I originally considered telling you my top picks for E3, but then I realized it would be a lot funnier to tell you everything I hated about it.
When it comes to E3, there’s a hard and fast rule that you should always follow: Expect to get hyped by trailers and severely let down by actual gameplay. I consider this a universal rule. In fact, just for fun Randall, Chris, and I went back one day to watch old E3 trailers and then compared them to the actual product that got delivered. What a hoot.
Granted, there were still plenty of good-looking games at E3 this year that I’m sure will genuinely deliver on their premise. But it takes a lot of patience and scrutinizing to differentiate the “good” from the “good-looking.” Here are five games from E3 that look like they’re being oversoldby their trailers.
Ghost Recon: Wildlands
Forgive me for saying this (I’m looking at you, Andrew), but Wildlands is the poster child for a game that will play radically different than it’s trailer. Allow me to compare:
|Teams will coordinate with one another to pull off well-executed plans with military precision.||Your team will be a motley collection of chucklefucks who couldn't organize a church bake sale, let alone a military operation.|
|Team mates will communicate effectively with one another (complete with casual banter).||Your only team mate with a mic will be a 13 year old that sounds like he's speaking through a McDonald's PA system.|
|Stealth will be utilized to the greatest extent each round.||As soon as the round starts, players will run off in four separate directions with their index fingers locked firmly on their left mouse buttons.|
|Rounds will feature a fast-paced assortment of gameplay styles that will vary each round.||The guy who has memorized the level will kill your target before you even get time to confirm your loadout.|
The thing to notice here is how the
people actors in the trailer play the game. It’s too well-coordinated. Each person plays their role too well, and the scripted dialogue is obvious. But the dead giveaway is that the action simply flows too perfectly. Watching the trailer makes you feel like you’re seeing an action movie unfold – it builds all the way up to the climax, where the protagonists make a clean getaway right in the nick of time.
The video game itself – the actual game play – will feel nothing like that at all. That doesn’t mean it won’t be a good game, perhaps. But don’t buy it expecting what you saw at E3.
I’ll be unapologetic about my disappointment with For Honor. They took a cool, under-utilized concept like vikings and made it looks like trash. Consider this:
- Vikings are some of the most underrated mass murderers in history and were the unequivocal bad asses of their time.
- Much of German and English culture stems from their heritage, and yet most of their actual folklore goes surprisingly unrepresented in video games (although the new God of War looks like its going to change that).
Instead, we get them mixed in with samurai and knights (like both haven’t been done to death already) in a silly hack n’ slash. Just watching the trailer felt tedious. I’m anticipating a Dynasty Warriors with prettier clothing, and not much else.
A post-apocalyptic zombie survival game? I’ll be damned. No one has ever done that before!
Sea of Thieves
Yes, I know. By all rights this game looks rad as hell. And I of all people should feel blessed that Rare is delivering this baby. The gameplay demo even showed off a lot of cool concepts:
- Actually crewing your ship rather than simply driving it like a sea-car.
- Having your ship take on water during battles until it actually lists and capsizes.
- Manning the cannons during sea battles.
- Grog-chugging until you’re drunk as a lord.
Basically it’s EVE: Online with pirates. But that’s where things get tricky. My first question upon seeing the trailer: How the hell am I going to get five of my friends to go do manual labor on a fictional pirate ship when I can barely get them to organize my church bake sale (surprisingly difficult, as it turns out)?
Games like this look cool when there are friends around to play with, but things fall off quickly when the community disappears. I imagine you’ll be sailing solo a week after launch. Unless you’ve got some seriously dedicated friends.
God bless Hideo, but I honestly think he’s losing his mind.
So what was your favorite game at E3? Let me know in the comments so I can shit all over those as well.