The Richie Report – Trading Es for Zs

The Electronics Entertainment Expo, otherwise known as E3, is back. I don’t know about you lot, but the days of me staying up and watching it live while live-tweeting and asphyxiwanking are long gone. These days I’d rather have a nice cup of tea and read about it later.

Unfortunately, I hate all other writers, apart from the ones on this site, and so I’m going to have to write it up all myself. I’ll be buggered forcefully if I’m going to recap some shit written by IGN, so I’m going to live-blog this right into Notepad while watching the videos. Stay with me, I’ll either make it or I’ll fucking die at the first mention of FIFA.

EA Conference
This year it all started with EA, who I’ve not got much time for at the moment. Mainly because of how they treated all you Star Wars nerds with their £40 season pass bullshit. Anyway, let’s go.

EA’s shot at E3 glory starts with a giant countdown and the sort of thumping dance music that you’d expect to be playing during an orgy in downtown Sodom. A worrying vampire stalks out onto the stage. His name is Andrew Wilson, but you’ll know him as Vladimir.

He talks about a bunch of shit. There are words like ‘partners‘ and ‘media‘ and ‘content creators‘ before he says ‘we want your feedback‘ and even manages not to laugh.

Peter Moore rallies a whooping crowd of dickheads from London. His job title is now ‘Chief Competition Officer‘ which is hilarious. Vlad then lists everything that is coming up, killing all of the surprises. Great. Now he’s talking about the trailer for the ridiculously named Battlefield 1 from last month. Shut up, mate.

He’s had a bet (with Satan probably) to see how many times he can say the word ‘Play’ because… ugh… “we all play to live.”


Respawn Entertainment’s Vince Zampella (who is dressed like the tramp that Kyle Reece nicks his trousers from) takes the stage and introdcues Titanfall 2 which looks like the alternative timeline that we now live in because Halo got invented in our dimension. It’s hitting the PS4 though which is newsworthy. For you lot anyway. I’m not playing it. It’s got fucking mechs in it.

American FIFA aka NFL Something or Other 17 then gets shown. The trailer, which isn’t gameplay, is just fake footage of massive men falling. It’s a dumb sport, isn’t it. Peter turns up to talk about it. Fuck off, Peter. Stay in your lane, son. He starts talking about some e-sports league that EA are starting up. I fast forward until he fucks off.

Aaryn Flynn from BioWare turns up to save the audience from mass suicide. He’s here to introduce Mass Effect: Andromeda. Fuck yes. I’m even excited even though I owned Mass Effect 3 and never played it. He starts talking about shit like “more freedom than we’ve ever given players in a Mass Effect game” which to me sounds like ALARM BELLS – DON’T EXPECT ANY FUCKING LEVEL DESIGN.

The footage looks good. If a bit unoriginal.

Andrew Wilson comes back to talk about ‘Play’ again. He attempts to explain it but he keeps talking about DLC like it’s a good thing. He then talks about ‘Play To Give‘ which is something about charity. You can’t buy back your soul, Andrew.

He hands over to Peter in London who talks about the big advances with the new FIFA game. Hahaha. Okay, they are adding a story mode for some reason and now they’re putting in managers, like that’s a big deal.

I yawn so violently my mouth splits open like The Joker.

Some shit actor pretends to be a footballer. The story mode is about him. I don’t care. Fast forward. Oh, he brings Jose Mourinho onto the stage. The audience fucks up by not throwing bottles of piss at him.

One of the devs comes on to talk about how they’ve made the AI players more intelligent and have updated the physical play. They do this every year. It’s all shit.

They announce EA Originals. This is a series of games that aren’t fucking FIFA and instead are EA’s attempt to break into the ‘indie games about feelings‘ market. They show us Fe. A game about shadows or something.

After that token look at originality, Jade Raymond comes on to announce the next fifty or so Star Wars games. The accompanying video almost makes working for them look enjoyable and not the most soul-crushing thing of all time.

They close it out with Battlefield 1, which looks like a Battlefield game. If you like playing online with pricks and paying for half the game as extra DLC, this is the one for you. Peter claims it’ll ‘change the world‘ before tunneling into the ground with his teeth.

Bethesda Conference
Despite rivaling only Codemasters for the title of dullest publisher in the world, Bethesda were given an hour to talk about their upcoming games.

First up is Quake Champions. It gets a cheer so belated, it’s almost sad. It’s only topped when Tim Willits mentions the ‘unlocked frame rates.’ The game is designed for ‘world class e-sports‘ gameplay. Sob.

