I have to say, this was some of the best E3's in recent years. It probably makes sense since this was a year where we had to know about the new generation of consoles coming out, but seriously, this was some of the best E3's ever. I did noticed some trends that I wanted to point out in E3 that came from not just the companies, but the overall coverage of the show floor. Here's my list of things I noticed at E3 2013!
- Nintendo is making a bigger push than before to make their systems homes of platformers.
I saw the Nintendo Direct for E3, and for the most part, all I could think of was "Is it just me, or is 70% of this direct catering to platforming fans". Yes not everything from their Direct was about platformers, but it is safe to say that Nintendo will have the biggest library of games in that genre for 2013. The revealed Super Mario 3D World, which looks like a hybrid of Super Mario Bros 2, Super Mario World and of course, Super Mario 3D Land. Nintendo is releasing this game in December just to play it safe and making a sequel to 3D Land instead of doing something radically different.
Later they revealed Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze, which is Retro's next game. Much like Super Mario 3D World, this is a safe sequel that will cater to the crowd that loved Donkey Kong Country Returns. Again, I'd rather have Retro test themselves by making a new IP, but it seems they are working on another fun platformer for the system.
Then there's Sonic Lost World, or Sonic Galaxy as some are calling it. This was announced earlier than the other two games and got a few seconds of screen time on the Direct. It's also not a Nintendo published game, but this is yet another platformer exclusive for the Wii U and looks pretty solid.
And then there's Smash Bros, which I might call these games "platters" from now on because they are hybrid of platformers and fighters. The main reason I bring up Smash Bros in this is mainly because of one character reveal, Mega Man!
Granted, this is an awesome reveal and I was stoked to see him confirmed from the game, but I felt Nintendo again advertising to get a specific crowd interested in this news. In my world, I wanna think that Nintendo released their inner Hulk Hogan and sent a message saying, "LISTEN UP SMASH BROTHERS! EVERYWHERE I GO, ALL THE LITTLE MEGA MANIACS ASK ME, WHEN IS MEGA MAN GONNA BE IN SMASH BROS?! WELL TODAY MAN, AT E3 2013, THE WORLD WILL SEE MEGA MAN IN SMASH AND ALL THE MEGA MANIACS ARE GONNA LOVE IT!" While Mega Man is in due to constant requests and this is some neat fan service, it makes me think that they are advertising Mega Man to attract another group of platforming fans to buy their system just to play as the Blue Bomber in Smash.
And one more thing, if Nintendo is gonna sell independent platformers to the e-shop such as Oddworld New n' Tasty and Shovel Knight, you know they are making a bigger push than before to be the home of platforming titles.
2. Under new management, EA will no longer be called "The Worst Company of America"
I have to say, I was pretty impressed with EA's press conference this year. Yeah they showed off the usual flagship games such as a new Battlefield, another Madden and another Need for Speed. However, I thought EA was showing some other games that told me that they are starting to care for the consumers. For anyone who wanted a new Battlefront game after 7 years, don't worry, a reboot of Star Wars Battlefront is coming soon! That's proof that EA is listening to the Star Wars fans and hopefully make an effort to start a trend of great Star Wars games again!
Now I never played Mirror's Edge, but I know that it has a cult following and fans have been persistent in telling EA to make another one of those games. Well, EA listened and now fans are going to get Mirror's Edge 2. Even though much like Battlefront, we didn't see any gameplay footage, but based on what the trailer showed, it looks like its sticking with the parkour, action gameplay that the first one was known for.
I also enjoyed seeing EA's developers making some crazy games associated with one of their IP's. I rather enjoyed the stage demo of Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare. We weren't sure if it was a real game or a joke, but its real and I think its great that they're doing something insane with Plants vs. Zombies by making it into a third person shooter.
Also I like how EA is still publishing new IP's for people to see at E3. I'm actually talking about Titanfall. Now coming from someone who has grown jaded about the constant FPS releases as of late, this looks like its going to breathe some new breath into the genre with giant-mechs and jet packs! Looks sick Respawn!
