black friday

All the Biggest Black Friday Digital Game Sales

Posted by | News, PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, Wii U, Xbox One | No Comments

You know what’s great about digital game shopping on Black Friday? You don’t even have to put on pants. It’s time to reap the benefits of patiently waiting for that game you’ve been wanting to go on sale. We’ve compiled all the biggest digital gaming deals of the season right here, from PC to Xbox. Note that every Black Friday Sale save Nintendo’s ends on Tuesday, November 28.

Steam

Steam blows everyone out of the water as usual. In addition to the usual 50% discounts for big, older titles like Grand Theft Auto V, Fallout 4, and The Witcher 3, you can also get more recent games like Wolfensetin 2, Civilization VI, and ARK: Survival Evolved. The Steam Link, that little device that lets you stream games from your PC to your TV, has been discounted 90%, down to $4.99.

Sale ends November 28.

  • Steam Link $4.99 (90% off)
  • Asssassin’s Creed Origins $49.79 (17% off)
  • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus $29.99 (50% off)
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands $29.99 (50% off)
  • Sid Meier’s Civilization VI $29.99 (50% off)
  • ARK: Survival Evolved $29.99 (50% off)
  • South Park: The Fractured But Whole $44.99 (25% off)
  • XCOM 2: War of the Chosen $29.99 (25% off)
  • Dishonored: Death of the Outsider $14.99 (50% off)
  • Dishonored 2 $19.99 (50% off)
  • Prey $19.99 (50% off)
  • Fallout 4: Game of the Year Edition $29.99 (50% off)
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided $8.99 (85% off)

GOG

If you like a little more control and ownership over your own digital PC gaming library, GOG is your jam. You’ll find pretty much the exact same deals as Steam, but with an emphasis on older classic PC titles and bundle deals. If you spend at least $15, you’ll get Starcrawlers for free.

Sale ends November 28.

  • Heroes of Might and Magic V: Bundle $4.99 (75% off)
  • Torment: Tides of Numenera $22.49 (50% off)
  • Tyranny – Commander Edition $17.99 (60% off)
  • Divinity: Original Sin: Enhanced Edition $13.59 (66% off)
  • Divinity: Original Sin 2 $40.49 (10% off)

Origin

If you want to play most EA games on the PC, you’ll need to go through Origin. Black Friday deals are up to 75% off, though these are mostly older titles. Highlights include Titanfall 2, Battlefield 1, and The Sims 4 for $9.99 each.

Sale ends November 28.

  • Titanfall 2 $9.99 (50% off)
  • The Sims 4 $9.99 (50% off)
  • Battlefield 1 $19.99 (50% off)
  • Mass Effect Andromeda $19.99 (50% off)
  • Star Wars Battlefront Ultimate Edition $14.99 (50% off)
  • Unravel $9.99 (50% off)

Nintendo eShop

Don’t get too excited. There are some good deals here but you won’t exactly find Super Mario Odyssey or The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on sale. This is the first holiday season with the Switch, and Nintendo isn’t about to put any of its new stuff on sale. There are some solid 3DS deals here, however. Note that if you are a My Nintendo member (which you should be) you can earn Gold Points on purchases.

Sale ends December 11.

Switch

  • 1-2-Switch $39.99 (20% off)
  • Super Bomberman R $39.99 (20% off)
  • LEGO NINJAGO Movie Video Game $41.99 (30% off)

3DS

  • Bravely Default $27.99 (30% off)
  • Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove $19.99 (20% off)
  • Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call $19.99 (50% off)
  • Paper Mario: Sticker Star $27.99 (30% off)
  • Story of Seasons $14.99 (50% off)

Wii U

  • Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove $19.99 (20% off)
  • Axiom Verge $9.99 (50% off)
  • LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens $9.99 (50% off)

PlayStation Store

The PlayStation Black Friday sale has deals up to 50% off. If you’re a PS Plus subscriber, you get an additional 10% discount. You can find big releases from this year already down to 50%, such as Horizon Zero Dawn and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy.

Sale ends November 28.

