By: Andrew Lister
Today marks the official second day of E3, yet as always we heard from tons of companies days before with big announcements. If you missed it, I've already talked a bit about my thoughts on EA and Microsoft's presentations, and I wanted to follow up with even more talk on some of the other companies.
While I'm champing at the bit to talk about Nintendo, I figure I should at least give a little love to Bethesda and Ubisoft, who had some interesting games to show off.
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Bethesda's video presentation contained pre-produced videos and on-stage moments. I'm glad that they kept the on-stage talk to a minimum and let the video packages do most of their talking. It usually means having to sit through fewer cringe-worthy speeches, and Bethesda's stage was free of some of the things that we saw during EA's presentation.
The backdrop of the entire presentation is our journey into Bethesdaland. Sign me up for this theme park! Can you imagine a real life Nuka World? I'd be all for it.
So let's get into the games, shall we? As always, I'll only be covering the things that really stood out, for better or worse.
I'm glad they got the VR selection out of the way first. Again, I'm not a fan of VR (though one game at Sony's conference made me want to get it, but more on that later), and seeing both Doom and Fallout 4 come to platform didn't change my opinion all that much. Now, I'm a huge Fallout fan, and even though it would be cool to raise up my Pip-Boy, I just can't get excited seeing how shaky and janky the aiming appears to be. If I want to play Fallout, I'll play the traditional version.
Here comes strike two for Bethesda. They introduced a new system for making and purchasing official mods called Creation Club. The system boasts the creation and distribution of new weapons, armor, crafting, and gameplay enhancements for Fallout 4 and Skyrim. At first glance, this may sound cool, but we already have a fairly robust modding community out there for these games. What is going to make fans want to pony up and actually pay for additions like these to the game when they can get others for free?
Now, I can understand where Bethesda is coming from with this idea. This allows for more stable and tested content. It also gives the best modders the chance to work directly with Bethesda. It also may enhance the modding experience for XBox and PS4 users, who may not have the ease of finding and adding mods and would allow players to get extra content and still earn trophies. However, I'm just not sure if the implementation of the program will do damage to the modding community and whether the cost of these items will ultimately be worth it. I guess only time will tell.
We finally get some good news around 17 minutes into the conference as they show off a bit of Skyrim for the Switch. Not only was it nice to see some Switch love on Bethesda's big stage, but we also got to see Amiibo compatibility with the game as well as some motion controls using the Joycons that may add a breath of fresh air to a very old game. I know some people will bitch about how much they hate Amiibo, but you can get the fucking Master Sword in Skyrim. How can you say no to that?
There were some other really interesting game reveals following Skyrim for Switch. I haven't played Dishonored, but I've seen it played on Twitch, and the brand new DLC content, Death of the Outsider, looked promising. It's also nice to see Quake back to allow for some really fun competitive multiplayer.
Then we got a creepy as hell trailer for an unannounced project, The Evil Within 2. I'm not exactly sure what's going on here, but the trailer gave me the creeps. If the gameplay matches the eerie feel of the trailer, I may have to give this game a shot. The game drops on Friday the 13th this October. Check out the trailer below. It's so weird.
The last thing I want to talk about is their final big announcement, which was a brand new Wolfenstein game, a sequel titled The New Collosus. At first I thought maybe, just maybe, that we were getting another Fallout game by the strange old time introduction. When I realized it wasn't, I was a little disappointed, but after watching the full trailer, I'm actually pretty excited.
I'm not a huge shooting game fan, and it's not the gameplay I'm most interested in here. I'm really looking forward to seeing the actual story unfold. The characters and voice acting in each scene was really well done and engaging, and there was a real sense of humor behind all the seriousness. Graphically, it looked gorgeous as well. It's a really polished product.
I remember playing the original Wolfenstein way back in the day, and now I'm itching to get back into this alternate take on history this October.
Oh, and the trailer ends with a pregnant woman stabbing the fuck out of Nazi while another guy chases a cartoon chameleon while on an acid trip. Need I say more?
