What a boring E3

I love a big E3 as much as the next guy, but it couldn't just have been me that found this one of the most lackluster E3's in a few years. Microsoft continued to make us feel like Kinect is actually a new Xbox and more than half their press conference was devoted to such wonderful titles as Disneyland Adventures and Once Upon A Monster. Don't get me wrong, if I had kids I would probably be stoked about those games. As it is, promising me Kinect support in Mass Effect 3 and ALL Tom Clancy games going forward just doesn't get me excited. Modern Warfare 3 had a balls-to-the-wall demo, but I guess that doesn't surprise me anymore. Gunsmith in the new Ghost Recon looks cool, but not enough to convince me that Kinect is crucial to the experience. In fact, that's how all the Kinect demos of core games felt. As though it was something to say "Hey, if you already bought this, you will actually have a few things you can do with it in those blockbuster games we know you'll buy!" I feel like it just hasn't had a killer app. The Fun Labs thing looks interesting, but I guess I'll have to wait and see if there's really anything they can do to convince me of why at this stage in the console's life cycle I should shell out that cash on a peripheral. Halo 4 sounds interesting, but a new trilogy? Really? So we gonna go all Star Wars now and start calling a 4, 5 and 6 a trilogy?

Of course there's one trilogy, that I think we didn't expect to become one, that will finally be ending this year. Ezio had a bit of a longer run as a protagonist in Assassin's Creed than I think anyone expected. However with the quality of the games being so high you can hardly argue. I'll be happy to play through more AC in hopes that this one may actually answer as many questions as I'm sure it will raise. Really this was the shining star in Ubisoft's lineup. Ghost Recon FS looks ok, not amazing, but not bad either. I want to like that game, but I think I need to get my hands on it before I can make a decision one way or the other. FarCry 3 was a pleasant surprise. I wasn't a huge fan of the previous games, but that demo looked pretty damn good. Might have to keep my eye on that one. Oh and "Mr. Caffeine" was just downright horrendous. When the FarCry developer came out and just in 2-3 sentences set up the game and said let's get to it I was practically cheering him for his brevity and refusal to be a party to the complete nonsense going on around him.

EA's conference was ok, I mean...not really any big surprises, but they kept it fairly simple. Battlefield 3 looks amazing, 'nuff said. I'm becoming more and more intrigued with Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, although my "bullshit sensor" keeps telling me I'm asking to get let down if I start to expect too much. Mass Effect 3 is probably the game I'm looking forward to the most next year. The stage demo wasn't the greatest, but the one they showed on GameTrailers later was crazy good. Very exciting stuff. Madden 12....*sigh*...you parade 3 top players out there and don't even have a real gameplay trailer? This game is supposed to drop in like 2-3 months? You gotta do better. Your last year show was better than this. Not sure how to feel about The Old Republic...I love Star Wars and I love KOTOR, but I feel like this is just WoW with a new window dressing and it's not going to satisfy what I want from a Star Wars RPG. I'm sure it will be a great game and people will love it, but I guess I'm dealing with my own personal disappointment that they felt an MMO was the best way to go. Overstrike looks interesting, while SSX and NFS: The Run do not, to sum it up.

Sony had a decent show to be sure. The emphasis on Move was much more understated, which I appreciated greatly. Sad that the only NBA 2K12 info was improved Move support, but hey, they had Kobe. That's good right? Right? Uncharted 3 really stole the show out of the gate. The boat level with it's swirling ocean and water effects looked amazing. Resistance 3 looks to continue to be a mediocre franchise. The PS Vita looks like one slick, sexy piece of tech and the price was pretty good too. I'm just not sure I'm ready to invest in a portable device that does what my PS3 does, more or less. I'm sure it will sell well, especially at that price point compared to Nintendo's 3DS, but I may need to see a bit more before I seriously consider a purchase.

