E3 Day Zero: EA, Ubisoft, Bethesda And More

Depending on when you read this, I’m most likely either in Los Angeles for my first E3 or somewhere in the sky en route to Los Angeles. In my years on the PC games beat, I’ve covered five Gamescoms over in Cologne, but E3 has so far evaded me. It’s time to see the bright lights, the big press conferences and…Blink 182? Yes. They will be performing at the Bethesda Showcase, which is just one of the events I’ll be sending dispatches from in the next couple of days.

It’s become something of a tradition for people to have a good old moan about E3, whether they’re attending or not. While the focus on the big publishers can cause a sense of deja vu by the middle of the first major press conference – sequels, reboots, annual sports titles, guns ‘n’ cars – there’s a lot more to see than flashy trailers.

As with Gamescom, I see E3 2016 as a gathering as well as a parade of soundbytes. Anytime so many people who make and think about games gather in one city, I’m happy to be there, listening in. And, yes, the press conferences themselves are carefully rehearsed and engineered well in advance, but there are conversations aplenty away from the stage and the autocue.

My first couple of days, before the show proper begins, will be spent rattling out words in reaction to press conferences, however. Here’s what to expect:

First up, it’s EA, at 1pm Pacific tomorrow. As well as more details on the newly Frostbite-powered FIFA (yes, I genuinely care), I’m hoping for more than a glimpse of Mass Effect and other sci-fi shenanigans in the shape of Star Wars. If nothing else, dropping the lights and pummelling everyone’s ears with the sounds of Star Wars is a surefire way to capture some of the famous Whoops and Hollers that are the currency of E3.

Titanfall 2 will be stomping all over my face as well, EA have confirmed.

I’d be quite pleased if The Sims was mentioned as well because I feel like it’s been sidelined somewhat and sometimes I really want my suburb simulator back.

Later that same day, Bethesda will be showing the world what they’ve got cooking in the Beth labs. There are all kinds of rumours whirling around and I expect at least a couple of them will turn out to be true. Expect something Elder Scrolls related that isn’t actually a new Elder Scrolls game (obviously I’m rooting for a Daggerfall remake) and maybe a little thing going by the name Prey 2. The very first interview I conducted for RPS related to Prey 2, shortly before it was cancelled. If I’m in the room when it’s re-announced, the circle will be complete and my work will be done.

I’m looking forward to seeing more of Dishonored 2. If it actually comes out this year and is as good as I’m hoping, it’ll be a good year for Bethesda. That’s because they’ve already released DOOM and DOOM is great. It still doesn’t quite feel real to be able to write that. DOOM is great.

Monday is the final day before the show begins but it’s so packed with press conferences that it’s essentially a storm before the storm. The calm will be long gone.

Microsoft kick things off at 9.30 and while they might have something from Rare – Sea of Thieves is coming to PC, remember – the focus will most likely be on the Xbox. And the Windows 10 store.

I’ll be attending the PC Gaming Show, which starts at 11.30AM. It’s hosted by PC Gamer so I’ll cunningly infiltrate the theatre disguised as a peripheral. Bohemia, Paradox, Relic, Square Enix and TaleWorlds will all be represented, along with many others, so there’s bound to be something that tickles my fancy. Afterwards, I’ll be meeting with one of the PC’s great heroes but I’ll say no more about that for now. I’ve got to keep some surprises for my own press conference later in the week*.

At 1PM, Ubisoft are doing their thing and because of PC Gaming commitments, I won’t be there live. Those who are watching live will be seeing more of multiplayer sword ’em up For Honor, Ghost Recon: Wildlands, South Park and Watch Dogs 2. There might be something that looks like a Beyond Good and Evil 2 trailer at the end but it’ll turn out to be a scene from the Assassin’s Creed movie.

Whatever is shown at the press conference, I’ll have as many details as possible on it all later in the week, when I’ll have a chance to look at all things Ubi up close and personal.

Monday ends with Sony at 6PM. They’ll be twiddling their Playstations and trying to squeeze The Last of Us 2 out of Naughty Dog now that they don’t have any Uncharted 4 trailers to show. Maybe they’ll announce a Silent Hill game in a bid to break my heart all over again.

