Weekend Hot Topic, part 1: E3 2019 hopes and predictions
GameCentral readers reveal what games, consoles, and announcements they’re most excited to hear about at E3.
With the pre-E3 conferences starting this weekend, the subject for this week’s Hot Topic was obvious: what are you expecting out of the expo and what are you most looking forwards to? What do you expect to hear from the likes of Microsoft and Nintendo and what games reveals are you most anticipating?
With Sony not in attendance all eyes are on Microsoft and what they’ll do when they have the stage to themselves, while many were also looking forward to new announcements from the likes of Nintendo and Bethesda.
I’m fully expecting Microsoft to reveal more information about their new console, but I think it will all just be specs related and a release date just down as 2020, but an exact date not specified. I’m not sure whether they reveal what it looks like but I would probably say no. I would like to see it though.
I also think that most of the games shown for it will be third party, as all of the new studios they bought and set up can’t have been working on their games long enough to show gameplay. Although we have seen companies like Bethesda show games that aren’t out for years yet, like The Elder Scrolls VI and Starfield, so a couple of teasers are possibilities.
For Nintendo I think they will reveal a port of Super Mario 3D World and the Metroid Trilogy, not show anything of Metroid, given that the new studio that took over development won’t have been working on it long, and then just show more of games we already know about, with a release date for Zelda: Link’s Awakening. I would love them to announce a new 3D Mario called Super Mario 3D Galaxy and a new Strikers Charged game.
With third parties, a lot has already been revealed or leaked, so I’m not sure what is left other than Bethesda showing another teaser for Starfield.
Now playing: Yakuza Zero (PS4) and Iconoclasts (PS Vita)
At E3 I am most looking forward to Cyberpunk 2077. For me, so far this generation there’s been the The Witcher 3 and then there’s been everything else, so I’m excited to see what that team have been working on. We’re almost guaranteed to see quite a lot of it as well.
I am not interested in any streaming announcements at all. It’s not that I’m against the idea of the services, I would consider using them myself when they’re available, but the thought of them just doesn’t excite me. It’s just another way of accessing content and not the kind of thing I’d see and think ‘Wow, I can’t wait for that’ in the same way I would about a specific game.
Just to end on a sanctimonious note, I’d love to see someone important stick their neck out and discuss the issues around working practices in the industry that have been in the news over the last year or so. I get that E3 isn’t necessarily the place for this, but these cultures destroy lives and families and it would be a watershed moment for the industry to hear the changes needed to address this being discussed on the biggest stage possible.
Everything was Ubisoft
I must admit nearly every game that’s piquing my interest for E3 are from Ubisoft. Firstly, Watch Dogs Legion, having done a photo opinion piece last year around London using Assassin’s Creed Syndicate I’m really curious how a modern day (or near future?) portrayal of London will take shape.
Presumably a condensed section of the city or restricted to the square mile for some elaborate reason. As a company Ubisoft put a lot of time and effort into the worlds they build. I definitely intend to pick this up and use it primarily to virtual tourist around the capital. I’ll accept its cheaper to buy a train ticket and just go into London but we are all a little geeky here and it makes me smile.
Secondly, Ghost Recon. Picked up the last game on launch and found it a broken mess, the only real fun came when playing as a group by stripping away all the various ‘cheats’ and video game mechanics like HUDs and radar and playing it purely as a sim.
From what I’ve picked up the feedback they’ve taken onboard recognises those still playing Wildlands are the more hardcore users who want a return to more of a sim-based game. All the hints and footage of the new game seem to suggest its dialling back the gamey elements and hopefully, maybe, fingers crossed a return to the more brutal Ghost Recon of old.
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I suppose the known quantities I’m most interested in for this year’s show would be Fable IV and Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2. Can we just agree to call that Bloodlines 2 from here on? That would be grand.
But they come with big caveats. Fable II is, for me, a cast iron classic and one of the best role-players of all time. Some may be less impressed but I don’t care for them. Fable III was definitely none of those things. I mean, it all started well. It was looking like a 7 out of 10 game, 8 if it really had a showstopper endgame. But once you got to be monarch – you know, that game’s main selling point – it just ran out of steam. You could see the game’s momentum come to a sudden, crashing halt right before your eyes the moment your hero ascended to the throne! From a certain point of view that’s almost impressive.
