Ramblings – E3 2018 Review

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Hey there everyone!  Brandon Myers here, with my review of E3 2018.  Overall, E3 was a mixed bag.  Some good, some meh.  Nothing was really bad, which is great.  There isn’t much else to add in the intro, so let’s get to what you all came here to read.

Electronic Arts kicked off the E3 2018 festivities with their EA Play showcase.  It was more good than bad, I suppose.  They showed off Battlefield V, which looks great.  I only ever played Battlefield 4, and even then it was only the single-player campaign, and I didn’t even finish it.  They announced that Battlefield V will have a Battle Royale mode, because of course it will.  If you don’t follow gaming trends and/or have been living under a rock lately, battle royale is the big craze recently.  A developer known as Player Unknown created the mode years ago in a mod of ARMA 2, then was brought on to help with H1Z1 and created their battle royale mode (now called H1Z1: King of the Kill), before he went on to create his own Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (shortened to PUBG).

Basically, Battle Royale is an online mode where 100 (or more) players drop into a massive map with little or no weapons or armor.  You have to find whatever you can scattered around.  Also, at specific intervals, the playable area of the map shrinks via some method, such as poison being dropped around the perimeter, leaving an untainted area (usually circular in shape) for players to flock toward.  The last player left alive wins.  Now, EA didn’t give details on their version of the mode, so we don’t know yet how different it may be from other battle royale games.  More details will come prior to launch, though.

The next thing EA showed was FIFA 19.  I’m not that into soccer games, myself, but if you are, then it should be one to look forward to.

Then they talked with a guy from Respawn Entertainment, who finally announced some sparse details on their new Star Wars game.  The title is Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order, and takes place between Episodes III and IV of the films when the Jedi are being hunted.  It sounds neat, but it’s still over a year out from release.  There was no trailer, no screenshots, nothing.  Respawn were the developers of the Titanfall games, but Star Wars doesn’t have giant mechs.  That said, they’re a good studio, so we shall wait and see.

Speaking of Star Wars, Battlefront II was next.  They announced a Han Solo season to celebrate the latest spin-off movie, Solo: A Star Wars Story.  Then they talked about future content coming that is all about the Clone Wars cartoon.  That content will include General Grievous, Count Dooku, young Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Anakin Skywalker as heroes, and Geonosis as one of the planets.  They also talked about a new squad system, a new starfighter mode, as well as a “sandbox multiplayer mode” that includes command posts and capital ships.

Unravel Two was next, and it looks cute.  I never played the first, and I doubt I’ll play this.  Oh, they released it immediately, as well.  So yeah, it’s out now.  As I write this, it’s been out almost a full week.  Crazy, huh?  Unravel is about a yarn creature called Yarny, and it looks like a pretty basic platformer.  Unravel Two introduces a second Yarny for two-player co-op.  After that was Sea of Solitude, which seems like it could be neat.  In the world of that game, when humans get lonely, they turn into monsters.  You play as a woman who is already a monster, and you have to turn her back into human.

They showed sports next, including NBA Live 19 and Madden NFL 19.  It was exactly what you’d expect.

They’re making a mobile game called Command & Conquer: Rivals.  Yes, they’re reviving Command & Conquer as a mobile game.  It’s a very condensed, very limited real-time-strategy game.  I don’t know how it’s going to fare.  I can’t do RTS, so that’s out of my league.  But I don’t know how many RTS fans will actually enjoy it.

EA ended with Anthem.  It looks amazing.  That’s all I can really say.  I have no idea if I’ll like it, but it’s something I can definitely give a try.

Microsoft was the next press conference.  They boasted they were showing off fifty games, so I definitely won’t be going over all of them.  They announced Halo Infinite.  Yay.  Another Halo.  I played the first three Bungie-developed Halo games, and I don’t see what the big deal is.

Phil Spencer came out and pandered some bull about how gaming brings people together, and then announced they were showing over a dozen games that you can only play on Xbox.  I wrote a tweet about it.  Check it:

After a couple games, they brought out Todd Howard from Bethesda who introduced Fallout 76.  It’s a prequel to the entire series.  It was mainly just a teaser video for the full reveal later at Bethesda’s showcase.  They confirmed it starts at Vault 76, which was built in 2076 for the USA’s tricentennial.  Pretty much all other details came later.

The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit is a free game set in the Life Is Strange universe, and follows a kid who kind of seems like the schoolyard reject.  He’s all about his imagination, which seems to play a central role in the game.  Personally, I’m a crabby mid-30s man who thinks imagination is dumb, so I can’t really get into the game.  But if you’re someone who still has that youthful spark, I say give it a shot.

