E3 2013: Ricard Julianti’s Day One Impressions


E3 has finally arrived, the day we’ve all been waiting for. Microsoft, EA, Ubisoft and Sony all gave press conferences today so I thought I’d share my thoughts on each. Keep in mind that I wrote each segment directly after each conference so the impressions given are my true initial reactions.


Wow…and not in a good way. As promised, Microsoft showed off game after game after game, the only problem was that they didn’t really show anything exciting in my opinion. To me Ryse looked like God of War plus Gears of War; Below seems to be Microsoft’s attempt at Journey; Project Spark was Little Big Planet plus From Dust; and just about everything else was a shooter. The one surprise was the Halo teaser, I honestly did not expect one this year. I enjoy the story and the gameplay is alright, but there are several ways to watch entire playthroughs now so I’ll save myself some money.

Speaking of which, Microsoft revealed the price of the Xbox One. $499/€399/£429 releasing worldwide this November. While a hefty price tag for the US, EU has it much worse. 399 Euros is roughly $528, and 429 British Pounds is a whopping $668. Microsoft is already in deep with the EU market and pricing the Xbox One so high is certainly going to hurt sales even more.

The rumor about the “Historic IP from Rare” turned out to be true and Killer Instinct has returned. Here’s the thing though, KI is being developed by Double Helix who are responsible for major titles such as Battleship, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and the oh-so-popular Silent Hill: Homecoming. Not exactly a stellar track record. I’m not a big fan of 1v1 fighters, so this wasn’t that big of a reveal and was kind of expected after Microsoft renewed the patent on the franchise late last year. One other surprise was seeing The Witcher 3 promoted so heavily considering CDPR’s stance on DRM, a bit hypocritical if you ask me.

Impressions overall: Wholly unimpressed. Nice ideas, high price, and nothing that manages to erase the DRM. Nothing truly exciting or all that innovative. Better than the Xbox One reveal though, where I started to fall asleep during the Call of Duty reveal.


Yes…I watched the EA conference, just to give impressions. Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare was announced, and the tower defense strategy game has been turned into a 3rd person shooter, what else? Oddly enough it was the most interesting game EA showed during their conference. Peggle 2 was also announced after the gameplay demo of PvZ, and the guy seemed to be extremely excited about it, while the audience seemed indifferent altogether. I liked Peggle, but without showing anything more than a couple of rainbows and the number 2, there’s no reason to be excited. EA talked about Titanfall some more and showed a dev dairy where the developers seemed to be really hung up on the word “fun.” It’s a neat concept considering the connected nature of it all, but nothing about it seems inherently fun. Run and gun, now with mechs.

Star Wars Battlefront is making a return, but all that was shown was a pre-rendered teaser that was around 30 seconds long, if that. It uses the Frostbite 3 engine, which means it won’t be on Wii U. Wonder how Disney feels about that one considering the relationship they have with Nintendo. Of course, it is possible that the Wii U will get a gimped version that utilizes Frostbite Go, EA’s mobile version of the Frostbite engine. Need for Speed Rivals was given some PC gameplay, with EA hyping connected experiences. It made me sad to see Aaron Paul on stage here to hype the NFS movie. I greatly enjoy him in Breaking Bad, but he is now in bed with EA *sigh*. The NFS movie will probably be just as innovative and exciting as the game, so…not.

There was a recurring trend at the conference, and that being any game people are really excited about gets a short teaser without gameplay and nothing more. Dragon Age: Inquisition, Star Wars, Mirror’s Edge “Reboot”, Peggle 2 all announced with little to nothing shown. It doesn’t matter if it is “in engine” it can still be a bullshot, there are such things as video editing programs.

EA’s press conference was a demonstration in why it is bad for one company to have a monopoly on sports franchises. It felt like over half of it was dedicated to EA sports and it was insanely boring. Naturally, EA brought out a few celebrities that no one cared about because this isn’t Hollywood, this is the nerdiest event in gaming. I am glad that there were very few cheers for the celebrities other than Aaron Paul, it shows that no one really cares who promotes the game, just show it. Speaking of which, Madden and FIFA both got gameplay. Neither looked anywhere near as good as the target render video from the Xbox One reveal. The Madden trailer only “features” gameplay and it is very easy to tell what is and isn’t actual footage. the difference same for FIFA.

