This week, Zero Punctuation reviews E3 2015.

Transcript Edit

It's that magical time of year when marketing professionals throughout the games industry load up their shotguns and shoot a massive, bleeding fake smile onto their faces to misrepresent a whole load of wank until we want to buy it and then tell us we can't have it until quarter four next year. Yes, the E3 hype train has pulled into the station another year to unload a few tons of liquid shit onto the platform and then speed off cackling into the night. But as I write this introduction before the first press conference begins, I don't mind admitting to acquired hope that things may be a little different this year. Perhaps they might even announce some things that haven't already been leaked? 

Also VR tech may finally be making its move. The claim that motion controls would enhance immersion, that was always about as believable as the claim that a sledgehammer can enhance a Fabergé egg. But I genuinely believe that VR represents the way forward for immersive gaming, if they can iron out that whole "playing it for more than an hour makes my stomach want to crawl up my throat and file divorce proceedings against my inner ear" problem. But of course Oculus already did its pre-E3 announcement that it was jumping into bed with Microsoft. Yowser, could have broken that more gently, Oculus. You don't come out to your parents in a Christmas card. An Xbox One controller will ship with it like a rich snot buying his way into the popular kids club. And you can stream Xbox One games onto it - there was a video of some playing a third-person game on a screen in a virtual living room, which I'm guessing is their entry for the Piers-Morgan-for-president-total-pointlessness-award.

And also there's going to be a special two-handed controller that incorporates -


- that incorporates motion s-

Oh god no!

- that incorporates motion sensor tech -

NO NO NO, WE WERE SO CLOSE! WE WERE ALMOST FREE! Why must we forever carry our failures around with us like a scrotum full of horseshoes? Oh, you could pick up a virtual gun with your actual hand and fire it, cause that's what I want added to the process of shooting an enemy, isn't it? My noodly wrist groping for something that isn't there, like a castrated wanker. Hey, Captain Scott, how about we make sure we can actually get to the South Pole before we start making plans to erect the Statue of Liberty there?

Bethesda's entire press conference was apparently being run by Captain Obvious. In it we learned that Doom is gory and that Fallout 4, which was already available for preorder to people with some kind of pathological hatred of their own money, is a Fallout game, but if there's been too much action, narrative and exploration in Fallout games for your taste, so you'd rather have spent your time messing around the Sims building editor, then Fallout 4's got you covered. For everyone else, Fallout 4 talks up the illusory Holy Grail of total freedom, but a game where the player can do anything is a game that focuses on nothing. Also there was Dishonored 2, whoops, butterfingers, dropped my honour again. But perhaps it would be quicker to skip prerendered trailers as they tell us nothing except "Hey, this is a thing that may someday exist, and we will literally promise anything if it makes one person in the audience go 'Whooo!'." 

Of course, the line between prerendered and gameplay trailers grew rather thin during the Microsoft show, awkward segue, where Rise of the Tomb Raider, Halo 5 and a new Gears of War joined forces to become the "back to formula gang". You think you've been thinking you've been dragged a linear sequence of set pieces before, but you've never been dragged along a linear sequence of set pieces like this, except you have. In all the other games with the same name as us, but shut up and look at the skyboxes. 

The shocking Microsoft announcement was that backwards compatibility is coming to the Xbox One! Before we can even start undoing our trousers, however, the great big asterisk came like a shuriken to the eye socket. It's just for a limited range of 360 games. It's like pirates kidnapped our wife and now expect a round of applause, 'cause they brought her back after two years and only cut off most of her arms and legs. 

Let's skip ahead a bit to the recipient of Microsoft's wildest fantasy hatefucks, Sony. And nuzzle my hairy crevices if they didn't actually announce The Last Guardian, again. The logical successor to its two predecessors, in that it just looks like ICO, except with a colossus instead of the flaky bitch. Not until next year though, they must be programming this game by carving ones and zeroes into stone tablets. Otherwise, if Microsoft had the back to formula gang, Sony's theme was "get in that nostalgia comfort zone and start digging, bitch." Rest assured, Uncharted 4 looks exactly the same as all the other ones. Here's a remake of Final Fantasy 7 we'll tell you fuck-all about, because you already busted a nut before we reached the fourth syllable of the title, didn't you? And last but not least, Shenmue 3...'s Kickstarter? That's fucking weak! That's about ten levels below a prerendered trailer. Maybe next year you could just have someone come on and go "I'm thrilled to announce that I'm now going to stand here and imagine a game in my head. Give us cash." 

