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E3 2015 Round table

June 24th, 2015 by

e3 001Its that time of year again, and with the E3 podcast now up on the site we thought it appropriate to get together and discuss the highs and lows of this years E3.

 

Matt, Simon and I sit down to chat about the events from all of the conferences.

 

 

What were you thoughts on the Microsoft conference?

Matt - I was initially hugely positive about Microsoft’s show but since watching back my enthusiasm has tempered a little, although that isn’t to say I don’t think it was a strong showing. I’m just not as wildly “WOOO!” as many others.

I’ve never been a huge Halo fan, but I do understand the appeal. On the plus side, I’m a sucker for coop campaigns, so seeing it being played with 4 players piqued my interest more than I expected. Similarly, the Warzone multiplayer mode sounded very interesting with it’s PvPvE action.

Everyone is hugely enthusiastic about ReCore. The concept of switching out the ‘core’ between different hosts sounded interesting though, but I’m firmly on the fence until we see actual gameplay. CGI trailers do absolutely zero for me.

The Xbox Elite Controller looked absolutely fantastic. A proper 3.5mm jack, paddles on the back, trigger locks, swappable sticks, Windows 10 compatible. I was hugely hyped…until I saw the price! $149.99 is too rich for me, even for a man with an absolute addiction to gadgets.

One game that really has my interest is Cuphead. I adore the art style, a real flashback to 1930’s Mickey Mouse cartoons, plus the promise of hardcore platforming action has this firmly in my ‘must buy’ list.

Xbox getting their own early access program, Xbox Game Preview, is an interesting move. I think I heard something about refunds being available, which will help people make a more informed decision on whether or not they want to invest in the game and alleviates the concerns many have about such programs.

Fallout 4 getting mod support is a hugely exciting development, and helps to somewhat close the gap between the PC and Xbox versions. I first thought this was an Xbox exclusive, but later saw an interview where they said they were looking to bring it to PS4.

Two pieces of Gears Of War news ended the conference. Firstly, there’s the Gears Of War Ultimate Edition. I’m a big Gears fan, and I’ll be picking this up, but don’t call something the ‘Ultimate Edition’ if you’re only including the first game. Give us the trilogy! The full multiplayer suite makes up for that though. After that we got a peak at Gears 4. I was already excited about a brand new Gears installment, and watching this has made it more intense. My main criticism of the first trilogy is I feel the setting and story was a real missed opportunity. The first game had interesting horror elements that disappeared in the latter two titles, but this one really gave me the sense that it’s more influenced by the original Gears.

One of the ‘big’ announcements was backwards compatibility coming to the Xbox One, and that leaves me really cold. Despite backwards compatibility being a constant on previous consoles, it’s just something I simply do not and would not use. I can’t help but feel that it’s a bit of a dropped ball from Microsoft though, and that if this was a launch feature they’d be in a stronger position right now. It’s one of those features that looks nice of a spec sheet but, when it comes down to it, you’d rather be playing your newer games.

Overall, a good 7/10 showing for me, and a huge improvement over the last few years.

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Derek - Damn, that was a strong showing. The unveil that X1 users can mod their Fallout 4 and it come with Fallout 3, free Elite trial for preview participants, actual in game multiplayer footage from Star Wars Battlefront and the new Gears really hit the mark for me.

Simon - Very much mixed feelings

Backwards Compatibility – Well this happened about 2 years too late. I will dabble here and there but in the main, after all the whooping has died down, how much will this actually be used?

Wireless Elite Super Cost Controller – How Fucking Much???!!!????

Forza 6 – This exactly what we need, more next gen driving. How much more real can we get?

The Division – My interest in this waning the longer it takes to release

Have the opportunity to pay for games that are in an unfinished state and get the full game when it is ready. Ubisoft are Xbox Exclusive? Oh no it’s the Early Access Program. Mind you I will probably drop on Elite Dangerous. ***Edit/Update*** £25??? maybe i will just wait until the full game has been released and it is offered in a sale

Fable Legends – I love me some fable, and I love me some free stuff. and it look gorgeous

Hololens – I should be excited about this but for some reason I just can’t. It just doesn’t seem to grab me.

Minecraft for Hololens – play with fake lego in a real world environment. Why not just buy some real lego?

