E3 2016 Wrap Up: Which Game & Conference Won?


Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Ubisoft, EA, Bethesda; who won, and which game did they show that I'm most excited for? Read on to find out!

The Games

I think there are two ways to look at the question of which game "won"; the game that I think was shown best, and the game that, following the conferences, I'm most excited for. 

The former goes to one of Ubisoft's games - South Park The Fractured But Hole. I'm not a South Park fan at all, in fact I've never seen an episode, but this genuinely funny showing almost made me want to check this game, and its predecessor out, even without the knowledge of the show. The evidently updated combat and gameplay look great, and a lot of fun and that, paired with the aforementioned humour, ensured the whole thing was memorable. The two developers who introduced the demo also added to the overall experience: their genuine, non-scripted banter was refreshing, funny and not the forced humour we normally get at these type of conferences.

When planning this post and looking back at E3, the game I remember looking forward to most is almost certainly Days Gone from Sony Bend. While I know it, especially the demo at the end, has been somewhat polarising, it managed to really capture my imagination and made me want to find out more about the main character and world and why these so-called "freakers" aren't zombies: what sets them and this game apart from everything else. My interest is most certainly piqued and I want to see more about everything to do with Bend's newest title: I'm sure we will later this year, and I really can't wait. 

The Conferences

While trying to sift through all the conferences, trying to work out who I thought won, I knew I could immediately eliminate EA, Ubisoft and Nintendo (who didn't really have a conference) from the mix. That leaves Bethesda, Xbox, and Sony.

As I've mentioned many times before, I'm a huge Elder Scrolls fan, in fact it's probably my favourite series in video games, so seeing that beautiful Skyrim Special Edition trailer simultaneously melted and captured my heart. Similarly, I loved the look of Prey, and would love to jump into Elder Scrolls Online and Doom. From that, I think - simply from the games front - Bethesda probably won, and had another truly fantastic showing, which, instead of being made up of one Fallout 4, was compromised of lots of smaller hits, and of course that Wolfenstein tease.

Conversely, from a hardware standpoint, I think Xbox is the clear winner with the announcement of the Xbox One Slim and Scorpio that nicely bookended the conference. The fact that the slim version is really just an upgraded original Xbox One shows an acknowledgement from Microsoft that Sony won the first part of this generation, but that they fully intend to try and catch up - much like the PS3 eventually catching the Xbox 360, only this time with turned tables; and the announcement that the Scorpio will be the most powerful console of all time simply cannot be ignored. While it hasn't persuaded me to buy an Xbox, it made me entertain the idea, and that, from a person who has never thought that way before, can't be understated.

But, without a doubt, the overall winner of E3 2016 was PlayStation. Bethesda had the games, Xbox had the hardware: Sony had both. Ignoring the looming cloud of the PS4 Neo, they finally, truly sold me on PS VR, or at least showed me that there was more to it than the cool little experiences we've seen so far. They made me care about Resident Evil, a franchise I've never had an attachment to at all. They wheeled out Hideo Kojima, a man who captured the hearts of the video game people through his bitter battle with Konami, made me care about God Of War and sold me on Days Gone. While they did make me slightly apprehensive about Horizon Zero Dawn, simply because I think everything we've seen so far looks fairly similar, and I'm worried it's going to get boring, I think everything else was incredibly impressive, and somehow managed to top last year.

Well done PlayStation, you've done it again.

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