E3 2016 Predictions

Despite being thousands of miles from home, in a developing country, and having most of the beans spilled already, I’m still incredibly excited for E3 this year. I did some quick reading of previous E3 events in hopes to find which was my first. I can’t exactly remember. I think it may have been 2007. Regardless, E3 has been a big part of my life for the last several years. It’s a fun holiday where I take just about everything with a grain of salt and see the “future” of the industry that I have grown up loving. Also, my first post on this blog was my “E3 2015 predictions,” so it’s kind of cool to have a years worth on content already. I loved doing the “Let’s laugh at my E3 2015 predictions,” and can’t wait to do it again this year.

Last year I was able to break apart and analyze all the conferences independently. I am not ruling that out, I may have a short post or two detailing some of my thoughts, but I don’t expect them to be as in-depth as last year due to all of what’s going on here.

As I already mentioned, it feels like this E3 has much more leaks than any E3 that I can remember. Which I’m somewhat thankful for, because I’m not sure if I’ll be able to keep up with the event as closely as I normally would this year.

Speaking of being in Guatemala, I just got out of a lukewarm shower, so bear with me if I have any typos/overlooks/mistakes.

I don’t have many predictions, seeing as how much of it is leaked, but I do have hopes. Let’s dive in, going in order of conference showing.


 

EA

I think this is the first EA conference I’ve had some hype for in a long time. I am really interested to learn more about Battlefield 1 and see what direction that is going in. I love the idea of it, at this point, I’m theirs to lose.

Titanfall 2 will probably be their bread and butter of this conference. I’m optimistic for it. I never played the first one, but always wanted to. It seemed like a good game with smart ideas, just no legs. I have faith that the developers have learned from their mistakes and really look forward to seeing what they have planned.

I’d love for some actual news on Mass Effect. I’d really love for a surprise announcement of the Mass Effect trilogy heading to current gen.

Maybe something to do with Star Wars? I feel like that’s obligatory at this point. They have to have something Star Wars related right?

Overall I’m excited for EA. I think there is room for a few surprises, nothing that is going to shock me, but it’ll be fun either way.


 

Bethesda

Oh man, I’m really looking forward to this conference and I don’t even consider myself a fan of Bethesda.

This conference probably holds the most speculation and has circulated the rumor mill more than any other conference, other than Nintendo.

Skyrim Remastered? I did not enjoy the original game and forced myself to play it. It was just a technical disaster for me on my 360. Maybe the performance of a current gen console is what the game needed. I’d love to return to it again and see if my initial feelings still hold true. My bold prediction for this, not only will it be remastered for current gen, but it will have the mod support that Fallout 4 does.

The Evil Within 2 is rumored. It is going to take A LOT for me to care about that game after being burned so badly by the first one. Very few games have rubbed me the wrong way so quickly as The Evil Within.

It’d be cool if they showed/reannounced Prey 2. I wouldn’t be surprised if that ended up being one of the games of the show.

They’ll show a lot of Dishonored 2. I still need to play the first one, so I don’t have much to say.

This is a conference that I think will be a must-see. It’s going to leave people talking and will be a great way to lead people into the first official day of E3 on Monday.


 

Microsoft

Please, please, please, please be a good conference! I’m at the point where I would like an Xbox One now. Just sell me on it! The back catalog is good enough, now I just want some assurance on the direction it is going. I’m really excited to see what they have to say about the new version of the Xbox One. I already want one, just help me justify that decision, Microsoft.

Dead Rising 4! It was rumored and today some screenshots were leaked featuring Frank West. I love the Dead Rising games but Dead Rising 3 was not enough to sell me on an Xbox One. It looked like it was trying to go a direction I didn’t want to. However, I’m hopeful for the newest installment.

Halo Wars 2 will be there, but I’m not sure about any other Halo related games.

Gears of War 5 will be there. After seeing the first footage from the game, I wasn’t very excited. I really enjoy the Gears of War games, but what I’ve seen of Gears of War 5 hasn’t left me wanting more. Hopefully they can change that.

I hope to see more of ReCore. That little teaser last year was very intriguing, but featured no gameplay and no real details.

I think that Microsoft is in prime position to “win” E3 this year. With Sony focusing on VR and Nintendo focusing on NX, they can steal the current gamer. I hope they capitalize. I hope they sell me an Xbox One.

Oh and show me more Cuphead!


 

Ubisoft

Blech. Ubisoft has really gotten on my bad side as of late. I really liked The Division, but it wasn’t what it was made out to be. Same with Watch Dogs. It’s hard to trust them at this point.

