As always, at E3 2017 EA, Microsoft, Bethesda, Ubisoft, Sony, and Nintendo all made a host of announcements, so there’s a lot to take in. If you're a fan who doesn't have time to go through dozens of announcements, then you've come to the right place as we sort out the wheat from the chaff.
The best of E3 2017
1. Original Xbox backwards compatibility
One of the biggest draws of the Xbox One range of consoles is backwards compatibility with the Xbox 360. Now, games from the original Xbox, released more than a decade ago, will be playable on the Xbox One, Xbox One S, and Xbox One X. It’s a move that ensures old-timers and neophytes alike get to experience classics like Crimson Skies, Shenmue 2, Jet Set Radio Future, and Fable. It will work similar to how Xbox 360 backwards compatibility works on the Xbox One line of consoles. This means original Xbox discs and digital downloads will both be supported.
2. Spider-Man E3 2017 gameplay
Labelled by Sony boss Shawn Layden as a “true exclusive”, Spider-Man for the PS4 and PS4 Pro capped off Sony’s E3 2017 event.
Drawing from past Spider-Man games, the Arkham series of Batman titles, and Insomniac’s own Sunset Overdrive, Spider-Man is shaping up to be a solid action-adventure title from the makers of Ratchet and Clank, and Resistance. The game only releases in 2018, and we can't wait.
3. Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus
Granted the game was teased at and leaked, but a more than generous story and gameplay trailer complete with a sooner than anticipated release date of October 27 made Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus one of the standout announcements of E3 2017, and showing that Bethesda is hell-bent on sticking to reducing the time between revealing a game and it hitting the shelves.
4. Shigeru Miyamoto announcing Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle at Ubisoft’s E3 2017 event Nintendo’s E3 presence in recent years has been reduced to pre-recorded videos of what games to expect from the company. This made Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto’s appearance at Ubisoft’s own E3 event to present Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle (even thought it was extensively leaked months prior) a pleasant surprise. It was made even better when we learned that Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle for the Nintendo Switch is slated for a quick August 29 release.
5. Metro Exodus
One of the most underrated franchises around, Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light are hallmarks in the first-person shooter genre. A fantastically detailed rendition of post-nuclear Russia, nefarious factions with their own agendas, and a subversive moral choice system ensured that battling monsters and mutants weren’t their only high points.
With Metro Exodus, the series embraces modern day design tropes like a crafting system and sandbox-styled environments fused with more traditional, linear levels. Unveiled at Microsoft’s Xbox One X E3 conference (albeit running on a PC with similar specs), it looked every bit as stunning as we hoped.
The worst of E3 2017
1. Xbox One exclusives - or lack thereof
Microsoft's E3 2017 event had a lot of games, but despite Phil Spencer claiming 22 exclusives to the Xbox One range of consoles, the fact of the matter is that the number is far lower once you remove the timed exclusives such as Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds.
In fact, there are only six actual exclusives, and only one is a new AAA title that wasn’t announced earlier - Forza Motorsport 7. Whether the Xbox One X itself delivers on hardware is up for debate, but there’s no question that its lacklustre showing in terms of exclusives is its Achilles heel.
2. Bethesda’s “Skyrim all the things” approach
Granted, fresh entries in The Evil Within and Dishonored universes are always welcome, but the one solitary misstep in Bethesda’s E3 2017 showcase ended up being Skyrim. Initially launched in 2011 for the Windows PC, PS3, and Xbox 360, a new version of the game, dubbed Skyrim Special Edition with all the previous DLC and remastered visuals made it way to the PS4, Xbox One, and Windows PC last year.
Now, the company is bringing the game to the Nintendo Switch along with amiibo support, as well as bringing it to VR at the full $60 (Rs. 3858) price tag as well. If you’ve had enough of the game being pushed onto all platforms (apart from Oculus due to Bethesda’s parent company Zenimax’s legal issues with Facebook) it doesn’t seem to end any time soon, what with making an appearance in card collection game The Elder Scrolls Legends too. We won’t be surprised if Skyrim finds its way to Android and iOS, making us wonder why Bethesda isn’t interested in bringing new regions of The Elder Scrolls lore to life any time soon.
3. Metroid Prime 4 and Pokemon for the Nintendo Switch confirmed - but little else
Nintendo Spotlight at E3 2017 confirmed every long-standing fans hope that a new 3D Metroid game is in the works for the Nintendo Switch, and in a move that seems to atone for a poorly received Pokemon Direct, the company also announced that a new mainline Pokemon game is in development for the Nintendo Switch too.
And... that’s it, really. No release date, no gameplay footage, no details on the studio working on it. nothing. In an age where game publishers are learning to be more transparent with their releases, you’d think that there would be more to it, but Nintendo seems to be resistant to change.
4. Sony’s choice of games at E3 2017
While we’re not unhappy about seeing more of God of War, and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, we wish Gran Turismo Sport, Yakuza 6, and Yakuza Kiwami - an upcoming remake of the first Yakuza game for the PS2, had gotten some airtime at Sony’s E3 conference.
It would have made for better viewing compared to Marvel Vs. Capcom Infinite, which seemingly rips off Injustice 2’s story mode. PS VR had a slew of games too, although Sony missed a trick by not including gems that were spotted on the show floor such as No Heroes Allowed VR - a quirky strategy game with colourful diorama aesthetic that looks like a treat to play.
5. The lack of Beyond Good and Evil 2 gameplay
The last teaser for Beyond Good and Evil 2 came in 2008. Since then we’ve heard precious little from Ubisoft, other than saying intermittently that the sequel to 2003’s action-adventure game was in development.
After a flurry of leaks, Ubisoft finally made good on its promise - with a cinematic that showed off zero gameplay.
With the likes of Square Enix getting flack for its treatment of Kingdom Hearts 3, Final Fantasy XV and Final Fantasy VII Remake, it would have been smarter to hold off until it had something tangible to show eager fans.
All in all, E3 2017 was a step up from past editions. Most of it focussed on games that looked polished enough to ship, and more often than not, sported concrete release windows if not exact dates. The lack of extraneous details made for a better viewing experience, although there’s always room for improvement.
What are your favourite moments of E3 2017? Let us know via the comments.
We discuss every major announcement and reveal at E3 2017 on Transition - Gadgets 360's gaming and pop culture podcast. You can subscribe to Transition via Apple Podcasts or RSS or just listen to this episode by hitting the play button below.