“Arcane Ludological Cognizance at E3 2017, or how to use big words to make your opinion sound more important”


“The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.”
-Leonardo da Vinci



The above quote accurately describes some of the tribalism happening on Twitter right now with people tearing each other apart for liking this or that, but since this is not Twitter, allow me to express my own entirely singular and polarizing opinion devoid of the primary goal of offending someone.

So another E3 has come and gone. This is only the second time I’ve watched a majority of the event with any seriousness so I’m trying to gauge what people are saying about it, whether it generally lived up to the hype or if it was generally disappointing. I did watch the Microsoft, Ubisoft, Sony, and Nintendo conferences. I skipped EA because I don’t really like them and it sounded like I didn’t miss much. I also skipped Bethesda since I wasn’t interested in anything they had on offer.

Isn’t it interesting that Microsoft opened their presentation with Phil Spencer talking about graphics, Sony opened their conference with Shawn Layden talking about their storytelling, and Nintendo stepped in with Reggie talking about “fun”? That’s indicative of where the hearts of the big three are at.

Personally, I thought it was an expo of highs and lows. Some of the presentations were great, some were tolerable, and some weren’t at all. I have very particular tastes when it comes to video games so I don’t expect that my perspective is an accurate representation of consensus concerning E3. I’m a world-weary soujourner who is very much tired of every game being either a third-person action title, an FPS, or an open-world fetch quest chore. Phrases like “4K Ultra HD” means terribly little to me but hey now there’s MOAR SKYRIM! Ugh. This was however an event where anyone could find something they liked so while my opinion may not be the most popular… here it is anyway!


Games I’m most excited for

I’ll leave more comprehensive breakdowns of E3 2017 to better writers. There are several “maybes” but only a handful caught my eye as titles I’d definitely drop money on. The reveals I’m most excited for are:

Links will take you to the trailers.


Stupidest reveal

I actually laughed out loud when I discovered Microsoft was going to call their new “smallest Xbox ever” (what an achievement /s) the Xbox One X… but the stupidest reveal had to be Microsoft’s opener with Forza Motorsport 7 and… a car. The applause died pretty quickly. People weren’t interested in gawking at a Porche, evidently. If they were, they’d go to a car show. At least all those innovative 60fps 4k Ultra HD puddles they talked up during Forza 7’s gameplay footage pushed something as petty as a Porche out of my mind…


Most enthusiastic audience moment

A close runner-up for most enthusiastic response from the audience would probably be the Xbox One’s backwards compatibility reveal back to the original Xbox. I thought it was pretty funny that a presentation which kept touting HD graphics got its biggest applause for a feature taking us back several generations in gaming. Retro gaming had its five seconds of fame again.

However, the most enthusiastic response from the audience had to be, surprisingly, for Ubisoft when they brought Shigeru Miyamoto on stage to a standing ovation. I didn’t see any other ovations anywhere else. Miyamoto and Ubisoft introduced Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle that had a shockingly warm reception. Who knew?


Least enthusiastic audience moment

Most of the Sony conference? A lot of the Microsoft conference? I’m not sure which. The PSVR rapid-fire trailer montage had people bobbing heads and smiling with sporadic applause. Then again… that Porche. Then again again… one couldn’t really measure enthusiasm for Nintendo considering they wussed out yet again and went for a pre-recorded rather than live presentation.


Best trailer

I freaked out when I saw that looming castle and bridge in the forbidden land, then those iconic colossi graced the screen. Sony’s Shadow of the Colossus HD trailer was a very unexpected but very awesome reveal. I can’t wait to learn more about it and I hope that they include even more content this time around.


Worst trailer

Something as stupid as Minecraft in 4K HD is pretty worst but worser than worstest had to be the PSVR exclusive Final Fantasy XV Monster of the Deep FISHING GAME!? I actually couldn’t stop laughing. Soon, you won’t just be able to waste time doing nothing with a bunch of under-developed cardboard cut-outs in terribly executed Final Fantasy XV… you’ll be able to do it in VR! Yay.


Something I wished they’d announced

I was really hoping Nintendo would show some hint of a Smash Bros. game for the Switch, or Sony would drop more of the FFVII Remake. Ah well. We’ll always have the Bronx.