Gow Ultimate Edition & Gears 4 – Now this will make me so unpopular but i really fucking detest Gears with a passion. I just never ever was able to get to grips with it

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This game, that game, this new invention, that VR stuff, this gimmick, that gimmick that will cost you £150 or whatever backwards compatibility spiel which means diddly to me as when the previous consoles were backwards compatible I played next to nothing from previous versions.
Then…….
Gears, wow looks good Microsoft probably shades it here. – James Yarwood

I do like the backwards compatible thing, whilst I don’t really go back and play older games there is the odd occasion, especially in this age of sequels, where I feel like putting in an older title for a quick go and it’s far too much hassle to plug everything in. – Kieran John

Microsoft are for once actually doing some awesome stuff. – Jamie Broome

 

What were your thoughts on the Sony conference?

Derek - Solid performance from Sony with a huge swathe of rose tinted nostalgia and some dabbling in Necromancy. FF7, Shenmue and The Last Guardian all raised from the dead.

It was like checking off the uber geek wish list.

Add to that the media centre announcement, horizon, hitman, dreams and No Mans Sky and it was a really good showing to satisfy most gamers.

 

Matt – Seemingly in an attempt to distract people from noticing that Holiday 2016 was maybe a smidge thin on the ground in terms of exclusives, Sony dropped 3 megatons; A Final Fantasy VII remake, Shenmue III and, at long last, The Last Guardian.

OK, maybe giving them credit for Shenmue is a bit rich, all they did was announce a Kickstarter project for it but, hey, it’s an exclusive to them so I’ll let them have it. It’s a dream game for so many people and you could hear the excitement in the crowd.

A Final Fantasy VII remake was announced, and that’s another dream one for a huge amount of gamers.

Bungie came out to talk about Destiny’s The Taken King expansion. Everyone who knows me knows I’ve fallen hook, line and sinker for Destiny, so I watched that grinning. Can’t wait for September.

We also got our first eyes on with Horizon from Guerrilla Games, and that looked stunning. Giant robot dinosaurs? Count me in.

There was first gameplay of No Man’s Sky, a title which has consistently been right at the top of my most wanted list since we first saw it. There was also another attempt at explains the scale, which stuns me every time it’s mentioned. On the downside, still no release date. I was praying for a 2015, and I can feel it slipping away.

I’m giving it an 7.1/10, just ever so slightly better than Microsoft’s, and it’s purely on the basis that there were more games that are personally interesting to me on the PlayStation side of the fence, and between Final Fantasy, Shenmue III and The Last Guardian, it did feel a bit like Sony delivered the holy trinity of gaming. Both shows were super good, and make me really excited for the year ahead for both consoles.

 

Simon - No Mans Sky – still looks impressive, I still want. I just hope enough people get on board with it otherwise it could be a very lonely game.
Dreams – I don’t get it, maybe things will make sense more in the weeks and months to come
Firewatch – I love the idea of Firewatch I know its first person but its a relaxed first person which I should get on with
Batman – You can show me all the pretty trailers you like I’m not budging until the game/season pass drops in price
Uncharted 4 – Looks great, in fact looks fucking amazing however I will pass as I still have the first three to think about playing first

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Roundup so far looks like a bloody strong e3 in my opinion. That final fantasy 7 remake though, had me in bits outside tesco express waiting to get my morning wake up juice! – Dan Pepper

What were you thoughts on the Nintendo conference?

 

Derek - There was a Nintendo conference? Only joking (sort of). Sadly, Nintendo have got a bit lost in the spectacle of E3 and have forgotten this is as much about showing off their goods as making an impression.

Nothing really wowed me to be honest.

Matt -Nintendo was the only shows I turned off. After going back to it later, Triforce Heroes was the only one that did anything for me, the rest was distinctly unappealing.

Got the distinct impression that Nintendo have their eyes on next year and the new console.

Simon  – Oops I searched the wrong conference, i got a Muppets feed on my link. oh wait, no that IS the Nintendo conference. How hilarious. My aching sides cannot take anymore. Next.

Nintendo had a stinker, they really did, which is unfortunate as I always look to them to offer the “class” at E3 but it didn’t happen. It’s obvious where their priorities are. E3′s all smoke and mirror hype bollocks anyway! – Jamie Hemming

Okay…. It’s already weird.
Nintendo E3 – Duane Pearson

 

What about the other presentations, anything stand out for you?

