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Yahtzee presents the CliffsNotes of E3 2018.

Transcript Edit

So E3 rolls around once more to insolently demand our attention like a street-corner preacher with his knob out so the developers can demonstrate to the world that they are in vague occasional contact with someone who can cut a half-decent trailer together, and for this reason alone, we should fork out now for their overpriced grindy tat that we can't even play yet. Gathering once again in single-file to have a good old splurge-to-camera are the usual suspects: EA, Bethesda, Ubisoft, Sony, Nintendo, and... what was your name again? "Mic-ro-soft"? Microsoft, Microsoft... Oh yes, weren't you the guys who made that funny paper clip thing?

Ostensibly, this year's conference was from the 12th to the 14th of June, but as seems to be increasingly common, most of the big lads did their shows beforehand; I guess if they tried to keep it in their pants a moment longer, they'd have started spooging out their nostrils. Interestingly, it was almost all games this year. None of the big boys were pushing hardware; even Nintendo didn't bring out that Labo thing much, not that I'm that bothered, because I'm a 35-year-old man and don't plan to spend a week putting together little origami pianos before making a sweary Internet video about my paper cuts.

EA started spooging first a full three days early with some more Anthem footage to make my eyes glaze over faster and more efficiently than ever. Still looks like they mulched together Mass Effect, Destiny, Titanfall, and Horizon Zero Dawn and spread it over a garage floor with an uninteresting broom. Did you see that pulse-pounding combat in action? Can't wait to point it at enemy, hold down the fire button, and stand there picking at my itchy bum crack until the damage indicators stop coming out!

Then Bethesda stepped up and said, "Who likes prerendered teasers that tell you fuck-all?" ...Nobody. "Well, nobody's going to like this, then!" And we proceeded to learn precisely fuck-all about Elder Scrolls VI, Starfield, Wolfenstein: Youngblood, and Doom Eternal. We did get to see an only slightly less informative, painfully scripted Rage 2 video that I would only call "gameplay footage" because "suffocating yawn-fest" takes slightly longer to type. So someone at Bethesda must have said, "We're making sequels to scrotum-pulverizingly good Doom and teabag-squeezingly forgetful Rage; which one would people most want to hear about?" "Well, I think that should be obvious!" "Ha ha! Yes, I suppose it is. Aw, fuck! Now I'll look stupid if I ask again!" We also very loudly and conspicuously didn't learn much about Fallout 76, except that it's online-focused, so we can reliably infer the rest from what we know is already popular and easy to rip off; so, open world, survival, crafting, you know the drill, get ready to punch trees, but only now can you punch trees wearing sporty Fallout-brand blue! So roll over and yap like little dogs at suppertime, you uncritical, butthole-relishing close-relative molesters!

My goodness, Microsoft's conference showcased a lot of games! Cyberpunk 2077? Just Cause 4? Metro Exodus? Shadow of the Tomb Raider? Wow, are those all Xbox-exclusives, Microsoft?! "Um, no, none of those are, but you can play them on Xbox!" Yes, Microsoft, we could... hypothetically... do that. Shadow of the Tomb Raider is apparently the game where we see Lara Croft become the Tomb Raider. Fuck you, Square Enix! That's what you said the last two times! She's been "becoming" the Tomb Raider for five fucking years! When is this whimpering cunt going to get out of training bras?! So what exclusives have Microsoft got? Well, there's Halo Infinite, which already isn't even the most interesting FPS sequel about a green Lego astronaut with a generic subtitle that means "never-ending".

In contrast, Sony's show went for a "quality over quantity" approach with in-depth, endoscopic looks up a small handful of first-party anuses. And forgive me if it seems like Sony are putting a lot of love eggs in the same basket, or arsehole. I mean, there's Ghost of Tsushima, a game about stealthing around an apocalyptic landscape killing thugs; then there's Last of Us II, a game about stealthing around an apocalyptic landscape killing thugs and being a lesbian; and then there's Death Stranding, a game about... What the fuck are you about, Death Stranding? Well, there was something stealth-like going on in an apocalyptic landscape, so I'm adding it to the pile.

The more I see of Spider-Man, the less confidence I have in it. And I wasn't exactly foaming at the urethra in the first place, 'cos every Spider-Man game they've made in years makes the same three goddamn mistakes - one, terrible dialogue; two, trying too hard to be like a Batman: Arkham game; and three, not being Spider-Man 2 on the GameCube - and the new trailer terrible-dialogues its way through a sequence that is literally Batman: Arkham Asylum except with Spider-Man's shitty villains, and it blatantly isn't Spider-Man 2 because Spider-Man 2 was a game, not a bunch of overblown scripted action sequences strung together like a line of colorful flags coming out of Stan Lee's dried-up old man tits!

