Best And Worst of E3 2017

By Jake Cordiner (@jjjjaketh) + Liam Menzies (@blnkclyr

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. THERE WAS A LOT OF GOOD, AND A LOT OF BAD, SO WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, LET’S JUMP INTO IT!

Bethesda Were…There?

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It’s hard to defend Bethesda’s conference: for every thing it did right (announcing sequels to both Wolfenstein and The Evil Within), it seemed to outdo any positives and call its own existence into question. The constant milking of Skyrim is something that’s become a bit of a joke in the gaming community and then there’s the whole mods debacle.

For those who aren’t aware, back in 2015, Bethesda announced they would be releasing mods that you would need to pay for – as you can imagine, this did not go down well at all. Their latest stab at this concept, titled Creation Club, is one that justifiably has a lot of fans worried due to charging people for content that is already free, something that has already been shown in the bloody trailer. Many gamers want creators of mods to be paid for their content but it seems somewhat scummy for a publisher to want to be the one to regulate that when there are currently programs in place (Patreon for example) that do the job better.

This on top of the fact only two games were announced that people cared about left people disappointed to say the least: worryingly, this will be a trend in this piece.

Ubisoft Swap Out Cringe for Quality

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Ubisoft have a bad track record at E3 to say the least: constantly starring in E3 cringe compilations due to their attempts to be hip and cool, most who paid attention to them were more often than not just hoping to witness their new favourite laughably bad moment. That wasn’t the case this year though as the company *sharp inhale* made an effort. Granted, some of the games, most notably Assassin’s Creed Origins, just looked uninspired or dull but I’d be lying if there weren’t some gems that had people surprised.

A Mario – Rabbids crossover influenced by the X-Com games? Colour me interested. A pirate game that takes all the best elements of AC: Black Flag, allowing you to be the captain of your own ship? Count me in, matey. Motherfucking Beyond Good and Evil II being revealed (again) after being stuck in development hell for years and years? As the cockney swearing monkey in the trailer would say, I’m fucking in, govnah! With Far Cry 5 also looking like it’ll breathe new life into a series that is slowly stagnating, Ubisoft may have just done a complete u-turn in the public opinion (I give it a week till they screw up). 

Microsoft’s Catchphrase Bingo

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Disclaimer: The Xbox conference was by no means a disaster. Showing off a heap of fun games, Microsoft may not have done enough to convert anyone hesitant about buying an Xbox One but they certainly reassured fans who were worried that their console was going through a gaming drought. Unfortunately, most of the conference had a bit of a ghost at the feat in the form of 4K raving. If you were to take a drink for every-time Phil Spencer and co. chucked a graphical bit of jargon or mention 60FPS then you would have passed out by the halfway point. Not only that but it all came off as fake, mainly due to Spencer’s own comments regarding frames per second. It left a sour taste in your mouth and lead to plenty of compilations detailing the repetitiveness of it. Better luck next year, eh?

Nintendo Is Back, Baby!

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The boys are back in town, motherfucker. Thanks for keeping the throne warm, everyone else, Nintendo will have it back now. They’ve killed it. New Metroid? Fuck it, have two. New Kirby? Right you are. New Yoshi? Step this way, sir. Fire Emblem? Check. Xenoblade Chronicles 2? Check. Rocket League? Check. Ever wondered what it would be like if Mario’s hat was sentient and could mind control literally anything? No? Fuck it. Wonder no more. We’ve done it. No fucking about from Reggie and the lads, they have won E3 after a number of lacklustre years. And lord above is it good to have them back.

Sony’s Golden Run End

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Over the past few years, Sony has reigned as king, both in a gaming sense and especially at E3. So maybe it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a company as big as them would eventually lose momentum, showcasing games that weren’t necessarily bad but weren’t anything surprising, the only exception being a Shadow of the Colossus HD remake. While showing off game-play isn’t necessarily a bad move when showing off the things that make people want to buy your console, it was definitely underwhelming to know most of the games that had watchers salivating wouldn’t be coming out until an ambiguous date in 2018. It really says a lot about the Sony conference when people weren’t discussing what was on show, rather what wasn’t there: perhaps Gamescom will deliver some sort of Death Stranding or Last Of Us II news.


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What We Want From This Year’s E3

By Adam Ouakli (@AdamOuakli)

It’s that time of year again, gamers! Yep, E3 is just around the corner and this year, it’s open to the public. With less than a week to go until the biggest event of the year on the gaming calendar, we got thinking about what exactly we want to see at this year’s show.

The event is set to run from June 13th to June 15th but before that, we are going to be treated to press conferences from the bigger companies on the days leading up to the event. Here are the times of the presentations:

Saturday 10th June

  • EA – 8pm GMT

Sunday 11th June

  • Bethesda – 5am GMT
  • Microsoft – 10pm GMT

Monday 12th June

  • Sony – 5am GMT
  • Ubisoft – 10pm GMT

Tuesday 13th June

  • Nintendo – 5pm GMT

With that out of the way, let’s see what these gaming juggernauts are set to reveal and what we want to see them announce:

Xbox Will Show Off The 4K Scorpio

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The showpiece of the weekend will inevitably be the Xbox Scorpio. No other company is revealing a new console and although we got a sneak peek at the Scorpio at last year’s E3, we expect to learn more about specs and hopefully get a release date. Microsoft has already shown us a snippet of what the console is capable of with a very short trailer of a new Forza game (which is likely to debut) but we want to see more. We want to see what its full capabilities are and what games will be released for it in glorious 4K. Perhaps Gears of War 5? Perhaps a new Halo game or re-master, perhaps not. Fans can dream.

