The annual festivity for gamers has come to an end and I have to say, E3 has seen better years. I jumped into the E3 hype back in 2015, which I believe is the best year (Final Fantasy VII Remake, Horizon Zero Dawn, and The Last Guardian announcements…a golden year for Sony, basically). Many of the games shown this year were already announced last year, but some developers did hide a few surprises up their sleeves.
For the newcomers, E3 stands for Electronic Entertainment Expo and usually occurs every June. It’s the largest gaming event that drags gamers out from their dens. Traditionally, only members of the video game industry or press had access to E3. For the first time this year, the event opened its doors to the public and the gates were flooded with eager (and lucky) attendees from June 13-15.
Prior to the date, major video game publishers held press conferences to showcase or announce new and upcoming games. Starting with EA on June 10 and ending with Nintendo on June 13, these conferences either succeeded or failed to stimulate the hype that generally surrounds E3 (with cringeworthy moments in between). Even though my E3 experience consisted of scrolling and refreshing Twitter for updates and livestreaming on YouTube, I managed to board on the hype train for a handful of E3 2017’s biggest announcements.
EA – June 10
I zoned out of this press conference, but I wasn’t the only one. I have to mention, though, that Star Wars Battlefront II briefly captured my attention because of its improvement from the first. The trailer also has the most views on YouTube from E3, which beats Mario — Mario, people. That’s impressive.
Microsoft – June 11
Microsoft tends to dull in comparison to Sony from what I’ve observed, but that’s probably my biases slipping out. I do have to admit, however, that Microsoft actually put on a good show despite revealing the new and redundant (ridiculous) name for the next generation console as “Xbox One X.”
They revealed Life is Strange: Before the Storm, a prequel to the original game that became a hit for its characters and time-rewinding mechanism. The game is set to release Aug. 31, 2017. As with many E3s (except last year), Assassin’s Creed made an appearance with gameplay of Assassin’s Creed Origins, which is set in ancient Egypt. I’m excited to see how the story will play out since it occurs before any of the AC games, hence Origins. The release date is Oct. 27 2017.
Another reveal was Anthem, a new IP by Bioware, and it looked pretty cool — like Destiny but without the First-Person Shooter (FPS) aspect. It will release in the second half of next year. Lastly, I found Dragon Ball Fighter Z to be eye-catching even as a fighting game because it closely resembles the anime. I’m more of a Tekken player, but DBZ might actually change that. The release date is set for next year as well.
Bethesda – June 11
I remember the Fallout 4 announcement in 2015 and how everyone was pretty hyped up about it. I’ve never played a Bethesda game, but I definitely should. This year’s Bethesda conference didn’t really stand out, save for the announcement that Skyrim will launch on Nintendo Switch (no surprise there), and Wolfenstein II. The highlight for me would probably have to be the Breath of the Wild mod in Skyrim where I got to see a strangely buff Link. Skyrim on the Switch will release later this year, and Wolfenstein II — with its intriguing cinematic trailer about Nazis taking over America — will release on Oct. 27 (same day as Origins).
Ubisoft – June 12
The core game that usually takes over Ubisoft press conferences is AC, but this year, they closed the conference with one of the biggest surprises that had ever hit the gaming community: Beyond Good and Evil 2. It’ll be the prequel to the first game, which came out on the Playstation 2 all the way back in 2003. I haven’t played the first game, but I can’t deny the excitement that blew up on my Twitter timeline — this game has finally seen the light of day. There is no release window as the game is still in development.
Sony – June 12
And now, onto my most anticipated press conference. Sony started off with Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, which is a standalone expansion of the main series and follows two women: Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross. The game takes place in India and will release on Aug. 22, 2017. Sony quickly moved on to reveal — commence fangirling — Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds DLC trailer announcement. I freaked out the minute Guerilla Games’s logo appeared on the screen, and when I saw the Banuk tribe, I knew my girl Aloy was going to make a comeback. The DLC will release sometime this year.
Another reveal was Monster Hunter World, which will apparently reach out to newcomers and longtime fans of the franchise. I played Monster Hunter Tri on the Wii a long time ago and found the gameplay quite enjoyable — except when I got my ass handed to me by trying to take on a monster while being totally underleveled. Monster Hunter World will release early next year. Another surprise that followed right after was the Shadow of Colossus remake, and I still can’t believe it’s happening. After finally releasing The Last Guardian last year, SCE Japan Studio already have their next project in the works — a project well-received by fans. The remake is set for 2018 (RIP wallet).
Then of course, God of War makes a return and everyone’s calling Kratos their dad now. I’m not a follower of the series, but I remember watching my dad play the first game on the PS2. The trailer revealed a cinematic story and gameplay, and the release date is early 2018. Last but not least, Sony ended the conference with Marvel’s Spider-Man gameplay, which looked really impressive. My favorite childhood superhero has evolved over the years in films, but now he’s returning as a video game character. The game will release sometime in 2018.
Nintendo – June 13
I think it’s safe to say Nintendo saved E3. The Metroid Prime 4 and Metroid: Samus Returns on the 3DS announcements revived fans who’ve waited a very long time for Samus to come back to the gaming scene. Even though the Metroid Prime 4 trailer revealed only the logo, that alone sufficed. As expected, there’s no release date, but for Metroid: Samus Returns, it will launch on Sept. 15, 2017. I’ve known about the Metroid drought — much like the Animal Crossing one — so to see the official announcement, I was thrilled that Nintendo had listened to fans and temporarily quenched their thirst.
Another exciting announcement was from Tsunekazu Ishihara from The Pokemon Company who announced that Game Freak is currently developing a core RPG Pokemon game on the Switch. Seems like they’ve moved on from Game Boys, DS Lites, and 3DSs. I definitely need to save up for a Switch, as I’m still disheartened I haven’t played Breath of the Wild, but with all these childhood video games returning on new platforms, I can’t miss out.
Finally, who could forget about Super Mario Odyssey? Just like Pokemon and Metroid, Mario has been a childhood memory that continues to thrive. The game is not a surprise, but now it has its own proper trailer apart from the Switch promotions. The trailer revealed gameplay and what purpose Mario’s hat serves — basically, Mario can turn into anything the hat possesses. The upbeat jazzy music that accompanied the trailer was addicting to listen to and reinforced the idea that Mario is always about having fun adventures.
I skipped out on a few games (VR ones as well) that others might deem worthy for a “Best of E3” list, but do take note that I chose to highlight these games based on my perspective of E3. A new Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer premiered at the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra World Tour concert a couple of days before E3 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. For some reason, it didn’t appear at E3. The only major complaint about this year’s E3 is The Last of Us 2’s absence.
Even though we didn’t get a lot of new game announcements, we’ll definitely have our bank accounts empty for next year’s onslaught of video games.