This year’s E3 was easily one of the best and most energetic conferences that I’ve seen in a long, long time. Like most of you fellow Xbox fans, we went in to this year’s presentation knowing full well that Phil Spencer and Microsoft were going to show off Rise of the Tomb Raider, Halo 5: Guardians, Forza 6, and Gears of War 4. But we got much more than that. It wasn’t just games this year, it was a full-on evolution of the Xbox One console as a whole–and that’s far more exciting than any game could ever be.
We had Xbox announce backwards compatibility, PC mod support, an Early Access program, a new controller, and a brand new UI. This is Xbox taking fan feedback and turning it in to the console we, the consumer, want to support. It feels awesome knowing that our voices matter and is what shapes the massive black brick sitting next to our TV.
Being the first console to announce a Steam-like Early Access program is huge, and could potentially lead to Xbox One users having faster access to major PC releases like DayZ, or ARK: Survival Evolved. And let us not forget the HoloLens presentation that blew our minds with an older game like Minecraft. Even Sony’s president, Shuhei Yoshida thought it was awesome.
We saw Mega Man’s creator pair with the developers of the beloved Metroid Prime series to deliver a brand new IP, ReCore, exclusively to the Xbox One. Although I dubbed it “this year’s Scalebound“–since it was just a CGI trailer confirming a new IP from an awesome Japanese developer–I’m truly excited, purely based on who is at the helm.
We also saw Rare’s new IP, Sea of Thieves, which was my personal Game of Show pick. A DayZ-like MMO with cartoony pirates? I’m sold. Just thinking of all the fun stuff I can do with a group of friends, our own pirate ship, and the open water.. it’s easily at the top of my list right now.
ID@Xbox had a huge presence at E3 as well, dropping 42 brand new game trailers on the Xbox YouTube page. Cuphead had a great reveal. There was a huge montage video showing some major indie exclusives, like Below, and Goat Simulator: MMORE GOATZ Edition.
It’s obvious we’re in the Xbox crowd, but we’re all about games. We’ve never cared what console people prefer, and try to avoid fanboy wars at all times. We can easily admit that Sony had a pretty great presentation as well, finally confirming The Last Guardian, Square confirming the development of a Final Fantasy VII remake, and.. some odd plug for the Shenmue 3 Kickstarter, which kind of sat funny with us. But hey, Shenmue 3 is officially a thing now, and we’ll take it.
Final Fantasy VII was never my favorite, and knowing how long it takes Square Enix to develop anything, it’s hard to get excited about something we probably won’t see until 2017-2018 after it inevitably gets stuck in their notorious delay hell. I feel the same way about Shenmue 3. E3 is all about building excitement though, and I’m glad that a lot of people got what they wanted, but I just can’t get excited about something that far out. It’s the same reason that I’m not jumping for joy over Gears of War 4. I love what I saw, and I’m a huge fan of the series, but a “holiday 2016” release window kills my buzz a bit.
Guerilla Games of Killzone fame showed off their new PS4 IP, Horizon, which looks pretty incredible. It’s like a mix of Monster Hunter meets Transformers, and I’m excited to check it out at some point. I’ve never really been a fan of Killzone at all, but Guerilla Games has my attention with Horizon. There were a few other gems shown, like Dreams, a playable version of No Man’s Sky (although I feel like we saw everything there is to do in the game in that brief presentation, which is a little disheartening), and a dead sexy Uncharted 4 gameplay trailer.
Nintendo’s showing of Fatal Frame 4 is definitely my favorite moment from their show, alongside Star Fox Zero. Platinum Games working on anything usually gets me excited. Even as a Zelda fan, I’m not really interested in the new co-op Four Swords-ish game. From what I hear, they’ve already confirmed that voice chat won’t be available either. That seemed to be unpopular in comment sections and social media services around the internet, but another odd decision was to not allow players to upload their Super Mario Maker creations to YouTube, since that worked out really well with Mario Kart 8. And then there’s the new Metroid that really isn’t the new Metroid we’ve all been hoping for. Definitely not their best showing.
I’m sure I forgot to mention a few things, but that’s what the comment section is for. So what about you? What were your favorite E3 moments? Let us know down in the comments below!
Bradley Keene is the Executive Editor here at What’s Your Tag?, generally handling reviews, public relations, and our social media communications on Facebook and Twitter. He’s no stranger to sinking an absurd amount of time in to an MMO, but also has a deep seeded love for quirky indie games, pro wrestling, horror films, and his hometown of Baltimore, MD. Get in touch with him by e-mail at the address above, or follow him on Twitter.