E3 2017: Third Party Conferences Review

For many fans, the week of E3 is the best time of year, where developers finally reveal all of the hard work they’ve been pouring into a specific title. This year had an extra little kick to it thanks to the inclusion of the public, who flooded the show floor on Day One, no doubt making life that much harder for media members.

All in all though, E3 2017 proved to be a massive success as the show saw 68,400 attendees this year. Not only that, fans finally got their first look at the former Project Scorpio, now known as Xbox One X along with a slew of other exciting games like Anthem, Spider-Man, Assassin’s Creed Origins, and God of War.

While the big three, of course, got their time in the spotlight, major third party companies also took the stage at E3 to show off their upcoming games. While not all of them were particularly well received, many would argue that it was a third party company which took home the best press conference award this year.

Instead of breaking down each of the major third parties, which would undoubtedly take up way too much of your time and my own, I’ve decided to give my general thoughts on each one below after the jump. Let me know which third party studio you think had the best E3 in the comments below.

Bethesda
Before I get started, let me just say that I really enjoy the games Bethesda has been putting out lately. Wolfenstein and DOOM both surprised me and what else can be said about Skyrim and Fallout 4.

But let’s be real here, that press conference was just plain not good. Even though it was set to start at midnight my time, I figured I’d watch a bit of it before I headed off to bed. After 35 minutes, it was over and I was left scratching my head. Without a major game to attach to it, there didn’t seem to be a need for a dedicated press conference from them. Sure, Wolfenstein II looks awesome and I’m super excited about the Dishonored content, but in the end, I found the whole thing to be unnecessary and underwhelming.

EA
Perhaps it was the fact that they decided to go first on a Saturday, my memory of their showcase is a bit fuzzy outside of the absolutely astounding looking Star Wars Battlefront II. I loved that EA wasn’t afraid to poke fun at itself by showing off countless tweets which called for single player content in the first game. Seriously though, this upcoming title looks like the game many people wanted in the previous game, a true successor to the fan favorite older games from the franchise.

Outside of Star Wars, EA showed off a dedicated campaign for Madden, which looks intriguing but if you’re not into simulation football games, I’m not sure it’s going to draw you in. EA also showed off new content for two of its core franchises with Need for Speed Payback which looks good and very much like a Burnout inspired racer, and Battlefield 1 which got a new expansion trailer. EA once again surprised fans with A Way Out which is developed by the studio that brought

EA once again surprised fans with A Way Out which is from Josef Fares who previously brought us Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. While this looks like a 70s prison breakout style game, it features an interesting co-op requirement, meaning that it can only be played with someone else either locally or online. Not sure how I feel about that in all honesty.

Ah, and let’s not forget the incredible looking Anthem from BioWare. I’m going to look forward seeing this one develop over the next year.

Ubisoft
Save the best for last, I always say. Ubisoft really nailed it this year, offering an exciting look at a diverse range of titles which kicked off with the quirky fun of Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle. I had zero interest in this game when it was leaked, but after seeing it at E3, I’m pretty much on board. I love that it’s a tactical RPG in the vein of XCOM combined with the humor of Rabbids and painted over with a Mario aesthetic. Plus the creative director almost stole the show, unable to hold back tears seeing Yves and Miyamoto on stage talking about the game he was working on. So awesome.

Far Cry 5 also got a gameplay demo as expected and looks as bonkers as ever. Assassin’s Creed Origins looks like a much-needed return to form for the franchise. I think the extra time off did this game a lot of good as it brings a lot of new and fresh ideas to the table. The Crew 2 is adding in planes and boats along with cars and motorcycles this time around and South Park is looking as hilarious as ever.

Skull & Bones was also revealed for the first time, taking the ship battle mechanics from Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag, and becoming a dedicated pirate game which many people have been begging for. Other announcements included DLC for Steep, a VR game, a space combat game called Starlink and a South Park mobile game.

For many though, ending the show with Beyond Good & Evil 2 was a dream come true. After what felt like an eternity of waiting, Ubisoft finally confirmed it in a pretty awesome CG trailer.

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