E3 – Kingdom Hearts

First, I’ll let the trailer speak for itself!

Now then, AHHH! It’s finally on it’s way! Every Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer is effectively that M&M Christmas commercial with us saying “It does exist!” This trailer shows us some gameplay mixed with a few story beats as well. This isn’t a spin-off and there’s no side characters here. It’s Sora, Donald and Goofy facing off against the Heartless again. After 12 years and 6 spin-offs since the last core game in the series it’s high time for an actual sequel. I’m excited to see how the gameplay has advanced in such a way and I can’t wait to see the possibility of Marvel and Star Wars being added to the worlds.

The story looks interesting even though we don’t see much, but the the fact that Sora’s trying to bring Roxas back and that Xemnas is giving him advice isn’t really a great sign.

The Level Design and graphics that we see for Olympus looks great and I’m really excited to see that next trailer and find out what the new world is going to be.

Super Mario Odyssey Impressions

It’s been seven years since the release of Super Mario Galaxy 2. In that seven years we haven’t gotten another large scale 3D Mario game, so super Mario Odyssey has a lot to live up to. Fortunately for us, It seems Odyssey will not only live up to, but exceed all expectations. As the title implies, Odyssey will take players on a globe-trotting adventure across various environments and challenges. The environments showcased appeared as diverse as they were exciting. As interesting as the various settings are, it was Cappy that stole the show for me. Cappy serves as Mario’s new hat and travel companion. Much like Luma in the galaxy series, Cappy comes with a slew of new mechanics that will make Odyssey a truly unique experience. You’d never imagine that there would be so many uses for throwing a hat. When you throw Cappy, you can have him hover in front of you for a time, so should you need an extra jump to cross a gap, throw Cappy and use him as a little extra bounce. Of course, along with his navigational abilities, Cappy can be used offensively. When thrown, Cappy has limited homing abilities so he can find enemies within his range, but things really get interesting. One of two things can happen when Cappy hits an enemy. The first is obvious. The enemy explodes into a poof of coins or other collectibles. The second possibility is much stranger. Upon Cappy making contact with an enemy, NPC or even certain inanimate objects, Mario can choose to possess whatever was hit. Possessing a bullet bill allows you to fly as they can. Possessing a power line turns you into electrcity for faster traversal. according to Kenta Motokura, the game’s creative director, theres a wide variety of subjects to possess and ways to use them. Even more exciting than the seemingly limitless possibilities that Super Mario Odyssey provides, is knowing that it’s currently slated for an October 2017 release. Between that and Mario Rabbids Kingdom Battle, fall 2017 is a good time to be a Switch owner.

Mario Rabbids Kingdom Battle and its Huge Implications

Like most gamers, I’m sure when you think of quality entertainment, one name comes to mind: Rabbids. Or at least it may after this August. Mario Rabbids Kingdom Battle is my favorite new game announced this year. Developed by Ubisoft, MRKB sports some seriously intriguing RPG combat. Each of the eight playable characters brings his/her own powers, weapons, and abilities to the table. Combat is turn based and combat zones are marked off by flags so you know when a battle is about to begin. Some of the strategies showcased during the demo included destroying cover to reveal enemies, using teammates to boost your movement during your turn, and employing special character abilities to gain an edge over your opponents. It seems almost like X-COM meets Worms, which is a combo I am more than ok with. The most exciting thing about this game though, is not the game itself, but rather the implications that come with it. I mentioned earlier that this game was developed by Ubisoft, which is an unprecedented level of cooperation on Nintendo’s part. It isn’t unheard of for Nintendo to collaborate with third party studios. The most notable example of this collaboration is the Smash Bros series, on which, Nintendo has collaborated with Namco, Sega, and even Konami. What makes MRKB so unique us that this is the first game bearing the Mario name that Nintendo allowed another studio to develop in its entirety. Nintendo is historically stingy with their characters, and who can blame them after the development of productions like the Super Mario movie and TV show. Nintendo opening up and allowing other developers access to their characters could be exactly what they need to freshen up their games. For instance, earlier today Metroid Prime 4 was announced and that is a game that could benefit from the creative vision of a new studio. Personally I’m pulling for Visceral, a studio best known for their work on the Dead Space series, to try their hand at a Metroid title. Whoever is developing the new Metroid, the future of Nintendo collaborations rests heavily on the success of Mario Rabbids Kingdom Battle.