Right, who else? Nioh 2 got announced, which was unfortunate timing, because FromSoftware announced their own feudal Japan Dark Souls game, namely Shadows Die Twice, and instantly removed whatever reason Nioh 2 had to exist. Ooh, and also, Nintendo announced a new Smash Br-- oh. Oh, sorry; halfway through saying the title, I suddenly stopped caring.

I suppose I could mention Ubisoft, but that feels like mentioning the color of the wallpaper; they're always hanging about in the background, putting out their samey sandboxes with the clockwork regularity of an explosively copious period. New Assassin's Creed, right on cue; set in ancient Greece, which makes sense, because the ancient Greeks were really into buggery. But what made me choke on my sherbet was when the bloke narrating the gameplay video said, "For the first time, you will be able to choose between a male and female hero." YOU WHAT?! Am I on crazy pills?! Assassin's Creed Syndicate did that! What is the fucking point of doing progressive and innovative things if you're just going to pretend they didn't happen two games later and try to score innovation points a second time?! It's not "progressive" if you're progressing to the place where we already fucking are, genius!! I'm genuinely mad about this; I've got no more room to snark about Beyond Good and Evil 2 now, and it's Assassin's Creed Odyssey's fault!

(Sigh) You know why I still do these rundowns every year; it's because gamers as consumers have conceded too much fucking ground, and what counts as acceptable standard business practice inches more and more toward Fort Bullshit, Tennessee, every year. Twenty years ago, the relationship was, "Play one-third of our game for free as much as you like, and then consider paying this unworthy mortal twenty insignificant dollars for the rest, Your Grace." And somehow, that's turned into, "Pay in full now, stinking plebs, 'cos we showed you a logo. You can't have it for six months, and then you have to pay another ten bucks for the special helmet with a bell-end on the front so everyone knows what a cockhead you are." The pushback against loot boxes was a good start, but how about this? Let's all stop preordering stuff! Just for a year, six months maybe, trial period. If you're tempted, ask yourself: "Can I envision a scenario in which my decision to purchase this game might ultimately hinge on whether or not I can play it while wearing a special preorder cock helmet?" At least consider it, so the next year, I'm not saying, "Hey guys, how about we all stop ticking the box that says, 'Sony have the exclusive ownership rights to our blood'?"

