The winners and losers of E3, according to me, Jed Whitaker

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E3 2016 having come and gone feels like a distant memory at this point, but that won’t stop me from making a list of who I thought the winners and losers of the show were. Somehow, I think some of you will disagree, and that is fine by me. Opinions are like assholes: I love ’em.

Winner: This guy wearing a baseball cap and two cowboy hats at the same time in LAX.

Loser: This guy who started putting on all his clothing from his carry-on because it was deemed too large moments before his flight was set to depart. Luckily an airport worker gave him a large plastic bag.

Winner: This nearby taco restaurant housed inside of a car wash, for somehow continuing to exist.

Loser: This awful Gwent advertisement on the buildings behind the carwash tacos for having awkward faces and not being finished until nearly the end of E3.

Winner: Nintendo for the sleek Zelda lanyards used to hold our badges this year, and also for the dual Links from the new game making many of us question if lady Link was about to be announced.

Loser: Nintendo for giving lame-ass excuses for not having lady Link or Zelda as playable characters.

Winner: Abzu, the beautiful aquatic adventure game by the art director of Journey and with the same composer to boot. My favorite game of E3 2016.

Loser: Everyone who had to stand in line for Bethesda’s conference while this blasted ice cream truck parked beside us and blared its infernal music until we lost our minds.

Winner: Bloodstained for not being a steaming pile of mediocre garbage, unlike other recently released Kickstarted games. Backers should have codes now for the E3 demo in their email inboxes if you want to see if you agree.

Loser: This guy who had his picture taken with Igarashi while his backpack pulled his shirt skin-tight, making him look like a real idiot.

Winner: Telltale’s Batman for surprising me by having lots of Bruce Wayne, and its own original story.

Loser: All the games at the Xbox booth with terrible frame rate issues such as Song of the Deep that releases next month, and Dead Rising 4, which somehow managed to run and look even worse than the last one.

Winner: Rare’s Sea of Thieves was a joy to play. Playing music as pirates setting out to sea with the intentions of sending other pirates to Davy Jones’ Locker was probably the most fun I had at E3 this year.

Loser: Everyone who had to watch the awful “OH MY GOD I’M SO EXCITED ABOUT CLIMBING A FUCKING LADDER, OPENING SAILS, AND WALKING AROUND IN A CIRCLE!!!” Sea of Thieves trailer at the Xbox press conference. I’m sure just the mention of it gives people flashbacks to the pain their ears endured that day. 

Winner: Titanfall 2 for being the best time I’ve had hooking since college; grappling hooking, that is. The game just felt far more balanced than the first as taking down titans was a bit more difficult, plus we are getting a single-player campaign that sounds awesome. Are titans living, sentient beings? I’m not sure, but I bet we find out.

Loser: Battlefield 1. Seemingly everyone was hyped going into E3, but I can’t say I feel the same way after playing it. Sure, DICE has fixed a lot of issues I had with the series like being constantly sniped, which made close-quarters combat feel pointless before now, but it was still quite rough around the edges and bland. That said, it was listed as pre-alpha, which seemed more like a shield from criticism than an actual early product — the game releases in under four months.

Female soldiers were originally planned for Battlefield 1 but were then dropped under the guise of realism, meanwhile France and Russia won’t be in the game’s multiplayer at launch either so I guess they are as insignificant as women to World War I.

The rest of the shit list:

  • Microsoft – It still hasn’t figured out messaging, as demonstrated with the confusion around the Xbox S being more powerful and the announcement of the even-more-powerful Scorpio directly afterward. 
  • PlayStation – Hey, look at all these games you won’t be playing this year which include “Dark Souls of War” where they gave Kratos a beard instead of bravely making a new IP, a wannabe Last of Us motorcycle game tailor made for your middle-aged biker aunt, and Norman Reedus naked. Please don’t ever make me see giant images of Norman Reedus naked again without fair warning.
  • Nintendo – Did you know it announced a few new games at E3 this year other than Zelda, many of which look fantastic? Maybe, but most of you would have known if Nintendo did a proper Direct presentation instead of just streaming throughout E3. Ever Oasis looks goddamned amazing and Mario Party Star Rush seems like a return to form. If only they would have been put in front of more eyes.
  • 2K Games – Literally paraded a casket around E3 as part of its marketing of Mafia III.
  • Edgelord porno fuckboys – Just look at them all waiting in line to experience VR porn, most smirking like they think they are so funny. However, the people with very serious looks on their faces are quite frightening.
  • Resident Evil 7 – Another case of a company afraid to just make a new IP, RE7 seems like a totally different game with the branding slapped on to ensure sales.
  • Konami – At least it had a very quiet hallway all to itself.

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