Of course, EA decides to show off their baby, Battlefield 4. They had 64 people on the stage participating in a live multiplayer match. This sounds cooler than it ended up being. Incredibly forced dialogue, rehearsed sequences, one viewpoint from one player. The map was huge, and they brought down a skyscraper which was pretty awesome and what I love most about Battlefield, but it was still the same game I’ve played before. The only “innovation” of note was tablet functionality where the presenter brought in an artillery strike. Tap here to win basically, as “Commander Mode” didn’t seem to have restrictions, probably just a time limit on the artillery.

Finally, there were some really bizarre things going on technically for the conference itself. People forgot to turn off their mics when they went backstage so you were able to hear talking, stage directions, laughter from people somewhere off stage, it was very distracting and very unprofessional. Then during one of the videos, an icon appeared on the screen, giving away pretty much the rest of EA’s conference. Why would they show that they would be showing off Dragon Age: Inquisition? It completely spoils the name, and builds anticipation which leads to disappointment after it was simply a CG trailer…possibly in-engine but maybe not.

Overall Impression: Bleh. I actually walked away during the EA Sports segments to get some food and when I came back they were still on EA Sports. Incredibly boring, worse than Microsoft’s event. They showed off their best game first…who does that?


Easily my most anticipated conference of the day, but it turned out just like the others, mostly boring with a few cool things. It started with an unnecessary concert to announce the new Rocksmith game. Interesting in that you can actually learn to play guitar, uninteresting if you already can or don’t want to. Aisha Tyler was back this year and while she’s hysterical in Archer, having her as a presenter is a little awkward.

I guess the first sign the conference might be a bit of a let down was when Ubisoft started with Rayman Legends. Personally I’m not bitter about the delay, but I’ve experienced enough of the game to not care about announcements for it anymore. Next up was Mighty Quest for Epic Loot, which is a free-to-play PC RPG…meh. I don’t game on PC’s at all so it really doesn’t appeal to me. It is pretty neat that you can invade friends’  worlds in order to steal their loot, just wonder what the microtransactions will be since it’s free to play.They also brought up South Park: The Stick Of Truth, but no gameplay was shown…again.That and without a firm release date it is hard to get excited about it.

When they brought up “Next-Gen Time” and took a major dig at trolls on the internet, it led me to believe that some Wii U announcements were incoming. Boy was I wrong. For all of this support Ubisoft is claiming to be giving to the system, only one of the new games announced was for Wii U, and that was Just Dance. The Crew, Trials Fusion/Frontier, and Tom Clancy’s The Division were all announced, for just about everything except Wii U. The only way I see these games coming to the Wii U is if Nintendo told Ubisoft not to announce it so that they could include it tomorrow or later this week. Not counting on it though.

The theme of E3 this year seems to be connected, persistent worlds. Lines up pretty nicely with Microsoft’s plan don’t you think? The Crew is an open world, open USA, racing MMO that almost looks like it wants to compete with Need for Speed, Forza and Drive Club all at the same time. It honestly looks like it could be fun if you have friends to play with, might get annoying with random people. Trials Fusion is basically every flash game from 2000-2008. The Division is an open world MMORPG, set 3 weeks after a flu pandemic wipes out a large amount of the population. Probably the most refreshing thing is that there aren’t zombies of any kind and it is more about the breakdown in society. IF I end up getting a PS4 sometime, I will most likely play it, looks like it could be fun with friends.

The rest of the show focused on things we know about like Watch Dogs, no new gameplay, and Assassin’s Creed IV, very little gameplay shown. I expect hands on demos of games during the week to cover that kind of stuff. Hopefully we learn more about second screen experiences with Watch Dogs considering all three next-gen consoles feature them one way or another. There was also talk of the Rabbids TV show, which is now interactive if you own an Xbox One. Since I won’t, and don’t have kids who would watch the show, meh.

Overall Impressions: Ugh. While some pretty cool things were shown, nothing really grabbed me. The Crew and The Division were the highlights but if Sony has strict DRM practices and/or a high price, I likely won’t get to play them for a long time if ever. Still the best conference so far though, shame. What is interesting is the tease from Ubisoft just the other day. You don’t tease something like Beyond Good & Evil 2, and just not show it at your press conference….


