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28th February 2018

E3 Look Ahead

Our thoughts on this year’s upcoming E3 2018
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E3 Look Ahead
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The year is full of gaming conventions: Gamescom, GDC, PAX; but nothing compares to one — one glorious gaming extravaganza; the holy grail, if you will; the event we anxiously wait for all year round: E3.

As I’m sure you were all witness to, last year we were treated to some absolute gems. Some of the big hitters like Assassin’s Creed: Origins and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus received glowing receptions and even titles such as Far Cry 5, A Way Out and Bioware’s new IP, Anthem, look set to reach similar heights.

Last year’s stars also took some really unexpected turns. Whilst its fair to say that many of us were more than impressed by the look of Battlefront II, what we actually got was the gaming equivalent of the prequels: highly-anticipated but much maligned in reality, and arguably the same can be said about Shadow of War — but let’s not give microtransactions any more air-time shall we?

On the positive side: the likes of Monster Hunter World, which flew under the radar amongst the swarm of AAAs, is making a real case for game of the year; also, whilst it is hard to see any Super Mario game as anything but iconic, Odyssey’s success has been outstanding, selling just under 500 copies a minute in its first 3 days—making it the best-selling title on Nintendo Switch.

That being said, if we’re chalking up E3 2017 as a big one — whether that be good or bad overall — we’re surely going to need a new list of superlatives to describe how awesome this year’s conference is shaping up.

First things first, in case you haven’t read our ‘What to expect in 2018’, we here in the gaming section at The Mancunion have some personal favourites that we know many are dying to see. So, why don’t we start with what I personally predicted to win “Best of Show” in June: Red Dead Redemption 2.

Photo: Flickr
Photo: Flickr

Believe it or not, it’s been nearly 8 years since we first grabbed the proverbial reins and took control of John Marston in Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption – even GTA V is already coming up on 5 years. Given that we’ve already had 2 trailers – one a teaser and the other more cinematic – it only seems fair that Rockstar gives us a more detailed playthrough to get us ready for October.

What I’m interested in is seeing how this instalment lines up narratively with the previous game, as it seems that this is, in fact, a prequel given that the name Dutch — a big character in RDR — was revealed in the second trailer, as well as seeing how the hugely fun multiplayer might have evolved.

Whilst I’m betting that more Red Dead footage is a dead cert, most people are driving themselves insane with the thought of what the other big boys in the gaming industry might surprise us with this E3, and whilst we’re talking of games you didn’t realise were so old, although Wolfenstein was a great game: in truth it wasn’t the release most Bethesda fans were waiting for.

Bethesda Softworks tend to stick to 7-year period between their high-profile releases, and given that the last cycle was Fallout 4 and Skyrim is as far back as 2011, it doesn’t seem too far-fetched for us to finally revisit Tamriel. Disregarding remasters and the largely different game that was The Elder Scrolls Online, we haven’t yet seen a truly current-gen Elder Scrolls. Fingers crossed!

Photo: Flickr
Photo: Flickr

Now, no E3 is arguably complete without a customary Call of Duty game—I know what you’re thinking: “WWII has only just dropped!”. Point is, even if you’re like me and you’re not a big fan of COD, it epitomises the annual release policy alongside the likes of FIFA and Assassin’s Creed.

Even though many of us might prefer a Battlefield 5 — which isn’t entirely unfeasible —, it’s more likely that we’ll see the usual alternation with Treyarch and Black Ops 4 build on the relative resurgence of the franchise we saw at the end of 2017.

Some notable mentions for this year’s E3 too. There are many games that were teased at last year’s convention that have drip-fed little more information beyond the title; ones to watch are the likes of Beyond Good and Evil 2; an absolutely wacky looking game of massive scale, as well as Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding, which remains the ultimate enigma in gaming right now.

Moreover, the aforementioned Anthem, which got a resounding applause when it debuted last year, looks to be the next big open-world RPG with co-op à la The Division or Ghost Recon: Wildlands. Oh, and how could I forget? The Last Of Us Part II! I need that storytelling perfection in my life.

Photo: Flickr
Photo: Flickr

And finally, it’s always fun to look at your Christmas list, if you will, of rare Pokémon and veritable pipe dream games that you’ve been waiting for. I’m not going to be so unoriginal as to recycle the dead meme of “Waiting for Half-Life 3 like…”, but there are other series might just have lain dormant long enough to catch us off guard.

We’re thinking of games like Fable, Skate, Diablo; series that have more than a sufficient fan-base who will throw money at the very mention. Some selfish desires of my own would be something like a new Killzone or a console aimed Civilization title. I know I won’t be entirely indulged and neither will you, but E3 always gives you what you need even before you knew you needed it. Roll on June!

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