by Matthew Thompson
2015 has been a lackluster year of gaming for me. But E3 is only a week away and with it comes the hopes and dreams of a better gaming tomorrow. And hopes and dreams will take center stage in my annual Pre-E3 post. Sure I’ve added some of my typically inaccurate predictions at the bottom, but they are a mere footnote to the main attraction that is my list of wishes for E3 2015. Without further ado, let’s dive in!
Despite the delay, I’m sure Uncharted 4 will be featured in a big way at Sony’s Press Conference. They have wowed viewers with brilliant setpieces in the past and I expect the same again this year. But I need no selling on this game. I’m in, so the less I see of the singleplayer the better. I’d be more curious to see the multiplayer. Its beta will be included in with the Remastered Collection, so I hope they might have something to show for it here. My wish is that it goes away from the loadouts and upgrades and all those other things that created such an uneven playing field in the third iteration in favor of the more balanced style of Uncharted 2’s competitive modes. That is about as likely as seeing Half-Life 3 show up though (people need their carrot on a stick). I’d settle for a peek at what my girl Elena will look like on PS4. She’s the best.
Mirror’s Edge Delivers
Other than Uncharted 4, there is no game I’m more excited for than the new Mirror’s Edge. Unlike Uncharted, I’m not confident I like where they are taking this game. What they’ve shown is fine, but a number of factors worry me. The original’s poor sales mean they might try to change too much to appeal to a larger audience especially since EA is involved. DICE’s last Battlefield game also had a lot of issues. Most concerning is the move to an open-world which in my opinion could result in this sequel/prequel/reboot losing what made the first special to me. The game is seemingly set to launch early on in 2016 and supposedly will be playable on the floor at E3, so we should get an idea of what Faith’s next adventure has in store for us. I’m hoping it’s great!
More Mario Kart 8 DLC
Mario Kart 8 was already the best Mario Kart ever, but then they went and added 16 more tracks and a slew of other stuff and it became even better. If they never add another thing to the game, I will be more than satisfied with it. That doesn’t mean I don’t want more though. It could be something similar to what we’ve gotten already: a mix of new, classic and crossover tracks along with some other assorted goodies. Or they could give us a pack to fix MK8’s one glaring weakness: Battle Mode. Some new battle arenas featuring all of Mario Kart 8’s bells and whistles. A revamped Block Fort of some kind. Maybe even a level based on another Nintendo series like with the previous DLCs. Unlike a lot of my wishes, some new MK8 DLC seems fairly plausible.
Ubisoft Shows Off a New Game That is Less Ubisoft-y
Ubisoft has a certain formula that has been creeping into a large number of their games, particularly of the open-world variety. I still love the Far Cry series despite it being one of them. I’m even in the minority in having enjoyed Watch Dogs. But I’d love to see them announce a new game that doesn’t fit that mold. It could be a linear action/adventure game like a new Prince of Persia (which would be my preference). It could be the return of Beyond Good & Evil. I’d gladly take another 2D Rayman game. Or perhaps something wholly new that I can’t predict. I want to see Ubi get outside their comfort zone a bit.
I basically buy my Nintendo systems just for Nintendo games and I have been pretty satisfied with my Wii U so far. There are some promising Wii U games on the horizon too like Mario Maker, Yoshi’s Woolly World and of course the new Zelda. To have a successful E3 in my eyes, I am hoping for Nintendo to bolster this with one of a couple of things. The Wii U really needs a Metroid game. I’d prefer a third-person one (I’ve always wanted to see a great 3D third-person title in the series), but a new Prime would be fine. And I’d love to see another big new IP from Nintendo again too. For years, I have clamored for that and they have delivered what I was looking for in Splatoon. I don’t think I had an online shooter in mind when I was coveting a new IP from Nintendo, but I am happy with the result. So I don’t exactly care what genre it is, Nintendo can surprise me there. I just want it to ooze the kind of creativity that I expect from the Big N like their recent unique take on the third-person shooter does.
Lara Croft Learns to Love Tombs
At one point in the recent Tomb Raider reboot, Lara says, “I hate tombs.” This might have been a funny quip from a young girl who we all know will grow to love them except for the fact that she seemed to be speaking for developer Crystal Dynamics. If the reboot is any indication, CD straight up loathes tombs, relegating them to a handful of two-minute side activities in favor of sending nu-Lara tumbling down the nearest mountain range. And not the cool gymnastic tumbling old Lara did down ancient hallways for funsies. The battering, bruising, cloud of dust kind of tumbling. But I digress. The Tomb Raider is apparently rising in this sequel. I hope that means more ancient temples filled with puzzles and traps where your bow is used to light sconces and shoot down counterweights instead of brain hundreds of mercs. Nothing I’ve read about Rise of the Tomb Raider seems to indicate I will get my wish. But hey this is a wishlist. I wish now and get my hopes dashed later. And I am wishing for Lara to raid some tombs and for me to get to do some of the classic platforming and puzzle-solving that comes along with them.
Sony Brings Back a Franchise I Love
I bought a PS4 in large part because through their talented collection of internal studios and partnerships with other developers Sony have created a wonderful stable of franchises I love and continue to make new ones as time goes on. So far this gen, they haven’t delivered a ton on that front. I have had some great third-party games to tide me over while I wait for Sony to deliver, but I’m hoping this E3 they show off a new game from a series I love. Which would I like? Well I must start with Jak and Daxter. It is an E3 tradition that I hope against hope for the return of my all-time favorite video game series. I know Naughty Dog doesn’t seem interested in bringing back the dynamic duo, but after I saw Sanzaru beat Sucker Punch at their own game and deliver the best Sly game yet, I’d be open to another dev taking a shot at Jak. In fact, Sly 4’s mix of open-world and linear levels makes me think Sanzaru would do a good job. Of course, I’d gladly take a new Sly from them as well. All signs indicated they were working on one, but something changed I guess. But who knows, perhaps that was subterfuge! I mean there is a movie in development still. You’d think another game is too. Those would be my top requests, but I’d gladly take a new LocoRoco or at least a look at that second Gravity Rush game they teased a couple of years back.
And here are some predictions to cap things off:
- I expect Sony’s big new game reveal will be Guerrilla Games’ new IP. The one codenamed Horizon with the redhead and the robot dinosaurs. I suppose Media Molecule’s new game is a possibility too. Their other studios’ projects seem too far off. God of War IV seems like a lock for PSX this year though.
- Nintendo will announce a new Paper Mario and Animal Crossing for the Wii U.
- Rare will show a game that their older fans will actually care about. Something aimed more at the core gamer. Though if it is Battletoads like some hints have suggested, I question if I will care.
- Ubisoft will announce Watch Dogs 2 to an absolutely tepid response. It will have a new protagonist this time.
- Those sick of remasters will be even more sick of them after E3.
That will do it for my E3 Wishlist this year. I will be back with plenty of thoughts on E3 over the next couple of weeks. Feel free to let me know what you are hoping to see at this year’s E3 in the comments below. Thanks for reading!