Opinion: The Major Letdowns of E3 2018

Opinion: The Major Letdowns of E3 2018 - Article

by Ben Dye , posted 6 days ago / 3,695 Views

The following is a list of major setbacks or disappointment, in my opinion, from this year's E3. When I say that, I'm not necessarily referring to the worst-looking games shown (or the most anticipated ones not shown, for that matter). I'm talking about bad direction, or just simply a lack of attention to detail in making something as good as it can and should be. There were plenty of other games or company decisions during E3 that were just plain bad, but they weren't surprising at all, so I've omitted them from this piece.



 

Continued Lukewarm Third Party Commitment to Switch

This E3 we witnessed yet more dedication from third parties to Nintendo's Switch, but often in a slightly baffling way. Instead of, for example, announcing Fallout 76 for Switch alongside Xbox One, PC, and PlayStation 4, Bethesda instead announced Fallout Shelter. The latter is actually quite acclaimed, so it's a welcome addition to the Switch library, but sans a Fallout 76 announcement at the same time it ended up feeling like a bit of a snub.

I don't want to unfairly single out Bethesda, though. Compared to most western third parties Bethesda has done a much better job of supporting Nintendo devices since the launch of the Switch, with Bethesda Game Studios' Skyrim being ported over and selling well, and the publishing arm of the company handling publishing duties for Doom and Wolfenstein on Switch.

But given how well Switch's Skyrim has performed, just imagine what a good day-one port of one Bethesda's modern, high budget games would sell. It's not just Bethesda either, of course; it's easy to imagine the likes of Kingdom Hearts III and Dead or Alive 6 performing on a par with the Xbox One versions if they were released on Switch too.

Instead, all too often it feels like publishers are simply saying “hey, let’s throw a bone to Nintendo fans, and if they don’t buy the one title we give them then we'll have our justification for not giving them any red meat.” 


EA Announcing a Mobile Command & Conquer Game

As someone who has been a fan of the series since I was a child, it's been sad to watch such a highly acclaimed and treasured series as Command & Conquer slowly trend downhill into irrelevance. The series' amazing games (Red Alert 2/Yuri’s Revenge, Tiberian Sun, Generals) have long since faded into memory and have been replaced by the likes of Tiberium Wars, Tiberian Twilight, and Red Alert 3, all of which were quite horrible in their own individual ways. Then there's Generals' sequel, which was turned into a free to play game. And that leads us to Command & Conquer Rivals, the newly-announced free-to-play mobile title. 

It's not just that it's a mobile spin-off that has so enraged fans, it's that no new flagship entry was announced alongside it, nor does one look likely to be announced in the near future. As if to rub salt in the wound EA 'showed' off a full-screen version of the game during its conference.

Is this what E3 has become to EA? It’s bad enough a large chunk of EA's conference each year is taken up by annual sports releases (which, while popular, make for unappealing reveals, especially for the sort of audience that attends and watches these events), but even the newest single player Star Wars adventure was rushed through like it was chopped liver (no trailer, no box art, not even a piece of concept art, just a vague description of when it will be). EA then dedicated, what? Five, ten minutes at least to a mobile game.

Perhaps I've set my expectations too high, or I'm being unfair to mobile gaming, but I don’t feel mobile games warrant being discussed in great detail on the biggest gaming stage of the year, especially when said game is more likely to piss fans off than please them. The E3 stage should be reserved for blockbuster announcements, gameplay premiers, and trailers.

 


No Halo Collection Games for PC

Halo Infinite is coming to Windows 10. This is both unexpected and fantastic news for PC gamers. But if Microsoft is going to release its newest Halo title on both PC and Xbox, then why not also release remastered version of existing Halo releases on PC as well, be it in the form of The Master Chief Collection or separate releases? Halo 5 Guardians and Reach could then also have made the transition to PC.

Many PC gamers won't just want to enjoy the future of Halo, but also the past and present, so this feels like a missed opportunity from Microsoft.