The 3DS had a pretty strong showing at Nintendo. Kid Icarus, a new Mario Kart and...Luigi's Mansion? Well, I guess they had to find something else to remake draw inspiration from. Skyward Sword looked like more Zelda, which to be honest, I haven't cared about as much since Twilight Princess. Maybe the Wii U can change that. Although I'll be completely honest, I think the Wii U looks pretty wack. The controller is a marvel of technology, but it looks pretty large and like a weird tablet. All the cool techy things it can do sound nice, but it just seems like you'll be spending money to reinvest in this generation's technology. This isn't leaps and bounds ahead of everything else nor is the approach as novel as the Wii was in 2006. It just feels awkward as it'll be keeping up with games we'll be playing for the next couple of years and then what happens when Microsoft and Sony drop new machines in 2014? Do we end up back in the same situation of those two getting titles and Nintendo's console getting some completely different version due to it's discrepancy in power? Only time will tell, but with the 3DS and Vita going for $250, I'm pretty sure whatever Nintendo is charging will be too much for my tastes.

So all in all I think there was really little to get excited about this year. Most of the best stuff we knew about long before E3 and there were less than a handful of wonderful surprises. Well, the bright side is I won't have to make many adjustments to my purchase calendar for the next year or so.

20 Comments
21 Comments
Posted by yevinorion

I love a big E3 as much as the next guy, but it couldn't just have been me that found this one of the most lackluster E3's in a few years. Microsoft continued to make us feel like Kinect is actually a new Xbox and more than half their press conference was devoted to such wonderful titles as Disneyland Adventures and Once Upon A Monster. Don't get me wrong, if I had kids I would probably be stoked about those games. As it is, promising me Kinect support in Mass Effect 3 and ALL Tom Clancy games going forward just doesn't get me excited. Modern Warfare 3 had a balls-to-the-wall demo, but I guess that doesn't surprise me anymore. Gunsmith in the new Ghost Recon looks cool, but not enough to convince me that Kinect is crucial to the experience. In fact, that's how all the Kinect demos of core games felt. As though it was something to say "Hey, if you already bought this, you will actually have a few things you can do with it in those blockbuster games we know you'll buy!" I feel like it just hasn't had a killer app. The Fun Labs thing looks interesting, but I guess I'll have to wait and see if there's really anything they can do to convince me of why at this stage in the console's life cycle I should shell out that cash on a peripheral. Halo 4 sounds interesting, but a new trilogy? Really? So we gonna go all Star Wars now and start calling a 4, 5 and 6 a trilogy?

Of course there's one trilogy, that I think we didn't expect to become one, that will finally be ending this year. Ezio had a bit of a longer run as a protagonist in Assassin's Creed than I think anyone expected. However with the quality of the games being so high you can hardly argue. I'll be happy to play through more AC in hopes that this one may actually answer as many questions as I'm sure it will raise. Really this was the shining star in Ubisoft's lineup. Ghost Recon FS looks ok, not amazing, but not bad either. I want to like that game, but I think I need to get my hands on it before I can make a decision one way or the other. FarCry 3 was a pleasant surprise. I wasn't a huge fan of the previous games, but that demo looked pretty damn good. Might have to keep my eye on that one. Oh and "Mr. Caffeine" was just downright horrendous. When the FarCry developer came out and just in 2-3 sentences set up the game and said let's get to it I was practically cheering him for his brevity and refusal to be a party to the complete nonsense going on around him.

EA's conference was ok, I mean...not really any big surprises, but they kept it fairly simple. Battlefield 3 looks amazing, 'nuff said. I'm becoming more and more intrigued with Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, although my "bullshit sensor" keeps telling me I'm asking to get let down if I start to expect too much. Mass Effect 3 is probably the game I'm looking forward to the most next year. The stage demo wasn't the greatest, but the one they showed on GameTrailers later was crazy good. Very exciting stuff. Madden 12....*sigh*...you parade 3 top players out there and don't even have a real gameplay trailer? This game is supposed to drop in like 2-3 months? You gotta do better. Your last year show was better than this. Not sure how to feel about The Old Republic...I love Star Wars and I love KOTOR, but I feel like this is just WoW with a new window dressing and it's not going to satisfy what I want from a Star Wars RPG. I'm sure it will be a great game and people will love it, but I guess I'm dealing with my own personal disappointment that they felt an MMO was the best way to go. Overstrike looks interesting, while SSX and NFS: The Run do not, to sum it up.