Addenda Edit

  • Speaker for the dead: Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw
  • Please don't fill the comments with the usual "why didn't he mention X, Y, and Z" shit because the point of this exercise has never been to list off every title and give a token snark to each one, but to encourage critical thinking as a counter to E3's deliberately mind-numbing hype. It's too easy to get swept along with the bright lights and the constant coverage and forget that a lot if not most of these games are created as obligatory products rather than as something with artistic integrity, often designed for broad appeal and the numbing of emotions rather than their stimulation. But at the same time it's a mistake to dismiss everything out of hand, as any genuine passion a developer had for their own contribution can shine through even the densest corporate machinery. Assume I said the same thing about every game: "Could be good or bad, but there's no way of knowing until it's been played through by someone who isn't being paid to shill for it." As a basic starting point, try considering what you aren't being shown as much as what you are. If you noticed, as I did, a couple of conspicuous edits in the Anthem and Rage 2 gameplay videos that didn't appear to signal a change of scene, ask yourself what was cut out that the publishers didn't want you to see, and why they didn't feel like the game could sell itself by its unembellished appearance alone. Also, consider the way the player in a gameplay video acts wholly unlike one in real life, usually moving slowly and rotating the camera languidly to drink in the expensive scenery, when a real player would probably want to move and look around a lot faster, and such a fundamental change of pacing would almost certainly impact any story elements that the gameplay video showcased.
Episodes
2007 - 2010
2007
Q3 The Darkness Demo · Fable: The Lost Chapters · Zero Punctuation (Episode) · Heavenly Sword and Other Stuff · Psychonauts · Console Rundown · BioShock · Tomb Raider: Anniversary · Manhunt · Peggle
Q4 Halo 3 · Tabula Rasa · The Orange Box · Super Paper Mario · Medal of Honor: Airborne · The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass · Clive Barker's Jericho · F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate · Assassin's Creed · Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock · Mass Effect
2008
Q1 Super Mario Galaxy · Silent Hill: Origins · Crysis · The Witcher · Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles · Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare · SimCity Societies · Yahtzee Goes to GDC · Uncharted: Drake's Fortune · Devil May Cry 4 · Burnout: Paradise · Turok · Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure
Q2 Army of Two · No More Heroes · Condemned 2: Bloodshot · Super Smash Bros. Brawl · God of War: Chains of Olympus · Mailbag Showdown · Grand Theft Auto IV · Painkiller · The World Ends With You · The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion · Haze · Metal Gear Solid 4
Q3 Webcomics · Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures · Alone in the Dark · Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures · The E3 Trailer Park · Ninja Gaiden II · Prince of Persia Retrospective · Soulcalibur IV · Braid · EVE Online · Too Human · Spore · XBLA Double Bill
Q4 Mercenaries 2: World in Flames · Star Wars: The Force Unleashed · S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky · Silent Hill: Homecoming · Saints Row 2 · Dead Space · Fable II · Fallout 3 · Guitar Hero: World Tour · Mirror's Edge · Left 4 Dead · Sonic Unleashed · The Year in Review - 2008 · Prince of Persia
2009
Q1 Awards for 2008 · Tomb Raider: Underworld · Far Cry 2 · Gears of War 2 · LittleBigPlanet · Thief: The Dark Project · Skate 2 · F.E.A.R. 2 · Spider-Man: Web of Shadows · The House of the Dead: Overkill · 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand · Resident Evil 5
Q2 X-Blades/Halo Wars · Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars · MadWorld · Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X · Siren: Blood Curse · The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena · Valkyria Chronicles · Velvet Assassin · Duke Nukem Forever · Bionic Commando · InFamous · The Second Annual E3 Hype Massacre · Prototype
Q3 The Sims 3 · Ghostbusters: The Video Game · Overlord 2 · Red Faction Guerrilla · Wii Sports Resort · Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood · The Conduit · Silent Hill 2 · 2.5-D Hoedown · Tales of Monkey Island · Wolfenstein · Batman: Arkham Asylum · Beatles Rock Band & Guitar Hero 5 · Darkest of Days
Q4 Scribblenauts · Wet · Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story · Brutal Legend · Washington D.C. · Uncharted 2: Among Thieves · Dragon Age: Origins · Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 · Assassin's Creed 2 · Left 4 Dead 2 & New Super Mario Bros. Wii · Demon's Souls · Holiday 2009 · The Saboteur
2010
Q1 Awards for 2009 · Torchlight · Darksiders · Bayonetta · Dark Void · Borderlands · Mass Effect 2 · Dante's Inferno · BioShock 2 · Aliens vs Predator · Heavy Rain · Battlefield: Bad Company 2 · Final Fantasy XIII
Q2 April Fools 2010 · God of War III · Red Steel 2 · Just Cause 2 · Silent Hill: Shattered Memories · Splinter Cell: Conviction · Nier · Dead to Rights: Retribution · Monster Hunter Tri · Alan Wake · Red Dead Redemption · Alpha Protocol · Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands · E3 2010
