Those winds are blowing again, my friends. The winds of a new generation carrying with them the remnants of fanboy and fangirl tears alike as brave gamers prepare their wallets for the blow that they’ll inevitably receive. Tomorrow, once more the doors of E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, will metaphorically open to the public and we’ll see what these big name developers have been hiding up their sleeves.
Already this year things are a little bit different, and drama already arisen. First off, and most notable in my eyes, is that Nintendo isn’t going to be holding a conference in earnest. Certainly, they’re still going to have a presence with a Nintendo Direct panel—a more general panel encompassing more than just the new system—going on Tuesday and a panel dealing with the newest Pokémon games, X and Y, happening later on in the same day. However, I don’t know if it speaks more about Nintendo itself or its competitors that they don’t feel as though it would be worth it to hold a panel as normal.
If you’ve had your toes in the water of the gaming world at all in the past few weeks, you probably already know the other drama. Word’s out: no one is really overly impressed with the Xbox One. Especially with its lack of backwards compatibility, need to be hooked up to the internet more often than any gaming system, save for PC, should, and the seeming vendetta against used games and sharing games in general. The viral advertising against Microsoft concerning this, legitimate or not, hasn’t helped matters much either. Of course, words are cheap and for many, waiting until the One was shown at E3 would be Microsoft’s defining moment. However, it’s rumored that due to the widespread unfavorable opinion on the console (as well as an assumed inability to dispute said opinion) Microsoft has canceled their post-show media roundtable. As much as I’m side-eying the company right now, I sincerely hope that this isn’t true. Not only would this look poorly on the company and the system, it would also be confirming my worries that this system is not something worth investing in. And with titles like Banjo Kazooie: Grunty Land and Mirror’s Edge 2 tempting my spending, I’d really like there to be something redeeming about the One.
To the surprise of no one, I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for any news about Dragon Age III: Inquisition and The Last of Us, but more than that, I’ll be looking especially hard for how this new era of games is going to present their characters. Of course, there’s still going to be our Halo’s and other series that have long since overstayed their welcome, but with the current release of Remember Me—an action adventure game staring a (hopefully) un-sexualized female character—and even the past release of the new Tomb Raider, I maintain the hope that females will overcome their tropes and companies will create more and more diverse characters that do more than just look pretty. (Although other aspects of the industry are continuously still trying to ignore that half the gaming audience is, indeed, female, which is a little disheartening.) With games such as Bayonetta 2 being listed—despite there being no confirmation if the title will actually make it to the E3 showroom—I think this is a good sign for progress on that front. It’s impossible to know for sure, however.
If you’re interested in looking at the state of the union, so to speak, you can watch the IGN stream here or the YouTube stream here. E3 starts tomorrow, Monday the tenth, at 9AM PST (Noon EST), so to make sure you hit the video streams you want, make sure to check out the schedule. I’ll be liveblogging on my tumblr (tagged “E3pocalypse ’13), so feel free to drop me a message telling me your opinion, or simply leave me a comment here.
I watched Polygon’s livestream for most of Monday, and I have a lot to say. I hope it’s okay if I just copy my comment from EQD:
How to start? I guess I should start by saying that this has been a great E3, especially for PC gamers like myself. I spent most of today watching The Polygon’s livestream. Even if E3 were just today it would still be great. My favorite moment was EA’s super-surprising Battlefront III announcement. I exhaled a noise which made my mother in the next room believe I was having a seizure. Here are other highlights:
– The console war is over (for now). But it’s still better to be among the master race! Nice to see capitalism still works sometimes.
– Aesthetically, the PS4 looks nice, certainly reminiscent of past Playstations
– Halo 5. Can’t say I’m completely surprised, but the trailer was very good. ‘Dog tags’ cliche had never given me feels before
– Titanfall looks good
– The Crew looks good (motorstorm for PC!)
– Watchdogs looks better than ever
– The new metal Gear intrigues me, even though I haven’t played past titles
– new Mirror’s Edge (still gotta play the first one)
– Destiny’s world-building looks just as innovative as the original Halo
– re-designed xbox 360 looks nice
– The Division looks interesting
– The Order looks amazing! I noticed that they didn’t give a timeframe for release……
And so much more! I’m looking forward to seeing showings from Shipbreakers, Star Citizen, Thief, Wolfenstein: The New Order, and maybe something new from Planetside if we’re lucky. Keep an eye out for Prey 2.
I completely agree with you: this E3 gave us all a lot to look forward to. I was pleasantly surprised by Sony’s strong showing and despite a lot of games being thematically similar (free-roaming, exploration style shooters), they do at least seem different enough to remain interesting. Sorry my reply is so short, but I have a post coming up with my reactions later today. I don’t want to repeat myself too much!
But damned if I’m not already completely sold on Watchdogs. Ugh, that game cannot come out soon enough.