The best “oh the feels” moment

Metroid Prime 4. This was high on my anticipation list and even though it was just a logo and a title, it was the single greatest moment in E3 2017 to get my heart pumping.


I didn’t get everything I wanted from E3 but I walked away happy. What else could you ask for in life? Bonus points for Nintendo having a cameo in three presentations: Bethesda’s, Ubisoft’s, and Microsoft’s! 😉 So what were your favorite and least favorite moments from this year’s E3? Your favorite reveal and least favorite reveal? Collect your thoughts below like so many precious fireflies in a bottle.

-The Well-Red Mage


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  1. Game reveals that interested me…

    “Project CARS 2”
    The trailer, called “Soul of Motorsport”, feels like more of a teaser that promotes the game based on genre, rather than anything specific, like a unique selling point. People who’ve already played “Project CARS” are probably their target market for now, until more universal promotional content is unveiled closer to the release date.

    “Need for Speed Payback”
    It’s the story of a legend climbing back to the top. I’m not sure whether to describe it as “Rocky” with cars or “Cars” with people. I grew up in the era when the “Need for Speed” series had begun to use narratives, and it’s reassuring, for nostalgia’s sake, to see that it hasn’t given-up on that. It’s a lot more over-the-top than it used to be, but in a fun way. It’s not a problem that it looks like “Fast Five”, because the “Fast and Furious” films are what inspired my favourite era of “Need for Speed” anyway. This instalment looks like a combination of “Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit” with “Burnout 3: Takedown” – two other great games – if they were directed by Michael Bay, for better or for worse. The cutscenes do at least look cool, but it would be better if they were playable. Hopefully, the police pursuit system will be up to standard with “Need for Speed: Most Wanted” (2005), which has set the series bar.

    “Forza Motorsport 7”
    This is available in 4K, and looks stunning and beautiful. Not only is it photorealistic, but the environments alone are an artform in themselves. The question is, what else? It definitely looks to be a good to play for fans of the genre, but apart from the realistic graphics and the way the environments look, is there nothing else to say? Or are those factors enough? If it’s a good game within the genre – and it does look that way – those things are likely to only add something. Microsoft’s conference revealed that there are more real cars in this game than any other.

    “Gran Turismo Sport”
    Polyphony Digital always remember that if a game’s worth developing, it’s worth doing so as a piece of art, regardless of genre. Yet, the entire presentation of this first trailer is in how fun it’s trying to be, and if the gameplay reflects that, then “Gran Turismo” will have added what’s missing from an otherwise excellent series: the enjoyability. The series is popular for being the world’s most accurate driving simulator-game, but if it can now be made fun at the same time, we could be onto something almost unbeatable. This trailer alone is like a short film that represents everything that’s fun about driving, and a celebration of the whole automobile concept, rather than of driving games – which is great, because videogames should be about more than playing them. It’s interesting how a series popular for simulating cars is reducing how many cars are in it, and focusing more on racing those cars instead of collecting them. Essentially, this is a tonal reboot of “Gran Turismo”, and the developer in the behind the scenes video describes it as the beginning of a second generation of “Gran Turismo” games (though what this means will probably only become apparent in hindsight after several more of them in the future). But the most important thing about this trailer is the way that I felt something I haven’t felt in any “Gran Turismo” game: that I’m being invited to become part of a global player-base, instead of playing the game on my own. That matters, because the knowledge that the other cars are other players adds to the experience and makes the game more authentic because it’s not only a driving simulator but a simulator of racing and racing culture. To do so with the same amount of accuracy as before, while also being entertaining, is what I’m predicting will make this latest instalment the most popular so far (the most recent three instalments have felt like the same game with the quality of graphics being all that changes). Which is not to say that there’s less application of video-games as art here – because there definitely is, which is shown by the featurette that demonstrates the level of detail being applied in order to transpose certain elements of reality onto a disc. Each member of the development team is irreplaceable, possessing a unique skill; it’s this kind of respect for teamwork that has given Polyphony Digital their reputation as a collaboration of disciplines. And… the International Automobile Association is to recognise the Gran Turismo Online Championship as an official sport.

