It saddens me to type it, but E3 2015 is over. We’ve had incredible highs and a fair few lows but the joyous week of E3 has finished. We’ve had time to go over what we’d seen and come to the painstaking decision to present to you our 2nd E3 Awards. If you fancied a trip down memory lane take a look at who were our favorites from E3 2014, and if you want a recap of E3 2015, visit our E3 2015 page. You’ll be surprised with some of our decisions this year when compared to last years winners. With that, let’s get to it.
Best Conference: Without a doubt, the conferences are the most important things about E3. It’s the companies time to shine and wow people with their upcoming games, leaving fans asking for more. Or it can leave a bitter taste in the most die hard fanboys mouths. So the big one, who have I selected? Well last year I picked Nintendo, but for this year you may not find it that surprising that I’m picking Sony. Why? Well where have you been? The pressure was on Sony after Microsoft put on a very impressive performance with game after game in their show. The ending with Hololens demonstration didn’t slow the pace down either as the tech involved looks incredible. So Sony knew what they had to do.
They blew the Internet up, And I mean that they literally brought message boards down with their announcements. I can’t speak for everyone but I’d hazard a guess that most gamer’s have been craving the 3 announcements that Sony made in their conference. The Last Guardian to open the show… to fucking open the show. Followed up by Guerilla Games newest franchise Horizon which looked fantastic. Melt your minds with No Man’s Sky, Street Fighter 5 and first look at Hitman. Wooo we’re still recovering from Last Guardian and Horizon when Adam Boyes comes to the stage. Enter Destiny and Assassins Creed, that’s not to bad, more PS4 exclusive content for these games. Then it happened. Final Fantasy 7 Remake sends shock waves through the gaming world. Just when we’ve got our shit together Yu Suzki comes on the screen to talk about Shenmue fucking 3. Is this real life?
That conference and those announcements will legitimately never be touched in the scale of earth shattering announcements. I mean we’re talking something like Microsoft buying Nintendo to trump what we were all privileged to see. And that is why Sony get my conference of E3 pick.
Worst Conference: With the good comes the bad. Not every conference can smash it out of the park and unfortunately there were 2 contenders this year in my opinion for worst conference. It’s between Nintendo and EA. After much thought and changing my mind I’ve got to say that this honour goes to EA, only just though. I hear you… “But Unravel, Battlefront, Mass Effect, Mirrors Edge…” And I agree with you all excellent looking games and nothing to scoff at. But it was the sports titles and how much time they spent on them that dragged this down for me.
I like Pele, I’ve got a huge amount of respect for the guy, he’s a 3 time World Cup winner and scored over 1000 goals in a remarkable career. But his introduction to the conference really brought the pace of it down. And then the same talk we get every year regarding the players movement and such. “This year NBA Live will feature a basketball so round, that it’s round, and when you play the game it’ll feel like you’re playing a game. Each slamdunk will look like a slamdunk due to the ball being the roundest ball we’ve ever created for the NBA Live franchise”… Perhaps a slight exaggeration but honestly not far off and we got this for every sport known to man (again perhaps exaggerating a bit). I get that EA had over an hour to fill and the sports titles were needed to pad the conference out, but perhaps they should have broken the conference down into 2. One for EA Games, the other for EA Sports. Throwing the sports games in between the other games meant you actually had to watch the whole conference so you don’t miss out on anything.
And a massive sour point for me was following the beautiful looking Unravel with Plant’s vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2. Setting the tone for the conference with a stunning looking new IP and the crowd responding well to pretty much booting the guy off stage with a guy dressed in a zombie costume. Not cool.
Best Moment: Fanboy post incoming? Perhaps. But it’s not the usual Nintendo love-in that I’d normally post. No for me the best moment of E3 2015 was the first hour of the Sony conference. How anyone could disagree is beyond me. In case I hadn’t typed it enough times for you guys within 60 minutes of Sony taking the stage they crashed message boards all over the internet and broke kickstarter. They plowed game after game out to us. With world premiers of exclusive games, world premiers of 3rd parties that PS4 will have exclusive DLC and Beta’s and reminders of the biggest games that are coming to the PS4 over the next 2 years. Did you need a re-cap? In 60 minutes Sony brought us:
- The Last Guardian (PS4 Exclusive)
- Horizon: Zero Dawn (PS4 Exclusive)
- Hitman (World premier trailer with exclusive BETA and DLC for PS4)
- No Man’s Sky (timed console exclusive)
- Street Fighter 5 (console exclusive)
- Dreams (PS4 Exclusive)
- Destiny (Timed DLC Exclusive to PS4)
- Assassins Creed Syndicate (DLC PS4 exclusive)
- World of Final Fantasy (PS4 exclusive)
- Final Fantasy 7 Remake (PS4 timed exclusive)
- Shenmue 3 (Console exclusive)
It’s not as if the final 30 minutes were bad either with Arkham Knight, Call of Duty Black Ops 3 and Battlefront all being shown all with exclusive PS4 items.
