Annual Unsure E3 Awards
Longtime readers of this website, and of gaming websites in general, may be aware of one simple fact — in most cases, rankings and lists related to gaming tend to be bland and horrible. Especially when it comes to describing big industry events like E3, gaming journalists easily fail to escape the pitfall of generic coverage. That’s why we’ve decided to completely forgo this approach, in favor of something more interesting. We’re going to cover the quirky, silly, disputable and shaky moments of E3.
That’s why you should strap in and stay tuned. We’ve got a couple of picks that will leave you both perplexed and entertained. Scroll down to see what publishers and devs won a coveted Shaky Award after this year’s E3!
Best Keanu of the Year: Cyberpunk 2077
Saying that this year’s celebrity spotlight was taken by Microsoft would be an understatement. Indeed, the moment when Keanu Reeves took to the stage at the press event organized by Microsoft was a sight to behold. He appeared to present the latest goings-on related to Cyberpunk 2077, a much-awaited RPG from the makers of the lauded Witcher series. Many have wondered what could make a movie star of Keanu’s caliber dabble in video game promotion. The answer can be described in three simple words: money, money, and money.
All jokes aside, it seems Reeves is firmly in the Jeff Goldblum club of “likable no matter what.” There’s really no gig or shameless money-grab of a promotion that could make us like the man behind Neo and John Wick any less. Plus, it makes sense, seeing as he’s actually voice-acting for the game.
All Around Great: Electronic Arts
Let’s be honest — few publishers have followed the “boring press conference” trope as closely as EA as in the previous decades. However, the days of protracted FIFA segments filling up the time seem to be done. In a smart move that, surprisingly, no publishers have thought of up until now, EA has decided to abandon the usual single huge live stream for something more practical.
This time around, Electronic Arts offered their fans and customers a series of separate, smaller live streams that were all focused on separate games. That way, fans could follow the news on precisely what interests them, without having to suffer through the rest. Notably, Battlefront II and Anthem had no big reveals, with small developer interviews in the midst of games that EA realistically plans on supporting. To fans of those two, we can say nothing but ouch.
No Need for Gameplay Award: Microsoft and Everybody
While we originally intended to solely give this award to Microsoft after their press conference; we realized that most other publishers were equally deserving as well. But still, Microsoft was the biggest example, showing a truly astounding amount of game cinematics instead of actual gameplay. The only exception was Watch Dogs Legion, and everybody seemed to enjoy it. Developers should make a note of that — if you actually show gameplay of your upcoming games, people will get more hyped! Imagine that, right? Well, apparently, unless it’s a Star Wars game, because…
Nightmare Clown Wookie Award: Fallen Jedi
Speaking of which, did you see the horribly rendered Wookiee Jedi on the Star Wars: Fallen Order video? We’re left wondering if anyone at Respawn Studios has even seen a Wookiee before. Okay, technically speaking, none of us have seen a Wookiee, but you get what we mean. If you need a meme from this year’s E3 that isn’t Keanu Reeves earning that sweet Microsoft cash, Halloween Wookiee Costume Gone Bad is definitely your next best bet.
Pointless Presentation Award: Project Scarlett
Hey, have you heard the latest on Project Scarlett? Don’t you know that it’s going to change the face(s) of gaming forever? A bucketload of virtual RAM is just what the gaming industry needs, along with Navi from Zelda rendered in a more realistic style. Nothing gets people hyped like an SSD’s worth of RAM, right? The party may commence!
Sarcasm aside, the “reveal” video Microsoft aired for Project Scarlett was barely a reveal at all. They didn’t give us the name of their new console, or at least some vague specs, or a tech demonstration. All that we were left with was vaguely presented tech jargon, along with talking heads that convinced us of how ground-breaking the aforementioned jargon really was. At the end of the day, though, nothing too impressive was shown. Though that one guy had a pretty amazing beard — we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that. Next time around, we do advise that Microsoft just show us amazing load times as Sony does.
Easy Money Award: The Elden Ring
Or rather, George R.R. Martin. If Keanu Reeves hadn’t promoted Cyberpunk at Microsoft’s press conference, we’d have to wonder if Martin made the easiest money ever with The Elden Ring. This is a new game from the studio that brought us the Dark Souls series — with Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin helming the world-building part. That’s what makes it even more ridiculous having in mind how unoriginal this game is.
An “Elden” Ring that has world-bending powers that everyone craves? With a name that screams “The Elder Scrolls” and a plot that shouts “Lord of the Rings,” we have to ask if there has been a more unimaginative product from such an inspiring author. Why not make it a broch of power this time around or a bracelet of might? There’s plenty of jewelry to go around.
Most Monumental Game You’ve Never Heard Of: CrossFire X
Have you heard this piece of earth-shattering news? Apparently, Microsoft is bringing CrossFire to the Xbox One! Yes, you’ve heard that correctly! Now, you’re probably about to ask us another silly question; just what is CrossFire X? What is this game that silly old Microsoft is announcing so pompously and no-one even knows what it is?
Okay, so it turns out that more than 660 million people play CrossFire worldwide, meaning that it’s quite a big deal. After all, that’s more than the population of the U.S., by quite a stretch! Okay Microsoft, we admit it — well played.
