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The Best and Worst of E3 2017

by theScore esports Staff Jun 14 2017

After four days, the press conferences that signalled the start of E3 2017 have come to a close. Thankfully, there were no truly awful presentations in this year's conferences, but that doesn't mean everything went well for the companies and games involved.

To that end, we've polled several members of theScore esports staff to see what they thought were the best and worst debuts, reveals and presentations of this years E3. There may not be giant enemy crabs, but there are plenty of highlights and lowlights that captured out attention.

Best of Show

Josh Bury: Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

Wolfenstein: The New Order was way better than it had any right to be, punching way above its weight class in 2014. It offered a fascinating depiction of alternate history that could have easily instead been a generic shoot-em-up slogfest. Moving away from some of the series’ past fixation with the occult, the game’s nightmarish 1960s vision of a world (and Moon) lost to Nazism was both immersive and haunting.

The action in The New Order looks to be replicated here, in the same kind of heavy weapons, dual-wielding-assault-rifles style. It fits the bill, and if they can bring the same kind of adrenaline to The New Colossus, it should be a ride that is well-worth the price of admission.

Preston Dozsa: Monster Hunter World

The Monster Hunter series has produced some of the best co-op multiplayer, and Monster Hunter World looks to be overhauling that very multiplayer to make it more accessible. Instead of joining up with a group of players before going out on a quest, you can now drop into the world and signal players with flares that you'd like some help on a hunt. Coupled with the series' memorable upgrade system and combat, it might just be the best new multiplayer game for the PS4.

Also, that last shot of the player cooking food is my new aesthetic.

Sasha Erfanian: A Way Out

I’ll admit, I never played Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. The art style was a little too precious for me and my own relationship with my little brother leaves something to be desired.

However, combine those co-op mechanics with storytelling that changes based on your in-game actions with a hard-boiled prison break narrative and you got yourself a Day 1 buy for me.

Sadly, I don’t have any friends so the fact that it's co-op only presents a challenge.

Dennis Gonzales: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen

The XCOM 2 expansion was probably the least expected thing announced at E3, but it stole the show for anyone who's a fan of the franchise. The only negative thing about it is that it will perhaps take away playtime from the acclaimed mod Long War 2.

There are a number of different additions to the overworld map, three warring factions with their own "hero classes" at your disposal, the addition of zombies (which attack both XCOM and aliens alike) and many other features. The cherry on top? It releases in just over two months on August 29.

Colin McNeil: Dragon Ball FighterZ

Fire up your scouter, stock up on senzu beans and don that saiyan armor, because we’re getting a proper f--king Dragonball Z fighting game.

With all respect to the Budokai franchise, which has done a great job of bringing the spirit of Dragon Ball style combat to our living rooms, the newly announced Dragon Ball FighterZ seems to be a perfect marriage of the beloved anime’s aesthetic and a competitive level fighting game.

And if Nappa asks, hype levels are well over 9,000 at this point.

Daniel Rosen: Mario Odyssey

Mario Odyssey has more joy and fun and inventiveness in just its trailer than most games have in their entirety. Every second of the trailer Nintendo showed during their E3 show oozed creativity, from the adorable Sugar Skull denizens of the (admittedly mildly uncomfortable) desert world to Cappy, the sentient hat that lets you cap-ture and control enemies.

Look, the hat puns might grate on you, but Mario Odyssey looks like the best thing to come out of E3, and tha'ts after a stacked Nintendo show that brought Metroid back to life. Just look at how great Yoshi looks in HD!

Sean Tepper: Doom VR

Let me preface this by saying that I will likely be too scared to even attempt playing this, but if I can ever muster up the courage (and the money for a VR headset) to load in, I would spend hours running around Mars while blasting through as many Pinky Demons as I could find. Doom, in my humble opinion, was one of 2016's most underappreciated games and playing it in VR will give players the rare opportunity to visit hell. Now how cool is that?

Sean Wetselaar: Horizon Zero Dawn The Frozen Wilds

Horizon Zero Dawn was easily one of the best games made for this console generation, and the introduction of a new, wintery landscape offers a whole host of possibilities for the game’s take on survival, stealth and combat. Though some portions of the base map are already quite frigid, this DLC presents opportunities to build on its existing cold weather mechanics, and the new enemies look both frosty and ferocious. The trailer, which was released during the Playstation press conference on Monday, doesn’t provide a ton of information, but hopefully it will build on the events of the main game. Either way, I’m excited to play as Aloy once again, and for all the ways this DLC could prove to be very cool.

Gabriel Zoltan-Johan: Shadow of the Colossus Remake

Shadow of the Colossus has some of the most memorable boss fights in video gaming history. The sheer scale and might of them were a marvel at the time of its original release, and its minimalist story-telling gave players an imagined mythos just as large as the colossi itself. This is a landmark game that really started the concept of epic scale in gaming and perfected it in the PS2 generation. Games since have tried to model that experience and have only recently gotten the hang of it. Now, it seems like the original epic is back, and ready to school people again on the concept of massive scale battles. I'm excited for a full on remake, and hope for a similar experience and perhaps more content. Fingers crossed for more bosses in particular (and no horse armor).