Pete Hines, their PR guy, comes on and tells us that The Elder Scrolls Online was one of the biggest-selling games of 2015. So, he’s lying then. I only know three people who bought it and only one of them liked it. He then mentions Fallout 4, the world’s trampiest tramp simulator, and the reasonably fun Doom.

He mentions Elder Scrolls Legends which is a ‘strategy card game‘ which is publisher speak for ‘IAP shitmare.’

Up next is Raphael Colantonio who is here to talk about Dishonored 2. I’ve owned Dishonored on PS4 since Christmas. Cheers for the reminder, Raph. Instead of showing it off, he shows off a futuristic looking game which has a lovingly-rendered intro that keeps showing a guy waking up and getting redder and redder eyes.

OH FUCK! This is Prey 2 isn’t it? Prey had the best intro of the entire last generation. Oh. They are calling it Prey for some reason. The trailer ends before anything is revealed and so Raphael tells us the rest.

Doom and Elder Scrolls Online get mentioned again because of the entirely unsurprising DLC. Fallout 4 gets the VR treatment. That’ll be fun if you’ve ever wanted to be homeless.

Finally, Dishonored 2 gets shown off. Will it be a moody intro that tells us nothing or some actual gameplay? Yep, it shows us absolutely nothing about the gameplay but the crowd whoops anyway, but then they actually show off some of the gameplay. It looks exactly like you’d expect. For some reason they go on about it for fucking ages.

Microsoft Conference
The first important conference is Microsoft’s. They announce the Xbox One S, which looks surprisingly tiny. There are a lot of holes in it, which is an odd decision, but tiny consoles are a good thing. Not that anyone’ll be buying it. Still, God loves a tryer.

The Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer (who, ironically, is mostly a head), comes on and mentions the Xbox One S right away. He looks very chuffed despite Xbox being murdered in the face this generation.

He introduces Rod Ferguson from ‘The Coalition’ and Gears of War 4, which will be one of the first ‘Play Anywhere‘ titles. This means it’ll work on PC and Xbox One and will support cross-saving and cross-play. Imagine if they’d done that from the start? Too little, too late. But well done for the effort.

Laura Bailey (yeah, me neither) comes on to play a bit of Gears 4 and manages to not fall asleep, although you expect she’s been diminished by the whole experience.

Rukari Austin takes her place. He’s the Community Manager for Killer Instinct. He claims that seven million players have it and that it’s the most-played fighting game on Xbox. I heard it was gash. But anyway, he announces that General Raam is now a playable character for it and that Killer Instinct is now a ‘Play Anywhere‘ title.

Next up is Forza Horizon 3. The trailer music is a slowed down version of Wicked Game sung by a woman because ALL MUSIC IS THAT NOWADAYS. Fuck sake. Ralph Fulton comes on to talk about it. To be fair, I really liked Forza Horizon (inexplicably) so yeah, this looks alright. Some players have a quick race. Some are on PCs, some on Xbox Ones. Yeah we get it, Play Anywhere. Yes yes.

So far, Microsoft aren’t doing too bad. They introduce Recore, which looks like Too Human, Borderlands, and Destiny had a baby and raised it to have no imagination. It couldn’t look any less interesting and it gets a pity cheer.

The fiftieth Final Fantasy game, Final Fantasy XV, is up next. Fucking size of that boss. It’s very impressive until the main character says ‘gettin’ by‘ randomly for no reason. It’s so silly when Japanese developers try to code ‘coolness‘, but they keep trying. Anyway, it’s one hell of a boss battle. This might be the first Final Fantasy game I play since disc one of FF7.

Next up is some expansion for The Division. I don’t care.

Patrick Bach, General Manager from DICE, comes on to talk about Battlefield 1. Fast forward.

They take a break from the games to talk about three ‘most requested‘ features. First up is ‘Clubs‘, which is their version of those PSN Communities you never use. Then there is ‘Looking for Group‘, which helps you find like-minded players to boost trophies on (that’ll be all it is used for anyway). Last up is ‘Arena‘, which is a tournament platform. Yeah, not huge news there, Xbox.

Minecraft is up next but now it’ll support cross-platform play, including mobile platforms. That’s pretty cool except that surely we all got bored of Minecraft three years ago. Still, the lady introducing it is doing a good job of looking excited about it. Despite not being five.

