You all know how E3 is. No sooner has something been announced and people have got excited about it, the next trailer has rolled, the next release date revealed, the next ludicrous car/sports star/singer has been pushed out onto stage to dance to the corporate tune. Actually, there wasn’t quite so much of that this year.
Keeping track and catching up on all of the big news stories is nigh on impossible – though we do have a great big list of everything that’s gone on – so here’s our top 10 news stories from the conference. We’ve focussed on actual fresh announcements, as opposed to trailers of previous games, but there’s a number of honourable mentions at the bottom of the list for just that reason, with a further announcements, trailers and games.
An obvious story to start us off. Microsoft unveiled the Xbox One X – the final name for Project Scorpio – and its final design. When it launches on 7th November for $499/£449, it will be the smallest Xbox yet, despite being vastly more powerful, thanks to vapor chamber cooling technology and advanced component matching during manufacture.
The long cinematic trailer had us going back and forth over what this might be, but Ubisoft closed out their E3 press conference with a long awaited and tearful return for Michel Ancel and Beyond Good & Evil 2.
As exciting as that is for those who have been calling out for the sequel to reappear for years, the game does not seem to be anywhere near to completion. What we saw today simply set the stage for the game’s new setting and position as a sequel, along with a number of new characters and gameplay ideas within this.
Having been teased last year, this game is looking simply fantastic. A sequel to MachineGames’ hit with Wolfenstein: The New Order, it picks up in 1961, taking BJ to a Nazi occupied USA. There’s a lot more humour and quirkiness in this game, going from the cinematic heavy reveal, but expect there to be plenty of FPS action as well, as Bethesda throw more resources at the project.
This was easily one of the best things to come out of EA’s press conference, was they foster another independent developer in their long running project. This time it’s A Way Out, coming from the minds behind Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.
Designed from the ground up for co-op play – you can literally only play it in co-op, whether locally or over the internet – it features a fascinating dynamic split screen approach to showing you the game. It follows two prisoners as they attempt to escape from prison, before following their lives as fugitives setting down roots on the outside.
Who would have expected a mash-up between Mario and Rabbids to actually be anything other than a complete disaster? You can tell it’s been a huge passion project and a privilege for the team at Ubisoft Paris, simply from its creative director being shown in tears as Shigeru Miaymoto complimented him on his work. Easily one of the most heartwarming moments of the show.
Still, it is a strange combination, made stranger still by throwing in XCOM-like turn-based tactical battles into the mix. That said, it looks really rather good and has a number of us convinced that it’s at least worth a look when it’s released on 29th August.
Shades of Destiny, perhaps, but Anthem still looks rather impressive. It’s visually gorgeous, pushing well beyond what BioWare Edmonton’s sister studio managed with Mass Effect Andromeda, and has that compelling mix of gameplay that can suck so many people in for dozens, if not hundreds of hours.
This was just an early look at the game, with an open world to explore in your jet pack exeskeleton known as a Javelin, with all the customisation, looting and levelling that you’d expect from this kind of game.
Life Is Strange’s time twisting adventure already explored a healthy dose of Max and Chloe’s backstory, so a prequel to this very successful graphic adventure is a little unexpected.
That said, it looks like Deck Nine Games – DONTNOD are still developing a sequel of their own – have found an interesting niche to explore the relationship between Chloe and Rachel. The three part mini-series will kick off on 31st August.
Breaking up the stranglehold that Nintendo have had on the Monster Hunter series for a long time, Capcom announced Monster Hunter: World for PS4, Xbox One and (eventually) PC.
This one’s really for the fans of the series, but it’s also a good shot at trying to capture a bigger audience among core gamers around the world. The biggest improvement that players will appreciate is that there’s no segmented world anymore, with battles able to flow through a seamless open world.
Point and laugh at backward compatibility all you like, this is a fantastic move from Microsoft, meaning that all three generations of gaming will be playable on their current machines. It’s already got people drawing up wishlists for games that might otherwise be lost to be brought back into modern gaming libraries without the need for a remaster.
Between Mojang and Microsoft unifying Minecraft across all platforms and Rocket League spreading to Nintendo Switch with cross-network play, almost everyone is on board with breaking down the barriers between networks. Everyone, that is, except for Sony.
As the market leader, they have nothing to gain from following in the footsteps of others. Jim Ryan defended the decisions, saying it’s made on a case-by-case basis (which seems to be whether or not it will link up with Xbox Live)
Further reading (and watching)
It’s hard to narrow it down to just 10, so here’s another 10 big news stories and trailers worth checking out:
- That Spider-Man trailer looked fantastic
- Possess a T-Rex, rockets, Goombas and more in Super Mario Odyssey
- Skull & Bones revives Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag’s boat play
- Phil Spencer says the PS4 Pro is not an Xbox One X competitor
- The Witcher 3 is being enhanced for Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro
- God of War is coming in early 2018
- The Evil Within 2 is out on Friday 13th October
- 4A Games reveal Metro Exodus
- Ori and the Will of the Wisps announced
- Bethesda showed off Doom VFR, Fallout 4 VR and Skyrim VR
Let us know the standout announcements for you in the comments, and don’t forget, we’ve got a big list of everything from E3 right here.