Community Review: E3 2015

Community Review: E3 2015
To sign up for our daily newsletter covering the latest news, features and reviews, head HERE. For a running feed of all our stories, follow us on Twitter HERE. Or you can bookmark the Kotaku Australia homepage to visit whenever you need a news fix.

Now that the dust has settled, and the hype has drained out of your system, is it possible to talk about E3 2015 with a bit of distance?

Personally, this was the first time in a long time that I watched E3 conference and wasn’t…

— Bored to death at certain points.
— Disappointed by the lack of variety in the gaming experiences being shown.
— Flat out angry at the constant stream of white dudes presenting.

E3 isn’t perfect, but this year just felt so refreshing. Microsoft’s presentation was a little ‘E3 by numbers’ for me, but there was no shortage of excellence on show — particularly a really awesome segment focusing on the [email protected] programme and goddamn Hololens, which I’m cautiously excited for.

Sony’s conference erred on the side of fan fiction at times — but man. Man — I think it might have been ne of the best E3 presentations of all-time, just in terms of the surprises and the response to those surprises. It might have rung hollow in the context of how weak Sony’s exclusive line-up is the holiday season, but man — you’d have a hard time arguing against them having ‘won’ E3.

Nintendo’s presentation. Well, it was light on games, but heavy on awesome puppets. And that’s all I have to say about that.

So, my review: great E3 by E3 standards.


  • 10/10 good news. Jibber jabber from four of my all time favourite series (Uncharted, Mass Effect, Fallout, Metal Gear), and there was Firewatch and Tearaway and a bunch of other ones.

  • Look,

    I hate the dudebro audience at the Playstation event.
    Games came in thick and fast in that conference which is good, and arguably what a conference should be, but I almost felt like it was too fast, jumping from one thing to the next with barely any explanation or context.

    That said, still a great conference, as was Microsoft’s, Bethesda’s (WOOO FALLOUT) and surprisingly EA’s (MIRRORS EDGE WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO)

    Best E3 for the past few years definitely

  • In terms of what was shown and announced it was a lot better than last year. As for the keynotes, MS was more impressive than Sony’s. Sony was fine and all but it just seemed rushed and a bit amateur. Nintendo was the laughing stock. As for the developers keynotes, Bethesda won that. Everything else was average.

  • Ubisoft also had a great conference! Obviously, we’ll need to see how some of their next games go at launch, but Wildlands? If they can pull that off it looks awesome!

    Also very excited for Horizon: Zero Dawn!

    • Wildlands is one of the ones I’m not hearing many people talk about compared to the big geek fish, but it’s actually right up there in my list of cautious hype. ‘If they can pull that off’ seems to be the key phrase, but I am definitely letting myself cling to a little hope for this one.

        • :C

          Nooooo, it won’t just be a 3rd-person squad-based Far Cry.

          …Not that I’d be terribly averse to that.

          • Im still excited for it, the only thing about Ubi games I truly despise is uPlay.

            How is it still a thing?!

  • It’s funny, but despite the Sony conference being awesome and all, the Xbone is somehow still going to have the better exclusive titles at the end of this year. It’s nowhere near as obvious as it was last gen where the 360 was the better of the consoles by a decent margin for the first few years when it came to exclusives, with Sony not passing them until later in the generation, it I think it’s still the case.

    Obviously things are a bit different this time around because the PS4 has near-unanimously better performance on cross-platform titles (and the PS4 controller isn’t shit), but it’s an interesting pattern. Aside from Bloodborne (and arguably The Last of Us) the PS4 doesn’t have many games that your average Xboner would really be craving and won’t until mid-2016ish. Titanfall, Forza 5, Forza Horizon and Dead Rising 3 have all been good and the Xbone will be getting Tomb Raider, Gears remake, Forza 6 ect this year.

  • not interested in the console stuff
    so was let down by the way PC games are held back by consoles once again
    at least I have Ark

    the amount of people wetting their pants of something I don’t find interesting is kind of sick and deluded, but hey people go to work all day so they can spend the weekend playing what they dream about

    I’m just happy some series are continuing and we have some new IPs for games to continue on in the future

    I was also surprised at some of the developers mass photo’s (COD devs specifically) and actually seeing what it takes to produce a game that makes millions, yet doesn’t have much content at all.
    billion dollar industry.

