The Big E3 Review – Microsoft

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As the curtains close on another media hype spectacle of hyperbole and buzzwords, it’s time to take stock of what we were REALLY presented with. SkipCutscene is the best place to get your totally objective, just-the-facts report on what actually happened at E3 2014. We won’t be covering EVERYTHING because, if E3’s taught you anything, it’s that we have to do things ‘in the interest of time’.

We begin with Microsoft…

01Here’s a man not wearing a suit. Nobody from Microsoft wore suits this year, because they spent the entire clothing budget on glowy bracelets for the audience, instead. Suits aren’t ‘cool’. Down with suits. There is no room for suits in the Xbox vision of 2014. Still, I’m sure all the money they saved on suits has gone towards presenting unique, original gaming experiences that will push the medium forward int–

02Oh, never mind, it’s just Call of Duty. A wide variety of buildings exploding, bullets being fired, faceless cannon fodder dying, the flying robot baddies from The Matrix and a REALLY HEARTFELT MOMENT where Random Man gets his arm caught in a door and dies, driving home the poignant point of the dangers of being an idiot in a combat scenario. Remember, doors kill.

03Here’s a man talking about cars. I don’t know anything about cars, other than whatever I learned from watching Top Gear and this didn’t have caravans getting destroyed so I’m at a loss as to whether what he said was any good or not. I DID notice, however, that he was using the word ‘drivatar’ like it was something we’d all come to accept since they came up with it last year. What this tells me is that we didn’t do a good enough job of relentlessly mocking anyone who said it. Must try harder.

04Moving on to ‘Evolve’, an original game in a doomy grey setting about shooting at things. With guns. This one’s different, because it has Cthulhu in it and you can PLAY AS CTHULHU. I can’t wait to get mercilessly slaughtered by the human soldier people with jetpacks because they’ve already played this game for three billion hours and know all the chokepoints and best weapons while I’m flailing around uselessly in the digital equivalent of a group of kids poking a beached jellyfish with a stick.

05Assassin’s Creed: Unity! Not, as the title might suggest, made on a piece of indie middleware. Instead, this year’s Screed is developed by a million different studios on a budget of Infinity Billion Dollars (but not enough to afford to make women, because that’s extra). If you’ve always thought that what Assassin’s Creed needed was actually less gameplay and more watching-your-friends-do-all-the-cool-bits, then boy, have Ubisoft got you covered! Just like in Call of Duty, we end on a poignant shock-gore image, because we’ve often said games don’t have nearly enough brutality in them.

06Time for an interactive segment for those of you who didn’t actually watch Microsoft’s conference: What game IS this? If you said “all of them”, you’re wrong! It’s Dragon Age: Inquisition! Now looking just enough like the Souls series to make you think it might be a little bit like that, but it isn’t.

07Ah, Sunset Overdrive. A game whose trailer mocks the repetitive trope of cover-based military first-person shooters in a conference spearheaded by a cover-based military first-person shooter. Brilliant. Bright, colourful, full of humour and very fast-paced, Sunset Overdrive evokes memories of Jet Set Radio in a way that makes you wish we were getting a new Jet Set Radio.

08This man ALMOST committed to the suit, getting as far as the jacket, but then obviously thought “It might be a bit much for talking about a dancing game” and finished it off with jeans. This has been your E3 Fashion Watch: 2014.

09Fable: Legends. I’ve always hated how the Fable series gives you the freedom to build an original, individual character from the ground up, shaping their appearance and abilities with your own unique preferences in play style. I hate freedom. Freedom is awful. I hate expansive quests in a world that I have influence over. What I want is structured linear progression with pre-made characters in a co-op multiplayer game that’s more like a third-person shooter than an RPG. That’s definitely what Fable ought to be. Definitely.

10Wh…what? Is that… is that CONKER? In PROJECT SPARK?! And what’s that he’s saying? He hasn’t had a new game in almost ten years so he’s MAKING HIS OWN?! WHAT THE ACTUAL BUGGERY IS THIS, MICROSOFT? WHO IN THE WORLD SHIT SO DEFIANTLY IN YOUR CORNFLAKES THAT YOU THOUGHT “YES, LET US TAUNT OLD FANS OF THAT COMPANY WE RAN INTO THE GROUND WITH MINIGAME BOLLOCKS UNTIL ALL THE TALENTED PEOPLE LEFT”? WAS NUTS AND BOLTS NOT ENOUGH, YOU MAD BASTARDS?!

11Oh I don’t know, I suppose Captain King or Super Space Robot Man has a new series of remakes. Notice how Microsoft doesn’t want to ruin THEIR OWN mascots? Notice how this DOESN’T have Conker in, in a space suit, being teabagged by aliens? I wouldn’t put THAT past them, oh no.

12Here’s a man wearing a t-shirt. If you take the ‘O’, change the other letters and rearrange it all, it spells ‘CONKER’. He’s presenting a series of games made by independent developers who could do a much better job of making a Conker game than whatever it is he’s actually doing now. Is there no end to the torment that Xbox wants to lump upon Conker fans?

13A reveal for Rise of the Tomb Raider, in which Lara (not ‘Laura’, America) kicks things off in therapy, either dealing with the memories of all the dudes she mercilessly gunned down in that ‘emotional’ reboot or, far more likely, trying to come to terms with what Microsoft have done to Conker.

14Ken! Ken Lobb! You’ll save us, right? You who were responsible for the quite good revisiting of Killer Instinct! You’ll put things right, won’t you? You’re here to tell us the Conker thing was all a big mistake and we’re getting a new proper 3D Conker platformer with Conker’s trademark humour and—

Oh! What’s that you say? You’re bringing back an old favourite franchise? Like you did with Killer Instinct? You’re going to show us that Microsoft actually DOES care about those cherished memories we have?! YOU’RE GOING TO FIX EVERYTHINisthatphantomdust?

THAT’S NOT CONKER, KEN LOBB! THAT’S NOT CONKER AT ALL!

15Hideki Kamiya’s here. Sadly, he didn’t just go with “FUCK YOU ALL, ASK YOUR MOM ABOUT CONKER” and leave, but his new game, ‘Scalebound’ looks like it’ll be quite good in 2015. I look forward to it receiving critical acclaim, lasting four hours and being bought by roughly four people. Also doesn’t have Conker in it.

Also Crackdown 3 happened. That didn’t have Conker in it, either.

OVERALL VERDICT

0/10 F-

I don’t care that you brought ninety minutes of games. I don’t care that you presented some new IPs and didn’t pad the time with sales figures and charts. I don’t care about any of that. Look what you did to Conker, you assholes.

 

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About Zed

Game designer, developer, writer, person who runs SkipCutscene.net
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