The Best and Worst from E3 2017
We’ve reached the end of this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, the best week in all year to be a gamer, and as always, everybody’s now telling the world their opinions about “who won E3”, “who lost E3”, and so on. We don’t want to use the expression “won E3” as we firmly believe that the only winners are the players, and the losers are their wallets. But we are now going to tell you all our favorites and least favorites from this year’s E3. Sit back and enjoy the ride:
Best Conference – Ubisoft: Never thought I’d ever say this, but Ubi did a great job with its conference, revealing an immense number of games, and bringing out the biggest surprises of this E3 as a whole.
Worst Conference – Bethesda: Not only was it short, full of moments in which all Bethesda did was stroke its own ego, but then they actually had the guts to promote paid mods. Really, Bethesda?
Best Non-Surprise Game – Super Mario Odyssey: Not only did it look gorgeous and seems to play just like the majestic Super Mario 64, but the new trailer revealed so many new gameplay elements, including being able to possess a freaking T-Rex! I need this game right now.
Best Surprise Game – Beyond Good and Evil 2: Never thought I’d see this game being revealed. Not only did I enjoy the characters, but as it seems, the game will let you explore various planets just like in Mass Effect. I did also feel for the developer coming up onstage. I have a soft spot.
Biggest Disappointment – God of War: I’m sorry Sony, but Dad of War still hasn’t convinced me. I’m open for experimentations in gaming, but I think the game is looking too much like Sony’s various other story-driven franchises. It’s starting to get a bit, let’s say, cliché coming from them.
It Won Me Over Award – A tie between Mario + Rabbids and Need for Speed Payback: The moment I first saw that first Mario + Rabbids image, I shivered. It looked like an imminent trainwreck. From what Ubi showed on their conference, it’s actually an entry-level XCom of sorts, with a very intriguing gameplay. Same can be said about Payback. Being basically Forza Horizon + Burnout + Fast & Furious won me over.
Dumbest E3 Moment – Whoever that EA conference YouTuber was: That guy before the Need for Speed Payback presentation….dude, were you high or something?
Best Conference – Microsoft: The Xbox One X did nothing for me, my inner Sony fanboy just didn’t care. But the rest of the Microsoft conference impressed me in a way I simply didn’t expect. The showcase of games like Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds and State of Decay 2 just won me over, with Sea of Thieves being a potential future game to own too. As someone who’s been content with Playstation for years, this conference won for me because it did something very simple but very impressive. It made me decide to get an Xbox.
Worst Conference – Bethesda: Honestly, Leo summed it up perfectly so I’ll reuse what he said. “Not only was it short, full of moments in which all Bethesda did was stroke its own ego, but then they actually had the guts to promote paid mods. Really, Bethesda?”
Best Non-Surprise Game – Days Gone: And, the Sony fanboy is back. Ever since its announcement a year ago, Days Gone caught my eye and held it. And as the new gameplay revealed, it looks to be a mixture of everything I love about Sony’s popular exclusives. Like I joked with the team, the game looks like Daryl Dixon was in the Sons of Anarchy and then was dropped into the world of The Last of Us with World War Z zombies, all with Uncharted and Horizon Zero Dawn-inspired gameplay. Outrageous as it sounds, I love it!
Best Surprise Game – Anthem: The moment the trailer opened I had a vague idea that Anthem was gonna be cool. But the more into it we got and the more the exosuits were showcased, the more I realized that I need this game.
Biggest Disappointment – Spider-Man: Spider-Man is my biggest disappointment not because I think the game is or will be bad, but because I expected to see it and walk away feeling unadulterated excitement. Instead, I walked away feeling concerned and wondering just how much of the game is made up of heavily scripted quick time events. I will concede, however, that when left to the more open-ended portions (like the combat and stealth) the game looks absolutely fantastic. Let’s just hope there’s more of the latter and less of the former than this trailer let on.
It Won Me Over Award – Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds: The idea of a modern like hunger games where tons of players just go in and kill each other sounds awesome to me and I know I’ll have a ton of fun with it. If the game is polished and looks good on release, then this is the game that’ll make me buy an Xbox.
Dumbest E3 Moment – The Darwin Project live commentator: Watching The Darwin Project was mildly interesting. The game didn’t look like my cup of tea, but I had nothing bad to say. Until halfway through some guy started yelling like a baseball commentator on the radio, narrating the match. It got annoying two syllables in and remained annoying until the end.
Best Conference – Nintendo: Are we counting Nintendo? I feel that we have to count Nintendo. Was it the best presentation, No. Not at all. But it had the best mixture of what I look for in a conference; presentation, release, games, surprises and pacing. Honestly, it was the only conference with any sort of Surprise.
