Winners and Losers from E3 2019 Monday

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The E3 2019 Press Conferences continued on Monday with presentations from Ubisoft and Square Enix.  We’ve analyzed each press conference extensively and have found all the Winners and Losers from an exciting E3 2019 Monday

Winners

Killer Grannys/Watch Dogs Legion

Ubisoft absolutely nailed the opening of their UBIE3 Press Conference by dropping us right into the middle of a futuristic London under some kind of martial law, in Watch Dogs Legion.  Upon our arrival, we met a rough and tumble local, speaking to an AI about needing a hacker to help with the ever-growing drone threat. To find that person, we needed to use those information breakdown boxes that show us everything about an NPC.  After scanning each person, only to find the hacker assaulting a well-armed policeman, an all out firefight breaks out that ultimately sees our rough and tumble local meet his untimely end.

That’s when things really got interesting.  Ubisoft introduced us to a roster of NPCs that we can use to complete missions.  Of the many they had, Ubi wisely selected an old lady. This wasn’t your granny’s granny either.  This was a retired assassin who caused all kinds of havoc. She tased a guy, delivered epic quips, and even had a few badass action scenes with explosions and SMGs.  Watch Dogs Legion showed off other NPCs, but it was clear that the only squad of NPCs the gamers wanted was a badass group of Golden Girls.

Bam Bam the Dog/Jon Bernthal

Xbox had Keanu,Bethesda had Izumi, Ubisoft had Jon Bernthal.  More importantly, Ubisoft had Bam Bam the Dog. Shortly after Ubisoft finished debuting an excellent first look at Watch Dogs Legion, Bernthal walked out with his gorgeous pitbull, gave it a few commands to compel it to lay down, and then introduced us to Bam Bam the Dog.

All Bam Bam did was chill on the Ubisoft stage, while his human gushed over being part of Ghost Recon Breakpoint, but it was enough to capture the hearts of the gaming community.  Much like Keanu and Izumi, the very good pup got the meme and fan art treatment. Thus, securing Bam Bam the Dog and his human, Jon Bernthal, as part of the best moments of E3 2019.  For being the BESTEST of BOIS, Bam Bam the Dog deserves all the rubbins.

Oh, and Ghost Recon Breakpoint looked great too.

Tom Clancy’s Estate & fans

If you like Tom Clancy’s work or Ubisoft’s adaptation of it, then you no doubt had an absolute ball during UBIE3.  The annual E3 event saw the reveals and updates for a slew of Tom Clancy games, including Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint, Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Quarantine, and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege.  They even ended the Ubisoft conference by doing a Rivalry game of Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege with T-Pain and Lil Yachty.

In a roughly one hour presentation, Tom Clancy games monopolized a majority of the games shown.  Ubisoft has shown that they know how to create compelling games that capture the world that Tom Clancy envisioned in his books.  Thanks to Ubisoft, Tom Clancy’s legacy is intact for the foreseeable future and that’s really the biggest win you can have in life.

Gods & Monsters/Assassins Creed Odyssey

Since Assassin’s Creed Odyssey debuted last year, it’s become a colossal success.  Fans loved being able to explore ancient Greece with Alexios and Kassandra and experience what that mythological world could’ve been like.  I loved it because it allowed me to live through all the stories I grew up learning in Greece. While Ubisoft announced a Story Creator and Discovery Mode coming to Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, it was the next project that had most gamers intrigued.

To close out UBIE3, Ubisoft’s beloved CEO, Yves Guillemot invited Ubisoft Quebec Senior Producer Marc-Alexis Côté to the stage to show off their next title.  While many believed that this would be the Assassin’s Creed Vikings game that’s been rumored for months. It was, instead, a new game unlike anything Ubisoft has delivered before, Gods & Monsters.

Gods & Monsters is created by the same wonderful people that developed Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, and they don’t stray too far from home.  In Gods & Monsters, you play as the hero Fenyx on a mission to help the Greek Gods of Mt. Olympus reclaim their home from Typhon the deadliest of all the monsters.  Rumor has it, this will be an open-world game similar to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. If that is indeed the case, Gods & Monsters is going to be massive and worthy of the top spot of the E3 Presentation.

Square Enix

Last year, Square Enix opted to have a recorded E3 Presentation, that put the focus mainly on their two biggest games releasing that year, Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Kingdom Hearts III.  It wound up being a major disappointment for fans hoping to see their Marvel’s Avengers game and Final Fantasy VII Remake.

