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Press Start

Video game news, reviews and commentary with Gazette reporter Jake Magee.

Press Start: The best bits of E3 2017

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Jake Magee
Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Another year of Electronic Entertainment Expo conferences have come and gone, leaving fans a wake of new trailers, demos and games to discuss and analyze for months to come.

Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo and a handful of developers and publishers all got a chance to show off what's in store for the gaming industry. The quality between press conferences varied, but each one had at least one exciting thing to take away.

Here are the best parts of the show.

SONY

Sony didn't show off much we didn't already know about, but what they did show has me excited for the PlayStation 4's future.

Sony showed trailers for “Uncharted: The Lost Legacy,” “Horizon Zero Dawn” downloadable content, a “Shadow of the Colossus” remaster, “Call of Duty: WWII” and “Destiny 2.”

Also shown was gameplay for “Days Gone” (featuring a zombie bear) and “God of War.” I didn't care much for either when they were announced last year, but now I'm intrigued.

The best part of Sony's show was the gameplay demo of “Marvel's Spider-Man.” It looks like an enhanced version of the PlayStation 2 Spider-Man games everyone loved. Great combat, exciting set-piece moments and open-world web-swinging will make it the complete package.

MICROSOFT

Microsoft finally unveiled Project Scorpio as the Xbox One X. It's the world's most powerful console, the smallest Xbox system, and will retail Nov. 7 for $499.

Microsoft also announced it has expanded its backwards compatibility program by making original Xbox games playable on Xbox One.

The publisher spent most of its conference showing game after game, many of them exclusive to the Xbox One. The vast majority were indie games, but that's OK. Indie games are great.

One that immediately caught my attention with its music and art direction was “The Last Night.” I know almost nothing about it, but it's on my radar now.

Microsoft ended by showing a new IP from BioWare: “Anthem.” It's a cooperative sci-fi shooter that looks to be a direct competitor to “Destiny 2.” Good luck with that.

NINTENDO

“Metroid Prime 4” lives.

I'm not much of a “Metroid” fan, but it's hard not to feel excited for people who have been asking for a main “Metroid” game for years. We saw no gameplay, but at least we know a “Metroid Prime” game is being developed.

Also announced is that Game Freak is developing a main “Pokemon” role-playing game for the Nintendo Switch. It won't be out for a year, but it will be the first time the series will divert from Nintendo's handheld systems.

Most of Nintendo's show was spent playing a demo of “Super Mario Odyssey.” For Mario fans, it looks like an instant classic.

UBISOFT

Ubisoft dropped a bombshell on fans by showing a trailer for “Beyond Good & Evil 2” at the end of their conference. It was genuinely touching to see the developers take to the stage and tear up. I mean, the last trailer we saw for this game came out in 2008, so it's been a project long in the works for them.

Another big announcement is that Nintendo is finally loosening its grip on its franchises. Ubisoft is developing a game that combines Mario and Rabbids. How's that for a game changer?

Taking hints from “Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag,” Ubisoft announced it's developing a standalone pirate game, “Skull and Bones.” If it's anything close to “Black Flag,” I'm sure it'll be a blast.

We finally got to see some gamplay for “Far Cry 5” (and a new trailer, to boot), and yes, it looks amazing.

And of course, it wouldn't be an Ubisoft press conference without an awkward dance number.

BETHESDA

“Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus” stole publisher Bethesda's show. The game imagines what it would have been like if the Nazis had won World War II and took over America and how a resistance movement fights to take it back. The gameplay and trailers show promise the game will be as hilarious and chaotically fun as 2014's “Wolfenstein: The New Order.”

Bethesda also showed “Dishonored 2” will be getting some standalone story content and that “The Evil Within 2” is on the way. I'm not complaining.

EA

Publisher EA spent most of its conference showing off “Star Wars Battlefront II.”

The “Star Wars Battlefront” that released in 2015 didn't scratch that “Star Wars” itch for many fans. EA apparently listened to feedback and criticism when developing “Battlefront II” because the game will apparently have a story mode, space battles and dog fights, a class system, and free downloadable content. Sign me up.

EA also introduced “A Way Out,” a cooperative game two players must play splitscreen on the same console rather than online. It's a prison break story with dramatic elements and some unique scenarios. For instance, one player could be controlling his character while the other is in a cutscene.


Video game columnist Jake Magee has been with GazetteXtra since 2014. His opinion is not necessarily that of Gazette management. Let him know what you think by emailing jmagee@gazettextra.com, leaving a comment below, or following @jakemmagee on Twitter.


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