Category Archives: PC

E3 2016: Reaction to EA’s Press Conference

It’s another summer, which means it’s time again for E3. This year has been shaping up to be a rough one, with the majority of everything being revealed before the conference itself, but as we head into the show, it’s important to remember that these are just video games. And the people making them are usually doing their best to make them as good as they can. Although my reactions may not always be rosy, at the end of the day, they’re about entertainment and the people who bring us that entertainment. With all the terrible things going on the world, it seems almost frivolous to even be talking about this. But it’s what I do, so here we go.

This year’s EA press conference was a show about FIFA, and a reminder of some other things you’ve already heard about.

Granted, we didn’t know what form Titanfall 2‘s single-player campaign would take, but now we have a taste. I have to admit, the trailer was quite interesting. Considering that Titanfall was one of the best new shooters of the past few years, I was really intrigued to see how they would step it up. And as you can see from the trailer below, they’ve found a few ways.

 

Then there was Madden. They focused a lot of time on the competitive scene, which shows how little they play to implement into the new title. But that’s fine, I couldn’t care less about it, so I’m not their target audience.

I am, however, the target audience for Mass Effect Andromeda, and for the 3rd year in a row I was disappointed that they didn’t delve as deep into that as they do their regular sports franchises. I get that FIFA makes more money than Mass Effect, but at the same time, if they can make a mountain out of the molehill that is increased crowd polygons, the least they could do is show me a clear picture of a new alien race.

But oh well. This is all we got. I suppose it will have to do for now.

Beyond that, they’re pushing some original Story Mode into the next FIFA game, which seems neat. What wasn’t neat was having the actor who played the main character do a one-man show on stage. That was just awkward and weird.

Next they talked about a new initiative called EA Originals, wherein EA is partnering with indie game companies to help them bring their games to light. I think it’s telling that they called this “EA Originals,” because it implies that EA is done doing it’s own original ideas. And no where was that more true than this E3 press conference.

Jade Raymond took the stage and talked about how they’re still making Star Wars games. There’s apparently some more Star Wars in the future, so don’t worry about that. Star Wars will never leave us.

Finally was Battlefield 1 coverage, but by this point I hadn’t the energy to continue. That FIFA coverage really drained me.

And that was the show. Overall, a major disappointment from EA. No real new IP’s except a game that isn’t even technically theirs, and no real game announcements. It sets an unsettling picture that I think will befall the entire landscape of this E3: nothing new. No new game announcements, no new IP’s, and hardly a lick of new coverage. It’s a frightening reality, but all those ‘IS THIS THE DEATH OF E3″ videos on YouTube might actually be right if game companies don’t take it seriously anymore.

We’ll see what Bethesda has up it’s sleeve next.

Feature: E3 2015 Sunday Recap

The Nintendo World Championships and Bethesda start things off strong.

E3 may not technically begin until Tuesday, with most people calling Monday “Day 0,” but Sunday seemed to start off the celebration of all things gaming for this writer with Nintendo and Bethesda bringing some interesting guns to the start of the show.

Nintendo kicked things off with a 20 minute Smash Bros. presentation that saw 2 new fighters added: Roy from Fire Emblem and Ryu from Street Fighter. There was a leak that took the wind out of those announcements, but it didn’t make Ryu’s well-executed inclusion any less important for the Smash series. Also included in the announcement were new stages like Sakura Castle from Street Fighter II, a ton of new music, some new Mii Fighter costumes, and more. Overall it was a pretty packed 20 minutes with something you would have expected to be saved for Nintendo’s proper Digital Direct coming Tuesday. It kinda makes you wonder what they still have up their sleeve.

Then came the Nintendo World Championships 2015 event where 16 competitors played through a gauntlet of Nintendo games to be crowned the first Nintendo World Champion since 1990. Overall the event could have used some work, namely on the identifying who was who during the gameplay front, but the World Premiere of Blastball was interesting. In this new game, you’re in a futuristic looking mech that shoots around a giant death-ball, trying to get it into the opposing teams goal. It’s like Soccer (sorry, football) meets Metroid Prime in some really neat ways. It doesn’t look to be the biggest game of the show, but it’s always nice seeing something debut like that. But once Super Mario Maker was revealed, all the nitpicks and other surprises went down the drain. This was easily the best way to demo the game: have some of Nintendo’s finest create specifically tailored levels and have expert speedrunners try their hand at them. It made for a thrilling show filled with twists, laughs, and a whole lot of childish glee.

My favorite E3 moment thus far from the Super Mario Maker segment.

Bethesda came out for their first ever show, and overall I don’t think it was that great. Before you take the pitchforks to me, let me explain.

Doom was doing absolutely nothing for me. The atmosphere of the game just doesn’t strike any sort of a cord that I relate too, the visual design was all around unimpressive, and the action just seemed more exhausting than exhilarating. If it wasn’t for Snapback (or as I call it, Super Doomio Maker), a whole new style of modding tool for Doom, I would have passed the whole game off as “Just not for me” and moved on. At least that last bit got me excited.

I’m sorry, but Battlecry just looks awful. The visuals were drab, despite their attempt to inject color into it. The animations were janky as hell. And overall I just got the feeling that this was going to be some Team Fortress 2 meets a MOBA as produced by an independent team of 5 people kind of project, only it was being given it’s own studio by Bethesda. It just… Nope. Don’t think so.

Elder Scrolls Online is just not working for me on a conceptual level, so nothing there was interesting.

There was an announcement for Elder Scrolls: Legends. This is a new free-to-play trading card game that runs on PC and tablets and boasts a trailer that was almost identical to Blizzard’s original Hearthstone trailer. In fact, the whole project sounds like an attempt to cash in on the Hearthstone name, and I don’t know about you, but I’ve only got the funds to dedicate to one money-sucking card game.

Speaking of trying too hard to be Blizzard, Bethesda also announced “Bethesda.net,” a new service that will be your go-to source for “all things Bethesda.” Sounds exactly like Battle.net, the client that Blizzard uses to house all of it’s games. I’m always leery about having another dedicated publisher program on my computer, especially after Ubisoft’s ill-conceived uPlay initiative.

So, my saltiness on Doom not withstanding, that was a pretty bad press conference. That was until Fallout 4 happened. If anybody manages to beat that in-depth look at the insane features planned for that game, we’ll have one of the best E3’s in a long time. Total weapon and armor customization, building your own settlement piece by piece, an insane looking story, second-screen gimmicks. This game has it all, baby. The overall presentation was a bit bloated, but I came away from it feeling that I have a most anticipated game of E3 before the show technically even begins. We’ll see what else everybody is bringing, but man. Fallout fucking 4.

What did you think of the opening round of E3 information? Are you excited to see what everyone else has to offer, or did Fallout 4 give you everything you will ever need?