Sony’s Main Focus Will Be On Games

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Sony will be going into E3 this year without any new hardware to reveal. This means that their focus will be almost entirely on game releases. We are expecting a whole heap of games to get excited about. We know about some of the titles we expect to be showcased already: Spider-Man, Days Gone, Detroit: Become Human and the highly anticipated sequel to what many consider to be one of the greatest games of all time; The Last of Us. A new God of War game would be quite nice too. Hopefully, we’ll see trailers or even gameplay for most if not all of these titles.

What Games Do We Want To See

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We can expect a Destiny 2 trailer and a Call of Duty WWII trailer. Fingers crossed that Activision will have some gameplay to show us from CoD WWII. If we’re lucky we might even get a sneak peek at some multiplayer.

Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding will most likely make an appearance. We have already seen a short trailer of the game but we hope that there will be some new gameplay to show off.  After all who doesn’t want to see some more of Mads Mikkelsen and Guillermo del Toro?

Another game some of us desperately want an update on is the Final Fantasy VII remake that was announced at E3 back in 2015. It hasn’t been long since Final Fantasy XV was released but Square Enix cannot tease fans on such a matter. This is serious stuff. We want that FF7 remake and we want it now.

Some of the bigger announcements will be coming from the likes of EA, Ubisoft and (we hope) Bethesda.

EA will inevitably showcase its yearly football instalment FIFA 18. A new Need for Speed game will also most likely be showcased. EA’s most hyped unveiling will be Star Wars Battlefront 2. After a disappointing 2015 revamp of the old classic, from what we’ve seen already, the second instalment will include different generations, and, wait for it, single player. Finally. We weren’t asking for much.

Nintendo Will Have To Amp It Up This Year

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Nintendo will have to unveil a lot of exciting things this year to keep fans interested. It’s been just over 3 months since the Nintendo Switch was released, and fans are itching for new titles to be announced with a very limited line-up so far. We’re looking for new exclusive games like a new Mario game; in particular, we expect to hear more about Super Mario Odyssey. Fans of Nintendo will be hoping and praying that a new Metroid game will be unveiled. We’ll be holding our breath. We probably shouldn’t though.

E3 Disappointment For Pokémon Fans?

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Pokémon fans who are expecting a big announcement at E3 will probably be disappointed. Nintendo broadcast its yearly Pokémon Direct on Tuesday which promised a ‘big announcement’ which left fans wondering what it could be. Could it be a new game in the series for the switch? Could it be the rumoured Pokémon Stars after the release of Sun and Moon last year?

Wrong and Wrong. Two of the series’ classics, Pokemon Gold and Silver will be coming to the Virtual Console on the Nintendo 3DS store for download in September. Nostalgic? Yes. Exciting? Perhaps a little. Ground-breaking announcement? No.

We will be seeing two new Pokémon games, however. Announced along with Gold and Silver were two new additions to the 3DS: Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, featuring new story-lines and Pokémon but still set in Alola. Kind of like when Pokemon Black 2 and White 2 followed on from Black and White.

Oh yeah, Pokken Tournament is also coming to Switch. The Pokémon fighting game, until now only available in Japan, will be released on Nintendo Switch on September 22nd.

Nintendo’s presentation last year was a bit underwhelming despite showing off Zelda: Breath of the Wild so we’re hoping they do a bit better this year.

Ubisoft Will Show Off Some Big Titles

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Ubisoft could potentially steal the show this year in terms of unveiling new titles. A new Assassin’s Creed trailer or demo is expected along with a more detailed look at Far Cry 5 which looks like it could be the best Far Cry game to date. We’ve already been treated to a trailer of the new Far Cry but a better look at it and possibly some gameplay could make it one of the most exciting showcases of the weekend. Also, remember that South Park game that’s been shown off the past two years? You’d be forgiven for not due to the constant delays that The Fractured But Whole has recieved but with a firm 2017 release date, expect to see Ubisoft show a lot of gameplay off, or at least some sort of cinematic trailer. Let’s just forget that Mario-Rabbids crossover, okay?

Will Bethesda Deliver?

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From this year’s E3 I want one thing. One simple thing. I want an Elder Scrolls game. Prey is fine. Quake Champions is okay. They may announce a new Wolfenstein game, good. But what we all want is another Elder Scrolls game. Please, Bethesda?