Q3 No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle · Super Mario Galaxy 2 · Singularity · Crackdown 2 · DeathSpank & Limbo · Shadow of the Colossus · Split Second: Velocity · Transformers: War for Cybertron · Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days · Mafia II · Metroid: Other M · Video Game Voters Network · Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Q4 Halo: Reach · Dead Rising 2 · Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions · Castlevania: Lords of Shadow · Enslaved: Odyssey to the West · Fallout: New Vegas · Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II · Call of Duty: Black Ops · IPhone Games · Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood · Splatterhouse · Epic Mickey · Holiday 2010
2011 - 2014
2011
Q1 Top 5 of 2010 · World of Warcraft: Cataclysm · Fable III · Minecraft · A Shadow's Tale · Dead Space 2 · DC Universe Online · MindJack · Two Worlds II · Bulletstorm · Killzone 3 · Kirby's Epic Yarn · Dragon Age II
Q2 Pokémon White · Yakuza 4 · Crysis 2 · Nintendo 3DS · Portal 2 · Castlevania: Symphony of the Night · Mortal Kombat · Brink · L.A. Noire · The Witcher 2 · Hunted: The Demon's Forge · Duke Nukem Forever (for real this time) · InFamous 2
Q3 Alice: Madness Returns · Shadows of the Damned · F.E.A.R. 3 · The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D · Call of Juarez: The Cartel · Bastion and From Dust · Catherine · Red Faction: Armageddon · Deus Ex · Deus Ex: Human Revolution · Driver: San Francisco · Dead Island · Resistance 3
Q4 Gears of War 3 · Hard Reset · Rage · Kinect · Batman: Arkham City · Battlefield 3 · Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception · Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 · The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim · Saints Row: The Third · Assassin's Creed: Revelations · The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
2012
Q1 Serious Sam 3: BFE · Top 5 of 2011 · Super Mario 3D Land & Rayman Origins · Sonic Generations · Star Wars: The Old Republic · Amy · Resident Evil: Revelations · Darkness 2 · Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning · NeverDead · Syndicate · Mass Effect 3 · Twisted Metal
Q2 Yakuza: Dead Souls · Ninja Gaiden 3 · Silent Hill: Downpour · Kid Icarus: Uprising · Fez and I Am Alive · Prototype 2 · Risen 2: Dark Waters · Sniper Elite V2 · Diablo 3 · Max Payne 3 · Dragon's Dogma · E3 2012 · Lollipop Chainsaw
Q3 Quantum Conundrum · Spec Ops: The Line · Walking Dead · Inversion · The Amazing Spider-Man · Half-Life · Wreckateer and Deadlight · Steam Roundup · Sleeping Dogs · Darksiders 2 · DayZ · Guild Wars 2
Q4 Borderlands 2 · FIFA 13 · Resident Evil 6 · Dishonored · XCOM: Enemy Unknown · Medal of Honor: Warfighter & Doom 3: BFG Edition · Assassin's Creed 3 · Halo 4 · Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 · Hitman: Absolution · Far Cry 3 · ZombiU
2013
Q1 Top 5 of 2012 · Paper Mario: Sticker Star · Black Knight Sword & Hotline Miami · Anarchy Reigns · DMC: Devil May Cry · The Cave · Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch · Dead Space 3 · Aliens: Colonial Marines · Crysis 3 · Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance · Tomb Raider · SimCity
Q2 The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct · BioShock Infinite · Lego City Undercover · Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon · Injustice: Gods Among Us · Star Trek · Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon · System Shock 2 · Metro: Last Light · Next Gen Buyer's Guide · Fuse · Remember Me · E3 2013
Q3 The Last of Us · Deadpool · Animal Crossing: New Leaf · Ride to Hell: Retribution · Dark · Mario & Luigi: Dream Team · Rise of the Triad · Papers, Please & Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons · Pikmin 3 · The Bureau: XCOM Declassified · Saints Row 4 · Killer is Dead · Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs
Q4 Grand Theft Auto V · Lost Planet 3 · Beyond: Two Souls · The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD · Batman: Arkham Origins · Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag · Call of Duty: Ghosts · Exclusives Showdown · Ryse: Son of Rome · Dead Rising 3 · Super Mario 3D World
2014
Q1 Top 5 of 2013 · Knack · Killzone: Shadow Fall · Survival Special · Broken Age · Might & Magic X: Legacy · The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds · Dark Souls · Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII · Strider · Thief · Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 · Dark Souls II
Q2 Titanfall · InFamous: Second Son · Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes · The Elder Scrolls Online · South Park: The Stick of Truth · FTL: Faster Than Light · Child of Day-Light · The Amazing Spider-Man 2 · Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure · Wolfenstein: The New Order · WATCH DOGS · E3 2014 · Murdered: Soul Suspect
Q3 Tomodachi Life · Enemy Front & Valiant Hearts: The Great War · Shovel Knight · EarthBound · Transistor · E.T. · Firefall · Sacred 3 · Risen 3: Titan Lords · Daikatana · Lichdom: Battlemage · The Sims 4 · Destiny
Q4 D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die · Hyrule Warriors · Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor · Alien Isolation · The Evil Within · Bayonetta 2 · Sunset Overdrive · Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare · Assassin's Creed: Unity · Far Cry 4 · Dragon Age: Inquisition · Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric · Top 5 Games of 2014
