My E3 2014 Predictions and Wishes

by Matthew Thompson

I wanted to do some kind of final prediction and wish blog for E3 before next week, but I was trying to figure out how to do it. Ultimately it just became a bit of a mishmash of what I think and hope E3 will bring from the different publishers. Here it goes.

Sony

Sony E3

Information floating around the internet leading into E3 has my expectations low for Sony’s conference. Working against that is the fact that it is press conference I am most excited to see. I think I am a fairly open-minded gamer that enjoys playing a good game regardless of the system, but I do definitely prefer PlayStation these days. I expect the Vita to be largely ignored save some cross-platform games. I expect there to be more PS4 remasters than I really care there to be (The Last of Us which I’ll buy, God of War Ascension and Beyond: Two Souls neither of which I care about). Third-parties I am sure will have a large presence. Destiny will be there and I’m guessing Assassin’s Creed Unity and/or Far Cry 4. I’m not really sure I need to see more Destiny and I am pretty over the AC franchise at this point, but I understand Sony’s need to foster those relationships.

As far as exclusives, I’m not expecting much in the way of new big AAA games. We’ll see more of Driveclub and The Order 1886. Uncharted will have its first big showing (and I would say be the best looking console game graphically at the show). And then probably the reveal of Project Beast, the Sony Japan/From Software collaboration that has had some leaks recently. I think that will be it other than some smaller games like perhaps Rime and other games of its ilk.

What I want is for them to tease the future of the PS4 through projects they are developing internally. Showing a game too early is certainly not always the best call, but I think the beginning of the console generation is when it is most acceptable. If Guerrilla Games has a trailer ready for its new IP, let us see it, even if it is a ways off. Same with a Media Molecule or a Sony Bend.

I have sort of given up on the Vita which is a shame because I adore the hardware. I think if they could do some more small projects like Tearaway every now and then that would be nice. Like a LocoRoco or Patapon or something like that from Japan Studio. Even if it was cross-platform with PS4 as a digital title to help make more money. They’d still be the kind of games I’d want to be playing on the Vita.

It wouldn’t be a pre-E3 blog if I didn’t wish for a return of my favorite series, Jak and Daxter. I’d love to see a new Jak game. I know Naughty Dog doesn’t seem interested in the series anymore, but I’d be welcome to seeing another dev take a stab at it. Sanzaru would have been a good choice, but it seems they are working on Sly 5 (which I’d also welcome a teaser for). I know there is no chance for a new Jak game, but again, I had to say it. It is an E3 tradition!

I wasn’t too impressed with Sony’s conference last year. They really just capitalized on Microsoft badly screwing up which I don’t think they will have to fall back on this year. I am hoping this E3 is more about what we can expect from Sony’s World Wide Studios on PS4 in the future.

Microsoft

Microsoft E3

The Xbox has been my least favorite console for the past two generations. While stuff like the faulty 360 hardware and paying to play online have bothered me plenty, it really comes down to games. And Microsoft simply lags behind Sony and Nintendo as far as first party development goes. So to really sell me on an Xbox One, I want to see a commitment to that sort of thing. That means revving up internal development, but also creating more lasting partnerships with third-party partners like they seem to have going with Remedy (or like Sony has done with Ready at Dawn seemingly or Quantic Dream).

I’m not sure exactly what will happen with Sunset Overdrive. Insomniac owns the rights to the IP, so I suppose it could always go multiplatform later for a sequel. I’m not really sure. But Microsoft getting behind a game like this is a good sign as it feels a little out of their wheelhouse. I also happen to love what I have seen from Sunset Overdrive. It feels like an open-world Ratchet & Clank, but one that ties the platforming into the combat more closely. Definitely the kind of new IP I want to see from Insomniac as opposed to the incredibly bland Fuse. So while the future of this series is certainly up in the air, I hope it is a sign of a more diverse line-up of exclusives coming from MS.

I think they have rebounded pretty well from last year’s DRM debacle. Things seem to be on the right track now going forward. The DRM is long behind us, they have unbundled Kinect for a more competitively priced console. While it is easy to joke about MS going overboard with Halo, I think the rumored Master Chief collection would look pretty good compared to Sony’s single game remasters (assuming the prices are comparable). And I look forward to getting a glimpse of Halo 5. I wish Quantum Break was going to make an appearance because as I mentioned in a recent blog, I’m curious how that game will play out (it seems it will be revealed at Gamescom though).

