E3 2017 Part 1: EA | Microsoft | Bethesda

Though E3 doesn’t officially start until the Monday, 3 companies decided to hold their conferences over the weekend. Here’s a breakdown of what’s important from each of them.

 

EA

Games shown

Battlefield 1 In The Name Of The Tsar DLC, Madden 18, FIFA 18, NBA Live 18, Need For Speed Payback, Star Wars Battlefront 2, A Way Out, Anthem

The Cliff Notes

Madden is getting a story mode ala FIFA’s The Journey from last year. Need For Speed will be a large open world, with a ragtag family working together heist style, stealing and upgrading cars. A Way Out is the next project from the developers of Brothers: A Tale of 2 Sons and is co-op only. Battlefront 2’s multiplayer is overhauled, making it deeper and possibly more competitive than the original, and will feature content from the entire timeline. Anthem was glimpsed, then shown more at Microsoft’s conference.

Takeaway

Battlefront 2’s campaign is looking positive. NFS looks like Fast & the Furious in all but name. A Way Out was the most interesting thing - a prison break game with what looks like a neat story, with what looks like a single player game (complete with cutscenes) playing simultaneously across two halves of the screen.

Personally Interested In

Battlefront 2’s campaign, A Way Out

 

Microsoft Xbox

Games Shown

Forza Motorsport 7, Metro Exodus, Assassins Creed Origins, PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds, Deep Rock Galactic, Sate of Decay 2, The Darwin Project, Minecraft, Dragonball Fighter Z, Black Desert Online, The Last Night, The Artful Escape, CodeVein, Sea of Thieves, Tacoma, Super Lucky’s Tale, Cuphead, Crackdown 3, ID@Xbox showcase (Osiris: New Dawn, Paladins, Raiders: Broken Planet, Unruly Heroes, Fortnite, Path of Exile, Battlerite, Surviving Mars, Fable Fortune, Observer, Robocraft Infinity, The Artful Escape, Astroneer, We Happy Few, Dunk Lords, Minion Masters, Forced to Duel, Brawlout, Ooblets,  Dark and Light, Strange Brigade, Riverbond, Hello Neighbour, Shift, Conan Exiles), Ashen, Life is Strange: Before the Storm, Shadow of War, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Anthem

The Cliff Notes

Project Scorpio is the Xbox One X, with “true 4K” and a price tag of AU$649. Xbox One is getting backwards compatibility for OG Xbox games. AC Origins is set in ancient Egypt, with bows and very RPG like systems. Minecraft is getting a 4K graphics pack and cross platform player across mobile, VR, PC and consoles. Sea of Thieves is multiplayer focused, has quests for treasure and other piratey things. Crackdown 3 opened with a ridiculously great monologue from Terry Cruze, but looked a little underwhelming in the gameplay. The ID@Xbox showcase looked like it housed a bunch of cool gems. Shadow of War’s demo was a great laugh thanks to the star orc. Anthem is Bioware’s new project, looks much more action based, think Mass Effect Andromeda combat but Destiny. A ton of games were “launch exclusive”, with the few actual Xbox exclusives coming to PC as well.

Takeaway

This conference was solid with a ton of games, but no wow-factor. Sea of Thieves and Anthem look real fun, but both are focused on online multiplayer with no talk of ability to play single player. OG Xbox Backward compatibility was probably the coolest announcement, though the practicality of it remains to be seen. Black Desert Online and PUBG coming to Xbox is cool. The Xbox One X probably isn’t going to boost console numbers much, but the inevitable graphics comparison’s across it, PS4 Pro, PS4 & XB1 will be the talk of the big games this and next years. Anthem’s limited facial animations were on point.

Personally Interested In

AC Origins, Osiris: New Dawn, Dark and Light, Shift, Shadow of War

 

Bethesda

Games Shown

Doom VFR, Fallout 4 VR, Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind, Elder Scrolls Legends, Skyrim for Switch, Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, Quake Champions, The Evil Within 2, Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus

The Cliff Notes

Bethesda seems committed to VR - Fallout 4 is fully playable in it, and Doom VFR is a new standalone product. Bethesda has created a new alternative to paid mods called “Creation Club”, which uses credits to purchase new mods - no word on whether this premium currency is earned in game or purchase only. Skyrim for Switch has amiibo and motion control support, including a Link costume. This new Dishonored expansion sounds like a standalone DLC kind of deal. Quake Champions is super sports focused with it’s hero-shooter style. The Evil Within 2 looks suitably fucked up. Wolfenstein looks exactly like you would expect a sequel to the original well received game to look like.

Takeaway

Much like Microsoft, the conference was solid but there were no surprises. Bethesda knows their audience and are building games for them. Dishonored is likely to be quite rad, while Quake Champions is looking less and less like Quake.

Personally Interested In

Skyrim on Switch