    “The Crew 2”
    A driving game, set in San Francisco, released by Ubisoft? Sound familiar? For some reason, this doesn’t appeal. Maybe it was the developer’s commentary of an action-packed racing game sounding like a relaxing tour guide, maybe it’s the weird Inception effects used for the fancy transitions, maybe it’s the open world being boring without an apparent objective, or the the main attraction being GTA Online if it only had the arcade races, maybe it’s how goofy it is and sugarcoated it is. Naturally, the addition of boats and planes is due to video game sequels usually having more features than the previous one, but couldn’t that have been more cars? Or a different location than the continental United States, again. Or maybe I’m bitter that Ubisoft had the chance to develop “Driver 6” but didn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So I really can’t comment on much of this considering I don’t often play racing games, especially racing games in this style, but as far as the Forza 7 presentation went, I thought it was somewhat bland when the presenter kept mentioning the 4k graphics and dynamic weather effects and puzzles. I thought it was kind of bizarre if not dishonest when he said this game was going to revolutionize (or innovate, whatever his term was) the racing genre. Nice graphics, yeah, but those and some weather effects doesn’t exactly make it revolutionary, in my opinion. Even the few games I’ve played in the genre had nice graphics in their time and weather effects. To me, it doesn’t seem like there’s much else to say about F7, but hey they did reveal a Porche.

      Are there any non-racing elements of E3 that interested you, or just these racing games?

      Liked by 1 person

      • There’s “Marvel’s Spider-Man”, but that’s about it. Some of the other games interest me, but only because they exist; e.g.: “oh, they made another ‘Call of Duty’, and it’s set in WWII, like some of the others.” I’m generally of the opinion that video gaming has come to lack what made it so fun for me, so I tend to only watch certain franchises and genres, and even then, that’s to see what’s happening with them, not necessarily because I’m interested in playing them.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. My mostfavoritestest (that’s a long word, right?) reveal was Mario using his hat to possess others. Seriously, I thought it would be Metroid Prime 4 or Pokemon Switch, but nope, it’s an ability in a game. One of my most upcoming games though!

    Least favorite: I don’t really have a least favorite, but I was generally not entertained for most of EA’s (which I think Nintendo also had a cameo in thanks to Fifa ’18) and Bethesda’s conferences. Most of their games don’t interest me, though I know they have huge fanbases that I hope they pleased. Otherwise, E3 has been solid this year!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Where to start…

    Overall I’m a bit disappointed by this year’s E3. A few people have said it but everything felt super safe. And a lot of the big stuff that was shown was already known.

    There were some strong points for me though.

    Sea of Thieves
    Mario + Rabbids
    AC: Origins
    God of War
    Mario Odyssey

    Everything else was just kind of meh to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • How many years have you consistently watched a majority of the event? As I mentioned, this was my first year really trying to catch as many presentations as possible, but even then I still felt it was sort of blaise. I wasn’t expecting much from Microsoft but they had a few games which stood out to me. Sea of Thieves looks like a lot of fun and something I could get into. I was blown away by Mario + Rabbids and I love tactical RPGs! Mario Odyssey looks amazing and I love the mechanic of jumping into other bodies. But yeah ultimately there were really only a few stand out reveals. Metroid Prime 4, even though it was just a logo, was pure gold to me.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts! What did you think of the Xbox One X, out of curiosity?


  4. I didn’t really expect that much hype for the new Microsoft console. I’m not trying to insult Mircrosoft (although it may sound like it), because I own a Xbox One, but why would you make one console and make another one the next year? Either all of the people would buy the first console (Xbox One S) and not buy the second (Xbox One X), or the first console would get no sales and the second get a ton. Plus, I think that the name Xbox One X sound too similar to the Xbox One S. But hey, I’m not the guy in charge of Microsoft, so I can’t really change anything.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have no problem insulting Microsoft haha but that’s mainly because they’ve never done much to interest me. However, they had a good outing this E3 with a few games that piqued my interest. Not all of them, mind you. But that Xbox One X? Terrible naming, there.

      Liked by 1 person

    • The S is more like a slim model, albeit with HDR and a UHD drive. It was made to replace the original bulky box. The X is more like the Pro, albeit more capable under the hood. They’ve done a piss poor job of explaining any of that though.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That all certainly flew over my head. All these console variants become too much to keep track of. I have to do research before even thinking about what model I want to buy! Thanks for the clarification, my friend.