Sony had a decent show to be sure. The emphasis on Move was much more understated, which I appreciated greatly. Sad that the only NBA 2K12 info was improved Move support, but hey, they had Kobe. That's good right? Right? Uncharted 3 really stole the show out of the gate. The boat level with it's swirling ocean and water effects looked amazing. Resistance 3 looks to continue to be a mediocre franchise. The PS Vita looks like one slick, sexy piece of tech and the price was pretty good too. I'm just not sure I'm ready to invest in a portable device that does what my PS3 does, more or less. I'm sure it will sell well, especially at that price point compared to Nintendo's 3DS, but I may need to see a bit more before I seriously consider a purchase.

The 3DS had a pretty strong showing at Nintendo. Kid Icarus, a new Mario Kart and...Luigi's Mansion? Well, I guess they had to find something else to remake draw inspiration from. Skyward Sword looked like more Zelda, which to be honest, I haven't cared about as much since Twilight Princess. Maybe the Wii U can change that. Although I'll be completely honest, I think the Wii U looks pretty wack. The controller is a marvel of technology, but it looks pretty large and like a weird tablet. All the cool techy things it can do sound nice, but it just seems like you'll be spending money to reinvest in this generation's technology. This isn't leaps and bounds ahead of everything else nor is the approach as novel as the Wii was in 2006. It just feels awkward as it'll be keeping up with games we'll be playing for the next couple of years and then what happens when Microsoft and Sony drop new machines in 2014? Do we end up back in the same situation of those two getting titles and Nintendo's console getting some completely different version due to it's discrepancy in power? Only time will tell, but with the 3DS and Vita going for $250, I'm pretty sure whatever Nintendo is charging will be too much for my tastes.

So all in all I think there was really little to get excited about this year. Most of the best stuff we knew about long before E3 and there were less than a handful of wonderful surprises. Well, the bright side is I won't have to make many adjustments to my purchase calendar for the next year or so.

Edited by ThePhantomnaut

<3 
 
Ice cream love!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by grahf14

Yea I agree, there was nothing I saw at E3 that really got me stoked.  I was looking forward to seeing the Last Guardian.... But no such luck.  The WiiU?  Looks pretty lame.  But as time goes on I reserve the right to change my mind about that.

Posted by Delicious_Brains

I thought it was okay with the amount of things that were shown but I didn't get excited at all because there were no (good) surprise reveals.

Posted by yevinorion

@grahf14: Yeah, damn, I forgot about the Last Guardian. That got pushed back to next year or something right? But that's one game that I'm happy to wait as long as it takes for them to get it right. Plus I'm sure they had to give some room to Ico/SotC HD to make some sales. :)

Posted by devilzrule27

@Delicious_Brains said:

I thought it was okay with the amount of things that were shown but I didn't get excited at all because there were no (good) surprise reveals.

Yup. Sony has been showing off the Vita and all their games all year long so nothing was surprising there, Microsoft didn't show anything, Nintendo showed a controller, and all the 3rd party games were stuff that we've been seeing already.

Posted by Mikewrestler5

I couldn't agree more.

Edited by MattyFTM

While there weren't too many high profile announcements, that was kinda to be expected. There are a lot of really high profile games due out at the end of this year, and companies don't want to overshadow them by announcing too much new stuff. The emphasis was very much on this holiday season, and most of those games had already been announced and shown previously. We already knew stuff about those games, and shiny new things are always far more exciting than stuff we've seen before. The Wii U announcement was a bit disappointing too, with too much focus on tech demo's rather than actual games. But again, that was always going to be the case. Most of the 3DS stuff they showed at last years E3 was tech demo's, and the 3DS was a lot closer to release then than the Wii U is now. I think this years E3 is probably disappointing because of overblown expectations rather than the content of the show itself being poor.