  • You forgot about the most excellent PC conference that you almost fell asleep in Mark 😛

    The conferences though were great. Fallout 4 my highlight as that’s been my most wanted game for a few years now but closely followed by the FFVII remake reveal.

    This generation of gaming is finally kickstarting and is looking like it’s a proper next gen compared to the last gen which felt more like fancier versions of PS2 and Xbox games without much in the way of gameplay improvements. Great E3

  • I wish they’d keep the 3rd party stuff out of the first party conferences – it really bogs things down. Classic example was Sony’s conference that, while great, went on way too long. They came out of the gates with a bang, throwing awesome stuff around like confetti. Then they started talking about Destiny and COD and Assassin’s Creed and Star Wars stuff etc etc, and it really just came to a screeching halt, before going out on a high with Uncharted 4.

    Companies like Activision, EA and Ubisoft have more than enough money to hold their own conferences and do their own publicity without doubling up in the platform holder conferences, too.

    • Completely agree – I’d wager that Activision could skip E3 altogether and still sell a mountain of COD/Destiny/Skylanders and think of the promotional money they’d save

  • This year was the first year I watched any non-Nintendo conferences, only missing out on the PC one at the end because I slept through it. It was an interesting experience 😛

    Bethesda – Presentation was ok, I was mainly there for Doom and wasn’t hyped by what I saw. Apparently Fallout’s a big deal.
    Microsoft – Pretty good presentation. They had some cool looking games on show, and couldn’t believe they were acknowledging life-before-Kinect Rare.
    EA – Not great presentation. Never work with kids, animals, or old people. But they did have Unravel. Best presentation of all of E3, that one part right there. Ow my heart.
    Ubisoft – Surprisingly strong presentation, despite that weird Just Dance interlude in the middle of it, and that cringeworthy “meme” part with Aisha. How awesome was that For Glory guy? I want him to present everything. Also I can’t remember if the dude with the beard in the pink shirt and cap was here, but if he was he gets the award for Best Dressed.
    Sony – Probably “won” E3. Couldn’t believe they started out with Last Guardian, I was just like “why would you do that? Where could you possibly go from there?” Guess they sure showed me.
    Nintendo – Good presentation, nowhere near as bad as everyone was saying. Lots of games to show off, a fair few of them unexpected but pleasant surprises, and most of them ones that would be available soon. Most of the others (especially Sony’s showing) seemed to be quite far off in the distant future.
    Square-Enix – Holy shit, best presentation, 12/10. This was an amazing trainwreck to watch. Seriously. Such a great way to end the run of shows. Though I do feel for them a bit, if they had gone before Sony and were able to announce FFVII and KH3 it feels like they would’ve been quite high on the hype scale. The masked man stole the show though. Especially in that awfully awkward and protracted lineup of applause at the end. Bravo, Square. You made me wish I hadn’t scoffed all my popcorn during the Star Fox showing earlier.

    Also interesting was how much better some of the games appeared after they were announced. Tomb Raider I thought looked much more interesting during the S-E conference than in the MS one. Same goes for Hitman. And the Fallout guy just kept showing up everywhere, go away guy. Also I couldn’t believe how it seemed like EVERY SINGLE GAME was announcing a playable beta. Should’ve made that part of a drinking game, it was ridiculous. Same goes for powered armour suits, so many of those around the place too. Oh, and also for every time it turned out Platinum were working on a game, those guys were all over the place. Good on ’em.

    Actually, that was another thing – leaks. There were SO MANY leaks this year. Can’t believe that we still got so many surprises with how many got spoiled. I would have thought that Dark Souls 3 would get a much bigger reaction, but it only seemed to get a small round of polite applause.

    • 1) Fallout is the hugest deal and anyone who isn’t on board is a monster.
      2) Rare? Whatever. Crack out an emulator.
      3) Unravel? It looks like a cutesy indie platformer, as if the world didn’t have enough already. YARN? YAWN.
      4) I was a little confused by the lack of Dark Souls 3 hype, but it makes sense, I guess. I’m not clamouring for it myself… I’m still digesting Bloodborne, and that was really Dark Souls 3 wasn’t it? As for everyone else, Dark Souls didn’t get big mega hype the way 2 did, and I think the curious got burned on that, not leaving much to get excited for with 3.

