The most pervasive trend was the whole franchise reboot thing. It’s something that came up at the very beginning of this year, but now we know for sure that the games industry is excited about giving its back catalog a Star Trek style reskin. Medal of Honor, Mortal Kombat, Twisted Metal, Lara Croft, Driver, XCOM, Kirby, Kid Icarus, Donkey Kong Country, even Need for Speed Hot Pursuit (in some regards) all plunder the past and reimagine things in a contemporary way, and seem to do so effectively. This is a topic for a future editorial, but it’s possible to look at this in two different ways. On one hand it’s exciting to see brands that we love given a chance to shine in front of a new, younger audience, but on the other you do have to wonder why the whole industry has become so creatively barren that it now has to feed on itself so ravenously.
Great points on the highs (and lows) of the aggregate messaging of this year’s E3. I’m looking forward to a follow-up article on this “reboot” thing that I agree was starkly front-and-center from almost every major player.
Honestly, I dont even remember which game was being demoed — Medal of Honor? Black Ops? All the shooters I saw at this weeks conferences kind of blurred together for me in a stream of non-stop explosions and guns and “ripped from the headlines” power fantasies… and my rigid E3 schedule and general lack of sleep certainly didnt help. I think it was the former, but I suppose that doesnt matter so much as what I do remember… namely, the sensation that the games industry has forgotten how to communicate by any means other than screaming at the top of its lungs about the awesomeness of lovingly rendered gore.
Read the whole thing. This is an all-too-often unspoken-about problem in games today.
At a time when some stand-out games are finding ways to transcend the previous limits of the medium and tell compelling stories, other developers are creating games that glorify violence to the abandonment of storytelling.
This E3 has been difficult to observe usefully from afar, because merely watching doesn’t convey the data it used to: so much of the offering is directly experiential. People are waving things, or they’re waving their arms in front of things, or they’re looking at magical screens that shit is popping right out of. It would be like if a person came out and started talking about chocolate, and then ate some chocolate, and then walked off stage. That is not data. There’s so much conjecture that whatever you come up with is almost hopelessly attenuated.
This is very true of what I’ve seen of E3 from here. Motion controllers, insanely expensive 3D setups for your living room, and other insanity are ruling the day.
There will be more posts on this—of course—but hardware aside, the games that are being revealed make me very interested in the next 12 months or so.
As a bonus, the comic from yesterday is quite vulgar but also quite funny, and is a very apt description of what the three major press conferences were like at E3.