  • EA Family Bundle (Need for Speed, Plants vs. Zombies 2, Unravel) $15.99 (60% off)
  • Need for Speed Payback $35.99 (40% off)
  • Assassin’s Creed Origins $41.99 (30% off)
  • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus $29.99 (50% off)
  • South Park: The Fractured But Whole $41.99 (30% off)
  • Dishonored: Death of the Outsider $14.99 (50% off)
  • Fallout 4: Game of the Year Edition $29.99 (50% off)
  • Destiny 2 $41.99 (30% off)
  • Uncharted: The Lost Legacy $19.99 (50% off)
  • Overwatch $29.99 (50% off)
  • Injustice 2 $19.99 (60% off)
  • Persona 5 $24.99 (50% off)
  • The Disney Afternoon Collection $9.99 (50% off)
  • Horizon Zero Dawn $19.99 (50% off)

Xbox

If you don’t already own an Xbox One, Microsoft has lots of bundled deals available, including with Minecraft and Assassin’s Creed Origins. Digital games are on sale up to 65% off. Like PlayStation, if you’re a subscriber to Xbox Live Gold you’ll get an additional 10% off.

Sale ends November 28.

  • Destiny 2 $44.99 (25% off)
  • Madden NFL 18 $35.99 (40% off)
  • Need for Speed Payback $41.99 (30% off)
  • Forza Motorsport 7 $38.99 (35% off)
  • Halo Wars 2 $23.99 (40% off)
  • Overwatch Game of the Year Edition $35.99 (40% off)
playstation 4 hack

Pixelkin 2017 Holiday Gift Guide: PlayStation 4

Posted by | Feature, PlayStation 4 | No Comments

The PlayStation 4 has had a solid year in 2017, with several stellar exclusive titles like Horizon Zero Dawn and Persona 5. The PlayStation 4 is starting to get on years, with the half-step PlayStation 4 Pro released last fall which added 4K support. The good news is you can nab a regular PS4 for relatively cheap this holiday season, and there’s a nice mix of games for kids and teens.

Younger Kids

LEGO Worlds

lego worlds

LEGO + Minecraft is an easy sell, but LEGO Worlds ended up being less than the sum of its parts. Still, LEGO gameplay is always kid-friendly and intuitive, and offers split-screen and online multiplayer. LEGO Worlds lets you earn gold bricks through quests and exploration as well as build your world brick-by-brick.

Also available on: Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC

Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX

The unique mashup of Japanese RPG and Disney properties is well known for having bizarre titles. This giant compilation includes every Kingdom Hearts game you could ever went: Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2 and the myriad of mobile and handheld spin-offs. Fans are still desperately waiting for Kingdom Hearts III and this could be a great excuse to jump back in.

Also Available On: N/A

Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap

Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap

Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap is a remake of a 1989 platformer on the Sega Master System. The remake offers new hand-drawn graphics, a female playable character, and the ability to switch between old and new audio and visual settings. It’s a solid side-scrolling platformer with classic design and modern features.

Also available on: Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC

Cosmic Star Heroine

cosmic star heroine

Indie developer Zeboyd Games specializes in retro-style RPGs, and Cosmic Star Heroine sets its lofty goals at emulating the golden era of 16-bit JRPGs, like Chrono Trigger. It mostly succeeds thanks to a great cast of characters, solid battle system, and killer soundtrack. If you like your RPGs pixelated, don’t sleep on Cosmic Star Heroine.

Also available on: PC, PS Vita

Stardew Valley: Collector’s Edition

stardew valley

Charming, pixelated farming sim Stardew Valley was my personal Game of the Year last year. The Collector’s Edition, which released this year, is mostly an excuse to buy a physical version, which includes a pull-out map, digital soundtrack, and a guide book. Cooperative multiplayer is slated to arrive sometime next year.

Also available on: Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2

lego

The LEGO games have consistently remained one of the best go-to family-friendly series over the last decade. If you’ve played any of them, you’ve played them all. Marvel’s tone and characters mesh particularly well with LEGO’s silly storytelling and style. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 tells a tale of time-travel, meshing together multiple realms from the modern MCU, including Asgard, Sakaar, and Wakanda.