 

 
The Square Enix Conference

You would think, after not having one of these in years, that Square Enix would come out all guns blazing upon its metaphorical return to the conference fray. Well, you'd be wrong. There was a lot of bad in Square Enix's conference, both in terms of content and presentation.

But the single worst part? As I alluded to above - Kingdom Hearts III not coming to the Switch. Not to make this a port begging article, but why is it not coming to Switch? It's surely not because of the graphics, because it's a title that's clearly more focused on art style than graphical prowess (Breath of the Wild and Mario Odyssey arguably look technically better). Maybe Square Enix doesn't think a kid-friendly game starring dozens of incredibly popular, family-friendly characters will sell all that well on a Nintendo device? Darn it Nintendo, you became too “hardcore!”.




No Animal Crossing Switch

Seriously, Nintendo, what the heck?! New Leaf came out in 2012/2013 (Japan/rest of the world). We will have had two fully-fledged Fallout games in the same time span as one mainline Animal Crossing game. Heck, at this rate, Elder Scrolls VI may be out before Animal Crossing Switch.

Don’t tell me demand isn’t there either. I hear more clamor for this game than any other Nintendo title; I heard it for the Wii U and now the same thing is happening for the Switch. So why not develop one? I guarantee it will sell a whole lot better than Metroid Prime 4Star Fox, Bayonetta, Pikmin, and a bunch of other new entries in established franchise. The aforementioned New Leaf sold well over 10 million copies, and even the lacklustre spin-off title Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer shifted over 3 million.

I understand Nintendo not announcing it until it's ready to be shown off. What I don’t understand is Nintendo's priority when it comes to which games it makes and when it's going to make them. By all means Nintendo should continue to make games that many of us want but which don’t sell very well, but not at the expense of a series that literally prints money but which hasn't shown up on a Nintendo home console in almost 10 years now. If you don’t milk the cow, it’s going to be bad news for it further down the road! MILK THE COW!


Honorable Mentions

  • EA's Origin Access Premier. Many people have already voiced their concerns about this, although some are excited by the idea of having a cheaper digital-only solution to their gaming habits. Time will tell if it is a good or bad thing for the industry; there's a real possibility that it represents the thin end of a very unappealing wedge. We shall have to wait and see on this one.
  • Frankie Ward's over-reliance on sexual innuendo when hosting the PC Gaming Show. 
  • If Super Smash Bros. Ultimate doesn’t have some kind of single player story mode, I'll riot. Who's with me?
  • Sony’s odd, poorly paced press conference filled with hardly any new games.
  • Nintendo’s fast-paced, very focused conference filled with hardly any new games.

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23 Comments

Angelus (6 days ago)

Calling that C&C mobile game a disappointment is an understatement.


Mnementh (6 days ago)

As an player of RTS backl in the day on PC this was also a great Fuck You from EA for me. I was OKish as they showed some mobile dumbed down RTS game. Whatever, not interesting. But than they announced it to be C&C and I thought: you released no new deep RTS-experience for a long time, and now you have the balls to call a dumbed down experience C&C without giving a real one? What the fuck, EA?


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Zach808 (3 days ago)

This announcement for me was enough to bring EA's presentation down from pretty bad to Nintendo 2015 levels of fail.


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Darwinianevolution (6 days ago)

This is one of the least energetic E3 I've ever seen. With the exception of Microsoft (who really surprised me with the amount of announcements they had) every other big publisher lacked the energy, confidence and especially games we were expecting. Too many of the announcements were games previously announced already, while many of the games that did need to show their progress were lacking. It says a lot when the PC Show and the Limited Run Games Conference were the most entertaining and interesting presentations in my opinion.


Keybladewielder (6 days ago)

Sorry but saying that Breath of the Wild and Mario Odyssey look technically better than KH3 is laughable


HoloDust (6 days ago)

Yeah - KH3 may not be up there with the best looking games, but that was just hilarious.


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Dulfite (6 days ago)

I had initially worded it as (I can't remember exactly off the top of my head) more or less better looking. The technically was added in edits. Believe what you wish, just wanted to clear that up! Honestly, all three games are amazing looking and Kingdom Hearts could easily work on the Switch in my opinion.