 

Matt – EA opening with Mass Effect got the blood pumping, but it was sadly little more than a teaser trailer. We did get a release date of Holiday 2016 though. Expect to see much more of this at next E3.

NFS was absolutely gorgeous, but then went rapidly went downhill when gameplay footage started. The camera swaying all over the screen turned my stomach.

The standard sports suite was rolled out for the annual “we’ve done this tiny thing and now it’s much better, please pay another £45″ discussion. There was a fairly uncomfortable interview with Pele too. Living legend indeed, but not exactly the most fluid of interviewees. On the plus side though, loving the inclusion of women’s football in FIFA. Top marks, EA.

There was a painful hour long (probably 5 minutes but felt longer) about some kind of Minions themed mobile game. As man who a) doesn’t play mobile games and b) couldn’t give a singular toss about Minions, this was the second lowest point of all the shows.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom though. EA showed Unravel, an absolutely stunning looking side scroller. The guy who presented it was absolutely terrified, and I found that ever so endearing. Really looking forward to this turning up.

Mirror’s Edge got a ‘in-engine’ trailer, but again showed absolutely jack gameplay.

Lastly, did anyone fall for the Star Wars Battlefront video? If that’s ‘pre-alpha’ gameplay footage then I’ll eat a hat of Dice’s choice. That aside, I thought it looked a chaotic mess and wouldn’t be at all surprised if this is a disappointment.

5/10. Bang average, and I think I’m probably being generous because Unravel made me swoon like a teenage girl at a One Direction concert.

Ubi started by wheeling out Trey Parker and Matt Stone to announce a South Park sequel. Despite everyone telling me how great the original was, I find South Park one of the least amusing things on TV, so you can count me out on that one.

Next up came a new IP, For Honor, which looked great. A multiplayer brawler featuring sword battles, it’s certainly caught my interest. I like the idea of storming castles and slaughtering enemy combatants with my friends.

The Division got its annual showing. Despite the prolonged development, I’m still really on board with this game. I love the concept of it, and it was good to show the Dark Zone shown off. That’s definitely going to be a game you want to play with friends, there’s far too much potential to be screwed over!

Rainbow Six: Siege has me interested. Massively destroyable environments always catch my eye, and I like the level of coordination it’ll need for you to successfully compete. Preorder went in for October.

Ghost Recon Wildlands closed their show. I’m fairly sure it was concept footage because it looked way too polished for an early stage game, but I’m down with the idea of a hugely varied open world environment where you pick and choose the jobs you want, and can undertake them in a variety of different ways.

I’d give Ubisoft a high score, but they get -10 points for having the sheer audacity of wheeling Jason Bloody Derulo out during Just Dance.

 

Simon - Ubisoft

Ubisoft definitely win the award for game titling of the year for the south park sequel. the problem I have with Ubisoft is probably the same as a lot of people. yes everything looks nice but really are we actually seeing what we are going to get.

Bethesda
Everyone is going to say they loved this show and they won E3 before anyone else had a chance but literally bar a Fallout Tiny Towers game and whether they can get Hearthscrolls onto phones there is nothing here that interests me in the slightest due to the first person aspect

EA
NHL 16, NBA 16 and Madden 16 – American sports, not enough knowledge to go fully balls deep and you really do need to go balls deep to get the most out of them. However they do look awful purdy.
PGA Tour 16 – I love PGA games normally but the release of The Golf Club and my love Powerstar Golf is curbing my enthusiasm currently. This may change the more I see
FIFA 16 – Did i see enough to warrant buying this this year. No Not at all. I think I am at the level where I need to start only picking up FIFA every 2 years as there just isn’t enough enhancement and innovation year on year for me anymore.
Mass Effect: Andromeda – Bonus points for the johnny cash intro and reaper sound effect but not enough shown to give a indepth opinion. Will I buy this . Absolutely.
Mirrors Edge Catalyst – This looks fucking amazing and is one of two first person franchises that I can actually play (Portal being the other). I will totally be dropping on this. Day 1

 

Derek - Bethesda stood out a mile. A really strong showing from all their properties and for their first showing this was a fantastic effort.

EA had a few good showings with the Mass Effect teaser, Unravel and the frankly stunning Battlefront.

Ubisoft really played a blinder though. After such a series of failed launches and broken games, they came back strong with the likes of Rainbow Six, For Honor, new footage from The Division. Brilliant.