Up next is some sort of scheme where you can design your own Xbox Wireless controller. I actually rather like this. Let’s see how this works (remember, I’m live-writing this but this is the first thing I’m interested in). Oh, they aren’t telling us. Piss.

Instead we get to see the new game by the creators of Limbo. It’s big on shadows and moodiness. It’s called Inside and Chris Charla, Director of ID@Xbox, is very excited about it. It’s apparently free right away. Huh. Nice.

Last E3 they showed off a bunch of fab looking indie titles and they do that again, albeit starting with Cuphead which, for some reason, still isn’t out. So far, this lot are more interesting than the full retail stuff so I’m hoping they aren’t all console exclusive.

We Happy Few comes up and offers some old BioShock Forever styled storytelling. Good lord, the voice acting and visuals are terrible. There’s a guy playing this live on stage and it’s basically even slower than the first hour of Fallout 3. This is too dull to comprehend playing.

Damien Monnier, Lead Designer from CD Projekt Red, came on to talk about Witcher 3. You know how the middle of every season of Game of Thrones gets really slow and sleepy? That’s what’s happening here with this conference. He’s announcing Gwent. A multiplayer card game set in the Witcher 3 universe. Yawn.

Tekken 7 comes up next. Heihachi is still going. He must be on Brock Lesnar levels of steroids. He’s fighting against Akuma from the Street Fighter games, which is fitting as this looks a lot like Street Fighter 5 in terms of presentation. Harada is dressed like a twat on stage for some reason. Doesn’t look like a console exclusive though.

Jingle Bell Rock starts playing and I’m hoping for that Lethal Weapon tie-in but instead it’s Dead Rising 4, which looks a lot like Dead Rising but with the Dead Rising 3 engine. Frank’s back too. It’s set in Willamette Mall. Oh my. Dead Rising 3 wasn’t true Dead Rising but this looks fun. I wonder if my PC will run it.

Shannon Loftus comes on to talk about Microsoft’s in-house publishing. She’s tells the crowd that they’ve already created thirteen original games. Yes, but who’s buying them? Anyway, she’s mentioning new games now to light-to-annoying cheers.

Hideki Kamiya, from Platinum Games, shows off a huge boss fight in Scalebound. It supports co-op, so that’s a thing. Ugh… the main protagonist is running around with red headphones around his neck. Stop trying to be cool, Japan. I told you already. This boss battle looks impressive anyway. It’s going to be another Play Anywhere title too. So, enjoy that.

Sea of Thieves is up next. It looks like a fun pirate romp for sure. It’s by Rare. That’s fun. It’s about time they started making real games again. This looks like another good co-op blast anyway. It’s an ‘emergent experience‘ though, which takes the shine off it for me. Fuck sake. Just design your games, don’t use an algorithm to generate it.

The world’s dreariest zombie ‘em up, State of Decay, is getting a sequel. Sigh.

Last up is Halo Wars 2. The cutscene makes it look suitably epic and ridiculous but the original game was a shitty top-down shooter that couldn’t have been more dull if Bill Oddie was presenting a BBC2 show devoted to it. The new one looks much the same.

Phil Spencer’s enormous head finds its way back to the stage to tell us how fucking amazing Xbox is. Even though their whole strategy is about roping in PC players and claiming them as Xbox users. But, overall, this wasn’t a bad showing from them. The days of Kinect bullshit E3s are long gone.

However, just as it starts winding down, they announce Project Scorpio, which is a new Xbox. It’s their 4K model. People cheer a bit but this all feels a bit 32X to me. Apparently all games will work on the One, One S, and Scorpio. You’ll just get better performance on the Scorpio. Not sure if this is a good thing or not. Do I really want a 4K telly? Ugh. We’ll figure it out.

Ubisoft Conference
The long-standing kings of E3 are Ubisoft. They’re very clever. They announce stunning looking games, steal the show and then two years later the games come out and they are fucking Watch_Dogs and The Division and we fall for it every fucking time.

They open with Just Dance. Some horrible dancing is happening on stage. I want to die. It’s all happening with Queen playing in the background. Which makes it even worse.

Aisha Tyler comes on. She gets a rough rap but I love Aisha and I think she does a good job. She’s Lana fucking Kane for fucks sake. She offers her sympathies to the victims of the Orlando shooting and its very heartfelt. I’m hoping they don’t lead with a shooter though.

Just Dance is coming to the Nintendo NX apparently. That’s a real thing.

Aisha’s intro is good. She’s genuinely funny and likeable. Unlike Ubisoft. But anyway. First up (Just Dance doesn’t count).

