Sunday, May 28, 2017

E3 2017 Wish List

Video game Christmas is in two weeks, but what do I want to see most there?

E3 is always one of my favorite times of the year. New games are announced that keep fans interested for years to come. Already announced games get new demos or trailers. Some games get release dates. There are a ton of things to look forward to when E3 rolls around. It's a solid three days of new games, new tech, and it's all just one gigantic hype machine for the industry.

There's often a ton of speculation about what games are going to be announced at E3, and even more rumors fly around that have little to no backing to them. Hell, some people are saying that this is going to be the year of Bloodborne 2 and Kingdom Hearts III, even though both developers said that those games either don't exist or aren't going to appear respectively. So I figured I'd put my hat into the ring of not necessarily speculation, but of things that need to appear at E3 to make it a "good show".

Now just for the record, I'm only referring to the six press conferences when I'm talking about a dream wish list. Yes, other games are announced during the week of E3 from developers and publishers that don't have the budget for a press conference, but more people tune in to the six press conferences of EA, Microsoft. Bethesda, Ubisoft. Sony, and Nintendo than look at the random game coverage throughout the week. So I'm going to say what I'd like most from each press conference and not the random games that may or may not be announced during the week. Also, I'm not including games that are already announced. We know that Far Cry 5 will be at E3, the same as Crackdown 3, so I'm only going to speculate about the  So... let's get the predicting!

Smaller Indie titles, anything that isn't sports related
Who cares about EA at this point? I know they're a huge publisher and all, but I can't remember the last time anyone got mad or even acknowledged EA as a major video game developer. I think that has mostly to do with them now focusing exclusively on making sports game and owning Bioware, which after Mass Effect: Andromeda might have given them a tad bit of anxiety.

If people are going to care about EA's press conference, they need something new that isn't sports related. We're getting Battlefront 2, which is a nice start, but I'm talking more about Indie devs. Remember when Unraveled was shown off a few years ago by a shy and nervous developer, but everything he said was so earnest and sincere? We need more of that and less bluster, celebrity interviews, and more heartwarming surprises.

But it's EA, so none of that is going to matter anyway.

A New Scorpio IP or a new Tomb Raider
Microsoft is going to show off the Scorpio this year. As their new 1.5 4K something console, a lot of people are going to pay attention to them this year. Microsoft needs a major publicity boost at this year's E3, since they really have no exclusives coming out this year except for potentially Crackdown 3. If they want people to care about the Scorpio, then they're going to need a solid new IP ready for launch with the Scorpio.

If a solid demo and trailer were released to show off this new franchise on a brand new console, it could easily sell people on the Scorpio. Maybe if it was Microsoft's answer to Uncharted, or even an exclusive sandbox game would help. Or when in doubt, have Crystal Dynamics announce a new Tomb Raider game for the Scorpio. When Rise of the Tomb Raider came out in 2015, it was an Xbox One exclusive for a year, and that worked out marvelously. If Microsoft had that game as a new Scorpio exclusive game for a year, that would easily be a system seller for the mysterious console.

Wolfenstein: The New Colossus
Last year I struggled to come up with a reason why Bethesda needed another press conference. 2015's press conference made sense because it was just a gigantic Fallout 4 info dump, but Bethesda tried to do the same treatment for Dishonored 2 with more mixed results. We know that Bethesda is going to announce two new games or IPs at E3, and the only one that seems like a forgone conclusion is the return of Wolfenstein.

In an elaborate tease, Bethesda briefly mentioned a new game called The New Colossus in a stream of titles next to previous Wolfenstein entries, and people have been thinking about what that title could possibly mean. I think we're finally going to get a reveal of the game and it's going to come out this year in the same way that Fallout 4 was announced and released in a span of 5 months. It'll make people excited, and they'll keep the hype alive for the rest of the year. As for the other mysterious IP or game? Well, a remaster of Fallout 3 or New Vegas would be greatly appreciated.

Anything but a new Tom Clancy game
Look, I think that Ubisoft is a perfectly mediocre company. They have a formula that they use religiously for their open world games, they have Just Dance, and that's about it. Sure they may come out with a few new original games, but they're just as predictable as EA in a sense. They have their open world adventure games and their open world action games, and while we know we're going to get Far Cry 5, a new Assassin's Creed, and a sequel to Drive Club, all of which are fine moves for their own reasons, I'm just hoping and praying that they can give Tom Clancy a rest for a year.

Between Tom Clancy's Siege, The Division, and Wildlands, the Tom Clancy name has been through the mud in recent years. I know that it isn't a franchise and the same is just thrown onto any project to give it some recognition, but having a name brand can only go so far when it's as tainted as it is. That's one of the reasons why Assassin's Creed took the break; it was getting old, stale, and needed a year off to refresh itself. The only Tom Clancy game that would be fine would be a new Splinter Cell, but that has more to do with the fact that Splinter Cell is a franchise in its own right away from the Tom Clancy branding that people would actively care about. Just no more mediocre third person shooters from Ubisoft please. 

Just detail your damned games
God of War 4, The Last of Us Part 2, Death Stranding, Days Gone, Kingdom Hearts III, Final Fantasy VII HD, Shenmue 3, Dreams, Spider Man, Detroit: Become Human. These are all games announced by Sony over the past couple of years, all of which generated a lot of hype and praise fro the company before going radio silent on all of them. I know we're going to get new game announcements from Sony, but I just want solid details on any of these games. A trailer, a demo, a presentation, I'll even take a montage of clips with come features at this point. 

It's mind boggling to me that I want to play all of these games, and yet I know next to nothing about any of them. What is the gameplay like in God of War 4 outside of the scripted demo we saw last year? What's the gameplay of Death Stranding even like? Does Dreams still exist? Will any of these games release this year? These are all legitimate questions that I should not be having for games that were announced more than a year ago. For games like God of War 4 and The Last of Us Part 2, those are fine because they were announced within the past year, but Kingdom Hearts III has only communicated via screenshots and Shenmue 3 faded back into being a dream again. Just give me details on all of these games Sony. I'll take anything at this point. 

Bayonetta 3 and solid third party support
For my most conspiracy worthy post, there's way too many Bayonetta coincidences for there not to be a third game in development. We have the browser game, the Steam port, the two amiibos, and the weird English lesson videos on Platinum Game's youtube, all of which happened in the past two months. There's way too much Bayonetta information circulating, and if we get a third game announced at E3 this year, it'll be the happiest my paranoid self has been in years about a game. 

Outside of that. Nintendo needs to show off, above all else, that it has third party support for the Switch. We have Mario Odyssey and Splatoon 2 coming out this year, but Nintendo needs to get third parties on board with content that's appearing on the PS4 and Xbox One. If the Switch had Dark Souls 3, the new Assassin's Creed, a few select Indies, or even a major shocked like previously announced games like Far Cry 5 getting a surprise Switch port, then it'd show that the Switch wasn't just a fluke and that third party developers are willing to go back to Nintendo in a big way. Yes, Nintendo can survive on just 1st party titles, but it needs more than that to stay relevant in this day and age. 

And those are my predictions! I'll see you all in two weeks for E3 and to see if any of these crackpot theories came true. Other than that, I'll see you all for Wonder Woman next week as I pray it'll be good.

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