E3 Wrap-up - here's the best of the Expo - Sponsored by Argos

Posted on 15 Jun 2017 Posted in  Games & Toys
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It's the final review of everything E3

E3 final round-up: how Xbox One X, Assassin’s Creed Origins and Mario Odyssey won the show

Throughout this week we’ve been taking a detailed look at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, better known as E3. The Los Angeles super show saw the reveal of a new console and myriad new games, with the line-up for the rest of 2017, and much of 2018, now set. It’s impossible to narrow down such a strong field to one overall winner, but there are reasons to celebrate whichever your home machine of choice. Below are the highlights of the biggest show on the gaming calendar.

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Microsoft launches the most powerful console ever

This generation has seen Xbox One comfortably outsold by PS4, and E3 uncovered Microsoft’s masterplan to draw gamers back to team green: a new console that’s smaller in size but much bigger in terms of power. Previously known as Project Scorpio, the Xbox One X carries native 4K visuals and a tonne of hardware upgrades, and is released on 7 November.

There’s no need to worry if you’ve already amassed a significant library of Xbox One games; all existing ones are compatible with the new machine. Launch titles include open-world destruct-a-thon Crackdown 3, while racer Forza Motorsport 7 looks to be an essential day-one buy. Built to specifically harness Xbox One X’s power upgrades, it features slick driving and the greatest weather effects ever seen in that genre. On current evidence any contemporary is going to have an impossible time keeping it off the podium.

Assains Creed


Assassin’s Creed outdoes God Of War in the history stakes

E3 proved to be an underwhelming event for PS4 fans by Sony’s usually stratospheric standards. In fairness, that’s mostly because noisy pre-show rumours amounted to nothing. There were no additional details of The Last Of Us 2, and a touted appearance of Red Dead Redemption 2 failed to materialise. Instead we got updates on God Of War, Uncharted: Lost Legacy and Spider-Man – all of which look like must-haves for worshippers at the PlayStation altar, but don’t exactly count as surprises.

The big spoils from Sony’s press-conference day were stolen by Ubisoft, who hosted their own media gathering a couple of hours beforehand. There it confirmed the return, after a 24-month-absence, of the Assassin’s Creed series. New game Origins introduces a new, Khopesh-sword wielding hero called Bayek, and delivers an open-world interpretation of ancient Egypt to fight, explore and carry out missions in. You even get your own personal eagle, Senu, who can be switched to at any time. Sweet.


Switch goes wild for Mario, and Zelda, and Pokemon

While Microsoft’s new console turned heads, there’s a case to be made for Nintendo Switch having had the stronger show. Mario Odyssey, for instance, looks like the most fascinating new game on any format, full-stop. Moving away from traditional platforming elements, it’s an open-world adventure in which you can use his hat, Cappy, to possess other characters or objects. Because who hasn’t always dreamed of turning the ‘stached plumber into a ginormous T-Rex?

Two expansion packs for Zelda: Breath Of The Wild also had Switchers cooing across social media, with amiibo toys for the second pack, Champions Ballad, also due shortly before Christmas. And topping the lot was the announcement of a Pokemon RPG from long-time Pikachu dev Game Freak. There isn’t even a release date as yet – the end of 2018 looks most likely – but after the Pokemon Go craze of last summer, this is going to feature high on Most Anticipated polls come the turn of the year.


PES vs FIFA looks even bigger than Arsenal vs Spurs

Both big football games revealed a similar strategy in the race for 2017/18 title honours: the ability to play as characters who you won’t see lining up on a Premier League pitch anytime soon. In FIFA 18’s case, it was legends of yesteryear, for Ultimate Team. These have been in the Xbox version of the game for a few years, but will now be available on PS4 and PC too, and rechristened ‘Icons’. The first five revealed are Pele, Diego Maradona, Lev Yashin, Thierry Henry and Brazil’s Ronaldo, the latter headed to the series for the first time.

PES 2018’s counter-attack was an astonishing one: it announced athletics king Usain Bolt as an unlockable player for MyClub mode, with authentic likeness and sprint attributes. Unconventional, sure, but you’re unlikely to care when he’s pegging past opposition full-backs. The on-pitch battle between digital football’s big guns looks harder to call than ever, with FIFA aiming to deliver human AI traits, while PES seeks to tighten up the fundamentals of passing and dribbling. Both games are out in September.

All hail Beyond Good & Evil’s triumphant return

Earlier on I mentioned Ubisoft stealing Sony’s thunder on Monday evening – but it wasn’t only down to Assassin’s Creed Origins. Just as important was the reveal of Beyond Good & Evil 2. Younger fans may never have heard of the first game, given that it came out in 2003, yet its status as one of the noughties’ seminal Xbox experiences has never wavered. The action-adventure featured a female protagonist, investigative reporter Jade, at a time where you could barely move for generic male heroes.

A decade-and-a-half later, we now know BGE2 will be a prequel to the original, in which you can create your own character – and they can be male or female. It offers a procedurally generated star system that creator Michel Ancel describes as “a simulation of the universe”, within which cities can grow or be destroyed organically. How that all interconnects with the first game is anyone’s guess, but the ambition on show here is phenomenal. There are no confirmed platforms or release date. What is certain is that you’re going to read a lot more about this over the next year, or five.

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About Ben Wilson...

Ben Wilson - author of this articleBen has been playing video games since the Amstrad CPC 464+ era, and writing about them for 16 years. He’s the longest-serving editor in Official PlayStation Magazine history, and these days splits his obsessive words across The Guardian, FourFourTwo and GamesRadar+, to name three.

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