Night Owl’s highlights of E3 2017

After Grocs did such a good job of highlighting his best from E3 I’m not sure what else I can add but I’ll give it a shot. 🙂

X marks the spot

Everyone knew it was coming, just not what it was going to be called. So out with Scorpio and in with Xbox One X which if you count the number of Xs means I’m surprised they didn’t try to have Vin Diesel snowboarding into the convention centre on one. Well… maybe if it were as big as the original Xbox One…

The flashy new Xbox One X is both extremely compact but also blindingly fast. A good combination for my crowded entertainment unit.

Anyway, the new console looks good and if the games really do push the boundaries and deliver us some 4K goodness then it’ll definitely be the place to play console games looking their very best. Four years between console iterations may seem short but that was also the period between the original Xbox and the 360. In comparison, it was only three years for the PS4 and PS4 Pro and going back further three years between the Sega Master System and Genesis/Megadrive.

Digging even further into their back catalogue with original Xbox backward compatibility is likely to mean a few more old games getting added to either Games with Gold or the new Game Pass service but it might also reinvigorate some franchises that deserve some long overdue attention. Crimson Skies is a great place to start.

Shooting from the hip

It seems that all the games I was feeling the most hype for this year were shooters. Star Wars Battlefront II‘s presentation basically confirmed everything that I wanted in a sequel was going to make it and so will be an easy purchase for me. Having DLC maps free for everyone (much like Titanfall 2) is a huge bonus that will help to keep the game fresh for a long time.

After missing out on last year’s Bethesda presentation, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus finally showed up and looks to be exactly the sequel we were hoping for from the revitalised franchise. The lengthy trailer had plenty of crazy a hints in there too meaning we’ve got one heck of a ride coming. If haven’t played The New Order yet, do so now!

The trailer for Metro Exodus was impressive and was perhaps the first game at the Microsoft presentation beyond Forza Motorsport 7 to scream out 4K. It was only a small slice of what the game might be but it looked phenomenal. As for the aforementioned racing game, FM7 is what you’d expect from Turn 10 Studios – it’s an extremely sharp looking game with perhaps some hints of a more fun side that might be a sign that a little bit of Forza Horizon‘s magic is rubbing off on them.

I have high hopes for Anthem… it looks pretty great too.

Anthem is definitely the game I’m most excited to see more of and it might stop me from continually hating on Destiny in the process. The prospect of a shared world shooter with great fiction backing it up still has a lot of appeal to me. It’s that very thing that made the concept of The Division get me interested even if I felt the actual gunplay wasn’t as good as Bungie’s work. But throw together Mass Effect style stories with strong shooting mechanics and some cool mech suits and a lot of the right boxes are being ticked for me.

Finding out that the next update to Elite Dangerous will bring back the previously hostile Thargoids in force makes me want to spend a bit more upgrading my ship’s and getting them ready for battle. Or beat a much hastier retreat than I usually do. It’s impressive that Frontier Developments have been able to trickle out the game’s fiction at the pace they do because it sure seems to make me think there is years more of this to come.

From the other side of the fence

Sony’s presentation doesn’t really sell me on the benefits of buying a PlayStation – yet another Uncharted game doesn’t interest me at all, or remasters of remasters of PS2 games that hardly anyone I know owns copies of. However the Spider-Man game from Insomniac looks to be something I’d really enjoy but is it enough to buy a whole console for? Probably not I’m afraid.

Not much to say about Super Mario Odyssey except it is going to be huge and another killer app for the Switch.

I was surprised with how much I liked seeing what Nintendo had on offer this year. I might be a biased towards Microsoft and Xbox but seeing the games they had on offer you can’t help but think that there is some great stuff there that really defines what owning a Switch represents and it’s something that Microsoft and Sony don’t do enough of at times. Kirby, Yoshi and Super Mario Odyssey look amazing and I was really impressed. Like Zelda they will sell systems.

Having games like Rocket League and Minecraft supporting cross platform multiplayer is a remarkable step for Nintendo to take. Of all the console manufacturers you’d think they would be the one most interested in keeping their players walled in but this change of heart could really open up the Switch to more people beyond their fan base. Judging by Sony’s half baked attempts to justify why they don’t play nicely with other consoles makes me think they’ve been caught with their pants down.

In the end

Regardless of my own opinions there was a lot there for gamers and that’s a good thing. Even PC players were treated to plenty of exclusives such as BattleTech and the remastered Age of Empires so it seems everyone had something to talk about. I wish more of it was available sooner rather than later though… even four months of waiting seems too long! 😉

1 reply »

  1. Great write up. Was interesting reading Sony’s stance on cross-play and why they won’t do it yet. I didn’t mention Metro Exodus and probably should have – that will be a cracker of a game!

    Liked by 1 person

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