Hangout: E3 Day Zero Coverage

By Shamus Posted Monday Jun 15, 2015

Filed under: Industry Events 46 comments

Electronic Arts is doing their press conference today at 1PM Pacific Time. After that will be Ubisoft, and then some other stuff.

We will be streaming the events and talking over them, giving our thoughts as things are revealed. Both the feed and the chat are embedded below. If those don’t work, then you can go here to see it on Twitch: We’ll probably start streaming about ten minutes before the event begins.

Watch live video from SpoilerWarningShow on

Also! If any of our normal friends showed up in the voice server: Josh and I were in a private channel because we don’t want too many voices in this and we don’t want too much cross-chatter clutter, or people hopping in and out. This does not mean you’re unwelcome to our normal hangouts. Sorry if you feel excluded. I really hope we don’t hurt anyone’s feelings. Next time we have a “Josh plays a game and we watch” type hangout you’re totally welcome and we’re happy to see you. It’s just that in a press conference we want to leave lots of room so the audience can hear the presenters. Thanks!

Off-the cuff commentary:

The Electronic Arts show started very weak. Then they talked a lot about EA Sports titles. It’s totally reasonable and I’m not suggesting they shouldn’t have, but it kind of left us non-sports fans without much to get excited about. And then DIED right at the end of the EA show, when we finally get to the end of a 70-minute deathmarch of EA Sports and not-ready-for-alpha AAA titles trying to pretend to be indies in the most insincere, shallow way possible. The moment Star Wars Battlefront came up, the whole site died and brought our show to an end. Not happy.

The Ubisoft show started out amazingly well. For Honor is a new kind of PvP sword-based gameplay. It’s sort of like Chivalry meets… a MOBA? I guess? Really interesting. The Division looks like someone trying to build a co-op game for annonymous griefing assholes. The presentation was transparently staged, the tension was fake, and the conclusion sort of drove home what a terrible idea the game is. Rainbow Six looked interesting, like Counter Strike mixed with Payday. It’s not my thing, but I enjoyed the presentation and the gameplay felt like a genuine reflection of what the final product would be like. Then it ended with a yawn: More stupid Assassin’s Creed: Europe and some Ghost Recon that had a Far Cry vibe.

And of course the whole thing had the coating of sadness as I realized that anything good will be pointlessly tied to UPlay on the PC. What a stupid, stupid waste.

The big news at the Playstation event was Horizon, an out-of-nowhere post-apocalyptic open-world game where you’re a stone-age hunter fighting robot dinos. It looks gorgeous, it sounds crazy, and it feels totally new.

Thanks for stopping by everyone!


From The Archives:

46 thoughts on “Hangout: E3 Day Zero Coverage

  1. Bloodsquirrel says:

    So… while this is waiting to happen…

    Been reading about some of the stuff coming out of the MS Press Conference.

    -Backwards compatibility. I’d love to know how they’re making that work, given how it wasn’t considered important when they were designing the console. If it does, hen that’s awesome.

    -Mods. Free mods, even.

    -Not hearing anything about the Kinect. I wonder if they’re giving up on it. On the one hand, I still think it’s an interesting technology that could have potential if it was used creatively. On the other hand, MS dropped the ball big time by setting the tone with Kinect Adventures and going the minigame collection/glorified tech demo route instead of using Rare to push a more ambitious project. Nobody else except MS really has a motive to push the technology, so if MS wasn’t going to do it then it wasn’t going to happen. And now it might be too late to make anyone care.

    Man, has there ever been a change in direction following Don Mattrick’s totally-wasn’t-fired-but-yeah-he’s-gone-following-a-disastrous-console-announcement. That guy really was awful at his job.

    1. Fulbert says:

      Regarding backwards compatibility, they showed some footage of Mass Effect being played on Xone. The framerate was noticably low. Like, below 20 FPS. So it’s either my stream was lagging (though I heard other people noticed that, too) or the backwards compatibility is basically a built-in emulator. Which is a bit disappointing but stil waay better than what Sony offers.

      1. Eruanno says:

        Well… I mean, Mass Effect on the Xbox 360 was never really that good performance-wise either. So I guess it’s staying true to the orginal?

      2. boota says:

        could it be recompiled executables that utilize the data on the disk?

        1. Supahewok says:

          I’ve got a friend interning at Microsoft in the Xbox division. He isn’t working on the backwards compatibility project, but he hears some of what goes on. All that happens with the disc is that the console reads the name. All he was able to tell me was “Just that they have to do it with the hardware they have, so it’s all crazy conversions at runtime. It’s freaking incredible.”