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Mnementh (6 days ago)

I don't know about the technical level and I'm too tired to count pixels and lighting effects in prepared E3-videos instead of a real game. But if Doom, Wolfenstein and Ark run on Switch, then KH3 looks certainly possible. Yes, maybe lower fps and less effects. But still it would sell better than XBox-version.


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Areym (5 days ago)

Maybe if Nintendo would get on par tech wise with the other two, we wouldn't have to keep threading the same waters over and over. Yes, nintendo loves their innovation but this is the price that they pay, certain publishers skipping their console on big multiplat titles all together, whether because it's too much effort for too little reward or the system just isn't capable.


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Dulfite (5 days ago)

No thanks, Areym. I'd rather have portability than some extra detail that is increasingly less noticeable as the generations go on. In fact, I would be shocked if the PS5 and Xbox 2 aren't portable and home compatible just like the Switch, so the problem will hopefully go away next generation of 3rd party companies not developing for Nintendo.


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Rogerioandrade (6 days ago)

We saw lots and lots of games... scheduled for a 2019 or beyond release. Nintendo´s Digital Event was just ok.... they only focused on games that will be launched this year but the lack of any hint for future projects was dissapointing.


Areym (5 days ago)

Well, they talked about FE which is a 2019 title but yeah, for the most part.


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Spike0503 (6 days ago)

As someone who as a child once enjoyed C&C on the original Playstation and later on the PC, C&C's announcement was a slap in the face. Sony's conference was poorly presented but they showed gameplay for 3 upcoming exclusives and if that isn't enough to deserve a passing grade then I don't know what is.


Alara317 (6 days ago)

"If Super Smash Bros. Ultimate doesn't have some kind of single player story mode, I'll riot. Who's with me?" While I'm not the type to riot, I would be quite disappointed. Keep in mind a lot of people really didn't like Subspace Emissary and the people who did (Yourself and I included) are the minority. I'd be upset if we didn't have some sort of story or campaign mode to kick off the game's release, but I'm not going to lose sleep over it knowing that 99% of my time will be spent in vs modes or whatever sort of event mode they add in this game.


Dulfite (6 days ago)

Then you have joined me! Together, we will change things!


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Heavenly_King (2 days ago)

No playable Joel in TLOU2


Nem (6 days ago)

Why do you assume the switch can run games like Fallout 76? Skyrim is a last gen game. I'm sure they would bring it to the switch if they could. I thoughtthis had become painfully obvious with Monster hunter world.


AlfredoTurkey (6 days ago)

Shhh. Saying anything remotely close to the truth can get you down voted into oblivion.


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Pachofilauri (5 days ago)

it can run Doom and Wolfestein so i think it can run Fallout76


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AlfredoTurkey (3 days ago)

All I cared about was Metroid Prime 4 from Nintendo. They announced it LAST YEAR and this year, nothing? GTFO with the Smash port. I want a brand new Metroid.


Azzanation (3 days ago)

Wait.. people were expecting more Halo on PC? No wonder there disapointed.


carlos (4 days ago)

hmm i wonder if the switch is more technically limited than feared: you have square with monster hunter world and others implying that "good luck" getting anything beyond PS3 era engines running well on it. Besides id and their genius ports (magic?) what else is there that's not just Wiiu++ ? Maybe that's why nintendo themselves are having to delay games like Fire Emblem and Yoshi. Maybe the switch is just "a bit" too slow as a device for modern 3d games that don't require a cartoonish art style? I'm a little worried and hoping for a super switch type rev soon.


AlfredoTurkey (3 days ago)

They need to just release a damn console as powerful as the other two guys for crying out loud. Just do it, and be done with the madness. These guys WANT to port games, but can't and people with only a Switch suffer because of it. I own all three consoles but if I didn't, if all I owned a Switch, I'd be furious. Enough is enough. Sell all unique stuff you want. Make a hybrid, fine. Just make sure it's as powerful as the competition.