I don’t know, man. Watch Dogs 2 is confirmed and I really don’t care. That new Tom Clancy game they announced last year will be there. I got nothing, guys. And I’m ok with that.


 

Sony

I consider myself a Playstation gamer, so I’m hopeful for this conference. I know that VR is going to be an emphasis, I feel like that’s why they elected to not show the new PS4 console at E3 this year. I don’t know how to feel about VR. If it’s cheap and it works, sure, I’ll try it. I’ll expect to get a price and release date out of the conference.

I’m not getting my hopes up, but I’d love to see Kojima on stage for Sony talking about his newest game. I doubt we get any footage, I’d be surprised if there’s even a teaser trailer. I’d just expect him to talk about what he’s doing.

The Last Guardian will be there with a release date (FINALLY).

Please give us PS1 play on PS4.

Possibly a new announcement from Naughty Dog? I wouldn’t be surprised if they wanted until PSX for that, though.

We’ll probably see more God of War stuff, based on those leaks that featured him in the Norse setting.

If there is to be Final Fantasy or Kingdom Hearts stuff shown, I’d expect it to show up here.

Shenmue gameplay?

I’m really not sure what to expect. Last year was such a monumental year for Sony at E3, how do they follow that up? Surely not with a conference dedicated to VR.


 

Nintendo

Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan, Nintendo.

What is there to even say?

I suspect it’ll focus almost entirely on the NX and Zelda.

I’m interested to see what the NX has to offer, but I’m not getting my hopes up. I still feel burned by Nintendo for getting a Wii U. I hope it blows me away, but I have my doubts. I’m thinking it will be both a home console and portable console. A hybrid of the two. I suspect they’ll give it an official name and release window. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if they drop the bomb and give an exact date and price. That’s a ballsy move that Nintendo would make.

The parts not talking about NX will talk about Zelda. Yes, Zelda will lead the Nintendo E3 discussion for the umpteenth year in a row. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I am so Zelda-fatigued. It’s as bad as annual releases to me. Sure, there isn’t a Zelda game every year, but they advertise and market it as so. I’ve never been a huge fan of the franchise.

Not much to say here, hopefully they do something awesome, but it’d take something extremely awesome to win me over.


Other

Maybe we’ll see Rockstar announce something Red Dead related.

More Deus Ex stuff will be shown, speaking of which, for a game that’s already announced, that’s been pretty quiet as of late.

I’d love to see Rocksteady announce something now that they’re done with Batman.

Something Resident Evil related may show up. Hopefully it’s something different because what they’ve been doing as of late…well it’s just not working.


 

More or less, that’s it. I wish I could dive in more and really hash out my predictions, but I just haven’t had the time to sit and brainstorm about it. I’m even writing this blog the morning of. It’s been a crazy summer away from home and everything I find comforting, but it will bring me some peace being able to unwind with a favorite tradition of mine this week. Happy E3 everybody!

Let’s Laugh at My E3 2015 Predictions

Originally, this was going to go up tomorrow, with my game of the show going up today, but I decided I needed a little more time with the game of the show, so I’m swapping things around.  Anyways, I was so, so off with all of my predictions this year.  But hey, that’s the fun of it all, and I was delightfully wrong in many cases.


Microsoft

Gears of War HD Collection will definitely show up, given all the leaks, but they’ll announce a new, formal Gears game for Xbox One as well.  Nothing more than a title card though.

Kinda Right!

Okay so first off, I had a misunderstanding of what the Gears of War re-release was meant to be.  I thought it was a remake of the entire series, but it was just the first game.  It doesn’t make much sense to me, but whatever.  I’ll give myself half credit for that one.  They did announce the new Gears game, but showed off a decent sized demo.

Halo, Halo, Halo.

Right!

Well duh, but I wasn’t expecting to be as into it as I was.

Rumors are circulating around a new title being announced by Platinum, it’d fit good in the Microsoft presser.

Wrong!

The Platinum game was a Transformers game, and didn’t even show up at a conference.

With Windows 10 coming, Microsoft will find a way to work it in with the Xbox crowd, in a cool, but useless way.

Wrong!

I honestly can’t remember.  If they mentioned it, it wasn’t a big enough deal for me to remember, evidently.

I’ve somewhat distanced myself from Microsoft in the last few years, if you couldn’t tell by my “predictions.”  Their conferences have been flat and they really have nothing to show for it.  They have the most to gain in their presser, so I’m looking forward to it.

So?

They gained a lot from me.  I was very impressed and it was a great conference.  Much better than their previous years.


Sony

THE LAST GUARDIAN.