Also available on: Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC

Older Kids & Teens

Horizon Zero Dawn

Horizon Zero Dawn

One of the biggest, best-reviewed games of the year stars young woman Aloy in a unique future world of tribal humans and prowling robotic animals. The open world of Horizon Zero Dawn is breathtakingly gorgeous, and the kind you can spend dozens of hours getting lost in. Horizon Zero Dawn is one of the best games of the year and should not be missed by PS4 owners.

Also available on: N/A

What Remains of Edith Finch

I played this atmospheric indie title earlier this year at PAX South and knew it would be one of this year’s critical hits. It’s a narrative-rich first-person adventure with elements of mystery, horror, and discovery as you play a young woman returning to the creepy, yet fascinating house where all her relatives died.

Also available on: Xbox One, PC

Injustice 2

Another fantastic fighting game by the Mortal Kombat developers, Injustice 2 spreads its grasp over even more DC characters, including Swamp Thing and Gorilla Grodd. The fun single player campaign continues the excellent What-If setting of Superman turning bad guy. If you’re tired of being disappointed in the DC films, take a look at Injustice 2 to get your fix.

Also available on: Xbox One, PC

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age

final fantasy xii

Final Fantasy XII may be the most forgotten Final Fantasy game, arriving towards the end of the very long PlayStation 2’s life cycle. A year later Japan received an updated version with tons of improvements, but the rest of us would have to wait a decade before receiving this HD remaster. It’s very likely that even big JRPG fans may have missed FF12 the first time around, making this excellent HD version a no-brainer.

Also Available on: N/A

Fortnite (Early Access)

Fortnite is an online cooperative action game that combines third person combat and exploration with crafting weapons and building towers. There’s a lot of content but much of it is driven by a laborious progression system and loot boxes – it’s slated to become Free to Play next year.

One major treat, however, is the Battle Royale mode, which directly apes the hugely popular last-man-standing shooter PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Fortnite could be a great alternative to provide a more cartoony, family-friendly version of that popular multiplayer mode.

Also available on: Xbox One, PC

Pyre

Pyre

Supergiant Games is one of the best indie developers of our time, and well known for crafting richly story-driven games with beautiful soundtracks. Pyre continues the trend, using a unique sports-like combat system set within a purgatory-like world, as your band of survivors compete in a series of games to earn their freedom.

Also available on: PC

XCOM 2: War of the Chosen

xcom 2

War of the Chosen is such a big expansion to last year’s stellar tactical squad sequel XCOM 2 it could almost be considered XCOM 2.5. New hero classes are balanced by a new menace: the Chosen, three boss-like enemies who appear throughout your campaign to harass you, as if liberating the planet wasn’t hard enough already.

Also available on: Xbox One, PC

Ark: Survival Evolved

ark: survival evolved

Ark has been in Early Access so long (2015) it’s weird to see it officially launch. The dinosaur-survival game has waned in popularity but remains an incredibly ambitious, time-sucking create-your-own-adventure world, as you start with nothing but your underwear on an island filled with resources – and dinosaurs! Play by yourself or join a server and band together to create entire villages and wage war. Everything’s better with dinosaurs.

Also available on: Xbox One, PC

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

The Lost Legacy began life has a DLC expansion to last year’s Uncharted 4, but ended up big enough in scope and breadth to warrant a full release. It takes place after Uncharted 4, but this time focusing on previously supporting character Chloe Frazer who teams up with mercenary Nadine in a very Uncharted-like plot and action. Awesome to see a big AAA spin-off headlined by women.

Also available on: N/A

Destiny 2

destiny 2

Halo developer Bungie’s foray into a loot-based cooperative shooter was divisive when it launched in 2014. It was bolstered over the years by well-received DLC and expansions. Now with Destiny 2 Bungie has comfortably hit its stride, creating a more compelling story and world and while retaining the action-focused gameplay that makes the game a popular destination for online co-op.

