E3 2017 is officially over and in its wake we have a ton of new games to look forward to in the next year and beyond. Pretty much every major publisher had at least a few heavy hitters this year, with Nintendo’s Super Mario Odyssey, Sony’s Spider-Man, and Bioware’s Anthem being just a few highlights that come to mind but overall, this year’s show was lacking in huge surprises. Of course, it’s hard to complain too much when the likes of Metroid Prime 4 and Beyond Good and Evil 2 make appearances, but everyone has their own particular tastes when it comes to video games, so I’d by lying if I said I didn’t walk away from this year’s show feeling a little disappointed in some ways. Whether it was because of games that should have been announced but weren’t or announcements that just didn’t really wow me, here are my biggest disappointments of E3 2017.
10. No Red Dead Redemption 2 Appearance
I’ll admit that it’s a bit unfair to put this down as a disappointment given that the safe assumption was always that Red Dead Redemption 2 would be a no-show at E3 2017, as Rockstar tends to skip the event each year. Still, there was speculation that at the very least a new trailer would be shown off at Sony’s press conference, as they have a deal with Rockstar for PlayStation-exclusive content, but there wasn’t a peep about Red Dead at Sony’s briefing or anywhere else at E3 for that matter.
Truthfully, this really just boils down to me being disappointed that I didn’t get to see anything new from one of my anticipated games of 2018 but at the same time, I’m kind of happy that Rockstar hasn’t been bombarding us with information. Perhaps one day we’ll see a new trailer or even — gasp! — gameplay footage, but E3 2017 was apparently not the right time.
9. No New Last of Us 2 Trailer
Considering Sony’s press conference consisted of trailers for previously announced games and little else, it’s surprising that The Last of Us Part II wasn’t thrown into the mix. To be fair, it was always going to be a long shot for TLoU to be at E3, but it’s not like it was totally out of the question. Sony did something similar years ago with the original game, revealing the first trailer in late 2011 and debuting an all new trailer at the following year’s E3. Of course, that game was much further along in development at the time than the sequel and developer Naughty Dog also has Uncharted: The Lost Legacy — which was present at E3 — coming out very soon.
Still, with The Last of Us Part II now confirmed to be in active development, it’s going to be hard not to be disappointed whenever it isn’t shown off at an industry event and while I’m sure Sony will have something new to share sometime later this year, I’m sure I’m not alone in being a little sad that the game was a nowhere to be seen at E3.
8. Bethesda Showing Off Skyrim Rather Than Elder Scrolls VI
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was released nearly six years ago, but you would think it was a brand new game judging by how prominent a role it played in Bethesda’s E3 press conference. The release of Skyrim Remastered last year was certainly welcome, as the game is an RPG classic at this point and many gamers — myself included — jumped at the chance to play a prettier, better performing version with all the DLC included. That being said, is anyone really looking forward to starting Skyrim over yet again on the Nintendo Switch?
Sure, it’s cool that Skyrim is going portable and Nintendo-exclusive features like the Master Sword and Amiibo support is a nice touch, but I just can’t generate much excitement over playing through yet another version of Skyrim (and an inferior one at that from a technical viewpoint). I would have much rather Bethesda said something — anything — about Elder Scrolls VI, even if it is still years away from release. At least the rest of Bethesda’s presentation was strong, with Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus being a particular standout.
7. Splinter Cell MIA
Ubisoft arguably had the strongest showing at E3 next to Nintendo thanks to some killer announcements such as Beyond Good and Evil 2 (!!!) and Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, the latter of which could be a true gem for the Nintendo Switch this year judging from my brief hands-on time with it. Unfortunately, Ubisoft is also a company sitting on a huge number of franchises, so depending on what you’re a fan of, it’s easy to walk away from their presentations disappointed when something you’ve been hoping for doesn’t get announced.
Case in point: Splinter Cell, which I thought for sure would be part of Ubisoft’s press conference in some way. It’s been a while since we’ve seen Sam Fisher and with the recent success of other Tom Clancy-branded games like The Division and Ghost Recon Wildlands, a Splinter Cell announcement trailer would have made a lot of sense, but it just wasn’t meant to be.
6. Prince of Persia Silence
Another Ubisoft franchise that has been dormant for far too long is Prince of Persia, which hasn’t seen a proper entry for seven years. For the life of me, I really can’t understand why Ubisoft is so reluctant to bring this franchise back. Sure, an argument can be made that since Assassin’s Creed — a series that shares more than a few similarities with PoP — is so popular and lucrative for Ubisoft, the publisher doesn’t really need to bother doing anything with Prince of Persia right now.
