The Next Level

The Next Level #1: What We Learned From E3 ’17

Vincent London IINighthawk for Vince

by Vince London II aka “Nighthawk”


On May 11, 1995 the gaming industry introduced its first trade show to the world after realizing there was a need for a type of convention catering specifically to video game/software developers. We as gamers and non-gamers alike have watched the video game industry rise, fall, and skyrocket over the many years since the generation one consoles. Twenty-two years and seven generations later, E3 has evolved into one of the biggest video game events of all time. It’s given players an early taste at what to expect from their favorite studios/developers. I’ll be going over the heaviest of hitters of E3, the Xbox One X, the risks being taken with the PlayStation VR, and a few other miscellaneous topics. Let us get started, shall we? header

First on the list we have developers Ubisoft, EA Play, and Bethesda. Each of these video game developers have been around for as long as we can remember bringing us many memorable experiences via television and controller. One of Ubisoft’s most successful game franchises dives us deep in to its starting point in Assassin’s Creed Origins. Assassin’s Creed Origins takes place in Egypt with the formation of the Brotherhood and how things came to be about as the way they are. Origins uses elements from all of the great features that seemed to work with previous Assassin’s Creed games. Gamers have the pleasure of playing as BAYEK. An eagle-wielding, bow-and-arrow toting “rude boy” whose skills with a bow will put that of OLIVER QUEEN to shame. Origins will give us the chance to explore all Ancient Egypt has to offer. The usage of mythology, the pyramids, and mystery will plunge players into the start of civilization.

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Another one of Ubisoft’s highly anticipated games and successful franchises is arguably the Farcry series. Farcry 5 puts a small town in the patriotic country of the USA at war with an extremist cult purging sinners of their crimes. In other words, you are either with them or against. This FPS gives you a wide variety of weapons and vehicles to cause total anarchy to the cult attempting to isolate and control the city.

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Beyond Good and Evil 2 may not be as hyped as the other two games stated above but it is worthy enough of attention. Beyond Good and Evil 2 lays out a landscape so stunningly beautiful complimented with a superbly diverse cast of characters anyone can fall in love with.

The sports game mogul EA Play demonstrated plenty of their usual sports and driving games, but the true fan favorite is more than likely DICE’s Star Wars: Battlefront II. Star Wars has to be the one of the biggest franchises ever with a lore spanning over decades told between movies, books, and video games. Battlefront II answered the prayers of the majority; The second installment features a standalone campaign as well as new PvP modes followed by a points system used in game to upgrade characters. The most captivating feature about Battlefront II is that its campaign will bridge the gap between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens with a new squad of troopers calling themselves the Inferno Squad. Switching gears to a more eerie and out of the box style of developing, we move over to Bethesda. Known for its weirdly unique games, Bethesda has brought us some of gaming’s most challenging and innovative to date. Being responsible for Fallout 4, Elder Scrolls, and many others where the ultimate objective is freedom to do/go anywhere in game. This year at E3 Bethesda showcased some titles they’re working on for the PlayStation VR. Putting playing in a POV experience only Bethesda can deliver, but is the really VR a worthy investment at this time? The game that stuck out to me the most from Bethesda would be that of Wolfenstein 2. A dystopian style society where Nazis have overrun America sounds like a total nightmare for any WWII veteran with bad PTSD.

xboxonexThe eighth generation console war has been going on for a few years and during E3 this year we saw that come to life subtly before our eyes. Xbox broke the ice with the reveal of their newest version of the Xbox One, the Xbox One X. Redesigned to fit the spec requirements of those super “techy” fans who want to see the beads of sweat fall of the faces of their MyPlayer on NBA 2k. Powered by the Scorpio engine, this console is the most powerful on the market with 4K streaming capabilities, a processor clocking in at 2.3GHZ, 12GB of graphic memory, and a 6 teraflop GPU allowing your games to play and look cleaner than ever before. If you aren’t too big on higher quality specs and processors, the selling point would be the ability to play any Xbox game with full backwards compatibility. Now, let’s get into the games.