    • On Dark Souls – I am totally hyped but that trailer showed nothing – what I wanted to see was gameplay (Bloodborne’s E3 trailer was similarly underwhelming) anyone bringing CGI trailers to E3 should be taken out back and given a stern lecture about wasting evetybody’s time – look at Fallout 4 – they did it right. 100% gameplay!

      On Square – they actually had the games I’m looking fwd to most (Just Cause 3, Deus Ex MD, Hitman and Tomb Raider) but their presentation had all the pizazz of an FBT Seminar, except for moon head – that guy looked like he had three days before he was going to crash into an unsuspecting town

      • I totally agree about Square. They had the best franchises to show off, with amazing clips and gameplay footage, but their stage presence was insanely underwhelming.

  • I was severely dissapointed.

    Sony’s big announcements were games that aren’t coming for years, Microsoft showed no gameplay of anything new, how Nintendo gets shit for not making new IP’s when Microsoft showed the typical Halo, Forza, Gears triangle, and doesn’t show interesting new IP like Scalebound so they can show a dumb minecraft tech demo that people will use for 5 minutes then get bored with, and play minecraft normally. Finally. Nintendo decided to show the more interesting games at the Treehouse show after the direct (SMT X FE, Xenoblade, not mentioning that platinum is helping make Star Fox…) instead of putting it into the direct, which was one of their worst.

    Honestly Bethesda with Fallout 4 was the most interesting thing their, and Killer Instinct getting a PC port.

    I can expect more interesting stuff next year for E3, but announcing games that we wont see for years doesn’t count as being excited for me.

  • to me, Bethesda won,

    Out of the consoles? im biased a bit,

    but the most interesting to me was microsoft, the backwards compatability is awesome, and as long as it works (have to preface all of e3 presentaions with that) then i can actually upgrade from my 360 rather then have to run them side by side. a much better prospect, plus i can trade in whoot.

    Sony i thought did great, except the biggest games they showed, had no hard release date, either 2016, no date at all, not even in development yet, not even funded yet. I dont care how exciting the games look until i can actually buy them.

    Hence why Bethesda won, fallout 4? awesome, and this year. great.

    Nintendo did not show me anything that made me was to grab the Wii U, i had planned to, but have not had any killer games for it yet.

  • I was live in the audience when Sony dropped the FF7 demo. The reaction from the crowd was mental. This huge guy sitting near me leaped out of his chair and started jumping around like Mr Bojangles. He almost certainly sustained soft tissue damage to his ankles but was still smiling. Other people were crying. It was a truly crazy moment.

  • Fallout 4 was great news but was spoilt somewhat by having the trailer release a week before. If they had kept it hidden till the bethesda conference it would have blown minds even harder.

  • Doom, Fallout 4 and Shadow warrior 2 were E3 for me as a PC gamer.
    MIrcosoft: Didnt watch and dont care
    EA: Didnt watch and dont care
    Sony: Didnt watch and dont care
    Ubisoft: dont even play their games at all
    Square: Didnt watch and dont care
    Nintendo: Didnt watch and dont care
    PC Gaming Show: Was pretty terrible, but happy to see something represent the PC at E3 and it will most likely improve over the next few years.
    Bethesda was my winner of E3

    • I liked the more personal interview style, however they really needed to cap some of them short, it went for too long.

      • i like that aspect but it would be better if they scrapped mircosoft from being on it and instead gave that time to devolver digitial so they could also talk about Shadow Warrior 2. it also would been alot better if they removed half the AMD stuff, they didnt need 2 segements and it would of been much better if Chris Roberts had actually been there to show off some more SC

  • The ‘games not coming out for years’ point was strong this E3. That and ports/remakes.

    TBH the only truly exciting moment was Bethesda’s Fallout 4 release date. Because that whole presentation you were seeing how good it looks but dreading another ‘years from now’ release date, only to hear November this year. Heart instantly in mouth moment. E3 needs more of those next year, big announcements with impending release dates.

