E3 is a long event that exists to get people excited about videogames. If games don’t get you excited in a general way, then let me tell you this: E3 features multi-hour conferences from some of the biggest publishers in the videogames world that help you figure out exactly what to get excited about.
I’m saying this with a little bit of sarcasm, but also seriously. E3 press conferences exist to tell players about things that they might be interested in, and it’s mostly about throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks. So let me tell you the ten major things that seem to “stick” for me from the vast amounts of E3 coverage that I watched in order to report back to you, dear reader.
10. Madden has a cinematic story mode
Look, I really don’t know much about the Madden franchise’s player story mode. While I’ve played a few sports games in my day, Madden isn’t really one of them. But EA was selling the story mode for the next version of the game, Madden 18, with some big talent and some bit promises. I am on-record about my unrelenting fascination with Spike Lee’s version of the sports game story in NBA 2k16, and while I don’t think that Madden 18 is going to have monologues from ghosts or Spike Lee interrupting fake documentary footage, I do think it’ll take the journey from high school to the peak of play seriously and make it interesting. Also, Mahershala Ali is going to be in it.
9. Anthem Exists, and I’m Not Excited?!
I’ve been a fan of Bioware games at every major stage of their development, from the proto-company and its isometric RPGs, to Knights of the Old Republic, to Mass Effect. While I am certainly not the committed superfan that others are, I genuinely enjoy engaging with the things that come out of the creative talent that Bioware has consistently attracted for something like 20 years. Now they’ve made Anthem, and I don’t think I like the look of it. It seems to be cutting out all of the things that I have enjoyed about Bioware’s games for so many years in favor of streamlined online cooperative action that seems more World of Warcraft or Destiny than Mass Effect. I’m skeptical.
8. Hidden Agenda is a new game from the Until Dawn team
Until Dawn is one of my favorite games, period, and when it came out I was shocked both by how much I loved it and by how little I knew about it already. I’m ambivalent about how much the announcement trailer tells us about Hidden Agenda, but the gist of it is that you and your friends can sit around and play a mystery game together. You can vote on outcomes, and you can have secret goals that other players don’t have. What does that mean? Who knows! But I trust the Until Dawn team to give me that rad spooky action.
7. The sad dad Kratos is still returning in God of War at some point
Look, I am not the most excited about the new God of War game. I once saw someone put out someone’s eyes from the first-person perspective in one of those games, and ever since then I’m been a little checked out on the faux-edgy violence that they seem to be all about. The new God of War trailer shows a little more action, a little less violence, and some more story context for why the Greek Kratos is all the way up in the world of the Norse gods. In any case, that game is coming at some point.
6. Mario and the Rabbids are doing battle on the Switch
The unholy minds at Ubisoft and Nintendo have come to the conclusion that the next mode of existence for the Rabbids, a kind of Minions-like species of clowning rabbit people that spun out of a Rayman game, and Mario, who is a Mario that spun out of a Donkey Kong game, is that they should do battle with one another across a warped mushroom kingdom. They gave Mario a gun (and you won’t believe what he did next!). This is looking like it’s a tactical combat game with a lot of running around and shooting, and I will say that I never expected that. Given that it’s an Ubisoft game, there’s a 50% chance that Mario invades a narco-state in the sequel.