As a bit of a disclaimer, these opinions are completely my own, and I am only ranking the 7 major press conferences at E3.
This may have been one of the best E3’s I have ever seen. The developers and game studios listened and gave us what we wanted this year: games. Some press conferences were better than others, some were unbelievably awesome. Let’s break down the ranking list from this years E3 press conferences.
It pains me, it really does, but Nintendo was very predictable at this year’s E3. They opened with Starfox, which even if I did like flying games, still did not look that good. They pushed Amiibo very hard, showing off new stuff which will appeal to some, but not me.
Nintendo had way too many developer stories again this year, maybe because they did not have many games to show off. Super Mario Maker looked fun, but that was their big title this year, and I’m not sure it’s a system seller. Their saving grace from making this a true snoozefest was that of Fire Emblem: Fates and a new title, Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, which looks to combine Paper Mario into the regular look of the Mario & Luigi series. Yoshi’s Wooly World also still looks adorable.
Overall, there were not enough games shown, and I still do not think their Holiday 2015 lineup has anything great there, and that’s why Nintendo’s (pretty boring) E3 conference brings up the rear on this list.
6. Square Enix
This is probably the most frustrating conference to talk about. Square Enix had an amazing assortment of games either announced or shown (Hitman reboot, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Just Cause 3, Kingdom Hearts 3, etc…) but their delivery was so clunky and unprepared.
Square Enix had way too many behind the scenes with developer moments when gamers really just wanted to see the games. Square’s representatives also looked completely unprepared as almost all of them were completely fixed on the teleprompter rather than the audience. The sheer amount of games, however, saved Square Enix from being a train wreck. After making the audience go quiet with announcing a Kingdom Hearts mobile game, we finally saw some good footage of Kingdom Hearts III. We saw some good footage of Just Cause 3 as well, while most of the other games were just trailers and behind the scenes action.
Also, Square Enix just showed the same Final Fantasy stuff that they did with Sony press conference last night with World of Final Fantasy and the Final Fantasy VII remake. All in all, so many good games, but a horribly delivered conference puts this at number 6 on the list.
EA was a pretty standard conference. Half of it is usually pretty solid, the other half is EA Sports. I love sports games, but I honestly don’t need them at a press conference. They did have some solid content there to make up for it such as Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst, Mass Effect: Andromeda (all 20 seconds), and of course, Star Wars Battlefront.
What held this conference back was definitely Pele. He is a nice guy and was an amazing soccer player, but he talked for way too long and blinked a lot (seriously) and talked nothing about FIFA 16 at all. Sorry Pele. Also, they spent way too long with Plants vs. Zombies 2. I would not have minded a minute or two, but that was like 15 minutes of coverage.
All in all, EA did a fine job with showing their big games. Battlefront looks beautiful and very fun. Mirror’s Edge was one of the most underrated gems of last generation and Catalyst looks like more of the same. And while I would have liked to see more of Mass Effect footage, the series is one of my all time favorites, so I trust EA and Bioware to make another masterpiece.
This conference may be the most surprising to me. I was not expecting much at all, with only mild interest in Rainbow Six: Siege and Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate being my most anticipated. The tables were flipped on me with the amazing announcement of a new open world Ghost Recon game which looked awesome. Rainbow Six: Siege, while I do not get into multiplayer shooters much anymore, looked like an amazing tactical shooter. In fact, Syndicate was the most underwhelming title I was interested in because they only showed a cinematic trailer.
What definitely held this back was the Just Dance section. We understand that Just Dance is huge in terms of numbers for Ubisoft but Jason Derulo giving a horrible performance is not what people travel to LA to see. Also, Ubisoft should not have mentioned The Crew at all, as it just reopened some wounds for people. The Division looked a bit bland and empty as well.
However, they did announce a sequel to South Park: Stick of Truth titled Fractured But Whole (haha) which will take the storyline of Coon and Friends and looks just as humorous as Stick of truth. There was also For Honor, which if done right, could be an awesome game as well. Overall, a very well done press conference from Ubisoft.
OK, this is where it got tough to narrow down the top 3. These three conferences were in their own league and really surprised us with how great their presentations were. So, starting the top 3 at number 3, is Microsoft. Microsoft gave us most of what we wanted and threw in a nice surprise: backwards compatibility for your Xbox 360 games coming holiday 2015. They also showed off highly anticipated sequels Halo 5: Guardians, Rise of the Tomb Raider (timed exclusive) and Gears 4.
What held Microsoft back from really having a errorless conference was the inclusion of Fable Legends and Plants vs. Zombies. Also, after seeing Doom, Halo 5 looked a bit generic to me. And Gears 4 was so dark, I could hardly see the footage on my screen, though the dynamic moon lighting did look great.
All in all, the conference was the best from Microsoft in quite some time, with new IP Recore looking cool, 30 Rare games for $30, including a separate new IP from them, Sea of Thieves. But backwards compatibility. Finally! Let’s hope Halo 5 is as good as the others now.
For their first E3 conference ever, Bethesda opened the conference off beautifully. They kicked it off with some amazing, visceral, gory footage of Doom, showing off chainsaw shredding, and brutal melee executions, while guns required no reloading. They also officially announced Dishonored 2, giving the players the option to choose to play as either Corvo or Emily, with each assassin having their own unique traits and abilities.
What held Bethesda from “winning E3” on the opening night was the Elder Scrolls stuff. We get that Elder Scrolls Online is a thing, but you have already released it and this is the year of Fallout. And Elder Scrolls Legends looks a bit too much like Hearthstone.
But of course, the reason Bethesda takes number 2: my personal game of the show, Fallout 4. The game features just kept on coming long after you thought Todd Howard was done. New features include complete character customization, including being able to play as a male or female, a new crafting system with armor, weapons, and structures, and voice acting. It was everything we wanted and more and the gameplay looks awesome. And, the collector’s edition comes with your very own life-size Pip-Boy! Oh, and Fallout Shelter looked cool too.
And now, for the winner. Sony gave us exactly what we wanted: games. They bombarded us with game after game, with almost all of them looking absolutely spectacular. From the long awaited revival of The Last Guardian, Uncharted 4 footage, new IP Horizon, and so much more, Sony blew the roof off of the place.
What held it back from being the best conference maybe ever for Sony was that it lost some momentum about 2/3 of the way through with Call of Duty: Black Ops III and a new Destiny expansion. I understand though, since it is the first time a Call of Duty game has been shown at a Sony conference.
Going back to the games, No Man’s Sky showed us millions of planets, Dreams is the next mind bending game from Medium Molecule, The Last Guardian is happening, Shenmue III is getting Kickstarted, Firewatch looks cool and hilarious, and Final Fantasy VII is finally getting a brand new remake. And those are just exclusives. They also showed off a bit of Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, Star Wars Battlefront, and Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst. So, Sony gave us what we wanted with so many awesome surprises and games, and for that they “win E3” for me.
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