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First week with Fallout 4: A Sorta Review

Foolishly enough, I was planning on reviewing Fallout 4 for some point this week. Obviously not the full game but I hoped to have at least finished the main campaign. Over 20 hours in and I’ve not even scraped the surface of Bethesda’s massive and weirdly beautiful post apocalyptic world so instead of trying to give a review that I can’t justify writing without finishing the game, I’m gonna give my opinions in the style of a diary. Though instead of feelings and stories about lassies you find attractive, it’ll be leaning more towards running for your life away from colossal mutant creatures (so not too different from the bullies you faced at school). Without further ado, here we go.

Day 1

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Unashamedly, I spent far too much time customising my character but then again I did the same in Skyrim. While I made my character look dashingly handsome and roguish, a thought popped into my head: does my wife’s appearance permanently have that default look. Sure enough, after a few”enhancements” to her cheeks and lips as well as turning that forehead into a fivehead, I created arguably the most vile looking creature to ever grace the planet. Well, second if you include Donald Trump.

After that came the tutorial itself, where I got to choose my abilities by answering the door and being able to have the robot Codsworth say “Liam” which caused me to shit myself a little bit. To avoid any spoilers (though if you haven’t picked up Fallout 4 yet then I pity you), me and my family, consisting of my aforementioned Donald Trump wife and son Shaun ended up in Vault 111 and unsurprisingly things went to shit. I escaped my underground hell to make my way to the surface and immediately got blinded by the sunset. Wonder if they have any Ibuprofen in the wasteland?

Day 2

Making my way down town, sprinting fast, mutants pass, now I’m crippled. Thankfully this wasn’t my first taste of death as I met Dogmeat just a few minutes earlier, minding his own business before a pack of mutated mole rats attacked. I blame Ron Stoppable.

Dogmeat managed to take on quite a few by himself and the new combat system made easy pickings of the rest with the first person shooting being far more accurate than previous iterations but still strategic enough to not be a direct copy of COD.

“Finally, an AI character who ISN’T a hindrance” I thought to myself. This, of course, was before I faced my first Deathclaw (think the Xenomorphs from Alien but far bigger and nightmare inducing) where, for some reason, Dogmeat blocked me into a corner. Then the Deathclaw made easy work of my jumpsuit and tore me to pieces. Man’s best friend my arse.

Day 3

The thing about Fallout that appeals to me is the world. I can’t think of any other game with the same amount of character than Bethesda’s rendition of a post nuclear America with the mid 1900’s aesthetic abundant wherever you go, giving off a chilling, eerie vibe. As well as this, the world is so full of stuff to do that there’s no way you’ll simply go from point A to point B without stopping by a few dozen places. This is what happened on my way to save a settlement that had been attacked countless times by raiders where I found a lone settler having troubles with this dam looking contraption.At first I thought it would be a simple “find the plugs under water, turn them off” which led me to get radiated to fuck which dramatically reduces your health until you find radaway.2884112-fallout4_e3_cityvista_1434323956

Thinking the end was over, I walked up to the settler to get my reward as he stared blankly into my eyes, showing off how terrible the characters in this game even on the current gen consoles. Oh, and then a mutated pack of crabs called Mirelurks cut my head off. And Dogmeat just stared at my lifeless body. Fuck you Dogmeat.

Day 4

Spent the whole day running away from Dogmeat, hoping he’d realise how raging I was with him. He followed me before I fell off a cliff and crippled my legs, a fall that should have killed me instantly. Think it was the game’s intention as Dogmeat “playfully barked”. Again, fuck you Dogmeat.

Day 5

Fallout 4 not only polishes any gripes that I had with Fallout 3 and New Vegas but it also adds some new mechanics of its own. Settlement building is one of these new gameplay elements where all junk both in your inventory and the surrounding area can be used to make your own town.

Sounds addictive right? You’re not wrong at all, in fact the crafting system in this game is almost as addictive as the quest themselves as I’ve spent more time than I’m proud to admit making a defence tower for Sanctuary. Not only is it fun but it makes my urge to loot and carry everything in sight actually beneficial, making me feel good about my hoarding problem for once. This time Dogmeat didn’t lead to my demise, instead proving useful by finding useful materials and not being a pain in the arse. He’s since been forgiven and a doghouse has been built to repay him for the good deed of not killing me.

Day 6

Need to find materials. Need to add another turret to the tower. Need to craft stronger power armour so I can be the human embodiment of the Batmobile. It’s 2am but I NEED TO DO EVERYTHING.

Day 7

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Fallout 4 has been out for a week now and I still can’t get over how full of things to do it is. I’ve explored a 1/4 of the map and although many people have complained about the size of the world being smaller than other games like Just Cause’s Panama, the level of detail and the amount of fun I’ve had is something that I haven’t experienced since Batman Arkham City. The story is engaging, the gameplay has been vastly improved and although Fallout 4 has adapted to fit into the current standard of games, it never loses any of the series charm. It’s still funny, it’s still horrifying, it’s still jaw droppingly beautiful despite looking like a 360 game.

Fallout 4 might not be the best looking game ever or the biggest. It’s got glitches and bugs. It can be infuriating at times. But it’s Fallout and its charm and quality outweigh any technical problems. Game of the year? It very well could be.

Big love, Liam x

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