I wanted to take the time to look at and talk about some of the games we’re more than likely seeing at the conference. E3 is…dying and it’s misleading trailers don’t help, but despite this, the show is still important and at least gives us a little insight into what may come in games/tech. So let’s cross our fingers and dive in. I’ll be focussing more on main titles and not DLC and updates. Available footage will be linked in the corresponding title.
Avengers project (Crystal Dynamics/ Square Enix)
It feels like ages since the teaser for the Avengers project dropped. Since then I have been trying to keep my hopes high, I even thought it was canceled for a time when we heard literally nothing since that trailer. I know nothing about this game, but I just hope Crystal Dynamics and Square are treating something this big with the care it needs. The last thing Marvel, more importantly Disney, want is another Battlefront 2 situation on their hands. If Square can incorporate their over the top combat style to the Marvel universe, it could be amazing, incredible, invinci- okay I’ll stop.
Getting back into Borderlands just before the big press release was very serendipitous. Something about this made me even more excited for some of the additions coming like loot instancing, slide/mantle (finally), secondary fire weapons, more diverse and varied play spaces, and a lot more. So many of BL2 and the Pre-Sequel’s flaws are glaring with me having played them recently and to see the long-awaited title addressing these exact issues so comforting when I get to thinking about this next adventure into the wastes. It isn’t some massive leap forward or anything, it’s more Borderlands and there’s nothing wrong with that to me. Finally, an online optional looter shooter that isn’t some strange mmo lite, long live the king. Randy Pitchford is a weirdo but I’m not gonna hold that against the devs lol.
This is more than likely going to be my game of the show. E3 is typically full of surprises and anything can happen but in all honesty, I just can’t see much coming close especially since we aren’t seeing Death Stranding (thattrailertho). I was literally giddy when they released the gameplay trailer that they showed press and influencers and the FPS RPG looked very good but not unrealistic. Recently it’s come out that the game is “pretty different” from that showcase and that statement interests me as much as it gives me pause. Regardless, we are going to be seeing more of this game with CDPR claiming they’ll have an even bigger presence than last year. I just hope that we get solid gameplay footage and not buzzwords and theatrical trailers.
Black Ops 4 came out guns drawn and it really impressed at first. Since that time Activision has found a way to completely reverse the conversation around BO4 and where the franchise is headed/ is as a whole. Activision needs a win, and with this being their main and essentially only franchise it has to be big. The rumor is that it’s Modern Warfare 4 which would be a “soft reboot” if that is the case. If not this year then next, I’m surprised it’s even taken them this long so hopefully all this time will lead to something good. Honestly, I’m shocked we’re still getting annual releases of this game. I don’t forsee CoD lasting much longer and this tug at our nostalgia may be a sign of that.
Destroy All Humans (THQ Nordic)
I spent so many hours with my friend Walter terrorizing the meat bags between the tools the game devs gave us and some gamer creativity that was a relatively new aspect of gaming compared to nowadays where player creativity is often an aspect of gameplay. THQ has reported something insane like 50+ games in development which…sounds like a stupid choice but if this is one of them it’s definitely going to get people’s heads turning. Can you imagine what they’ll be able to do with today’s tech? They don’t have to go crazy but then again for the sake of a concise vision but…maybe they should?
Dino Crisis (Capcom)
Let’s talk more about old ass games I’m completely shocked could be coming back. So in light of Capcom bringing back past titles and breathing new life into them, it is reported that Capcom is looking to bring back…Dino Crisis? I swear to god if they make Dino Crisis before Viewtiful Joe and Onimusha? POWER STONE ANYONE?? I’m more than willing to suspend my meh-ness because Capcom has proved that not only can they bring back an old game we love, but they can do it damn well. If this is true, then maybe there is hope for some of my favorite Capcom titles from the past but mother of god why Dino Crisis?