It might be in the shadow of the Hollywood hills but E3 has more in common with Cannes than the Oscars. Despite the presence of countless daft awards designed to plaster across adverts and boost sales, it’s a place to work out the shape of one side of the industry for the year to come.

And all of the above is the shape of my world for the next couple of days. There are going to be a lot of games beamed into my eyes. Many of them will be very exciting. I’ll bring back stories.

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28 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Aitrus says:

    I guess you wrote this article early, but that “First up, it’s EA, at 1pm Pacific tomorrow” is still confusing.

    • Premium User Badge

      Dorga says:

      He does say that the others are on monday, so any confusion should be cleared.

      • Premium User Badge

        Aitrus says:

        Yeah but any possible confusion should be cleared immediately, not two paragraphs down, right? It’s a small thing, I know I’m nitpicking, but the article is published on June 12th and it uses “tomorrow” to describe events happening on June 12th. This just seems counter intuitive to me. Why not just use dates?

  2. Hobbes says:

    Maxis got canned I believe, they’re supporting their current titles but as far as it’s understood they won’t be developing new ones. Not after the utter disasters that were SimCity (the new one) and the Sims 4. The EA effect on both games killed their respective IP’s and more or less collapsed them entirely.

    EA, developers go in, husks come out.

    • Aquarion says:

      Maxis Emeryville (Spore, SimCity, Other Molyneuxian Dreams) crashed and burned last year, but they split out Sims into its own studio ten years ago (Called, with all the imagination Maxis could muster at that point, The Sims Studio) that wears the Maxis logo in much the same way Buffalo Bill prefers his girlfriends.

      • Darth Gangrel says:

        It puts the dozen expansions atop the base shallow game or else it gets the hose again.

    • Hobbes says:

      Given how badly Sims 4 got burned by the press and userbase, there’s no guarantee we’ll see a PC sims again. Besides, their money train is coming from the Sims on mobile at this point (I wish I was joking) and the Simcity mobile version (again, I wish I was joking), which are both hollowed out shells of their former selves, designed to make you suffer for EA’s pleasure.

  3. jquinn914 says:

    Never understood RPS’s praise for dishonored. It’s got some cool different abilities that get old fast, the world is sort of skeletal and doesn’t feel truly alive imo, it’s about as much an RPG as the Mass Effect series, and its not challenging at all. Theres also no memorable characters and the story is equally forgettable. I guess it gets a sticker for being different, though it’s surprisingly generic in some ways. End Rant.

    • Veles says:

      Yeah I bounced off it after being excited about it. It just felt a bit flat to me.

    • welverin says:

      1) It’s not just RPS

      2) Who called it an RPG, and why is it failing at something it wasn’t trying to a bad thing?

      3) It is an immersive sim, it’s about how the world works the things in it reactive themselves, you, and your abilities. There is no true ‘One Way To Do Things,’ they gove you some tools and avilities, an objective to accomplish and allow you to go about it however you choose, if you don’t find any enjoyment in that I’m sorry for you.

      • Blackcompany says:

        Agreed. I lived Dishonored.
        And I will add another reason: No Boss Fights.

        The devs thought bosses would have been artificial and contrived, I think. And they very much would have been. Great decision.

    • gabrielonuris says:

      Right there with you, mate. It’s the same hype that surrounded the Bioshock series and got me asking “why”; they’re normal games, even bland and bad in some aspects, why the praise? Guess I’ll never understand, but after playing Dishonored 1 and getting completely disappointed by it, I surely won’t play the second one.

      • HuvaaKoodia says:

        To me Dishonored felt like a slick amalgamation of old-school Looking glass ideas merged with new-school sensibilities without much significant innovation, but at least it tries to keep up the illusion that your actions matter (in a similar fashion to the first Deus Ex).

        Bioshock outright revels in the fact that nothing you do is of any consequence. I’ll never truly understand why, at time time, everyone was so impressed by that twist.

        I will be playing Dishonored 2 though. I trust Arkane to improve upon the formula this time.