E3 – Marvel

Marvel came out in full force here at E3 with two major games being showcased so let’s get right to it.

Marvel VS. Capcom looks fantastic and I’m really happy that they’re putting a story mode in the new game. One of my biggest complaints about the last one was the lack of one. We get to see a bunch of new characters in this trailer and obviously the one I’m most excited for is Black Panther. I’m intrigued to see who the rest of the DLC characters will be and will be posting about them as I find out about them.

The gameplay looks to be updated from the last one and in the best way. I’m interested to see the different abilities of the Infinity Stones and to see how they mix with each different fighter.

Wow, so in this trailer we get to see the perfection of being Spider-Man in this game. There’s stealth, there’s action, there’s a chase scene and there’s a quicktime event of saving people. Mix all of those together and we might have the best Marvel game they’ve ever done. I love that they have multiple different references to the comic in these scenes, Wilson Fisk and Mr. Negative are great additions to the game and I’m excited that we’re getting characters that we haven’t seen a lot of before. Also, Mile Morales is gonna be awesome and I can’t wait to see how he fits into the storyline.

E3 – Star Wars Battlefront 2

This game just looks absolutely amazing but as you know, I’m biased when it comes to Star Wars things so first here’s the main gameplay trailer to let you guys see for yourself.

Alright, so we already got to see a lot of great things really fast such as the showing the different era’s throughout the series and the different heroes we’ll get to see. I was actually really surprised to see that we’ll have heroes mixing in different eras. Having focused so solely on one era through the first game, it was a welcome surprise to see them really open up the possibilities of fights between Darth Maul and Rey or Boba Fett and Yoda. I also love how seamlessly they’re switching their style over to an actual team based shooter in the ways of Battle Points(Which will help you buy Heroes, Vehicles, Speciality Classes and so on.) And in the different classes of Assault(Basic shooter), Heavy(Tank), Specialist(Sniper) and Officer(Support) you really get the feel that working together is the best way to play the new game. They’ve only shown the “Assault on Theed” game mode but I’m sure they’ll announce more as we get closer to the release date of the game itself.

I love that we’ve already seen more planets than we did in the first one which will help it to feel new and fresh. The graphics and sound are still nothing short of perfect and that’s to be expected. I truly think that this will be the Star Wars game we need.

The only thing I’m concerned about is that they said “Free Seasonal DLC” starting with the Last Jedi featuring Finn and Phasma as the new heroes. That sounds great and I love the idea of it…but I’ve been hurt before. I’m still getting the game but I’m waiting to see if EA sticks to that.

Here’s my favorite of thr actual gameplay videos, pay close attention and you can see some of the different abilities that each class and hero can use. There’s two videos from Massive G, one of the clones and one of the droids. Enjoy!

 