The previous Masquerade game was very interesting but also very flawed. Fable IV has a new developer, new world, and new everything by the sound of it – so there is plenty of reasons to be concerned. Whereas with Bloodlines 2, there is just so little to go on right nowl. But, as the eternal saying goes, we shall see…
I’m most interested in what Capcom do this year. I would really love for them to surprise me in some way. Like a Rival Schools/Power Stone flavoured sort of surprise. I would probably be so happy that I would die. I think more Resident Evil is some ways off, so… what else? A new Street Fighter that finally has compelling single-player? Why is it that so much to ask for, Capcom?
Or something completely different. I can’t guess as to what that may be, I don’t know yet.
Despite now being in my fourth decade of life, I still feel a giddy, childlike excitement in the build-up to E3. There’s not really anything I’m even that excited about, but I suppose it’s the fact that we have a massive event dedicated to a past time that I’ve spent most of my life enjoying.
I suppose I’m old enough now to not get too excited when an amazing looking game is unveiled, accompanied by a release date of two years in the future, only for it to never look as good as the E3 footage. I like that Nintendo are generally only announcing games less than one year before they’re due, and I’ll be watching for any footage of Luigi’s Mansion 3 and Animal Crossing, as well as Zelda: Link’s Awakening, although that’s a day one purchase for me anyway.
I’d love to see the much-rumoured Metroid Prime Trilogy and a port of Super Mario 3D World. The dream would be a sequel to Zelda: Breath Of The Wild and a new F-Zero. Instead, they’ll probably unveil something entirely random that nobody expected and it’ll still be incredible. Nintendo magic.
I’d like to see the next generation of virtual reality devices at E3. I was strongly tempted by PlayStation VR but as I’ve never owned a PlayStation 4 and it seemed like you needed a lot of extra gizmos to use it properly, I gave that headset a miss.
The most obvious use for the next gen consoles is virtual reality as it needs plenty of processing power. Of course, I’d like to see games that make virtual reality essential.
I hope that the E3 show features such products, I also hope they’re affordable.
Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here
Microsoft’s big day
Nintendo: I obviously expect much more information about Luigi’s Mansion 3, the Zelda: Link’s Awakening remake, and Animal Crossing. And for those three to be playable at the show and maybe Pokémon Sword/Shield (although I’m not sure E3 is a fitting environment for that). I think all that plus Fire Emblem and some smaller titles make a good second half for the year and a couple of those could be real contenders for best game of 2019.
I’d like to see at least a small tease for a big single-player 2020 game. A Zelda: Majora’s Mask style sequel to Breath Of The Wild for late next year (when the game will be over three and a half years old) would steal the show in terms of news and while it usually takes five years or more for a substantial Zelda game to be made, I can’t see them so easily abandoning that incredible engine and all its assets this time, so a lot of the framework is already in place.
Microsoft: I’d be surprised if they didn’t give more away about their next machines. Part of me thinks that for both Microsoft and Sony there might be an element of both forward and backward compatibility with many new games being cross generation and no requirement to own separate copies of them for next gen machines. This would be a bit too pro-consumer and risk undermining the point of buying new machines but it might justify some of the very big games that are still pencilled in for late in the day this gen. It may even go as far as all next gen games initially running on an Xbox One X as well, albeit at a lower performance level so just the One S is phased out when the new machines arrive.
From the sound of it, it seems Microsoft are also going to try and knock it out the park in terms of first party support and I wonder if there’ll be a quantity over substance issue there. It’s no good boasting a ton of first party games if most of them are instalments in overfamiliar series or from studios yet to prove themselves. Anyway, that’s just my expectation rather than being based on much.
In terms of what I actually want from Microsoft, the best I can think of is for their cloud service to run on Switch.
Third parties: I expect a few Watch Dogs style tech demos that pretend to be fully representative of a next gen game. A few publishers will definitely want to show they’re looking beyond this gen at this stage. Also, at least 15 trailers that end with a large object or beast hurling into the camera before the screen cuts to black and reveals the game’s logo.
What I’d like is a proper reveal of that big budget Harry Potter game. I’m not the biggest Potter fan and I don’t care for Warner Bros, (who I think get away with more than the likes of EA when it comes to shady business practices) but if it met all its potential and showed a fully explorable Hogwarts with plenty of puzzles, riddles, and the sort of atmosphere and scenery you’d expect from that setting, it could be a great success.
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