Worst Conference – Devolver: This is tough. The issue with this year’s E3 was too much, “Solid Conference” and not enough stand out. I’ll go with Devolver because although I enjoyed it, it wasn’t a conference. That said, I hope to see more of this kind of entertainment on stage.
Best Non-Surprise Game – God of War: Call me a Homer, but God of War is hitting all the right chords with me. Let me preface that by saying I am cautious with the style change but understand it had to be done. The worry last year was, “Not enough Kratos as we know him,” but this had bad-ass combat, violent take downs, epic battles and giant (is something large enough to wrap itself around the earth “giant” enough?) characters that you just have the feeling you will face off against.
Best Surprise Game – Anthem: I know we all knew something from Bioware was coming out, but none of us knew what it was. I want every part of this game inside me. Got crazy Destiny feels from the demo in all the good ways… and yes, some of the concerning ways too. But this game looks too damn good and too damn sexy to not have it be the surprise announcement that had my mouth reaching the floor.
Biggest Disappointment – Xbox One X: I was hoping that with having a year to see the tripfalls that PS4 Pro had to maneuver around (unsuccessfully), that we would have had a better presentation of this product. But all we got was a PowerPoint presentation with trigger words and flops. It also didn’t help that the Crackdown 3 trailer did a poor job of showcasing any use of that extra power. MS had a solid conference, a good mix up of games, but they didn’t sell me on the X one single bit.
It Won Me Over Award – Day’s Gone: Maybe not, “won me over” but I care a lot more than I did after last year. I was meant to be impressed with the number of action going on and it was impressive, but did nothing to make me want the game. But now, seeing TLoU mash up with Uncharted mash up with Horizon… man, it is starting to look real nice to me. But full disclosure… I am a Sony fanboy sooo…
Dumbest E3 Moment – Mixer: Why was this even brought up in the conference? Is this MS owned?
Best Conference – Microsoft: This opinion is based partly because of the smart decision to keep the X1X short and sweet and the sheer amount and variety of games shown. While I didn’t get a solid reason why I should buy an XOX, they certainly gave a ton of reason to look forward to Xbox in general.
Worst Conference – Devolver: While the humor and the satire was not lost on me, I just don’t understand the point of booking conference time and only showing 2 small titles.
Best Non-Surprise Game – Mario Odyssey: Nintendo yet again proving that Mario is the king of platformers. The new trailer showed a ton of new gameplay mechanics, but the main focus the ability to through your magic hat on enemies and control them. From a standard Goomba to a T-Rex it seems we will have to take control of some characters to get past certain puzzles. Showing of the charm and level variety that could rival Mario 64, Odyssey is shaping up to be one of my most anticipated games.
Best Surprise Game – Monster Hunter World: This was a tough decision between Monster Hunter and Beyond Good & Evil 2, but since we got a few teases a while ago hinting that BG&E2 was back in development, Monster Hunter World is my biggest surprise. Not only did I not expect to see this at Sony’s conference, but I also didn’t expect it to be available on Xbox, Playstation and PC, and boy does it look good!
Biggest Disappointment – God of War: No matter how many times I have seen last year’s trailer and even with this year’s showing, I just can’t get myself excited for this God of War. The overall style, character elements and combat changes made to this reboot just isn’t what I want out of a God of War game. The added son drama just seems straight ripped from TLoU, and it doesn’t help that the creator admitted that he took heavy inspiration from Naughty Dog’s game. Also, the switch to over the shoulder 3rd person hack-n-slash just doesn’t do it for me.
It Won Me Over Award – Sea of Thieves: This might be an unpopular decision, but I think Rare finally showcased SoT properly and it got me excited for the game. We finally got to see some story elements, puzzles, caverns, sword fights, sharks and a sweet man-cannon that should be great for boarding ships. During all the footage shown we get a classic Rare feel from our narrator cracking wise and making silly jokes. Sea of Thieves is shaping up to be a fun looking co-op adventure.
Dumbest E3 Moment – Theatrics: When are developers and companies going to realize there are only 2 things people care to see during E3? Those 2 things are hardware and software and more emphasis on the software. No one cares what kinda dance number or music guest you bring on stage because all we are thinking is that it is eating up time that could be used showing more games.
Best Conference- Nintendo – Nintendo was a tremendous surprise for me. After my experience with the original Wii, I stepped away from Nintendo consoles, with no plans to return. But the surprise announcement of two new Metroid titles, a home console Pokemon, and an Xcom style Mario game, there was no shortage of new content to excite fans.