Though this game might be for all consoles it was shown during Xbox’s conference to bring a new type of audience to Microsoft. When you think of Microsoft you don’t think of fighters. Well FGC goers that play on Xbox fret no longer, as Dragon Ball FighterZ makes way to consoles 2018. Dragon Ball and its many reincarnations have all been anime fan favorites since the mid 1990’s. Dragon Ball FIghterZ is on its way and looks like it is possible for it to be as popular as the Budokai and Budokai Tenkaichi versions.

Masterminds behind the famous anime fighters like Guilty Gear and BlazBlue work together with Bandai Namco to bring us a DBZ fighter that may be the most technical out its predecessors. Arc System Works, the developers behind Dragon Ball FIghterZ, uses their classic style 2D with a mix of 3D elements. We’re sure we can expect plenty of slides, air cancels, and techs throughout the game making long term fans of Arc’s games drool at the idea of a Dragon Ball-inspired fighting game being made by this veteran developer.

Throughout the duration of Microsoft’s conference it seemed their goal was game exclusivity. Late in the conference we were introduced to a game from Bioware called Anthem. We know Bioware for its work on Mass Effect easily making it a top contender in the development market (aside from the train wreck that was MS: Andromeda). Anthem is already setting Bioware on a road to redemption with a fun looking style and a vast open world in a sci-fi setting. In this game you get to choose the form of mech-suit of choice called Javelins. These suits allow players to soar through skies and launch multiple rockets at enemy targets.

Sony took the floor with an array of sequels and exclusives to keep their communities interested; they opened up with a highly sought out cinematic trailer of Uncharted: Lost Legacy. The real kicker was in the nostalgia used to grasp the audience like never before. Even still, this year’s Sony conference seemed to fall short in the department of completely wowing its fanbase. Going for a seemingly primary focus on VR content due to the lack of content it already has. Only a few titles stuck out such as the latest edition to the God of War family putting our beloved KRATOS alongside his son fighting side by side.

Shadow of the Colossus, Gran Turismo, and the .Hack remaster were all honorable mentions in my eyes, but the true star of the show was Insomniac Games’ Spider-Man. Insomniac Games is the creative team responsible for favorites such as Ratchet & Clank, Spyro the Dragon, and a few other gaming classics we can all agree on. Insomniac had a lot of ground to cover and we feel as if they’ve made a statement with the latest gameplay demo trailer that released during Sony’s E3 press conference. Spider-Man for PS4 utilizes Spidey’s ultimate ability to adapt to any situation; leaving the decisions on what route to go solely up to the player. PETER PARKER is in his early twenties making him highly capable and a much more groomed superhero. It’s obvious that the villains will have heavy emphasis placed on them showing off a more realistically modern take on their respective selves. Parkour elements shine through the open world that looks vivid allowing you to go pretty much anywhere in game. Reaction time and action commands seem to also play a big part in the game. Where you may be late on stopping a helicopter from crashing down on innocents, or choosing to throw a bad guy off a building and web him up in order to save him. Either way, the Spider-Man game for PS4 looks promising and we are sure to assume many fans of the bright young web crawler will line up for this game in hopes for a path of redemption for all of its predecessors.

So what can we take from this year’s E3 conference? That video game companies and developers alike are fighting for fans attention by throwing us much more than we can keep up with at one time. Depreciating the value of the art, falling deep into the trend of releasing unfinished games and/or ones with a lack of content. Plus concentrating on system specs and exclusive games without allowing the recent updates, expansions, and over fun factor to take place before moving on to the next big thing. The biggest issue is that everything is being presented as the next big thing taking no time to appreciate the little guys that want fun to return to the gaming community. E-sports being a blessing and a curse; studios are forgetting to add campaign modes for the solo players who aren’t too fond of getting racial slurs paired with various disrespectful jargon shouted at them every few seconds. PvP was a led to be believed as the bread winning component, but unfortunately there are plenty of us who think otherwise.

In my opinion, Nintendo was the true champion of E3 ’17, reminding us all where we started from and why we choose video games as an outlet. Time has run short so I will continue with Nintendo in a separate post detailing their greatest moments. Remember, it’s always about having fun and escaping from reality when it comes down to gaming.


Vince is an aspiring writer, artist, and musician. He is a video games, comic books (mainly DC and indie publishers) and anime enthusiast. Inspired by everything that surrounds him, his aim is to make the world a better place through artistry.

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