This is going to be a weird E3. Perhaps not for the crowd following along at home, but definitely so for those in attendance. The show has spread wider on the calendar than ever, thanks especially to the likes of Bethesda and EA for hosting major events on the Sunday before the show.
Then we have Nintendo and Activision who are either only bringing a single game or skipping their booth entirely this year.
All the same, the actual games confirmed for E3 2016 are colossal. Here we have another year backed with major titles that are set to absolutely destroy my free time once they release. These games, if they’re developed well, could be major.
I’ve looked at our appointment docket and the press schedule conferences, and I’ve picked the games I’m most hyped to see at E3 2016.
Let’s clarify something here: these are the games that we know are coming, right? Of course, if Rockstar rolls up onto Sony’s stage Monday night during their presser and takes the wraps off of Red Dead Redemption 2, that’ll be the game I’m most hyped to see. This list ignores potential surprises like that.
Cool? Cool. Let’s roll.
Silly numbering aside, Battlefield 1 arrived with a huge splash a few weeks back. DICE and EA have elected to ditch the contemporary and future war settings of modern shooters in order to take a look at a war not yet dealt with by the major game makers. They’re going to World War I.
Trench warfare, mustard gas, devastating close quarters combat, you get the point. WWI was a theater of absolutely brutal warfare, and its relatively modern approach to violence was completely new for its age. From air combat to chemical weaponry, this war was a crazy one, and DICE could really push into new gameplay mechanics and harrowing multiplayer moments if they do it right.
We’ll get a taste soon enough.
Civilization is a franchise famous for taking time and speeding it up. You’ll sit down for a game at around 8pm and look up from your computer only to realize that it’s now 4am and you’ve skipped sleep. Such is the life of a Civ fan.
Now, Civilization VI has been announced by 2K and developer Firaxis. Civ VI will feature cities with districts that you can focus on specific developments, a unique way to stack units, a fresh technology and, assuredly, more tweaks and improvements to make this routine time suck that much more effective.
I’m excited to see where Firaxis is taking this behemoth, and I know diehard fans are thinking the same thing.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Eidos Montreal did something really special with Deus Ex: Human Revolution. They effectively managed to reboot an aging franchise while largely keeping its diehard fans happy. That game had its issues, largely its problematic take on boss fights and conflict avoidance through dialogue, but it was also jam packed with fantastic moments and mechanics.
With Mankind Divided, Eidos Montreal has the chance to further iterate upon what made Human Revolution so good while improving upon its misteps. We’ll have better boss battles that make more sense in the grand scheme of gameplay, and I hope we have some much more compelling dialogue.
I can’t wait to mess around in this world of stealth and gunplay.
Dishonored was a wonderful game. This new IP from Arkane Studios presented full missions that allowed players to go at them at their own pace, with their own style and through their own powered-up methods. Thanks to the world building and art design, this all went down in a truly unique setting that felt fresh and original.
Dishonored 2 takes players and puts them behind a new hero, introduces new powers and fleshes out the world we all first encountered as Corvo.
There’s a lot of potential here with this game, and Dishonored 2 is undoubtedly one of publisher Bethesda’s biggest games for 2016.
Final Fantasy XV
Here we have one of the biggest heavy hitters from Square Enix. This game has been in development for over a decade. Can you even imagine all the internal changes and redesigns its seen in order to get us to this point?
The Final Fantasy XV that’s finally releasing on September 30 of this year is likely a wildly different game from the one first conceived of way back in 2006. 2006! That’s how long Square Enix has been working on this.
We have a graphical showcase complete with, hopefully, a glorious story, wonderful cast of characters and a fresh take on one of the RPG genre’s most pioneering battle systems. Will it live up to the hype and time spent in development? We’ll see.
Halo Wars 2
I was a big-time Halo Wars fan when it released for the Xbox 360. Ensemble managed to take the RTS genre and boil it down into a fun experience for a console. That was something previously thought impossible, and the idea really hasn’t been revisited since.
I think gamers weren’t really ready for Halo Wars when it first released. Halo Wars 2, though? If Microsoft puts this thing out on the Xbox One and PC platforms, we could see the genuine launch of a new RTS competitor. The original was packed with really tight and fun moments, and the Halo universe made for some interesting storytelling. We hope that gets even better with Halo Wars 2.
The Last Guardian
You guys, it’s finally happening. We’re finally going to play The Last Guardian. Releasing, hopefully this year, for the PlayStation 4, The Last Guardian is the next title from Fumito Ueda and Team ICO. Ueda is currently done with Sony, though he’s wrapping this game up on contract employee status.
What does that mean for this title? It’s his swan song as the lead at Team ICO, and that means we could be in for a genuine treat.
