E3 went right through the time I would normally do a Ten After Ten, so I cancelled that and made this Ten After Ten based on E3. Because I am lazy and because most of the news surrounds E3, I will only be going over the blogs I have made over the past twenty days.
Before the E3 shenanigans started, I did a review on Void Bastards, which is a first-person rogue-lite about hopping from ship-to-ship in search of supplies to make it back to civilization. My time with the game was a blast, with smart combat, excellent comic-book art, and witty humor. While the game falls into the trappings of other rogue-lites with its level design and singular objectives, the ways the game randomizes the gameplay while offering meaningful progression offers a good gameplay balance. In the end, I recommend this game to anyone looking for an enjoyable first-person shooter, and I gave the game four stars out of five.
E3 was kicked off this year by Google, making a video about their upcoming streaming platform. During their time, they went over details about the launch as well as a couple of new game trailers. This year more than ever, it seemed like companies are trying to go after streaming, despite the fact that we still aren’t quite there yet. Unfortunately for Google, any hopes this video made for people instantly vanished when it was revealed just how fast you may reach your data cap while using Stadia, which can be as low as around sixty hours of playtime. I am still not a fan of streaming games, and I think this Connect just solidified my position on that more than anything.
EA decided to go low-key this year, ditching the traditional stage presence and instead going for livestreams. They only talked about six games, but in reality there was only one worth talking about: Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order. All of the other games at the event were either yearly-released sports titles or games already released, so the only new thing at this event was some new gameplay for Respawn’s new title. I’m not a Star Wars fan, but I do enjoy Respawn games, so I was a bit excited for this game going in. Coming out of that, however, left me worried. The demo shown looked incredibly linear and had a lot of platforming, which made me think this game was just Tomb Raider but with light sabers. I am fine with the low-key presence because I get they don’t have much to show and they want to stick to their guns, but Star Wars was a bit of a disappointment.
Last year, Microsoft brought a great show filled with great announcements, and this year felt like they were trying to the same but with a little less success. While many great games were shown, there were quite a few repeats. The repeat games felt like a broken record more than anything, and I am honestly tired of constantly seeing Cyberpunk 2077 show at different press conferences, which fortunately won’t be much longer because of the new release date. In terms of new game announcements, the indies took the show with amazing-looking titles like 12 Minutes and Spiritfarer. While the big piece of news at the show may have been the announcement of Project Scarlett, the most exciting thing for me is Game Pass on PC. While this show didn’t feel as great as last year’s, it still brought plenty of stuff to wait for.
Ever since March, I have stated that this year’s Bethesda press conference was going to suck, but I wasn’t expecting it to be this bad. While Deathloop and Ghostwire Tokyo look promising, and Doom Eternal looks awesome, everything else ranged from stuff I don’t care about to actually a little disgusting. Game updates that I either don’t care about or are things that should’ve been there in the first place, Commander Keen getting the short end of the stick, Bethesda announcing a new engine…built for streaming, and more. What made this event turn from mediocre to disgusting was the audience, who were either paid by Bethesda to cheer or were a cult ready to slit each other’s throats at Todd Howard’s command (and I don’t know which is worse). Bethesda hasn’t been doing too hot since Fallout 76, and this press conference didn’t make things better for them.
Devolver is back at it again with a parody press conference, this time in the shape of a Nintendo Direct. While these press conferences are meant to be a parody, a few actual announcements were made. Fall Guys was the ultimate winner for me, but I was surprised to hear about an Enter the Gungeon arcade cabinet game. Devolver E3 videos are short, and this one was no different at around twenty minutes, but those twenty minutes were fun mayhem.
PC Gamer magazine is back representing PC with their press conference. This year, however, met the same fate as others, with a lackluster lineup of games and a lot of repeats. Most of the titles that were exciting have already shown at other press conferences, and the brand new announcements only felt okay. Even my number one pick, which is a new Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army, didn’t really come off as that exciting. There isn’t a lot to say here about this press conference, so I am moving on.
Previous Ubisoft press conferences have always been fun to watch, especially last year. Funny moments, fun moments, heartwarming moments, and good game announcements were made last year, but not as much of that this year. This year saw a lot less fun stage moments, and less game announcements. A lot of time was filled with content updates for older games, but the four new games announced look incredibly promising. Also during the show, they announced a disastrous-sounding subscription service and a new show that doesn’t have to do with Ubisoft. Oh, and Sam Fisher is back…in a mobile game. Out of all of the press conferences this year, it felt like Ubisoft fell the hardest.
As usual, the press conferences wrapped up with a Nintendo Direct. This year’s Direct, however, proved to be one of the best shows this year. All they did was show a bunch of games, but it worked out. A new Breath of the Wild sequel was announced, Luigi’s Mansion looked like a lot of fun, Empire of Sin surprised me, and many older games (including Witcher 3) made news by announcing a Switch release. While this Direct isn’t anything special in terms of other Directs, they still had a better showing than most other press conferences this year.
Finishing off E3 coverage (until the Game Critics Awards) are my top games of the show. I stuck to new announcements only, so no Doom Eternal. The games range from indie to triple-a, from shooter to sports, from obvious to surprising, and more. I don’t think this year’s list stacks up to last year’s, but there are still some great games to be excited about in the near future.