E3 2017: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

Another E3 has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean that gamers aren’t still talking about all the announcements, trailers and sneak peeks that video game publishers released this week.

During this year’s event, developers and publishers focused more on games seeing releases this year and less on announcing new titles in development. That means that there were not a lot of huge surprises, so as far as E3 goes, 2017 felt a little “meh.” Add this to the fact that many developers made their announcements before the conference and we start to wonder if we really even need to have an E3 at all.

Here’s our rundown of the good, the bad and the ugly from E3 2017.

The Good

Although this year’s E3 seemed to focus on games we already knew to expect this year, we did get one amazing surprise: the reveal of the trailer for Beyond Good & Evil 2. This is a title that most of us completely gave up on, but Ubisoft stole E3 by not just revealing that there was a new title in the franchise in development, but by showing us a trailer that makes it all that much more real.

Yes, we will finally get that sequel (or in this case, a prequel) to Beyond Good & Evil. Not only that, though, Ubisoft also announced Assassin’s Creed: Origins and although the past few Assassin’s Creed games felt mediocre, the new title set in Egypt could take us back to how we felt when we first stepped into the shoes of Altair.

Another thing to get really happy about. The breakout hit of the year, Horizon Zero Dawn, is getting some DLC:

And then there’s the reveal of the absolutely amazing Spider-Man game gameplay trailer. No one really knew what to expect with this title, but the footage reminds us a lot of the Arkham games, but with Spider-Man flying through the city. And yes, we are excited!

There’s also a new trend that AAA publishers embraced this year: shorter games in existing franchises at a lower price point. We see it with Dishonored: Death of the Outsider and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. This is a way to for companies to keep their development cycles shorter and get titles out faster. For gamers, it’s a win, because they get shorter games for less money (and less money is always good). Most $60 games have a long development cycle and since the release of the current generation of consoles, most gamers feel like they have to wait years and years for games to get a release. Indie games were already on the bandwagon, so now it’s interesting to see if more AAA titles will fall into this new category.

The Bad

Not everything was all unicorns and rainbows at E3, though. Sony, who always wins with their presentation, had a press conference that put nearly everyone who watched it to sleep. When compared to the last few Sony press conferences, this year’s was definitely difficult to watch. Who didn’t cringe with Shawn Laydon took to the stage and kept stumbling over words? Who didn’t miss Jack Tretton when watching that? Fortunately, Laydon didn’t talk much, but when he presented all the game trailers, it was all stuff we saw coming, except for the Horizon Zero Dawn DLC.

And what was up with all the focus on VR? PlayStation VR still hasn’t really taken off yet (nor has VR), but Sony decided to devote a lot of time to the technology. Sure, Skyrim VR sounds awesome, but we’re really not ready for that yet. And who had the bright idea that people would want to play Final Fantasy XV fishing on VR?

The God of War footage looked really nice, though, and was about the only time that the audience even reacted to what was happening on the Sony stage. Even the new Monster Hunter: World game didn’t seem to impress the in-house audience. Spider-Man also looked incredible as it ended the show, but it was nothing compared to last year’s event that had Hideo Kojima coming onstage to announce Death Stranding.

Sony really blew it this year, but perhaps that’s the nature of the beast. We are currently in the mid-cycle of consoles, so not having new hardware to announce means that the focus remains on the games, but where are all the new game announcements?

The Ugly

Life Is Strange was one of those rare games that was so perfect that we never needed it to become a franchise. And yet, Square Enix insists that we will want to play the prequel. That’s all fine and good because there are some good characters in the first game.

One of the standout characters is Chloe, as voiced by Ashly Burch. There’s just one problem: this time around, Burch is not voicing that character because of the ongoing voice actor’s strike. Instead of working with Burch on a on-off contract, though, Square Enix hired a non-union voice actress to take on Chloe instead.

And that is simply not cool. Square Enix decided to hire a scab for less pay than get Burch, who embodied that character and made us all love her in the first place.

The Final Word

To sum up, this year’s E3 was certainly not one to write home about. And it does make us question if we actually need this big event every year when game developers and publishers now make their announcements and release their trailers year-round or right before E3 begins. Sure, it’s still nice to check out the new trailers, but the press conferences are now a little stale, particularly for console games.

What do you think? What was your high and low points for this year’s conference?

%d bloggers like this: