So that was E3! Sure, if you live in the US you can still head down to Los Angeles and go hands on with a number of the games that have appeared in the last week, but if you’re on this side of the pond then it’s probably all easing off. The cavalcade of announcements is petering out, and as the dust settles it’s time for a spot of reflection on a year that had plenty of impressive moments, but ultimately felt a little light on big announcements.
Sure, there was Scorpio becoming Xbox One X, but we knew much of what we could expect from it, and some of the excitement may have been tempered by the prospect of putting $499 dollars down for one in November. Despite the added power it can almost feel like a “me too” from Microsoft in a world where the PlayStation 4 Pro already exists. There was news of a few very welcome games, from Monster Hunter World through to Metroid Prime 4, but after previous years packed with new hardware showcases and impactful titles like Shenmue III and the Final Fantasy VII remake, E3 felt safe rather than revolutionary.
I’ve been mostly watching trailers over and over again this week rather than playing anything, though I whipped through the second Telltale Guardians of the Galaxy episode and have continued to play ARMS whenever possible. I’ve now really taken to propping the Switch up on the side and playing stood up, and it’s a testament to how flexible the little console is that you can shift between that and hunkering down for some two player Mario Kart with my son Noah.
This week I asked the team what their top picks from the conference were, and for once my question was met with surprisingly little objection. As a huge Monster Hunter fan I was massively excited to see Monster Hunter: World appear, and it looks as though it’s the push forward that the series has been needing. Besides that Nintendo’s showcase of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and Mario Odyssey and Ubisoft’s Skull & Bones have me looking forward to the end of the year and into the next.
Jim doubled down on the Monster Hunter love, while he found time for some online antics as well;
I’ve been hammering out some Friday The 13th which is slowly releasing its hold on me. Having fought off Jason so many times, that same fear I originally had has worn away. That said, it’s still one of the most intriguing multiplayer games I’ve ever played.
For Honor has been doing the rounds too. What was originally going to be “a quick look at the new heroes” has developed into a new addiction. For all its frustrations there’s a great game there and one Ubisoft will hopefully continue to improve.
My favourite game of E3 2017 has to be Monster Hunter: World. Strange choice you may think, especially with the likes of Spider-Man, God of War, Super Mario Odyssey, and others making their mark at E3. However, for anyone that knows me, Monster Hunter’s return to PlayStation is a huge deal for me.
While I’ve had nothing but joy from recent instalments on the Wii and 3DS, nothing can compare to my OG Monster Hunter days, playing the original with a huge ethernet cable trailing from my PS2. Seeing World, I felt the same sense of giddiness I did when The Last of Us Part II made its debut at last year’s PSX. Just when I thought Capcom had allowed the series to stagnate, here’s a sequel that completely reworks huge chunks of the game. The fact that PC and Xbox gamers can get in on the action makes me extremely happy, too.
Kris meanwhile had a week that went from brutal to silly;
I wrapped up the Call of Duty Infinite Warfare campaign (I don’t think I listed this before even though I finished like a week ago). It’s really enjoyable, one of the best CoD campaigns in a while and the finale is brutal. Oh, I’ve also been playing Laser Disco Defenders. Lovely game to play in 30 minute to 1 hour bursts. Very silly.
E3 game was maybe Mario + Rabbids for completely and utterly confounding every expectation I had for that game. At no point had I expected a fun, vibrant version of XCOM. Honourable mentions to Wolfenstein for surprising me and doing a really nice spin on America in the 60s, and to Spider-Man, cause Spider-Man (and for doing the best Spider-Man combat even if it draws heavily from Arkham).
Oh also been playing Laser Disco Defenders. Lovely game to play in 30 minute to 1 hour bursts. Very silly.
Steve has been absorbed in Hyrule with Breath of the Wild. He’s two Divine Beasts down, with others unlocked but he’s seeing other quests to do at the moment. Alongside that he’s been putting some hours into Monolith which is a great little rogue-like/rogue-lite. While he watched E3 from a distance it was Samus that stood out for him, with Metroid Prime 4’s announcement tickling his fancy. Dave similarly had Samus as his pick, but it was Metroid: Samus Returns on the 3DS as it returns to the series’ roots. Otherwise he’s been playing Drifting Lands and Ever Oasis, with a spot of Pokémon GO to boot.
TC is continuing to plumb the depths of his rental queue;
I played a little Titanfall 2, and Dragonball Xenoverse XV (or some number). This is part of my ongoing project of trying a load of games that I would never normally play. I did try to play it, but after the fifth battle of floating in the sky it got very dull very quickly, and the fact that there is no introduction to the world or characters meant I was totally lost, so it’s been sent back to Boomerang Rentals.
I’ve also played a little Perception on PS4, with a review soon, and a little more Deus Ex, but I’m only about an hour in to the game and I’m already stuck. Jensen is as weak as a kitten and if a fire fight starts I might as well quit as he never survives.
My game of E3 was Life is Strange: Before the Storm.
Jake has been playing Pokémon Prism and some Horizon Zero Dawn. Inspired by this week’s antics he’s also playing this Odyssey mod for Super Mario 64 where you can possess things with Mario’s hat. It’s no surprise then that Mario Odyssey was his pick of E3. Aran meanwhile has been playing the barmy Yakuza 0 while his game of E3 is Mario + Rabbids since it also looks like such a great take on tactical gameplay. Metro Exodus is a close second, while his third spot goes to Wolfenstein New Colossus “because more Wolfenstein is always good”.
Miguel has had a quieter one, with Star Wars Battlefront, Tekken 7 and Persona 5 filling in the gaps, and between all the E3 palaver, Tef also had a fairly subdued week of gaming. He’s played some of MotoGP 17 (expect a review early next week), managed to get suckered into Tricky Towers for short bursts of gaming, and has set up and briefly tried out a Fanatec CSL Elite Racing Wheel on PS4. It manages to make Dirt 4 just that little bit more terrifying. His pick for E3 was, A Way Out, which looks like a fantastic and refreshing twist on co-op play.
Now then, what have you played? And what was your pick of E3?