Monday, June 11, 2018

E3 2018 Highlights: Microsoft, Bethesda, EA, & Devolver

E3 technically hasn't even started yet and there have already been three major press conferences. Some of these were so dense with material that there's no way I can summarize everything shown. Instead, here are some personal highlights from each show:

Microsoft threw so many games at us at a breakneck pace that it was very hard to keep up with it. In general, I felt that it was a very strong showing that displayed a diverse catalog of games. I went into this show expecting to mostly see gritty post-apocalyptic games (not my thing), and while there still plenty of those, racing, adventure, platforming, fighting, and even kid-friendly content were all also shown.
  • Halo Unlimited, Forza Horizon 4, and Gears 5 - As anybody familiar with Microsoft's first party holdings would expect, their three biggest franchises all had a presence at their conference. The Halo trailer was mostly a teaser to show of the engine, so it will probably be a while before we see anything from that. I don't have much experience with the Gears franchise but Gears 5 showed some pretty intense story cutscenes that seemed to resonate with fans. For me, the highlight of these three was Forza Horizon 4. I've never played a Forza game but this one looked gorgeous; it was probably the most graphically impressive game of the show. Racing across Britain through the seasons looked like a lot of fun. I'll probably renew my Microsoft Game Pass subscription so that I can give some of these a shot when they come out. (trailers: Halo, Gears, Forza)
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps - The vibrant and colorful 2D world of this platformer really set it apart from the other games at the Microsoft show. In some ways it reminded me of a Rayman game. It'll be a while before this one comes out but it looks like something to look forward to. (trailer)
  • Captain Spirit - Another adventure game from DontNod set in the Life is Strange universe (it has a universe now?!). Unlike the previous games in the series, this one focuses on a father and his young son (rather than teenage girls). Other than being some sort of emotional family tale, I couldn't really get a sense for what the game will be like based on the trailer. The game will be free though, so I'll definitely find out. (trailer)
  • Tunic - This Zelda-like game caught my eye during last E3's PC gaming show and it was here again during Microsoft's presentation. It looks much more polished than it did before. I'll be keeping an eye on it. (trailer)
  • Kingdom Hearts 3 - The new Kingdom Hearts appears to prominently feature Frozen which I thought was pretty cool (no pun intended). I don't really understand what's going on in this game otherwise but it looked pretty nice. (trailer)
  • Devil May Cry - A new Devil May Cry was announced. It looks like more of the edgy stylish character action one would expect from this series. The director made an in-person appearance which I thought was a nice touch. (trailer)
  • Jump Force - A fighting game that features characters from a bunch of shonen anime like Dragon Ball, One Piece, and Naruto. I felt like the dark gritty aesthetics of the trailer didn't match up well the characters. (trailer)
  • Cyberpunk - Microsoft snuck a trailer for Witcher developer, CD Projekt Red, in at the very end of their presentation and it was worth the wait. The trailer was mostly cutscenes rather than gameplay but it was apparent that the world they are creating for this game is going to be truly engrossing. I'm really looking forward to learning more about this game. (trailer)
While not as jam-packed with content as the Microsoft show, Bethesda had a strong presentation
  • Rage 2 - While the surprise of the announcement may have been spoiled by Walmart Canada, there was still a lot to see with Rage 2. The extended gameplay trailer showed a chaotic Mad Max-esque world that featured both FPS gunplay and vehicular combat. It reminded me of Borderlands, so I'm interested. (trailer)
  • Doom Eternal - There was only a brief teaser shown for the sequel to Doom (2016). Since it was one of my top games of 2016, I am very excited to be getting more of the new style of Doom. (trailer)
  • Wolfenstein Youngblood - A new co-op spinoff of Wolfenstein 2 starring BJ Blascowitz's twin daughters. I'm always down for new games with co-op campaigns, so this has potential. (trailer)
  • Fallout 76 - Normally Fallout games look too drab for my taste but this new one's depiction of post-apocalyptic West Virginia looked surprisingly vibrant. That being said, I'm skeptical about the multiplayer focus of this new game gelling well with gameplay experience that players typically expect from Fallout. We'll see. (trailer)
  • Starfield and Elder Scrolls 6 - Only the briefest of teasers were shown for these. Starfield is a new IP and Elder Scrolls 6 is the follow-up to Skyrim. Other than acknowledging their existence, little is known about either of these. (trailers: Starfield, Elder Scrolls)
EA & Devolver
I skipped both of these conferences this year. I got the impression from others that both of these were pretty light on content. EA mostly followed up on previously announced games like Anthem and Battlefield 5. I was a fan of the story mode in Battlefield 1, so I'm glad to hear that it will return in Battlefield 5. There were a few small surprises from these shows, however:
  • Unravel 2 - A sequel to the artsy platformer starring a cute little yarn character. (trailer)
  • Sea of Solitude - An indie game that appears to be about depression and loneliness. It had a cool art style but that was all I able to glean from the trailer.
  • Metal Wolf Chaos - Devolver is remastering From Software's over-the-top mecha game. That's about all I know about it. (trailer)

Overall, I felt that both Microsoft and Bethesda had very strong showings. See below for the screenshots I took while watching their conferences.

Also, if you're interested in pre-ordering any of the games that were shown and also supporting this blog, please use this Amazon affiliate link:  Amazon Video Games

Halo Infinite reveal

Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Tunic (aka "Fox Zelda")
Rage 2
Wolfenstein YoungBlood reveal
Fallout 76
Elder Scrolls 6 teaser

No comments:

Post a Comment