Sony’s E3 Letdown

Sony’s 2016 E3 press conference was an amazing experience. The announcements of a new God of War, a new Spider-Man, and Hideo Kojima’s first project apart from Konami were huge. Unfortunately, it would seem those announcements were premature. Not only did Sony fail to announce anything close to the scale of last year’s games, we’ll have to wait nearly another year before we actually get to play any of those big games that made us so excited last year. Sony announced very few new IPs and those that they did announce were either PSVR exclusive titles or were underwhelming in their presentation. Why so much time was dedicated to the PSVR, a device that only a fraction of Playstation owners have, is beyond me, but don’t think I’m not excited for Sony’s support of PSVR. I’d much rather the headset stick around long enough to spawn future iterations than to be stranded on Vita island, but if your coup de grace is going to be gameplay for a game we’ve already seen, followed by an announcement that it isn’t coming out until next year, maybe you ought to spend a little more time on something that the majority of fans can look forward to. The only game with a confirmed release date that isn’t small, a remake, or an expansion that we have to look forward to this year is Days Gone. Days Gone looks good, and maybe I’m being a little nitpicky since Horizon has already cemented itself as Sony’s 2017 flagship game, but why announce games like God of War, and Spider-Man, show gameplay, and not release them for another two years? I think the root of the problem is the leak epidemic in the gaming industry. It’s almost impossible to keep a secret anymore, and thanks to social media, once it’s out, it’s out everywhere. I suppose in a way, I can’t blame Sony for showing all their cards last year. If they hadn’t, it’s probable that someone would have shown them for Sony, and robbed them of what was a truly an incredible conference. From a marketing standpoint, they made the right call last year. No one who knows anything about the industry wasn’t expecting Death Stranding this year, so that doesn’t sting as bad as the others, but I’m left wondering why Sony really needed to go on stage this year. Skyrim VR and Shadow of the Colossus HD, are cool, but where is TLOU2? What happened to Sucker Punch? Why did Sony leave its biggest franchises out to dry without announcing any new ideas? it looks like Sony is done this year, but 2018 looks like a good year to be a Playstation owner.

Thoughts on The Death of the Outsider Announcement

**Minor spoilers for Dishonored to follow**

Anyone who has talked to me for more than ten minutes surely knows of my love for Dishonored. So when I heard that there was an expansion coming to Dishonored 2, I was over the moon. The Expansion, dubbed Death of the Outsider will center around a powered up Billie Lurk trying to do exactly what the title would expect, kill the outsider. The trailer for Death of the Outsider shows Billie Lurk sneaking into a rundown building before taking out a few thugs. Her methods to eliminate the thugs are what really piqued my interest. For anyone not familiar with the universe of Dishonored, the Outsider is the source of all supernatural abilities in the game, meaning that should someone with those abilities target him, he could just as easily take them away. So, to counter this, it would seem that Billie has no supernatural powers but rather cybernetic enhancements that give her a new power set. In the trailer we see her use an electrified sword, a sort of stun pulse, and it’s implied that she can see through walls with her new eye. After eliminating the thugs, she opens a door to Daud, a well-known character to those familiar to the series, and this is where I’m left somewhat disappointed. Let me explain: The backbone of Dishonored’s gameplay is player choice. You choose how to complete your missions; what paths you will take; and most importantly, who lives and who dies. In the first Dishonored you had the choice to either kill or spare Daud. Should you spare him, he promises to quit his life as an assassin and move somewhere far away, never to be seen again. So, In Dishonored 2 when Billie says “No one has seen or heard from Daud for years.” It could apply to either choice, meaning your choices are validated. Now that we know Daud is alive, we are essentially being told that there was a right and wrong choice, that if you chose to kill Daud and take revenge for the empress then you were wrong. I admit there may be another, less concrete explanation. The world of Dishonored is one filled with magic and mysticism after all. Perhaps Daud was brought there by the Outsider whose reach stretches beyond the boundaries of life and death, and could thereby be alive regardless of your choice. I hope this is the case because if not and Daud is simply alive, Arkane has effectively taken the power out of the players’ hands.

Snarkalicious: A Look at E3 2016 – The…Sigh

To finish up my E3 segments, I bring you what I consider to be the failures of E3 2016. Sony and Nintendo had stellar conferences, giving us exciting new IPs and intriguing new entries into existing franchises. Bethesda and EA also had solid showings. While they lacked  the firepower they have had in the past, they brought some interesting announcements to the table without being overbearing. Then, we have  Microsoft and Ubisoft, showing that this year’s “soft” family was just as its name implies. And boring. And greedy. It was the soft-boring-greedy family. You know. Lots of divorces and what not.

Microsoft

If anyone thought that Microsoft was not totally money-hungry, E3 has hopefully shown them that such optimism is misplaced.