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Marth (4 days ago)

They dug C&C out of its grave just to shoot it in the head. Its now as dead as Dungon Keeper. Westwood and its IP has now gone down the same path as Bullfrog. Fuck you EA


Luke888 (5 days ago)

People need to chill while waiting for Animal Crossing, Nintendo revealed Smash in March, to that day Smash was the most requested game on the platform, now that it has been annouced Animal Crossing is the most requested, but it doesn't change the fact that Nintendo already listened to its fans, it's not like the game isn't coming either because it's one of Nintendo's most profitable IPs, but games aren't made and ready in a day, the Animal Crossing team worked on both Splatoon and Splatoon 2 since the release of New Leaf, they'll announce it at some point in Switch's lifecycle, just be patient, someone waited 11 years for a new Metroid Prime and the game doesn't seem to be close to release


Pachofilauri (5 days ago)

my only disappointment was fire emblem, it looked really bad. i know is a 2019 title but come on, is a tactics game they can push the graphics and the scenery a lot better


HintHRO (5 days ago)

The ground/rock textures and anti aliasing reminded me of the Gamecube era. Also the game looks really empty.


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RaptorChrist (5 days ago)

You don't think Bethesda would be willing to port Fallout 76 to the Switch if they thought it was feasible. They have likely been working on the game since before the Switch even released. Same thing with KH3. Many games just can't be optimized to run on the Switch without making sacrifices that would ruin the experience.


Chazore (5 days ago)

I feel like EA's was the biggest disappointment, with C&C acting as a massive "fuck you PC gamers" slap in the face. They mentioned nothing in the way of a new non mobile C&C, Sims, Sim City, Dungeon Keeper or Theme Hospital. EA has practically and willingly killed all it's PC IP's and is only keeping two of them alive via mobile. EA honestly doesn't care about the consumer, it is quite literally money or a massive stick up your arse. They are pandering to a special snowflake crowd, one that will rally against gamers in general, and it's sad to see them doing such a thing.


GaoGaiGarV (6 days ago)

"Breath of the Wild and Mario Odyssey arguably look technically better" Clearly you need new glasses. ||| "If Super Smash Bros. Ultimate doesn't have some kind of single player story mode, I'll riot. Who's with me?" Why do you need a shallow story mode in a brawler? I Never understood this. ||| "Sony's odd, poorly paced press conference filled with hardly any new games." But lots of details for the presented games. So what is better, show a bland trailer to a new game or show an indepth gameplay video to existing games? I surely prefer the latter.


Zach808 (3 days ago)

Maybe show a shallow gameplay trailer that gives us an idea of what the game has in store? No need to spend more than a few minutes on it, but no need to show a cinematic that tells us nothing.


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Barozi (6 days ago)

343 Industries have enough problems with the X1 version of Halo MCC. They are still working on the Xbox One X patch (with various other improvements) and now Halo Infinite and you want them to port over 4 Halo games and its DLC Halo 3 ODST too? Impossible without outsourcing and that would certainly not improve the experience.


Mar1217 (6 days ago)

"If Super Smash Bros. Ultimate doesn't have some kind of single player story mode, I'll riot. Who's with me?" Not sure, but at least they better do something robust in the single player portion ... and also, no Smash Tour PLZ !


TheSource (6 days ago)

Personally expecting the FFVII remake to be a launch title for the next Xbox/Playstation at this point, the PS4 software market will start shrinking fairly rapidly soon. Metroid, Pokemon, Fire Emblem, Yoshi, etc will all do alright next year. Microsoft is probably going to move some of its content from this show to the Scarlet launch. Next year is probably going to be a difficult year for publishers with Pokemon, Kingdom Hearts, Red Dead, and the usual glut of sports and shooter games dominating the platforms.


CaptainExplosion (6 days ago)

Seriously Square, what the fuck? Cheapasses.


DaveTheMinion13 (3 days ago)

MS still not announcing any new AAA games besides Forza Gears Halo


AlfredoTurkey (3 days ago)

They really don't need to. Halo is the Mario of FPS.


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DaveTheMinion13 (3 days ago)

MS still not announcing any new AAA ganes besides Forza Gears Halo