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E3 2018 – Winners and Loser (Pre-Order Links inside)

It took me around five days to make up my mind about this E3 2018.

As we already know, this generation entered the late years of their cycles. Sure, it will live past that, like every generation, but what I say is that the potential of both Xbox One and PS4 are reaching their limits.

Consequently, this E3, and most likely next year’s too, was pretty much a passage. A transitional event, if you will. And there’s no denying in that: innovative gameplay and ideas are struggling to come by, just because if you want to build something long-term, a la Destiny if you will, you might want to hold on to that idea and unleash it the best way possible.

I have no problem admitting that Destiny, in fact, might have been the most innovative game released this generation, followed by Overwatch and the whole Battle Royale genre. Yes, I know, neither Fortnite and PUBG did not invent the genre, but it got popular thanks to them.

I say Destiny because it merges the best of both worlds: the beauty of single-player alongside the adrenaline of multiplayer action, resulting in a unique take on the MMORPG genre. Overwatch is straight-up a (fantastic) multiplayer game, throwing the MOBA concept into the FPS genre. The Division could have been the third title, but we all know how it went down.

My point is that this generation gave everything already, and we probably have a couple of bullets left. But there’s no doubt both Sony and Microsoft are at work onto the following generation, with some games may repeatedly be getting delayed to be cross-generational (I’m looking at you, Dreams).

Anyways, let’s get into the analysis of the conferences.

Disclaimer: At the bottom of every paragraph you’ll see a tab containing Amazon’s pre-order links for every game. If you want to support Virtual Screen, you can do so by using said links. Color code for exclusives: Xbox, PS4, Switch. No color is multiplatform.

Most Useless: Square-Enix

E3 2018 - Cover

Square-Enix surprised everyone when they announced they would hold a conference at E3 2018.

And everyone was excited as they had a specific licensed game that needs to be revealed yet, despite its announcement (The Avengers Project). And how we could forget the Final Fantasy VII remake? Or the potential (and almost inevitably in development) Final Fantasy XVI?

Well, all that hope and excitement killed me inside once the conference finished.

First of all, it wasn’t an event, but just a video stream with trailers and some interviews cut together in sequence. And all of it is running only for 30 minutes. 30 freaking minutes.

What did they show? The same exact Kingdom Hearts III trailer shown at the Xbox conference, an update (not even an expansion) of Final Fantasy XIV, the crossover between that and Monster Hunter World, an new trailer for the localization of Dragon Quest IX, and a new game called The Quiet Man, of which they showed a small glimpse of gameplay.

The highlight? The Quiet Man, only because it seems a nice concept.

Title Amazon Region
Kingdom Hearts III US UK IT DE FR ES
Just Cause 4 US UK IT DE FR ES
Shadow of the Tomb Raider US UK IT DE FR ES
Metro Exodus US UK IT DE FR ES
Dragon Quest XI US UK IT DE FR ES

Not as bad as expected: EA

A lot of the gaming community hates EA. They are the big corporate evil who feeds off the consumer’s lust for entertainment.

E3 2018 - Anthem

I have a more realistic take on it: they are a corporation, and as such, they have to turn into profit. You think FIFA gets a discount only two months later because it doesn’t sell? No, it’s because Ultimate Team is wildly popular, and it turns the project into profit in a matter of weeks.

Going back to the conference, it wasn’t bad. You could say the worst thing is how they presented NBA Live 19: just a simple trailer showing one single concept, nothing else. I mean, it may be a good game, but they way they are treating its advertising shows me they don’t even believe in the project in the first place. Why would I buy a game you seemingly don’t like?

Back to the point, we had the UEFA Champions League announcement for FIFA, with a fantastic Hans Zimmer’s remix of the competition’s iconic theme song, but nowhere to be found. And… yeah, that was about it to what is the most successful year-to-year gaming franchise.

Other things that I liked were the presentation of Anthem (despite it lost the “awe” of last year’s trailer), and Sea of Solitude. Didn’t care too much about Battlefield V (despite it looks terrific) and Madden (like everyone who’s not from North America).

Star Wars-wise, Visceral Game’s head announced the title of their game: Star Wars – Jedi: Fallen Order (didn’t show anything yet), as well as a bunch of new content for Star Wars: Battlefront II.

Overall, it wasn’t a boring presentation, although it lacked any significant information.

Title Amazon Region
Madden 19 US UK IT DE FR ES
Battlefield V US UK IT DE FR ES

The WTF One: Bethesda

I had to watch this one on delay.

Anyways, I haven’t much to say about this one, except it was the most “riddling” one.

From one side, we all knew they were going to focus on Fallout 76, as it’s the next title coming out, as well as Rage 2. Once you’re given the context of titles, you get exactly what would you expect.

E3 2018 - Doom Ethernal

They also focused on Quake Champions, as well as presented the next Doom game: Doom Eternal. The former didn’t interest me that much, whereas I’m curious to see more of the latter.

