The Biggest Loser from E3 2021 Is...
By Jack O'Dwyer
We all owe Nintendo and Microsoft a spa day.
After all, their backs must hurt from carrying the entirety of E3. It's been generally agreed that, of all the showcases broadcast during E3 2021, those two companies were able to pull together the strongest presentation. Sure, Microsoft had nothing to say about The Elder Scrolls VI and Nintendo kept the Switch Pro under lock and key. Compared to others, however, their presentations weren't nearly as lackluster.
None of which were as lackluster as Gearbox Software.
Biggest Loser from E3 2021 Is.... Gearbox Software
Content wise, Gearbox was alright. CAPCOM was able to stir some attention with a vague promise of more content for Resident Evil Village and the launch of Re:Verse. Bandai Namco had about one thing to say and dipped out of the event in a puff of smoke.
So, why Gearbox? Simple: I've personally never cringed harder at a professional presentation in my entire life.
For some reason, Gearbox was convinced that capitalizing on the wacky ad-campaign vibes of the 90's and early 2000's was the best way to go. That, compounded with bathroom humor typically scrawled on the inside of public stall doors and a 45-minute-long promotion for the Borderlands movie made their showcase easily the most exhausting part of E3.
Not that the film looks uninteresting, but they did know E3 is typically touted as a gaming convention, right?
I get that they wanted to go for this campy vaporwave theme, but what they did wasn't camp—it was gauche. The whole thing felt like watching an out-of-touch workplace training video the PR department was either too lazy or too overworked to refilm. Grasps at demographically-researched nostalgia sandwiched between a conversation with that one relative that likes to talk but has nothing to say.
Also, poor Homeworld 3. Do we know anything about it aside from the fact it exists?
Gearbox's showcase was more of a letdown if anything. They've put out great content and titles in the past few years. Borderlands is a good IP and I would've bought a ticket for the movie regardless of if they spent an hour throwing cameos at the screen. We know they're better than this. Do they?
I'm not mad—just disappointed.