Also available on: Xbox One, PC

Battle Chasers: Nightwar

battle chasers: nightwar

One of the bigger indie Kickstarter games of the year, Battle Chasers: Nightwar is based on an old late 90s comic series that you probably never heard of. The eye-catching art style and characters will draw you in, but you’ll stay for the meaty JRPG and challenging turn-based combat.

Also available on: Xbox One, PC

Star Wars Battlefront II

Star Wars Battlefront 2 has been in the mainstream news for all the wrong reasons, as publisher EA has seemingly hamstrung their own game with a poor progression and loot box economy. If you can forgive that, the multiplayer 40-person battle grounds are still rock-solid, featuring the most jaw-dropping Star Wars action we’ve ever seen outside of the movies themselves.

Also available on: Xbox One, PC

 

Mature Teens & Parents

Night in the Woods

night in the woods

This indie adventure game defies standard genre gameplay, focusing instead on a narrative-rich story and heavy themes like depression as you explore your hometown of Possum Springs and interact with the anthropomorphic residents. An excellent, introspective mystery.

Also available on: PC

Nier: Automata

NieR: Automata

The sequel to 2010’s Nier may be one of the biggest surprises of the year. The third person action-RPG is set within a far-flung future in which mankind has retreated to the moon, sending androids to battle the machines that now rule the Earth. The combat is great, as expected from the Bayonetta developers, but the multiple-endings story and complex characters really sets it apart.

Also available on: PC

Persona 5

It doesn’t get much more Japanese-RPG than the Persona series. The stylistic series combines a high-school age social sim with RPG-like combat, as students battle using their personas. By building relationships in the real world you can gain bonuses when exploring the dungeons of the Metaverse. Persona 5 is widely considered not only the best in the series, but one of the best modern RPGs, period.

Also available on: N/A

Prey

 

Any fans of the BioShock and Dishonored games need to play Prey, which is not to be confused with 2006 game of the same name. This Prey is developed by the Dishonored devs, and features the classic Space Station Gone Wrong. Protagonist Morgan (whom can be male or female) must battle an alien species that can hide in plain sight. It’s dripping in atmospheric tension and important choices that change the outcome of the ending.

Also available on: Xbox One, PC

The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind

It’s tough be an MMO without ‘Warcraft’ in your title, but the Elder Scrolls soldiers on thanks to its own rich fantasy-verse based on the best-selling single-player games. Morrowind represents The Elder Scrolls Online’s first major stand-alone expansion pack, based on The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. It richly recreates that beloved alien world of dark elves and giant mushrooms while adding lots of welcome content to one of the best MMOs on the market.

Also available on: Xbox One, PC

Life is Strange: Before the Storm

life is strange

Before the Storm is a mini-prequel to 2015’s breakout episodic adventure series Life is Strange. The prequel stars teen Chloe Price before discovering her time-travel powers, as she begins to develop a relationship with classmate Rachel. Two episodes have been released so far; the third should arrive within the next month or two.

Also available on: Xbox One, PC

 

Dishonored: Death of the Outsider

Last year’s Dishonored 2 was a fantastic sequel that gave us more awesome Batman-like stealth gameplay with BioShock’s level design and story-telling. Death of the Outsider is a stand-alone expansion (similar to Uncharted: The Lost Legacy) that ties up one loose thread from the sequel: the enigmatic, brutal assassin known as Billie Lurk. You don’t necessarily have to play Dishonored 2 to understand the story, but I heartily recommend the entire series.

Also available on: Xbox One, PC

Assassin’s Creed: Origins

assassin's creed origins

Ubisoft took an extra year to develop the tenth Assassin’s Creed game, and the extra time definitely helped. Origins is one of the best Assassin’s Creed games of all time, with an intriguing Ancient Egypt setting, new combat mechanics, and fun loot system while retaining the rich attention to historical detail and open world design that makes the series so compelling.

Also available on: Xbox One, PC

Wolfenstein: The New Colossus

It’s depressing that a game about killing Nazis would suddenly spark controversy in 2017, despite that being Wolfenstein’s whole deal since the 80s. The New Colossus is a direct sequel to 2014’s Wolfenstein reboot, this time taking place in an alternate United States, now occupied by the winning Nazi forces. The first-person shooter remains exhilarating but the real treat are the all-too human character moments with your plucky resistance group.