But no seriously, this is the year, right?  Last year there was a ton going on involving the game, with someone stating it was dead, then Shu stating it wasn’t, right before E3.  I could see that encouraging Sony to throw something out there to show it’s alive and well, especially since nobody expects it again and it’d shock the world.  Nevermind, I changed my mind, it will never happen.

Right and Wrong!

I really did expect it to happen for a little while prior to the show, but then I realized how ridiculous that was, so I decided it wasn’t going to happen.  It happened!

Titanfall 2 will be announced on the Sony stage.  It won’t be exclusive, but Sony will be making a statement by revealing it to the world on their stage.

Wrong!

Respawn wasn’t even presenting anything at E3 this year, I’m positive it’s still coming though.

Sony dropping the Vita to a ridiculous price and committing to marketing it as a PS4 accessory.

Wrong!

The Vita was mentioned once by name in the entire conference and it wasn’t for a price drop.

PS Now catalogue expanding to Playstation 2 titles.

Wrong!

PS Now was not mentioned at all.  Thankfully for Sony, any type of PS Now announcement that wasn’t “It’s free!” would have looked really bad following up Microsoft’s backwards compatibility bombshell.

PS4 system update that includes access to PS Classics.  Chalk this one up as wishful thinking, more than a prediction.  It was a bummer discovering the PS4 didn’t have access to the classics.  With the announcement during the Playstation Experience that a new version of FFVII is coming to the PS4 with trophies, it makes it seem like the originals won’t be making the leap unless they receive this sort of special treatment.

Wrong!

No mention to an update at all, but hey I mentioned FFVII right here.  I feel like that gives me some points for foreshadowing.

I expect Sony to keep applying the pressure they have been in previous years at E3.  I’m afraid their movie studio will play a larger role this year with the upcoming Ratchet and Clank movie.

So?

I don’t know if I’d call it applying pressure, they didn’t announce much of anything for this year.  Great announcements overall though, and a great conference.  No mention of movies or poor Ratchet and Clank.


Nintendo

They’ll give us an actual name for the new Zelda and a lengthy demo.  Just to assure us things aren’t burning down since they had to delay it.

Wrong!

There was a single mention of it and that was it.

Ditto for Star Fox, but the big reveal will be that it releases this holiday.  Please have a good online component.

Right! But I’ve got some bad news…

Star Fox headlined the conference, but about that online component…

Pokemon Wii U.  Okay, maybe just a new one for 3DS.

Wrong!

Not a mention of Pokemon in this conference.

An all new, original Mario game.  Mario was completely absent from Nintendo’s event last year, so he’ll return in big fashion this year.

Right!

I guess I forgot about Super Mario Maker.  They celebrated the 30th anniversary of Mario, so I’d say he returned “in big fashion.”

More Xenoblade, please!

Right!

There was a bit of Xenoblade and it made me want it even more.

It’s really difficult to predict what Nintendo will show, given that they have made such a big deal out of their random Nintendo Direct shows.  Nintendo doesn’t really need E3 to announce things at this point.

So?

I don’t think anyone could have predicted this show.  It had a strange amount of third party stuff shown.  Hopefully a few Nintendo Direct Shows can make up for their showing this year.


Other

As soon as I saw the Fallout 4 trailer I felt that it had to come out this year.  Now there are tons of rumors and retailers leaking that it is indeed due out this year, so I expect that to be a huge announcement.

Right!

I actually predicted a November 28th release.  November 10th was the announced date, so I wasn’t too far off.

Star Wars Battlefront and/or Rainbow Six Siege will get alpha/beta demos soon, maybe exclusive to one of the consoles.

Wrong!

Microsoft announced Xbox One users will get early access to a beta for The Division, close but no cigar.  I believe they said the demos will start in August or September, which isn’t really what I meant by “soon.”

The Division gameplay featuring actors.

Right!

Ubisoft is so attached to their “let’s listen to these players communicate in-game the way nobody ever communicates in game chat” ideas.

Release dates for Mirror’s Edge and Kingdom Hearts.

Right and Wrong!

February 23rd for Mirror’s Edge Catalyst and nothing on Kingdom Hearts III.

Valve will show off their home stuff.

Wrong! 

The whole PC show was a nice try but a joke.  Maybe it’ll be worth something next year.


 

Well there’s always next time.  Half-Life 3, Star Wars 1313 and Mother 3 announcement next year at the Sony conference, calling it now.  They just didn’t have time for them this go-round.

Stay tuned for my E3 2015 Game of the Show post tomorrow!

E3 2015 Day 0 Thoughts (Microsoft, EA, Ubisoft, Sony)

The single greatest day for video games ever.


