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This week, Zero Punctuation reviews E3 2014.

TranscriptEdit

Hey kids! Let's see if we can think of three words that start with "E"! Here's one: "excruciating." That'll do for a start. Here's another one... Huh, actually, I seem to be kind of fixated on the word "excruciating" for the moment. Oh wait, I've got one now! "End," as in: "end this execrable endurance event entailing eager editors endlessly entreating eminent entertainment egotists for efficacious endowments of effluence!" And for a third and final "E" word: "eggnog." There we go, three Es for E3. E3 2014, to be precise, or to give it its true name: "The 'meh' heard round the world."

Could you expect much? It hasn't been a year since the 'Bone and the Piss-Poor came out. If they had any really big cards to hand, they'd have played them last year, while they were trying to get everyone to buy the sodding things before too many people wised up.

Though, having said that, I suppose if a company is willing to attempt to switch rails mere days after a course has been stated, like what happened last year, a radical change of policy and mass suicide seems that tantalizing bit more possible. Which might as well kick this off with Microsoft then, Micro-"how-many-bits-do-we-have-to-hack-off-the-XBone-before-it-can-fit-inside-your-stony-hearts"-soft. I hear they're bringing out drivers to let the XBone controller work in Windows, but since it's functionally identical to the 360 controller, I don't see what they think that will achieve except to hand PC gaming a new trophy, like a Viking with a cup made from his enemy's skull.

But the blanket Microsoft spent this entire event hiding under was woven from some nice, comfortable, safe exclusive games. "Hey look, it's a compilation of all the Halo games, just to underline how utterly pointless a new console was! New Crackdown, 'cause the last one was absolute bubbling tossage, so the only way is up! New Fable where one player controls the monsters, because if we tried to program the AI ourselves we'd probably just fuck it up--OH WHAT DO YOU WANT?! PLEASE DON'T HIT ME, I DIDN'T EVEN MENTION THE KINECT!" But we did see some more of Sunset Overdrive, complete with wisecracking protagonist, and I can't remember ever wanting a character to choke on their own upraised bellend more. But the gameplay looked alright. Look forward to when it's released for PC, like Dead Rising 3 will be. I told you that would happen, Microsoft! Capcom gives out exclusives like a shilling whore.

Meanwhile, there's an intolerable air of smugness about Sony's announcements since they're the console front-runners. "Yeah, new IPs from the creators of Journey and Dark Souls, ain't no biggie. Oh no! I dropped a trailer for a new Suda 51 game, better bend down to pick it up--Whoops! I let everyone look up my skirt and see a remastering of Grim Fandango, tee hee!" But beyond that, what I was seeing surprisingly little of were reasons to buy a Piss-Poor. Plenty of exclusive betas like Destiny and Dead Island 2, but that just means Piss-Poor owners win the chance to have the game spoiled for them while they're at their shittiest. The Last of Us, which you can enjoy right now if you didn't immediately throw your PS3 down a flight of stairs when the new generation started. And lest we forget, Playstation Now and Playstation TV! All the fun of the games without having to let the Piss-Poor itself stink up your living room.

But things eventually returned to formula with Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. Oh Sony, you tease! Now you're speaking my language; although I shouldn't hold out hope that Nathan Drake's end will go the way I'm picturing it: involving a pair of pliers, a ball gag, and a steady stream of urine.

Another thing I’m seeing is that the words “gameplay trailer” are being thrown around kind of fast and loose these days. Assassin's Creed Unity had an alleged "gameplay trailer" but it was so tightly fucking choreographed that the demonstrator might as well have been waving a fucking conductor’s baton, and in this we learned the grand scheme for four-player co-op, the innovation I was really hoping we’d get over by now. If you think gameplay that’s traditionally about stealth, timing, and precision is going to be improved by having three dangle-twats running about, then you obviously haven't been hanging around with the same human beings that I’m familiar with.

Another blatant abuser of the term "gameplay trailer" was Far Cry 4, to whom the phrase “first five minutes of gameplay” means the scripted intro sequence! Yes, isn't it marvelous what you can do with in-engine cutscenes these days? But before any actual gameplay gameplay trailers came out, the game could have been a sausage-making simulator for all we knew. Looks like they’re trying to make the Far Cry 3 lightning strike twice with the clueless white-bread hero being toyed with by colourful charismatic villain again, so let’s hope they remember to have the villain hang around for the whole game this time!

Rise of the Tomb Raider was also announced: the exciting story of how a young Lara Croft was first forged in the fires of adventure--Hang on a minute, wasn't that what the previous Tomb Raider was about? I guess they’re gonna stretch this shit like her training bra! Lara Croft is like an indecisive school-leaver. “Shut up Dad, I’ll decide what I want to do with my life after one more gap year of unrelenting horror and violence!”

