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Jun 17 2017

Top 5 Best & Worst Game Announcements of E3 2017

Here on TheLateGamer.com, we want to ensure that gamers are protected from the drummed up hype of the publishers and get the real facts on the games being announced this week. We here are no fanboys/girls, and take no stand (or bribes) with any of the publishers, forming our own opinions on what will be good and bad amongst the evidence of release trailers provided. The games chosen are based on a combination of release trailers and of my experience of any previous titles in the series. We hope that you can appreciate that we also had to cut through a lot of cringe this year.

So lets begin on our Top 5 Best and Worst E3 game announcements.


Top 5 BEST Game Announcements

5. Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle

To start our countdown, we have Ubisoft’s Mario skinned game with the Raving Rabbids bunch. Out of the 3 Mario games that have been announced this E3 (it’s like waiting for buses), this manages to top the other two games by miles, looking extremely cute and hilarious to play. I can’t say I’ve yet ever played a Raving Rabbits game before, but it’s one of those series that has always caught my eye as one to play, and this could be the first. Having watched some footage of gameplay, the game is surprisingly a turn based strategy game, similar to XCOM as you advance your small army of Mario characters and imposter Rabbids against Rabbids that have been corrupted by some evil guy. Characters attack each other using guns (a first for Mario), and can use surrounding objects as cover plus their team mates to reach further distances. The game looks pretty fun with the Rabbids alone, with a brilliant art style and packed full of jokes for both adults and children, which makes me question why Mario is involved in this, other than to simply attract more players to buy the game. Not too sure if the overall plot will hold up, but will probably be carried by the Rabbid’s lunacy regardless.

4. Call Of Duty: WW2

I said I was going to be excited for the next COD in my previous post reviewing Infinite Warfare, which revealed to actually be a really fun, intense action shooter that injected a much needed facelift and additional game mechanics… well in the campaign atleast. I’m expecting nothing less in the next installment, with a multiplayer that after a small break in their differences of eras, will take on Battlefield again. Now the main release trailer came out last month, which was very impressive with what looked to be something actually historically accurate as to what Battlefield 1 pretended to be, as the trailer opened up with what looked to be a very realistic representation of D Day on the beaches of Normandy. This time round at E3, the multiplayer trailer was dropped for viewing pleasure.

The trailer isn’t as impressive as the one released prior, with the opposing team very robotic in their motion as the recorded gameplay plays a very badly scripted battle for the AI to follow, but I guess it is difficult to direct a video showcasing every playable ability possible whilst capturing certain angles and working in segways. The trailer does reveal though that the developers seem to have taken a leaf out of Battlefield’s book, now having much more open maps for larger battles and also including vehicles, with what looks like tanks and aeroplanes operational to players. This might finally be both the Call Of Duty and World War game that everyone has been waiting for however many years it’s been, with both a campaign and multiplayer that all players will be content with.

3. Assassin’s Creed: Origins

I’ve yet to play AC5, so can’t comment about the series’ previous performance as of this release trailer, but having played Unity which whilst impressive, is still just the same old running around, murdering people, collecting chests, etc. So will this game be the breath of fresh air everyone has been demanding? Ubisoft took a break from releasing an annual Assassin’s Creed game last year after much feedback from the community that was tired of constantly playing the same game over and over in different time periods, so this is now their culmination of potentially two years of labour, and instead of continuing going forward in time as the series tends to do, which I think most people were expecting this to be based during The Great War, has instead gone right back in the opposite direction, all the way back to the Egyptians. This is apparently where the Assassin’s originated from, hence the Origins as the low class and slaves rise up against their slave masters and rulers, against the people who believe themselves Gods, as they probably control pieces of Eden to make others do their bidding.

The trailer showcased a super sexy Egyptian setting, with a great golden dapple on freshly built pyramids, a glistening River Nile and dusty, murderous hippos. It looks like you can take control of certain animals, in which an eagle was showcased in surveying an area, rather than have the player climb up to an advantage point, which I guess would be difficult in an Egyptian setting compared to a European town that is brimming full with brick and stone buildings. The original trailer showed more cinematics than gameplay, so I have also watched the additional gameplay trailer that does show gameplay graphics inline with previous titles on current gen hardware, though this game is rated for 4K on both new consoles. Weapons are lootable, much more interesting than just buying them and yet another return to being able to unlock additional skills and upgrades. This game is probably going to be quite the risk on whether it will be the huge success we all hope it will be, which is why we’ve ranked this midway at 3.

