Sometimes, I really wished I lived under a rock. If you’re lucky enough to stroll through your life unaware of the big news stories, you probably aren’t even aware of what E3 is, never mind what it stands for.
From the 13th to 15th June 2017, we gamers were treated to many a reveal during this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (hence the 3 e’s if you actually do live under a rock).
Microsoft announced that its new 4K super console, the Xbox One X (originally codenamed Project Scorpio), will be arriving in November. That muzzled Sony somewhat, with the company showcasing its latest titles – including Days Gone and God of War gameplay – with little additional comment. Nintendo, meanwhile, quietly announced some explosive titles – including a Pokemon RPG for Switch – in its live-stream.
There are plenty of arguments going on to decide who ‘won’ E3 2017. Although, even with all the fanboys running their mouths, with all that hardware and software coming out of our ears, we’re all winners.
With all the major conferences done and dusted, here’s a brief roundup of the major announcements and games from the world’s largest games show, just in case you missed it.
Xbox at E3 2017
– Forza Motorsport 7
– Minecraft in 4K
– Crackdown 3
– Sea of Thieves
– State of Decay 2
Xbox One fans were presented with a healthy line-up of games, some exclusives, and, of course, many optimised for true 4K playback at 60fps thanks to Xbox One X.
Top among its titles was the unveiling of Forza Motorsport 7, which will be released October 3 2017 – more than a month ahead of the new console. Crackdown 3, however, will arrive on 7 November, in tandem with Xbox One X.
Deep Silver’s Metro Exodus, the latest in the post-apocalyptic open-world shooter series, was also shown off in terrifying 4K glory. It will be released in 2018.
Oh and Minecraft. In 4K…
PlayStation at E3 2017
– Days Gone
– God of War
– Detroit: Become Human
– Gran Turismo Sport
– Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
God of War really looks as though Santa Monica Studio has struck an interesting balance between Kratos and his son – both of whom you will command as player in their journey – in a mix of storytelling and no-holds-barred fighting. The game will be released in early 2018.
A slew of virtual reality titles were also revealed, showing ongoing support for PlayStation VR. Skyrim VR from Bethesda; Star Child; The Inpatient; Monster of the Deep (which is a Final Fantasy fishing game… yes, really); Bravo Team; and Moss (in which you play a mouse knight… again, yes really) show the diversity of what Sony’s VR platform can offer – and as Microsoft wasn’t talking VR whatsoever with Xbox One X, it’s the PS4’s one leg-up.
Other big-hitters included Shadow of the Colossus, from Japan Studio, which is a reimagination of the PlayStation 2 original. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy and Horizon: Zero Dawn’s DLC The Frozen Wilds also roused interest.
Detroit: Become Human – Quantic Dream’s latest, in which Android police live among us in society – was also on display, setting the benchmark for movie-like games.
The PlayStation event was closed out with a PS4 exclusive: Spider-Man. Perhaps an unexpected closing title – no Red Dead 2, no Last of Us 2, no Death Stranding – it’s a title Sony is keen to show-off, given its exclusive status. It looks similar to Arkham City in some respects, except played out in daylight, with added web-slinging thrown in for good measure.
Nintendo at E3 2017
– Super Mario Odyssey
– Xenoblade Chronicles 2
– Untitled Pokemon RPG title
– Metroid Prime 4
– Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild DLC (The Master Trials / The Champions Ballad)
– Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
– Splatoon 2
It’s fair to say Nintendo is often seen as the underdog compared to the other big two. It’s also fair to say it announced some really big-deal titles, from a new Kirby and Metroid Prime 4, to an as-yet-unnamed Pokemon RPG game due in 2018/19.
The Switch’s biggest title, Zelda: Breath of the Wild, also has The Master Trials and The Champions Ballad DLC content coming this holiday period. There’s new armour, the Korok Mask, a Master Mode (super hard mode), plus Hero’s Path to track every step you’ve been on the map.
New Zelda Amiibo are coming too: the four champions from Breath of the Wild – Mipha, Daruk, Revali, and Urbosa – will all be available to buy and use in Breath of the Wild and its DLC.
Nintendo wouldn’t be Nintendo without Mario, so obviously the company showed off more of its upcoming Super Mario Odyssey. In the game it appears Mario can almost possess other enemies and objects, from a taxi to a Tyrannosaurus, or Goomba to Bullet Bill. How’s that for a major twist in Mario’s development?
