Having a cheeky pre-E3 holiday was a great idea. Well, aside from the lack of internet, being awake for the last 36 hours, still having sand from the Aegean in my hair and suffering from regular twitchy lucid flashbacks of that spider that invaded my apartment one night.
But it’s the day before the biggest day in any gamers’ calendar and now that I’m no longer at the mercy of Wi-Fi powered by stray cats on a treadmill, I thought I better chuck in my Day zero predictions as the rest of the team have done for Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, EA and Ubisoft at E3 2014. Enjoy! I’m off to check my bed for spiders as big as my face.
I’m fully expecting God of War and Uncharted to smash my socks off tomorrow night with on-stage gameplay demos. If these massive names don’t appear, I think many PS4 owners are going to join me in feeling pretty damn pissed. It’s high time Sony stopped going on about how nice they are bringing indie games to PS4 and started showing gamers something that really pushes their hardware to the limit.
Naturally, I’d like to see some innovative titles announced for the Project Morpheus VR headset, along with a list of third-party developers that are working on specific games or adding compatibility for it. Some solid details on pricing or a release date would be nice too.
I share a concern with some of my colleagues though, in that it’s looking like more and more of Sony’s killer games are bound for 2015. We really need something big for the Xmas rush instead of leaving it up to the usual suspects of FIFA, Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty – not that I can’t wait to play all of them too.
I can see the Vita barely getting a shout to be honest, aside from a new bundle with the PS4, or maybe we’ll see a western release of the Vita TV hardware. We’ve been saying it for years though, where are the system-selling games for this incredibly powerful machine? I’ve been crossing my fingers for another Uncharted game on the Vita for so long that my hands are starting to resemble pretzels.
Anticipated Highlight – Kevin Butler marking a return by tearing onto the stage on a motorbike to announce Road Rash for the PS4.
Want to hear more of my thoughts about Sony at E3? Then check out my feature, The Sunday Seven: Ways for Sony to Win E3 2014.
After all the mixed messages, U-turns and the “just let it happen” moment of E3 2013, Microsoft are surely not going to have as poor a time with this year’s conference. With new a new boss, improved XBL Gold policies and a new Kinect-less SKU in recent months, they’re riding some seriously impressive momentum into the show.
I expect they’re going to bore us a little first with prolonged TV chat and some awkward app presentations, but the games they bring could be show stealers. With new Halo and Gears of War lurking in the wings, Microsoft could be preparing a serious assault on that all-important holiday season. Or maybe they’ll spend all their money on pushing Call of Duty as a faux-exclusive with logoed adverts.
I wouldn’t mind seeing another Alan Wake game if I’m honest, but I imagine they’ll focus on previously announced titles like Quantum Break, Sunset Overdrive and Project Spark and maybe some more Titanfall DLC. Long-shot rumours suggest we could also see the reveal of their own VR headset, as they won’t want to be left out of the Oculus/Morpheus party.
Anticipated Highlight – Only half of their show being about TV or US sports.
Oh Nintendo, why do you not understand the importance of having a stage presence at E3? Instead, we’re getting a special E3 Nintendo Direct video online. Oh well, we can see if that potted plant in Reggie’s office has grown, because it would seem Nintendo’s ambitions have not.
In fairness, I expect to feel rather envious of Wii U owners when some new gameplay is shown off for the likes of X and Bayonetta 2, but I strongly expect the latter to appear on the other consoles further down the line anyway.
Surely, patient Ninty fans are due to be rewarded with a Wii U Zelda game? It would be cruel to imagine another E3 with a Link no-show. If not, maybe the Wii U will get a Pokémon game, seeing as that franchise prints money. We’re almost guaranteed to see a new Mario game and more footage from Smash Bros at least.
As for the 3DS, expect some gameplay for the remakes of Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire and I’d imagine a new Monster Hunter is due for the 3DS just to annoy every Vita owner out there.
Anticipated Highlight – Something along the lines of “Please understand, we don’t hate the gays” in regards to Tomodachi Life.
There will be the obligatory sporting demos and painful celebrities-playing-themselves-in-a-game moments for the new NBA, Madden and FIFA games, but I’m more interested to see how EA’s work on their UFC game is going. Fingers crossed there’s not as much of a reliance on ground-work as THQ’s otherwise impressive games.
I’m expecting a multiplayer demo for Battlefield: Hardline, where I’m yet to be convinced this won’t just be a big-budget rip-off of Payday 2. Fingers crossed vehicles still have a large role to play as the most fun I’ve had online with my PS4 so far has involved looning around in tanks, ATVs and choppers in Battlefield 4.
It would be nice to see a gameplay demo for Star Wars: Battlefront too; as despite my rather passive attitude to the films, I thought the original online Battlefront games were way ahead of their time on the PS2.
I can’t have nice things, so I’m not expecting to see much at all of Mirror’s Edge, but frankly, I’m just glad it’s being made. If EA want to spoil me a little though, go ahead and announce a new Burnout game, I’m not even arsed about Criterion being involved seeing as they’ve effectively dissolved. With DriveClub and The Club being the main racers on the horizon, the genre has never needed Burnout more.
Anticipated Highlight – All ten seconds of the new Mirror’s Edge game, immediately followed by a rage-inducing Fall 2015 release date.
Ubisoft always enjoy riding the polar opposites at E3, they’re either brilliant (Far Cry 3, Assassin’s Creed IV) or bloody awful (e-sports demos and Mr. Caffeine). I’m keen to smile through the shite though as you’d be a fool to bet against the likes of Far Cry 4 and Assassin’s Creed: Unity being amongst the best games at the show. I’m a little wary of the settings for both games (the Himalaya’s and the French Revolution respectively), but past form indicates I’m going to lose months of my life to these brands again.
Assassin’s Creed: Comet, the rumoured last-gen exclusive title is bound to be officially unveiled, unless of course it never existed in the first place. If rumours of a new Prince of Persia game prove to be true, I’ll be very excited indeed, especially if Ubisoft decide to conclude the story of the 2008 game, which had my favourite ending of any game (not including the inconclusive Epilogue DLC). After favourable reviews and sales of South Park: The Stick of Truth, a sequel announcement seems like a reasonable bet too.
That particular canon sequel is unlikely, but at least we know Ubisoft are working on Beyond Good and Evil 2. But will it be showing up at E3 this year, or is it still having a lie-in with its roommate, The Last Guardian?
Anticipated Highlight – Prince of Persia or Beyond Good & Evil 2 releasing this year.