I would love to tell you about the new games that Microsoft announced at their conference, but for the life of me I can’t think of any. There was Deadrising 4 promising to be another remake of the first game, but other than that there was not much to speak of. Microsoft used this conference to announce its hardware journey, a journey whose willing travelers are few and far between.

The Xbox One S is the new slim version of Microsoft’s main console, thus showing that Microsoft is happy to take the cell phone trend of naming consoles from now on. I can’t wait to see the Xbox One Plus, the bulkier version of the Xbox One that is also not really designed to play video games.

Microsoft also announced Xbox Play Anywhere, a program allowing Xbox games to be played on Windows 10. Because God knows they were running out of ways to convince people to upgrade to Windows 10 almost as fast as they were running out of ways to convince people to not buy an Xbox One.

Finally, we have the bane of Xbox gamers’ wallets: the Xbox Project Scorpio, an elevated performance Xbox console supporting 4k gaming at 60fps as well as VR. The new console will allegedly be able to work with previous games on the lower-tier Xbox One, thus allowing gamers to keep their gaming libraries. Ya know, rather than the multi-hundred dollar console they bought the games for in the first place. Their last hardware announcement was that Xbox gamers can expect keyboard and mouse support for their console in the coming months, leaving a lot of us wondering why you wouldn’t just invest in a gaming PC at that point.

I may be in a minority on this one, but I cannot stand this new trend of churning out updated hardware to hit up gamers for more money every couple of years. E3 should have been an opportunity for Microsoft to convince people that their consoles are a smart investment, but this year’s conference did the exact opposite. Not only did it give people every reason to not buy a console (between Play Anywhere and Scorpio, why waste your money?), it also made moot any former purchases by Microsoft fans. Enjoying your Xbox One? Great, here’s a slimmer fancier version. Oh, and in case you got too attached to the idea of the Xbox One S, here’s an updated console to make your current consoles a thing of that past! Yay money!

I don’t want to sound like a PS4 fanboy by any means; I know that the PS4K is right around the corner. However, despite the fact that most AAA gaming companies see their consumers as no more than dollar signs, why was Microsoft the only one who didn’t even try to hide it at the biggest gaming convention in the world? To use a somewhat controversial comic book parallel, I can’t help but think of Microsoft gaming as a DC Rebirth situation: the new hardware is both too intimidating for new buyers because of the future uncertainty and absolutely insulting to the loyal fans who kept the original Xbox One afloat. For the life of me, I can’t figure out who this Scorpio business is for other than the executives at Microsoft.

Ubisoft

Good lord, here we go.

I don’t like Ubisoft. Anyone who has read any of my past video game pieces knows that. So I was actually hoping that Ubisoft’s press conference would be really good so that people don’t write this off as just me being me, sadistically enjoying ripping Ubisoft a new one. But this conference was worse than the offensively open-faced greed that was present at Microsoft’s conference. Ubisoft’s showing at this year’s E3 was absolutely…forgettable.

Their biggest headliners were a new Ghost Recon game, a new South Park game, some BS Trials sequel using bad 80s pop culture tropes as a gimmick, and a Star Trek VR game. Oh, and of course, some more footage of Watch Dogs 2. Because everyone was clamoring for a sequel. There is nothing at all that sticks out about this conference: the new Ghost Recon looks the same as the other entries in the series. The South Park game looks like it will be much like the last one, a fun little licensed game that fans of the show will enjoy but everyone else will forget about after a month or so. The Trials game is already out and costs an absurd $14.99 for a glorified on-the-rails motocross game. The Star Trek VR game is at least something new, but it looks to be one of the more mundane VR experiences to be expected in the coming year. And then there’s Watch Dogs 2, a sequel that looks practically the same as the last one with choppy gameplay footage and a cinematic trailer that couldn’t keep my attention if it cosplayed as Mr. Miracle and called me Big Barda.

