E3 Roundup! (Part 2)

To see Part 1, click here!

Diving back into my reaction from E3 2018, let's talk about a couple of the publishers:

EA

The Big Badguy of gaming, but we still go back to them cause they put out stuff we want to play for some reason. I mean, yeah, yeah, EA Sports stuff. I enjoy NBA Live in particular, so that might be a pickup, but it feels more like getting bread at the store than getting excited about a new game.

Also...a mobile game? Really?

REALLY?

Anyway...Sea of Solitude looks...maybe good? I do like a game where I can putter around on a little boat. But, despite what I've said above, sometimes style ISN'T enough. Jury's out here. Same with Unravel Two...I missed the first game, but despite the slick presentation the gameplay looks like something we were getting in $5 indie games a decade ago.

Anthem...I want to like. I really do. But the world just seems so damn bland. Exceptionally bland. More bland than Halo, and that's saying something. Plus with EA's track record, it will no doubt just turn into another Destiny situation.

For online stuff, Battlefront II I'm just going to skip. The last one was hot garbage. I've been really enjoying Battlefield 1 despite itself, so I'm cautiously excited for Battlefield 5. WW2 is just a better setting overall for a team-based shooter, and the initial trailer for it looked great. And most of what they announced at E3 was great too...

And then...

"Royale"

Sigh.

Please, devs around the world. Just because one game is successful, DOES NOT MEAN you should shoehorn its gameplay into your game. Battlefield is a TEAM BASED SHOOTER, more than any other online FPS (At least since Tribes 2, my it Rest In Peace). It always has been Having a battle royale mode, even if its squad vs squad, entirely ruins the concept of the series. It's such a catastrophically bad decision, and it really has me worried. Moving on...

Bethesda

Last but not least. The little company that could, and then did become a leviathan of EA proportions, churning out rehashes of the same game over and over with incremental improvements and poor quality control. At least they're not as insultingly indulgent in DLC. I'm sound a little harsh, because I still am a pretty big Bethesda fan, but while I did enjoy aspects of Fallout 4, and put an embarassing number of hours into Skyrim, both of those games feel like they succeed despite themselves.

I'm a Morrowind player, so while I'm used to a buggy mess, I'm also used to that buggy mess giving me a huge amount of freedom, customization, and options. Even if those options lead to me making the game way harder than it should. Starting with Oblivion and continuing with every big game they've released since, Bethesda has slowly whittled down challenge and excitement in their games. They're streamlined, and easy to play, but I would argue too easy. And their open world content is extremely uneven...sometimes you find amazing little gems, and sometimes you find poorly written, broken garbage with the sense of humor of a 11 year old who just learned to say bad words. And their main plots are almost always unsatisfying, rushed, and sometimes outright stupid (I'm looking at you, Fallout 3 ending!)

So, all of that being said. Fallout 76. I'm not shocked in the slightest that they're going online. I'm shocked it's taken them this long to get there with the Fallout cashcow, which I think has more mainstream appeal than even the Elder Scrolls games. The setting, however, does surprise me. And it's kind of exciting, as I've lived most of my life in the Appalachian Mountains. It's an unexpected setting that I'm not opposed to. And they style is extremely different. I mean, heck, there's colors other than brown! Again, I'm ok with them giving up on aping the style of Fallout 1 and 2. The Bethesda Fallout games, for all their strengths, can't hold a candle to those two masterpieces. So I'm glad to see them stop trying, and just make their own game.

Will it be good? Well...it will sell really well. So I guess if popularity is your measure of quality (and it seems to be for a lot of gamers for some bizzare reason I've never understood) then yes, it will be. It will be online and cooperative, and those are things that I'm not necessarily opposed to. I think we just need more information.

More exciting for me is Elder Scrolls VI. There's basically no information, but we know they've been working on it since before Skyrim, which means a, what, 7+ year dev cycle? I've avoided Elder Scrolls Online simply because I don't need a MMORPG in my life right now, so a single player Elder Scrolls is major hype. I can't tell the province in Tamriel from the trailer, but with the desert-ish look and the mountains I'm leaning towards Elsweyr? The landscape doesn't look crazy enough to be Highrock, though maybe it is. Who knows.

Hmm...actually M'aiq probably does. But he's not telling.

A new property in Starfield, but again, we have zero information. I'll get excited when you show me something.

Oh, and a new Wolfenstein game? While I haven't caught up on the last one yet, that has me excited. Especially since it looks like it will have a female protagonist (or two) which is sure to piss off the folks who were mad about the last game. So that's good in my book.

So that's it for me. Obviously I'm leaving a lot of E3 out, but those are the biggest highlights in my mind from watching coverage.

Want to hit me up for my thoughts on something specific? Find me on Twitter @9to5gamer

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