E3 finishes for another year, and it has honestly been a bit... bland. EA really want to push Star Wars Battlefront 2, such is the fact nearly everything else felt rushed.
As you probably saw with my post of EA’s conference, that footage of Battlefront 2 in action really had me impressed. It feels massively improved, in gameplay and mechanics, and if everything else looks as great as that did then… Consider it a vital purchase and a possible chance of beating Pandemic’s effort back in 2005.
I’ve said before, but Pandemic really set out to get the core mechanics down before expanding with new modes between their first and second games. EA threw a lot of things in, found what worked and improved on what didn’t, and are hopefully coming out with a better game. Time will tell.
Nintendo's short and sweet Splotlight paid off in a way. It still had talk involved, but with three days of Treehouse, they can afford it. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 was shown off first, with a slightly more anime look than previous games.
This one doesn't have a date, and neither does a new Kirby Switch game which is coming in 2018. A previous Direct showed off three Kirby games for 3DS, so it's good to know one is coming to Switch. Pokken Tournament was talked about a bit, but the bigger news is that Game Freak are working on a main-line Switch game.
This wasn't revealed during the Pokémon Direct last week - which revealed Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon as well as Gold and Silver on the 3DS Virtual Console - which means they were saving it specifically for this point. Nothing can be shown, as it's probably only recently started development.
Ubisoft jumped straight in with the game everyone knew was coming. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. And they got Miyamoto on stage to talk about it. Ubisoft were basically given the freedom to take Mario to a place he’s never been before.
Such is the result of this game. A strategic RPG that brings the rabbids into the Mushroom Kingdom, where some partner up with Mario and co. while others seek to wreak havoc.
The game’s battles are about fighting these rabbids in turn-based combat that actually has some depth with positioning and such. New attacks and weapons can be unlocked through game progression, and this is Nintendo’s big August game, with it releasing 29/August.
Microsoft put up an excellent fight and came away stronger than EA ever could hope this E3. Scorpio has a new name – the Xbox One X. A focus on power, to bring the best looking games possible, even on 1080p screens. Compatibility, to allow all games and accessories to cross over to the more powerful hardware.
Craftsmanship, allowing all that power to fit inside a shell smaller than the original One. A liquid-cooled vapour chamber allows server-scale cooling in the console. All this for $499.
The Xbox Backward Compatibility program gets an upgrade in the form of original Xbox games being released soon. Crimson Skies will be one of the first on the service, and these games are being reworked to look their best on Xbox One.
And as for the games… Well. Forty-two games, twenty-four of which are console exclusive. Ready to count them down?
EA really hit it out with Star Wars this year. Everything else was within forty minutes at the start. So before we get into the main event of Star Wars Battlefront 2, let's run down everything else.
Battlefield 1 gets new content in the form of In the Name of Tsar. This expansion is adding six new maps, focusing on the eastern battles of Russia. FIFA and Madden get shown with a focus on eSports after.
Need For Speed Payback gets gameplay, and it honestly looks like an upgraded Hot Pursuit. Driving and taking others out to reach the mission objective, and swapping to another car due to story points. It looks great, though feels as though it lingers a bit too long on vehicles during a takeout at the minute. It certainly looks good.
June will always be the biggest month in gaming, simply due to E3. This time we have Nintendo hoping to have success again the same as last year, Microsoft revealing the Scorpio in full, a huge multiplayer event for EA, and a few interesting things from the others.
So let's jump into this in the order I'm most excited for things, which of course is going to be Nintendo first.
Nintendo are striking hard and fast this year after their success last year. And they have even more big games to show. With the Switch released and already being a big hit, it’s time to take that into overdrive.