The Oakland Post

E3 2018: Conferences underwhelm with a few exceptions


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E3 is like Christmas Eve for anyone that likes games.

You get to see all of the presents under the tree and become excited about the possibilities, but you have to wait to actually tear into them to see if it’s a great new toy, a lump of coal, or a free-to-play mobile game.

For those that don’t know, E3 stands for Electronic Entertainment Expo. At E3, game publishers and developers come and give press conferences that talk about any new games or projects that they are working on.

As for this year’s E3, I can honestly say that it was a bit of a mess. While there were a few exciting announcements, the vast majority of the conference failed to catch my interest.

We should start at the beginning, with EA, or Electronic Arts, and their conference that kicked off this year’s E3.

There was a few good moments during the EA conference, like the announcement of “Sea of Solitude” and the nervousness of the presenter, Cornelia Geppert, who seemed to genuinely care about the game she was presenting.

There was also the announcement and instant release of “Unravel 2”, which was a great surprise, and announcements like that are some of my favorite parts of E3. A developer announcing a game they’ve been working on and then subsequently saying that it is available that day happened with a few games this E3, like “Fortnite” on Switch, and I loved each one that was announced.

Aside from those good pieces, the rest of EA’s conference was an awkward cluster. There was the announcement of a free-to-play mobile “Command and Conquer” game, as well as an on-stage competition which had two people playing on their phones in front of an audience that didn’t seem to care.

A new “Star Wars” game was announced, which might have been exciting if there was anything to show beyond the presenter just saying that they were making a new Star Wars game.

A Battle Royale mode was announced for the new “Battlefield 5”, and was met with an audible groan from the audience.

Overall, EA’s press conference made this year’s E3 stumble hard out of the starting gate, and while none of the presentations reached the level of messiness that EA’s hit, there wasn’t a whole lot announced to write home about.

The second day of conferences, which featured Microsoft and Bethesda Game Studios’ press conferences, was in my opinion the best day of the conferences.

Microsoft’s conference was first, and they started off strong with a trailer for an upcoming “Halo” game, and continued by announcing and talking about 29 different games during their conference, ending it with a trailer for “Cyberpunk 2077”, a game being developed by CD Projekt Red that was announced more than six years ago.

Bethesda’s conference was hit-and-miss, starting with a musical performance to announce “Rage 2” which lasted uncomfortably long, to the mixed reactions to “Fallout:76” being multiplayer, to the announcement of “The Elder Scrolls 6” and the audience going nuts because of it.

Overall, I think the second day of conferences went really well. While it didn’t necessarily make up for EA’s lackluster conference the day before, I was still excited for what was announced between Bethesda and Microsoft.

After those two conferences, E3 itself and the excitement died down for me. Sony’s conference didn’t focus on much beyond four games, and while they looked interesting there wasn’t anything decidedly new to sink into. Similarly, Square Enix and Ubisoft’s conferences didn’t really hit much of a chord either, beyond a few games or franchise announcements that weren’t new.

Rounding out this year’s conferences was Nintendo, and Nintendo talked about eleven games briefly, and then focused on the new Super Smash Brothers for the remainder of their presentation, with around half of the total presentation focusing on that one game alone.

Overall, this E3 was disappointing. While there were some standout titles, this E3 didn’t have anything to write home about.

 

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