The bustling carnival of E3 is over for another year. None of the conferences were bad, and Microsoft and Ubisoft even surprised those in attendance by delivering the best conferences they have done in years. Additionally, there are enough compelling third-party games coming out between now and the festive season to keep us excited through to December. These titles include South Park: The Fractured But Whole, Assassin’s Creed: Origins and The Evil Within 2.
However, E3 2017 lacked a certain je ne sais quoi. There was no title announcement or reveal that wowed and shocked audiences with its brilliance and anticipation. The hype, gossip and misleading information meant disappointment for many, and here are the five biggest letdowns from #E32017.
5. No New Batman Game
Regardless of whether or not Rocksteady is working on a new #Batman title — or if it's instead coming from WB Games Montréal, the developers of the criminally underrated Batman: Arkham Origins — a new Batman game was expected to be announced during E3. There has been an abundance of rumors in the lead-up, with the news even supposedly having been leaked as Batman: Arkham Insurgency.
However, nothing was revealed, and the Caped Crusader was noticeable in his absence. Perhaps it’ll be announced further along in the year, or maybe Warner Bros. will employ a similar marketing strategy than that of Middle-earth: Shadow of War, by announcing its existence in the same year of release. We live in hope.
4. The Last of Us Part II No-Show
You don’t want to oversaturate the market and tire audiences by repeatedly showcasing a game years before its release. And yet #TheLastOfUs2 was one everyone was excited to see more of. We wanted more gameplay, to see what improvements Naughty Dog was implementing. Perhaps it’s for the best that the survival horror sequel wasn’t shown, as its absence indicates that #NaughtyDog haven’t been fooling us, that the game truly is early in development.
Knowing that The Last of Us Part II is still not within arm's reach is probably where the fan dismay stems from. But Naughty Dog deserve time and patience; it's earned its stellar reputation and the gaming community’s trust. However, in contrast to what was just written, I'm down on knees, sobbing, with hands cupped together. Please don’t make us wait too long.
Do you remember Skyrim? Who loves #Skyrim? Raise your hands in the air if you love Skyrim. You wouldn’t believe Skyrim was six years old with how much Bethesda talked about it at E3. It cannot be milked anymore. The well is dry. The cow is truly empty. Please, leave it alone, and don’t shove it in the world’s face anymore. It’s understandable that Bethesda is proud of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim; the game was exceptional and perhaps the developer's magnum opus. But there was way too much focus on this 2011 RPG release at E3 2017.
#Bethesda's VR compatibility was unsurprising, especially with Fallout 4 going the same route. Its showing for the Nintendo Switch was laughable, primarily with the Link skin and sword that was treated as a revelation when in actuality a mod for that probably already existed. And the concept of paid-for mods is both ugly and foul.
Bethesda’s overall showing was lackluster and boring, in spite of The Evil Within 2 and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus both being announced with October release dates. The developer needs to ensure a better job next year, or don’t have a press conference at all.
2. Days Gone And Marvel's Spider-Man
Despite having its gameplay showcased twice, Days Gone was ultimately underwhelming, having done little to impress, entice or set itself apart. The game features a colossal amount of zombies, but what else is there?
The stealth mechanics weren't unique or innovative; the world didn't seem any different to what has already been offered; the gameplay too similar to The Last of Us; and the backward-cap-wearing lead character seemingly offers nothing to make him worthy of that lead role — he just looks, sounds and feels like a Sons of Anarchy reject. Hopefully the game will offer much more than its first impression promises, but both of its E3 exhibitions were average at best.
Marvel's Spider-Man has more potential. While it was impressive to see Spidey exploit his surroundings, from a combat perspective, comparisons are going to be made to the Arkham series, clearly where Insomniac took inspiration from. Yet Beenox’s #SpiderMan games had already pilfered Rocksteady’s crimefighting formula, so Insomniac desperately needs to do more so that its version of the Webslinger is distinguishable from that of Beenox.
Truly, if Insomniac were not known to be the creators, Beenox would be assumed as the developers behind this title. Furthermore, the game could be beautiful, it could offer a wealth of impressive side missions, and Manhattan could be completely traversable, but the game needs to give us a compelling story. Aside from graphical prowess, that is where Beenox faltered most.
1. No Bloodborne 2
The absences of Batman and Lara Croft can be accepted because, even though their titles were apparently leaked, Warner Bros.’ marketing strategy is different to that of Sony. Due to Sony’s long-held tradition of revealing games years before they are released, the lack of announcement for #Bloodborne2 was shocking.
Granted, the game is likely to be announced at PlayStation Experience, an event that allows Sony to not reveal its entire deck at E3, but it was still surprising regardless. We must continue to wait to return to the H.P. Lovecraft-inspired world, but there is still hope for it to appear later in the year.
While many believe E3 2017 was a disappointment, understand that there is a plethora of games waiting to be released and a catalogue of excellent games to experience. Most of these disappointments will correct themselves with future timely showcases, particularly for The Last of US Part II, and new Batman and Bloodborne games are as sure as the sun rising. Appreciate what is available, look forward to 2017’s holiday schedule, and don’t get too caught up in anticipating the future.