    • Premium User Badge

      Aitrus says:

      I find a lot of the characters to be memorable.

    • gunny1993 says:

      Because the gameplay was brilliantly fun, hell, if you can show me any game that kind of fun gameplay with the tight level design of a linear game, i’d love to hear about it.

      Who cares about the story and characters when the gameplay is so great? I damn well don’t.

      also FCKIN SKY WHALES

  4. Unsheep says:

    For E3 2016, I’m hoping to see some gameplay videos of WRC 6, F1 2016, Gran Turismo Sport and Valentino Rossi: The Game.

    I’m also curios to see more videos of Assetto Corsa on console, I already have it on PC but I might buy a console copy for my couch-gaming sessions.

    Apart from that, I’d like to see some Syberia 3, Technomancer, The Guild 3 and Styx coverage. I think these are the most interesting non-racing games on offer for E3. The rest looks very bland to me.

  5. thedosbox says:

    Blink 182? Yes. They will be performing at the Bethesda Showcase

    My commiserations.

  6. Turkey says:

    The Ubisoft show is the highlight of every E3 for me. It’s like watching David Brent dance for an hour.

  7. Radthor Dax says:

    I’m looking forward to some sweet, sweet M&B:Bannerlord information!

  8. JakeOfRavenclaw says:

    “There might be something that looks like a Beyond Good and Evil 2 trailer at the end but it’ll turn out to be a scene from the Assassin’s Creed movie.”

    Oof, that was cruel :p Probably accurate though. I was just listening to the BG&E soundtrack again the other day; might be about time to see if I can still download my old copy from whatever remains of Direct2Drive…

    It does seem like it’s about time we started seeing some Mass Effect Andromeda details, and I’m very much looking forward to that. So far it seems like they’re aiming for a return to the more exploration-focused vibe of the first game, and as someone who felt like the original Mass Effect was much better in theory than in practice, I’m excited to see another take on that premise that incorporates the much-improved gameplay from the later installments in the series.

  9. TheAngriestHobo says:

    Would you really want a Daggerfall reboot made by today’s Bethesda? Part of the game’s appeal is how impractically complicated everything about it is.

    Remember the randomized dungeons? The Daedra lords who could only be contacted by researching and performing rituals on a certain day of the year? Hell, just trying to find a particular inn in a small town could be challenging.

    Modern Beth is all about delivering a streamlined gameplay experience to the masses. I have serious doubts that they’d be capable of respecting what made Daggerfall amazing, let alone expanding upon it.

    • gunny1993 says:

      Hell, just trying to find a particular inn in a small town could be challenging.

      Oh did they design the game using the oxford one way system?

  10. Heretic7 says:

    I am looking forward for the Star Trek Bridge VR game Ubisoft is cooking.
    Probably it’s gonna fall flat on its face but the premise is a dream come true for me

  11. Hyena Grin says:

    I suppose there’s a lot of potential announcements to look forward to this year, but one thing I’m really hoping to see is a GTA5 DLC announcement. They’re at E3, which means something big is getting announced, and a GTAV singleplayer DLC would be the lowest hanging fruit for them. It’s a bit too soon for a whole new GTA, and though they may have another project, it’s hard to say what it might be.

    I’ve pretty much decided that if there’s no announcement of GTA5 singleplayer DLC this E3, there’s just nothing coming and we can all forget about it. But what a shame that would be.

    • Hyena Grin says:

      (Poked around a bit and it sounds like Red Dead Redemption 2 is also a contender for an announcement, which would be a lot more exciting if they actually plan to do a PC port this time…)

  12. Johnny Go-Time says:

    I hope you will have something to tell us about whatever Kojima-shenanigans occur!

  13. Zekiel says:

    Adam you fiend, why are you taunting us with an unresolved asterisk!?

  14. MultiVaC says:

    I’m just gonna say it: Blink 182 playing at the Bethesda’s E3 showcase sounds awesome and I don’t care what that makes me. It’s literally the most perfect event my 15 year old self could have possibly envisioned. For a brief second just now I forgot that I hate E3 and videogames and everything else in the world and that I am old.