So another E3 has come and gone. The Internet is buzzing with angry fan boys who believe their favourite company had the best conference, the best games, and the best future. But who really won E3? Was there a clear winner?
I believe that this year, when it comes to Microsft, Sony and Nintendo there was no real wining conference. Each company did what it needed to do but they also fell slightly short. However, EA and Ubisoft both had conferences that showed off the big AAA titles for this year as well.
Overall the best conference would go to Ubisoft. From start to finish the publisher continued to roll out big games all of which looked better than the last. Starting with Farcry 3 and ending in Watch Dogs, Ubisoft was the only show I thought was worth watching this year.
The games continued to flow for Ubisoft as they showed off Assasin’s Creed III, Rayman: Legends, and Splinter Cell: Blacklist, all of which look to be huge games for this year. Each trailer looked to be better and better, ending the show with arguably the best game at the conference helped as well. Watch Dogs looks to be a ground breaking game with an interesting story and some high-end action. So over all Ubisoft stole the show.
Moving on to EA, starting the show with Dead Space 3 got the crowd excited. For me however, the excitement started to fade after that. They showed off a DLC pack for Battle Field 3 which looks to be a great deal with a lot of content, but it was quickly brushed aside for the trailer for the new Medal of Honour reveal.
They then shifted their focus to their sport franchises, Madden 13 will be sporting voice commands with Kinect which seems like it could make an interesting game, but only if you are playing by yourself, I am not sure how it would work if you are playing with a friend in the same room as you as he tries to shout commands for his defense.
The biggest news coming from their conference was that they have obtained the rights to UFC. EA will now be in charge of the UFC franchise of games. Hopefully they can use their expertise in the field of sport games to make a simpler control scheme that is more welcoming to new users.
The third party support for this year’s E3 was very apparent, most of the big 3’s conferences consisted of showing off 3rd party, multiplatform games. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but Microsoft did not have enough exclusive content.
Microsoft started the conference off with a bang, showing a new Halo 4 trailer, which looked amazing. The followed it up by showing off the new Splinter Cell game. This is what frustrated me this year. Why would Microsoft show off a game that will also be on the PS3?
With that being said Microsoft did one thing they needed to do, invest in new IP’s. While they were only short clips that could hardly generate excitement showing something new is a good sign.
Ascend: New Gods looks to be Xbox’s attempt to combat God of War. Another game they showed off was Lococycle. The trailer did not really reveal much; hopefully we can see more of the game. The final one they showed was Matter, this interesting title will be for Kinect, it looks to be the most different of the three.
While new titles are always great, Microsoft did not leave their core fanbase in the dark. The first trailer for Gears of War: Judgement was shown off as well as Forza: Horizon. Overall, Microsoft delivered with the exclusive content but should have spent more time promoting it.
Microsoft looked to be interesting in promoting the entertainment side of the console this year, introducing Internet Explorer, and Xbox Music. But the most interesting concept they showed off was Smart Glass. This app will allow users to use their tablet or smartphone to connect to the Xbox, stream shows from your tablet and continue to watch on TV, give information to you while you watch it, or even give more information while you play videogames. This seems like Microsoft’s way of combating the Wii U, but I believe there should be more emphansis on what it can really do.
Sony’s conference was probably the most well rounded of the 3, starting the show off with Beyond: Two Souls. From the developers of Heavy Rain comes another epic, emotion filled, high action game that will surely make owners of the PS3 proud.
They continued to show off some bundles they made with Ubisoft for the PS VIta and PS3 both of which involve the Assassin’s creed brand. After this however, Sony showed off God of War: Acension, a brutal yet beautiful game looks to be a prequel in the series. The gameplay looks fun and action packed.
The conference ended with Sony showing off gameplay for The Last of Us. Being developed by Naughty Dog, this game pretty much has Sony’s seal of quality. The game looks like it will play a similar style to Uncharted, but will revolve more around the relationships of the two main characters. It looks to be living up to the hype and could be a contender for the best game at E3 along with Watch Dogs.
Sony slipped up in one spot, the concept behind Wonderbook looks to be great. A whole generation can get into reading from this device. When you have a celebrity like JK Rowling backing your brand you have to show it off, however there was too much time spent on the Wonderbook. I would have liked to see it, but in a smaller dose. I don’t think gamers who came to see the best of the best from Sony being overly excited for this.
With that being said the concept looks interesting and fun, the Harry Potter game looks to delve deeper in the series’ folklore which is never a bad thing.
The final conference was Nintendo. While they still have one more show to do which focuses on the 3DS I think that there was enough information to make a judgement on their performance this year.
This was Nintendo’s chance to show that the Wii U is a hard-core system. I do not believe they achieved that. Nintendo spent too much time focusing on casual games. It is understandable because the Wii U will be geared for everyone, but there was not enough hard-core content.
ZombiU was the only exclusive game that can fall under that category. While it looks like it could be epic, I think time will tell for this game. Batman: Arkham City Armoured Edition is merely a remake of the game that was released last year. These games are not going to make people flock to the system. Nintendo needs unique content from their third party developers Arkham City won’t be that.
While not quite the hard-core game Wii U needs, Pikmin 3 looked amazing. It was a great way to start the show, and from the looks of it, a great first impression of the Wii U’s graphical ability. The scenes we were shown looked almost real, like the Pikmin were wondering a real landscape.
New Super Mario Bros: U looks to be another solid entry in the new series, however I would not consider this, or any games they showed off this year to be system sellers.
A short amount of time was put out for the 3DS where another New Super Mario Bros. game was shown as well as a trailer for Luigi’s Mansion. The game that really grabbed my attention though was Paper Mario: Sticker Star. The game looks to be going back to Paper Mario’s roots and will probably be a great RPG.
Nintendo also took some time to show off what Nintendo’s online community will consist of. There will be a lobby where you can chat with friends, share high scores stuff like that with your Mii. They also spoke briefly on having YouTube, Hulu, Netflix and Amazon as content providers. This is great for the system if it wants to compete with Microsoft and Sony, but they will need more, especially their competition showing off their new sports packages. It will take time, Nintendo is new to the online game where as Playstation and Xbox have had online capabilities since their consoles from last generation.
The show ended with Nintendo showing off what looks to be one of the more popular launch titles for the system-Nintendo Land. This game looks like it has some potential to be a fun multi player game that can be played with a few friends at a party or even with family. What the game does essentially is pit the gamer with the Wii U tablet controller against other gamers who are using the Wii-Mote.
The premise behind this game is that it is a theme park; each stage is a classic Nintendo franchise. These franchises span from Donkey Kong to Animal Crossing. The game looks interesting, but again this is not the hard-core showing Nintendo needed this year.
Another part where Nintendo faltered was showing some support for the Wii. The Wii U is set for a holiday release, in that time gamers still want something to play. It is disappointing to see as a Wii owner that Nintendo is essentially giving up on the system and holding out for the Wii U. This could harm them in the future, seeing as many fans feel abandoned with only a handful games have made their way to the console recently.
Overall, this year’s E3 did not generate as much excitement for me as some have in the past. This doesn’t mean it wasn’t a solid show, with games like Halo 4, The Last of us and Watch Dogs, there will be more than enough for me to look forward to in the coming months. Each company did their best to show off as much as they could, but in the end behind all the AAA titles, exclusive content and the cheers, I feel like they all fell slightly short.