With E3 2017 just a few days away, I decided that now is as good a time as any to put together a list of predictions and hopes for this year’s keynotes.
WARNING: this is a really long post.
Kicking things off this weekend is EA, again, they won’t actually be at E3 (for the second year in a row) but they will be hosting their usual conference at the Palladium Theatre in Hollywood. Aside from their usual sports games, we’ll be getting Star Wars Battlefront 2 (which will have a single-player campaign following a TIE Fighter Pilot after the destruction of the Death Star) and Need For Speed Payback – not sure how much I should be looking forward to that but we’ll see how it goes.
Under EA we also have Visceral and Respawn Entertainment each working on their own Star Wars titles; we know literally nothing of what Visceral is up to but Respawn has told us that their game “takes place in a different timeline we have yet to explore with our EA Star Wars titles”, meaning that they’re messing with the canon in ways we can’t imagine and they’re just trying to cover their asses before we even pick up our sabers and start slashing at them for their sins.
But both Visceral and Respawn Entertainment have been working on these projects for quite some time, so it seems fair to expect at least a teaser from one of them.
DICE still has a Battlefield DLC to deliver but it’s more likely that EA will spend this year focusing on Need For Speed Payback; which will introduce three main characters for the campaign. NFS Payback will be playable at the EA Play stand but you’ll need a ticket.
Bioware is apparently working on something as well, but it’s unlikely they’ll show us anything this year.
Then we have Microsoft, which has moved from their usual Monday time slot to Sunday afternoon.
Microsoft will most probably be telling us more about the Scorpio but what we all really want is a demonstration: native 4k resolution is a big deal for the gaming industry and I’d love to see how pre-existing games look on the Scorpio. Microsoft has been looking to merge the PC gaming market and the console market for a while now, and the Scorpio seems to be the next step in that plan. With XBox Live allowing Windows 10 users to play their games across the XBOne, XBOne S, Scorpio and Windows 10 PCs, which will effectively bring X-Box exclusives to PC, and allow players to keep their saves across both platforms.
VR will be taking something of a backseat at Microsoft’s keynote this year, they seem to be focusing on bringing it to Windows 10 PCs for now; but maybe they have a little surprise in store for us, who knows.
Microsoft loves announcing big things at E3, and after the flops that were ReCore and Quantum Break, I’m sure they’ll be looking to fix that and announce something that will come out amazingly. Scalebound probably won’t make it to E3 this year (probably won’t make it to anything ever) but there are rumours that it might be making a comeback, and seeing as we were shown a working version last year, if there is still some hope for it, doubtless we’ll be seeing something of it this year.
Middle Earth: Shadow of War will undoubtedly be showing up, Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment has mentioned that they’re working on something that will function on both the PS4 Pro and the Scorpio, and Microsoft might as well use Shadow of War to demonstrate the Scorpio’s true capabilities.
Microsoft’s ID@Xbox initiative will most definitely be showing us some new stuff, and with State of Decay 2 in the works, I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us this year.
Up next is everyone’s favourite glitch-ridden company… Bethesda.
We all know that Bethesda doesn’t function like most other companies when it comes to press releases, they like to announce something and then actually give it to us just a few short months later; as opposed to announcing something and making us wait two or three years to even see anything of it.
Which means we’ll probably be playing Starfield sometime around the end of the year. Starfield promises to be an open-universe (already gives me the shivers, after what happened with No Man’s Sky) role-playing game. I can’t wait to see how this pans out, but let’s be honest: it’s gonna come out, we’re all going to love it and then we’re going to complain about the glitches that *supposedly* make it unplayable and then the game will get a good deal of hate only for us to swarm back to it at the first hint of DLC, and in a few years we’ll all look back at it and think: “Oh my God, this game is truly amazing”.
What I’m really dying to see is what Starfield actually does, amidst rumours that it will come alongside a mobile app (no idea what the app will be like) but that together, the game and the app will link all of Bethesda’s franchises into something of a shared universe. Bethesda Games Universe? These rumours are ridiculous at best but it would be pretty amazing if they’re true. This would mean that the Brotherhood of Steel created the Crimson Nirnroot and that The Elder Scrolls actually takes place thousands of years after the events of the Fallout games. Then, of course, there are the ramifications of Doom and Wolfenstein… Doomslayer versus Molag Bal, lemme know who you think would win.
DOOM VR and Fallout VR might make a comeback, we got tiny hints of Fallout VR last year and a very basic demo of DOOM VR, one hopes we’ll get to see the progress they’ve made since.
