Liiiiittle bit disappointed to hear Cyberpunk is first-person, I've gotta say. I've always thought third- was the superior of the -persons, but, oh well, I'll get over it. I have to go and rewatch that trailer, now that I think about it; I was in full on DMC5 hype mode when they showed it and I didn't take anything in
OK, so, now that all the shows are done, I think it's about time for some HOT LISTS! Now, I should say that this is, of course, entirely subjective, but, let's be honest, I'm definitely right about all of this. From best to worst:
Microsoft: Who'd'a thunk it? I can't remember Microsoft ever winning an E3 before, but they nailed it this year. All killer, no filler; they got in, blasted us in the face with great-looking games, told us about all the new studios they'd bought, teased a new Xbox and then got out. Shadows Die Twice, Cyberpunk, and Microsoft-exclusive Ninja Theory were huge gets, but the hugest get of all was Devil May Cry 5, and that cements Microsoft's crushing victory over every other competitor.
Sony: Great games marred by a weird format where they took an inexplicable fifteen minute intermission after the first game. Apparently it was because they needed to move the live audience from one venue to another, but I don't know why you'd design a show that way. As someone who's only ever going to be watching these bad boys online, I couldn't possibly care less about the live audience. I did like the deep dive into big game -> couple of trailers -> repeat format, and they showed some awesome stuff, but that intermission was a big mistake.
Bethesda: A lot of the stuff they showed was pretty Monkey's-Paw-y, to be honest. Prey DLC available now, but it's randomly-generated dungeons. Doom sequel, but we're going to dance around whether or not it's a proper singleplayer Doom. Fallout 76 is the biggest Fallout ever, but guess what it's an online shared world. Todd's going to say the words 'Elder Scrolls VI' and 'Starfield' onstage, but they're next-gen games and we've only got logos. But it was still a fun show, and Pete Hines and Todd Howard really know how to work the crowd.
Square-Enix: They hired Keith David to narrate between games, and they showed us something new from Platinum Games, so I was pretty happy. On the other hand, their Avengers game and the FFVII Remake were complete no-shows, and they showed the same Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer we'd already seen at Microsoft. And Shadow of the Tomb Raider still has the Lara voice actress who I just can't get along with. And Just Cause 4 looks like Just Cause 3 with an ugly filter slapped on it. Just a very anticlimactic thirty minutes of trailers, really.
Ubisoft: After kicking things off with a ten minute dance number, they settled into their patented method of torture by giving every single game an opening monologue, a CG trailer, a halfway monologue, a gameplay demonstration, and then some closing thoughts before bringing out the next game. It was excruciating. Some of those games look pretty cool, like Assassin's Creed Greece where you play as a lady with huge muscles or the reveal of young Jade and Pey'j in BG&E2, but I just never need to see a game for that long at E3. And we were all waiting for Splinter Cell to be the "Oh, and one last thing", but they didn't even do one! Some points awarded for the surprise Star Fox reveal with Miyamoto in the crowd, though.
EA: It's EA; it was awful. They've had the Star Wars licence for YEARS and they just can't manage to do anything with it. The only Star Wars game we saw here was last year's game that everyone hated! They've locked Bioware up in the Games as a Service dungeon from whence they'll never escape, so say goodbye to any IPs from them other than Anthem. They had like a fifteen minute segment where two dudes played the world's most basic RTS against eachother on smartphones, then when it was done they told us it had been the new Command & Conquer game. The only bright moments were when they brought the indie developers out to talk about their games. Yarny guy and the German woman who pronounced 'balance' as 'bell ends'.
Nintendo: I don't know how they did it, but Nintendo somehow managed the worst show of them all. It was 43 minutes long, beginning with 18 minutes of games I had zero interest in and ending with TWENTY FIVE STRAIGHT MINUTES of Super Smash Brothers. And not even the good Smash stuff, like those great character introduction trailers they always do, but the most boring, lifeless, technical run-through of every character's movesets and how they've been nerfed or buffed since the last Smash. EXCRUCIATING. And then they cut straight to Treehouse where they played Smash for another half hour!
Honorable mention goes to Devolver Digital, of course, who did another fantastic show, but I just don't think we can put the real conferences head to head with the one that's just there to roast them