There have been some rumblings about potential problems with design over the course of the last few years. The platform switch from PlayStation 3 to PlayStation 4 and the AI of the beast featured heavily in the game are both possible pitfalls. I count myself among those hoping for a genuine knockout here. The Last Guardian has been a game I’ve been excited for ever since its debut five or six years ago.
The Legend of Zelda
Nintendo has elected to go with a unique strategy for their E3 presence this year. Even though we know they’ll have a new console, the Nintendo NX, early next year, they’ve decided to skip talking about that at the show. Instead, the company is focusing on a single game for a single platform.
The only thing Nintendo’s bringing to E3 2016 is The Legend of Zelda for the Wii U. Not the NX version, nothing for their 3DS, no other games for the Wii U; no, just Zelda.
While it’s impossible to know exactly why Nintendo’s doing this, one possibility is that they have that much confidence in this new Zelda game. They could buoy their brand at gaming’s biggest show with a single title. Why not? Zelda‘s huge. And, if producer Eiji Aonuma has gone and done something glorious with it, the extended and focused play sessions will be magical.
Mass Effect Andromeda
What will we do without Commander Shepard in our ranks? What will BioWare do? How about the galaxy?
We have a new hero with us for Mass Effect Andromeda. And, given the surname of the title, we’ll be saving the universe from a new cluster of stars and planets.
Mass Effect Andromeda is the first release in the Mass Effect franchise since the conclusion of Commander Shepard’s trilogy and the tale of the Reapers. Maybe we’ll see more of the galactic planet munchers, though that much remains to be seen. We’ll definitely get more planet hopping, vehicle driving and dialogue tree navigating in this new title, set to make a big splash at EA’s inaugural Play event before the show even gets started.
No Man’s Sky
Fresh off a recent delay to August of this year, I don’t think there’s ever been an indie game riding on a wave of hype quite like Hello Games’ No Man’s Sky. I’m certain the small studio didn’t think they’d be where they are now a few years back when they were churning out entries in the fun, albeit much more simple, Joe Danger series.
Now they’re working on a game that’s promising gamers a nearly infinite universe of procedurally generated planets and life forms. They’re touting a true feeling of discovery and awe in a science fiction shell and, if they deliver on all of this, we could have the best space exploration game ever created.
There’s so much hype for No Man’s Sky, and I for one have taken a lot pleasure in watching that hype build. Could it collapse? Oh, totally; but, how awesome would it be to see this team make something truly awe inspiring?
Persona. I might catch some flack for this, but I don’t care. Persona 4 turned this franchise into my absolute favorite when it comes to JRPGs. Others have been at it for longer, but Atlus has really crafted a special formula with their blend of Japanese life simulation, dungeon crawling and team battles.
Plus, these games absolutely stink with style. The gallery above features a few GIFs. Those GIFs really show off how great Atlus is when it comes to UI design and on screen animations.
If Persona 5 nails the slice of life feeling that Persona 4 did so well with a dungeon system that absolutely rocks, it could be the best in the franchise.
ReCore‘s a really interesting property. Developed by Comcept and Armature Studio, the title’s coming from developers who worked on the likes of Metroid Prime, a favorite among gamers.
It’s a completely new IP, and it features the unique concept of using an AI core to boot up and befriend interesting robotic forms in order to explore the world and defeat adversaries.
We don’t know much about ReCore, but I expect Microsoft will take the wraps off the game in a big way this year.
Platinum Games? Check. Dragons? Check. An insane anime dude constantly wearing headphones and murdering while rocking out? Check.
Scalebound, at least on paper, has all the ingredients to stand as a truly marvelous and refreshing action title. Platinum games is one of the best in the business with that genre in particular.
What’s holding it back? The demos we’ve seen so far have been plagued by rough framerates. That’s a big, big no-no in the modern gaming age. Hopefully, Platinum and Microsoft have reigned that in and made a tighter experience, because I’m really looking forward to this game.
I don’t think Titanfall really gets enough credit for how good of a game it actually was. Its exclusivity to the Xbox One platform for the home console players certainly didn’t help its long-term lifespan, but players were eager to trounce on it for its abysmal “campaign mode.”
That complaint aside, this was a genuinely refreshing first person shooter, complete with a completely unique take on battlefield movement, in-game progression and the use of mechs in shooters. It’s a fun game, as temporary as that fun was.
I’m hoping Titanfall 2 reinvigorates the brand. If Respawn does actually elect to tackle a campaign mode, I also hope they do so with more gusto than the first game’s shot. That was little more than blips of campaign told through audio logs that players could barely hear over all the shooting.
Titanfall 2 could be epic. It could also make this franchise little more than a flash in the pan.