Honestly with EA revealing these games that have either been requested by fans for years or revealing new games, how can you say EA is the worst company now? Now we're not sure if all these games are guaranteed to be great, but its good to know that EA is catering to specific and devoted fans while doing new things whether its new IPs or making a new game with a name of an current IP.
3. Racing games challenged FPS' for genre of the show.
This might be obvious for some, but who thought this was the year of the car? I did, literally every one of the big 5 had one or two racing games to announce or show more footage of. Microsoft has Forza Motorsport 5, Sony has Driveclub for PS4 and Gran Turismo 6 for PS3, Nintendo has Mario Kart 8, EA has Need for Speed Rivals, and Ubisoft had the new kid in town called The Crew. Maybe because with new consoles being launched, it makes sense to have some kind of racing game for first party publishers to advertise with their new system and that's what both Microsoft and Sony are doing. For others like Ubisoft, it seems they are trying some new stuff with The Crew as its a team racer where you're in a team and you're competing against other racing teams online to make for an exciting interactive racer.
Now hear me out, when I say racers challenge FPS', I don't mean that it beat FPS' as the main genre of the show. Yeah E3 had a crap ton of FPS' that were shown this year including Battlefield 4, COD Ghost, Wolfenstein: New Order, Destiny, Titanfall, Killzone Shadow Fall and so on. There were also reveals for upcoming big name shooters such as the new Halo. To me, it felt like the shooter genre was in the front seat of the E3 bus with the racing genre being a seat behind or even next to it. There was just a lot of coverage of the genre this year and people seemed to be more excited about the genre than before. Maybe its just me and I don't pay that much attention to racing games, but I don't think I've seen this much buzz about racing games at E3 in a long time.
4. While the FPS and Racing genres took the front seats on the E3 bus, strategy games took the backseat.
Man, what a bummer for me to write about this since I love the genre. Don't care if its Real-Time or Turn-Based, I love a well made strategy game. This year we definitely got some great looking strategy games, its just it was a small library and there didn't seem too much buzz surrounding them. Maybe one of the reasons for this is because with the new consoles coming out, it made more sense for video game sites to focus on what was on the next-gen consoles instead of what was shown for PC or even the Wii U.
First game is Company of Heroes 2, where Relic set up online demos of a game that at the time, was going to be released in two weeks. With the fact that this game is coming out in two weeks, people probably thought they could wait on playing the full game rather than play an online match now. It would explain why the Bombcast didn't check it out since they can just wait until it comes out. Yes people definitely checked out the demo and saw live demos on online streams of this game, but it seemed to got little attention when there weren't streaming demos. When Gamespot did a floor tour around the Mad Katz controllers and keyboards, there were a few CoH 2 demos ready to go, but nobody played them.
Then there's Total War Rome II. Sega had a private booth where only invited journalists could play the demo. Yes there were a few live-streams of the Rome II demo recorded online from places like IGN and Gamespot. And I will say that Rome II probably got the most attention out of all the strategy games this E3 with it getting the most best of show, PC and strategy game of e3 nominees out of the rest. However, compared to the coverage of games like Titanfall, Battlefield 4 and driving games such as Forza 5 and The Crew, its presence didn't feel as significant.
Then you have Pikmin 3, the only console strategy game of the show. Even that didn't get that much attention except for a few livestream demos of its new bingo multiplayer mode. Not to mention that Nintendo didn't show the new trailer of the game on their E3 Nintendo Direct to make gamers aware that's its coming out in August.
Finally there's Command and Conquer, which is still free-to-play. Much like the other strategy games mentioned, it had its fair share of livestream coverage and hands-on articles. But looking at how it was trending compared to other PC games, it doesn't seem like its getting much buzz. I can't find too many livestream video demos of Command and Conquer from E3. Even EA didn't bother to mention Command and Conquer in their press conference.
I'm torn on this because while I can accept that the press wanted to set their focus on what the next generation of consoles are and cover the biggest titles coming out on those systems. But at the same time, I feel bad that strategy games had little of a presence this year and was overlooked by bigger name games at E3.
-So these are the things I noticed and learned for myself this E3. I'm open to changes if I got anything wrong on my blog.