Alright, what else? We knew about Assassin's Creed Syndicate of course, but even if we didn't, it hardly seems worth mentioning. It's like announcing that the tide will continue to go in and out. I don't see much to indicate that Syndicate is adding much to the formula, but we do know that its idea of a 'relatable protagonist' is someone who beats people up until they join his street gang, leads them into a big fight, then fucks off. Maybe he's auditioning for the all-hunky-blokes production of A Clockwork Orange

Later we poked our head around old man Nintendo's door for a bit and I'm thinking the Nintendo's 3DS should be renamed the 'Nintendo Psych'. Hey, we're totally announcing a new Zelda, a new Mario and a new Metroid Prime. Oh, they're all on the 3DS? Psych! (sigh) I say Metroid Prime, there's no sign of Samus Aran and it looks like an N64 threw up on a Star Wars prequel. This is like when your Nan buys you Christmas presents. [high voice] "This is what you wanted, isn't it, dear?" Almost nan, I actually wanted you to jam it between your crusty folds and hammer it home with a wire brush. Star Fox was about as good as it got, and that looked like a Star Wars prequel threw up on an N64. Just a little bit of time left now for some quick fire snarks:

  •   Hitman: Square Enix must be confident in it, because they are doing the reboot-with-the-same-name thing and they won't be able to play that card again for at least nine minutes. 
  •    Mass Effect Andromeda: a.k.a Mass Effect: escape from the corner we wrote ourselves into. Nice picture-postcard landscapes, I look forward to next year's teaser when you think of something to put in them. 
  •    Horizon Zero Dawn: [pause] Nope, I have no earthly clue what that title means, I suspect you came up with it by throwing a set of refrigerator poetry magnets at the side of a speeding car.

Addenda Edit

  • E3 Kings of Orient are: Ben "Yahtzee Croshaw"
  • Feel free to create elaborate dioramas in Fallout 4 expressing your disagreement with this video
  • You can't spell pessimist without piss

Additional mentions Edit

Mirror's Edge Catalyst Edit

+ Open world

+ Still looks clean

- I remain unsold on first person parkour

- So why do we hate the government again

Tom Clancy's The Division Edit

+ Maybe it will distract the survivalist nutters

- Dropping promised features like flakes of dandruff

- Wait isn't Tom Clancy dead

Rock Band 4 Edit

- Not doing the Guitar Hero live streaming thing

- Freestyle solos sound like absolute ass

- I wasn't aware the rhythm game bubble had somehow un-burst

Super Mario Maker Edit

+ It's Mario I guess

- Why are we having to do your job for you, Nintendo

- I mean besides the obvious reasons

Just Cause 3 Edit

+ I just

+ came

+ in my pants

2007 - 2010
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 - 2018
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
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
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 · Destiny 2 · Metroid: Samus Returns
Q4 Knack 2 and SteamWorld Dig 2 · Cuphead · Hob and A Hat in Time · Middle-earth: Shadow of War · The Evil Within 2 · Super Mario Odyssey · Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus · Assassin's Creed Origins · Sonic Forces · Star Wars Battlefront II · Hand of Fate 2 · South Park: The Fractured but Whole
Q1 Top 5 of 2017 · Okami HD · PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds · Fortnite and Dusk · Doki Doki Literature Club! · The Inpatient and Doom VFR · Monster Hunter World · Subnautica · Kingdom Come: Deliverance · Metal Gear Survive · Hot Coffee · Hunt Down The Freeman · Ghost of a Tale
Q2 A Way Out · Far Cry 5 · Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom · Extinction and Attack on Titan 2 · God of War 4 · Yakuza 6: The Song of Life · Silent Hill 4: The Room · Conan Exiles · House Flipper and FAR: Lone Sails · Detroit Become Human · Agony · E3 2018 · Vampyr
Q3 Jurassic World Evolution · Resident Evil 4 · Totally Accurate Battlegrounds and Moonlighter · The Crew 2 · Octopath Traveler · Observer · Chasm and This Is the Police 2 · We Happy Few · Unavowed · Guacamelee! 2 and Not Tonight · Shenmue · Marvel's Spider-Man