The E3 2017 press conferences have been and gone. Overall it feels like a solid yet safe year for games on all platforms – while there were a few surprises, no-one really shocked the global audiences with bold, daring software or calamitous, cringe-worthy presentations. If we had to put a score on this year’s E3 show it’d be 7/10. Good, but not something you’ll be playing in six months unless you find it in the bargain bin. That said, there are some obvious winners and losers of E3 2017 so far – the stuff that either stood out or underwhelmed. Also, this isn’t necessarily us declaring specific games and publishers as ‘winners’, it’s more about us celebrating the stuff that made us whoop and cringe during the past few days. Check back tomorrow for more impressions as the show unfolds. Now, as is tradition, let’s start with the winners…

THE WINNERS OF E3 2017 (so far)…

Ubisoft, generally

A few short lines after telling you that we wouldn’t be declaring a press conference winner in this feature, we can confidently and hypocritically say Ubisoft won E3. Why? The most obvious reasons are the games: Assassin’s Creed Origins is a superb reboot for the franchise, Beyond Good & Evil 2 is the sequel we’ve waited so long to enthuse over, Far Cry 5 has a dog, and Mario + Rabbids is a fresh and funny take on two beloved franchises. More than that, Yves Guillemot, who assumed comparing duties this year instead of show regular Aisha Tyler, was an earnest and enthusiastic host, which really struck a chord with the viewers and perfectly reflected the tone of Ubisoft’s line-up of games. The point when Nintendo legend Shigeru Mityamoto appeared on stage to share a moment of genuine passion for games with Guillemot was a genuinely heart-warming one, bested only by the sight of Michel Ancel coming close to tears when he finally unveiled his passion project, Beyond Good & Evil 2, at the climax. Whether you agree that Ubisoft was the arbitrary ‘winner’ of E3 2017 or not, we can all safely say that these moments of collaborative, shared joy are perfect examples of the force for good, inclusion, and commonality that games should always strive to be.

Everyone in Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus

It’s not often that everyone – literally every character – in an eight minute gameplay trailer can be described as ‘winning’. And yet, in the Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus footage all the major characters stand out in an overwhelmingly positive way. There are lovely moments on each side of the conflict, even though Wolfenstein’s master-race is comically vile. Even milkshake guy, the cheery Nazi who is clearly about to get his face caved in by a fire-extinguisher (wielded by hero, BJ Blazkowicz) manages to captivate the viewer in his own creepy way. Blazkowicz, the resistance fighters, even mech-hound Leisel… they all have neat little moments that show off exactly how much fun you’re going to have in game. The only exception here, actually, is legions of Nazis who all die rather horribly at the hand of our pal, BJ. Sorry guys. Especially to you, the one who gets the axe in the back. Ouch.

Far Cry 5’s dog

Who’s a good boy? Boomer, to be specific, is a very good boy indeed. Not only is he more than happy to enthusiastically lick your character’s face off in Far Cry 5, but the loyal mutt can attack Montana’s religious cultists on command, take on grizzly bears without flinching, and even play fetch with a semi-automatic machine gun – extremely handy if you’re looking for something to defend yourself with in the heat of a firefight. Far Cry 5’s stage demo at Ubisoft’s E3 press conference was full of new details and edge-of-your-seat action, but it was Boomer who captured everyone’s hearts and minds that day, and rightly so. There’s a good chance this four-legged bundle of fur could steal the show altogether when Far Cry 5 finally hits stores next February. 

Knox, the foul-mouthed monkey in Beyond Good & Evil 2

Knox, the boisterous chimp who shows up in Beyond Good & Evil 2’s cinematic reveal trailer hails, as far as we can tell, from a small neighbourhood in Croydon, South London. At least that’s what his incredible accent suggests, the sound of which was almost as splendid to the ear drums as his creative use of expletives and all other manner of curse words from the English dictionary. If you needed any proof that Beyond Good & Evil had grown up, look no further than the opening conversation between Knox and Pey’j – the crime lord pig with a taste for dumplings – where the F bomb is dropped more frequently than an off-script Aisha Tyler gaff at a Ubisoft presser. Monkey dominates the spotlight for the entire trailer of BG&E2, and not a single word in the sentient ape’s obscenity-filled vocabulary is wasted.

Mario’s ghost hat

Mario’s ghost hat won E3. How could it not? Mario’s ghost hat can control dinosaurs and bring cars to life. Mario’s ghost hat could, if it chose to, compel you to do feral and heinous things without your consent. And you would remember them. Mario’s ghost hat makes you watch, helplessly, mouthing hollow screams, while a stranger makes snug dungarees out of your psyche and throws your body about like a smashed pancake. For some reason they didn’t cover any of this in the Nintendo Treehouse – perhaps they were worried the hat was watching – but the demo of Super Mario Odyssey looked wonderful nonetheless. It has the same relentless tumble of intuitive ideas that defined Mario’s move to the 3D, and it’s different enough to feel fresh from previous games. Best of all, it’s hard to imagine all the weird, wonderful stuff the game will let you do – a refreshing feeling in this world of brutal melee takedowns and no-scope headshots. Or maybe that’s just the ghost hat talking. Fun fact: this terrible parasite is only called ‘Cappy’ because its true name in unpronounceable in the human tongue. 

90s cover bands

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