2. A Way Out

An EA title, this brand new IP could be the co-op shooter we’ve been needing for the last 5 years. The game is 2 player co-op only, with a splitscreen that is always visible, whether your both playing on your couch or online with someone on the otherside of the world. The trailer is great for showing massive amounts of gameplay footage, in which you play as inmates escaping from prison and remain on the run from the law. The game comes from the makes of Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons, a game that I’ve only had a chance to have a little go at, but A Way Out sure is a big step up with amazing 3D graphics whilst still including essentially what looks like some similar co-op game mechanics from the Brothers game. With a great 70’s ‘Escape From Alcatraz’ theme to it, the game really does draw the player into an intriguing plot with what looks to be many ways in which levels and puzzles can be tackled. Teamwork is a must and reflects a lot of what I missed from the Kane & Lynch Franchise. Whilst I don’t normally get games on release day, I think this one is going to be a must have.

1. Beyond Good And Evil 2

I believe this is the trailer that won E3. Damn have I been waiting for as long as I’ve been playing games for something to come along that features sci-fi fantasy rich, asian level design, foul-mouthed humanoid animals, flying cars and space pirates. I wasn’t expecting much from E3 this year, there was actually quite a lot of disappointments, but this little gem blew up the whole show for me.

I haven’t yet played the original game, it just acquires more dust on my PC hard drive, but I’m definitely going to get around to it now in time for this release. But this isn’t required for many new to the series, as this game is actually a prequel, based on a different cast of characters, and extremely open world, so for those who can’t play using PS2 era graphics, you can supposedly skip ahead.

I have found a video on YouTube from the developers that gives an insight into the world and setting, which makes it sound fantastic and looks even more amazing. From the developer video, we learn that humanoid animals have come around due to genetic modification originating from Earth which created beings that were used as slaves in the harsh environments of planets to terraform them and build cities for the rich to live in. I think this is a great (and scary) concept that steers away from robots being the future, which these days does feel overused. unfortunately, there is very little gameplay footage on the Internet, but that release trailer atleast showed the elements that the game is built around, and if they turn out to be cutscenes from the game, than all the better as this story is going to be very richly told. I must have watched the trailer 10x over now, each time just seeing something new out of all the detailing. Only problem, you will need to take this game and its hype with an armload of salt. The game has only just started development and I mean, just started.

The developers have been working on a sequel since the release of the original game, releasing a showcase trailer back in 2008 of the possible sequel. Fans reacted badly to the video and the developers themselves felt they weren’t in a place yet where the game console technology could provide them with a solution that matched their desires. So they put it off for awhile, and starting from scratch, over the past 3 years have been creating an engine that can handle the rendering of different altitudes on a planet and within orbit around the planet within a matter a seconds. Having only just finished this, the graphics we see in the trailer were only put together 2 weeks ago. All they otherwise have to show for their work so far are concept images, though having said that they do have a full size monkey sculpture in the Ubisoft offices. Their website is a very small wordpress site, which offers players to join the Space Monkey Programme, that allows enthusiastic players to test level design and game mechanics through the entire development, in which Ubisoft are hoping that they can build a game for the players around the feedback they receive early on in its development lifecycle.

Apparently the game will be single player mixed with co-op elements, in which the player will create a character at the start of the game and start from scratch, rising up the ranks to become a powerful space pirate. It sounds like it will play very similar to The Division, a Ubisoft title that implemented the co-op elements just fine around the boring plot and gameplay. Let’s just hope that the enemies aren’t bullet sponges. This game isn’t looking for a release anytime before late 2018, so there’s going to be a long wait yet, and they are hoping to have a much bigger showcase news for the next E3, though the developers are worrying that they don’t get canned in that time, which essentially says that this release trailer was nothing more than to build hype and pretend to their bosses that they’ve been busy all this time. So let’s just keep a handle on the hype until we have more information.


Top 5 Worst Game Announcements

Ok, now on with what I believe are going to be total letdowns and the most boring demonstrations of gameplay. Remember, TheLateGamer.com is here to save you from wasting your time and money on rubbish games, so that you can get on with the actual gems in your endlessly growing pile of games.

5. Kirby

So we’ve got a new Nintendo game console, it was only a matter of time before a new Kirby game came out for it. Just how many Kirby games do you need of a pink blob sucking up enemies. There is a bit of a running theme with Nintendo games now getting long in the tooth, with Breath Of The World the exception having pulled the repetitive series back by having the larger world size that takes months to explore, keeping many fans happy. But some games can also benefit by going into retirement, abiding their time for that big come back, just like Metroid Prime 4, in which the community is crying with joy over the recent announcement of a game series that hasn’t been seen for over 10 years after the outcry of its last release. I think Kirby could do with being put away in the attic and that Nintendo should work on a new handheld Wario title, which we haven’t seen for donkies. The best part of this trailer is that it says it’s not coming out til 2018?! How long does a kirby game that pretty much looked finish in the trailer require to be fully up to scratch. Not the best news for all the brand new Switch users out there that have hardly anything to play at the moment.