You may remember this game from last year when it blew your fucking minds

Well done, Aisha. The first game is Ghost Recon: Wildlands. Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 1&2 are my favourite ever shooters but Future Soldier was horrible. So, I’m not very excited about this one. The plot is all very standard bad cartel/Breaking Bad nonsense. The footage is all cutscene stuff. It’s been a year and I want to see where the gameplay is at.

The intro suggests that it’s going to be another map with fuckloads of icons type of Ubisoft game. The game is about what happens if Bolivia is taken over by a Mexican drug cartel. The guy talking about it looks far too happy about this idea. He’s Dominic Butler, the Lead Designer behind the game.

Like Future Soldier, it can be played solo or in four-player co-op. It’s set in the largest map Ubisoft have ever made. This is enough to convince me to not buy it. I’m fucking bored to tears of Ubisoft games that are set in hundreds of square miles of fuck all.

Ugh, it’s got motorbikes in it.

They make a trailer that looks like Watch_Dogs 2 but it’s the new South Park title, The Fractured But Whole. The lead character in the game is called The Coon. The guy announcing it has to say it twice. He wants to die.

Matt Stone and Trey Parker, who were brilliant at E3 for the Stick of Truth announcement, are back. The game is about super hero alter-egos of the South Park characters and it looks fantastic. Because it looks like Stick of Truth, and that was dope. Which is good because they are throwing in the PS4 version of that with the game.

Aisha returns to introduce Julian Gerighty who is here to bore us all of with talk of DLC for The Division called Underground. Meh.

Next up is the VR talk. I guess that’s this year’s Kinect then. They announce Eagle Flight. A game about being an eagle. They demonstrate it live and even though they are showing off a basic capture-the-flag style mode, it looks fun. It’s set in Paris but has a Tokyo Jungle style vibe to it but with lots of fancy flying. This could be fun. I’m still not sure that PlayStation VR won’t burn out my retinas though.

Continuing the VR theme, is the new Star Trek game. I’m up for VR spaceness but Star Trek? Beat it, nerds. Theyve got actual Star Trek actors playing it. They are very impressed. Or are they acting impressed? If they were acting, would they be acting well enough to fake it? I’m confused. Is this virtual reality?

The next game looks like Assassin’s Creed but then a giant earthquake destroys the entire landscape. The game then moves into the period after the quake. Three men have a fight, and it looks astonishingly good. This is that Ubisoft trick that I told you about though. No game is going to look this good, so enjoy the smoke and mirrors.

The game pits knights, samurai, barbarians, and whomever else is still alive against each other. It’s not clear what the gameplay will be like (I’m guessing open world with climbable towers) but its called For Honor.

The game’s Creative Director, Jason Vandenberghe, a Billy Connolly impersonator with a fucking cane and a pony tail, comes on to talk about it. More footage reveals the game to basically be Assassin’s Creed 3.

Grow Home, a game of literally no consequence, is somehow getting a sequel called Grow Up. It looks like more of the same. Seems alright if you like that kind of thing.

What looks like a wrestling intro with Mortal Kombat style rave music is happening. I don’t get it. Oh no. Two men dressed in a material that makes no sense. They look like an awful rap duo. It hurts me.

They are here to talk about Trials of the Blood Dragon. It’s a Trials game (the ultimate ‘fun for a while’ biking game) but set in the ‘forced humour’ retro world of Blood Dragon. They’ve done a ‘wacky’ Trials game but yeah, now there’s another. It’s out if you want that in your life.

Aisha introduces the Assassin’s Creed movie and introduces Frank Marshall, the producer of the movie I’ll never see. Given how convoluted the plot of the games is, we definitely don’t need a film muddying the already pissy waters any further.

Watch_Dogs 2 is up next. The original was one of the least deliveringest games ever to come out of E3. It’s just more of the same bullshit where you can hack anything using a phone. It’s the laziest story mechanic in TV (just look at Blacklist, Bones, Leverage or anything else that requires somebody to occasionally ‘hack into‘ a building) and so basing a game on it was never really going to work. And it didn’t. Watch_Dogs was blaverage.

The footage doesn’t have nearly the same impact as the original did on the E3 crowd a few years back.

Ubisoft always like to go out on a high. They do it quite literally this time with Steep. A game where you find ways to get down mountains as quickly as possible. It’s a snowboarding thing and it looks pretty good except for the fact that there hasn’t been a good snowboarding game for decades now. That said, it also has other activities such as wing suit flying and whatever else for people who haven’t played Just Cause 3.

