E3 2018 Conference: Ranks and Grades

 

E3 has officially came and went and we now know what to expect and be excited for in the future 12+ months. Now we get to debate amongst each other… who won E3? While the easy and right answer is always gamers, I decided to take a look at the conferences and here are the things I liked, didn’t like, or just wish would have been different. If you would rather listen to my ramblings, the following video is on our Youtube channel. Be sure to subscribe!

7. EA

The Good

While I believe EA had by far the worst conference at this year’s E3, there were a couple of bright spots. Unravel 2 was shown off and brings a new co-op experience that looks to be quite unique. Also, Sea of Solitude was revealed and looks like an interesting game surrounding loneliness. It doesn’t have me as excited as A Way Out did last year, but it is definitely something I will look further into.

The Bad

Every year EA is going to show off their annual sports games. They just have to because of the money it gets them every year. This year, they brought out the Madden championship winner and a Steelers wide receiver to talk about something? They seemed to be more interested in having awkward small talk. A new Command and Conquer game was shown off as a free mobile game and fans of the franchise everywhere immediately became ill. Lastly, everything with Anthem killed any hype I had for the game. I think this has more to do with the Q&A session they had beforehand, but also it just looks like too slow moving of a game for me personally. Hopefully a lot of people enjoy it and are still excited for it, but me personally, I am focusing on other games now.

The Ugly

Respawn’s Vince Zampella was at the show to talk about their new Star Wars game, except not show anything. He revealed the title for the game, but this was pretty much a filler section set in the crowd to make EA look like they are one of the cool guys like the gamers. On that front, they also tried interacting with the crowd during their event a few times and, at least watching it on stream, it was very awkward every time this happened.

The EA conference felt like a waste of time to me. Unravel 2 and SOS were nice surprises, but there was not anything exciting or worthwhile at this conference.

Grade: D

6. Square Enix

The Good

There are a few games I am excited for coming from Square within the next year, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider is one of them. The game looks great and I thought showing off the new combat and stealth gameplay was cool. That being said, I do not need to see anymore until the game releases in September. I have never gotten into the Final Fantasy or Monster Hunter games, but I will say I am happy to see Final Fantasy XIV have a crossover with Monster Hunter World. These are two die-hard fanbases and it’s just cool to see crossovers like this.

The Bad

Besides Kingdom Hearts III and Shadow of the Tomb Raider, I was really looking forward to seeing anything from Crystal Dynamic’s Avengers game. It being a complete no show at E3 this year was very disappointing. Anything would have helped my hype here, that being a CG trailer, but my guess is this game was announced too early and is a very far way out from release.

The Ugly

The Square Enix show was not very exciting. Just Cause 4 was shown more, but it looks like more Just Cause. Kingdom Hearts III showed a trailer that was 95% already shown at the Microsoft conference, and as I already mentioned, no Avengers.

While I do not think the Square Enix conference was a waste of time like EA, there was not much here to get hyped for. There are a few games I am looking forward to, but I feel they could have easily not had their own show and showed everything at the first party conferences.

Grade: C

5. Bethesda

The Good

After seeing more Fallout 76, I can say it is one of the games I am most excited for this year. An online Fallout just sounds like a lot of fun to me and I cannot wait to play this with friends. I was very surprised to see another Fallout before a new Elder Scrolls, but I will take it. Doom Eternal was revealed and while I am disappointed no release date or anything was revealed, I am excited to play the sequel to one of my favorite games from 2016.

The Bad

People are going to hate me for this, but I did not like the Elder Scrolls VI reveal. Todd Howard himself has come out in the past and said they were working on a new Elder Scrolls game, and to get nothing but a logo was a cheap hype moment. At least a full title reveal would have been better in my opinion, but Elder Scroll fans are happy so I guess that is what is important.

The Ugly

Andrew W.K. played the Rage 2 song, and while I like the song and think he put on a great performance, Bethesda did not have the right crowd to pull this off. Multiple shots in the crowd showed people not enjoying the show and just not knowing what to do. Again, good performance, but for a bad crowd.

Bethesda has a few games that excite me, but also a few that don’t. I feel they will always be a very hit-and-miss company for me.

Grade: B

4. Ubisoft

The Good

The new Trials Rising being shown off was a surprise for me that got me really excited. Trials Fusion and Trials Evolution were great games that I put tons of hours into. This looks to do the same for me. The Division 2 has me cautiously optimistic after this E3 showing. The new season and location look to be more fun to play in than the wintery New York. Grant Kirkhope had a piece where he orchestrated a bunch of his classic Donkey Kong music, with even a quick nod to the DK rap. While I do not have Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, I really enjoyed this section of the show. Beyond Good and Evil 2 got a really cool looking trailer, and the partnership with Joseph Gordon Levitt’s company to outsource content for the fans to put into the game was a really cool addition.

