E3 is once again creeping onto us. Personally, other than the UK Games Expo (last weekend) and Christmas, E3 is one of my favourite times of the year. I love the hype that is created when developers and publishers announce the new games that are on the horizon, some fast approaching (I really like it when that Phil Spencer guy says something like “Which is available on Xbox One… right now”), where as others we are left waiting until next years E3 when we find out a little bit more (I’m looking at you Death Stranding!).
Another aspect of E3 that I enjoy is when games come completely out of left field and take us all by surprise, such as the announcement of a new title in a beloved series. Sometimes just a logo on a black screen is enough to get the crowd cheering, and this always brings a smile to my face.
As we build up the excitement to E3, below are my own personal games I am most looking forward to, which we know are on the way, as well as a couple of titles that I hope will be announced, but we have had no indication that they will be shown at E3… or even if they are in production at all! But one can hope.
I will also give my thoughts on a few other games which have been announced at E3, whether they are good or bad in my eyes.
So, let’s get to it. First up, the games we KNOW are a-coming.
- Hitman 2
This has only recently been leaked through Twitter and an announcement is inbound on Thursday the 7th
I really enjoyed the previous entry in the Hitman series. The episodic nature had mixed feelings between gamers, but personally I found that I actually played the game more because of it. Previous Hitman games, there were often levels that I played once and then never played again, playing the levels I considered better over and over to try and get all the unique ways of killing the target/s. In this Hitman, I found myself continuously playing the level over and over to try and get all the achievements, challenges, and unique kills, all over the course of the month whist I wait for the next level to be released, as the levels were large enough and so diverse that you could easily lose hours mastering them. I am pretty sure that because of this, plus all the additional content that was released for the game over its lifespan, I must have played this game for about a year solid, which, in this day and age, is a unique thing indeed.
The elusive targets were another fantastic addition to the game, and as such, I am really excited to see what new features Hitman 2 will have.
- Red Dead Redemption 2
Following what amazing work Rockstar did with Grand Thief Auto 5, as well as the quality that they always put in every single on of their games, Red Dead Redemption 2 is a game to be very excited about. Not only is it the sequel to the brilliant Red Dead Redemption of 2010, which will have a great open world action packed adventure through the American frontier, but also we could potentially have a cowboy themed multiplayer experience which could be on par with GTA online, which I loved.
While I was not a fan of the actual story of the original Red Dead Redemption (not the original Red Dead as we cannot forget the forgettable Red Dead Revolver), but the gameplay was fantastic. This will be a great game for Rockstar to showcase.
- The Last of Us – Part 2
Now the original TLOU was an absolutely phenomenal game that a lot of people regard as one of the greatest games of the last 6 years.
It was an emotional roller-coaster through fantastic storytelling and gameplay that had us hooked on the edge of our seats from start to finish. From intense shoot outs, hiding from the infected, exploring the ruins of the world, or just watching the relationship unfold between the two protagonists, The Last of Us had it all.
We have only seen a few trailers of Part 2, and what has been shown proves that it will be as hard hitting and bleak as the first game.
This is a very exciting title that I cannot wait to see in action and actually witness some gameplay footage, rather than just the cinematic trailers which have been shown so far, although given how Naughty Dog games normally have incredible lifelike graphics, the trailer we have seen might even be part of the gameplay itself, only time will time, but I will be eagerly waiting for Sony’s conference (if it was not at silly-o’clock in the morning).
- Fallout 76
“What the hell is Fallout 76?!”, this seems to be a question we have been asking ourselves since Bethesda first announced the game last week.
Rumours have it as a Rust/Ark survival type game, which has been backed up by promotional posters with multiple Vault boys, so we will most likely have a multiplayer focused Fallout game, which is fine. It has been a bit too soon since Fallout 4 for another new single player Fallout game. Don’t get me wrong, I would love another reason to venture back into the wasteland, but I would have liked to return to Tamriel first. But Bethesda released Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas both in the time between The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion and 5: Skyrim, so you never know.
For me, these two franchises are some of my favourite RPGs on the consoles. They are so full of rich storytelling and their worlds have secrets hidden in every corner, that you can easily lose yourself in them and not advance the main storyline at all. Sometimes the side quests are just as good as the main ones, and the DLCs are always welcome additions that I am always happy to hand over my hard earned cash for.
But the potential to play a Fallout game with a couple of friends and explore this post-apocalyptic world.
Following Mass Effect: Andromeda, I lost a little faith in EA and Bioware. I had heard that a lot of the development team of the old Mass Effects did not work on Andromeda and instead have focused their efforts on Anthem, which by the looks of it, appears to be a Science Fiction multiplayer third person shooter that has a very Destiny feel about them.
EA have come out and said that single player is no longer their main focus, and for me personally, that has made me step even further away from this game.
However, people who like games like Destiny and other console MMO type games may find Anthem exactly what they are looking for.
This is an interesting title that could have amazing potential if it is done right, echoing the amazing Spider-Man 2 on the PS2, yet not wallowing in it like Spider-Man 3 did.