4. Wolfenstein 2

This trailer is pretty trippy in both length and content. Initial impressions are that it’s just Fallout with a Nazi skin over it, and I hated Fallout 4, all throughout the 270 hours I put into the game. Now I’m a fan of Amazon’s The Man In The High Castle TV show, with a similar theme of “what if the Germans had won the war?”, with my only complaint of the show being that there seems to be some unexplainable magical element that’s used to fill in any gaps of logic, and hopefully the writers will have an answer by season 3, but as I’m already invested in this show, I feel I’d be overwhelming myself with Nazi propaganda if I then jump into Wolfenstein.

TV show aside, this trailer just didn’t really have anything going for it but massive cringe factor (something that the rest of Bethesda’s E3 demonstration was entirely full of… PAID MODS!), with the trailer showcasing another father (if you chose a male avatar in Fallout 4) with kid issues, plenty of American patriotism and the most cheerful of Nazis. We also see a multitude of energy weapons taken from Doom, steam-punk robots and a rebel group that appear as mind-numbing as Preston Garvey from FO4. The only part where the trailer picked up was at the end when some guy takes acid and discards his gun to pick up his hallucinogenic cartoon gecko. An onscreen character dropping acid before a gun fight alongside a pregnant woman sort of takes credit from any feasible plot the game could have and Bethesda admittedly wanted to go as random to fuck in the game as possible, I’m sure they could have done this within a new IP. Something where drug induced cartoon geckos are not out of place.

3. Destiny 2

To all the original Destiny players out there, you poor bastards. Bungie really did get you over the barrel with this one, promising that the original Destiny was going to be supported for atleast 10 years. Yet halfway through that cycle, Bungie dropped their pants and gave what I would call, a right royal fucking. All those hours spent looting, the money pissed away on microtransactions and the actual story of the game, the entire slate is to be wiped clean, with veteran players having to grind their way back to the top amongst all the new players. What a waste of 5 years, which in MMO circles is considered as nothing but a drop in the ocean.

The worst part of this ordeal I imagine, is that the developers have gone on record to admit that they didn’t have an absolute fucking clue where the story was heading, and that the “Darkness” (the cliché ambiguous enemy in the game), not a single soul at Bungie had a clue as to what it’s identity or purpose was, just something to fill the gaps in around the story. They’re now going to ignore anything referring to Darkness in the sequel and rewrite the whole story from scratch. Which begs the question, what the fuck do veteran players get for being forced onto the sequel, costing them even more money when everything has just been taken away from them.

These publishers are the reasons people get so pissed about games, when players invest so much time and effort into them, only to be treated disgustingly. By the sounds of things, this much-earlier-than-planned-release sequel is just a means for the publisher to now charge players a direct subscription fee rather than implement it directly into the original Destiny to protect themselves from community backlash. This is a prime example of why gamers need to be very well informed and committed to a game before believing in the hype and bullshit promises from publishers and their stock holders.

2. Far Cry 5

I can’t really be bothered to get into the long list of why this game just seems so pointless, but having played through Far Cry 4, nearly killing me out of sheer boredom, and having watched this trailer, I would deem this game a virus if it ever managed to find its way on my computer. What I don’t need from a game is for it to push the boundaries on political debates, I just simply want to be able to jump in and have fun. The back waters of America seems like the most boring of areas imaginable for an open world, when we had the beautiful islands of Far Cry 3, with actual fucking maniacs for bad guys, not some well educated shitesters. Also, it’s not exactly a Far Cry game if it’s situated on home soil, FAR CRY usually refers to someplace remote that’s far from help. If this game was even an inch realistic, the national guard would be all over this within hours, not just cowboys running loose with their AR-15s. Why could it not have been set somewhere in the arctic for a change, someplace that’s far from civilisation and with hardly any villagers that I don’t have to bail out every 5 minutes. Better yet, where’s my Blood Dragon sequel, instead of releasing Primal which still hasn’t come down in price.

1. Super Mario Odyssey

This game is as far from being original as can be. It honestly is nothing more than an Unreal 4 Engine Demo!