At E3 2019, Square Enix redeemed themselves by showing what they lamented to show a year prior, while unveiling long-desired remasters of their classic titles.  They started off where they left off the previous night, by delivering more footage of Final Fantasy VII Remake. What made it so cool was how they were showing it.  Splitting between Producer Yoshinori Kitase and Senior Manager of Product Marketing Neil Pabon, the two went scene for scene explaining the gameplay and how they meshed modern RTS fight styles with the classic Turn-based mechanics.  It was mind-blowing to see. After showing tons more, including battles with Tifa and the iconic battle with the Scorpion, they unveiled a badass 1st Class Edition that comes with a beautiful-looking Play Arts Kai Cloud Strife and Hardy Daytona box set and much more.  

The rest of the conference showed off games like Oninaki, SaGa, Final Fantasy VIII Remastered, and plenty more remasters.  They stayed in their wheelhouse, but that’s exactly what they needed to do. That is, until Marvel’s Avengers.

Square Enix was bookended with the top two games in development and both were featured prominently.  Much like Final Fantasy VII Remake, Marvel’s Avengers delivered several trailers, including exciting gameplay.  We also got to meet the Avengers of voice acting, with Nolan North, Troy Baker, Jeff Schine, Laura Bailey, and Travis Willingham, the voices of Marvel’s Avengers.  Crystal Dynamics even pointed out that this game would be both a solo and online 4-player co-op, with completely free DLC. Monumental all around. Even if you aren’t into JRPGs, Marvel’s Avengers definitely delivered the goods.

Losers:

Ubisoft

Here’s the thing.  I didn’t hate Ubisoft’s Press Conference.  It gave us some cool gameplay from Watch Dogs Legion, Gods & Monsters, and we had Bam Bam the Dog.  For any other press conference, that would be considered a good outing, but it shouldn’t be for Ubisoft.

Consider the last few years.  At E3 2017, we had games like Assassin’s Creed Origins, Starlink, Skull & Bones, and Beyond Good and Evil 2.  At E3 2018, we had more Beyond Good and Evil 2, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, The Division 2, Trials Rising, and even more Skull & Bones.  Those were two solid years of E3 Presentations.

By comparison, E3 2019 just seemed…weak.  There was no Skull & Bones, no Beyond Good & Evil 2, no new Assassin’s Creed game, not even Splinter Cell (which officially debunked the tweet made by Creative Director Julian Gerighty).  Instead, it was Watch Dogs Legion, Just Dance 10, an excessive amount of Tom Clancy games, For Honor, Gods & Monsters, and Mythic Quest, a new comedy from the people who made It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia about gaming (which not even the crowd knew what to do with that reveal).

It’s true that we knew that a few of these games wouldn’t be showing up, like Skull & Bones and Beyond Good and Evil 2 (which had a non-update, update recently), but what about the space game Pioneer they teased last year?  Perhaps they’re simply playing the long game with each of these titles, knowing that they’ll all be next-gen titles. That said, only a handful of items instilled excitement and confidence in an hour-long show. It’s not bad, it’s just very…meh.

Multi-Part Final Fantasy VII REMAKE

Let me preface this by acknowledging that I am a massive, MASSIVE Final Fantasy fanboy.  In fact, Final Fantasy VII was one of the first games I played, and I even spent years searching for the original PS1 discs to replay the series when I got older (it was not easy or cheap).  So, when Square Enix first unveiled Final Fantasy VII Remake, I lost it. I was over the freaking moon. In a lot of ways, I still am, but there was one note from the Square Enix E3 Press Conference that really bothered me.

Right out of the gate, the game’s producer, Yoshinori Kitase talked about how Remake was going to be big enough for 2 Blu-Ray discs.  That’s quite impressive. He then went on to say that Cloud’s time in Midgar is so massive that it’s enough for one game, and that’s exactly what they intend to do.  So, the first part of Final Fantasy VII Remake will solely be in Midgar.

This news shouldn’t come as a huge surprise as the initial idea for Final Fantasy VII Remake was that it would be released episodically.  By staying in Midgar for the entirety of the March 3, 2020 game, it appears that the episodic idea is still the plan.

What bothers me, though, is that they didn’t give us any more information on the future of Final Fantasy VII Remake.  When would the next part release? Would we have to spend another $60+ to play it? What about the people who buy the 1st Class Edition for $329.99?  Will there be another collector’s edition with Sephiroth instead of Cloud for another $329.99? Perhaps Square Enix doesn’t even know the answers to these questions, given that they’re probably just happy to be back on track for a Spring 2020 release date.  However, these are important questions to consider for both them and the video game consumer and Square Enix should’ve addressed it when they had their time.

That’s it for Ubisoft and Square EnixE3 2019 continues with the actual 3 days of gameplay and developer interviews.  Stay tuned to all of our E3 2019 coverage and analysis and let us know if you have your own Winners/Losers.