I couldn’t sleep after that. Greatness Awaits being PS4’s tag line. Well it looks like it’s arrived.
Biggest Surprise: Despite picking the EA conference as my worst of 2015, they did introduce a new IP that looked incredibly charming and fun. Brought to us by Coldwood, Unravel is a game in which you play as ‘Yarny’ a small creature made up from red yarn. As you move Yarny the twine in which he is made from unravels creating lines in which the player can use to complete puzzles to progress through levels. Sounds simple but seeing the reveal trailer at the EA conference was really very special. Visually one of the most impressive games of the conference and reminding me of Pikmin 3 a lot (which is a compliment). No news on a release date for it as of yet, but one game from the show that I’ll be following closely.
Biggest Disappointment: It’s not every E3 you can say that Nintendo reveals a new Zelda, Metroid and Animal Crossing game. In fact with those 3 game announcements you’d have thought Nintendo would have won E3 hands down and have fanboys throwing money at their monitors (I would normally). But unfortunately the 3 titles in question weren’t the games we were expecting. A spin off multiplayer Metroid piggybacking on the Prime franchise, a 3 player Zelda that looks like 4 swords and a Mario Party type Animal Crossing game that you can only play if you purchase the Animal Crossing Amiibo’s. There was a collective “Fuck You” aimed at Nintendo after their digital event. The backlash was so bad that Nintendo President Satoru Iwata took to twitter to apologise for the event and reassure fans they took the reaction in. The Metroid game was received so badly that there were petitions online and people signing it to have the game cancelled. Wow…
It’s all to apparent now that the Wii U is dead. The evidence from this event was all to obvious. No new games show other than Mario Tennis WiiU and the Animal Crossing board game spinoff. Regular suspects that we’d known about for over 2 years were shown again, but you can tell that these will probably be the last 1st party offerings from Nintendo for the WiiU. Right now it looks like all focus is on their NX platform and you get the feeling any games that were in development for WiiU are now being forwarded to the NX. As for the Zelda and Metroid 3DS titles, well to me they just screamed of free to play titles. I’ve just got a hunch. The franchises we wanted were shown, but they weren’t the games we wanted. Us Nintendo fans are sure picky aren’t we? (However their presence at E3 with regards to Treehouse and world championships was pretty good, as was Starfox WiiU.)
Best Game: Another pretty large award that took a lot of time to decide. There were so many incredible games revealed and shown this year. When talking to Will about it and listing the games this E3 will go down as one of the greatest without a doubt. So it was quite hard to narrow it down. Ubisoft’s offering was incredible with The Division, Rainbow Six Siege, Ghost Recon and South Park all looking brilliant. EA despite the sports section had a few great games on offer with Battlefront and Unravel. Microsoft brought out Gears of War and Halo 5 and Square Enix impressed with Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, Hitman, Kingdom Hearts 3 and of course Final Fantasy 7. But despite all that epicness mentioned there was one game from the Sony conference (Surprise Surprise I hear you saying) that stood out to me the most. And it wasn’t one of the 3 megaton announcements. It was Guerilla Games Horizon: Zero Dawn. After seeing the leaked concept art a few months back interest was already pretty high. The reveal trailer was incredible and then seeing gameplay footage of it blew my mind. It looked stunning. I was close to calling No Man’s Sky which would have been 2 years running for me as game of the show, but the freshness of Horizon and how it looked and played really impressed me.
Worst Game: I won’t spend to long talking about this as why would I when it’s a game I’ve got no interest in. I got Plants vs Zombies 1 for free back at the PSX event in December 2014. I played it as it was free, thought what is this? And uninstalled it. I have no desire to ever play it again, and certainly couldn’t care about a sequel to it. Unfortunately this game apparently needed stage time at the EA conference. I couldn’t care about it all, especially after it followed the wonderful looking Unravel.
Here’s to next year.
Best Conference: I know that there will be so many people who think that Sony had the best show at this year’s E3 and you’d be right if you were interested in the games. Personally I’ve never been a Final Fantasy fan and I’ve only ever played a very small amount of Shenmue 2. The ‘Holy Trinity’ just doesn’t really interest me all that much. Sure I liked the look of The Last Guardian, but all the trailer really did was confirm it was happening, it didn’t really show much else. So for fans of that game it’s great but for an outsider it doesn’t really give you much.