Worst of Show

Bury: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Nintendo Switch)

Perhaps it is fitting that both my best and worst games belong to the mercurial Bethesda.

Listen: I’m not saying Skyrim is a bad game, but it came out in 2011. It’s done, guys. When this game came out, I had just built a new computer, and playing Skyrim was still an exciting prospect. There isn’t this huge subset of people who wanted to play Skyrim, but never owned a PC, PlayStation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox 360 or Xbox One in the nearly six years since the game’s release.

It won’t be long before I drag that old computer — which now struggles to do much of anything — out behind the woodshed, and start over with a fresh new entry. Bethesda needs to do the same thing with this series. For the love of Talos, just make a new game!

Dozsa: Star Wars Battlefront II presentation

While I am cautiously optimistic about Star Wars Battlefront II, its presentation at EA's conference did not make me excited for the game. While the idea of showcasing a multiplayer match isn't bad, the decision to commentate on the game as if it was an esport combined with the frequent camera cuts made it difficult to tell what was going on at any particular time. The confusion turned what could have been an exciting showcase of the new Star Wars title into a muddled mess that was difficult to watch.

Erfanian: Anthem

Oh Bioware, how thou art fallen from heaven. Once one of the most beloved Western developers, the Edmonton-based studio has fallen on some hard times basically since 2009. While Dragon Age: Inquisition got a positive reception, it didn’t recapture the magic of Origins. Meanwhile, Mass Effect: Andromeda was the biggest clusterfuck for the studio since, well, the ending of Mass Effect 3.

As such, there’s a lot riding on Bioware’s first new IP in a decade. The reveal of Anthem’s gameplay at the Microsoft conference was underwhelming to say the least. While the game is certainly pretty and the promise of customizable mechs is enticing, the whole co-op focused sci-fi shooter MMO is highly reminiscent of Destiny and we all know how that turned out.

Gonzales: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Bethesda has been milking the hell out of Skyrim and the game has been in multiple E3 shows since its release six years ago. 2012 showcased the Dawnguard DLC, 2016 showed the HD remake and this time around in 2017 we see Skyrim twice! There's a release for the Nintendo Switch as well as a VR release for the PS4 and oh, I’ve fallen asleep.

McNeil: Xbox One X

Xbox nomenclature has always titled me. From the 360 (you turned all the way around… back to where you were?), to the Xbox One (it’s One, but it’s also the third?), Microsoft is just too edgy for me when it comes to console names.

But the Xbox One X? Come on. This isn’t 2001, jamming as many Xs on things as you can and hoping that hooks the Millennials just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Shoutouts to Sony, doing console names right since 1994.

Rosen: The Post-Apocalypse

I never thought I'd have to advocate against the post-apocalypse, but here we are. Personally, I'm a big fan of the pre-apocalypse. We all live in it, and it's pretty cool. Now, it's fine to visit the post-apocalypse every once in a while, but I think we've perhaps visited it one hundred too many times in video games in the past little while.

State of Decay 2, Days Gone, Metro: Exodus all feature the same, grey and brown world. It'll be tough to survive, you'll shoot some mutated monsters (be they zombies or not) and you'll have to make a difficult sacrifice to continue living this hard-scrabble existence. It's not that these games will be bad (I'm actually pretty excited for Metro) it's just that the setting has been deeply played out over the last few years. Let's take a break for a few years, and maybe try something a little brighter.

Tepper: No Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Switch

I'm going to be blunt: I was expecting Nintendo to announce a new Super Smash Bros. for the Switch. Yes, I am aware that we are getting a new Metroid Prime and I'm just as excited about that one as the next person, but I now find myself questioning how long it will be until a new itteration of everyone's favorite brawler will be announced.

Wetselaar: Skyrim VR

Look, I loved Skyrim. I put the better part of 100 hours into Skyrim. It was a fun game. But I do not need Skyrim to be re-released on VR. Though the future of VR is exciting, I’d much rather see developers working on ways to use that technology in fun and new ways, not port every first-person game that people liked this decade onto VR. The trailer presented on Monday doesn’t appear to offer anything meaningfully new to the fifth installment of the Elder Scrolls franchise, apart from a shakier viewpoint, and look — I’ve already killed a bunch of dragons, and knocked a bunch of people down with my Dragonborn shouts. It was fun, but I’m over it.

Zoltan-Johan: Final Fantasy "Fishteen"

Listen, I know the core game of Final Fantasy XV has been in development for the greater part of a decade now, but that doesn't mean that you need to aggressively monetize it to the extent that you need to pump out a VR fishing simulator for it. Who even plays fishing games, let alone the crossover of Japanese aesthetics with fishing games? Seems like an audience mismatch to me and a sore spot of the Sony conference overall. I am excited about the future of VR entertainment, but Final Fantasy XV's fishing simulator is something that should not really see the light of day. How did this get past anyone as a good idea? It's not even the best possible VR experience of the characters in Final Fantasy 15, as getting a Final Fantasy "Snap" with Prompto and the gorgeous landscapes of the game would be amazing.