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What game or games most impressed you?

 

Derek- Fallout 4, without a doubt. The sheer scale of what they are trying to achieve. Magnificent.

Other notable mentions for the new South Park, For Honour and Horizon:Zero Dawn from Ubisoft and Guerilla games respectively.

Matt - Cuphead, I want so badly it hurts. Unravel will definitely be picked up if it plays anywhere near as good as that trailer.

Fallout 4 is the big one for me, though. I’ve waited 7 years for the new game, and when November comes I just want to smother myself in it.

Simon- Unravel – I want to know more about this and i want to know more now. This is exactly how i felt about No Mans Sky last year and its the first title i actually want to preorder this year

Cuphead – I so want this. Elements of old school Disney and Early Hannah Barbara cartoons. What is there not to like.

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To play Devil’s advocate, what disappointed you?

Derek -EA. Great attempt, with some real grounds at bringing the masses back onside with the likes of unravel and battlefront but the Pele appearance was painful and TheHoopDawg? Who the? What the ? Why?

Matt - EA just felt a bit half arsed, really. The same old sports franchises, concept footage, teasers.

Nintendo’s was really poor for me. I’ve been such a massive fan of theirs over the years, I actually felt a bit saddened by it all.

Simon - The obvious Red Dead being missing but that was but a dream. This is the 5th Anniversary of Plus and nothing special happened around that (I was waiting on a driveclub is available to download now announcement) but before any fanboys jump all over that it’s also the anniversary of Games with Gold and nothing special around that either.

The announcement of Rock Bands Pricing

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 all the….(pause for applause)….fucking…(pause for applause)……inappropriate pausing for a forced applause…..(pause for applause) – Steven Addicott

 

Who won E3 and why?

 

Derek - Todd Howard won because…Fallout.

Bethesda started the weekend with a massive blowout that truly got E3 underway. Doom, dishonored 2, ESO and Fallout 4 all made a huge impact on the Sunday that was still felt until the curtain dropped on the last show.

Matt - With so many promising looking games due out over the next 12 months, I feel like my credit card supplier is the ultimate victor from E3.

Simon- I don’t think anyone wins E3 nowadays. E3 is no longer the big announcement vehicle it once was. Everyone leaves announcements for Gamescom, Sony leaves extra for the PSX event and you also have the slow burn leading up to the conferences as well – how many games were announced in the two weeks leading up to the event? It’s almost akin to the build up to Christmas but knowing all of your presents.

 

overall I was pleased with this e3, a lot of good games on show , should be a good year ! – Stephen barron

 

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One Response to “E3 2015 Round table”
  1. avatar originaljohn says:

    For me MS had a fantastic E3, my one criticism was they didn’t show enough gameplay footage of some games. The customisable controller looks great, Mods sound great and for someone who never owed a 360, E3 turned xbox1 in an attractive purchase proposition. The games look great and they had OK variety too, some pirates game that I can’t remember the name of, Recore from the creator of MegaMan and veteran Metroid Prime Devs, Gears, Halo and lets not forget Platinum are still working on Scalebound.

    Sony or really PS4′s E3 felt safe to me. They obviously have no first party games landing this christmas, so much focus was put on building positive hype by revealing games that are miles away. The ‘holy’ trinity of games that have sent the internet into melt-down was a great PR spin for them but lets look at reality here, The Last Guardian was announced years ago, FF7 was a teaser, which don’t excite me and the more I look at the Shenmue III reveal the more I get confused. Why do they need kickstarter? They are funding the game, but they aren’t funding the game? They’re helping with production, but they’re not helping with production? It’s not clear, a bit dishonest and the whole affair tells me they have little confidence in Yu Suzuki.

    I usually sit firmly in the ‘look at the fun Nintendo alternative E3′ camp but there is little denying this year was a poor showing for the Kyoto company. They clearly have most of their development teams focused on other things and instead opted to show content we’ve seen before or strictly coming this fiscal year. I suppose a fair positive would be all their videos were of actual gameplay.
    PS Star Fox Zero looks like it’s still using N64 textures, WTF Miyamotto?

    EA – Fuck EA. Didn’t watch, but did see star wars (looking forward to the space battles, oh wait) and mas effect (pure dirt teaser)

    Ubisoft – Meh didn’t watch any of it.

    Bethesda – all of there stuff looks great.

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