This one’s a doozy.

Not gonna lie here, Sony’s press conferences always come off as a bit pretentious. They start with all sorts of hit music, and with claims of the Vita having rich gameplay experiences that make it the best place to play outside of the home. Sales say otherwise, but that’s all I’m going to say on that subject.

Honestly I’m a little surprised at Last of Us making an appearance considering it comes out in 4 days. Rain and The Puppeteer are actually creative games, imagine that. First ones we’ve seen all day. Batman, Beyond, Gran Turismo 6 and GTA V (with an exclusive bundle, and new headset) are all out this year. These still might negatively affect PS4 sales in the beginning, but considering…other developments, it should do just fine. Thankfully, they didn’t spend much time on PS3. What was odd however, was the virtual lack of Vita support they were giving. They mentioned some games and talked about remote play, but that was basically it. How can it be “the best place to play outside of the home” if you don’t bother marketing and announcing major titles for it?

Sony finally revealed the PS4 hardware and it kind of looks like a PS2 and the Xbox One combined. Semi-boxy, but with a much better aesthetic than the Xbox One. Almost like an old VCR vs. an old DVD player. I kind of missed the days of shots being fired at other companies, and Sony definitely delivered early by announcing 20 exclusive games in the first year with 12 of them being new IP’s as opposed to MS’s 15/8 ratio. There’s definitely more, but I’ll talk about that after the games.

The Order: 1886 was announced, seems to be some sort of Van Helsing type game where you play as a werewolf hunter. There may be vampires and harpies and the like, which would be awesome, but we weren’t shown any more than a trailer sadly. Knack, KZ: ShadowFall, Infamous, Drive Club were all shown with gameplay…but not much. We’re supposed to go to a website for more footage, but I’m lazy and don’t care about those games enough. All but Infamous are launch titles so you would think they would give them blowouts at the conference. One thing that really bugs me about Killzone is that they show off these amazing vistas and large open areas, and then funnel you into corridors.

Sony went out of their way to give credit to Indie developers which was nice. Hopefully Nintendo does the same as they have been giving Indies just about the same amount of attention as Sony has. The two companies even took chummy pot shots at Microsoft earlier this year at a Full Indie Summit in Vancouver. Supergiant Games, creators of Bastion, showed off their new very artistic game Transistor which is coming first to the PS4 and if Bastion is anything to go by this should be pretty good. Sony also showed off around 4 different Indie titles which are nice, but at the moment, none of them seemed to grab my interest, perhaps when I see more of them.

The digs at Microsoft continued by Sony saying that “Our media services are relevant and meaningful.” Sony knows about people switching away from cable TV entirely, so making it a key feature is a bit silly. I honestly like Nintendo’s approach by allowing the Gamepad to control the TV itself, but that’s just me. PS4 seems to be more of a media hub than the Xbox One…without even trying. Offering some of the same experiences, without shoving it down your throat. They did drag on during this part a bit, even talking about Video Unlimited and Music Unlimited which are two services I barely knew existed as it is.

Microsoft said it was bringing excellent games, but Sony actually did. There was a presentation from Square Enix where they announced that Final Fantasy Versus XIII has been rebranded as FFXV. The gameplay trailer shown looked excellent, but I refuse to get hyped about this until more is known. It still doesn’t have any sort of release date, and it is by the same company that is giving us Final Fantasy XIII three times over. The game has also been in development since 2006, which rarely ends in a game’s favor so we’ll see. SE also announced Kingdom Hearts 3, but it was never mentioned if the game was exclusive to PS4 or not which seems a little odd to me. Other than handhelds, Kingdom Hearts has been exclusively Sony and you would think they would have yelled that from the rooftops if it were the case. Again, we’ll see. ACIV and Watch Dogs were shown, which were nice but expected.