  • I think this was a slow year all round for the big 3 and e3 this year. Microsoft had a bunch stuff we already knew about, with their biggest announcement being BC which imo should of been in XONE’s from the start. Sony’s biggest announcement should of been in the SQ/enix show, and whats with asking for money to fund their games when they are one of if not the largest game company in the world. Nintendo managed to meet expectations which was meh.

    At the same time bethesda was pretty win this year. Good move on them having their own panel this year.

  • I watched the Bethesda, Xbox One, Electronic Arts confs i did however watch a bit of the sony one but i found it average. Xbox one had a few titles i liked however the day Fallout 4 pipboy edition was announced the next day i preordered it on PC lol.

  • I felt like it was a disappointment overall – what even Nintendo/Square Enix/EA – but there are still a bunch of games I’m psyched about, namely Rock Band 4, Guitar Hero Live, Cuphead, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Yooka-Laylee, Xenoblade, and Horizon: Zero Dawn. Its gonna be a good couple of months.

  • The good:

    Fallout 4
    Xbox 360 Compatibility
    Halo 5 Warzone (Don’t really like Halo much anymore but that game has needed a bigger player count for years)
    Rainbow 6 Seige
    Fable Legends (it’s free so I can’t complain)
    Rare Replay
    Rise of the Tomb Raider
    Need for Speed (again I don’t care about car games but damn those graphics looked incredible)
    Mirrors Edge Catalyst (open world was exactly what I wanted when I played the first one kudos to me for seeing the series’ logical progression)
    PvZ GW2 (the first game is perfect so this one will be good also without a doubt)
    Star Wars Battlefront: Day. fucking. One.
    Hitman (more Hitman is a good thing)
    Horizon Zero Dawn: Don’t have a PlayStation but that game looks amazing
    Just Cause 3: like Just Cause 2 but betterer
    Deus Ex Mankind Divided: the sooner this comes out the better
    Final Fantasy 7 (do not care about FF games but the sheer arseyness (is that a word) of Sony in that conference was something to behold

    The maybe good???
    Recore, Dishonored 2, Dark Souls III, Mass Effect Andromeda, but CGI trailers tell me nothing.

    The ugly
    the Division: this is their third E3 – just fuck off already – people have lost interest, publishers need to learn to hold their powder more often, at this point it’s the game that cried wolf. The other game in this category is MGS V I can imagine the turmoil in the offices at Konami:

    Konami CEO: “Kojima-San, when will MGS V be ready for release?”

    Kojima: “Not yet – I must make it better than Grand Theft Auto V”

    Konami CEO: “But GTAV came out two years ago…”

    Seriously doesn’t anyone think maybe the reason they shut down Kojima’s PR operation what to get him to focus on the damn game??!!

    Shenmue III: one you get over the shock – ‘holy shit did they just say Shenmue III?? You realise that just turned what should have been a glorious triumph into a grubby exercise in pan handling. I always thought given the history Microsoft would’ve been the one to pull the trigger on Shenmue but then I guess maybe they’ve seen the sales figures on Shenmue 2!

    Hololens and VR – has everyone forgotten years ago when Kinect and Move were the big attractions at E3? I’ve certainly forgotten which cupboard I put that Kinect in so perhaps we have!

    Gears of War Beta – putting aside the lag, the game is virtually unchanged from its 2006 incarnation, which is to say a difficult to control shotgun fest – pass.

    Star Fox Zero – you know I’m not normally one to care about presentation but that game looked like Star Fox 64 – but in a bad way like it belonged in the 5th generation

    Destiny, Infinity, batman, COD, Ass Creed: enough with the platform exclusive content, I know Microsoft started this bullshit back with GTA IV but in the years since (and I’m talking about the PS3) Sony has taken this ball and ran.

    Remember last year’s Ass Creed, the first one shown at an Xbox conference in forever, they didn’t have platform exclusive anything – they just advertised the game, this year they’re back at Sony giving out exclusive DLC or some BS – Sony doesn’t need to do this so why do they keep this crap up?

    One the subject of Ass Creed – in the face of so many good games this Xmas I’ll be sorely disappointed if this and COD sell in their usual high numbers

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!