PC Gamer's E3 2015 predictions
We go into every E3 with big hopes. Is this finally the year we get to see that game which was announced six years ago, went on hiatus, was rumored to be canceled, was briefly teased in a Facebook post from the studio two years ago, and was rumored to be back on (based on a LinkedIn profile/trademark registration) but then canceled again? We sure hope so! There's always a chance, right?
Part of the fun of E3 is the surprises. And part of the fun of surprises is trying to predict them. So, we gathered a gaggle of PC Gamer's writers and asked them what they want to happen at E3 2015, and what they actually expect to happen. What do you think we'll see?
What I want: Cyberpunk 2077 is almost certainly not on the marketing agenda for CD Projekt at present, but after hundreds of hours spent roaming the Northern Realms in The Witcher 3, some details or footage would make my E3. Imagine an open world cyberpunk playground on the scale of The Witcher 3? It could very well be the most beautiful thing ever crafted by human hands. Realistically it won’t happen: this year and the next are the “years of the Witcher”, and it’d probably take either Sony or Microsoft to showcase the game during one of their conferences. I’m not optimistic, but I’m stubbornly, futilely hopeful.
What I expect: Dark Souls 3. Replaying Dark Souls 2 recently, it occurred to me that I don’t really want to play games that aren’t Dark Souls games. I do play other games, and I enjoy them, but when push comes to shove every game could benefit from being Dark Souls instead of whatever game it actually is. I want to play Dark Souls for the rest of my life. I want it annualised. I want a new Dark Souls as soon as I complete the last one. So it doesn’t disappoint me at all that Dark Souls 3 is likely to appear at E3 next week, so soon after the last. I don’t care if it’s the B-team or the Z-team, and I don’t care if the graphics aren’t improved or the environments are basically the same. Dark Souls 3 will very likely make an appearance at E3 and for that I am eternally grateful.
What I want: Mass Effect 4. Every time I’ve gone back to play the original Mass Effect trilogy I’ve had to quickly stop because I just can’t bear to overwrite the memories from my first trip through the games. It’s a violation of my personal canon, if that’s even a thing: the way things happened, that’s the way they happened. So, I’m ready for a new Mass Effect game from BioWare, and I’m hoping this recent tweet from Michael Gamble, producer at BioWare, indicates that ME4 won’t just be teased at E3 but will actually be released this year.
What I expect: Star Wars. You may have noticed a disturbance in the Force, as if a billion dollars cried out… and were suddenly printed on a giant money-making machine. Despite a recent history of disappointment and betrayal, the world is once again sweaty with Star Wars fever because a few X-wings flew over some water and Harrison Ford creaked out a line. Anyone with a Star Wars license is no doubt in high gear. We’ll see some sort of Star Wars game announcement—The New Republic?— from BioWare/EA.
What I want: Nintendo announces it will be releasing all of its first-party titles for the PC. For the record, I am aware that this will never happen. Probably ever. But the recent news that the next Harvest Moon game will be coming to PC has rekindled that idiotic and ill-advised thing inside me called “hope.” The plain and simple truth of it is that some of the best multiplayer games in recent years have been exclusively for Wii U, and Nintendo’s online multiplayer support is still stuck in the Stone Age. The chance to play Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros., or Nintendo Land with a mouse, keyboard, and stable server connection may never happen in a million years, but imagine how awesome it would be if it did?
What I expect: Another obscure CG trailer for Beyond Good and Evil 2. It’s been awhile since Ubisoft played this cruel game with our hearts. We’ve already seen two CG trailers for Beyond Good and Evil 2—the first in 2008 and the second in 2009—but six years later, it’s likely that whatever we saw of that version of the game has been scrapped entirely. That hasn’t stopped Ubisoft from assuring us that the sequel hasn’t been cancelled, and we even heard rumors around this time in 2013 about a possible re-announcement coming. My prediction is that it’s been long enough and Ubisoft will be ready to show us a third unhelpful, uninformative, hype inducing CG trailer of Jade and Pey’j. That or it’s actually been cancelled.
What I want: New games! Ones that don't have a number after them. Or ones that do have a number after them, but only as a bold commentary on the over-reliance of franchisable brands. I want a dour studio executive to stand on stage and reveal a new sandbox roguelike about skateboarding horses. Not anthropomorphic ones, either. Just regular horses. On skateboards. Or perhaps a survival game where everybody has to walk on stilts? Maybe the floor is lava, and you wobble around the world QWOP-style, trying to push other players over. Look, I haven't thought this through. The point is that I want to be surprised.