The most peculiar thing about this conference where the announcement of The Elder Scrolls VI and Starlight (a new sci-fi IP).

Why you’d say? Well, both seem to be in development for next-gen consoles. And in fact, they were merely announcement trailers.

Wait, how could I forget about the Alexa-Skyrim becoming a reality?

Title Amazon Region
Fallout 76 US UK IT DE FR ES
Doom Eternal US UK IT DE FR ES

The predictable one: Nintendo

E3 2018 - Super Smash Bros Ultimate

I don’t own a Switch yet, and I found this conference to be predictable.

Granted: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate doesn’t look amazing, because I don’t believe there is a word with enough meaning to explain my feelings towards this game.

Honestly, though, not too much to say about this one.

Title Amazon Region
Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee US UK IT DE FR ES
Metroid Prime 4 US UK IT DE FR ES
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate US UK IT DE FR ES
Super Mario Party US UK IT DE FR ES
Dragon Ball FighterZ US UK IT DE FR ES

The cold one: Ubisoft

E3 2018 - Assassin's Creed Odyssey

Why the use of the word “cold”, you might ask? Well, easy peasy: there was no announcement that made me bounce off my seat. I wasn’t excited, nor actually interested.

For starters, they are officially sacrificing historical accuracy in Assassin’s Creed in order to push its sales. I didn’t like that one bit. And honestly, I didn’t notice any real change from the previous chapters, no matter how much they are trying to sell us that.

They made a big deal about the new Trials game, another approach that goes beyond my comprehension. It’s a fun game, but I don’t think to deserve so much time.

Didn’t care much about the other titles either.

Fun fact: they still haven’t limited Beyond Good and Evil 2 delusion of grandeur. Actually, they are doubling up on it despite everyone with a grain of salt and very limited knowledge on the industry (such as myself) know most of those things aren’t possible on these consoles. I wish they were honest and admit the game is next-gen, but they aren’t.

Title Amazon Region
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey US UK IT DE FR ES
The Crew 2 US UK IT DE FR ES
Division 2 US UK IT DE FR ES
Starlink: Battle for Atlas US UK IT DE FR ES
Skull & Bones US UK IT DE FR ES
Transference US UK IT DE FR ES
Trials Rising US UK IT DE FR ES

The Disappointing One: PlayStation

As a proud PS4 owner, there’s no way around it: it was underwhelming.

Sure, we got a bunch of gameplay, but that doesn’t necessarily is a bad thing in my opinion. Especially the way they did it this time.

E3 2018 - The Last of Us Part II

In fact, every gameplay lasted for at least 15 minutes. Spider-Man, Ghost of Tsushima and The Last of Us Part II in fact lasted longer than they should’ve. I agree that Ghost and Part II did actually deserved some space, but there was no need for Spider-Man. The game comes out this September anyway. Why not opening with this title?

Also, despite an absolute gorefest when it came down to gameplay, The Last of Us Part II trailer went full politically correct. Why? The trailer made such a big deal out of Ellie’s homosexuality. To avoid any pain in the ass: I absolutely do not think her being gay is a bad thing. I just think it’s not that important, let alone revolutionary, for a character to be gay anymore. For example, Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s pilot didn’t make such a big deal out of Captain Holt’s homosexuality, and that was back in 2013.

Anyway, I also didn’t dig the structure of the conference: we are here but then we must move to there kind of thing was just plain bad.

In addition, there was no real new announcements or surprises. Just titles we already knew they were coming.

And to top things off negatively, there was no Dreams, despite they had some gameplay showcased during the expo itself. From what I understand, the issue here might have to do with Sony having no clue on how presenting and advertising the game, which is like a graphic engine opened to everyone. Once again, I get it, but maybe don’t limit it to you versions of the Minions playing some instruments.

Title Amazon Region
Marvel’s Spider-Man US UK IT DE FR ES
Resident Evil II Remake US UK IT DE FR ES

The Winner: Microsoft

As a proud and happy PlayStation owner, I have to admit that the Xbox’s conference was the best one.

E3 2018 - Gears 5

New games, new services, a bunch of not so invasive gameplay, and great communication from developers.

Most importantly, though, Microsoft officially started the challenge for the next-gen with all those new studios (including Ninja Theory). Finally, Bill Gates’ company will finally be able to go head-to-head against Sony when it comes to exclusive titles. Hopefully not all of them will also be available on PC, but we’ll see.

Of all the announcement, my inner child completely lost it at the trailer of Jump Force. I very well know it ain’t the first crossover game, but the approach graphic wise seems to be very different.

To be honest, even in this case I don’t have much to say. It was a very entertaining and informative conference, with a few surprises. Well done, Microsoft, well done.

Title Amazon Region
Forza Horizon 4 US UK IT DE FR ES
Dying Light 2 US UK IT DE FR ES
Jump Force US UK IT DE FR ES
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice US UK IT DE FR ES
Devil May Cry V US UK IT DE FR ES
Cyberpunk 2077 US UK IT DE FR ES