Lgndary Thoughts - This Year's E3 Keynotes Ranked

E3 is over, and the dust has settled. This year we saw a total of 7 publishers/developers host a keynote, and I am here to rank them. Starting with the worst, and working up to the best, here is what I think:

Square Enix - Square Enix comes in last, not because their conference was bad, but because it didn't really feel like a press conference. It was only 30 minutes long, and offered nothing more than slightly interesting reveals. Babylon looks interesting, sure, especially since it is developed by Platinum Games. But I don’t put too much stock into CG reveals that show no gameplay. 

Kingdom Hearts III was present and looked great, of course, but this is a game that has already had a lot of gameplay showcased before. New trailers of it were also present at other keynotes, which further diminished the impact it had during Square’s. If they had saved the release date reveal for their keynote, it could have made a difference. But that too was announced a couple of days before.

Sony - Sony just barely avoided being bottom of the pile this year. I was immediately suspicious when Shawn Layden announced that they were doing things a little differently this year, because that is almost always code for “we don’t have much to show so we have to mask that somehow”. Unfortunately for everyone, the masking only made things worse. 

If having to sit through two separate out of place musical performances, as well as a weird intermission where everyone had to switch buildings was the only problem with Sony’s keynote, I think they would have been okay. But even when their conference started to build up it disappointed. The footage of their games we saw looked great, assuming non of it was scripted (looking at you, The Last of Us II). But the show still lacked any big surprises, or a deep dive of any of their titles. Resulting in a very disappointing E3 for them.

Ubisoft - Ubisoft’s conference wasn't anything too spectacular, but it certainly wasn't a disappointment. Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, Beyond Good and Evil 2, and the Star Fox and Donkey Kong announcements made for a pretty solid lineup. Just like the other keynotes, a big surprise reveal could have taken it over the top, but I am satisfied with what they presented. 

EA - EA’s was fairly similar to Ubisoft’s in that they were both standard press conferences that featured exciting content but lacked a huge surprise. I actually had trouble placing these two, but in the end I gave the edge to EA for a couple of reasons. The first was a great gameplay showing of Anthem. I feel it is always important to not only show gameplay, but to show it how players will actually experience it. That means having a UI and controls readily apparent.

The other reason was the announcement and launch of Unravel 2. I’ll talk more about this later, but I always appreciate when publishers actually launch games at E3. It gives gamers more than just things to look forward to, and I feel not enough publishers do that these days.

Bethesda - Bethesda also had a pretty good show. It was full of odd announcements that felt a little out of place a gaming’s biggest event of the year, but they didn't detract from Bethesda’s reveals in the end. The bulk of the show went to the recently announced Fallout: 76, a game that I was ready to write off the second multiplayer was mentioned. But I actually walked away impressed with the vision for 76. I am still a skeptic, but I plan on watching the game closely before release.

Having said that, if Fallout 76 was the final reveal for Bethesda, I would have been let down. But the Starfield and Elder Scrolls VI announcements saved the show. I do hate that we got nothing more than a logo for each of them, but knowing that Starfield exists is enough for me.

Nintendo - Nintendo comes in second this year because, despite not having too many announcements, they did provide an exciting E3 by giving more to gamers now. An Octopath demo, Hollow Knight, and the Splatoon 2 expansion were all surprise launches that made Nintendo’s showcase about more than just the future. 

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate also gave Nintendo a significant lead this year. Not only does the game look incredible, they also provided those watching with a ton of real gameplay. They even hosted a tournament that allowed professional Smash players the chance to play the game and voice their impressions to those not lucky enough to attend. 

Microsoft - I’m putting Microsoft on top this year because they were one of the few that had what I would consider a real press conference. They announced some interesting exclusives for Xbox, talked about more than just games, and even got to reveal exciting 3rd party titles like Sekiro and Cyberpunk. At the end of the day, the gaming experience is still going to be best with Playstation, as the best games Microsoft announced will also be on PS4. But as far as keynotes go, Microsoft has risen above all others for the first time in years. 

Bethesda does not have an unannounced game launching this year

Earlier today, Pete Hines went on record and announced that Bethesda had an unannounced game set to launch this year. Unfortunately, that seems to not be the case as he has now clarified on Twitter that he messed up. 

