Xbox, EA & Bethesda Conference Reactions - E3 2016


My full reactions to EA, Xbox, and Bethesda's E3 Conferences for 2016. Read on to find out what I thought!

Xbox Conference Reactions

If you haven't already, you can watch the conference on YouTube here.

Xbox began their conference by showing off the brand new Xbox One S, which presumably stands for slim, hence the 40% size reduction. Honestly, it looks really nice, and is definitely a good way for those - like myself - without an Xbox One to jump onto the platform.

We then got another trailer for Gears Of War 4, along with another look at some of the gameplay. It looks incredible, and is part of the Xbox One//Windows 10 thing they're doing and there's going to be a badass looking controller as well, should you so wish to purchase it.

The next Forza was then announced as being Forza Horizon 3. As always it looks gorgeous, but not like something I'm interested in at all. It's coming out September 27th.

We then saw a new trailer for Keji Inafune's Recore, but not much more. While the trailer in itself was awesome, I'm unsure how well the game will actually do, or at least how I feel about it.

Interestingly, we then saw Final Fantasy XV - interesting simply because it's at the Xbox conference, when FF is usually a PlayStation game. I presume it's simply due to the fact Square don't have a conference and wanted to emphasise that the game is coming to Xbox.

The Division is getting new DLC, first on Xbox One. New features for Xbox Live were then announced, including the ability to play background music whilst otherwise engaged in a game, which is a very cool idea.

A whole bunch of Minecraft stuff was then announced, including a mod-thing, and realms, where you can play with your friends over iOS, Android and Xbox One. We then saw a potentially cool looking customisable Xbox One controller. It's something I imagine will do really well, but not interest most people.

Limbo's developer, Playdead, didn't show their new game (which we still know barely anything about), but it'll be out at the end of this month, and Limbo is currently free on Xbox One, so if you haven't checked that out yet, now is the time to do so! Continuing the theme, there was then some ID at Xbox chatter, along with a short trailer.

CD Projekt Red then confirmed the long-rumoured Gwent card game, with Beta sign ups available now, and an exclusive Beta on Xbox One. Imagine Gwent in The Witcher....yeah, that's pretty much it.

Tekken 7 is coming next year, Dead Rising 4 was announced - which looks cool - then we saw some Scalebound. The so-called "biggest boss battle in Platinum Games history" was somewhat underwhelming. Last year I remember writing about being excited for this, but honestly I don't think it looks up to scratch, and will continue the line of disappointing Platinum games.

Rare's Sea Of Thieves was next, which still looks like a lot of fun. State Of Decay 2 was then announced, which is coming in 2017. We then saw an awesome new trailer for Halo Wars 2, which is out February next year, after a week long beta on Xbox One, which has started now!

Finally, Phil Spencer came out to announce that Project Scorpio is real, has 4K and VR support and will be out late next year.

Honestly, without the final announcement, this conference would have been a little dry. I think the start was quite strong, but there was a huge dip in the middle and towards the end. Saying that, Scorpio is huge, and the fact they actually talked about it is excellent, and something I think Sony can really learn from: be open about it, have a dialogue with gamers and assure them that those who have the previous version of the console will not be forgotten. The somewhat circular narrative of the conference is also very much appreciated!

EA Conference Reactions

If you haven't already, you can watch the conference on YouTube here.

EA kicked off their conference with a look at the already-leaked Titanfall 2 trailer, with the re-iteration of a release date of October 28th on Xbox One, PC and - crucially, PS4. The trailer confirmed a single-player campaign and showed it off a little bit, and I think it looks really cool. I didn't jump into the original, but loved the look of it.

They then talked alot about sports games, to the annoyance of many watching. We saw some Madden, and stuff about EA Sports Live Sports (or something to that effect), along with some incredibly awkward interviews.

Saving the conference somewhat, we then were treated to some Mass Effect: Andromeda. Spoilers, it still looks awesome and absolutely gorgeous. I'm hesitantly optimistic that I'll like this game. The only other Bioware offering I've jumped into is Dragon Age: Inquisition, which I could appreciate, but didn't love mainly due to the party systems. Hopefully Mass Effect won't have that kind of thing, and I'll be able to fall in love with it. There was no release date, but we've been promised more in October.

EA then announced Play To Give, a scheme where playing games means EA will give money to charity. Presumably this is them trying to reverse their "worst company in America" thing, but it's still a cool idea, and should definitely be encouraged.

FIFA 17 was then shown off, which will be in the Frostbite Engine and, for the first time ever, will feature a story mode and managers. This isn't for me at all, but if it's something you like, I image that's an interesting prospect: I'm interested to see how it's received.