What I expect: Realistically, sequels and reboots. Thanks to early announcements we already know much of what's going to be shown, and most of it has a 2, 3 or even 4 on the end. And while Ubisoft has, in previous years, announced new series like Watch Dogs or The Division, the fact that the latter hasn't been released yet could result in a more conservative line-up this year. That isn't to say it'll be a poor show. There are more conferences than ever, which means we should find out about a whole bunch of stuff.
What I want: A new single-player Elder Scrolls game. Oblivion and Skyrim were five years apart, and it’s been almost four years since Skyrim released, so it’s possible. Adding to that speculation, Bethesda is putting on its first press conference. It’s already announced two of the games it’s showing—Doom and Fallout 4—and no one expects it to stop there.
What I expect: Dishonored 2. We’re only a couple years into the new console cycle, which I imagine would’ve affected any new Elder Scrolls in development, and Zenimax is still pushing The Elder Scrolls Online. I’d also be surprised if Bethesda put The Elder Scrolls up against Fallout, but Dishonored 2? Yeah, I could see that.
Most likely, Bethesda will drop a teaser sometime next year, and then reveal The Elder Scrolls VI at E3 2016. In the meantime: Dishonored 2. And definitely no Prey 2.
What I want: Someone, almost anyone, to do something meaningful with Star Trek. With all the nice space games thrusting around, and the movie reboots still humming along, it makes me sad that we don’t have something more ponderous, high-fidelity, and exploration-driven to look forward to in that universe.
What I expect: More realistically, I’d bet my communicator badge that we’ll finally get our first substantial look at the new Mass Effect during EA’s conference or one of the other first-party events. Considering how heavily they teased it at E3 last year, the time is ripe to show us what it looks and feels like. Otherwise, as the others have mentioned, Bethesda wouldn’t go through all that trouble putting on its own event simply to shed more light on Fallout 4 and Doom. There’s gotta be something more in store from them.
What I want: New RPGs to look forward to alongside Fallout 4, now that we’ve got both The Witcher 3 and Dragon Age: Inquisition—show me what the new Mass Effect looks like. Loads of it. Planets, spaceships, the works. Announce Final Fantasy XV for PC. Let’s see that original RPG that the old Mass Effect team is working on at BioWare Edmonton. Also: a Red Dead Redemption remaster, announced at either the Sony or Microsoft conference, but finally confirmed as coming to PC about 20 minutes later as well.
What I expect: EA teasing its next Star Wars game from Visceral and Uncharted creative director Amy Hennig. I actually expect a gameplay trailer for the next Mass Effect, given that it was shown off at Comic Con last year, and I can see Bethesda showing off a first teaser for Dishonored 2 but nothing more elaborate at this stage.
What I want: In seven years, I don’t think anyone has made a racing game that can touch Burnout Paradise. Not even Criterion (or Criterion spin-off Ghost Games) with the last couple Need for Speeds. Former Criterion studio heads Alex Ward and Fiona Sperry left the company in 2014 to start a new studio, and I have no idea what they’ve been making since. But I hope it’s a true successor to Burnout Paradise, with all the energy of Criterion’s best racers, and another seven years of thought put into how to make an online open world driving game. Honestly, I wouldn’t even be that disappointed if it was something other than a racing game. I just want to see another game as thoroughly perfect as Burnout Paradise.
What I expect: Arkane Studios has either been working on Dishonored 2 or Prey 2, right? Maybe Prey 2 is dead, but Dishonored certainly did well enough to earn a sequel. Either of those could be a game of the show contender, because Arkane clearly knows how to do smart, nuanced first-person action. If Dishonored 2 or Prey 2 is at E3, I expect it to look like a damn good time.
What I want: A new Bioware Star Wars RPG. Imagine it. It needn’t even be Knights of the Old Republic 3. All I want is a spaceship and a bunch of companions (some of them droids) and a couple of lightsabers, and a morality system that presents quadaries that are a bit more complex than “will you save this baby or eat this baby?” EA have leveraged the license to create Battlefront. Could Bioware’s new thing be Star Wars? Probably not, but a wookie can dream.
What I expect: A lacklustre year for consoles and an amazing year for PC gamers. Sony is already warning fans not to expect too much from this year’s conference, and MS has said that big hitters like Platinum’s Scalebound won’t be at the show either. Tomb Raider will be a sore exception, but otherwise the age of console exclusives will continue to wane while on PC, there are more games than ever.