Best And Worst Of E3 2016

What can only be described as “Christmas for gamers”, this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, better known as E3, took place in its home of LA. While leaks were abundant before and even during the event, nearly every conference managed to surprise the audience in attendance and so, here are the high and low points of the event.

Crash is back!

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You may remember in a piece that I done on my fond memories with the Playstation about my love of Naughty Dog’s fuzzy orange platformer series Crash Bandicoot, a franchise that many to this day claim is one of the best they’ve played due to how god damn fun it is. After having its name tarnished by other companies via multiple meh follow ups, we now have Sony and Activision working together to remake the original trilogy all from the ground up: that means all the levels that you grew up with in stunning 1080p! This was immediately followed up with the announcement that Crash would be featuring in Skylanders which was applauded by…two people.

EA Play It Too Safe

It’s a pretty ballsy move to host your own event the same weekend as E3 so props to EA for having the confidence to do so. However, they did not have nearly enough to justify doing so as we had another conference dominated by sports games, very little new info about Mass Effect Andromeda and Star Wars details that were limited to “yes this exists” and little else. There were also an abundance of celebrities having a large multiplayer live stream and about two of them seemed happy to be there, way to get people excited about your game, and if it weren’t for Battlefield One’s presence then EA’s conference would have been outright bad, not Konami 2010 bad but bad nonetheless.

Colossal Showing

Last year Sony were praised for their power of resurrection as they showed off Team Ico’s The Last Guardian, a game that for years suffered delay after delay and many assumed was gone for good. They followed it up this year by not only giving us a beautiful and endearing trailer but a release date! Yes! It’s happening people! Everybody stay fucking calm! The fact that we have had to wait so many years for Sony to announce that the game is only four months away from release was a wise move indeed and could have very well clinched them the title of best conference of E3 in the eyes of many.

Worst. Commentary. Ever.

Ubisoft have a bad rep for making their games seem unusually “too good to be true” with Watch Dogs being a class example of this. Much like what happened last year with Rainbow Six Siege, the new Ghost Recon entry Wildlands was accompanied by an offensively fake commentary that was borderline laughable at points. While the actual game looks solid, I wouldn’t blame the majority of people who have seen the gameplay to have it on mute for its duration.

Microsoft Go In Hard…

Xbox One E3 2016

With Microsoft and Sony losing out on the E3 Crown last year due to newcomers Bethesda blowing them away, both went in knowing that they had to put on a great show to leave gamers ecstatic. First up was Microsoft and they hit out with some pretty big announcements: You want a new Xbox One model? Here, have one and here’s another more powerful one on its way? Want a follow up to a beloved franchise? Here, have Forza Horizon 3 and Dead Rising 4. While it’s not their best conference ever, Microsoft managed to put on a pretty solid event. However…

But Stumble At The Last Hurdle

The conference didn’t go without a few flat notes. Recore, a game that has amassed a fair amount of hype, did little to justify it, showing off a trailer with little gameplay and not much else to get excited about. There were also moments that felt unnecessary like the grand reveal of The Division DLC which would have been better spent on a new IP or really anything else that wasn’t The Division. While it all sounds a bit nit picky, it was a few things like this that stopped the conference from being a true winner.

Sony Steal The Show

Call me bias all you want but Sony put on one hell of a show! Where to start? How about Days Gone, a game that seems to blend the huge zombie crowds of Dead Rising, the heart and emotional impact of The Last Of Us as well as some badass biker gameplay a la Sons Of Anarchy. How about the new God Of War entry that will delve into Norse mythology as well giving a typically stern, rage fueled charter like Kratos a bit of depth by teaming up with his son? Then there’s the tease at the new Playstation exclusive Kojima game that looks just as weird as you might think, a PS4 exclusive Spiderman game by the creators of Ratchet and Clank as well as showing off Resident Evil 7 in VR which is giving off those PT vibes big time. The only gripe I can think of is the VR aspect though little time was spent on it so again, it’s just a nitpick. If there’s ever been a better time to buy a PS4, it’s now.

-Liam Menzies 

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