    2. RTBones says:

      Have read a few snippets on the backwards compatability thing – essentially, it isnt. What you do is put your 360 disk into the XBone to verify ownership, then the XBone downloads a version of the game that works with it. Not all 360 titles will work (at this point anyway.) A bit misleading on Microsoft’s part, but at least they are trying to let you play games you have already paid for.

  2. Greg says:

    The English did come up with the term “soccer”. It is short for “Association Football”. I’m not quite sure when they stopped using the term, but most English people whom I’ve met are not aware that it was their idea.

    1. That

      That makes so much sense. My god.

    2. Phill says:

      It was still reasonably common in the 1970’s when I was a kid, so it is a fairly recent disappearance. But nowadays most kids at least thing of it as some weird new American term for football, since football means NFL in the US so they needed a new word for ‘real’ football. But a lot of them don’t know that the game is properly called association football (as distinct from rugby football, gaelic football, Australian rules football or other variants).

      Quite a few football clubs in the UK are still AFC, where AFC = Association Football Club.

      Curiously, a lot of what Brits decry as ‘Americanisms’ (with all the implications of mangling the language in strange new ways) turn out to have been standard English a century or two back, and that change in the UK whilst remaining unchanged in the US.

      1. Syal says:

        So we are the better talk guys! I knew it!

  3. Thomas says:

    EA was pretty underwhelming. I’ve realised I’m not interested in Star Wars Battlefront, I’m interested in playing Star Wars Battlefront 2. Playing Hoth yet again no longer has attraction for me, but playing some of the battlefields of the upcoming film does.

    Unravel looked amazing though

  4. Paul Spooner says:

    “E3 Day : Zero Coverage”
    Exactly what it says on the tin.

    1. AileTheAlien says:

      E3: Day Zero sounds like the code-name of a zombie-virus outbreak. :P

      Noticed you added some new checkmarks. :)
      While you’re changing this up, I think I have a bug report for you:
      I noticed that when you click the reply button, the box pops up scrolled down to the actual ‘comment’ box/section, so you have to scroll back up to fill in your name and email. Minor for people who use the site regularly, but a new visitor might be a bit confused when they hit submit, and get an error about not filling in some fields. :)

      1. Cilvre says:

        i tested this just now and found that it doesn’t do that for me…

        1. AileTheAlien says:

          What browser you using?
          On the latest Chrome it’s scrolled down to the “Comment\n Thanks for joining the discussion.”, and on the latest Firefox, it scrolls down to the “Comments are moderated” which is almost (but not quite) the top of the box. Running these browsers from OSX, latest.

          1. Cilvre says:

            i tested on win 7 and osx with chrome latest version and it scrolls down to “Comments are moderated” section. Same with safari on osx.

  5. ThatStupidGeek says:

    For anyone who thinks that any of the E3 press conferences this year were bad, may I remind you of the 2010 Konami E3 conference? Have the highlights.

    And thanks guys for doing commentary, its been tons of fun.

    1. bloodsquirrel says:

      Sony’s PS3 announcement year at E3 still holds the gold standard for bad confrences.

      Giant enemy crab

      1. Cybron says:

        Agreed, I don’t think anything will ever surpass it. Just a torrent of poor decisions.

  6. Incunabulum says:

    I missed this but did Ubisoft talk about their great new DRM idea where they require you to register your facial biometrics (you can even register *3* people on a single account – but not simultaneously) and you need an active internet connected camera on the player’s face the whole time you’re playing or the game quits and uninstalls itself and calls the cops?

    1. Supahewok says:


      They did have a random hip hop singer come out and perform for the Just Dance 2 part of the conference. So you know, same difference.

  7. So, a short time after the Ubisoft stream ended there was an interview about Mirror’s Edge 2 on YouTube’s show.

    According to the developer they were interviewing: They’ve put a lot of work into adding more combat into the game, and there are going to be third-person finishing moves.

    So. Yay. -.-

    1. Torsten says:

      Was there any mention if it was hand-to-hand combat or gun combat? Not that the game really needs either. And finishing moves? Apparently the new game then has us kill the enemies rather than crippling them. That is a change of mood to the worse.

      1. Kentauroi says:

        You were still able to kill people in the original Mirrors Edge. You just needed to disarm a guard first, then you could take his gun and mow down the enemies.

        Really the combat in the original ME was terrible in general though, I’d much rather they double down on the parkour aspect.

  8. phantomrenegade says:

    I wouldn’t mind Josh and Shamus filling time between conferences.

  9. Thomas says:

    Well Sony didn’t lose. There was noway they could compete with the mods and backwards compatibility on the Xbox and they were always going to have to rely on indie titles and rubbish content exclusivity – which they mostly did.