The Bad

When Rainbow 6 Siege came up on the background, I thought they would show off some new operators and maps for the game. Unfortunately, the player count for the game was bragged about and a documentary was talked about that made me lose any interest during this segment.

The Ugly

Besides Trials Rising, there was not a lot of new things shown off this year from Ubisoft. Almost everything at the show had already been shown or revealed in the past.

It looks like Assassins Creed is back to yearly releases, and the rest of the Ubigang looks to be going steady for the most part. They did good, not great.

Grade: B+

3. Sony

The Good

The four games Sony said they were going to focus on this year were very good looking. The Last of Us Part II looks brutal as hell, Spiderman looks great, and Ghosts of Tsushima looked interesting as well. All three look to be must own games if you have a PS4.

The Bad

Before Last of Us and Ghosts of Tsushima, there were segments of a banjo and a windpipe. This was just filler in the conference and did not need to be there at all. We do not know or care about these personal musicians which I am sure are great at what they do, but I am here to just see the games. Justin Roiland’s new game was also revealed and I do not understand why this got showtime, but a first party game like Days Gone didn’t. This was something that could easily have been shown off before E3.

The Ugly

After Last of Us Part II was shown off, a 15-20 minute break was taken to move everyone from a tent to a theater. This was terrible. In the first half hour of the “conference,” one game was shown off with a couple of short trailers for Call of Duty and Destiny. To fill in around that, they had an interview section with Shawn Layden by apparently Sony employees? There was also just awkward banter between the intermission hosts and by far this was my least favorite part of E3. This might be an unpopular opinion and I am excited for the game and ecstatic they showed stuff, but I thought some parts of that Last of Us gameplay looked scripted. There were quite a few moments that Ellie moved in a way that did not look or feel gameplay-like. I could be wrong and if I am, awesome. It just did not look like 100% real gameplay to me.

Take out the intermission and slow moving first half hour of the conference and Sony probably has my best 2018 conference. However, they dropped the ball and it’s a mistake to not have any Days Gone or VR games. Have they lost hope in Days Gone? Are they starting to not focus as heavily on VR now with them just trying to get that stuff out of the way before E3 even happens? I don’t know, but it is what I am thinking after their showing.

Grade: B+

2. Nintendo

The Good

We all knew this year was going to be the Super Smash Bros. show for Nintendo. Super Smash Bros. Infinite is coming this December and is bringing back every fighter ever from its past and introducing new ones as well. I cannot wait to get my hands on this game for my Switch, even if it is a little later than I had hoped. While I may not be the biggest fan of battle royale games, Fortnite being made available for Switch that day was cool for friends. I downloaded it because it was free and have not tried it yet, but we all knew that this was in inevitability for the Switch. Probably the biggest surprise to me from Nintendo this year was Super Mario Party. It looks like it is going back to its older gameplay and I am excited for that. I recently bought the first three Mario Partys for my N64 and have been enjoying them immensely with my daughter. I hope Super Mario Party will be the same story.

The Bad

While it does not quite surprise me that we did not see it, I know there are a lot of people disappointed to not see Metroid Prime 4 at E3 this year. I have never played a Metroid game, but just from what I have heard this is another game I will definitely look into for my Switch. Also, no Yoshi appearance? A new Yoshi game was shown off and was supposed to be coming this year. With a no show from the game, and not even a title announcement, there is no way it is still releasing in 2018.

The Ugly

There was no real explanation on coming soon games. A quick scissor reel was shown off acknowledging a bunch of games coming soon with nothing else being talked about them. Even the anticipated Mario Tennis Aces game releasing later this month was mostly ignored by Nintendo. A few minutes could have been spent building more excitement for these games.

Nintendo showed off a bunch of Smash which got me hyped. They showed off Super Mario Party which got me excited. There were also a couple smaller games in there that look interesting. Nintendo is just continuing to kill it since the Switch’s launch.

Grade: A-

1. Microsoft

The Good

The biggest complaint with the Xbox One is everyone wants more exclusive games. That is why it is so huge for Phil Spencer to come out and announce the acquisitions of multiple developers and one brand new studio formed. I was ecstatic to see this announcement and it shows that Microsoft is listening to the fans. Beside that, 50 games were shown off. There was a little bit of everything for everyone and while there were some I will not touch because they are not for me, a majority look great.

The Bad

Halo Infinite was announced and while that is exciting and I am glad to get a new game in the series, it was disappointing to not even get a release window. Nothing was really revealed except a promise that it would be Master Chief’s greatest journey yet. It’s nice, but I wanted more.

The Ugly

The Game Pass section of the show was easily the slowest. That being said I know they had to do it to talk about what a success the program has been so far. There was a nice announcement in there of games starting faster in the future, though, which would be much appreciated.

Microsoft in my opinion had the most complete E3 show this year. There were tons of games, exciting announcements, and even a quick nod that the next generation of Xbox is being worked on. In my personal opinion, Microsoft had the best show of E3 2018.

Grade: A

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