For the record, I think this argument is ridiculous because the best Prince of Persia games have all been linear experiences, which is a far cry (pun intended) from Ubisoft’s many open world games, including Assassin’s Creed. I guess I’ll just have to keep waiting until Ubisoft is ready to deliver a proper successor to The Sands of Time and keep feeling disappointed while they continue to ignore my pleas.
5. No Borderlands 3 Announcement
This one is a true shocker. Pretty much every E3 prediction thread listed a Borderlands 3 announcement as being practically guaranteed at this year’s show, which makes sense considering we all know Gearbox Software is working on it in some capacity (even if the studio hasn’t outright confirmed it yet). And the truth is that Gearbox could really have used some positive news for a chance after the commercial disappointment of Battleborn last year, a game that recently transitioned to a free-to-play model.
That in itself may very well be the real reason why Gearbox is holding off on an announcement as between Battleborn and Bulldstorm: Full Clip Edition, their plate is pretty full right now. I’d be very surprised if we don’t hear something about Borderlands 3 before the end of the year, but it still feels like a missed opportunity for it not to have been showcased at E3.
4. No Super Smash Bros. For Nintendo Switch
Nintendo had a very strong showing at this year’s E3 thanks to a great lineup of playable games (including potential game of the year contender Super Mario Odyssey) and some exciting announcements (I still can’t believe Metroid Prime 4 is a real thing that’s happening). Still, for as much as Nintendo got right this year — especially in comparison to their showing at last year’s E3, which amounted to Zelda and little else — I did walk away with some minor gripes.
Most notably, there was no mention of a Super Smash Bros. port for Nintendo Switch, which seems like a missed opportunity to me. Of course, Nintendo could very well already be working on this, as it’s kind of a no-brainer given the recent success of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on Switch, but even just a simple announcement trailer would have been enough to make an already impressive E3 showing even better.
3. Xbox One X’s Lack Of VR
Considering Sony has had a virtual reality headset on the market for the better part of a year now, many expected Microsoft to have some sort of VR announcement to go along with their new premium console, the Xbox One X. Instead, Microsoft had nothing to say about VR in their press conference and even if they have a headset in the works, it definitely won’t be coming out anytime in 2017. While one might argue that Microsoft made the right move here in choosing to simplify its messaging with the Xbox One X as a gaming console first and foremost rather than muddy the waters with talk of virtual reality integration, I think it’s a missed opportunity.
After all, it’s not like Microsoft’s lineup of exclusive Xbox games is anything to get too excited about, so it’s tough to argue that there is no room for VR in the mix when there isn’t an avalanche of must-have software on the horizon. As things stand, Microsoft didn’t really do a great job of selling the Xbox One X as a must-buy system (more on that in a bit) and positioning the console as having a better VR experience than what is available on the PS4 could only have strengthened the Xbox One X’s appeal.
2. Sony’s Press Conference as a Whole
I joked prior to E3 that Sony could come out and just show us more their previously announced games and call it a day; I didn’t think they’d actually do it. Last year, Sony surprised everyone with some seriously impressive games, such as God of War, Spider-Man, and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy and Sony followed that performance by showing us … more of God of War, Spider-Man, and Uncharted, among others. There were a few surprises, such as a Shadow of the Colossus remaster for PS4 (yes please!) but the majority of what Sony showed were simply trailers of games we already knew about.
Don’t get me wrong; Sony still has the most impressive lineup of exclusives by a wide margin and I was still impressed by what I saw from these games, particularly God of War and Spider-Man, but overall, this was a poor showing for a company that has a reputation for over-delivering at E3.
1. Xbox One X Looks Cool … But Who’s Buying?
A considerable portion of Microsoft’s E3 briefing was dedicated to pitching the Xbox One X, the company’s upcoming “premium” console. Microsoft is touting the Xbox One X as the most powerful console ever and the only one that outputs games in “True 4K” (likely a jab at Sony’s PS4 Pro and its 4K upscaling) but are marginally better visuals and performance worth shelling out $500 for? If you own a 4K TV and absolutely need to have the best hardware, sure, but for everyone else I just don’t see why you would want to pay $500 when you could just get the Xbox One S for half that price.
That’s not to say there’s no benefit to playing games in 4K because there certainly is, but even playing a regular PS4 and Xbox One on a 4K TV gives you a noticeable visual jump and I just don’t think Forza 7 in 4K and 60 frames per second is enough at this point to make someone opt for the 1X over much cheaper and still very capable hardware.