E3 is over, and this year’s show was bigger than anyone could have anticipated. This year there was an interesting pattern in developer presentation. Three strategies dominated the show floor: Quality, Quantity, and Consistency. For gamers that don’t have time to watch the hours of footage and preamble, we made a TL;DR cheat sheet of all the big announcements, complete with links to trailers and a quick review of each developer. Enjoy our E3 2018 Recap!
Ubisoft: Consistent Quantity
DLC/Expansions: For Honor Marching Fire
Show Highlight: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
Ubisoft unsettled some fans before E3 when it was leaked that Assassin’s Creed Odyssey would be coming out so soon after Origins. Fans worried that the lack of Dev time would mean a Unity like disaster. After the presentation of Odyssey gameplay many of those fears were quelled. Odyssey looks incredible and Greece is the perfect setting for the series. Developers promised a greater focus on player choice, with players choosing a male OR female main character, similar to Syndicate, but without the forced swapping between the two. Ubisoft made appearances at other developer press releases, but showed up strong in their own right, with a wide range of games on multiple platforms.
Bethesda: Quality > Quantity
New IP: Starfield
Show Highlight: Fallout 76
Bethesda’s conference was light on titles but full of fan service. Though they may not have had as many games to show as other developers, what was shown looked very polished. They started off their conference with a live performance of the theme from Rage 2, and ended it with a painfully short teaser for Elder Scrolls VI. Fallout 76 was the standout, surprising everyone with an online multiplayer experience, a huge first for the series. Bethesda also announced their first new IP in 25 years, Starfield, a Sci-Fi enigma that we didn’t get to see much of other than a short teaser.
Microsoft: Quantity > Quality
Sequels: Gears 5, Devil May Cry 5, Battletoads, Battlefield V, Kingdom Hearts 3, Gears Tactics, Just Cause 4, Dying Light 2, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Division 2, Forza Horizon 4, Metro Exodus, Crackdown 3, The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Halo Infinite, Fallout 76
Show Highlight: Gears 5,
Microsoft’s conference showed serious ambition. The studio showcased more games than any other press conference, and announced the acquisition of 5 game development studios, The Initiative, Undead Labs, Playground Games, Ninja Theory, and Compulsion Games. Though it was pretty obvious that Gears 5 was the most discussed title, the sheer quantity of games made it hard to stand out. Some games looked dated (Crackdown 3), while others impressed (Cyberpunk). With the next console generation looming on the horizon, Microsoft hopes to take Sony’s crown by overwhelming them with numbers.
Sony: Quality = Consistency
Ports/Remakes: Resident Evil 2 Remake
Sony’s conference was essentially a technology showcase. They focused heavily on Playstation VR and took deep dives into the motion capture technology that went into games like The Last of Us Part II and Death Stranding. The main gameplay shown was Spiderman, which looked fast and fluid, but the lack of other Marvel characters was pronounced. The highlight of the show was a toss up between Death Stranding and Last of Us, both post apocalyptic games with heavy emphasis on story and minimal glimpses of gameplay. Sony’s objective is on the quality of their exclusives, but that has worked before.
Nintendo: Consistency > Everything
Sequels: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Overcooked 2, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle Donkey Kong Adventure, Super Mario Party, Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! & Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee!, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Torna: The Golden Country,
DLC/Expansions: SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy
Show Highlight: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Nintendo stays the course everyone expected, banking on first party titles and character nostalgia while hyping up the newest iteration of Smash. The inclusion of every fighter in the game’s history is a big deal, and the support of Gamecube controllers is an obvious attempt by Nintendo to get the Melee crowd buying new games again. Outside of smash, the switch is getting more support, with Fortnite and other third party titles finally coming to the console. If Nintendo keeps courting third party support it could avoid the stagnation that plagued the Wii U. We will see if Nintendo can keep getting gamers to switch.
EA: Consistency = Apology
DLC/Expansions: Origin Access Premier
Show Highlight: Anthem
The loot box controversy hung heavy over EA’s conference. The focus on yearly sports titles seemed like a plea to investors and consumers to stay relevant. Anthem was the saving grace, showing the product of years of work and a more cinematic, open world Titanfall-esque experience. Unravel 2 is the sequel to their Little Big Planet clone, meh. Command and Conquer’s mobile game showcase was way too long and ultimately fell flat, showing in great detail how far the series has fallen. The Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order “announcement” was literally just a title. It seemed more a response to the rumors about EA losing the Star Wars license than an actual game announcement. This year EA played it safe, with Sea of Solitude being the only game even remotely original.
Square Enix: Consistently late, but still Quality
Sequels: Kingdom Hearts 3, Just Cause 4, The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood Under The Moonlight, Dragon Quest XI Echoes of the Elusive Age,
DLC/Expansions: FINAL FANTASY XIV x MONSTER HUNTER
Show Highlight: Kingdom Hearts 3
Square’s conference felt redundant. They replayed many of the trailers already shown, as Square titles were keynotes at other conferences. That said, the highlight was the release date of the long awaited Kingdom Hearts 3, 13 years after Kingdom Hearts 2. Even with all that time, gamers will have to wait one more year, Kingdom Hearts 3 won’t give us our keyblades till January 2019, provided it isn’t delayed again.
That’s our E3 Recap! Enjoy the trailers and if you’d like to see more check out E3 Recap.com What game are you most excited about? Did we miss something you’d like added to the list? Let us know in the comments below!
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until next time, GG