    But Horizon: Zero Dawn looks awesome, I can’t believe Media Molecule are still saying that Dreams isn’t complete bollocks, the indie titles all look great and Sony seemed to have announced pretty much every game that people have been waiting on forever.

    EDIT: Shemue 3 has already raised over $500,000

  10. Cybron says:

    I got my twitch chat comments read out multiple times. I am awash with fanboyish glee.

    As for games, Horizon had really interesting designs and I’m curious to see what they do with that. For Glory might be interesting but I want to hear about how it plays before I get too excited. I was already excited for street fighter v and this didn’t really add anything since the characters were already leaked.

    I refuse to get excited for Fallout 4 because Bethseda is full of broken dreams. No Man’s Sky seems to finally have fallen off my hype radar since they just aren’t show anything new. Last Guardian looks like the new Duke Nukem Forever. Xbone conference in general didn’t really have anything to offer me.

    Want to see what Nintendo has on offer tomorrow.

  11. The Rocketeer says:

    The conferences, they were too much…

    There’s nothing left of me, bury me… somewhere sunny…

  12. Charnel Mouse says:

    I briefly mentioned this on the stream, but every time I see anything about No Man’s Sky I get reminded of a freeware game mentioned on Home of the Underdogs, called Noctis.

    Has anyone played this? It would be interesting to see how much the two games have in common. Gulf in the graphics department aside, of course.

  13. Chris says:

    Horizon looks awesome. It also looks like it would be fantastic to explain to people who haven’t seen the trailer. “You play a post-apocalyptic Merida (from the Disney movie “Brave”) and you have to use a bow to fight the Dinobots (but not quite Michael Bay’s versions since they actually look cool).” This game could actually convince me to get a console..

    Dream would have been interesting, if you weren’t using a controller. I can’t wrap my head around how that could work without causing rage-meltdown issues.

    Final Fantasy 7 Remake? ..I do not know what to think about this..

    Uncharted is a very very pretty game, and it makes me sad that instead of exploring an exotic locale, it devolves to shoot-fest and car-chase. Wouldn’t it be nice if that much artistry could be put into a game where guns didn’t make an appearance. (Hell, imagine if it was a “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego” game? Wacky thought..)

    I wish I could get excited about Star Wars, but after the prequels and given my dislike for J.J.Abrams, I am tragically overwhelmed by apathy. Nothing related to Star Wars can help me now..

    The Scarecrow-Batman game (or was it dlc or something?) looked intense. I’d be very intrigued if you were playing a random cop instead of Batman, but that’s really unlikely..

    Regarding the Hitman game, the real question isn’t why 47 looks different, its why hasn’t the guy had tons of plastic surgery given his line of work?

    1. Thomas says:

      I’m hoping Horizon is “Monster Hunter with Robots”

      EDIT: Also the Uncharted games normally have exploring/walk-about sections so I’m really hoping they just chose that moment for better demo coverage :( I always liked those moments a lot more than the shooting

      In terms of Dreams, PS4 controllers have motion controls which seems to be what they’re using here. The motion controls are actually good enough that I now prefer to use them to type letters on a keyboard than using the analogue stick. Part of me still believes Dreams is rubbish though. They showed it last year and no-one believed them, and now they’ve shown the same thing again this year

    2. Henson says:

      I once played an Uncharted game in a Target store. It did not take long to discover it was not a game for me. Very scripted and hand-holdy. Constantly taking away camera control to show me something “awesome”.Bleh.

    3. Syal says:

      I’d much rather get a remake of Final Fantasy 8; that game had enormous scope in its ideas and themes and it would be wonderful to get a version where they actually tied that scope to the plot in a way that made sense. It can be done. It SHOULD be done.

      1. Henson says:

        Honestly, I…kinda agree. FF8 is one big mess, with problems all over the place, but it’s also one of the most original FF games in the series. A remake would do it real good, provided that the developers were not reluctant to tinker with the systems, and the plot, and the dialogue…and a lot of other things…

        1. Syal says:

          You heard it here, Squeenix! Remake Final Fantasy 8! Turn that glorious trainwreck into a glorious TRAIN!

          Take us away! Far away!


          1. Henson says:

            This is perfect.

  14. Galad says:

    This game with the flaming unicorn, which one was it?

    1. Thomas says:

      Trials Fusion Remix or bonus levels or something.

  15. Demo says:

    Regarding Trackmania, as far as I’m aware the only DRM is the need to log in to a Maniaplanet account on first launch and to play online. Assuming the servers still exist, Nations is free, although you need to sit out every few races.

    I’d be curious to know how Shamus got on with it were he to play it, although I suspect his general disdain for DiAS gameplay may well shine through.