Now, a large segment of EA’s presentation can be summarized with, "Here’s the latest iterations of things you’ve already got, sixty dollars please! Buy FIFA 15, sports fans; we added a new crease to David Beckham’s face. We've also added more emotions to The Sims 4, look at the gurning face of my little doll man; imagine yourselves wearing the same face as you fork out for what is essentially The Sims 3 again. Better buy all that DLC a second time as well. Pants down, fist up, pound, pound, pound!" Speaking of which, Battlefield: Hardline. It’s making a shift from regular warfare to balls-out urban warfare between cops and crims, but the trailer I saw mainly consisted of burly white heroes roughing up black guys so, y’know, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

And finally, Nintendo, whose presence once again is like briefly opening the door to your granddad’s room and catching a glimpse of him still lost in his own little world, gently masturbating. It’s got Smash Bros for the general company-wide masturbation, but now it’s got Hyrule Warriors (name not final) for a more fine-tuned masturbation of the Zelda franchise specifically, just in time for the inevitable Wii U Zelda game, which I won’t dwell on 'cos we saw so little of it, although that doesn't seem to have stopped everyone else from jizzing every pair of pants they own.

Also Mario Maker, aka “Do you know how to inject life into Mario at this point, 'cause buggered if we do!” And a new IP, Splatoon, 'cause I guess they needed at least one new thing they could add to Smash Bros. Will it help the Wii U? Who knows? Not me. Who cares? Ditto mark.

I’m completely out of what energy I had for E3. It was even less enticing than last year, and last year made my bollocks roll up like a Venetian blind. So if you don’t mind, I think I’m just going to slide to the floor and hope to get smothered to death by the Roomba.

*thump*

AddendaEdit

  • Eloquent Engineer of Emphasis: Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw
  • That Let It Die trailer was about the most generic 'a thing with violence in it' trailer I have ever fucking seen
  • Shut up, simmer down, and stop hoping

