E3 2021 Impressions – Day 1, Epic Fail, Microsoft Please Save Us

E3 officially kicked off today with a showcase from Ubisoft and Gearbox. Despite a couple solid showings, however, Day One fell a little flat.

I should learn my lesson after how many times Ubisoft has let me down at E3, and yet here I am again. This year was a bit different because Ubisoft was opening up E3 and I was simply excited for the even to start. I figured perhaps they would start the surprise train early…I was wrong. 

Right off the bat, the “E3 Pre show” was a total bomb. Yes we got some great hosts, but they only got to talk for about 30 minutes before they sent it off to the “Ubisoft pre-show,” which amounted to roughly 40 minutes of games literally walking (or driving) in a straight line…..

Why they wasted an entire hour and had Ubisoft scheduled for this slot is beyond me. They company had probably more rumors and excitement heading into E3 than any other company. Watching a few streams myself I was seeing Ubisoft outpacing even Microsoft in “Most Excited for”  live polls as people were excited to see a potential new Splinter Cell, some Star Wars, and updates to some rather popular games.

Instead we got nothing. Well unless you’re learning to play guitar because the new Rocksmith is rather awesome, but beyond that it’s nothing to jump out of my seat about. 

Ubisoft spent a majority of their time encouraging people to get back into Rainbow Six, which I will with Extraction since I won’t have to deal with the extremely toxic community in Siege to play it. But that’s a discussion for another time…

I’ll be honest, the game looked fun to me. Normally zombie games as of late have been nothing but giant hordes of zombies rushing at you in big areas, and to me that’s getting boring. Extraction has a really cool story trailer, but also confined you into small spaces and utilizes the Rainbow Six methods to get around smaller groups of enemies. I’ll play the hell out of it, but where is everything else?

This is the 3rd year in a row that Splinter Cell was hyped up and nothing came of it. Why?! They even showed Sam Fisher (Splinter Cell) in a quick preview with Ghost Recon and left it at that. Clearly Ubisoft knows we want it, and they hype it up every year, then fall flat. It makes no sense.

Ubisoft honestly feels like they live in their own bubble at times. Far Cry gives us some hope by bringing back the villains we love being DLC for the upcoming game, but what was the point of re-showing the same trailer they showed us earlier during a Far Cry live stream?  

Then we head to Gearbox. Honestly I don’t even know what the purpose of their E3 presentation was. They honestly made it seem like Ubisoft showed off a ton by comparison.

WHY ARE WE TALKING ABOUT MOVIES?! 

Seriously, both Ubisoft and Gearbox wasted a good amount of time talking about movies. Hollywood trying to cash in on the game market is a cool story and we’re excited about what’s on the horizon…but this is E3. We talk about games! 90 percent of Gearbox’s presentation was Randy Pitchford gushing about being around celebrities.

Not only that, but they showed nothing about it. No trailer, no still shots of cast in costume, nothing really of particular good news. The showcase did nothing for Borderlands games or the movie. 

I’m not a big fan of Borderlands at all, but I was still expecting their presentation to dive deep into their newly announced game and talk about why we should be so excited for it. Instead they did what Ubisoft did and just showed the same trailer that debuted previously. If that’s all you had why didn’t you just save it and let us be excited today? I feel like Borderlands fans are a bit disappointed entirely that almost nothing was shown. 

When the highlight of your presentation is an “okayish” PS5 game going to PS4 there may be a problem. While I like Godfall as a game, it has issues…. a lot of issues. For them to not address this is pretty concerning. Instead of fixing the litany of glitches, they are adding content and expect you to buy it…. Cool. Honestly with how poorly the game runs on PS5, it’s hard to be excited for it on PS4. What is also more shocking is the fact the timed exclusive period for the title has expired, but there hasn’t been a hint of the game arriving on Xbox. 

What’s funny about E3 so far this year, is the fact the companies who skipped the expo are pretty much saving it. Sony has been releasing trailers and announcing games through pre-E3 events and on their own social platforms, which have all been exciting. The talk of the show seems to be Battlefield 2042—which I must remind everyone was randomly dropped by EA. The “Summer of Games” event has brought us a majority of the trailers people are hyped about, and already showed basically everything E3 had to offer on Day 1. 

Let’s just cross our fingers that Microsoft keeps their train rolling at E3 and really blows us away tomorrow, because if not then E3 may have some fans to regain after this year. 

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