Next up, Bethesda! Their conference was okay, I guess. I never played Rage, but Rage 2 looks like it might be okay. They also announced Doom: Eternal. I thought the 2016 reboot was great so I’m eager to see what they deliver in the sequel.
There was a new PREY DLC – Mooncrash, but I doubt it will bring me back to the game. The largest piece of their conference was, as you’d expect, dedicated to Fallout 76, which was revealed to be an online, multiplayer Fallout experience. Oh boy.
You can play solo, they insist, but it will be ‘easier’ to play with your friends, which tells me if you try to play solo you probably won’t have much fun. It’s all about ‘telling your own stories’ which may just be another way of saying – so we don’t have to. In other words, will there actually be any quests (beyond repeatable fetch/kill quests)? NPC characters? An actual story?
They have included nuclear weapons though, so dedicated groups of players can wipe out entire parts of the map and any unfortunate players who happen to be exploring, fighting or setting up camp in them. I can’t see anything going wrong with that feature. I also have my doubts about the potential bugs and stability. Fallout 4 was a shitshow, although they are promising a BETA to iron things out. But honestly, a MP Fallout has little to no appeal to me.
The show ended with the announcement of a new IP – Starfield, but zero information. They also revealed that – to no one’s surprise – they’re working on The Elder Scrolls VI – but once again, zero information, not even a subtitle.
Devolver Digital delivered another fun video conference, although the only actual game they showed that caught my eye was My Friend Pedro. Square Enix also had a short video conference, most notable for a longer look at the new Tomb Raider AKA Tomb Raider: Predator Edition, and the tease of Babylon’s Fall by Platinum Games.
Ubisoft were up next, and always know how to put on a show, opening with a dancing panda. Beyond Good & Evil 2 had some early gameplay shown, but their presentation was more about their community collaboration project, allowing players to create their own in-game assets. A cool idea? Or just a lazy and cheap way of outsourcing your art department?
We saw more of The Division 2 but I was concerned by the focus on post-campaign content such as class specialisations and raids. The game isn’t even out yet and they’re already treating the core campaign like it’s not very important. But I don’t care about their ‘service’ plans long term, I care about what I’ll be playing on Day 1.
Skull & Bones had another E3 showing, but I’d rather have a proper, fully fleshed out SP pirate game. I guess I could always play AC4 again. We also saw more of Starlink, but I’m still not sure if they’re trying to sell me a game or toys. Probably both. For Honor is getting a new selection of classes and, more importantly, new siege mode which is what I wanted to see. But only 4v4? That’s pretty disappointing.
The Crew 2 – meh. And finally, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey AKA Let’s Reuse Lots of Assets from the Last Game Edition AKA Now You Can Play as a Girl Edition. It’s only taken them 27 games to figure out how to animate a female model, so I guess we should give them a round of applause. Overall conference rating? Not terrible, not great. No real surprises.
Following Ubisoft was the PC Gaming Show, which is only really worth mentioning for the reveal of not one, but two Yakuza releases on PC – Zero and Kiwami. It’s a series I’ve always wanted to try, and with a very generous price, I’m sure I’ll pick up Zero on release. Also, Valkyria Chronicles 4 – I enjoyed the first Valkyria Chronicles release on PC, so I might just pick this up.
Sony showcased The Last of Us 2 AKA Tomb Raider: Predator Edition AKA Crouch Walk: The Game featuring another young woman sneaking through the woods, stealth killing bad guys with a bow and a blade. It was a cool demo, I must admit, but scripted to hell and back.
We also saw a little of Ghost AKA Samurai Batman, Control AKA Quantum Break 2 & the new Spider-Man AKA Batman: Arkham Asylum. We also got a first look at the latest indie walking simulator by the name of Death Stranding.
Nintendo were up last with a solid if unspectacular show – a new Pokemon to make their shareholders happy, a new Mario Party, Fire Emblem and most importantly a new Smash Bros. Oh, and Fortnite is now on the Switch to the horror of parents everywhere. But no Bayonetta 3? No F-Zero or Metroid? I’m kind of disappointed.