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E3 2018 Post Show Thoughts

I have to say, it was a lackluster year for online gaming at E3 2018 this year. Sure, there were a few announcements worth talking about on this side, but the OnRPG/single-player content is what really has me fired up for this/next year. Overall, across both sites and all platforms, as far as “big” announcements go, I have to give the Victory to Nintendo and Bethesda. Nintendo finally made a believer out of me with their Smash Ultimate announcement so I’ll admit it: I’m excited for Smash Bros. Ultimate. They finally got me. I’m also disappointed (but also delighted) to announce that I was wrong about my number of Battle Royales I expected to be announced. My prediction was a bit on the bold side (13), but we did get some real whoppers out of it. The most ambitious of the lot has to be Mavericks Proving Ground. 1000 people in a Battle Royale? Having to physically track people down with disturbed leaves and stuff? A bold proposition, but that’s far too much work simply to get shot in the head with a sniper rifle, thanks. It does remind me of PlanetSide 2, and you can just take that however you’d like. I did want to point out, briefly that I’m very excited for the FFXIV – Monster Hunter Crossover, if for no other reason than I love FFXIV, and it’s presently my favorite MMO of all. I also rather like Monster Hunter, and the GARO crossover was a banger. This one should be just as exciting.

Hirez Roundup #25

I don't 'get' BR games, but I get MMOs. Love me some Realm Royale.

I don’t really understand the hype behind Battle Royales though. Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds is neat enough and they have some more content coming over the Summer, and Fortnite is constantly rolling out new cosmetics to buy. The building aspect is interesting enough, but it’s not enough to get me playing. Of course, Call of Duty and Battlefield will have exciting Battle Royale features, possibly in lieu of an actual story. Call of Duty’s, for example, is called “Blackout”, not “Battle Royale” like that’s going to fool anyone. I have a feeling that they too, will try to go over 100 people in a match. Battlefield also jumped on the bandwagon, so no matter what shooter you want to play, you have a Battle Royale waiting right there for you. That’s exciting, right? Right?! There’s exactly one BR-style game I enjoy, even if I’m bad, and that’s Realm Royale. Not because it’s a Hirez game, but it has character to it, literal character. You pick a class, you have abilities to unlock, alongside the standard “scavenge for weapons” deal. I feel less like just some generic nobody running around trying to survive but as someone trying to join the fight for/against the Magister in Paladins. That’s interesting! Maybe one of the “AAA FPS” games will do something fun with theirs, but I absolutely refuse to hold my breath. Not all the Battle Royales are ridiculous, grimdark affairs that make me want to leap out of a window though. Tinybuild’s Rapture Rejects is absolutely charming and absurd. Set in the Cyanide & Happiness universe, the Rapture happened, and you weren’t invited along. So, how do you convince the Lord Almighty, Creator of the Universe that you are deserving? By killing everyone else on Earth. Sound logic, that. It’s exactly what I expect from Cyanide & Happiness, and it looks just absurd enough to be a winner.

Speaking of the big companies, I’m still a little bit annoyed, so we’re gonna ride this train until I get to stuff I’m excited about. Destiny 2. Now, I love the actual story and action in Destiny 2, it’s fun. But how are you going to make an expansion to Destiny 2, with its own separate Season Pass? Was one not enough? Why did you have to go and make another? Then kill off one of the most beloved characters in the franchise (if not the most) in a teaser for the expansion? Activision-Blizzard/Bungie is going to have to work very hard to get back the goodwill of their fans after a full year of scams and lies, from how much exp you’re getting and up. This is the decision made? This is the call you want to go with, another Season Pass? I guess if Capcom’s allowed to have three so far for one game (Street Fighter V), it’s fair game for anyone else to do it too. Personally, I’m just waiting on the first MMO to make a Season Pass to get all of the updates over the year. You know what I love about stuff like this? When a company takes a beloved, long-running franchise, and tries to run it straight into the ground. That’s what’s going to happen with “Command & Conquer Rivals”. A 1v1 mobile C&C game? I know people are still developing PC/console RTS games – Microsoft is doing it! I have a feeling this is going to have some absurd microtransactions to it, and it’s going to be heartbreaking. However, it’s not all bad news!

Hirez Roundup #25

Ready to explore Murkmire? I am.

Elder Scrolls Online for example, announced some new content for this year that I’m sincerely excited for. The big one is “Elder Scrolls Online: Murkmire”, another DLC story for the game. This one is a deep-dive into the Blackmarsh, so expect a lot of Argonian lore and culture. My only regret is that it won’t take place during ESO: Morrowind, so maybe we can help put together the Lusty Argonian Maid story. What? You wouldn’t think that a hilarious way to gain EXP? I need to get back into Summerset, which dropped not too long ago because it’s enjoyable, visually appealing and has a story I can get behind. But there are two DLC stories coming to Elder Scrolls Online, and that’s Murkmire and Wolfhunter, but I’m more excited for Murkmire if I’m honest with myself and with you. Elder Scrolls: Legends is going to relaunch and come to consoles, which is neat, but I just was not enamored with it to start with. I did think their gimmick of lanes was interesting, but gimmicks in card games don’t last. Oh, and Fallout Shelter’s coming to console, if that’s your bag. However, the big winner of online gaming for me, without a doubt is Fallout.

Fallout 76 is going to be a regular, mainline Fallout title, set as a prequel to the other games. Specifically, we’re going to West Virginia, and just typing that made me think of John Denver’s “Country Roads”, and that’s okay. What is so ambitious about it, and makes it deserving of a spot here and not over there on OnRPG, is that it will feature online co-op. Not giant servers of hundreds/thousands of people, but smaller servers, it seems like they’ll probably be 12-20 people, and from what I’ve heard, Private Servers will be an option if you just want to play with your friends/livestream/co-workers. I like the idea of smaller servers because it makes sense thematically. There aren’t thousands pouring out of a Vault, after all. There will be the main story to follow, and the world itself is slated to be four times bigger than Fallout 4 (which was already massive). They seem to have learned their lessons from Fallout 4, and only time will tell if that’s true. So far though, between that, being able to arm and launch nukes, and to have such a long story and a huge area to explore, I’m overwhelmed with anticipation for Fallout 76. And it’s coming this year! You won’t have to wait 2019 days like you will for Kingdom Hearts 3 (which I’m still not convinced of its release date).

Final Verdict: Not such a good year for online gaming, unless you love Battle Royales. The big three of Japan (Sony, Nintendo, Square-Enix) had sort of underwhelming presentations, but they are saving all their good stuff for Tokyo Game Show, such as it happens every year. That doesn’t change that it was underwhelming though. As far as bulk of exciting announcements, to me, it has to go to Bethesda. New Wolfenstein, new Fallout, more ESO content? Rage 2 I suppose? There are also games coming this year that I have zero interest in, like The Division 2. Sure, it looks fancy and pretty, but the first  The Division wound up being wholeheartedly disappointing (despite what my initial positive thoughts were), so I have very little to say about The Division 2. Time will tell if I change my mind, but so far? It’s not even on the radar.

What about you guys? What did I miss that you’re excited/not excited for? Let me know in the comments below!

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