And so I pray...
It’s done, dusted, over. E3 2017 is in the books. After nearly an entire week’s worth of announcements, streams, and video games it’s time to reflect on the week that was. After some soul searching and deep reflection we have determined that, despite some hard work and best efforts, some of the games shown just failed to pique our interest. Here are our the games and moments that were the least impressive from E3 2017.
Ryan: I am sick, sick, sick of Skyrim. I know how profitable it is for Bethesda to churn up this six-year-old corpse for every console in every format, but I do not want to see Todd Howard’s Grey n’ Brown Draugr Simulator appear at every other press conference. In fact, after E3 2017, I never want to see, hear, or read about a new Skyrim release for the rest of my natural lifespan. Next time, port Fallout: New Vegas. Hell, port Oblivion. I don’t care. Among the many games in Bethesda’s vast output, Skyrim is one of the most tepid and least imaginative, especially six years out from release. With other vivid fantasy RPGs such as The Witcher 3 having entered the world since, Skyrim feels bland and formulaic by comparison; a game only bought and bought again by the blind devotees of its rote replay-ability. In addition, the Switch port is just the base, vanilla game, and that feels beyond unacceptable. Toss in a plan for paid mods on console, and you’ve got yourself one of the most unnecessary and unappealing showings of E3.
Trex: E3 had a fair amount of terrible-looking games, and honestly, there wasn’t one that specifically stood out to me. Most of them were bad because they were either Skyrim or just didn’t stick with me. A lot of what was shown seemed like a Call of Duty or Dark Souls knock-off, which is what’s popular, I guess. I’m not interested in games that play the same, look the same, or even have similar stories. The previews and teasers all star to blur together after watching for longer than 20 minutes. I’m just bored of unsaturated graphics, dinosaur-esque monsters, your average white man main character, and shooting things. I’m looking at you, Microsoft.
Scott: The least impressive game for me is obviously Bend Studio’s generic open world zombie shooter Days Gone, which has RUINED my LIFE! This is NOT an exaggeration! While Sony has managed to publish yet another stock standard open world game with a generically gruff white guy protagonist whose wife died or something, they have yet to award me my settlement after my airtight lawsuit. Because of the money I spent on a crack legal team, I no longer can afford the Sabra Classic Hummus that I require to survive. I have withered into a form that can only be described as human jerky, very similar looking to the hundreds of on screen “Freakers” that I could give less of a shit about gunning down in Days Gone. Seriously! The zombies are called Freakers! Whoever came up with that deserves to stare directly at my body, which is now such a mess that Junji Ito would revile in horror if he looked at it. Both somehow overweight and emaciated, I have become something less than human, and it is entirely because of Days Gone. This year’s E3 gameplay reveal tried to show several ways you could complete a mission without needing to pick up a gun by sneaking around and using stuff in the environment, like a bear trap sitting on the ground, or a C4 plastic explosive that of course Deacon The Bounty Hunter carries on his person, but watching more natural gameplay from other sources just showed players shooting everything because it was either more fun or more efficient than the sneakier path. I have so little hope for this game being anything unique or special that I have begun research on digitizing myself so that I may hack into every individual copy of Days Gone, and start yelling an extreme amount of profanity at Deacon’s dumb face that my mother simply won’t let me in this God forsaken analog world. At least then, it might wind up being a more interesting game.
Michael: I am that person who is looking forward to another Crackdown. I have fond memories of the original and, despite a lackluster sequel, I’ve been hoping Xbox would try again. Luckily they announced the third, and have been quietly working on it ever since. This E3 was supposed to be Crackdown 3’s coming out party, or so I thought. Even with the reveal that Terry Crews would be in the game, Xbox didn’t really show off much. They didn’t even give a release date for Crackdown except for a vague 2017. I still hope Crackdown 3 is terrific and that maybe Xbox just had too many games and too little time.
Niall: In much the way that not a lot stood out to me as being completely amazing this year, there also wasn’t an awful lot that stood out as aggressively awful, either. The Last Night has a fantastic look to it, but the game’s shitty politics quickly killed all interest I had in it. Ubisoft’s doubling down on South Park – a franchise that should have been taken around the back of the tool shed years ago – is eye-rolling, and judging by the complete silence that followed the announcement of Phone Destroyer, which had one of the worst reveal trailers I think I’ve ever seen, I’m not the only one who feels that way. The absolute worst of the show, however, has to go to Days Gone, a game that looks like it has the potential to be the least original, least interesting bowl of cold AAA gruel served up in years. Everything about Days Gone has been done to death, nothing that’s been shown of the game so far has offered up anything fresh, and it looks every bit the type of experience you’d get if you stuck twenty 15 year old boys in a room and asked them to write a design doc. A third-person post-apocalyptic zombie survival game with stealth mechanics and by-the-numbers combat doesn’t need to exist in 2017. Zombies stopped being cool in like, 2008. God, remember zombie culture? You know what, don’t get me started on this. Fuck Days Gone.
Rose: E3’s size doesn’t just provide a higher chance for games to look great, it can also provide a platform for games that look…less than great. Though this year was more lukewarm than previous years showings (last year’s Days Gone demo was one of the most dry presentations I’ve ever sat through), there were still a couple of clunkers that really soured the mood. To start off with the most obvious, and most egregious; Ubisoft’s new mobile South Park game is not only laughable in concept (a collectible card rpg), but also egregiously racist when advertised! I was shocked to see the trailer for it literally open with a “calling ‘them’ Native Americans, could you imagine?” joke. More subtly, finding out that gorgeous cyberpunk game The Last Night was actually an alt-right jack-off game was one of the biggest bummers from a conference in recent memory, and learning more and more about its creator only served to fan the flames. Outside of those two big hitters the only other real disappointment I had was realizing the Switch’s lineup is still just as sparse and ambiguous as before. Sure we have an idea of what games will be coming out, but we don’t know when outside of a lot of “2018” end cards and, given Nintendo’s history, I wouldn’t be surprised to see those 8’s turn to 9’s come next E3.
John: I apologize for echoing most everyone else here, but hoo boy, Days Gone. I’m looking forward to this game coming out so I never have to hear about it again. In any form of media, something being obviously designed by committee will always be easy to spot, and Days Gone is that thing at E3. It looks like it plays fine, but nothing else about it strikes me as anything other than another bland zombie story about another bland guy getting upset when his wife dies. I’ve seen it a million times and I don’t need to see it again. If I may also break the rules a bit, I’m still sad we didn’t see any No More Heroes news, but…..maybe Tokyo Game Show? Please Suda, I’m so thirsty. Water me with your news.