2015 - 2018
2015
Q1 The Talos Principle · Elite: Dangerous · Five Nights at Freddy's and This War of Mine · Lords of the Fallen · Saints Row: Gat out of Hell · Dying Light · Grim Fandango · Evolve · The Order: 1886 · The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D · Resident Evil Revelations 2 · Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number & Ori and the Blind Forest
Q2 Battlefield: Hardline · Bloodborne · Half-Life 2 Update · Axiom Verge & Stealth Inc 2 · Mortal Kombat X · Grand Theft Auto Online · Broken Age: Act 2 · Wolfenstein: The Old Blood · Cyberpunk Double · The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt · Splatoon · Hatred · E3 2015
Q3 Alone in the Dark: Illumination · Batman: Arkham Knight · Yoshi's Woolly World · Cave Story · Godzilla · Rocket League & Tembo the Badass Elephant · King's Quest: A Knight to Remember · Nom Nom Galaxy & Freedom Planet · Everybody's Gone To The Rapture · Volume · Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain · Mad Max · Gears of War Ultimate Edition · Until Dawn
Q4 Super Mario Maker · SOMA · Rock Band 4 · Assassin's Creed Syndicate · Halo 5: Guardians · Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 · Rise of the Tomb Raider · Fallout 4 · Star Wars: Battlefront · Just Cause 3 · Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water
2016
Q1 Top 5 Games of 2015 · Devil's Third · Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam · Assassin's Creed Chronicles · Xenoblade Chronicles X · The Witness & Bombshell · Gravity Rush · XCOM 2 · Firewatch & Layers of Fear · Far Cry Primal · Stardew Valley & SUPERHOT · The Division · Salt and Sanctuary
Q2 Republique · Shadow Warrior · Quantum Break · Dark Souls III · Ratchet & Clank · Star Fox Zero · Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door · Uncharted 4: A Thief's End · Doom · Homefront: The Revolution · Overwatch & Battleborn · Mirror's Edge: Catalyst · E3 2016
Q3 Mighty No. 9 · Inside & Shadow of the Beast · The Technomancer · Furi & Song of the Deep · I Am Setsuna · Headlander & Quadrilateral Cowboy · Quake · No Man's Sky · Grow Up · Deus Ex: Mankind Divided · Metroid Prime: Federation Force · The Curious Expedition & Mother Russia Bleeds · ReCore
Q4 Capcom Five · Clustertruck & Lichtspeer · Paper Mario: Color Splash · Mafia III · Gears of War 4 · PlayStation VR · Battlefield 1 · Titanfall 2 vs Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare · Dishonored 2 · WATCH DOGS 2 · Final Fantasy XV · The Last Guardian
2017
Q1 Top 5 Games of 2016 · Let It Die · Dead Rising 4 · Hitman · Gravity Rush 2 · Resident Evil 7 · Yakuza 0 · Nioh · For Honor · Nintendo Switch & Breath of the Wild · Horizon Zero Dawn · Nier Automata · Ghost Recon Wildlands
Q2 Mass Effect Andromeda · Yooka-Laylee · Persona 5 · Remastered Editions · Outlast 2 · Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 · Prey · Wilson's Heart · The Surge · Injustice 2 · Vanquish · E3 2017 · Strafe
Q3 Get Even · Hollow Knight / Dead Cells · Fifth Console Generation · The End is Nigh, and Yonder: Cloud Catcher Chronicles · Pyre · Splatoon 2 · Hellblade · Agents of Mayhem · Sonic Mania · Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle · Destiny 2 · Metroid: Samus Returns
Q4 Knack 2 and SteamWorld Dig 2 · Cuphead · Hob and A Hat in Time · Middle-earth: Shadow of War · The Evil Within 2 · Super Mario Odyssey · Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus · Assassin's Creed Origins · Sonic Forces · Star Wars Battlefront II · Hand of Fate 2 · South Park: The Fractured but Whole
2018
Q1 Top 5 of 2017 · Okami HD · PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds · Fortnite and Dusk · Doki Doki Literature Club! · The Inpatient and Doom VFR · Monster Hunter World · Subnautica · Kingdom Come: Deliverance · Metal Gear Survive · Hot Coffee · Hunt Down The Freeman · Ghost of a Tale
Q2 A Way Out · Far Cry 5 · Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom · Extinction and Attack on Titan 2 · God of War 4 · Yakuza 6: The Song of Life · Silent Hill 4: The Room · Conan Exiles · House Flipper and FAR: Lone Sails · Detroit Become Human · Agony · E3 2018 · Vampyr
Q3 Jurassic World Evolution · Resident Evil 4 · Totally Accurate Battlegrounds and Moonlighter · The Crew 2 · Octopath Traveler · Observer · Chasm and This Is the Police 2 · We Happy Few · Unavowed · Guacamelee! 2 and Not Tonight · Shenmue · Marvel's Spider-Man · Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Q4 Dragon Quest XI · Star Control: Origins · Star Control: Origins · Assassin's Creed Odyssey · Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 · Return of the Obra Dinn · The Missing: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories · Red Dead Redemption 2 · Call of Cthulhu · Fallout 76 · Hitman 2 and Killer7 · Darksiders III · Just Cause 4
2019
Q1 Top 5 of 2018 · Super Smash Bros. Ultimate · Gris and Ashen · Katamari Damacy Reroll · Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes · Resident Evil 2 · Kingdom Hearts III · Metro Exodus · Far Cry New Dawn · Anthem · Crackdown 3 · Left Alive · Devil May Cry 5
Q2 The Division 2 · Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice · Unheard and Outward · Yoshi's Crafted World · Mortal Kombat 11 · Katana Zero · Days Gone · Close to the Sun · Rage 2 · Observation · A Plague Tale: Innocence
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