family and memories. I am looking forward to seeing how the story continues and how the co-op play works in the sequel. Sea of Solitude seems to be carrying some heavy themes with it and the art style is gorgeous. A Way Out is a coop game involving a prison break that looks like it can be interesting considering it is the same crew behind A Tale of Two Sons. All of these games are experimental with style and storytelling, which is a nice change for a company that doesn’t break the mold too much these days.
Not Exclusive but…
Microsoft had little exclusive releases for E3 2018, mostly sticking to cross-platform games. However, the games they had were good ones and they showed a lot of promise in its investments. They announced that they are indeed working on a new Xbox. They stated that they are developing a new studio. Along those lines, they also brought several indie studios (Ninja Theory, Undead Labs, etc.). Basically, Microsoft demonstrated that they are still dedicated to the gaming industry and willing to work to compete. It was a nice thing to see after how worried fans were about the future of the Xbox franchise.
There were some big names there, like the Halo sequel Halo Infinite and Devil May Cry 5. There was also Kingdom Hearts III, but EVERYONE had Kingdom Hearts III. I’ll get to that in a bit.
I am hyped to see more about the new Battletoads game! I am a big fan of things like TMNT and Biker Mice from Mars, so Battletoads is right up there for me. Cyberpunk 2077 looks amazing and, since it is from the same studio as The Witcher 3, I think we can expect some good story and addictive play. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is by the same folks who made Dark Souls, so that is going to be a huge thing to look forward to. Finally, Ori and the Will of the Wisps was gorgeous.
Everything Comes in Pairs
Bethesda managed to bring some hype to a slow start for E3 2018. Their presentation contained mostly DLC and sequels. DOOM is getting a sequel in DOOM Eternal. Prey has a new DLC called Prey Moon Crash, which brings some cool new modes. I say “has” because it was released the day of the press conference, thus you can be playing that now. Wolfenstein has a new sequel involving the previous protagonist’s daughters called Wolfenstein: Youngblood. That game can be played solo or co-op. The big one, Fallout 76, will be a multiplayer online game set in the early years after the bombs were dropped.
The two big surprises for this conference was Starfield (a new sci-fi game) and Elder Scrolls VI. Both games had quick teaser title screens, so we know nothing about these titles. We’ll have to wait to see what they are about. I personally like the idea of playing Fallout 76 with friends, so I am hoping things work out with that.
Square was a bit of a letdown this year, especially since they haven’t done anything like this for three years. Almost all of what they had to announce was announced at previous press conferences, particularly Microsoft’s. They showed the same Kingdom Hearts III trailer that was showed at Microsoft’s conference, so that was awkward. Furthermore, they showed trailers for Just Cause 4 and Tomb Raider that were also at the Microsoft conference. So….yeah…
I grew up with Kingdom Hearts at this point. Thus, my excitement for the third installment remains no matter the number of trailers. The Quiet Man seems like a cool brawler and reminds me of The Bouncer. Octopath Traveler looks like a solid RPG and I am considering getting it for my Switch.
Ready to Play
For E3 2018, PlayStation was one of the strongest shows. Most of the games were stuff we knew were coming. However, there were strong games with a lot of good gameplay footage. We saw some amazing mechanics in The Last of Us II. We saw the Pirate World for Kingdom Hearts III (I meant it when I said EVERYONE had it). Spider-Man looks great and swinging in it looks really fun and tight.
The Resident Evil 2 remake made my jaw drop. It looks like a completely new game, so I am interested to see how that one goes. Death Stranding is so damn weird and very Kojima. How can you not love it?
The Ultimate Tag Team
Ubisoft E3 2018 conference was promising. We got a look at Assassin’s Creed Odyssey where you may be a lady and date who you wish. We had a lovely new trailer for Beyond Good and Evil 2. Skull & Bones allows you to be the closest thing to the pirate king online without requiring that one piece. What was interesting here was the relationship between Ubisoft and Nintendo. Ubisoft announced a new Donkey Kong DLC for Mario + Rabbids. They also announced that their new game Starlink was coming to Switch and, in the Switch version, you may play as characters from Starfox. Ubisoft and Nintendo seem to be becoming real bedfellows and it will be exciting to see the games that will come out of this in the future.
The Just Dance 2019 musical number. Not the actual game, just the musical performance. Beyond Good and Evil 2 is always exciting and I think I’ll give Starlink a go.
The Roller Coaster
Nintendo’s E3 2018 conference is a head-scratcher. The biggest thing there was Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which could and did carry the show itself. However, after that, Nintendo had very little. There was Mario Party, and several exciting ports like Fortnite and Dragonball Fighterz, but that was it. I can’t really say I am disappointed. In truth, there will be more Nintendo directs to look forward to, and there was Ubisoft. In addition, Smash had me so excited I didn’t realize the lack of fanfare till much later.
Smash, Smash, and Smash! Also, I am looking forward to Dragonball Fighterz and am currently playing Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion.
E3 2018 was pretty chill overall. Very few surprises, but we have some really good games lined up. What do you guys think? Are you on or off the E3 hype train?