Ubisoft didn’t kill it this year. Or maybe I’ve been hurt too many times.

Sony Conference
Starting at a Europe-annoying 2am, Sony opened with a live orchestra taking up all the best seats. They open up with the new God of War which shows Kratos hunting with his son (good luck having any fun with a dad like Kratos). It looks impressive enough, although I’ve never been a huge fan of the series. Mainly because the hack and slash genre is one of the most tedious and overpopulated genres in gaming.

Sony Entertainment’s Shawn Layden comes on (missing his fucking neck). He introduces Bear McCreary and his orchestra. Bear’s alright even if he does look like a pirate.

The Last Guardian got yet another outing. And a release date. October 25th. So there you go. It is arriving. But then again they said that about No Man’s Sky.

The ‘you know nothing, Jon Snow‘ lady appears to be the generic heroine of the next game. Horizon Zero Dawn looks like another one of those open-world titles that mixes a sort of tribal old-school vibe meets future tech sort of thing. It screams ‘25 quid in two months.’

More interesting is Detroit: Become Human, a game about rebelling androids or something. When an android malfunctions and kills a young girl, it is down to you as an android yourself to replay the story but with the sort of branching storytelling of Until Dawn. It looks fucking amazing. Albeit based on not much information so far.

Next up is the VR shit. Looking a fair bit like that Silent Hills game that got canned, it turns out this first person mouldy kitchen ‘em up is in fact Resident Evil 7. It’s hard to get excited about a Resi game these days and playing this darkness fest with VR goggles looks like it might break my mind. Creepy footage aside, the presentation reveals little. Is this going to be a return to FOURm (‘form’, yeah?) or more shit? Oh, the demo is out now. That’ll be fun. Or horrible. I’ll find out in a bit.

No neck Shawn is back. He looks like a fucking hamster. He lets everyone know that PlayStation VR will work on our existing PS4s and is out on October 13th (in the States at least). Fifty VR compatible games this year too. Blimey.

He sets of a bunch of VR game announcements.

Farpoint looks like the sort of FPS that might have mildly disappointed you on the Xbox 360, Battlefront VR X-Wing Mission looks like VR porn for Star Wars fans, Batman Arkham VR is going to be a thing (I’m so done with Batman games though), Final Fantasy XV comes up again. At times it looks great and at other times it looks annoying. The hairstyles get on my tits but this could be spectacular in VR.

Two Call of Duty games come up. The first doesn’t look like a Call of Duty game (Infinite Warfare) but the other is a port of Modern Warfare (AKA CoD 4 AKA the second best one after CoD 2). The space battle stuff in Infinite Warfare looks quite good.

Crash Bandicoot is coming back in remastered form. The first three games are getting the treatment. I was never a Crash Bandicoot guy as he felt like a desperate Sony attempt to get a mascot that no-one cared about but Crash definitely got a pop from the conference crowd.

I fast forwarded through the entire Lego Star Wars: Force Awakens bit.

Andy House turns up looking like a small mouse. He introduces Hideo Kojima and the crowd goes mental. He reveals his new project, Death Stranding. It features a naked Norman Reedus crying at a baby while fish die near him. I’m baffled. I’m intrigued because its a Kojima joint, but I’ve not liked Norman Reedus since all of his ‘yo, B‘ bullshit in Blade 2.

The crowd seems excited about the reveal for a new Spider-Man game. I have no idea why. They are literally always the same. Expect to be searching for tokens at the top of skyscrapers. Forever.

Given that Dead Rising 4 was introduced just hours before, it was surprising to see that the best looking zombie ‘em up was a Sony joint. Days Gone looks sort of amazing. The hectic Left 4 Dead style zombie action I saw in another reveal looked good though.

So there you have it. Some of the games shown only had minor trailers and so a lot of potential is out there but in terms of new ideas, the big companies seemed to be treading water.

If you had to pick a winner, you might pick Microsoft because they clearly made the most noise. Sony held off from showing their new revision to the PS4 hardware (which would have shat on Microsoft’s chips a little) and the VR stuff is a little hard to show off in our stupid actual world. Overall though? I’m glad I didn’t stay up for it.

Anyway, I’ve got a Resident Evil 7 demo to go and try out. I’m guessing it’ll be fucking toilet.

Last five articles by Richie


There are no comments, yet.

Why don’t you be the first? Come on, you know you want to!

Leave a Comment