Crackdown 3 is still being promoted by Terry Crews, and was delayed until next year.  Also, Nier: Automata is coming to Xbox One.  Yay.  As is Metro: Exodus.  And Kingdom Hearts III, which is odd because no Kingdom Hearts game has been on Xbox before, and from what I hear, you kind of need the whole story to understand KH3.  Odd decision.

Sea of Thieves.  Yawn.  I hate sailing in video games.  Please make this trend die.

Forza: Horizon 4 looks great, if you’re into racing sims.

They announced they bought five new studios.  Further perpetuating the console wars that divide gamers instead of bringing them together, like they so laughably claimed near the start of the conference.

There was a video on Tom Clancy’s The Division 2.  The virus that took down New York City leads to the downfall of Washington DC.  So it’s basically the first game with a bunch more politics thrown in.  Oh boy.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider was shown.  I’ve never been into Tomb Raider games, and I have little incentive to start now.

A new skateboarding game called Session was announced.  I guess they didn’t get the memo that the skateboard genre died.  Oops.  Well, I’m sure this will be the game that brings that bloodstain that used to be a dead horse back to life.

Devil May Cry V.  Yep.  Never really played the others, have little interest in this, either.

After some other stuff, they showed a trailer for Jump Force, a crossover between various Shonen Jump manga universes.  The trailer looked awesome, but subsequent coverage on the gameplay has me a bit worried for how it will actually turn out.  So who knows.

Microsoft announced the return of Battletoads.  And that was about it.  Just the logo and vague promises.  Meh.

Just Cause 4 has tornadoes.  Also, nice graphics and stuff.

Gears Pop! is, if I remember correctly, a mobile game based on a mashup of Gears of War and the Funko Pop! vinyl figurines.  Then came the announcement of Gears 5.  It looks like they may have actually learned how to tell stories.  Sucks that the first Gears bored me to death.

They closed the show with Cyberpunk 2077.  The trailer looked neat, but didn’t show much in terms of gameplay.  I hear it’s a first-person shooter, which seems to fit the trailer.

E3 2018 continued with Bethesda.  After an introductory video and a brief statement from Pete Hines, they had a Andrew WK concert to introduce Rage 2.  Now, Rage 2 looks kind of neat.  Definite Mad Max feel.  I don’t know if it’s something I’d be really into.

After some talk of new content for The Elder Scrolls Online, they unveiled Doom Eternal, a sequel to their Doom sequel/reboot.  It’s Doom.  You should know what to expect.  Then they showed Quake Champions and some new stuff for Prey.  Followed by an announcement for Wolfenstein Youngblood, a game featuring BJ Blazkowicz’s twin daughters continuing the revolution against the Nazis.

They brought out Todd Howard, who introduced what everyone thought was a joke video about how they bring out Skyrim every year, in which they announced Skyrim: Very Special Edition for Amazon’s Alexa.  Only it turned out to be a real thing.  Crazy!  Here’s the trailer:

Todd next talked about Fallout 76.  This game is online-only, and every human character you encounter will be another player.  So, supposedly no NPC humans.  Only robots and enemies, from the sounds of it.  It will have the building mechanic from Fallout 4, and some form of VATS, which won’t slow down time in this version, due to the online thing.  I don’t know what to think of these changes, honestly.  I think I’ll be renting it first to see if it’s something I even want to play.

They announced and immediately released Fallout Shelter for the PS4 and Switch.  After which they announced The Elder Scrolls: Blades, a mobile Elder Scrolls game.  I’m not that into mobile games, or at least mobile games that try to be console-quality experiences.  But hey, it looks neat.

Todd closed Bethesda’s E3 2018 showcase showing teaser videos of Starfield and The Elder Scrolls VI, both of which were said to be “next-generation” titles, so they’re at least two years off, if not longer.

Next up was Devolver Digital’s Big Fancy Press Conference 2018.  If you didn’t see last year’s, check it out here.  As for this year’s, it was again bloody, vulgar, and a crap load of hilarity.  Instead of reviewing it, I’ll embed it below:

Square Enix’s E3 2018 Showcase started off with Shadow of the Tomb Raider, which I briefly discussed earlier.  After that was a video for Final Fantasy XIV Online, along with a crossover with FF14 and Monster Hunter World.  Then another video on The Awesome Adventure of Captain Spirit.

A Dragon Quest XI video was shown.  It looks pretty neat.  I’ve never played a Dragon Quest game, but I’ve heard the series is amazing.  After a couple more videos, they talked about Octopath Traveler.  I played the demo released shortly afterward, and I wasn’t a fan.  The graphics are too dark.  It’s like the whole game is in sepia tone, which makes it kind of hard to see on the Switch when in portable or tabletop modes.

The rest of their E3 2018 showcase was Just Cause 4, another video or two, and Kingdom Hearts III.

