In the last of our E3 2012 preview pieces, we let loose our imaginations and come up with a list of the things we'd really like to see in an ideal world. Most, if not all, of the following have little chance of actually happening, but it's nice to dream.
Ubisoft apologising for Mr Caffeine. That’s number one right there.
Seriously though, a few things come to mind, and the first is Overstrike being properly unveiled. Insomniac’s next big IP caught my attention last year, and will hopefully make an appearance in EA’s conference. The 4-player co-op setup mixed with their trademark art style and humour seems like a winner for me, and I can’t wait to see it properly in action.
Secondly, while its predecessor absolutely divided opinion (perhaps more so than Mass Effect 3’s ending) I’d love to see what Dragon Age III has in store. If BioWare’s presentation at PAX East is anything to go by, we might be getting the game Dragon Age II should have been, and if that’s the case I will forgive them for their dungeon-recycling madness. Maybe.
And finally, what I’d most like to see happen is for Microsoft, in all of their wisdom, to announce the release of a universal version of the greatest peripheral ever made, the Sidewinder flight stick, at an affordable price. This brilliant move will no doubt be backed up by announcement of a new Wing Commander game; one where players will be able to hop between walking around their carrier with the gamepad and flying in space battles with the joystick. It will spark a gaming renaissance that will bring harmony to the gaming universe forever more.
Failing that, a new Star Wars game that doesn’t suck might be nice.
The thing I'd most like to see, eh? Does Mr. Caffeine being forced to continually make his "doobly doobly" noise while being trapped in an industrial microwave full of scorpions count as a thing?
Apologies. What I would like to see, on a more serious note, is publishers publicly acknowledging the growing importance of the Indie and boutique gaming scene, even as double-A development is withering away to be replaced by small teams, focused game experiences and £5-£15 price tags. I'd like to watch Microsoft flaunt the Xbox Live Indie Games marketplace in their E3 press conference, acknowledging it as the only real selling point the Xbox 360 has bar a motion control gimmick. The developers on the service work unbelievably hard just to make a living, and Microsoft needs to step up the amount of visibility and publicity they offer. Where else can you buy great games for 68p on a console? Why isn't there an XBLIG showcase on the floor? Why are you not putting an advert on the freaking box?
On the flip-side, Sony is currently making an aggressive play to become an attractive new home for indie development thanks to the PlayStation Suite beta, minis and aggressive acquisition of small studios like Thatgamecompany and Tiny Sparrow. Perhaps a shout out or two would be appropriate? And how great would it be to see Nintendo finally admit their eShop failings by explicitly encouraging smaller studios into their fold with open arms?
IndieCade will be on station to show off a few riotously inventive games (I'll do my damndest to swing by despite a hectic schedule), but I feel that this side of the market needs more support. Both from the ESA, from major publishers, and from us gamers.
It happens. Microsoft are wrapping up their conference. They’ve just shown us twenty minutes of yet another Call of Duty title, we’ve sat through another painful live demonstration of a Kinect title aimed at ‘families’, and we’re ready to write it all off as an entirely predictable presentation.
Then a voice fills the auditorium, instantly recognisable as the ‘G-man’, and we release that like the original Xbox before it, Half Life is going to provide one final, beautiful swan song for the current generation. Newell takes to the stage and apologises for Valve’s inability to get to grips with episodic development. “That’s okay Gabe, we forgive you!” come the cries from the audience. Newell admits that he’s done away with Half Life 2: Episode 3, and replaced it with a full-blown sequel to one of the best games of all time. Half Life 3 is coming to PC and Xbox 360 in 2013.
And so ends the same dream I’ve had every night for the past five years.
Most of my dreams involve LucasArts giving me what I want! Once past the initial apathy of Star Wars 1313, maybe they could unveil Jedi Knight 4 or even a sodding Jedi Knight HD Collection. I'll mention Grim Fandango HD too, just for effect.
I'd like BioWare to start making RPGs again rather than action games. I'd like Bethesda to tell us in no uncertain terms what the hell is going on with Prey 2, before announcing a new Fallout title. I'd like Microsoft to announce that they've bought Crytek UK, renamed them Freed Radical, and have set them to work on an exclusive TimeSplitters title. I'd like someone prominent other than Jenova Chen and David Cage to have the balls to inject something a little fresh to gaming outside the IndieCade.
None of these things will happen.
I'll settle for Sony delivering some games for the Vita and Nintendo not fucking up the Wii U twice in a row. And Just Cause 3. Please.
If I had to give an award for the best comedy game I've ever played I think I'd have to give it to Conker's Bad Fur Day because even now it can paralyse me with laughter and contains some outstanding movie references, so I'd love it if a sequel was finally announced.