Nintendo

Nintendo at E3

I have yet to break down and buy a Wii U, but I know I will. Mario Kart 8 is reason enough, but there are always enough exclusives from Nintendo on their systems to win me over. I have no expectations from third-parties on the Wii U at this point, so I just want to see what Nintendo has planned for the future of the console. That can start with the next Zelda game on Wii U which I think we’ll get our first look at during this E3. A graphic style in line with the tech demo a few years back would be fine by me. My biggest wish is a large, original, densely packed overworld to be explorable by foot or horse. There really hasn’t been one of those since Twlight Princess and the new one really needs to have that. Otherwise I am open to whatever Nintendo throws my way with Link’s next adventure. I hope the move away from handholding shown in A Link Between Worlds was a sign of things to come though as well.

Metroid making a return on the Wii U or 3DS would be great. What I’d really love to see is a new IP from Nintendo in the mold of a Zelda or Metroid. That sort of grand action/adventure game, but one not tied down by decades of series’ convention. That seems like a pipe dream though.

I bought a 3DS last year and have definitely enjoyed my time with it. I’m curious what its future holds, so I hope they show off some interesting new software there.

The Mario Maker rumor is one of the few pre-E3 rumors where I can’t tell if it is real or fake. It certainly seems like a cool idea. Especially if you could kind of pick and choose between different art styles, physics and power-ups to include from throughout the series. I fear I am already expecting too much though.

Third-Parties

Ubisoft E3

Ubisoft: I expect an absolutely dreadful presentation like always at their press conference, but for it to include some games I like. I look forward to more info on Far Cry 4 and The Division (even if the latter isn’t really my thing I don’t think). And I want a new Prince of Persia badly. Preferably 3D, but if the rumors of a 2D one using the Ubi-Art engine are true, that would certainly be an intriguing prospect. If Beyond Good & Evil 2 ever wants to show up again, that would be a plus. I am unfortunately totally burnt out on Assassin’s Creed at this point, so don’t have much interest in the new ones.

EA: They should have a really good line-up to show I’d think. A new Mass Effect, Battlefront 3, a new Criterion game (hopefully Burnout). My eyes are focused on Mirror’s Edge. I just hope it keeps its focus on challenging first-person platforming. A totally out-there hope from me would be a new Skate for PS4 and Xbox One. That is a franchise I’d certainly be ready for a new entry in.

Some other stuff:

  • Crystal Dynamics is showing off a new game. Based on it not being announced during one of the press conferences, I am guessing it is not a sequel to the Tomb Raider reboot. My hope is that it is as cool as Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light.
  • I hope newly announced games for 2015 and beyond are not cross-gen. It is time to let the old hardware go so devs can take full advantage of the new technology available in the PS4 and Xbox One.
  • I love Game of Thrones, but don’t really like TellTale’s recent style of games. Still curious what it has in store if it is there.
  • I want surprises and new IPs that I can’t really predict. Those are always the most fun parts of E3.

Well that will do it for now. I have no idea what type of blogs I will do for E3, but I should have something. Look out for them next week. I hope all your E3 wishes come true. Feel free to list them in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

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2 comments on “My E3 2014 Predictions and Wishes

  1. Hit the nail on the head for first parties pretty well. If PS4’s direction towards smaller games is a sign, I hope that Vita gets to share in all the goodness. I still wish it would get exclusives, but the tech is still cool so if it’s a port machine, I might as well enjoy it. Nintendo I don’t really know what to expect. I know it’s reasonable to think they’re going to play it safe, but they’re getting more and more desperate, so who knows?

    MS won’t win me over on an Xbone until they’re still pushing new games in 2017-18, but if it doesn’t do that, I’ll still get it at $200 for Halo. As for SO, I think you should expect something similar to Mass Effect. 2 will hit PS4 maybe with a little delay, 3 day one on both, and 1 will come to PS4 eventually. I’m just hoping for a PC version.

    As for 3rd parties, I expect Ubisoft to reveal some new IP like they have the last two years in another effort to recapture the Watchdogs reveal (or, and this is me being really nuts, Beyond Good and Evil 2). EA I want to see release a Kotor collection now that they own the Star Wars IP in order to hype Kotor 3. Though if that doesn’t happen with Mass Effect and Battlefront I’ll still get my Bioware and Star Wars fix. Also really want to see what Visceral’s doing with their Star Wars project, seems like a great fit.

  2. Great post, it’s hard to believe it’s already E3 time, the year has flown by. I haven’t gotten a next gen console yet, mainly because there’s not enough games that I see myself playing. But I like to see what’s coming down the line. It’s not showing at E3 but I’m interested in Final Fantasy XV. Also like you mentioned, the new IPs and surprises is the most fun part of E3.

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