E3 2017 Opening Weekend Breakdown

e3, e3 2017, ea, microsoft
E3 is the biggest gaming event of the year.

This past weekend brought a lot of content to wade through, and while most of it is geared to console users (specifically Xbox, for now) there’s still plenty of reason for PC gamers to get excited. Here’s what you need to know about the EA and Microsoft conferences if you missed them and don’t have the time (or energy) to watch a stream.

EA (June 10th)

E3 doesn’t start until Tuesday, officially, but we like to do things early around here and that’s just what EA did, starting their conference on Saturday.

The most exciting part (for me at least) was the announcement of a new splitscreen co-op prison break game called A Way Out. This game comes from the creators for Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, which is a delightful little co-op game lacking in splitscreen. This fixes that. It looks to be pretty fun, but hopefully will launch with plenty of variety (and maybe even multiplayer).

EA gave us our first glimpse at Anthem, the new co-op shooter from Bioware that seems like a rival to Destiny (more information is available below).

Of course you can’t have an EA conference without sports. Madden NFL 18 is getting a story mode called Longshot (and FIFA is getting something similar as well). The nicest thing about this is voice acting from Mahershala Ali, who won an Oscar for Best Actor earlier this year.

Next up is racing. Need for Speed is Payback (get it?) and is adding a bit of Fast and Furious to the mix. Normally Need for Speed is all about ridiculous crazy fast cars (and crappy crazy fast cars) so hopefully shaking up the formula won’t mess up the mix too well.

The biggest announcement from EA was Star Wars Battlefront 2, which looks exactly like the original Battlefront 2 that came out 10 years ago except it looks nicer and has more stuff in it. The new Battlefront will include characters and locations from the prequel movies, the original trilogy and the new films (VII, Rogue One and possibly VIII). The game brings Darth Maul to the party and Rey, and, as announced by none other than John Boyega himself, Finn and Captain Phasma. EA stressed that they had listened to feedback after the (frankly disastrous) launch of the first Battlefront, and are including an offline story mode. Hopefully they really did listen to everyone, because if they did, then count me in.

Pew pew.

Microsoft (June 11th)

Now, Microsoft spent a good deal of time during last year’s E3 talking about their new console codenamed Project Scorpio. Well, that has an actual name now, and it’s a bit of a mouthful: The Xbox One X. The One X has a good deal of power under the hood, and supports 4K gameplay. It will be compatible with existing Xbox One accessories and has backwards compatibility.

It has a hefty price tag though, retailing for $499 on November 7th.

Speaking of backwards compatibility though, Microsoft announced that original Xbox games will be available on the Xbox One and One X as well, including Crimson Skies which was one of my favourite games for the Xbox. There isn’t much information yet, but more is expected later this year.

Crackdown 3 is out! Microsoft’s been teasing this game for years, but now it finally has a release date: Novemeber 7th, the same day as the One X.

Forza 7 is coming out, and it’s coming loaded with a total of 700 cars (and maybe even more, taking DLC into account) and looks fricken fantastic, as one should expect. It also runs well, at 60 FPS with 4K support and hyper-realistic rendering. It’s out on October 3rd.

Microsoft is also hopping on the Destiny bandwagon. Their conference featured a lengthy gameplay trailer for Anthem, a mix between Destiny and Mass Effect Andromeda. The game looks gorgeous of course, and there’s plenty of things to shoot, but honestly the most important thing is that you have a friggen jetpack. This 3rd person co-op shooter, developed by Bioware, is set for a 2018 release.

Last, but not least, the biggest thing to come out of Microsoft’s conference other than the console announcement is the world-wide premiere of Assassin’s Creed Origins. It’s set in Egypt in 49 BCE, shortly before Cleopatra takes power, and is set to tell the story of the creation of the Brotherhood. The staple AC features are there, of course, and the game looks great even in alpha footage, but the big change seems to be combat. From what we’ve seen it seems a lot more fluid than its predecessors, which focused less on skill and more on pressing a button at the right time. Another big change is the introduction of loot and skill trees. Hopefully it will be a good addition to the franchise, and not a flop (like some games I won’t name *cough 3 cough*). AC Origins comes out across all platforms on October 27th.

A lot of stuff for just the first two days, right? Well there’s plenty more to go, so stay tuned.

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Kat is a prolific writer and history major trying to seek out a destiny in the gaming industry while studying the past.
Gamer Since: 1999
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Mass Effect: Andromeda
Top 3 Favorite Games:Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, Mount & Blade: Warband

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