Fallout 4 Game of the Year Edition Announced

Bethesda has announced a Fallout 4 Game of the Year edition set to launch on September 26th. It will be priced at $60, and include the following content:

  • Freedom and Liberty! - Do whatever you want in a massive open world with hundreds of locations, characters, and quests. Join multiple factions vying for power or go it alone, the choices are all yours.
  • You're S.P.E.C.I.A.L! - Be whoever you want with the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. character system. From a Power Armored soldier to the charismatic smooth talker, you can choose from hundreds of Perks and develop your own playstyle.
  • Super Deluxe Pixels! - An all-new next generation graphics and lighting engine brings to life the world of Fallout like never before. From the blasted forests of the Commonwealth to the ruins of Boston, every location is packed with dynamic detail.
  • Violence and V.A.T.S.! - Intense first or third person combat can also be slowed down with the new dynamic Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System (V.A.T.S) that lets you choose your attacks and enjoy cinematic carnage.
  • Automatron DLC
  • Wasteland Workshop DLC
  • Far Harbor DLC
  • Contraptions Workshop DLC
  • Vault-Tec Workshop DLC
  • Nuka-World DLC

Bethesda sends out their E3 showcase invite

So it looks like we are getting, at the very least, two major announcements from Bethesda at E3. 

Bethesda E3 Showcase Date Revealed

What are you hoping to see Bethesda announce?

Bethesda releases statement on game reviews

At Bethesda, we value media reviews.

We read them. We watch them. We try to learn from them when they offer critique. And we understand their value to our players.

Earlier this year we released DOOM. We sent review copies to arrive the day before launch, which led to speculation about the quality of the game. Since then DOOM has emerged as a critical and commercial hit, and is now one of the highest-rated shooters of the past few years.

With the upcoming launches of Skyrim Special Edition and Dishonored 2, we will continue our policy of sending media review copies one day before release. While we will continue to work with media, streamers, and YouTubers to support their coverage – both before and after release – we want everyone, including those in the media, to experience our games at the same time.

We also understand that some of you want to read reviews before you make your decision, and if that’s the case we encourage you to wait for your favorite reviewers to share their thoughts.

Skyrim Special Edition releases globally on October 28 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. Dishonored 2 releases globally on November 11 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.

Bethesda looking at alternatives to get mods on PS4

It is unfortunate that they have to work this hard for PS4 players in the first place. Sony needs to right this wrong and give Bethesda the tools they need to get mods on PS4. 

Pete Hines says that The Evil Within and Rage sold enough to warrant a sequel

Coming from an interview with Finder.com, Pete Hines has stated that he believes that The Evil Within and Rage have both sold well enough to warrant a sequel. He goes on to say, however, that he can't talk about specifics. The described portion of the interview can be read below:

Did The Evil Within sell well enough to warrant a sequel?

Pete Hines: Without hesitation) Yes!

What about Rage?

Pete Hines: I think so.

So are they in the pipeline then?

Pete Hines: I can’t talk about the unannounced stuff and what we may or may not do. I get myself in trouble whenever I do that. Even when we were talking about the Morrowind Remaster, if I come out and say, ‘I just don’t think that is going to happen,’ then people freak out. So I won’t confirm or deny stuff we may or may not do, as people jump to the wrong conclusions. But I do think both The Evil Within and Rage did well enough that we could make sequels. Personally I loved Rage and had a tonne of fun playing it, but we have a lot of stuff in the pipeline right now so you will have to wait and see.

Lgndary Thoughts - EA and Bethesda's Press Conferences

E3 has officially begun, and Bethesda and EA have already had their press conferences! There have already been a ton of announcements made, and many more to go, so I decided to make a brief impressions post regarding both Bethesda and EA. Welcome to Lgndary Thoughts!

EA went first yesterday, so I will talk about them first. If you are a long time reader of the site, you probably know that I was very disappointed in what they showed yesterday. I have been waiting for a true Mass Effect: Andromeda announcement for years. Now that we are less than a year away from launch, I knew that this had to be the year that Bioware finally shows us what they have been working on up close. Well, I could not have been more wrong. We did get to see footage of the game, but it was in the form of a behind the scenes video. 

Here is the thing I don’t understand, if Mass Effect Andromeda is coming out early next year, why is it that we have yet to get a real trailer? We know more about other games that are coming out after Andromeda. It honestly makes me suspicious of when this game is actually going to launch.

Bethesda was much more impressive. One of my wishes actually came true! Just this past Friday I said that I would love a Skyrim PS4 port if they increased the visuals, and added mod support. And they did both! I actually find it funny that one of my most anticipated games is one that I have already played, but mods will bring new life to the game that console players have yet to experience. 

Dishonored II also looks incredible. I am a huge fan of the first one, and I could not be more impressed with what I have seen so far. Dishonored is all about choices, and finding your own way through the game. The sequel appears to give players more choice than ever, and that is nothing but a good thing. 

I am also very interested in Prey. I know nothing of the series, and the new trailer didn't show much of anything, but it certainly has my attention. 

Overall, I was pretty happy with Bethesda’s showing at this year’s E3. They had new games to show, and even new versions of old games. EA on the other hand, did very poorly. I actually wasn't impressed with anything of their’s, and I could only walk away unimpressed. What did you all think of these 2 press conferences? Let me know in the comments below!