Beyond Nintendo’s own announcements, it’s great to see other developers getting on board too: from Skyrim to FIFA 18 and beyond, the Switch is a console that’s getting a far stronger foothold than its Wii U predecessor.
Ubisoft at E3 2017
– Beyond Good And Evil 2
– Assassin’s Creed: Origins
– Far Cry 5
– Skull & Bones
– The Crew 2
– Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
– South Park: The Fractured But Whole
– South Park: Phone Destroyer (mobile app game)
– Starlink: Battle For Atlas
– Rayman Legends Definitive Edition for Switch
– Steep for Switch
Its press conference kicked off by rolling out Mario creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, to confirm that Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle isn’t just a rumour game, but a reality. Described as “unlike any Mario game ever made before”, this exploration meets turn-based battle game, which is exclusive for Nintendo Switch and released on August 29, certainly looks like a unique take.
Assassin’s Creed: Origins, which is set in ancient Egypt for this latest release, is a game that’s garnered a lot of attention ahead of E3 2017, plus it will be optimised for the highest 4K graphical fidelity on Xbox One X. Unlike previous Assassin’s Creed titles, Origins ditches the mini map and towers approach, instead opting for an eagle to scout and tag enemies.
Online racer The Crew also has a sequel incoming: The Crew 2. It takes racing up a notch, with street racing, boats, planes, off-road and more. This looks like Ubi’s title to take on Forza and Need For Speed.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole finally gets a release date, too, after being delayed from last year. The turn-based RPG will be available October 17. Not content with just one game, however, there will also be a mobile app game, South Park: Phone Destroyer, also released this year.
Fancy playing “the ultimate pirate experience”? Skull & Bones shows that Ubisoft isn’t finished with pirates after Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag, with this all new online player-vs-player and single player game of the seas.
Starlink: Battle For Atlas is a space exploration game for PS4, Xbox One and Switch, all of which feature physical toys-to-life starships that connect to the controllers and provide interaction.
Far Cry 5 was also shown off in more detail, with some in-game action finally revealed. Set in fictional Hope County, Montana, Far Cry‘s fifth outing is set in the modern day, where a fanatical cult has overrun the area – leaving it up to you to raise hell with your guns for hire to put things right.
The biggest reveal of the lot, however, was Beyond Good And Evil 2 – the sequel that’s almost 15 years in the making.
EA at E3 2017
– Star Wars: Battlefront 2
– A Way Out
– FIFA 18 (including The Journey: Hunter Returns story mode)
– FIFA for Switch
– Madden NFL 18 (including Long Shot story mode)
– NBA Live 18
– Need for Speed Payback
Biggest among all its announcements was a teaser of BioWare’s newest game, Anthem, which Xbox showed off in far greater detail.
EA Sports has a strong series of sports games franchises, with FIFA, Madden NFL and NBA each getting their 2018 updates. Madden features Long Shot, its story mode, while FIFA 18 will continue player Alex Hunter’s story in The Journey: Hunter Returns.
The game to arguably steal the showcase, however, was A Way Out. This EA Originals title, by Swedish studio Hazelight, is a split-screen two player co-op game – and that’s the only way it can be played. Whether online or with a friend in the same room, the split screen dynamic is always in play – with player one on the left, player two on the right, adding a dynamism of the two points of view. It looks like a really clever take on multiplayer.
Bethesda at E3 2017
– Skyrim for Nintendo Switch
– Doom VR
– Fallout 4 VR
– Quake Champions
– Wolfenstein 2
– The Evil Within 2
We weren’t expecting heaps of announcements from Bethesda this year, which rang true: Doom VR (well, VFR, if you can work out the nod to BFG there), Fallout 4 VR, DLC content for Dishonored, a community mods system for Fallout 4 and Skyrim on consoles, the beta announcement of Quake Champions, and Skyrim unveiled for Nintendo Switch.
It was the final two announcements that got the crowd worked up all the more: The Evil Within 2 and Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus head up the company’s sequels march.
Best of all, everything announced by Bethesda will be released within 2017.
Activision at E3 2017
– Call of Duty: WW2
– Destiny 2
– Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy
There are plenty more games, products and general jizz-fests that haven’t been mentioned, but those above are the key ones. The big-boys. The holy grails.
If any of those catch your eye, I’d recommend YouTube-ing them right now.
Like, right now.