Doom 2016 was one of the best first-person shooters I’ve ever played. “Smooth as butter” isn’t something I would use to describe most games but god damn if that game wasn’t lubed up before they packaged it because it’s damn slick. So imagine the stiffy I got when that gameplay was dropped and mobility was increased. Can we talk about the grappling hook shotgun? The new demons and takedowns to dispatch said demons? God knows what else is under the hood for us to find out when it releases let alone when they talk about it during the conference. A more open level design in tandem with the conventional “kill room” here and there is gonna really spice up the combat especially if exploration is properly rewarded. Rage 2 was a disappointment but I do have hope this is gonna live up to the hype the way it did the first time.
Gears of War 5
Lawd Microsoft needs a win. This is quite clearly their attempt at a blockbuster event like God of War was for Sony. Everything about the trailer screams “Oscar bait but for games” and I hope they do the damn thing. Make me sad I don’t have an Xbox dammit! This could be a big step for Gears and could even lead it down a more character focussed design. The world of Gears of War is rich for a deeper explanation, and I know that isn’t what Gears is known for but I won’t be told that they can’t do both. It appears to be heavily cinematic though gameplay can be seen in the trailer above. It seems interesting and I hope they really make something worth owning an Xbox for. The fans deserve it.
Did I say Microsoft needs a win from the software perspective? Cause they do. The Xbox One is fine, the One X is a huge step up and is the most powerful console but there are next to no exclusives for this console. Ya know, the reason why you buy a certain console outside of interface and services. What better way than to bring back the most successful franchise Microsoft has associated with. There’s talk of it having an open world which is jarring initially especially when the history of Halo is rich with environments that tell stories alongside the mid-range combat. If they can properly expand that baseline to fit an open world format, it’ll be amazing. Whether or not they can is the question.
Harry Potter: Magic Awakened
Warner Brothers does a great job of shooting themselves square in the foot. They just put on the finest shoes money can buy and BAM queue the red kool-aid fountain. Shadow of War is the pinnacle of such stupidity with the way the monetization completely bankrupted the integrity of the game. The brief footage that was up involved a third-person real-time action reminiscent of the original games. Warner Bros. jumped on the trailer takedown but it’s safe to say the cat is out of the bag and casting spells in the kitchen. This could be a unique adventure involving a custom character, it could involve something more directly related to the books. Anything is possible but if we heard about it this year it wouldn’t entirely surprise me.
My Friend Pedro
A twin stick shooter of a different kind. Imagine stranglehold but cartoony, John Wick but even more comic book like. It looks like the entire game is going to be centered around ballerina jumping through levels and enemies leaving every enemy in your wake riddled with bullets. It seems light, fun, and self-aware in it’s silliness which can lead to the most fun type of games.
Oh boy, SKATE was my jam back in high school and if you’re anything like me you’ve been waiting for the next game/ literally anything like it to come along. Session appears to be that game, we weren’t told a lot when it was revealed so I’m hoping that E3 will lead to some more information on gameplay and ya know, a release date.
Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order
Anthem is in shambles and in my opinion, it’s this year’s No Man’s Sky. Between the games they put out, and the Star Wars games they put out (or don’t put out depending on your perspective); this does not bode well at all. Respawn is working on the project and their track record is very good, but I can’t help but worry about what EA is planning. They always find a way to put their hand directly into a project and do exactly what needs to be done to ruin it. Sometimes that’s on the front end in development and planning or lack thereof, and sometimes it’s on the back end with moving devs to other projects/ not hold their devs to the post-launch promises they tend to make and not fulfill. This story of a padawan in hiding after Order 66 is ripe for gameplay development and storytelling. So long as Respawn has the vision and can execute, all we need is for EA to stay the fuck away and let them work. We’ll see.
honorable mentions: Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Vampire Bloodlines 2, From Soft and George R. R. Martin collab, Fable remake, Rocksteady’s Suicide Squad, Wolfenstein Young Blood, Afterparty, Beyond Good and Evil 2, Bleeding Edge (Ninja Theory’s new game), Last of Us 3 (v hype just not a lot of info)