  5. I love your reflections and thoughts on this year’s conference. I actually only watched the Sony one, which got me excited for a number of games, but they’re ones I was just waiting for the release date On, so nothing surprising for me.
    It was cool hearing that the xbox’s new backwards compatibility feature got a lot of applause. I’m hoping the other developers take note of that too!
    I’m also excited to read In your post that there is a new Ori game. I dont have a system to play them on, and thus didn’t play the first one, but it’s so cute and pretty that seeing that it’s made it to another game is awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sony made their conference all about the games which seems refreshing except there weren’t all that many games on display. Not like the rapid fire of Microsoft or the wham-bang-pow of Nintendo’s spotlight. Sony is at the top and maybe they’re getting comfortable? Only a few games stood out from their presentation.

      I think other devs should take notice and compete with Microsoft now in terms of backwards compatibility. That’s exactly what I wanted from E3. More competition and one-up-manship.

      I haven’t played Ori but I’ve been wanting to get a hold of it for a while. Even more so now. One of our contributors (Mr. Wapojif) is planning to review it soon so stay tuned for that! Thanks for commenting! Happy to be of service spreading info!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Most of the games this year didn’t interest me, save for a few from Microsoft. I was really disappointed about Sony’s E3 and their ignorance to the fact that nobody wants or even cares about VR.

    With that said, the announcement of Metroid Prime 4 made me moan like a happy ending at a massage (terribly sorry, I just really like Metroid), and Metroid: Samus Returns for the 3DS just killed me. It’s a game I will try and get day one, and no other game has made me feel this way.

    So yeah, if I’m getting a Switch, you bet your beehive I’m getting it for Prime 4…and Super Mario Odyssey.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah I’ll try not to think about that metaphorical image… Nobody caring about VR after all the hubbub over its debut is exactly what I knew would happen. It’s VR. It’s a gimmick the industry has tried again and again and it’s never caught on.

      Dat Metroid tho! It’s a good time to own a Switch and I think Nintendo made a good argument for getting one with their spotlight.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. First time I paid attention to the whole conference… It was pretty hit or miss. There are a few games I’m interested in knowing more about, but very few that really made me really excited to play. I’m with you on Shadow of the Colossus, though. I was watching it wondering why people weren’t cheering sooner. It was like they couldn’t believe it was happening haha.

    You mean you don’t want to go fishing with your FFXV friends?? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s better for my wallet this way! I think that this is probably what started me down the road of being really picky about which games I get excited for. I can’t conscience purchasing a new $500 system for the two or three games I’d play for it, so that knocks out Microsoft’s games. I definitely will be picking up those few PS4 and Switch titles I mentioned, though maybe not on day one.

      I wondered why no one was cheering during the Sony conference but I think since I felt it was a little flat the audience probably felt that exponentially more so. I saw a lot of head bobbing and sporadic applause, but no roaring response for Shadow of the Colossus? There was some but the response was low from the audience this year, it seemed.

      As for FFXV fishing… I think you read my thoughts on FFXV before. Haha it’s definitely a game I am thoroughly, thoroughly checked out of, especially with all their stupid universe building plugging the gaps and holes in a story that should’ve been told in the expensive game I bought. No one seemed to care much about the PSVR segment during the Sony conference anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, Sony’s was a pretty dead audience. And I agree, at a $500 price point, I don’t think this Xbox is for me, similar to the Switch at the moment… sigh.

        With that fishing thing, I was literally staring at my screen with my mouth open. Scraping the bottom of the barrel with that, if you ask me… And apparently the audience agreed haha

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m not sure what it all says that people are more excited for backwards compatibility than they are for a “new” console and current gen games, but I found it interesting to observe.

    I was also surprised by Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle. It actually looks like a quirky, fun game!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That observation I picked up generally speaking from live responses on Twitter where backwards compatibility seemed to be a dominant theme for excitement and also from the presentation itself where it seemed clear to me that the biggest applause of Microsoft’s conference went to backwards compatibility. A friend and I corresponding by private messenger during the presentation both said the same thing simultaneously. There’s no way to really measure the volume of applause but that’s what it seemed like to me.