At E3 2016, Bethesda hinted at another Wolfenstein game, so chances are that we’ll get an actual announcement this E3… which means we’ll probably be playing it by the end of the year.
Personally, I’m hoping for at least a teaser to Elder Scrolls VI, doesn’t even have to be an announcement, just a tiny little teaser. Wishful thinking, I know, but a guy can dream.
And now for Sony.
Last year they showed us a trailer for Death Stranding… it’s been a whole year and we still don’t actually know what the game is. We know Kojima is involved, along with famed director Guillermo del Toro and actor Norman Reedus… and that’s about it. We’ve been told that the devs are just messing around with the engine right now, testing the waters and capabilities of the software they’re using, so the actual release for Death Stranding, let alone an announcement for a release date, is probably a long way off; as in, a few years off.
Something that we can say with certainty will be showing up is a game pertaining to a certain ashen, god slaying spartan… with an epic beard. We saw some gameplay footage and got a feel for the basics of the next entry in the God of War franchise, so this year we’re probably going to be seeing a little more of everyone’s favourite Spartan and find out what the heck he’s doing in the frozen wastes of Norse mythology.
Shenmue 3 may or may not make an appearance; it’s not a Playstation exclusive but Sony lent their stage towards the developers last year and even helped launch the Kickstarter, so it’s likely that we’ll be seeing a little more of that, even if just in the form of a few teasers or a little bit of gameplay footage.
One thing Sony definitely does is surprise us, with the announcements and reveals for many of their greatest games happening at E3, so expect a little of the unexpected from them, because, chances are they’re planning something big for this year (just like every other year, funny how that works).
One of the longest keynotes is usually the PC Gaming conference, organised by PC Gamer and sponsored by Intel.
It seems like Titanfall has made mechs popular again on the gaming scene, what with a whole slew of developers developing titles for the BattleTech universe; so we’re probably going to see something on that front.
Just a few weeks ago, a trailer, which took everyone by surprise, dropped; LawBreakers. A multiplayer shooter that appears to have a tonne of personality. The fact that the trailer dropped just before E3 and that the game is expected to release sometime later this year means that we’ll probably see some gameplay at E3, but it’s not confirmed.
Tripwire Interactive showed us a little something of Rising Storm 2: Vietnam last year and it’s unknown if they have anything planned for this year, but maybe they have a DLC planned and are looking to advertise a little.
Bohemia Interactive hasn’t confirmed their presence at this year’s PC Gaming keynote but expect them to show us a little more of Argo, a free-to-play competitive shooter expected to drop June 22.
Raw Fury Games and Odd Tales teamed up a short while ago to begin work on The Last Night, a Blade Runner inspired side-scrolling action adventure game. Having gone quiet over the last few years, they released a teaser in February, so we can expect to see them making an appearance on stage this year.
Microsoft will also be on stage for a short part of the PC Gaming keynote, claiming that they will focus on “how Xbox plays into PC.” Sounds like they’re trying to pitch the Xbox Play Anywhere programme to me. But, who knows, they might just surprise us with something else for the PC.
Now for Nintendo:
Let’s be honest, some of us are looking forward to this and some of us aren’t; personally, I don’t find much excitement from Nintendo but maybe they’ll surprise me this year. Expect to see a long list of games coming to the Switch, including Super Mario Odessy, Splatoon 2, Arms, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, amidst a whole bunch of unannounced games and a tonne of indie stuff.
The 3DS can expect some attention, namely in the forms of Miitopia and Hey! Pikmin. And while the Switch fills the market for portable gaming, I wouldn’t be surprised if Nintendo throws one more title into the 3DS.
This year we have a newcomer to E3 in the form of Devolver Digital, who’s conference will apparently be closed to the public (but will still be streaming just like all the other companies at E3). Devolver Digital is famous for publishing indie titles, The Talos Principle being their best game so far, in my opinion. They will be hosting what they call an “Indie Picnic” in the parking lot across the street from the LA Convention Centre’s South Hall (Indie Picnic will be open to the public). We don’t actually know of any titles that will be appearing at the Picnic but we’ll be seeing some stuff from young and enthusiastic developers who will one day, undoubtedly, become some of the biggest names in game dev history.
And that about wraps up what to expect from E3 2017. It’s going to be major hell trying to stay awake through it all (timezones, man, they drive me crazy) but I look forward to several hundred cups of coffee and large meals in between keynotes.
What are you hoping to see at E3 this year? Let me know in the comments down below.