It makes me happy that the PS4 will not have ANY sort of DRM unless someone like EA decides to implement an online pass scheme. That paired with the lower price compared to the Xbox One and the grim future I was expecting seems completely squished. Sony re-confirmed that it doesn’t require online while taking massive shots at Microsoft, fun times aside from the extremely unprofessional chanting that went on. One downside seems to be that Sony’s online portion may require PS+ in order to be accessed, much like XBL. It could have been a slip of the tongue and we’ll find out in the next couple days, but it’s a major bummer if it’s true. Destiny looks pretty sweet for what it is, but I’ll wait to see about a Wii U version before I do anything drastic. Also, playing solo might not be the best idea in that one.

Overall Impressions: Sony won the day, hands down. The conference was a bit of a snooze-fest up until Sony dropped the bomb about DRM to be honest. The games were neat, some were creative, many were shooters. A LOT of fluff during the conference and honestly, I am wondering how much money Sony has been spending getting exclusives and exclusive content. With the gaming climate the way it is, developers don’t do that stuff out of the goodness of their heart.

Short Wrap Up

What started as an absolutely boring E3 with very little interesting content, was turned mostly around by Sony at the last-minute. Conference grading breakdown; Microsoft D+ to C-, Passable. Electronic Arts D-, Passed but barely. Ubisoft C+, Good not great. Sony B- to B, Good not great but completed the extra credit homework.

Tomorrow is Nintendo’s turn, bright and early. Mario, Mario Kart, Smash Bros, Wind Waker HD will all be shown and honestly, that’d be enough for me. E3’s only part way done folks, get your bodies ready.

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Author: RicardJulianti (11 Posts)

20 Responses to E3 2013: Ricard Julianti’s Day One Impressions

  1. Katlyn says:

    Hi.Howdy to Everybody. I'm certainly definitely delighted I ran across your site. I am wanting to get up to date. I got noted this for future reference and desire to participate in future chats. Many thanks.

  2. Rpx says:

    Nice Recap Article, Ricard.

  3. donzaloog says:

    I'm not giving Sony props for not having DRM and allowing used games, because every sane company (Nintendo) already said no to those horrible policies. Sony gets credit for regrowing a brain and publicly shitting on Microsoft.

    • Bismarck says:

      Agreed. If anything people are getting a worse deal from Sony now and yet people are excited because they are competing with the Great Satan of video game companies. The morons in the audience who started a Sony chant especially ticked me off. People wonder how a company could have such hubris and arrogance to think they can get away with insane DRM policies - idiots chanting your name is a good impetus as far as I'm concerned.

      All-in-all, I'm none too impressed with Sony's conference. After an inane amount of self-aggrandizing, Sony showed off little to get excited for. The Order looks like a really cool design concept shackled to an incredibly dull and overplayed genre. The PS4 will launch with Killzone, which doesn't impress, DriveClub, which will likely be bested by three other racing games within the quarter, and Knack, which seems moderately interesting but in no way is a must-have so far. They pat themselves on the back with the VITA and say it's a wonderful platform before essentially telling indies to carry it themselves. The indie presence itself is little to be excited for because indies will be everywhere next gen. Unless there is some massive structural change of the PSN, indies will in all likelihood be in much, much greater abundance on the PC and for far cheaper with bundles. Square Enix came out and hyped up their own E3 coverage with FF15, which I am very concerned about given the long dev cycle, and KH3, which won't be coming out for years, though it is good to hear is in development. No real mention of any exclusivity, which would have been key.

      With the lack of insane policies, as far as we're concerned, and the better price-point, the PS4 should have no difficulty in crushing the XBOX ONE to pieces. I just have a hard time thinking that this is a victory for gamers, as the mandatory Plus puts Sony one step further down the road of disagreeable practices. Sure it's a much better deal than Gold was, but that does nothing to take the bad taste from my mouth that paying just to have the privilege of playing online is now becoming the standard. People who think that this battle against used games and consumer rights is over are fooling themselves. Publishers will keep pushing and Sony seems very content to give them an inch now as long as they look better than the next guy. I personally hope that we see a strong new contender in the console business soon, one that stands against this nonsense and is willing to give Sony a rude awakening.

      P.S. The slimy Sony executives and their smiles on stage when they boasted of not totally screwing over the customer with bad policy made me sick to my stomach.

      P.P.S. Nintendo is going to kill it. Get hyped.