I am hopeful that this game can reignite Spider-Man games and create a similar buzz that the Arkham games did for Batman.
From what we have seen there appears to be a lot of quick-timed events, but I am not on the QTE hating bandwagon (unless they are in a boss battle, which can do one!).
If the game focused on its own thing and doesn’t try to link to the Marvel Cinematic Universe or anything, but instead tries to make their own mark on the Spider-Man franchise (again, like what the Arkham games did for Batman), then we have the makings of a great third person open-world action adventure.
- Skull & Bones
This is a pirate game from Ubisoft which echoes Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag, where players take control of a customisable pirate captain, sailing around the Indian Ocean by themselves and set off on a single-player campaign, or accumulate up to five other players to ally or engage one another in multiplayer.
The trailer we have seen looks very much like a spin off to Black Flag, and it appears to use the same engine, however, it appears to be pretty much unrelated.
Given the success of Sea of Thieves (albeit mild success due to lack of content), but it seems that Pirate themed games are making a big comeback!
According to what Ubisoft has said, Skull & Bones includes upgradable ships (as well as getting bigger and better ships), utilising wind positioning, treasuring hunting, and everything else pirate related.
This is definitely one to keep an eye out for, although my own relationship with Ubisoft has recently not been what it once was.
- Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
Speaking of Ubisoft, recently leaked and then announced comes the latest addition in their Assassin’s Creed series; Odyssey.
Now after Syndicate, Ubisoft knocked off their annual releases of these games and decided to apparently take the time to work on their next entry; Origins, which when it came out, was mixed. It was enormous and had fantastic potential, but it seemed that Ubisoft thought that bigger was better and focused more on quantity over quality, creating a mildly entertaining open-world third person action adventure, which, for me, felt dull and uninteresting.
I have played every Assassin’s Creed title released on the consoles (at least the main entries in the series and not the Chronicle ones and other side titles), but it was this very game that made me decide not to rush out and buy every new game that money driven publishers churn out in order to bleed us dry, and as such I have actually moved towards my back catalogue of games and played things like Dark Souls and Dead Space, along with many other games instead of picking up the latest copy/paste open-world game from Ubisoft, and because of this, I have yet to play Far Cry 5, which appears to just be more of the same.
Having said that, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is set in ancient Greece, and the logo appears to be a Spartan helmet, which has peaked my interest, so we will have to wait and see, although Ubisoft love releases only cinematic trailers and never show us gameplay footage, so we will be waiting a while even after E3 for any actual footage of this game.
- Battlefield V
The first of the two FPS multiplayer shooters to feature here, which are of course the big rivals to one another, although for me personally, I am done with both franchises. After Call of Duty: WW2, and the month that I played it for (which is poor for a multiplayer game in my eyes), I will not pick up either of these games unless I borrow them off someone later down the line. It is not that they are bad games (well Black Ops 4 probably will be with all the extra jump pack and silliness featured), as Battlefield 1 was enjoyable for while it lasted. It is just that they are too multiplayer focused and their Single player always feels a little thrown on afterwards. Battlefield 1 had some good potential and some great looking levels, but the story was just 5 shorter stories, some of which were just to give us a reason to drive a tank or fly a plane.
If you are interested in these games, then you will have fun with them and should be excited for them! If I had to pick out of the two, Battlefield V would be the one that I would picked up. I have a feeling they are going to do the same with their Single player (if they even have one) as they did in their last game, but if it is announced that they have a Band of Brothers style story campaign focusing on one group of soldiers during World War 2 (which is this entries setting), then this would be enough to make me pick this game up.
- Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
And of course we come to the other entry. Call of Duty: WW2 was not a bad game. Its story mode was enjoyable while it lasted, although it could have been so much better given the potential. I think the focus of bringing it back to World War 2, and storming the beaches of Normandy on this gen’s consoles, brought me back to the series following its downfall with Call of Duty: Ghosts (before this I was in a proper clan and played in a league every week, complete with training matches and practicing tactics, so I was heavily involved with this series), but by then the buzz for these games have gone. Battlefield and Call of Duty used to use the MP scene, but Fortnite and PUBG have taken over and now both BF and CoD are attempting to copy them by creating their own Battle Royal modes in an attempt to get down with the kids.
- Death Stranding
From the former Metal Gear creator, staring Norman Reedus and Mads Mikkelsen, and some how involving Guillermo del Toro, this game has created a lot of buzz, and a lot of confusing trailers, but we unsure if we have actually seen any gameplay footage of it at all.
We all know that Hideo Kojima likes to make movies rather than games, and given what we have already seen, we know that we are in for a very confusing, if not most likely enjoyable, experience.
This was showcased last year at E3 and hopefully this year we will see a lot more of it, as, quite frankly, I could not even explain what this game is to someone. Something about babies and oil? Fuck knows.
- A few other notable mentions, which are worth mentioning but I personally have no intention to buy or play, are:
- Kingdom Hearts 3
- The Division 2
- Beyond Good and Evil 2
- Rage 2
- Super Smash Bros for the Switch
Be sure to check out my next article featuring my thoughts on the rumoured games of E3 2018