After the reception to Unravel at E3 last year - although it was critically received brilliantly - EA Originals was then announced. In the same vein as ID at Xbox and other such programs, it will bring indie games to the for-front and is, of course, a very cool idea. The first game from the program is called Fe, and looks really charming. There's no dialogue, and all communication is done through songs you learn (a bit Ocarina Of Time-y perhaps?)

We then got lots of Star Wars news, including the announcement that there would be a new Battlefront next year, Amy Hennig and Visceral's game was discussed, as was Respawn's. Presumably the next Battlefront will have a single player campaign, and is definitely something I'll be jumping into. Amy Hennig - who helped create the Uncharted series, and wrote the first three games - will no doubt create an amazing action experience, which I can't wait to see, and we don't know anything about Respawn's game yet.

The conference was rounded off with anther look at Battlefield 1, in the shape of a short new trailer. This game looks awesome, but I really want to see more, in the shape of actual substantial gameplay before it releases on October 21st.

Overall, I wasn't too impressed with EA's showing. While it doesn't sound bad on paper, there were lots of rather awkward moments, and other parts that I didn't care about, and they didn't try to make me do so. That said, I don't need to - the sports games - which I'm specifically talking about - sell well no matter how they're received at E3, but overall everything shown either seemed too far off, or not shown in enough detail if it was coming sooner.

Bethesda Conference Reactions 

If you haven't already, you can watch the conference on YouTube here

Bethesda kicked off with the announcement of a new Quake. It's a PC only, and first person with a bit of a hero-shooter vibe about it. While this really isn't a type of game I care about - quite frankly they lost be at PC only - it does looks very cool, and I'm sure Quake fans out there will be excited for a brand new entry in the franchise, and one that comes from ID themselves, which is surprising, given that Doom has only just come out.

Pete Hines then came out to talk about The Elder Scrolls Legends - that's the card game - which is currently in Beta, with a release on Apple, Android and PC planned for some point. While the trailer was somewhat underwhelming, as a huge Elder Scrolls fan I think this looks awesome, and something I'd really like to get into when it eventually releases. Having said that, I can understand that for a non-Elder Scrolls fan this would just look like something of a waste of time.

We then saw some new Fallout 4 DLC, mainly about building, which will be released in the next few months. While I didn't love Fallout 4 for many reasons, something I did enjoy - but lots of people didn't - was the building element, so if I wanted to jump back in, building my own vault sounds like a very attractive prospect. The Nuka Cola World DLC also looks very cool, although what it actually is remains a mystery: it could be somewhere to build or simply visit, the latter of which sounds more likely thanks to the others being mainly about construction.

Thanks be to Akatosh, Skyrim is being remastered, launching on October 28th for PS4, Xbox One and PC, with mod support. It looks beautiful, and I think it's interesting that the port was done internally, which possibly adds credibility to the rumours earlier this year that Bethesda did a port to test out the power of the Xbox One. This was definitely the highlight of the showcase for me, and the idea that I can return to an even better looking Skryim later this year is incredibly exciting.

The originally called Prey 2, now simply "Prey" was then shown off. Looking drastically different from the original project we saw a few years ago, this looked incredible, and the vibe of the trailer was great, making me excited for this game to come out at some point, hopefully sooner rather than later.

Doom then took to the stage, as players were thanked for their support of the game, and new modes were announced, which should begin to roll out soon. A free demo was also announced for this week only, with the idea that people who haven't tried it yet can jump in and play the first level. I think that in itself is a really cool idea, and will certainly get me to jump in and check it out, and new modes never hurt either.

The penultimate thing shown was Elder Scrolls Online which was revealed as having 7 million players (and growing) and the new Dark Brotherhood expansion was revealed. As I mentioned earlier (several times), I'm a huge Elder Scrolls fan, but I've never jumped into this game yet. This being shown off almost makes me want to jump in, and if Skyrim was coming out (again) this year, I probably would.

The conference was capped off with a LOT of stuff about Dishonored 2, including a look at the World, gameplay and characters a bit more. I played the Defeinitive Edition last year and didn't fall in love with it at all, mainly due to the actual gameplay feeling a little slow when I wasn't mutilating someone, although I did love the World itself. From what we saw, this looks much the same, which is great for the millions of fans already, but not so great for me as somebody who wished I loved it.

Overall, I think this was a great conference. We didn't see a load of stuff, and certainly nothing that stood out like Fallout 4 did last year, but what we did see was excellent, and leaves option for another conference next year, with the obvious commission of anything from potential sequels to Wolfenstein or The Evil Within. But, more importantly, I think this cemented Bethesda as big player in the games industry, showing that they really know what they're doing and can be a power player in the future: the quality of their games is so fantastic, and I think people are really appreciating that now.


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