Microsoft

Microsoft led the day off with Halo 5 Guardians.  My interest in Halo has dwindled over the last few years, but this gameplay looked really sharp and fun to me.  They brought back the squad based combat from Halo Reach, which I really enjoyed.  I thought those extra characters added to the emotion of the story more than any of the other Halo entries.  The campaign is split between a Spartan squad led by Commander Locke, who I know next to nothing about, and another squad led by Master Chief.  This demo showcased the Locke squad and it looked very impressive.  After showing off a small mission, a new multiplayer mode was introduced, it appeared to be your team vs. everybody, other humans and AI alike, in a huge, hellacious war ground.  I thought that was an interesting take on the tried and true Halo multiplayer.

After Halo, a new IP was announced in Recore, which is a fantastic title.  No gameplay was shown, but it did get my attention.

Then came my biggest take away from the Microsoft conference, the Xbox One will soon be able to play certain Xbox 360 games, both physical and digital, for no extra cost.  Not the entire library of 360 games, but quite a few with more certainly coming as they stated it is up to the developers to decide if they want it to be backwards compatible or not.  It seems like Microsoft is going to bundle last-gen games with upcoming games to help build that backlog.  For example, it was announced you would receive a free copy of Fallout 3 when you purchase Fallout 4, and Rainbow Six Vegas 1 & 2 when you purchase Siege.

Todd Howard took to the stage and showed off what seemed like the exact same Fallout 4 demo from last night until halfway through, then finally we got some new content.  It was announced that Fallout 4 will have mod support for Xbox One (and later confirmed for PS4 as well).  PC, Xbox One, and PS4 will all have access to the same mods too, which is great.

I think mod support is a huge step forward for console gaming that may have gotten overlooked.  Not only is the mod support a step forward, but Microsoft also announced their own version of Steam Greenlight.  Gaming consoles and PC’s are quickly fusing into one and I am all for that.

CUPHEAD CUPHEAD CUPHEAD

Rare Replay was announced, which features 30 of the greatest Rare games of all time, like Battletoads, Banjo-Kazooie, Blast Corps, and Conker’s Bad Fur Day.  It’s great to finally have those back (even though most were available on the shop) but this felt like Microsoft’s way of saying “okay please stop bugging us about these IPs take this and shut up.”

Hololens was up next and was quite impressive as far as VR goes.  Until I hear a price point from any of the different pieces of hardware, be it Rift, Hololens, or Morpheus, I won’t get excited.  It looked like a neat toy though. 

Lastly was the reveal of Gears 4 in a gameplay demo that was incredibly dark.  It’s more Gears.  Take that how you will.

Overall Xbox had a pretty good conference.  The addition of backwards compatibility makes me somewhat interested in owning an Xbox One now as opposed to the total indifference I had towards it prior to the show.


EA

Next on the agenda was the EA conference, which could have been canceled and still would have been better than last years.

EA led off the show by announcing Mass Effect Andromeda.  Another wonderful title.  What little of it they showed just make me think of Destiny though, it felt very generic and stale.  But the good thing about Mass Effect is how huge and varied it is, so I’m sure this one section was just a tiny, tiny slither of the full product.

One of my biggest surprises of the show was a newly announced game from EA called Unravel.  This game looked visually striking and super heart-warming.  It somewhat reminded me of Limbo, judging by the platforming and movement.  I’m totally in support of EA doing something completely different, good on them.

HOOPGOD CAME OUT.

The sports section lasted entirely too long and pulled the conference down as a whole.  They had Pele on stage, which was cool but served absolutely no purpose as far as I’m aware.  Between this and the constant reminder that Frostbite is theirs and is the best thing since John Cena, this conference began to suffer.

Mirrors Edge Catalyst was shown off and looks fun.  I wasn’t a fan of the original Mirrors Edge but I’m glad this new one exist.  I hope it makes a penny or two.

Star Wars Battlefront was the big finale we were all hoping for.  Let me say I had the lowest of expectations and expected a reskinned Battlefield.  To an extent, it was, but I was expecting it to be 60/40 in favor of Battlefield, but this gameplay really came off as 60/40 in Star Wars favor.  The match they showed off looked fun as hell, but makes me wonder how big the map was and what the player count was.  This particular match looked somewhat small, but had a ton of players and aircraft fighting everywhere.  That is exactly what I want this game to be.  Recent Battlefield games really lost me when their maps got so big I would have to spend 3 minutes walking if I wasn’t fortunate enough to get a vehicle.  The third person view looked absolutely fantastic as well, I really want to get my hands on that.

EA had what I would call the worst conference of the day.  It had some cool bits but was so bogged down by things that shouldn’t take up so much time.  I get that sports games are huge, but we know what to expect from them at this point.


