A reader takes a look back at last weeks expo and explains why he doesnt think E3 2018 is going to go down as a classic year.
E3 2018 came and went before we knew it. There were no big surprises and very few will consider this years show to be one of the classics.
But lets start positive, as Im going to moan for the rest of the article so buckle in for that boys and girls. The remake of Resident Evil 2 was by far and away my game of the show. It needed to make an appearance and we needed to see a substantial amount. We got both. We now know that it will be out by the end of January 2019 and that it will play similarly to Resident Evil 4.
Although, perhaps the Revelations games are the more apt comparison. Resident Evil 4 was more action horror than survival horror, think the first Terminator and Predator movies. It also looks amazing. I for one am chomping at the bit to fall in love with Leon, Claire, and Ada all over again. And probably be irritated by Sherry. I hope the music to the police station lobby gets a faithful update.
After that, I dont really have much to be excited about. Well, not yet. Beyond Good And Evil 2 was just another story trailer, same goes for Devil May Cry 5. I felt I learned more about Dead Or Alive 6 quite bluntly. Not that those werent enticing, but it felt like this year was characterised by what wasnt there rather than what was.
I dont understand the sentiment that Microsoft won E3, even by default. Corporate conferences are only slightly more interesting than a religious one, the latter being an endurance test as to how far you can get before you open your own wrists so youll have something more worthy of your attention and the former being a celebration of smug, rich pricks.
In other words, I would never want to sit through a whole one. Just give me the highlights. Oh yes, Microsoft acquiring new studios to get themselves some more exclusives is quite welcome but its only half the battle. And as Elliot Ness said in The Untouchables let us instead focus on all the battle, yes?
I feel there is more than a few echoes of the emperors new clothes, or rather the emperors new games. Where are they? Where was that rumoured Fable IV? Oh, but more Halo and Gears Of Brown, you say? Oh wow, Ill get myself down to my local emporium and pick up an Xbone tomorrow! I am so, so psyched for those!
Nintendo sure had a one-track mind, hey? Let me see… there was Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, more new characters for aforementioned Smash Bros., and to round up, why yes! Some more Smash Bros.! Which will probably be great and all but limiting themselves to just this years line-up seemed to backfire for Nintendo. A few morsels of Bayonetta 3 would have been all that they needed. Or announce a new IP, even. News of a new Paper Mario might have even brought the house down.
Shadow Of The Tomb Raider offered no surprises, anything by Platinum is always going to be of interest but at the moment Babylons Fall was little more than the title and I have some minor reservations about Cyberpunk 2077. Yes, first person. Now, it wont just be a shooter. There will likely be a wealth of activities. But when CD Projekt Red attempted to address the concerns they came across as tone deaf.
Here is the thing: the first person view is really, really great at shooting stuff. In fact, that is its purpose in life. Creating an attachment to your character? No. Feeling more immersed in the world? Some would say yes, but when you have no peripheral vision then such a claim is highly dubious. And if I can create my own character then I want to be able to see them. In more than just cut scenes. I need to know how badass my new apocalypse cannon looks, or how fly my avatar looks in their new, future noir duds that I looted from that freshly killed corpse.
Now, if it ends up being first person in the same way that The Elder Scrolls and modern Fallout games are, then that will be fine. So most of the game, especially combat, will be played out in first person – but just occasionally – and only when I want to, I can push a button to go into third person and see how cool my character looks. Its a small thing, yes – but it matters a lot. If Cyberpunk ends up not being like this, then I may not buy it. I know how crazy that sounds, but it is that much of a deal breaker for me.
Speaking of deal breakers, all Anthem and Fallout 76 could inspire in me was nothing but apathy. I dont want to play role-players with other people. Other people are total jerk-mobiles. Like Greta, I want to be alone!
I was very surprised that the Final Fantasy VII remake and Shenmue III were both a no-show at the event. They really needed to show their faces in public. Perhaps their creators are more biased towards their home turf and are waiting until the Tokyo Game Show at the end of September? Lets hope so, it is essential that they make an appearance there at the very least. Shenmue III should even be playable!
Another surprisingly bashful Japanese property turned out to be SoulCalibur VI. We saw a story trailer and a release date, but that was it. No talk of how the story would be structured, no mission mode to present, nada. Very disappointing. Those who have played say that it handles well but really, that should always be a given for any top tier fighter. Ive come to expect it in the same way that I expect to be able jump in a platform game.
And then theres that release date. Yet another shining example of sensible scheduling! October 19. One week after some really obscure, little indie title called Call Of Duty. On the very same day as Battlefield V, a game surely nobodys ever heard of. And just a week before something with cowboys, was it? Probably by some first-time developer hoping to cash in on the success of Westworld. Bless em.
Do I think the sixth tale of souls and swords will flop? Probably not. Even if the single-player is restored to the early glory of the franchise, SoulCalibur VI will still be a snack when compared to the 10-course meal that is Rockstars magnum opus. But as has been pointed out by the Reverend Jim Sterling, and something publishers have failed to remember when it was time to hitch themselves to the MMO bandwagon, people can only have so much time to invest in a game. Or a multiplayer community. Or a game as a service.
I know I would rather have SoulCalibur over a repulsive military recruitment ad any day, but I am very much in the minority. Nor do I even know if Ill get SoulCalibur VI the day it comes out. I will need to know that it is the best entry yet for that to happen. But if it is, then Namco, I will promise to buy the collectors edition. Yep, you heard me. Youll have more than earned it. You can almost guarantee, however, that it will not sell as many copies if it had come out around now, say. Like when a lot of us were expecting. I mean, not even Street Fighter IV was crazy enough to get released in the fourth quarter and that was always bound to get a bazillion sales no matter what!
There. I have moaned to my satisfaction. Spider-Man looks pretty great though, huh?
By reader DMR
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