Also available on: Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC

Call of Duty: WWII

call of duty: wwii

Death, taxes, and Call of Duty. Every year adds another notch to the giant first-person shooter franchise. Call of Duty: WWII takes the series back to where it began: World War 2. The single-player campaign is by-the-books but the multiplayer is solid as always. The popular cooperative Zombies mode returns better than ever, proving that the only thing more fun to kill than a Nazi is a zombified Nazi.

Also available on: Xbox One, PC

playstation mid-year sale

PlayStation Mid-Year Sale Features Hundreds of Discounts

Posted by | News, PlayStation 4 | No Comments

Not to be outdone by the Steam Summer Sale, Sony has launched its own massive PlayStation Mid-Year Sale in the PlayStation Store. Everyone can save up to 50% off on hundreds of games and movies for PS3, PS4, PS Vita and PSP. PlayStation Plus members will receive an additional discount of up to 75% off.

The Mid-Year Sale will run for two weeks, ending July 11 at 8 am Pacific/11 am Eastern.

Here are some highlighted deals (PS Plus discount in parenthesis):

PlayStation 4

  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor – Game of the Year Edition $5.99 ($3.99)
  • God of War III Remastered $5.99 ($3.99)
  • Diablo III: Eternal Collection $44.99 ($39.59) – includes newly released Rise of the Necromancer
  • Grand Theft Auto V $35.99 ($29.99)
  • Madden NFL 17 $13.19 ($9.99)
  • Fallout 4 $22.49 ($20.09)
  • Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag $14.99 ($11.99)
  • Journey $7.49 ($5.99)
  • Rayman Legends $17.99 ($13.99)

PlayStation 3

  • Jak and Daxter Collection $4.99 ($3.99)
  • The Last of Us $4.99 ($3.99)
  • God of War Collection $4.49 ($2.99)
  • Shadow of the Colossus $3.99 ($2.99)

PS Vita

  • Jeanne d’Arc $5.24 ($3.74)
  • God of War Collection $4.49 ($2.99)
  • Jak and Daxter Collection $4.99 ($3.99)
  • Lara Croft GO $4.99 ($3.99)

Click here for a comprehensive list of all the deals. The PlayStation Mid-Year Sale lasts for two weeks. It ends July 11.

 

e3

Ranking the E3 2017 Press Conferences

Posted by | Feature, PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, Xbox One | No Comments

It’s a pompous, yet time-honored tradition to grade each publisher’s E3 press conference. Companies go through an interesting cycle every year where some have exciting new game announcements or console reveals while others tow the line with some extended trailers. And some just go completely bonkers.

E3 2017 is further proof that physical, live-audience press conferences are increasingly becoming obsolete. Each show is live streamed and can be easily watched from the comfort of your own home on a myriad of devices and websites.

The majority of each show was dominated by trailers, which soon show up on YouTube for bite-sized viewing. The showmanship and spectacle of each conference continues to dwindle, instead replaced by flashy sizzle reels and carefully orchestrated cinematic trailers.

Before we drown ourselves in our own cynicism over E3, it’s important to remember that each conference remains an informative and enjoyable way for major publishers to shine the spotlight on their developers and the games they’re making.

Here is our ranking of the E3 2017 press conferences.

1) Ubisoft

Ubisoft has had some down years lately. But they really brought their “A” game to E3 2017.

For the first time in years they dropped frequent E3 host Aisha Tyler in favor of just letting Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot anchor the presentation. It began with Guillemot announcing the surprisingly awesome-looking Mario + Rabbids Battle Kingdom by bringing Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto on stage. It was self-congratulatory but also disarmingly sweet thanks to Guillemot’s boyish charm and enthusiasm.