      And I’ll definitely be playing Mario + Rabbids! Thanks for your comment 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. We kept mixing up what was last year and what was this. 2016 kept popping up unbeknownst to us do things I thought were current like the Death Stranding trailer from Kojima weren’t. But…

    The fishing game??! Squeenix wut r u doing? Squeenix stahp 😂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. You made the right choice skipping EA. it was the E3 equivalent of valium! I will admit to being a little bit excited about Anthem though. Metroid was a dream come true for me but otherwise it was a pretty bland E3. Everybody was playing it safe and that resulted in me enjoying everything but not loving anything.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah and them being an opener for E3 seems to have set the mood for the rest of the weekend for a lot of people. I’ve seen a lot that were just flat out disappointed. For me, yeah there were maybe a dozen games I’d play but it’s not like I’m going to drop $500 to play a third of them. Nintendo had me the most excited this year and yes Anthem did look pretty fun. I usually don’t get into that kind of game but it’s not something I’d be adverse to.


  11. To my alterity, it was Metroid Prime 4 which caused much mellifluous bellowing at the kurtosis in my hubris and wanton delectation at the E3 event. I had to comport myself rapidly and reinstate my obstreperous and substantive appreciation of shooty ratta tatt tatta boom boom cultural texts. However, I feel this news will leave me somnambulistic and pallid – like a facinorous maniac with a diffident and saccharine raconteur and contrarian nescience to the ethnographical appropriation exhibited between analogous or varying genres.

    Anyone who doesn’t agree is a NOOB!!! LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. When it came to the games it really was a bit hit and miss. Bethesda and Sony played it safe, Nintendo had some nice ones from their popular franchises, Microsoft are throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks, EA had sports, and Ubisoft was better than I expected. Quite all over the place this year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Sony presentation was over so fast! In retrospect they didn’t really show that much. This was a year where the gaming industry really didn’t move forward that far, unless you count Microsoft having the strongest console on the market. To me that’s sort of just “meh”. My two favorites were Ubisoft and Nintendo. If anyone were to ask me who “won”, I’d go with Nintendo this year.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Watching the world premieres has a sense of awe about it, doesn’t it? It was fun this year to try and catch as many presentations as I could, even from companies and publishers I don’t necessarily care that much for. As for Days Gone, was that that zombie game? Haha I tuned out a lot of stuff that I didn’t like and yet another zombie thing was too much for me, man, sorry. If you enjoyed it, then hey that’s cool!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Cool that you were able to catch so many presentations. I have seen a few videos on YouTube and some of the new games that are coming out sure look amazing.
        Days Gone has zombies in it, but it is not just another zombiegame…it looks absolutely amazing, and is something that I have not yet seen done in any game 😊 Don’t know if you have seen the video for it, but it might be worth checking out 😉
        But yes it’s always cool to see these new videos and E3 always has a lot of surprises in store every year, which is very cool 😀

        Liked by 1 person

        • Eh I don’t know, it just must not be for me at all. I saw it this year and last. I checked out of it and muted the tv when it was playing this year and it did nothing for me when they showed footage from it last year. What would you say makes it not just another zombie game? 🙂 I saw quick time events and gore (which aren’t bad in and of themselves, just turn offs for me) and I was like meh. I can respect if others like it, just curious as to what makes it stand out.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Haha, really no problem 😊 What made it stand out for me is that it’s not just zo Bie shooting. What I saw in the footage that was shown on E3 from a few days ago, was that you are also dealing a lot with humans and it’s an open world with a lot of choices. For instance the way the hero deals with a couple of situations playing bear traps and eventually rescuing some one, was something that I haven’t seen in zombie games. Usually it’s just shooting and killing them, and that’s it. Here there are a lot of story elements, and the focus doesn’t seem to be only on killing zombies, but more about surviving in a post apocalyptic world. And the incredible waves of zombie, like for instance in the movie World War Z, simply looks amazing. But if zombies are not something you like, I can definitely understand not liking it. That’s what I love about pretty much every medium, everyone experiences it differently 😊

            Liked by 1 person

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