Ubisoft kicked off their E3 2018 showcase with a fabulous dancing panda, along with various other dancers, which was obviously to set up the announcement of Just Dance 2019.

Immediately afterward was Beyond Good and Evil 2.  Still looks neat.  Not much gameplay was shown.  They did announce they’re crowd-developing the game in collaboration with HitRecord.  They’re looking for advertisements, music, posters, etc. which they’ll use to populate the world.

More stuff for Rainbow Six Siege was detailed.  Then they announced Trials Rising for PC, Xbox, PlayStation, and Switch, coming February 2019.  I’m a fan of Trials going back to Trials HD on the Xbox 360.  Very fun series.  Can’t wait for the new one.

Next was more info on The Division 2.  I’ll at least give that game a rental.  I did the beta and rented the first Division game, but wasn’t crazy about it.  This was followed by a video on the Donkey Kong DLC for Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle.  Kingdom Battle is a pretty good game, and the Donkey Kong expansion looks promising.

They showed some gameplay of Skull & Bones.  Again, I hate sailing in video games.  Please go away.  Pirates suck, anyway.  Ninja are better.

Transference looks like a really weird game.  Then came Starlink, that starship game with the buildable toys they showed off last year.  The Switch version of the game will come with Star Fox!  And they had Shigeru Miyamoto in the audience!  Cool stuff.  Don’t know if I’ll get the game, but it was cool seeing Star Fox and Miyamoto.

For Honor is getting an expansion including Chinese warriors.  Then there was a video on The Crew 2.  I only had an hour or so of time with the closed beta, but the open beta comes on June 21st.  I may give it another shot.  I don’t know.

Ubisoft closed with Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey.  It looked amazing, until they showed sailing.  Dammit!  I HATE SAILING!  Bleh.  I guess I can still try it, but damn…

The PC Gaming Show was a big meh, like I expected.

Sony started their showcase with The Last of Us 2.  It looks great.  Never played the first one, though, so I’m afraid I’d get lost if I were to try the second one.

They teased some stuff for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.  Then a recap of their Countdown to E3 2018.  Followed by some new Destiny 2 content.

Ghost of Tsushima was next.  Looks awesome.  It really does.  I wonder how it plays, though.  Then they showed a crazy shooter with telekinesis abilities called Control.  That got my curiosity piqued.  After which was a trailer for the new Resident Evil 2 remake.  Gruesome.  Trevor Saves The Universe is… well, it sure is something.

More Kingdom Hearts III stuff was shown.  After which was Death Stranding.  Actual gameplay was shown, and it sure looks like a Kojima game.  Take that for what you will.

There was a video for Nioh 2.  And then they closed stuff with Marvel’s Spider-Man.  Spidey looked amazing, like last year.  The gameplay looks so much fun.  It’s definitely on my radar.

Finally, Nintendo had their Nintendo Direct E3 2018.  Highlights included more info on Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee.  Super cute stuff.  The Pokeball Plus accessory comes with Mew!  Awesome!  I want it!

Super Mario Party looks great.  I’m a fan of Mario Party, despite its reputation as being a friendship killer.  Fortnite was revealed and released for the Switch.  I’m sure you all have read about the cross-platform play controversy involving Sony.  If you haven’t, well, if you have an Epic Games account for Fortnite and ever registered it on the PlayStation 4, you can’t use that account on the Switch because Sony refuses to let it happen.  Same with the Xbox One, but people apparently didn’t realize it until they tried to take their account to the Switch.  Sony needs to get with it.

The bulk of the presentation was for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.  Every playable character to ever appear in a Super Smash Bros. game is in Ultimate.  Along with newcomers Inklings from Splatoon, Princess Daisy from the Super Mario series, and Ridley from Metroid.  It looks incredible.  I love Smash Bros., and I cannot wait to get my hands on Ultimate.

That will do it for my E3 2018 Review.  I hope you liked reading it.  Check out my Twitter at @vgramblings and please consider supporting me on Ko-Fi.  Thanks for reading!

Brandon Myers

Brandon Myers

The "Rambling Gamer," Brandon has been playing video games since 1988.From the NES to the PS4, he's played almost every major console.While he favors consoles, he's dabbled in PC gaming, and is an avid Linux user.Every Wednesday, he posts his latest Ramblings, which usually consist of video game reviews, best/worst lists, and on occasion a good old-fashioned rant.
Brandon Myers

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About Brandon Myers

The "Rambling Gamer," Brandon has been playing video games since 1988. From the NES to the PS4, he's played almost every major console. While he favors consoles, he's dabbled in PC gaming, and is an avid Linux user. Every Wednesday, he posts his latest Ramblings, which usually consist of video game reviews, best/worst lists, and on occasion a good old-fashioned rant.
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