E3 2016 was everything it’s advertised to be, filled with all the biggest and brightest in the world of video games for the coming year. It’s a time to explore what the most popular names have in store, but this year I felt as though the little guys actually won the day. (Photo Credit: gamingworldunited.com)
I attended the E3 electronics expo in Los Angeles, CA for the first time this week. It’s a three-day extravaganza of media, gaming, technology and excess. Though the biggest brands and most famous names in the video gaming industry get all the publicity and accolades, I felt as though the real winners of the week were the little guys, the indie game creators.
For one thing, the big names left me wanting more. Nintendo had a vast expanse at the expo, but it contained just one game, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. That’s right, the entire Nintendo portfolio at E3 was one lone game available for play at dozens and dozens of consoles. There was nothing else from the Japanese company, and the amount of available Zelda locations did nothing to stem the tide. There was more than an hour wait to simply go inside and watch other people playing Zelda, speaking nothing to the wait length to actually get your own chance at the controller.
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Playstation crushed Nintendo in this regard. It had tons of gaming options as well as an app to sign up and reserve actual game-play spots at specific times. Brilliant, right? Well, not when the entirety of the day gets reserved and filled within minutes of opening and the reservations fall half an hour or more past their time when they do arrive. It was a great idea with less than stellar execution from Playstation.
Then there were all the huge gaming names that didn’t even provide a product; they just had a video presentation. These included such names as God of War and Civilization, among others. We are attending E3 to get our hands on these bad boys, not to watch a video that can probably be viewed on Youtube by this weekend, if not later the same day.
Final Fantasy XV, the latest installment from Square Enix, did the best with this by having a huge theater presentation as well as a playable product with plenty of stations. It checked every box…except for the fact that I didn’t dig the game itself. The play felt cluttered, chaotic and rushed. I know they are transitioning away from old Final Fantasy gameplay and have been for a few years now, but I wasn’t a fan of how this engine worked. That’s just me.
With all the big names seemingly coming up short at E3, it was the little guys who stole the show. The indie gaming center was filled with interesting, creative and inspired titles, all playable, all with little to no lines to wait in. These included numerous virtual reality games (to heck with Oculus Rift and its two hour wait), wacky multiplayer options, fun side-scrollers and more. In the sprawling LA convention center, the indie section seemed like a place for real gamers just looking for action. Who cares if I missed the Civilization VI video. I’m sure Gandhi was adorable; he always is.
Todd Salem is a Contributing Editor at BuzzChomp. He’s also a Staff Writer for NFL Spinzone, a Featured Columnist at College Sports Madness and an Analyst for Tipster Labs, among others. Follow him on Twitter.
Additional Photo Credit: comicbook.com