Two other brand new announcements were the online pirate adventure Skull and Bones and the sci-fi toys-to-life Starlink: Battle for Atlas. Astonishingly Ubisoft spent minimal time on its core franchises like Far Cry 5 and Assassin’s Creed: Origins, smartly giving more time for new games. Assassin’s Creed: Origins looks completely amazing with its intriguing Ancient Egypt setting. Ubisoft made the correct call putting the annual franchise on hold for a year. Now we can get excited about more Assassin’s Creed again.

Ubisoft had the biggest finale of all the conferences with the jaw-dropping cinematic trailer for Beyond Good and Evil 2 – a game no one expected to see at E3 at all. It’s been in development for so long with little information that to see a lengthy trailer in a beautiful sci-fi world was incredible.

Final Grade: A

 

2) Nintendo

Nintendo had the foresight to see what E3 was becoming and switched to pre-recorded video conferences for E3 years ago. It’s worked well for them, but this year was especially exciting given the recently released Nintendo Switch just a few months ago. This was Nintendo’s chance to show off all the new games coming for their new console and they did not disappoint.

They focused exclusively on Nintendo Switch games and had several new announcements – Kirby, Yoshi, Metroid Prime 4, and a new Pokémon game all coming to Switch. Unfortunately Metroid Prime 4 was very much a teaser and we got less than that for the upcoming Pokémon Switch title.

What we did get to see were spiffy new trailers for Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Fire Emblem Warriors, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s upcoming DLC, and the belle of the show – Super Mario Odyssey. Nintendo’s E3 Spotlight was the very definition of short and sweet with a refreshing run time of less than 30 minutes. Switch owners have a lot to get excited for this year and beyond.

Grade: A-

 

3) Xbox

Microsoft had the distinct advantage of unveiling a new piece of hardware this year: the Xbox One X. Confusing name aside, the Xbox One X is a powerful upgrade that takes advantage of 4k resolution and HDR lighting. While the specs are certainly impressive, Microsoft knew that what ultimately sells gaming hardware is the software.

The Xbox E3 presentation was dominated by trailer after trailer, most of which boasted exclusivity – a glaring complaint that Microsoft is trying to address. I was very impressed with trailers for State of Decay 2, Sea of Thieves, Metro Exodus, Super Lucky’s Tale, Ashen, and Ori and the Will of the Wisps. Nailing exclusivity for the extremely popular online shooter PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds will pay dividends, as was the Minecraft news of cross-play between Xbox, PC, and mobile.

Microsoft also got to show off the first footage of Assassin’s Creed: Origins and show expanded gameplay footage of Anthem and Middle Earth: Shadow of War. Based on this year’s E3 conference the Xbox brand looks stronger than ever.

Final Grade: B+

 

4) PC Gaming Show

Watch live video from PCGamer on www.twitch.tv
The PC Gaming Show fills an awkward space in the E3 conference line-up. It’s technically not hosted by a publisher but by a media outlet, PC Gamer, and sponsored by Intel. It does provide a unique focus on PC games and developers in a trade show that’s usually obsessively focused on console news.

This year marked the third PC Gaming Show and everyone has grown far more comfortable with what the show is. The unique format lets game developers come on stage to discuss their game with host Sean “Day9” Plott. Plott keeps the event moving quickly, asking dev-friendly questions and showing a trailer and/or slice of gameplay. We got some fun looks at Battletech, Wargroove, Sea of Thieves, Tunic, and Ylands. We even had some fun new announcements, like a trailer for GriftLands, the LawBreakers release date, and the reveal of the upcoming XCOM 2 expansion.

Compared to other events the PC Gaming Show is much smaller and lighter. But I appreciate the talk-show format, and letting the developers talk briefly about the games and content they’re excited to show.

Final Grade: B

 

5) PlayStation

Sony had a very strong showing last year and the PS4 has been doing extremely well this console generation. It was disappointing to see them mostly resting on their laurels, continuing to show more impressive trailers for games that first impressed us last year.

Monster Hunter: World looks like a triumphant, AAA experience that should please fans of the series and a Horizon: Zero Dawn expansion is very welcome news. The rest was a collection of PlayStation VR games that are always difficult to show off in a trailer, and many new trailers for games we’ve already seen, like God of War III, Days Gone, and Detroit: Become Human.