This is the problem with Ubisoft as a company: it’s nothing new. They struck gold with Assassin’s Creed, so what did they do for years? Make a new annual entry. Time for a new IP? Let’s just give people an AC clone in Watch Dogs but feature a broken hacking system and a bland protagonist. Oh, time for E3? Screw it, let’s just show them the same damn games we’ve been making for years and hope nobody notices. The biggest travesty of this conference is that it could have stolen the show if it showed anything at all about Beyond Good and Evil 2. You know, the game their fans have been begging for since the PS2 days. The game that has seen scores of online petitions pleading with Ubisoft to just give their loyal fans what they want. But it falls on deaf ears as we get more of the same recycled gaming experience with the same lazy execution with the same insulting Day 1 DLC with the same broken Uplay system. Microsoft may only see its consumers as dollar signs, but one must ask after this year’s E3 if Ubisoft even sees their consumers at all.

Final Thoughts

You can’t help but compare and contrast the best and worst performances at E3. Look at Sony and Microsoft: with the former, we have a ton of new IPs, exciting and innovative projects, and a postponed new console reveal for the sake of trying to ease gamers into the young new VR world of gaming. With the latter, we have an utter absence of games paired with new hardware left and right getting shoved down our throats. If the console war is still happening, Microsoft just waged the last half of the Crusades on Sony: in an attempt to assert console dominance, they ended up humiliating themselves with the clear message that Xbox isn’t in it for the gamers anymore. And if this video game company isn’t in it for the gamers, then why the hell should we give a yearly installment of our hard-earned money for a the latest shiny new console hardware?

Now, let’s compare and contrast Nintendo and Ubisoft. Both did a similar thing: focused most of their presenting power on past franchises. The big thing separating the two conferences, however, is the fact that one of the companies actually gave a crap about what their fanbase wants. Sure, there are legitimate arguments that the new Legend of Zelda game should have come out years ago. However, at least we finally got what we wanted. It took a while, but Nintendo actually had the self-awareness to say, “OK, you all have been patient, and as a result we’ve got a product that we have worked really hard to make exceptional.” Then there’s Ubisoft, who wouldn’t listen to its consumers if their lives depended on it. To win at E3, you either have to do something different from someone else (Sony actually having games to show off compared to Microsoft’s hardware-heavy presentation) or do the same thing way better (Bethesda focusing on established products with more insight and style than EA). Ubisoft did none of these things, and as a result, people are hard pressed to even remember that the company was even there. This credits truth to the Aboriginal proverb, “Look before you leap, especially if you’re leaping onto a world stage where all you have to show off is cinematic trailers that you’ll cut half the properties from by the release date, you lazy taints.”

Snarkalicious: A Look at E3 2016 – The Good

In this second segment of Snarkalicious, we’ll be looking at the two companies whose conferences at E3 this year offered the most quality to gamers and investors alike. Sony hit all of its bases as far as games and hardware goes, and Nintendo left everyone speechless with its long-awaited LoZ trailer. Let’s get into it.

Sony

Sony once again came through with a stellar conference this year and a ton of gaming highlights. First, Sony gave a final release date for The Last Guardian in October–yes, October 2016–shocking and delighting fans. “I didn’t think it would ever actually come out!” said one reporter in between fits of laughing, crying, and vomiting. Sony also showed a trailer for the upcoming God of War game, featuring Kratos as a warrior-turned-Christian seminary student. This game is said to bring the character’s growth throughout the series to fruition, a promise that leaves fans wondering just what brand of pissed off will this new Kratos be?

As far as new announcements, Sony left fans in utter delight with two huge new gaming developments. First, we got a look at the legendary Hideo Kojima’s new project, Death Standing starring Norman Reedus. I have a joke for this, but I won’t blaspheme Kojima with it because I’m scared this game will end up like Silent Hills (#NeverForget) if we don’t respect it enough. Second, Insomniac (developers of InFamous) is making a new open-world Spider-Man game that everyone is collectively losing their minds about after seeing the trailer. I’ve seen it too, and I must confess: it looks like a really good animated movie. Hopefully it’s also a game!

