This week, Yahtzee shares his first in-person E3 experience.
This was my first time attending an E3 in person, and as I sat down in the audience at the Microsoft presser, I realized how much you miss watching these things online, as the camera swept across the rows of hooting paid fanboys in the front rows and very deliberately avoided tracking over the bored-looking media types that filled the other two-thirds of the room, along with the stench of cheap cigarettes. Anyway, the big news is that the new Xbox, Project Scarletuh-tuh, isn't coming out till last quarter 2020, so back to sleep, everyone, until the next E3, when they'll really bring the system-sellers out and presumably come up with an even worse name for the fucking thing.
Until then, all we have is that Halo Infinite is about Master Chief being found lost in space yet a-fucking-gain - they really need to put one of those GPS key-finders on that green cunt - and Gears of War 5 will involve chest-high walls and dudes with necks twice as thick as the tops of their heads. Scant mention of the story campaign, probably 'cos it'll be the same boring shit as always, but I did get a chance to play the new "Escape" multiplayer mode, enough to establish that it's just Left 4 Dead with Gears of War combat set in a map so boring and labyrinthine, I was astonished to learn it wasn't randomly generated. So what would you call it? "Gear 4 Dead"? Or "Left of War"? Or does that sound too much like you're giving directions?
As for streaming your games to your device wherever you are, who the fuck carries an Xbox controller everywhere they go, besides boomerang enthusiasts with very poor eyesight? What's more important is all these game subscription services: your Xbox Game Pass and your Uplay Plus, which I don't mind that much, 'cos in this age of Netflix, the financial model for video games has to change at some point from its current state, the financial model of an abattoir built on the edge of a cliff.
But in the end, it's only the games that count, and the Xbox briefing broke new records for sheer number of announced games whose titles I almost immediately forgot; I think there was an indie game with pastel colors and sad piano music at one point, and I think there was something involving guns and the color magenta. Oh, hang on, I don't have to rely upon half-remembered online clips this year, 'cos I actually played some of the thing-I'm-very-naughtily-pretending-to-forget-was-called-Bleeding Edge, and I hereby declare that it's making a heroic effort to not immediately look like a copy of Overwatch. "Yes, it's a team-based competitive hero shooter, but this one's focused on melee combat!" Oh, it's all melee? "Um, no, some characters are ranged." So, like Overwatch, then. Moving on. "Wait! We gave everyone a surfboard!" I already said "moving on", Bleeding Edge!
Funny, isn't it, how whenever a game talks about being "over-the-top" or "tongue-in-cheek", it always seems to mean the same thing these days: that it's going to look like an irresponsibly violent version of Jet Set Radio? Probably cel-shaded, every character's introduced with a freeze-frame profile and dresses like a Tank Girl cosplayer with color blindness, and a lot of things will be magenta. Oh yeah, and there'll be a panda, for some reason. That was the case with Contra: Rogue Corps, which starts with a cuh-razy cutscene culminating in our main dude riding a missile into the level spraying bullets like a giant incontinent Doom cock, only for the gameplay to start, and everything screeched to a halt as I moved sluggishly around the isometric level, spitting bullets from a gun that overheated faster than a former Trump associate in a police interview room and took about as long to cool down as an impeachment proceeding.
But let's get on to some of the bigger stuff, like, for example, the giant dribbling cock that Square Enix tripped and broke its nose on, the one with "Avengers" written along the side. With Avengers: Endgame and the very distinct appearances of the main actors still fresh in public memory, wheeling out a game starring their stunt doubles left everyone a bit nonplussed, at best. "Oh, come on, Yahtz! The cost of the likeness rights for these people could've paid for four more years of mysteriously-silent Final Fantasy VII development!" Oh, fair enough, Square Enix; just show us how the Avengers game plays, then. "Mmmm... No." Between that being a blatant grab for some of the sweet cash that drools constantly from Marvel's cornucopic vagina, and everything else they had being one remade or re-released "pretty anime sword boy" game after another, the motto of Square Enix this year was, "Isn't not having to come up with ideas great?"
