It seems that every year there’s an expectation with game companies and their E3 promises. Some exceed, while others underwhelm drastically. As time goes by, what may have been underwhelming proves to win out; while those that wowed audiences at the annual festival of electronic games potentially bomb at retail. I hesitate to make predictions, so instead I hand those brave enough to address an audience with a few things that could make or break their showing at E3.
Honestly Microsoft, Halo: The Master Chief Collection was embarrassing for you, but Forza Horizon 2 was phenomenal. Third-party support has been reasonable, with a few blips here and there in terms of compatibility. This year sees the new DirectX implemented which if the theory is true should make your games on Xbox One pop a little more.
Snagging timed exclusive rights to Rise of the Tomb Raider was a sneaky move, but combined with rumours of a new Gears of War title and the leak of Forza Motorsport 6, it’s a reasonably strong line-up so far. Just get some more IPs into your roster, some surprises here and there, and we should be golden.
This comes with caveats though. Halo 5: Guardians needs to be a return to form to restore people’s faith in 343 Industries. Fable: Legends is the make or break gamble of a century for Lionhead Studios. Rare hasn’t done anything of worth in years and absolutely needs to go back to their roots, rather than stick with Kinect. Heck, some people got so fed up of not getting a proper sequel to the Banjo Kazooie franchise that a successful Kickstarter is making a significant dent into Rare’s appeal.
The accidental leak of Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection and subsequent official announcement is probably the best thing that could have happened for Sony. After all, we know about this game now so you can spend more time focusing on showing us how incredible Uncharted 4’s going to be. Last year we were promised the world with DriveClub and The Order: 1886. Both had a less than stellar launch though DriveClub has apparently improved dramatically with post launch support.
Third-party support has been great, with some excellent indie titles launched on your platform. Bloodborne pretty much sold me on the PS4 and didn’t disappoint one bit. The momentum is slight, but there’s every opportunity to capitalise on this.
So what can you do that’s brand new? For starters, while our Editor-in-Chief has been saying this for years, this year I’m jumping into this bandwagon. Should you have enough money to buy the rights back from Activision, please let Naughty Dog make a new Crash Bandicoot. It’s not like Activision’s doing anything with the property now.
What about that famous piece of vanilla-ware though? The one that wowed us all those years ago when the PS3 was new? Honestly, I don’t really see it coming. I’d long assumed the project died off without as much as a murmur. I’m not even going to grace its existence by naming it.
So we have the next Zelda game looming in the distant future while Shigeru Miyamoto is helming the next Star Fox adventure. While I can’t really say I care about Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon, there are fans of the spinoff series. I’m genuinely excited for the new Fire Emblem games and several other Wii U games from other developers have sparked my interest. Mario has been working overtime for the past couple of years and aside from some recognition of his 30th anniversary I’d say he’s earned a rest.
But there’s one thing I won’t let slide if it doesn’t happen…
Nintendo, I’m going to level with you here for a second. I bought a Wii U last year because I genuinely liked what I had played of Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U prior to launch. I also rented a whole bunch of games for the platform to bring myself up to speed. I have played on my Wii U on a relatively frequent basis. Yet, it isn’t your new games that I’ve sunk hours into.
Because the games I’ve been playing for hours on end have been the re-releases of Metroid games. It was for a little while a similar story with my 3DS when the ambassador program allowed me to download Metroid Fusion. I actively bought Metroid 2: Return of Samus in all its Gameboy glory, before concluding that it hadn’t aged well at all.
On the Wii U, one of the first Wii conversions was Metroid Prime Trilogy – a game that is hard to find at a good price. I struggled getting my Wii Remote and Nunchuck in order to play the damn thing. Then you released my favourite Gameboy Advance game of all time – Metroid: First Mission. It is the definitive version of that NES classic. This week I’ve even bought Super Metroid and had a whale of a time.
Metroid: Other M does not count as a game in the franchise as the whole thing felt like a betrayal from the developers who made it. They didn’t understand the source material. Samus doesn’t wait for the man to give orders but is a strong independent female lead. Last year I would have settled for an updated Metroid 2: Return of Samus. This year I can’t. Both the 3DS and Wii U would make great platforms for another adventure. 2D or 3D, I don’t care, just please don’t mix them up together; the memories are still fresh…
You don’t have a conference, I know, but I’m putting you in your own category to ask one thing.
Please give up on Sonic Boom.
When I saw the announcement of a 3DS sequel, I nearly choked on my porridge. Last year was a dark year for the blue hedgehog. Prior efforts were showing signs of a return to form, despite some odd decisions for antagonists, but none were as painful as Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric. Granted, there’s no Wii U game (yet), but the cartoon isn’t doing so well either according to a couple of sources big on the whole cartoon thing.
As a publisher however you’re faring pretty well. Alien Isolation was sufficiently terrifying, while Bayonetta 2 is hands down the best 3rd Party game on the Wii U, even though Nintendo helped finance it. Your own IPs though? They desperately need to go back to their roots, especially that blue hedgehog.
You have a show this year. Great! I’d imagine the duration will be half an hour, so you won’t have much time to show off what you’ve got. Here’s what I’m expecting:
- Fallout 4 gameplay: You had a great reveal, but now it’s time to see it in action.
- Doom gameplay: We’ve waited long enough.
- Something acknowledging the existence of the updated version of The Elder Scrolls Online and its console launch. I don’t really care for it, but you’re probably going to do it anyway.
- A new game by Arcane studios – potentially a sequel to Dishonored.
Do this and you’re pretty much golden for your first show. You can’t do any worse than Konami did in 2010! Give us a good platform to stand on when E3 2016 rolls around!
I honestly have no idea what you’re going to do other than The Division, Rainbow Six: Siege, or Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate. Here’s what you’re not going to do though: make the “and finally” game look supreme yet impossible on current hardware. You pulled that stunt with Watch Dogs and I fear the same stunt was pulled with both of your non-Assassin’s Creed games this year. Realistic expectations are what entice people now.
You’ll probably have another Just Dance, but it’s probably about time we had another Rayman game announced, or at the very least another gorgeous looking UbiArt game.
EA have always underwhelmed me in conferences, mostly because a good third of their show is dedicated to the next FIFA or Madden annual update. Some have had genuine surprises however.
This is probably my biggest ask out of them all. I feel I should be surrounded with chalk markings, dressed in a hooded robe, and chanting the dark gods for this wish.
Please EA, please EA DICE or “EA Digital Illusions CE” to give you your full name; please make Star Wars: Battlefront not suck badly and not be filled to the brim with Star Wars Episode 7 stuff (yet). Please also hear my prayer in saying that Mirror’s Edge 2 needs to be shown at E3 this year, because honestly these are the two games in your roster I currently care about.
You can always surprise me again, but chances of that are slim given the time window.