A new IP also received an announcement and an actual gameplay trailer, Days Gone. “Oh, it’s like The Last of Us,” said fans. “No,” replied executives, “it’s a new IP with a totally unique world and–”

“Hush, fam. It’s like the Last of Us. Just let it happen.”

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare was also shown. It is definitely a Call of Duty game.

One of the more fun surprises from Sony this year was the new Resident Evil featuring a first-person view. A demo was also released on a small scale, showing off the wonderful graphics, gameplay, and atmosphere that all indicate a return to RE’s survival-horror setting. “Weird, it’s almost as if the fanbase enjoyed the older games or something,” said one executive before almost being crucified.

Finally, we saw some great gameplay of Horizon Zero Dawn, a futuristic RPG style exclusive that looks like a lot of fun. I, however, am already looking to its sequel, Bologna Wheelbarrow Jellyfish.

Two big news stories about hardware came out of Sony’s conference as well, though probably not the type of news you may expect. The rumored PS4K or 4.5 was absent, a breath of fresh air to anyone who doesn’t hate their money. Playstation VR was also announced to be debuting at an average price of $400, a severe price cut compared to such VR systems as the HTC Vive or Occulus Rift. It seems like Sony is trying to make VR a much more financially feasible feature of its hardware, a welcome concession to gamers who don’t have money to blow but still want to try out the newest “wave” in gaming. While I remain skeptical of VR gaming myself, it felt good to know that at least Sony isn’t expecting to sell our firstborn for the gimmick despite the glorious locks of hair and cutting jawline that mine shall have.

Nintendo

As someone who isn’t really involved in Nintendo’s games, I absolutely loved how strong their showing was due to it being one of the lowest-effort conferences we have seen in recent years. Quantity-wise, Nintendo had a rather modest showing; however, in terms of quality, its offerings blew everyone away. Three major things punctuated Nintendo’s conference for me:

  1. Lack of news about the Nintendo NX. While several people saw this as a negative, I saw it as an important decision from Nintendo. Rather than bombarding its fanbase with a new console they’ll have to invest in soon, Nintendo focused on what they are able to offer gamers right now. The NX will debut eventually, and it will have all kinds of questions and controversy attached to it when it does; why bother with all of that now?
  2. The new IP Ever Oasis. While this announcement was overshadowed by obvious fanfare over a different franchise, I am legitimately excited for this project. Nintendo does not announce new IP’s often, but the vast majority of them are excellent products that offer entertaining gameplay and quality investments, such as Splatoon.
  3. Breath of the Wild debut. Look, this is what everyone wanted to see. While many people decry that the trailer was long overdue–which by all means, the game itself is long overdue–this was easily the biggest talking point from E3. The game looks fantastic, and the trailer even featured some in-game content, a refreshing change of pace from the pre-rendered cinematic trailers that usually plague E3.

At the end of the day, Nintendo gave its fans what it wanted. Could they have brought more to the table? Probably. But at the end of the day, gamers care about quality over quantity. Microsoft announced loads of things, but their announcements lacked flavor, originality, and any semblance of what console gamers have been asking for. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Nintendo and Sony proved the old Chinese proverb, “Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he won’t give a flying crap about new gaming hardware.”

Snarkalicious: A Look at E3 2016 – The Fair

Let me start off by being real with all of you: I don’t like E3. The issues I have with the AAA gaming industry are vast, and they are all gathered together and lauded annually at the event, using consumer mentality and manufactured hype to continue abusing their supporters and sucking off their investors. So overall, nah, I’m not a big fan of E3, which is why I didn’t follow any of it in real time. However, as a gamer, I do value the announcements that come out of E3 every year, and as a human being I obviously have opinions about the medium I’m passionate about. Thus, here’s a special edition of Midday Snark where I’ll give a brief overview of each major E3 conference and offer some opinions about what gamers have to look forward to and dread in the coming years. I will try my utmost to not make these summaries a series of me taking the piss out of each publisher for cheap laughs, but you know they’ll come out anyway. This first installment covers EA and Bethesda, two conferences that while not terrific did offer solid showings of games and offers for their fanbases. It may seem like I rail EA in this segment, but their conference was fine in many ways and really doesn’t warrant a spot on my–ahem–lower quality conference segment.