Overall, there were some good and bad moments. I would have liked to have seen some sort of tease to a new Fallout or Elder Scrolls game, but I suppose there's always next year.
Ubisoft is not a company that I normally pay that much attention to, but there was surprisingly quite a bit of note here. The conference started on a really strong note for me as they unveiled a lot more on their partnership with Nintendo for their first foray into the Switch, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle.
News of this game leaked a while back, and people were wondering if a game featuring Mario and the Rabbids, those strange Minion-like rabbits that can quickly get annoying, would be fun or have any sense of depth. Well, our worries were assuaged at Ubisoft's conference. Not only did we get a cameo by gaming legend Shigeru Miyamoto, but we saw a lot of actual gameplay.
And what we got was a more cartoony take on X-Com. I know that on the surface that may not sound great, but when they showed off some actual combats, there's a real depth to the movement and actions that not only made me but the entire audience excited to get out hands it. Maps are filled with environmental elements like cover and pipes to allow for strategic choices, and characters can team up to aid in movement and attack their opponents with powerful gun blasts.
On top of that, there was a really endearing sense of humor here that made me laugh out loud several times. Rabbids have invaded The Mushroom Kingdom, and some of them are good and others evil. The good ones join your party of traditional characters like Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Yoshi; however, the Rabbids dress up as Mario characters themselves. The Rabbid version of Peach won top prize for her goofy faces and penchant for taking selfies during moments where she's getting the shit kicked out of her.
From what we've been shown, I think we're in for a really funny and in-depth tactical RPG experience. The best news is that Switch owners can get their hands on the game on August 29th.
We also saw a few other titles, such as a bit more of Assassin's Creed Origins and a really intriguing racing game that allows players to take to the land, water, and air, which is something I can't remember in many past games. Well, there was Diddy Kart Racing...why haven't they remade that? I'd totally play that! Also, the gameplay looked really solid. I'm not much for racing, but if that's more your thing, go check out The Crew 2.
Things went from cute with Rabbids to absolutely foul with a new trailer for Southpark's newest full game, The Fractured But Whole, winner of the best title for any game or piece of media ever. We got a trailer filled with F-bombs, and I'm frankly ready to play it. We also got a trailer for a a Southpark mobile game, Phone Destroyer.
Back to the realm of VR, Frodo Baggins...err Elijah Wood showed up randomly to promote a game called Transference, which seems to be a game that is attempting to promote the idea of true immersion. Now, I know that the game is trying to play more on storytelling than what will actually be seen in the actual game, but I really enjoyed the way that they hyped up the concept of "uploading brain data" into "the digital space." It sounds like science fiction, and if done right, it could be a really fun concept for a game, one that makes you think that you're stuck inside a game.
Watch the trailer. It's odd, but appealing.
We also saw yet another pirate game, Skull & Bones, which looked honestly pretty awesome. I'm not sure I'm as sold on it as I am with Sea of Thieves, but this game looks a lot more realistic and has more depth to it. We also got a strange Just Dance promo, but it included a guilty pleasure of mine, "Bubble Pop" by Hyuna, so I didn't mind the musical break.
The last thing I want to talk about is a really strange preview at the end of the show that made the crowd go absolutely insane. I apparently didn't know much about the original game because I didn't know what was going on. However, yes, we got a full on cinematic trailer for Beyond Good and Evil 2.
Watching the trailer and its odd inclusion of realistic talking animals, it made me want to go back and play the original. That being said, this is set to be a prequel, so I could always wait for this game before jumping into the original. The show ended with a few of the creators on stage becoming amazingly emotional. It was a bittersweet end and a reminder of how important gaming is to not just the fans, but to those creating these masterpieces.
Ubisoft went all out this year with some really interesting titles. I'm definitely picking up Mario + Rabbids, and now I also have some other series to keep my eyes on going forward.
What did I miss? What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree with anything above? Leave them in the comments below or join our Discord!
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