For my winner it’s a tough choice between Bethesda and Microsoft. Fallout 4 is easily one of my most anticipated games, so for Bethesda to dedicate so much time to showing it off was amazing and everything I heard was music to my ears. I just don’t think that Fallout 4 and Doom were enough to win it, plus Fallout popped up again during Microsoft’s show.
Microsoft really stepped it up this year in my opinion. They had strong AAA titles & exclusives, great new tech, a really good indie line-up and some intriguing looking new titles like ReCore.
Gears 4, Gears of War remake, Halo 5, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Fallout 4, The Division. These are all games that I’m really, really looking forward to. Microsoft showed them all off in their show, that, for me is a win.
I really like the look of the new Elite Controller and think might get one later this year. Plus HoloLens pretty much blew everyone away with its incredible future tech. From what I’ve seen so far the Windows 10 integration looks good too. Things just seem to be on the up for the Xbox One and I’m loving what the future holds for the console.
Worst Conference: I’m pretty sure I picked EA last year *checks*– yup I did. Again for me they had the worst conference. Why oh why Pele got so much air time is beyond me. Yes, he is a footballing legend, but he has nothing to do with gaming and for a lot of the crowd he would’ve been completely irrelevant. I was really struggling to keep concentrating during the middle section of their conference it just seemed to drag. Plus who is HoopGawd? And what was that all about? “Here’s some guy and we’re going to scan his face – I really wanted it to mess up, I really did.
Then they proceeded to show us a demo of a mobile game, Minions something or other…. Seriously EA what were you thinking?
They managed to slightly redeem themselves with Mass Effect: Andromeda and Star Wars Battlefront, but it was enough.
Best Moment: Everything Fallout. Seeing actual gameplay, seeing the building mechanics, even the mobile game was kind of exciting. Everything Fallout was just great and I happily lapped up every minute of it.
I think it also helped that Todd Howard seemed so relaxed chatting about the game, he delivered it excellently.
Biggest Surprise: Nintendo and the fact that they completely bombed. I didn’t actually watch their show live, but I read about it and it just seemed odd. it just seemed like the gave up, resided to the fact that they were never going to impress. It seems like they’ve given up on the Wii U and I find that really surprising. A lot of people are now speculating that next year they will show up in a bit more force with the NX being shown. I think they have to otherwise people are going to be pissed. They will also have to show the Zelda game.
I was however also pretty surprised by the announcement of Backwards compatibility on Xbox One. Since the launch of the new consoles both Sony and Microsoft had said it won’t happen and that it pretty much can’t happen. Guess they were telling porkies!
Biggest Disappointment: That it didn’t last longer? Can I say that? No, ok. I’m actually finding it pretty tough to think of a big disappointment this year. I thought over all it was a great E3 with very few low points. Everything I was hoping to see was shown in some form or another. I probably would’ve liked a bit more information about Mass Effect rather than just the trailer that we got, but that is seriously the only real negative thing I can think of…
Best Game: I think it has to be Fallout. Sure, there were some amazing games shown, but none went in to the same amount of detail, none showed as much and we got to hear that it will be coming THIS year. None of this ‘coming 2016’ bull. It will be with us in a few months time.
Over the course of E3 we got to see quite a lot of Fallout really, we saw gameplay in both the Bethesda and Microsoft show. We got to hear so many details about it, and everything that was talked about just got me more and more hyped for the game. I think I will definitely have to book the day off of work when this comes out!
Worst Game: Minions Paradise. The fact that they announced this in the first place was a little strange, but I can understand it – Minions are pretty popular. But to then give a stage demo of it… ridiculous. Don’t ever do that to me again EA. EVER! I can’t even talk about this anymore.
Most Anticipated Game: This is a bit of a tough one because there were quite a lot that I really liked the look of, but I think I’m going to go with Mass Effect. We only got to see a very brief trailer for it, where as a lot of other games that I’m interested in showed a lot more therefore I feel like I’m eagerly wanting to see more of Mass Effect over the others.
I’ve talked about it before but Mass Effect is one of my favourite series of games, and since the announcement that a new one will be on the way I’ve been eagerly awaiting any new details. I’m hoping we will get to see some more at Gamescom later this year.
However, I nod goes towards ReCore, this game has me very, very intrigued. When I saw the trailer it gave me the same feeling I got when I first saw Ori and the Blind Forest announced. I can’t wait to see more of this.