Worst Conference- Bethesda From the minds behind the Fallout and Elder Scrolls series, came the campy “family fun for everyone” theme of Bethesdaland. Its friendly 2D animations and elevator music horrendously clashed in both style and content against games like Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus and Evil Within 2. A small dash of irony would have gone a long way to improve their presentation, but alas, Bethesda went with the intern’s design idea.
Best Non-Surprise Game- Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus The sequel to the Wolfenstein reboot was leaked prior to the conference, spoiling the big surprise. But it didn’t put a damper on its trailer reveal. It looks like we’ll be back to the Nazi hunting fun we all know and love quite soon.
Best Surprise Game- Shadow of the Colossus. The announcement of a Shadow of Colossus remake was an unnecessary, but not unwelcome one. In an era of game development that challenges traditional visuals and storytelling methods, the return of a classic that paved the way for “games as art” seems well timed.
Biggest Disappointment- From Software – The team is certainly tired of hearing me say it, but I’m greatly disappointed in From Software’s E3 absence. I sadly bought into all of the rumors floating around the internet about the reveal of Bloodborne 2 or a new souls-like IP. While I was personally disappointed, this was a case where we all lost out.
It Won Me Over Award- Metroid Prime 4 Boo to the nay-sayers! They said it would never happen, they said we were dreaming, but they spoke too soon. While still in the early stages of development, Metroid Prime 4 is definitely on my watchlist. I would be surprised to see a release before the end of 2018, but if the previous games are any indication of what we might see, it will be well worth the wait for Samus’ most grand return.
Dumbest E3 Moment- Bethesdaland – Bethesda, you earned the second mention. I have no love for you. Even Unravel Guy and Mr. Caffeine put an effort into their presentation.
Best Conference- Devolver Digital – Unlike my fellow editors, I’m going to say Devolver Digital had the best conference at E3. While Nintendo had the best in terms of great announcements per minute, Devolver dared to do something different and proceeded to make fun of E3 as a whole using Adult Swim style sketches. I had no idea what to expect. The satire and humor in which they made fun of pre orders and user comments was some much needed fun.
Worst Conference- Bethesda – A lot of why the Bethesda conference was so lackluster has already been said before but for me it boils down to why does Bethesda even continue to host a conference each year? Game reveals like Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus and The Evil Within 2 would give so much greater impact to either Microsoft or Sony shows. This conference worked once for Bethesda because they had a megaton announcement ready for Fallout 4. For me, if they aren’t bringing a blowout of either Elder Scrolls or Fallout then they shouldn’t be holding a conference at E3.
Best Non-Surprise Game- Dragon Ball FighterZ – Holy Mother of God was I not ready. This game was announced a day before the first E3 conference was held so we knew it would be there. All we knew was it was a 2.5D fighter from the makers of Guilty Gear and would feature 3v3 battles with the characters of the Dragon Ball franchise. But seeing this game in motion for the first time was a culmination of all my dreams coming true. This is the Dragon Ball Z fighting game I’ve always wanted after the Budokai series. Gameplay is the perfect mix of the chaotic nature of Marvel vs Capcom 2 but features mid fight cinematics akin to Guilty Gear. I love everything about this game so far. I need me some beta news!
Best Surprise Game- Shadow of the Colossus Remake – One of my biggest gaming sins is no doubt that I never played the original Shadow of the Colossus on PS2. I was too busy playing Kingdom Hearts, duh. However I kept eyeing the updated PS3 version but just never pulled the trigger even when it was on sale for one reason or another. Now Sony presented us with a full on remake and I now have my best chance to play this game.
Biggest Disappointment- Lack of a new AAA Microsoft Exclusive – Now let me say that I overall enjoyed the Microsoft E3 conference. It was a constant stream of games both small and large in scale with a variety of genres represented. A lot of people have said Microsoft needs to stop relying on the Big 3 and 2/3rds of them were absent besides older titles being announced as having 4K support for the Xbox One X. However, no matter how much I enjoyed the Dragon Ball FighterZ trailer or the Ori and the Will of Wisps trailer (Yesss) or the Anthem gameplay reveal, that big impact announcement was missing. Microsoft didn’t have that “this is our new big franchise” game like they did with Scalebound way back when.
It Won Me Over Award- Super Mario Odyssey – I have always said that when I see a mainline Pokemon game made for Switch then I would have the most interest in the console (one was announced so that’s a start!). But the various demos of Super Mario Odyssey convinced me a Switch may not be a bad idea in the near future. This looks like the very best of 3D Mario.
Dumbest E3 Moment- Esports – Seriously, stop using E3 to promote esports. The audience in attendance doesn’t care, the people watching at home don’t care and the people who do care about esports don’t need E3 to make it a thing. The very best esports titles are the ones that happen naturally. Not because some PR suit is using a bunch of buzz words to appeal to those players.