E3 Winners & Losers: Day Zero

Forget the nuances of preference and the pointlessness of starkly dividing subjective events into overly-simple categories. E3 demands winners and losers, so it is glory and blood that it shall receive.

Day Zero, so called because the show doesn't actually begin until June 10 (there were only press conferences today, the showroom floor was closed), got off to a slow start before quite the ending. In between there were ups and downs. Here is what the Emperor Lucius The Indifferent thinks at the end of the day's events.

LOSERS

STAR WARS & MASS EFFECT

If you don't have anything constructive to show, don't show anything at all. Such vague, early glimpses give fans so little of what they actually want to know that they're cause for more frustration than excitement.

SONY (THE FINAL THIRD)

Sony's press conference started so well, and ended on a pretty cool note too. So many games! Vita TV! Then came the numbers. And the TV shows. Nobody wants to hear about either of those things. This is a place for spectacle, not business recaps.

FUCKIN' PRESS CONFERENCES

This one stings a little, since she's so enthusiastic and for the most part does such a fantastically composed job of hosting. But at the risk of sounding like my Dad, did Aisha Tyler really need to go dropping so many Fucks and Shits into proceedings? It wasn't offensive, just...it felt off.

WINNERS

SUNSET OVERDRIVE

We haven't seen a game like this since the Dreamcast. And I mean that in the nicest way possible. Was the one real highlight of Microsoft's presser.

SONY (THE REST OF IT)

When your press conference can span a HD remake of Grim Fandango, Uncharted 4 and the show-stopping No Man's Sky, you have had an excellent press conference.

FAR CRY 4

I'd like to think by now that we've all learned not to trust Ubisoft's video demonstrations, even when they appear to be 100% gameplay. Still. If the prospect of flying through the Himalayas in a wingsuit and elephants blowing up jeeps leaves you cold, then I feel deeply sorry for you.

NO MAN'S SKY

If you'd asked me in 1994 what my dream game was, it would have sounded a lot like No Man's Sky. Would have looked a lot like it, too. Video games can be wonderful for so many reasons, but seeing a dream on the verge of becoming a reality is right up there with the best of them.

TWO TRAILERS

I know, they're just cinematic trailers and have little to do with the games we'll actually be playing, but I've long argued that this is irrelevant to our ability to enjoy them as, essentially, short films. We saw two excellent clips today, one at each end of the emotional spectrum: The Division's went for the heartstrings, while Dead Island 2's went for a more light-hearted approach to the zombie apocalypse than its predecessor.

LET THEM EAT CROWDS

The first (and one of the only) games last-gen to feel truly unique and modern was Dead Rising, and that was because of the crowds. So it's somewhat fitting that one of the first true next-gen games we saw this year - Assassin's Creed Unity - wowed me for the same reason. While much of its gameplay demonstration was familiar to fans of the series, the sense of scale the large crowd sections provided was breathtaking.


Note that while my judgement on these matters is final, I am open to passing sentence on more topics (and adding them to this list) should they be raised in the comments section below.