  16. Peter H. Coffin says:

    I caught part of the SW Battlefront demo on the Geek’s phone while she was watching and it looks… fluid, logistically complicated, and complete. By far the most appealing shootery thing to me I’ve seen this year. Might even scratch Mumble’s TF2 yearning a little bit.

    EA Sports is really hard to spin up any enthusiasm for simply because, well, all their offerings are well past their 20th incarnation and they’re reaching the point of desperately grabbing onto any way to be able to say SOMETHING IS NEW beyond “Oh look, new rosters for what you played last year” and try to justify charging the full $80 for this year’s title. I keep waiting for them to do something with a subscription or bulk pack of their five remaining titles for the myriad people that just buy one or two per year and get them to spend at least a little bit more on all five. (Because does ANYONE have interest in NFL, FIFA *and* PGA, enough to pay full price? Doubt it. Their audiences probably aren’t even in the same country.)

  17. Lalaland says:

    THE LAST GUARDIAN IS REAL OMFGjlkjlkjpopoip[io[!!!””E£”E”E!¬”¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬
    Me last night ca. 0300 GMT

    Totally worth feeling like the reanimated dead today I swear. I just loved the look of it, the delightful little animated touches, the expressive responses from Trico (CatBird Griffon thing, I think) to fear and obstacles. Of course it could all be heaily scripted but Ueda’s two prior games both emphasised intelligent AI (Yorda, the horse in SotC) so I’m confident that they can pull this off. My own pet theory for the delay is that the PS3 either lacked the CPU grunt or the RAM for the kind of AI behaviours Ueda wanted (or both).

    No Man’s Sky still hype, the combat and exploration stuff is largely the same as they described in prior showings and interviews so I’m satisfied. Honestly this is looking likely to be my Minecraft/EVE/MMO in that it could be described in very mechanical terms, i.e. ‘Go to X, hammer Y, wash, rinse, repeat for 200 hours’, but that misses the soul of the experience which for me will be ‘I wonder what RNG made here’

    The Yarn game in the EA conference looked interesting but everything else was meh, very wary of the direction ME is headed in (‘Oh look a new planet full of new and interesting locales and people, PC walks away, cocks gun’) and until I hear whether Battlefront has dumped the unbearably tedious unlock model from BF4 I’ll be awaiting a bargain bin for that one it seems.

    Ubisoft gonna Ubi, GRAW Cry looks interesting but we’ve 3+ years to see if that becomes anything, Rainbow 6 maybe but the challenge with any ‘Assault X’ scenario game are in the level design and I can’t know that until it’s been played to death (this is why most CS servers ran like 4 maps because the rest had ‘degenerate strategies’).

    MS had a very good conference which got kind of rolled by Sony promising everybody that pony Santa didn’t bring them when they were 5. Shame really as even as a PS4 owner I can recognise there’s more new titles that side of the fence for this Christmas.

    I am dying to know how MS pulled off PPC emulation on the Jaguar I had honestly thought that impossible and that the b/c is actually an x86 build download but MS have clarified that the d/l is an emulated VM running a modified 360 O/S. Be interesting to see if this is comprehensive or if it winds up like the OG Xbox emulation on 360 where it’s a partial list of titles with uneven results.

    1. Thomas says:

      I kind of feel sorry for Microsoft too. They really do deserve a big win with the strength they’re putting into this year an making BC a thing.

      My biggest worry about Mass Effect based on just the trailer alone, is that it’s going to swing much more towards the Dragon Age: Inquisition open-world route. That planet shot kind of looked like it and so does all the emphasis on the Mako. I want lots of city hubs and NPCs I can talk to and factions to get to know. Mass Effect isn’t my “explore a vast planet” franchise.

    2. Thomas says:

      Looks like you’re right about them just not being able to get the AI to run on a PS3

      1. Lalaland says:

        I hope this game gets a nice detailed breakdown of why though, was it the AI routines, the fur shaders, wide open vistas or all of the above? We don’t often get nice detailed post mortems any more and they can be so enlightening, even Gamasutra has’t had a new one in a year now (

        Completely agree about with your fears about ME, DA:I became a chore in the latter half of the game as I realised that most of these side activities I was so assiduously completing were in service of a game mechanic that had been completely gutted (the region battles). If ME can reintegrate that system in some form then maybe things get interesting again but yeah another game of 30% quests and 70% kill/gather X nonsense is not lighting any fires in me right now.

  18. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Josh has a garden,eh?For “herbs”,eh?Now we know why he is constantly inebriated.

  19. Daemian Lucifer says:

    If anyone is honestly opposed to a female team in any sportsball video game,they are just misogynistic.If they are additionally saying “because of realism” they are being idiotic as well.

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