Crossfader’s E3 Conference Roundup

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Another year, another E3. 2016’s Electronic Entertainment Expo has concluded, and the board is set for a very eventful 2017 in gaming. Missed a conference from the event? Worry not, because we at Crossfader have taken care of that for you. Read below to see what our staff thought was the good, the bad, and the weird at this most recent convention.

EA’s Conference

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The Good: TITANFALL 2 is EA’s answer to CALL OF DUTY: INFINITE WARFARE this October, preemptively launching a week before the Activision behemoth’s release date. While both games look great (if not cut from the same cloth), TITANFALL 2’s unique blend of mech combat with massive battlefields earns our vote. The addition of a campaign, PS4 compatibility, and new alien species will hopefully mean that this Titanfall will prosper where the first one tanked.

The Bad: EA DICE’s offerings were as predictable as they were trite. BATTLEFIELD 1 appears to be yet another basic palette swap for the franchise, as the hour of livestreamed gameplay looked identical to the last three Battlefields. And just over six months after its release, we already have teased footage of BATTLEFRONT 2. You know how people are still playing COUNTER STRIKE today? Someone at EA never got that memo.

The Weird: EA Originals represents EA’s new initiative to curate indie games for release on a wider platform. The initial title, FE, looks cute, but does nothing to change the image of what we expect from low-budget platformers. Despite how admirable the concept is, how willing is EA to take risks on more experimental titles?


Bethesda’s Conference

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The Good: DISHONORED 2 was the highlight of Bethesda’s conference, hands down. The choice to play through the campaign as a fully voiced Corvo or Emily, each with their own slew of abilities, is totally rad. Though we didn’t get too much actual gameplay, the new setting of Karnaka is very intriguing, and the new interaction with timelines and weather should open up even more possibilities than were offered in the original.

The Bad: A remastered SKYRIM? Really? Of all the games that could be remade, Bethesda chose the one with perhaps the most visual enhancement mods on the market. Pass.

The Weird: Color us interested on the new PREY directed by DISHONORED’s lead developer. Who’s to say how much this game will resemble the cancelled PREY 2 or the original pukefest from 2006, but whatever it ends up looking like, it’s sure to be a ride. Also, where was THE EVIL WITHIN 2?


Microsoft’s Conference

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The Good: HALO WARS! The original was probably the most intuitive console RTS ever, and proof the genre can work without a mouse and keyboard. That being said, the fact that HALO WARS 2 and its predecessor will be ported to PC is welcome news indeed, as fans will be able to continue the series even without the Xbox One.

The Bad: Project Scorpio. We’re already getting a new Xbox console? The Xbox 360 was one of the greatest and most robust consoles in gaming history, with a life span surpassing that of even the PS2. Why is this generation of consoles doomed to end before it can even begin? Microsoft can do better.

The Weird: GWENT as a standalone release from THE WITCHER 3 is hilarious, but when will we be able to buy physical packs outside of preorder bonuses? You know you’re in quite a bit of a pickle when you’re one of the world’s biggest gaming companies and are filling part of your allotted conference time advertising a card game.


Ubisoft’s Conference

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The Good: THE FRACTURED BUT WHOLE looks to be as much of a treat to play as it is to watch. THE STICK OF TRUTH was a game that we missed, and though we typically hate the concept of pre-orders, the chance to snag a free copy along with the sequel is selling us hard.

The Bad: The GHOST RECON: WILDLANDS stage demo was as cringey to watch as THE DIVISION and RAINBOW SIX: SIEGE before it. The scripted dialogue and choreography leaves a bad taste in our collective mouth, and though we like the concept, we’re still as clueless as to what the actual game will look like.

The Weird: Is TRIALS OF THE BLOOD DRAGON even a TRIALS game anymore if you take away the bikes and add guns? Somebody put me out of my misery, please.


Sony’s Conference

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The Good: Hard to pick a favorite out of such a strong conference, but RESIDENT EVIL 7’s reimagining as a first person, truly horrific game is sure to appeal to both genre and franchise fans, as well as those hoping for a successor to 2014’s P.T. The demo is available to PS Plus subscribers now, and it’s incredible. We could go on about how fantastic GOD OF WAR looks despite its obvious deviation from its former, traditionalist hack and slash aesthetic and the potential in SONY’s VR titles, but RESIDENT EVIL 7 is where we were really sold on the future of the company.

The Bad: If we have any complaints, it’s the focus on DAYS GONE. The game looks fine, but Sony is kinda frontloaded now on post-apocalyptic IPs with HORIZON ZERO DAWN and THE LAST OF US. In addition to not boasting the same graphical fidelity as those two, we don’t see this game competing with DEAD RISING 4 in the mass zombie slaughter arena.

The Weird: Almost exploded during that DEATH STRANDING reveal, but told us nothing other than Hideo Kojima and Norman Reedus are fucking on the grave of David Hayter. Holding our breath for further news.


Nintendo’s Non-Conference

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The Good: With everyone talking about Zelda, we feel like the only ones pumped for the new Pokemon. SUN and MOON’s setting, bestiary, and presentation are enough to convince us, who haven’t caught a ‘mon since third gen, to get back into the series.

The Bad: With no official conference, standouts that we can easily grab on other platforms (Shantae, ZERO TIME DILEMMA) and a dogged insistence on peddling the failed Wii U and amiibos, this is the most concrete display of Nintendo’s unwillingness to catch up with Microsoft or Sony. 🙁

The Weird: If Nintendo tanks, what happens to its properties? Scary thoughts.

Ed Dutcher is the Video Games Editor here at Crossfader. The last time Ed had a meal that wasn't microwaved, George W. Bush was president. He only learned to read so that he could play Pokemon.

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