Either way, the E3 bombcasts this year have been some of the best ever. They more than make up for any amount of disappointment the show had and have provided me with hours upon hours of entertainment.

Moderator Online
Posted by KarlPilkington

You're a boring E3.

Posted by MightyDuck
@grahf14
 
My thoughts exactly.  I was still holding out hope that sony would release information on Syphon Filter 4, but no such luck.
Posted by crusader8463

Most of the stuff at E3 that I was looking forward to I already knew about long before E3, and none of it was given the time of day in most press.

Posted by endless_void

Yeah GTA5 announcement was cancelled last second so I was pretty disappointed....

Posted by yevinorion

@MattyFTM said:

Either way, the E3 bombcasts this year have been some of the best ever. They more than make up for any amount of disappointment the show had and have provided me with hours upon hours of entertainment.

Thank God for the Bombcast. You're absolutely right in that it's a case of us really knowing most of this before E3, but I just wish there were a few more neat surprises like FarCry 3 or the Playstation 3D TV (which personally I think is a bit too small, but a great idea). I guess in a way it could be overblown expectations, but I think that's more a product of this instant information age where we get all these little leaks and tidbits of info along the way. It wasn't such a hard thing a few years ago to ask to be genuinely surprised and wowed at E3.

Posted by Ninja

I agre, as I get older though, the coverage of E3 excites me more than the content. I like the fact that I will get more podcasts and funny videos than I usually do and that is enough for me!

Posted by UlquioKani

the best parts were the E3 bombcasts which didn't contain much E3 stuff. The main stuff from the developers was kinda uninteresting and generic. I am struggling to think of anything

Posted by 137

E3 was actually pretty lack luster, re-releases of old games is not something I would say is worth presenting on E3. There wasn't a lot of playable demo's that were really worth diving into.

I knew the Nintendo was mainly vaporware at this point so I wasn't "dying" to see anything over there. I spent 5 hours waiting to play Battlefield3 and as nuts as that sounds, it was the best choice of the show.

I played street fighter tekken and that was pretty cool, otherwise everything else at the show will be out in 4-5 months minus the only other game I'm excited about which is Mass Effect 3 which wasn't playable so no use sitting in a line to watch a trailer

Posted by Unchained

Seems most the real big announcements seem to go to Game Informer covers these days, or the Spike VGA at the end of the year, where the announcements get less buried by other announcements.

I was underwhelmed by this E3 for sure. The Skyrim coverage and demos saved it for me, but then those could have been done outside an E3 environment and still would have had an equal effect on me.

Posted by Vinny_Says

Bombcasts were the best parts.

Posted by Lunar_Aura

@Ninja said:

I agre, as I get older though, the coverage of E3 excites me more than the content. I like the fact that I will get more podcasts and funny videos than I usually do and that is enough for me!

Same here. E3 to me has been more about the antics of how the conference is covered and less about the big reveals and gameplay videos. I watched GiantBomb/ClassicGameRoom purely for their reactions to the games, conferences, and spectacle E3 has built itself to be that we know and (should) love.

Posted by Menseguez

In terms of games, I agree that this year has been quite boring. Oddly enough I find myself excited for Skyward Sword whereas before the show I only had a passing interest because it was a Zelda game. I'm really digging the artstyle which I was not impressed by after last year's E3. I think it's because I get a more Wind Waker from this one, which is awesome.
 
In terms of E3 coverage though I think this has been one of the most exciting for me. The Giant Bomb crew really delivered this year with amazing bombcasts with amazing guests every night. I really felt like I got a better view into the industry than I ever had before.

Posted by Hellstrom

Skyrim, Twisted Metal, and a couple other games are all that matters. Screw the rest. Thats all i wanted to see. Oh Tomb Raider looked nice as well, better than the Uncharted demo for sure.