It’s probably ever so slightly late for us to have a best and worst or winners and losers of E3 post but it’s my hobbie so I’m going to do it a bit late to be of much use to anyone. Well, that’s not strictly true. The shortest wait until a major game from E3 comes out is some three months so that means that there is plenty of time for us to reflect on the state of gaming in the wake of the biggest games industry show of 2015.
It’s not just new trailers that are getting shown off at E3. A lot of gameplay was shown at the various press briefings along with demonstrations for the games websites and magazines assembled in Los Angeles to look at the upcoming offerings from the games industry. If you’d much rather get a preview of what a vertical slice of some of the big upcoming games looks like, I’ve assembled a collection of fifteen games with gameplay video shown at E3.
From a gaming perspective, the big announcement at Microsoft’s E3 press briefing was that they are bringing backwards compatibility to the Xbox One. If you were looking for the next wave in technology and just general spectacle, Microsoft stole the show with a live on-stage demonstration of their HoloLens technology while playing Minecraft.
When we first found out that Final Fantasy VII was coming to the PS4 as an HD remake, people were extremely disappointed. After all the hope that came with the Final Fantasy VII PS3 tech demo from 2005, people have been clamoring for a full remake of the game in the style of the Final Fantasy: Advent Children movie. Instead, December’s PlayStation Experience event showed the original Final Fantasy VII slightly cleaned up for PS4.
It’s funny what Square Enix had up their sleeve to be played six months later. Sony scored a major coup for the PlayStation press conference at E3 with the surprise reveal of a major remake of Final Fantasy VII.
Two years ago, then-Xbox division boss Don Mattrick said “If you’re backwards compatible, you’re really backwards” claiming that only 5% of users used new consoles to play games from a past generation of consoles. It’s funny how much things can change in two years.
While Microsoft might not have had a mind-blowing press conference in terms of new reveals, they certainly scored more than their fair share of points with hardware announcements. The biggest of those announcements was that Microsoft would be rolling out backwards compatibility of Xbox 360 games on Xbox One.
For the first time, E3 had a dedicated show for PC gaming. At some point, I’ll probably pontificate over the dangers of a marketing event that was put together by a video game magazine that supposedly provides independent journalism at another time. For now, a lot of smaller developers brought their new wares to E3 through this new PC gaming show. If you’re a fan of indies and didn’t like what you saw on consoles, this was definitely the conference for you. If you’re looking for triple-As, maybe next year.
The pre-E3 media briefings started with a newcomer to the show and ended the same way. It was Square Enix who rounded out the action on Tuesday just before the doors opened on E3 proper. Surprisingly, Square Enix did most of its big reveals before E3 or at the Sony press conference. However, they had one official announcement under their sleeve that surprised no one but was still a welcome sight to gamers.
I know Ubisoft said that they loved franchises but I didn’t realize that they now considered South Park to be a franchise. They opened with a new South Park game, added a new Ubi-combat based medieval battle game and closed off with another Tom Clancy game. So while Ubisoft is all about doing games that are part of franchises, they actually had one new game that wasn’t part of an established franchise. That’s got to count for something, right?
I’m not sure that EA is the evil empire anymore. Ubisoft has done a pretty good job over the last year or so of taking that role for themselves. So EA came into E3 with a pretty feel-good line-up of games to show and they did a pretty good job of making sure the hype train left the station. New announcements were few and far between but there was a teaser reveal for the new Mass Effect. That’s gotta count for something.