It’s that time of the year again. Actually, it’s way past that time but there is a point to it. Read on for a slightly different E3 review from MaxImaz:
So, E3 2014 has come and gone and it was a weird one. Everyone, including Microsoft (!), actually did what they had promised they would – they focused on video games! One just has to ask, what the fuck was that all about? I realize that it all seems like a cause to be happy but it is a little worrying when the big boys of an industry suddenly become so uncharacteristically nice. All of the sudden, all these historically massive dongs are listening to us and laughing at our jokes, like we’re an ex girlfriend after an unforseen boob job. Microsoft’s Xbox One launch fiasco was one example of the jackassery that created this situation, and this type of jackassery is why this past E3 was so underwhelming despite all the great content that the show admittedly delivered.
If you felt like something was missing from the show but you don’t quite know whom to punch in the nuts, I might have an answer for you. To put things simply, one key element has gone missing from E3, the show, and it doesn’t look like it’s coming back alive – trust. The powers that be are failing to realize that their audience has caught on to their bullshit. They are still getting our attention, sure, but their surprises carry very little weight anymore.
Consider the trailers that were shown this June. It used to be that we got all hot and bothered whenever we saw a great looking new trailer, like the amazing E3 2005 trailer for Motorstorm , and hyped ourselves into believing that it could be representative of the actual game. Someone like EA could easily put together the following bullshit and call it a ‘debut trailer’ for NFL 2006:
There was a time when, at the very least, we would debate whether or not the above was the actual game. That is rarely the case anymore. We have learned to expect more accurately by seeing the pre-rendered cinematics for what they are. I doubt that anyone thought that Platinum Games’ ‘Scalebound’ was in-engine and some suspect that even the expectedly amazing Uncharted 4 was not either, despite the developer’s assurances and despite the fact that it’s the freaking Uncharted.
Overall, the audience has gotten wiser and more skeptical, so that hopeful excitement of the olden days, as false as it was, is no longer an intriguing element of E3. We no longer allow ourselves to get blown away by bullshit, as the pre-rendered CGI trailers no longer have the same impact to the modern weathered gamer. As a matter of fact, they have become somewhat of a warning sign. Considering that game visuals have gotten ridiculously pretty, one has to wonder why someone would opt to impress us with anything but the actual graphics.
Even when something is confirmed to be gameplay, we often wonder whether the final product will be severely downgraded or completely changed by release, if it does gets released at all (remember The Last Guardian? Dirty Harry? Eight Days?). Actually, I can think of very few games that ended up looking exactly as they did in their initial E3 trailers, especially if it is an early generation E3 (Watch Dogs is a recent example).
The point is that we have learned to see asterisks at the end of E3 trailers, by default. They have become meaningless because we now know that whatever is shown simply represents a promise, which has been broken more often than not. This deceptive practice is nothing new but it just does not have the same effect anymore. This is kinda of sad, too, because in our naivete, we used to think that anything was possible at E3. Now, even the probable is often unlikely.