Now then, my Bethesda booth visit was a rather strange adventure; I had one hour to see Wolfenstein: Youngblood and Doom Eternal, and after 45 minutes of Wolfenstein's long, boring cutscenes, irritating bullet-sponge combat, and further evidence for the truth of the old saying, "Crowbarred-in co-op enhances a previously single-player narrative-focused experience the way a handful of broken glass enhances cosmetic dentistry", our time was running a bit tight. "Oh, well, I suppose I could switch you to Doom early; Wolfenstein did still have a whole other level to bore you to death with, but if you insist." So I switched to Doom, and Doom proceeded to kick whatever shredded remnants of arse remained un-kicked from the last game. So altogether, the Bethesda Hour was like opening a present that has been wrapped in ten layers of moist bog roll.
Doom Eternal was how you fucking do an E3 demo: hands-on, quick tutorial, straight into the primary loop to let it speak for itself in the voice of a very handsome man with a thick-but-somehow-reassuring smell clinging to his body hair. Not like all those fucking hands-off demos; I still have no fucking clue if Dying Light 2 and Cyberpunk 2077 will still look impressive when being played by someone who isn't following the same rigidly-choreographed script they'd gone through 30 times today, who might inconveniently look in the wrong direction when something impressive happens, or want to operate on an actual fucking learning curve. Hey, maybe Cyberpunk could've had the money to get the game finished a little quicker if they'd just paid Keanu Reeves to come on to the Xbox conference and say nine words instead of ten!
"Wait a minute, everyone! Yahtzee thought Doom Eternal looked good?! FUCK! Going to E3 has given him hype disease! Get him in quarantine before the infection spreads and he starts using the phrase 'It could be interesting'!" Fine, you want cynicism? Pokémon Sword and Shield: ran out of colors and gemstones and chromosomes; it's down to weapons, soon household objects, and perhaps one day, we'll get to live the dream of playing Pokémon Cock and Balls, but I digress. The full-3D look really isn't suiting Pokémon; everything looks so small in a huge, empty world, and the animations and interfaces all come across as kind of stiff and awkward, like they've all had to hold a pose for just a little bit too long before the photo was taken.
And as for the Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel, so much for the bold spirit of back-to-basics innovation that drove the first one; now it's straight back to endlessly stirring the fucking pot for Nintendo. Hence Link's Awakening being copy-pasted as a fucking Happy Meal toy, I suppose. Mind you, direct sequels to Zelda games doing their own thing now the tiresome "save princess from Ganon" formalities are out of the way have historically been the breeding ground for some of the really good Zeldas, like Link's Awakening or Majora's Mask, so actually, a Breath of the Wild sequel could be intere-- "All right! Lock it down! Containment breach!"
- John Romero's new bitch: Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw
- Shit, I forgot to ask Suda51 if he still keeps in touch with Sudas 1 through 50
- Keep calm and relax your sphincter
Additional games Edit
During the credits, Yahtzee expressed his opinions on games not covered in the review by putting sarcastic comments in speech bubbles next to the game in question:
- Fallout 76: "Hello! I'm patching in what you asked for in the first place! Also battle royale! I'm an innovator!"
- Judgment: "Hello! We're finally moving on from the Yakuza series! Not very fucking far though!"
- Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order: "Hello! Do you remember The Force Unleashed? Well, don't!"
- Just Dance 2020: "Hello! I'm continuing to draw out the slow agonising death of the original Wii!"
- Borderlands 3: "HelloAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA"
Extra: Yahtzee's E3 2019 Swag Accounting Edit
- 1 x pack of Bleeding Edge collectible trading cards
- 1 x pack of Bleeding Edge branded ninja socks
- 1 x Lost Words bookmark
- 1 x Cyberpunk 2077 branded reversible jacket
- 1 x Psychonauts 2 branded wooden toothbrush
- 1 x wind-up novelty teeth, unbranded
- 1 x Contra Rogue Corps branded hip flask
- 1 x Watch Dogs Legion pin
- 1 x Watch Dogs Legion rubber pig mask
- 1 x potent stench of rubber, unbranded
- 1 x Borderlands 3 mask, plastic
- 1 x set of Borderlands 3 art prints
- 1 x Dying Light 2 collectible figurine, boxed
- 1 x Moons of Madness T-shirt, XL
- Available luggage space in cubic inches: 0.0
(cut to image of a trash can with sounds of objects being thrown away)