ScreenshotsEdit

Episodes
2007 - 2010
2007
Q3 The Darkness Demo · Fable: The Lost Chapters · Zero Punctuation (Episode) · Heavenly Sword and Other Stuff · Psychonauts · Console Rundown · BioShock · Tomb Raider: Anniversary · Manhunt · Peggle
Q4 Halo 3 · Tabula Rasa · The Orange Box · Super Paper Mario · Medal of Honor: Airborne · The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass · Clive Barker's Jericho · F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate · Assassin's Creed · Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock · Mass Effect
2008
Q1 Super Mario Galaxy · Silent Hill: Origins · Crysis · The Witcher · Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles · Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare · SimCity Societies · Yahtzee Goes to GDC · Uncharted: Drake's Fortune · Devil May Cry 4 · Burnout: Paradise · Turok · Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure
Q2 Army of Two · No More Heroes · Condemned 2: Bloodshot · Super Smash Bros. Brawl · God of War: Chains of Olympus · Mailbag Showdown · Grand Theft Auto IV · Painkiller · The World Ends With You · The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion · Haze · Metal Gear Solid 4
Q3 Webcomics · Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures · Alone in the Dark · Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures · The E3 Trailer Park · Ninja Gaiden II · Prince of Persia Retrospective · Soulcalibur IV · Braid · EVE Online · Too Human · Spore · XBLA Double Bill
Q4 Mercenaries 2: World in Flames · Star Wars: The Force Unleashed · S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky · Silent Hill: Homecoming · Saints Row 2 · Dead Space · Fable II · Fallout 3 · Guitar Hero: World Tour · Mirror's Edge · Left 4 Dead · Sonic Unleashed · The Year in Review - 2008 · Prince of Persia
2009
Q1 Awards for 2008 · Tomb Raider: Underworld · Far Cry 2 · Gears of War 2 · LittleBigPlanet · Thief: The Dark Project · Skate 2 · F.E.A.R. 2 · Spider-Man: Web of Shadows · The House of the Dead: Overkill · 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand · Resident Evil 5
Q2 X-Blades/Halo Wars · Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars · MadWorld · Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X · Siren: Blood Curse · The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena · Valkyria Chronicles · Velvet Assassin · Duke Nukem Forever · Bionic Commando · InFamous · The Second Annual E3 Hype Massacre · Prototype
Q3 The Sims 3 · Ghostbusters: The Video Game · Overlord 2 · Red Faction Guerrilla · Wii Sports Resort · Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood · The Conduit · Silent Hill 2 · 2.5-D Hoedown · Tales of Monkey Island · Wolfenstein · Batman: Arkham Asylum · Beatles Rock Band & Guitar Hero 5 · Darkest of Days
Q4 Scribblenauts · Wet · Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story · Brutal Legend · Washington D.C. · Uncharted 2: Among Thieves · Dragon Age: Origins · Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 · Assassin's Creed 2 · Left 4 Dead 2 & New Super Mario Bros. Wii · Demon's Souls · Holiday 2009 · The Saboteur
2010
Q1 Awards for 2009 · Torchlight · Darksiders · Bayonetta · Dark Void · Borderlands · Mass Effect 2 · Dante's Inferno · BioShock 2 · Aliens vs Predator · Heavy Rain · Battlefield: Bad Company 2 · Final Fantasy XIII
Q2 April Fools 2010 · God of War III · Red Steel 2 · Just Cause 2 · Silent Hill: Shattered Memories · Splinter Cell: Conviction · Nier · Dead to Rights: Retribution · Monster Hunter Tri · Alan Wake · Red Dead Redemption · Alpha Protocol · Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands · E3 2010
Q3 No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle · Super Mario Galaxy 2 · Singularity · Crackdown 2 · DeathSpank & Limbo · Shadow of the Colossus · Split Second: Velocity · Transformers: War for Cybertron · Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days · Mafia II · Metroid: Other M · Video Game Voters Network · Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Q4 Halo: Reach · Dead Rising 2 · Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions · Castlevania: Lords of Shadow · Enslaved: Odyssey to the West · Fallout: New Vegas · Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II · Call of Duty: Black Ops · IPhone Games · Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood · Splatterhouse · Epic Mickey · Holiday 2010
2011 - 2014
2011
Q1 Top 5 of 2010 · World of Warcraft: Cataclysm · Fable III · Minecraft · A Shadow's Tale · Dead Space 2 · DC Universe Online · MindJack · Two Worlds II · Bulletstorm · Killzone 3 · Kirby's Epic Yarn · Dragon Age II
Q2 Pokémon White · Yakuza 4 · Crysis 2 · Nintendo 3DS · Portal 2 · Castlevania: Symphony of the Night · Mortal Kombat · Brink · L.A. Noire · The Witcher 2 · Hunted: The Demon's Forge · Duke Nukem Forever (for real this time) · InFamous 2
Q3 Alice: Madness Returns · Shadows of the Damned · F.E.A.R. 3 · The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D · Call of Juarez: The Cartel · Bastion and From Dust · Catherine · Red Faction: Armageddon · Deus Ex · Deus Ex: Human Revolution · Driver: San Francisco · Dead Island · Resistance 3
Q4 Gears of War 3 · Hard Reset · Rage · Kinect · Batman: Arkham City · Battlefield 3 · Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception · Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 · The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim · Saints Row: The Third · Assassin's Creed: Revelations · The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
2012
Q1 Serious Sam 3: BFE · Top 5 of 2011 · Super Mario 3D Land & Rayman Origins · Sonic Generations · Star Wars: The Old Republic · Amy · Resident Evil: Revelations · Darkness 2 · Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning · NeverDead · Syndicate · Mass Effect 3 · Twisted Metal
Q2 Yakuza: Dead Souls · Ninja Gaiden 3 · Silent Hill: Downpour · Kid Icarus: Uprising · Fez and I Am Alive · Prototype 2 · Risen 2: Dark Waters · Sniper Elite V2 · Diablo 3 · Max Payne 3 · Dragon's Dogma · E3 2012 · Lollipop Chainsaw
Q3 Quantum Conundrum · Spec Ops: The Line · Walking Dead · Inversion · The Amazing Spider-Man · Half-Life · Wreckateer and Deadlight · Steam Roundup · Sleeping Dogs · Darksiders 2 · DayZ · Guild Wars 2
