Hello again, humans! Good to see you all – except the ones I hate, in which case, less so. But even the worst among you can’t bring me down now – no, because it’s that magical time of year, that Christmas-in-June for gamers called E3 season! That’s right, this past week was the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo in sunny Los Angeles, CA. Per usual, there was a veritable smorgasbord of gaming news, announcements, and conferences – and now you can find all my wicked thoughts on the E3 events right here! Aren’t you lucky?! In Part 1, I’ll focus on the conferences from the non-hardware-producing developers and publishers. Part 2 will feature the Big 3.
So the news kicked off with the EA press conference. Now, I’m not going to go blow-by-blow here – if you want that kind of in-depth coverage, well, you can easily watch all the press conferences at places like IGN or GameSpot. I’m just going to go over my impressions. And when it comes to impressions, well…EA just didn’t really make one for me. I mean, you got your requisite sports franchises – Madden, NBA Live, FIFA – and if the yearly iterations on those games is your thing, you already know when they are coming out and have already planned on getting them. Battlefield 1 is also slated to get new DLC, but as I don’t play Battlefield 1, this didn’t do much for me either.
That’s not to say that there wasn’t anything in the EA event that caught my attention. Having played Star Wars: Battlefront and finding it enjoyable but sorely missing the lack of a single player campaign, I was quite happy to find out earlier this year that Battlefront II would now include a full story mode. Well, not only will I get to enjoy that when it releases this fall, but EA revealed during their conference that there would be no season pass for Battlefront II – all of its DLC will be free of charge for all players. While the game will feature microtransactions, EA has insisted that these will be cosmetic and quality of life in nature only – they will confer no advantage over other players. Time will tell if this claim holds true, but for now, the concept of not having to shell out money beyond the initial purchase price in order to experience the full game is quite nice!
The other major announcement at the EA conference from my perspective was the unveiling of the new IP from Mass Effect and Dragon Age developer BioWare – Anthem. This was the first look at this game, and I am thus far intrigued. If I could sum up what I’ve seen of it in one phrase it would be “third person Destiny.” This actually excites me quite a bit – as the biggest issue I had with Destiny was it’s first person perspective. With BioWare’s impressive pedigree behind it, I am anxiously looking forward to what this title has in store.
Another publisher hosting their own conference at E3 was Ubisoft – and boy oh boy, did they hit it out of the park with their conference. There was a lot of news, but since I’m kind enough to parse through all this shit and bring only the best of the best, here is what you need to know!
Ok, this is going to sound insane, or like some kind of joke, but it’s some kind of peanut butter and chocolate dream – Mario & Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is a crossover between the Big N’s plumber-in-chief and the batshit crazy Rabbids of Ubisoft in an XCOM style turn-based tactics game for the Nintendo Switch. Let that sink the fuck in. Then once it does – go preorder that shit. Right now.
Another game I’m quite intrigued by is Assassin’s Creed: Origins. The AC series has been on a bit of a hiatus from its previous annual release schedule, and it looks to be returning in a strong way. Of particular note here is that while the previous entries have been action experiences with some light character building systems, Origins has much more firmly embraced role-playing elements and it shows in its much more deliberate, tactical approach to leveling your character and equipment as well as planning battles. Keep an eye out as this title comes along.
Anyone that knows me knows that I would chuck this entire world to go pirating in a second if it were feasible and not likely to lead to death by scurvy. So it’s no surprise that the persistent world pirate simulator Skull & Bones is firmly on my radar. Between this and Sea of Thieves, I’ll be even more soaked in rum than I normally am – and that’s saying something.
I feel obligated to include this because of how much I adored the Stick of Truth. South Park: The Fractured But Whole was given (yet another) official release date of October 17. It isn’t that I don’t think this game looks hilarious and fantastic…but since it’s been supposed to come out several times already, I’m firmly in “I’ll believe it when I see it” mode on this one.
Oh yeah…and a little game called Beyond Good and Evil 2 was given a trailer. Now, this will effect you in one of two ways. Either you are asking “So? I don’t remember a Beyond Good and Evil 1.” If that’s the case, stop right now and go buy and download the Beyond Good and Evil HD remake from the PS or Xbox store. Go. Now. If you’re in the second group, with me, you’re still wiping tears of joy away after reading the first sentence in this paragraph.
Wrapping up Part 1 of my take on E3 is the conference by Bethesda Studios. Would this finally be where we get some inkling of Elder Scrolls VI?! Short answer: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
Hope you’re ready to spend more of your time (and money…again) on the fifth entry in the venerable Elder Scrolls franchise, because as far as Bethesda is concerned it’s all Skyrim, all the time. As we already knew, the complete edition of Skyrim is on its way to Switch this fall – and now we know that it will feature Amiibo support. As you can see above, this means that you can roleplay a disturbingly realistic version of Link in your own Hylian tunic, shield, and wielding the Master Sword…if that’s your thing. From my perspective, they could have added absolutely nothing to Skyrim and just brought it to the Switch as-is and I’d have gladly paid for it…again…to be able to play it on the go. Hiding in the corner at a family reunion to play Skyrim? Uh, yes please.
A bit of a surprise, but a pleasant one for horror fans, underrated survival horror game The Evil Within is set to received a sequel. It definitely looks creepy as all fuck, and it’s set for release on Friday the 13th (of October), so all the signs point to a pants-wetting experience!
More up my alley, after several teases recently, Bethesda officially unveiled Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. Wolfenstein was one of my favorite FPS games of the past few years, and the sequel sees longtime series lead BJ Blazkowicz battling in the United States after it has been overrun by Nazi forces. As we all know, killing Nazi’s is the only socially acceptable form of murder, so get those trigger fingers ready to go!
Last but not least, Dishonored 2 is seeing a new DLC pack released this fall. This new story focuses on Meagan Foster, the popular NPC from the main game. She seems set to try and take down The Outsider, who is the one that granted powers to the previous protagonists in the series.
And that brings us to the end of Part 1! Next up – the conferences of the Big 3: Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony! Look forward to it, mortals! – EWE