Oh, and the game still seems to be utter crap. Still, well played nevertheless.
Gratuitous Presentation Award: Gears 5
When the time came to present Gears of War 5, Microsoft didn’t take the old-fashioned approach of actually showing any real gameplay. Instead they — we shit you not — opened a huge hole in the podium and descended beneath the stage. There, Rod Fergusson had, for some reason, kept a couple of WWE wrestlers as prisoners. Yeah, it’s as weird as it sounds, while probably being at odds with the Geneva Convention at least a bit.
Avoiding Past Mistakes: Microsoft
While we have badgered on Microsoft quite a bit in this article, we have to give credit where credit is due. When it comes to learning from past mistakes, they definitely seem intent on improving — at least incrementally. For example, they were deserving of a Worst Reveal award a couple of years back, when they revealed some stupid car in the midst of their gaming press event. Saying that this was the wrong expo would be an understatement.
And while it seemed they were determined to repeat the same mistake again, their E3 2019 car was actually made entirely out of Legos! Gamers like Legos, right? And yes, the plural is actually Lego, but we just don’t care.
Not Realizing How Bullets Work: Samsung
Sure, this award may seem to be way too specific. But that’s only until you take a look at Samsung’s presentation at this year’s E3. They wanted to give a shout out to gamers who were obsessed with refresh rates by…showing a video of bullets being fired and remaining in their casings? If you’re working in the video game sector not realizing the basics of how bullets work is just not excusable. After all, shooting stuff in games is our bread and butter! Okay, that is a depressing thought in and of itself. Maybe we should move along to the next award without dwelling on this for too long, eh?
Best E3 Host: Shark Lady
Okay, the PC Gaming Show wasn’t as fun as some people would hope. We have to admit that we watched it in a state of sort of stupefied disbelief too. Still, the show’s host, Frankie Ward, did her best to make it more lively and to keep everything moving. And trust us, filling such an entertainment void is far more complicated than people think. Ward, however, managed it easily. Because, among other things, she chose to wear a shark suit. We have to admit, though, her strange attire did not detract from the proceedings in any way whatsoever.
Shameless Fan Pleasing: Bethesda
I think we all know just how much Bethesda screwed the pooch with the release of Fallout 76. And chances are that they know it too, seeing as how desperate they seem to be to patch things up. Look, we’re sorry for releasing an incredibly buggy game whose sole purpose are microtransactions, okay? Look, we’re going to add a story this time around, and actual NPCs! And it’s all going to be for free! You know those basic building blocks of all previous games in the franchise that were the sole reason you all loved it? We’re going to implement those because you asked for it, even though it seems entirely alien to us as to why you’d want these things.
Have we mentioned it’s all going to be free? Well, naturally, if you don’t count the previous microtransactions, as well as the new ones; because those are still a major part of the game. Everything for the fans! Though, this rant aside, the new updates really do seem interesting. Maybe we’ll try the game out again. Oh no, this is how they lure you in!
Not Sure If I like It: Marvel’s Avengers
Okay, we won’t lie. The prospect of an Avengers game made by Crystal Dynamics was enticing to us, especially when it’s designed with co-op in mind. But then we actually had a look at it. And to be honest — opinions go both ways. On the one hand, they’ve made a completely new storyline separate from the movies, which definitely seems to be the right call. And they’ve decided to avoid emulating the likeness of the MCU actors, for obvious uncanny valley reasons.
But on the other hand, have they actually managed to pull the aesthetic off in a satisfactory way? To be honest, at least at first glance, the main NPCs do look kinda terrible. It’s like they took the actors’ stunt doubles from the movies, but forgot to change their faces to resemble the characters. Though this might just be something we need to get used to, and the game might very well turn out to be awesome. The jury’s still out.
Jealous Award: Cyberpunk 2077
Last year, CD Projekt Red had a particular approach to their E3 Cyberpunk 2077 that went great for them. So, understandably enough, they repeated the same thing this year as well. The Witcher developers organized a massive demo behind closed doors, which got everyone talking — without releasing footage worldwide and opening up Cyberpunk to any sort of in-depth criticism. And really, from a marketing standpoint, this is an ingenious move.
In an era when the internet simply shreds and overanalyzes every piece of gaming footage, cutting the World Wide Web out of the loop is a great thing for the developers. And the only problem with that? Our journalists weren’t the ones behind the closed doors! Hence this angry and jealous award.
Can’t Wait To Debate It: Breath Of The Wild 2
Back when we tried to grapple with Breath of the Wild, we had an entire laundry list of problems. However, since then, we’ve mostly gotten over them. And now that Nintendo has announced a sequel, all of the people who fanboyed over BotW have started making jokes on what “haters” will criticize — like we’re stark raving mad for not liking an uneven pace of combat due to flimsy weapons which keep breaking. Yeah, we absolutely can’t wait to discover in what revolutionary way Nintendo manages to make half of everything you gather and earn worthless in the game. Perhaps all of your cool costumes will just disappear after you wear them for half an hour? And we won’t even tear into the fact that they’ll be reusing the same old Hyrule map once again. All things considered, we can’t wait to hear the GotY arguments next year.