      • Aiddon says:

        yeah, that is the thing, the presser was at best average. KH3 and FFXV were big news, but new those titles were going to come eventually ANYWAY. Stuff the Order, Puppeteer, etc looked NEAT, but not spectacular. If MS hadn't set the bar so low no one would be praising the Sony presser to high heaven. Looking at it objectively, Sony would get a C+ or B- at BEST

    • chrisjac123 says:

      Me neither. I don't think Sony deserve pros for anything. If they have to announce this on the e3 stage was because they consider to implement. This is console gaming and the liberty of used games and offline game have to be a given.

    • timg57867 says:

      I hear that! No one even mentioned Nintendo not putting used game DRM in their console until the Xbox 1 was announced. Sony deserves props for using their heads, not for standing up for what's right because Nintendo never even approved the technology in the first place.

      Anyway, definitely agree Ricard. EA and Ubisoft were lame, Microsoft was a failure, and Sony did okay (they should really thank Square Enix). I'd give Sony a B-, Microsoft a F+, Ubisoft a C, and EA a D+.

    • RicardJulianti says:

      Mostly I was relieved. I was seriously worried that Sony would have DRM out the ass, people wouldn't stay true to their "boycott", would buy those two en masse since they both had it, we things would get worse.

      Definitely agree that they shouldn't have to announce that kind of thing, but I'm glad they did. It was a win for the industry. Microsoft can rot in hell right next to EA.

  4. koopzilla says:

    I was very disappointed in day one of E3. Microsoft as expected sucked, EA as expected sucked. Ubisoft was a pretty big letdown, I expected something good from them, and got nothing. Sony, while they didn't show any games that excited me was by far the best. Sorry, I just can't get excited about Final Fantasy like I used to, it will be a miracle if it's even decent as far as I'm concerned. Kingdom Hearts is decent, but I never played 2 so I'm not too excited for that. Where they really shined was in announcing they aren't doing all the stuff Microsoft is pulling (DRM, blocking used games, etc.), and the price. Sur[risingly the only game all day that interested me in the least was the Panzer Dragoon game for X-Bone, but I will never play it because it's on X-Bone.

    Nintendo better bring it tomorrow. They should have no problem blowing away everything else games wise.

  5. Ogya says:

    Long articles are fine especially with soo much to cover. A nice wrap up of the days events Ricard. I was disappointed with Ubisoft when they started talking about next gen but didn't mention the Wii U but I will reserve my judgement after the direct.

    How can I concentrate at work this afternoon when the direct is on?

  6. *NormalGamer* says:

    Nintendo is the last to step up to the plate, tomorrow. For me, I’m gonna be ‘cautiously’ optimistic once their ND is underway.

    This presentation tomorrow will either make or break Nintendo, so we have to be prepared for anything. ^_^

  7. Titan64 says:

    I am still thinking that KH3 is coming to the Wii U because it just seems odd that they didn't announce exclusivity for the PS4. It just seems odd to me. Not to mention the big player here, Disney and their rights to the game.
    Overall, Day one was just awful. Even though Sony did good, I don't think it was enough to say E3 2013 Day one was okay.

  8. RicardJulianti says:

    Such a long article. Probably could have split it into 2 parts. Oh well….E3 Hype!

    • Furious Francis says:

      Your good! People like your long articles.

      • RicardJulianti says:

        I don't even realize how lengthy they get until I see them all in one page like this, haha. I'll most likely split up my "Who won last gen?" article into 3 or 4 parts. That one stands to be extremely long since each company will be covered extensively.

        It's time for sleep though. Have to get up early for the Iwatabombs.

        • Furious Francis says:


          • rickmodus says:

            realy nice article, i didnt mind it was that long since i didnt notoced it was. almost everything you say i agree with. sony did drop the drm bomb on microsoft, which was certainly a shock for xbone fanboys. and the used game mention was under the belt, but i loved it. great article hope to read more soon. but first…….nintendo direct. this is gonna be awesome.

    • Maestro says:

      I could also make my impression even longer than that, but I will be unfair to the sports game

    • Hardensoul72 says:

      Could that tweet from Square last week about not going away from Nintendo Direct be kingdom Hearts 3……would be nice since it's not mention as exclusive for PS4….

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