Ubisoft

Ubisoft led off with what was my biggest surprise of the show to that point, a new South Park game, titled South Park: The Fractured But Whole, which is my new favorite title of E3.  The Stick of Truth was one of my games of the year and if you didn’t get the chance to play it, you need to immediately.  It’s South Park, so you should know what to expect, and I can’t wait to play it.

A brand new title was unveiled in For Honor.  A combat simulator where you play as a viking, samurai, or knight and partake in melee combat against other players.  The demo shown was really awesome, and the gameplay appeared that it could possibly be very intricate and tense.

The Division, of course, peaked its head up again.  I was tired of seeing footage of this game and just wanted to play it, but the demo they showed off here was great.  It showed off how you can’t trust anybody in the world of The Division, your best friend can stab you in the back and steal your loot.  I love the aspect of having to trust other players.  Also, the HUD looked really great and again, the third person perspective looked really good and natural.

A mystery trailer appeared after that, wait, no, it was just a trailer for Rainbow Six: Siege, which looked nothing like what I was expecting.  It was a story trailer and looked pretty interesting.  The HUD really bothered me in this demo, I’m not sure if it was because I had just seen the clean, crisp HUD featured in Battlefront and The Division prior, but it looked really clunky with a ton of symbols on the screen representing… stuff?

Trackman Turbo was shown off and really grabbed my attention.  I’ve been itching for a good series (but not so serious) racer lately, and that looks like it would fit the mold.  It didn’t look like a ton of game though, so the price point could be a make or break for a game like this.

Ubisoft closed their show with a brand new game, Ghost Recon Wasteland.  It looked fine, but also looked like a standard Ubisoft game.  It wasn’t mind-blowing, but I’d play it.

Ubisoft made me pretty excited with their announcements, but it’s hard for me to get too excited by Ubisoft after being burned so bad this last year.


Playstation

IT. HAPPENED.

ALL OF IT. HAPPENED.

The Last Guardian kicked off the show and looked true to its roots.  It looked really endearing and interesting, but they didn’t show off too much aside from some puzzle solving.  The big thing was the 2016 release date posted at the end.  Let’s hope that last.

Then Guerrilla Games showed off their new game “Horizon Zero Dawn.”  This, like most of this conference, really took me by surprise.  I knew the Guerrilla guys were working on something new but I didn’t expect it to look anything like this.  A third person hunting game against giant mech-dinosaurs and from what little we saw, destructible environments.  Count me in.  I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this new IP.

After a very quick No Man’s Sky demo, we got to see more of the new Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate.  EA is making up for their remarks about female game models, as this trailer featured one of the main characters, Evie, who absolutely slayed jerks left and right.  Vicious.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake.  I never thought I’d see it, I really didn’t.  I had a slither of hope for The Last Guardian, but this came way out of left field.  Bravo.

After the FF7 reveal, there was a quick indie game spot, then SHENMUE III.  Sony announced every long-lost game sans Half-Life 3 in this conference.  Talk about a quick way to get on the good side of people.  Although they didn’t announce Shenmue III per se, they announced the Kickstarter.  The goal is $2,000,000 and as of writing this, it sits at $1,522,656 after about 4 hours.  I think it might get funded, guys.

Sony ended the show with Uncharted 4, showing off brand new gameplay.  For the second straight time in Uncharted 4, Sony’s live demo went horribly wrong.  First, Drake fell through the world, and this time the controller stopped working or reading inputs, leaving Drake just standing there for what felt like an eternity.  Eventually, he moved and got into a wild on/off-road escape in a jeep from a tank.  This demo showed off the driving, which was somewhat open, but still linear.  Multiple paths will take you to the same destination is what Naughty Dog later said in an off-stage interview.  It doesn’t seem to be reinventing the wheel for Uncharted games, but it looks like it will be a fun and proper send off for Nathan Drake.  Oh and why would you yell “Heads up!” to a guy you’re about to punch? C’mon Nate.

Sony put on, what I think, is the greatest E3 conference of all time (OK that I’ve seen).  It really did feel unreal at a few parts, and I’m not a huge fan of any of the big 3 announcements.  The only possible downside I saw was that there were few announcements for this year.  I would have preferred Persona 5, but that’s not something they’d dedicate much time to at an E3.  It’ll definitely be at TGS though.


I’m not sure how it can get any better from here, but I’m almost positive it will tomorrow morning during Nintendo’s show.  Followed by Square Enix show which I’m really excited for.  Deus Ex in particular, and as much as I hate to admit it, I’d like to know some more about the new Kingdom Hearts.  For research sake. Stay tuned!