Nothing in this game is coherent or makes sense. We’ve got highly detailed, textured dinosaurs used from Autodesk’s 3D market place in worlds that mash real life with cel-shaded characters, the art style is here, there and everywhere. Game mechanics have been taken from other Nintendo series such as the hat taking control over characters, not far removed from Kirby’s ability to temporarily absorb enemy abilities, Mario going into walls as a portrait ripped straight from Zelda: A Link Between Worlds and the hat flies around just like Link’s boomerang in Phantom Hourglass and Triforce Heroes. The maps are awkwardly small biomes that comes to a sudden, jarring stop with a sheer drop and fog. For the town level demonstrated in the trailer, especially on top of the skyscraper, the small land mass is extremely noticeable and far from the rolling towns that other developers have been managing to do just fine since PlayStation 2. The worst thing though is that if the trailer is showing the best parts of the game, than it really doesn’t have a lot to go on, especially whilst it’s up for release later this year.

The community have been creating their own Mario demos in Unreal 4 for years, with creators in their bedrooms recreating entire Mario 64 levels to HD graphics with smooth animations, detailed character design and coded perfectly for all interactions to happen properly and seamlessly. For an entire studio to not even reach these standards is abysmal, this many years on I should add. Listening to the developer panels, it sounds like they were shit out of ideas and just threw anything together to see if it worked. Whilst I get that Mario’s been brought into a realistic landscape, with a city based off someplace in New York City, they’ve just simply gone about it all wrong with npcs not reacting to a tiny, red plumber jumping off their heads, smashing up traffic lights, parkouring up buildings and running into traffic. Plus why is it just orange taxi’s everywhere, where are the regular cars? Is this a communist state where everyone is just used to putting up with shit? These are the real question that needed answering at the E3 Expo.

What ever happened to the good old days of Mario 64 and Sunshine, games which looked good, had interesting places to explore and everything wasn’t mix matched just to try and create some appearance of creativity. This series has really stagnated, and it’s why I’m looking more forward to playing Mario + Rabbids, just because it’s actually the fresh of breath air a Mario game needs, with assets in tune and matching the designated art style and it actually looks fun to play, with interesting tactical play mechanics that encourages brain development rather than mindlessly running around collecting coins, which is why I can’t remember an ounce of Mario Galaxy, as fun as it was, was quite repetitive.

I’m surprised feminists haven’t jumped all over this and fucked Nintendo up for once again making Peach the damsel in distress, being forced into marriage for however many times it’s been which then always raises the question of whether she gets raped by a fucking dinosaur… (Something I believe the Japanese could actually get behind) That’s not me being daft by the way, this is all Nintendo’s fault, continuously pushing a dinosaur onto a female human as if it’s a normal thing. When is a fucking lady dinosaur going to come along, there’s a fucking Bowser Jr, where the fuck did he come from? The Mario cast has been expanded with plenty of human males and females such as Wario, Daisy and Rosella. Seriously, isn’t it about time that they give the old cliché of dinosaur pondering after a female a break and move Mario and Bowser’s relationship to a new level.

The absolute worst thing about the trailer though was the song. Don’t try to even pass that off as Jazz, that was just pure shite. My favourite line was “Oh we can zoom to the moon from this brave, wide, wacky world, jump with me, grab coins with me and yeeeeeeaaaaaahhhhhhh” That’s something I need to do more often when I’m not sure how to finish a sentence, just say “and yeaaaaahhh”. What the actual fuck. Whoever even wrote that crap last minute for the trailer needs shooting. Not an ounce of sense, goes right through the ears and pretty much just sums up the entire game, random and repetitive.

The only good thing to have come out of this Nintendo expo was during a gameplay video, in which a presenter asks the Mario director and producer if the development crew grow moustaches to get into the mindset for creating Mario.

 

Well that wraps up our ranking of the best and worst E3 announcements this year. Maybe there’s something on the list that shocked you? Or do you have your own thoughts on why it should be where it is? If there’s anything you’d like to add to this, the comment box is below where you’re free to blow off your own steam on some of the let downs this year and rejoice those that took you by surprise.

I wasn’t expecting much from E3 this year, and was pretty much correct in the sense that a lot of these games revealed aren’t looking to be released until 2018, so I guess that’s the year to wait for. Until then, enjoy the games that do come out this year and remember, please always take a moment to step off from the hype train and just ask yourself if the games you’re going to buy with your hard earned cash are going to be exactly as you hoped it will be or if it’s just a tortured money cow for the publishers to get fat off.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.thelategamer.com/blog/top-5-best-worst-game-announcements-of-e3-2017/

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