Q4 Borderlands 2 · FIFA 13 · Resident Evil 6 · Dishonored · XCOM: Enemy Unknown · Medal of Honor: Warfighter & Doom 3: BFG Edition · Assassin's Creed 3 · Halo 4 · Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 · Hitman: Absolution · Far Cry 3 · ZombiU
2013
Q1 Top 5 of 2012 · Paper Mario: Sticker Star · Black Knight Sword & Hotline Miami · Anarchy Reigns · DMC: Devil May Cry · The Cave · Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch · Dead Space 3 · Aliens: Colonial Marines · Crysis 3 · Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance · Tomb Raider · SimCity
Q2 The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct · BioShock Infinite · Lego City Undercover · Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon · Injustice: Gods Among Us · Star Trek · Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon · System Shock 2 · Metro: Last Light · Next Gen Buyer's Guide · Fuse · Remember Me · E3 2013
Q3 The Last of Us · Deadpool · Animal Crossing: New Leaf · Ride to Hell: Retribution · Dark · Mario & Luigi: Dream Team · Rise of the Triad · Papers, Please & Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons · Pikmin 3 · The Bureau: XCOM Declassified · Saints Row 4 · Killer is Dead · Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs
Q4 Grand Theft Auto V · Lost Planet 3 · Beyond: Two Souls · The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD · Batman: Arkham Origins · Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag · Call of Duty: Ghosts · Exclusives Showdown · Ryse: Son of Rome · Dead Rising 3 · Super Mario 3D World
2014
Q1 Top 5 of 2013 · Knack · Killzone: Shadow Fall · Survival Special · Broken Age · Might & Magic X: Legacy · The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds · Dark Souls · Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII · Strider · Thief · Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 · Dark Souls II
Q2 Titanfall · InFamous: Second Son · Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes · The Elder Scrolls Online · South Park: The Stick of Truth · FTL: Faster Than Light · Child of Day-Light · The Amazing Spider-Man 2 · Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure · Wolfenstein: The New Order · WATCH DOGS · E3 2014 · Murdered: Soul Suspect
Q3 Tomodachi Life · Enemy Front & Valiant Hearts: The Great War · Shovel Knight · EarthBound · Transistor · E.T. · Firefall · Sacred 3 · Risen 3: Titan Lords · Daikatana · Lichdom: Battlemage · The Sims 4 · Destiny
Q4 D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die · Hyrule Warriors · Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor · Alien Isolation · The Evil Within · Bayonetta 2 · Sunset Overdrive · Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare · Assassin's Creed: Unity · Far Cry 4 · Dragon Age: Inquisition · Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric · Top 5 Games of 2014
2015 - 2017
2015
Q1 The Talos Principle · Elite: Dangerous · Five Nights at Freddy's and This War of Mine · Lords of the Fallen · Saints Row: Gat out of Hell · Dying Light · Grim Fandango · Evolve · The Order: 1886 · The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D · Resident Evil Revelations 2 · Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number & Ori and the Blind Forest
Q2 Battlefield: Hardline · Bloodborne · Half-Life 2 Update · Axiom Verge & Stealth Inc 2 · Mortal Kombat X · Grand Theft Auto Online · Broken Age: Act 2 · Wolfenstein: The Old Blood · Cyberpunk Double · The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt · Splatoon · Hatred · E3 2015
Q3 Alone in the Dark: Illumination · Batman: Arkham Knight · Yoshi's Woolly World · Cave Story · Godzilla · Rocket League & Tembo the Badass Elephant · King's Quest: A Knight to Remember · Nom Nom Galaxy & Freedom Planet · Everybody's Gone To The Rapture · Volume · Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain · Mad Max · Gears of War Ultimate Edition · Until Dawn
Q4 Super Mario Maker · SOMA · Rock Band 4 · Assassin's Creed Syndicate · Halo 5: Guardians · Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 · Rise of the Tomb Raider · Fallout 4 · Star Wars: Battlefront · Just Cause 3 · Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water
2016
Q1 Top 5 Games of 2015 · Devil's Third · Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam · Assassin's Creed Chronicles · Xenoblade Chronicles X · The Witness & Bombshell · Gravity Rush · XCOM 2 · Firewatch & Layers of Fear · Far Cry Primal · Stardew Valley & SUPERHOT · The Division · Salt and Sanctuary
Q2 Republique · Shadow Warrior · Quantum Break · Dark Souls III · Ratchet & Clank · Star Fox Zero · Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door · Uncharted 4: A Thief's End · Doom · Homefront: The Revolution · Overwatch & Battleborn · Mirror's Edge: Catalyst · E3 2016
Q3 Mighty No. 9 · Inside & Shadow of the Beast · The Technomancer · Furi & Song of the Deep · I Am Setsuna · Headlander & Quadrilateral Cowboy · Quake · No Man's Sky · Grow Up · Deus Ex: Mankind Divided · Metroid Prime: Federation Force · The Curious Expedition & Mother Russia Bleeds · ReCore
Q4 Capcom Five · Clustertruck & Lichtspeer · Paper Mario: Color Splash · Mafia III · Gears of War 4 · PlayStation VR · Battlefield 1 · Titanfall 2 vs Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare · Dishonored 2 · WATCH DOGS 2 · Final Fantasy XV · The Last Guardian
2017
Q1 Top 5 Games of 2016 · Let It Die · Dead Rising 4 · Hitman · Gravity Rush 2 · Resident Evil 7 · Yakuza 0 · Nioh · For Honor · Nintendo Switch & Breath of the Wild · Horizon Zero Dawn · Nier Automata · Ghost Recon Wildlands
Q2 Mass Effect Andromeda · Yooka-Laylee · Persona 5 · Remastered Editions · Outlast 2 · Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 · Prey · Wilson's Heart · The Surge · Injustice 2 · Vanquish · E3 2017 · Strafe
Q3 Get Even · Hollow Knight / Dead Cells · Fifth Console Generation · The End is Nigh, and Yonder: Cloud Catcher Chronicles · Pyre · Splatoon 2 · Hellblade · Agents of Mayhem · Sonic Mania · Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

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