Whew, it's been quite a ride so far, hasn't it?
Even though E3 actually officially begins tomorrow when the expo floor opens, most of the flood of announcements occurs on Monday, making this arguably the biggest day of the week for anyone watching from home, followed by the remaining conferences on Tuesday.
And with that, here are a few random thoughts from me about the day's announcements.
Microsoft's showing was fairly solid, although perhaps not quite as surprising as last year. Their biggest revelation was the announcement of Xbox 360 backwards compatibility, which is great service by them, but I don't know if it's quite enough to get people up in arms with excitement.
Rare's offerings were definitely not expected. The new pirate game Sea of Thieves looks pretty rad, and it's great to see them working on something that isn't casual or Kinect-related for once. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed that the Banjo-Threeie rumors ended up being false, though.
Also, the announcement of Rare Replay was something I did not expect at all, but actually is sort of an incentive for me to get an Xbox One eventually. There's incredible value there, and ironically, it almost pains me to see Microsoft selling the collection at a price where each game is essentially a dollar apiece; even the bigger, Xbox 360 ones.
Star Wars Battlefront essentially saved EA's conference from being a complete bore. It's almost ridiculous how good and fun that game looks. And though I don't quite remember seeing Star Destroyers in the atmosphere during The Battle of Hoth, it was a cool visual addition nonetheless. The battlefield in Star Wars has never looked or felt more alive; November can't come soon enough.
Ubisoft didn't show too much that I was actually interested in, though it was good to see fans getting another Oblivion-developed South Park game. Sadly, it wasn't too surprising to me that Beyond Good & Evil 2 didn't show up; at this point, I'm beginning to wonder if it'll ever happen.
There was one anonymous developer working on it about a year or two back that mentioned that work was progressing slowly on it, but that it wouldn't be out until 2016/2017, so perhaps we still have a year or two left before we can totally give up on seeing it. Who knows, perhaps Ubisoft will pull a 'Last Guardian' with it sometime then.
Sony... well done, Sony. They pulled off what was perhaps the biggest bombshells (three of them!!) since perhaps
To be honest, I'm rather shocked that so many people didn't believe The Last Guardian still exists; both Sony and Fumito Ueda have acknowledged within the last year that they were still on the project and that certain recent elements have escalated the game's development, so I can only assume these people are either jaded or weren't following the game closely enough; maybe both.
Also, what's especially interesting to me is that the game is seemingly unchanged from its initial debut some 8 years ago. I was almost certain it would be radically different at this point due to the extreme delays and vaporware status its had for so long.
The Final Fantasy VII Remake was legitimately shocking, if only because Square Enix was staunch in saying that they wouldn't do it in years' past. By and large, this is an amazing development, and speaks well of Square's current leadership and direction. Between this, Final Fantasy XV beginning to look like it might come out soon, and Kingdom Hearts 3's development continuing nicely, there's reason to believe Square is actually listening to fans, and I imagine they'll begin to thrive as a company because of it.
I never was into Shenmue, but I can appreciate its popularity and legacy, so it was also pretty surprising to hear that Shenmue 3 is officially maybe happening if the Kickstarter is successful (it will be). It'll be interesting to see if SEGA will put out a remastered HD collection of the first two games in order to generate hype and get players up to speed before it eventually comes out.
Uncharted is something I still need to play (all three games, actually), but holy cow, that Uncharted 4 live demo was something else. Naughty Dog is a master at scripting action-filled moments like that, and the fact that they managed to give the illusion that you were in an open world (but not really) was also pretty impressive.
Personally, I can't wait to see what Nintendo and Square Enix have in store later today. What surprises might we find? After today, I honestly can't say; just about anything is possible.
What were your thoughts on Day 1 of the E3 press conferences?