E3 is nearly here – check out this website dedicated to a countdown – and I can’t wait to be blown away. New games galore will be the theme this year, a stark contrast from E3 2013 where the consoles took center stage.
Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony will set the tone for their next 12-months with what they show (or don’t show) at E3. There are many games we know will be there; games that have already been teased. But with new consoles comes new games, and there should be a plethora of those at this years show. Here are my top 5 games I want to see at this years E3.
5. Whatever Rockstar is working on
Seriously. The studio behind such critical and commercial hits as Bully, Red Dead Redemption and last years juggernaut Grand Theft Auto V, is deep into development of something.
Last October, a now former Rockstar New England Senior Graphics Engineer had listed “Next version of a famous IP” as an in progress project following completion of GTA V. That has since been removed from their CV but it provides insight into what Rockstart might, or might not, be working on.
Agent is not a preexisting IP and, coupled with its virtual non-existence since it was first announced in 2009, can be all but ruled out. The two most likely candidates are GTA V DLC or the next entry in the Red Dead series. However, Red Dead has been exclusively developed by Rockstar San Diego so all things are pointing towards GTA V DLC.
This in no way rules out the existence of Red Dead. It’s just that Rockstar has never used E3 as a means of showing their big guns. They play by their own rules and will announce projects at their leisure.
What matters to me though is, not what they’re working on, but that they ARE working on something. Few studios consistently churn out masterpieces. Rockstar is one of them.
4. Fallout 4
Full disclosure – I’ve never completed a Fallout game. In fact, it’s not even a series that I have followed particularly close and I thought Fallout 3 was wrought with defects (mainly poor mechanics). So why is Fallout 4 number 4? Because I love open world games and the current gen systems provide developers unprecedented opportunities to make massive and awe inspiring virtual playgrounds.
We have been privy to early glimpses of what open world games will be like on the PS4 and Xbox One via The Witcher 3 and The Division. The technology is such that open world games will become the norm. An expansive world with freedom of choice and direction has never been more obtainable and, quite simply, it’s what many people want.
In conjunction with technical feasibility, Bethesda has not developed a game since 2011′s The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. They must have something brewing. But is there any evidence the game actually exists? No. Don’t let that get you down though. This game will get made. Bethesda has two principle game series: The Elder Scrolls and Fallout, the latter of which is next in rotation.
There is evidence that Fallout 4, or whatever Bethesda is working on, could lay dormant for some time. I’m hoping they were just covering their asses and preparing for one hell of an E3 reveal.
3. Resident Evil 7
Resident Evil 4 is on my Top 5 Games of All Time list. It perfectly blended new over the shoulder mechanics with the series’ staple selling point – tension. It was a brilliant combination of the two elements that created the best game in the series to date.
It’s unfortunate that the subsequent versions could not follow suit; 5 was tolerable, but 6 was so demonstrably bad it should be forever erased from my memory. Unfortunately, that won’t happen. But there is hope.
Last year, Capcom’s Masachika Kawata, one of the main people behind many of the iconic series’ entries, spoke to IGN in London about the future direction of Resident Evil.
We should be able to start from scratch and reboot it.
“I think that it’s important for us to have users’ needs in mind when making the games,” Kawata told IGN. “At the same time I think a lot of what people want now is to have Chris and Jill in a game, or they want it to look like Resident Evil used to look like. That’s what makes the game work for them. We should be able to start from scratch and reboot it. It would still be Resident Evil. We wouldn’t lose the essential nature of what makes it a good game just by changing the characters.”
The first step towards fixing something is accepting it’s broken. Resident Evil is catatonic. Resident Evil 6 was such a critical failure, it’s embarrassing a studio like Capcom with its resources and legacy put it out.
In a conversation with MVC, former Capcom marketing boss Michael Pattison said, “We have obviously seen the consumer response and the PR response. There was some great positives out of that, but it was a mixed bag, as we saw from the review scores. We have got to take that on-board, we can’t ignore that, and we have to take that onto the next game when we make the next Resident Evil.”
It seems clear that another Resident Evil is in production from tidbits of information alone. When you also take into account the fact that Resident Evil is Capcom’s best selling franchise, then it’s only logical they will make more of them. Feedback from the gaming community and poor sales should encourage Capcom to rethink what it means to be a Resident Evil game. Because that message has clearly been lost.
2. Uncharted 4
Uncharted is my favorite series from the 7th generation of consoles. Naughty Dog crafted a masterful cast of characters with personalities and life, the likes of which you can’t help but fall in love with. The addition of sublime voice acting, witty dialogue and, upon release, unmatched graphics, is icing on this chocolaty cake.
At Sony’s PlayStation 4 All Access event last November a teaser trailer was shown officially announcing that Uncharted 4 was in production. The game is coming. However, like Jon Snow – “We know nothing.”
But what can we expect? Greatness (pun). Naughty Dog’s track record over its last 4 releases is unprecedented. They have so much at their disposal: creative geniuses, public and financial backing, and near limitless time to work on their product. Such punctual negligence is rarely given in this industry.
We know that Naughty Dog has two internal development teams, one of which just completed its work on The Last of Us and its DLC. That means the second team (or first, however you choose to look at it) has been, theoretically, working on Uncharted 4 since wrapping up Uncharted 3 in Fall 2011.
Traditionally, Naughty Dog has reserved its official gameplay reveals for the Spike VGA (now VGX) awards, as they did for both Uncharted 2 and 3. There are so many games rumored to make appearances at E3 this year that Naughty Dog, and Sony for that matter, may save some of their big guns for the VGA’s this fall; you don’t want to show your hand all at once.
1. Zelda Wii U
It’s not crazy to say that nearly all gamers between the ages of 25 and 40 share a common series that influenced their love of video games. And that series is The Legend of Zelda.
The Legend of Zelda holds an unencroachable place in my gaming heart. I was 10 years old when Ocarina of Time came out and I spent – along with my older brother Alex – all of Christmas break galloping around Hyrule.
But it wasn’t because I was overly impressionable. No, the game was just that great. To this day it’s widely considered the Greatest Game of All Time.
It has been two years since the last “original” console Zelda. We know Nintendo is hard at work on a Wii U Zelda; an original title that, according to game director Eiji Aonuma, is “rethinking the conventions of Zelda” and “returning to basics.” Aonuma, in an interview with Kotaku, also said that The Wind Waker HD “…is kind of a testing ground for us.”
Nintendo’s recent financial shortcomings further highlight what the company needs – games. 2014 is going to be a good year for the company. With Super Smash Bros., Mario Kart and X all coming within the next 8 months, it has never been a better time to own a Wii U. But what gamers universally want is a new installment of The Legend of Zelda.
We have seen what a Wii U Zelda could look like during Nintendo’s 2011 E3 conference and it was brilliant. This years E3 is the perfect opportunity to debut the Hero of Time in his next adventure, simultaneously bringing grown men to tears and reigniting the love we all have for Nintendo.