Note: I will not be hitting every little thing; just the more major stuff to give a feel of each company’s showing.

EA Games

EA offered up a surprisingly fair showing, not giving off any insidious or incompetent vibes that most gamers have come to expect from it. However, much of its showing was more of the same from past years. We got looks at FIFA and Madden games which sure enough look exactly the same as the other entries from 7 years ago. We also got some dubious news about Battlefield 1 and the source of my first real swing at E3 news with EA saying that “No player will ever experience the same match twice.” Great! I’m sure Ubisoft will announce Beyond Good and Evil 2 as well!

My biggest problem with this kind of announcement is twofold: for one, it’s a cheap advertising gimmick that will always be technically true. Of course no two matches will be exactly the same, just as no two matches from Halo or Call of Duty or Gears of War were exactly the same. Players run out of ammo at different points, different players are involved in a lobby, your neighbors screaming for volume consideration at different points in the match distracting you. Is that announcement true? Technically, yes. Does it really mean anything that it implies? Absolutely not. You will eventually experience matches similar to each other, for you only have so many different maps, objectives, classes, etc. to go around. This kind of thing bothers me because it’s totally unnecessary; I don’t care about having an entirely novel experience every time I power up the game; I care about having quality experiences. All these announcements do is fuel the hype train with empty promises that EA gets away with due to technicalities.

The next big thing EA announced was the new Titanfall, the sequel to that game everyone played for 2 weeks and then forgot about. This one will be available on PS4, which was a surprising announcement, and will also feature a single player campaign, and boy did they laud that like it was Gabe Newell’s gift to the number 3. Congratulations, EA, you’re selling a game for full price that actually has the content expectations for a full price release. That’s a big step for you, isn’t it? People have to wonder, though, if by single player campaign they mean you’ll be alone in the servers again 20 days after launch.

The last two things from EA were a weird behind-the-scenes trailer of the new Mass Effect: Andromeda (gameplay-free, of course) and the announcement of their new indie game publishing platform, EA Originals. Quite generous of EA to introduce indie gaming the wonderful world of microtransactions and superfluous season passes. Thanks for taking care of the little guy, EA.

Bethesda

After last year’s trump card of a conference, Bethesda was somewhat set up for an underwhelming showing. However, despite not having the firepower of a Fallout 4 reveal, Bethesda did really well. I’ll have to reach for some jokes on this one. Following DOOM in its reboot steps, Quake was revealed to have a new installment that no one really saw coming. It looks like its gameplay will look a lot like Overwatch, featuring a champion class for the player to choose. It will apparently be PC-only at release, so our Master Race overlords will have to let us know how it is in between updating graphic cards and deriding consoles for things consoles never professed to have in the first place. Bethesda is also jumping on the VR bandwagon with news about adapting Fallout and DOOM for the HTC Vive. Ya know, if you’re tired of just spending hundreds of dollars on consoles and want to start actually burning your money on hardware yet to be truly tested in quality or adaptability. Pesky disposable income.

The rebooted Wolfenstein is receiving a new installment, an announcement that literally no one cared about as soon as new Dishonored 2 gameplay was revealed. Yes, actual gameplay at E3. Bethesda, you crazy radicals. Bethesda also announced a current-gen remaster of Skyrim with updated graphics and mod-capability. “We thought about releasing an Oblivion remaster too,” said a nameless Bethesda exec, “but we figured making people repurchase two old RPGs would just be showing off.” This announcement effectively softened the blow of Elder Scrolls VI being years off. You know, in case some kind of delusional fan actually thought that game was anywhere near release.

The rest of Bethesda’s conference was mostly taken up by Fallout 4 DLC, proving true the old adage “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t sell a game as a finished product without stringing your fanbase along with other installments that you probably could have included with the base game if you had delayed a few months.”