Every year E3 comes around and every year it’s a complete fucking disgrace. An event bloated with the most horrible and deceitful business practices you can imagine. This year there were three stand-out performances. Let’s get started:
EA did not fuck up as hard as they could this year. The games they announced were entirely mediocre, with two yearly sport titles, a DLC, a Need for Speed game, and a decent-looking co-op prison-escape sim. I’d rail against these yearly sports titles, but I unironically look forward to every yearly Pokémon game.
Where EA faltered is in its baffling use of completely inept and unqualified YouTube personalities. You can practically taste the awkwardness in the air when people that are used to creating scripted and heavily-edited content are forced to perform live. Perfectly illustrating this is the Need for Speed: Payback demonstration, when Hipster Supreme has to be rescued from a nigh-lethal case of stage fright by some guy that worked on the game and obviously spent the time rehearsing his lines.
Though our salmon-shirted friend can probably take solace that he was not the worst act that EA had hired that day. That prestigious honour went to two football pundits that sped through their jokes almost fast enough to distract you from the fact that nobody was laughing.
Now to start with, Microsoft did bring the games. They actually brought the games pretty damn hard, with a good mixture of high-profile games and smaller independent titles. A huge variety of titles from racing games to JRPG’s to old-school platformers. Nobody can say that Microsoft didn’t bring the games to E3 2017.
They also brought a car.
Yeah, the Porche 911 was announced at E3. In fact, it was live on stage for about three and a half minutes. I desperately want to know which company was desperate enough to pay for that car to appear on stage for less time than it takes for Americans to recover from hearing the numbers nine-eleven.
Now onto the fun stuff: the Xbox One X or, as savvy people have noted, the XboneX. With the name of this console, Microsoft have successfully circled around and become an edgy 13yo Xbox fanboy.
Name aside however, and it’s the most powerful console ever created, able to run games better than ever before… kinda, sorta, probably not really. Four games have already been confirmed to only run at 30fps, a framerate that hasn’t been acceptable since the PS2, but hey, at least it’ll look really pretty… in screenshots.
Secondly, Microsoft used a shitty marketing practice that’s only popped up in the past couple of years, and has been used by games like Rainbow Six in 2014. It’s the act of using professional voice actors to speak over your multiplayer footage, as if they’re playing the game and communicating through the in-game voice chat. Coined as “The Mic Trick” by some fat guy with a red tie, it’s an insidious and deceitful tactic to make the game look a lot more interesting and co-operative than it is.
Microsoft used this trick in the Anthem Gameplay Trailer, a damn good-looking game in my opinion, but one that I’ve been permanently soured on because of the manipulation they tried to pull.
If you listen closely to the voices, they’ve even been slightly distorted to make it sound like they’re communicating over short-range radios. I honestly thought I was listening to the characters until one of them started talking about their loot pickup. If you want a more realistic representation of what the game will be like, re-watch that video on mute, and put any call-of-duty match in the background. Yes, there will be exactly that many racial slurs in this game too.
Now onto the big one. Microsofts way of sticking the middle fingers up at us while kicking our dog and insulting our collective mums. This bullshit:
Yes. Microsoft, in its magnanimity, deems we pathetic mortals worthy to give it money for games that haven’t even come out yet. There was applause for that. People applauded the idea that you can give your money to a company in exchange for games that we can’t be sure won’t be cancelled in a month. Hell, they specifically highlighted digital preorders. What is the point of preordering something digitally? Do you think the digital store is going to run out of downloads? Stop giving your money away to these greedy, unapologetic fucks!
Well paid mods are back. Except they’re not mods. They’re awesome new content made by Bethesda! And anyone Bethesda gives the ok. And you pay for them. And the modify the game.
They’re paid fucking mods. You tried this bullshit before and I hope it burns you twice as hard and three times as long. It’s not as if you need the money, you’re releasing Skyrim for another damn platform and it’s already the tenth best-selling game of all time.
Bethesda long ago shed all of its talent, ethics and integrity. This is just more proof that they aren’t worth dealing with any more.
Let this be the final straw. Let Bethesda die. Let them sell Fallout and Elder Scrolls to a better developer.
What are Obsidian doing these days?