Only a single person ever graced the stage, Sony’s CEO Shawn Layden. Layden always feels uncomfortable in his host position, leaving Sony’s event devoid of personality. Spider-Man was their big send-off trailer and while it looked nice, it also featured a whole bunch of eyebrow-raising quick time events.

Final Grade: B-

 

6) Electronic Arts

EA had one of the more traditional E3 press conferences with a hefty dose of flashiness – including revealing a new Porsche on stage to help promote Forza Motorsport 7. It was also ridiculously long. With a Saturday time slot all to themselves the EA Play show lasted a bloated three hours.

A solid 30 minutes was dedicated to shoutcasting a Star Wars Battlefront II multiplayer match. While I always appreciate raw gameplay footage of upcoming games, it came across as awkward and even a bit embarrassing as they tried to explain the game during a live match where many players clearly didn’t know what they were doing. The actual press conference was not the best time for this.

Almost the entire rest of the show was dedicated to the next sports game installments, which are mostly incremental, and racing games like Need for Speed Payback and Forza. EA felt far less diversified this year. Oddly while they did get to announce the upcoming Destiny-like BioWare title Anthem, we didn’t get a good look at it until the Microsoft show.

The one memorable highlight from EA Play was A Way Out, a uniquely forced split-screen co-op game. Josef Faris, maker of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons took the stage to talk about his upcoming title and was one of the more engaging speakers at E3.

Final Grade: C+

 

7) Devolver Digital

If you wanted to bottle up all the weirdness and memes of internet culture into a game publisher, you might end up with something like Devolver Digital. The small publisher has made waves producing dozens of small but fun indie titles, many of which are very streaming-friendly. The publisher held a very late night press conference that lasted all of 15 minutes. They didn’t  announce any new games and only two actual game trailers were shown.

The majority of the show was designed  to poke fun at and explicitly mock traditional E3 press conferences, as well as modern gaming trends like Early Access games and knee-jerk community feedback. Comedy is tough to pull off but Devolver did an admirable job that went over very well with its fans. I enjoyed it for what it was but I wish they would’ve peppered in more games.

Final Grade: BANANAS

 

8) Bethesda

Oh, Bethesda. You had such a fun idea. I loved the show’s theme around “Bethesdaland,” a visual representation of all their franchises. But when it came time for the actual show, the publisher just didn’t have anything new and exciting this year. At just over 30 minutes it felt more like they needed to hold a press conference since they’ve hosted one the last few years.

It was business as usual with some new content for existing games (Dishonored 2 DLC, expansion for Elder Scrolls: Legends) and VR spin-offs of Fallout and DOOM. They sneaked in a new paid mod system called Creation Club, but it raised more questions than answers.

The two new announcements were sequels – The Evil Within 2 and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. The latter had an especially cool eight and a half minute trailer but ultimately it wasn’t enough to lift Bethesda from last place.

Final Grade: C-

 

psvr

PlayStation Live E3 2017: All the New Games Coming to PSVR

Posted by | News, PlayStation 4 | No Comments

Sony had by far the largest time slot devoted to showing VR games at E3 2017. No less than six games are coming to PSVR, which launched last year. Most of these games are newly announced and we know next to nothing about them aside from their enigmatic trailers.

Skyrim VR was previously shown during the Bethesda E3 Event. It looks like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim but with VR controls, including floating weapons.

Star Child looks like a neat 2D side-scrolling platformer. I suspect you don’t actually control the young woman we see in the trailer, but instead the big robot that saves her and holds out its hand.

Monsters of the Deep is the next logical VR spin-off of Final Fantasy XV. Fishing! Hang out with the bros from FFXV and catch some crazy lookin’ fish monsters, all in VR.

The Inpatient looks super creepy. You play as someone headed to a mental asylum and that’s never been a good thing in a video game.

In case you don’t get enough first person military shooters, Bravo Team is here to take you one step further. Both it and The Impatient are being developed by PSVR veteran developers Supermassive Games.

Finally there’s Moss, the most intriguing PSVR title that stars a little mouse in a dangerous world.