Thursday 11 June 2015

Pre-E3 2015 [Events]

With less than a week to go, this is the perfect time to do this. A load of rumours circulating, and a load of sites giving their predictions, so it is now time for me to do mine. I've been thinking about some things, and Nintendo is where I'm placing most of my bets. EA do seem to have some good stuff for me this year as well. Microsoft and Sony have some decent things, and Ubisoft... I'll have to wait and see, but I've never bought much from Ubisoft. Bethesda and Square-Enix have conferences this year, and a PC Gaming Show is also set to take place.
Okay, then. Let's go.

I know what I want from Nintendo. The fact of the matter is whether all of it will be shown. For the first thing - what exactly will replace Club Nintendo? From talks and interviews, it sounds like it will be a unified thing across all new and current Nintendo platforms, while offering roughly the same as Club Nintendo did with its rewards. It will also be bigger than that, which has many hoping for something like Xbox and Playstation's networks, but with a Nintendo twist. An upgraded Nintendo Network system doesn't sound too far off, even if it doesn't retain the Nintendo Network name. I just hope your Nintendo Network log-in is carried over to the new system.
In terms of games, I say Animal Crossing for WiiU. If not a full game, at least the announcement. People feel that the 3DS game - Happy Home Designer - is meant to fill the gap until the WiiU game can come out. While information about Happy Home Designer was recently released in a Japanese Nintendo Direct, it wasn't covered in the Nintendo Direct Micro Nintendo of America put out after. That could simply be because they want to show it off at E3, but what if the two are connected? WiiU and 3DS spin off?
F-Zero seems to be only background material now, relegated to DLC or main content of other franchises. What if this year, a new game comes out? It doesn't even have to be new. A remake of an older F-Zero would be most welcomed. It just seems that Nintendo have been pushing for something with all this F-Zero background content recently, especially with F-Zero tracks in Mario Kart 8's DLC packs. And talking of those DLC packs, is it possible that a third and fourth will be coming out of E3?
Mario's 30th anniversary is coming up, so Nintendo are sure to celebrate that in a big way. The first of this was already announced way back at last E3, in the form of Mario Maker. This year, Mario Maker will be shown in greater detail, but more in the form of the 30th is bound to be shown. Whether an HD remake of a previous game, or another collection of some sort, is yet to be seen. We will though, at E3.
Mario and Sonic Rio 2016 Olympics, Star Fox, Project Guard, maybe an unannounced 3DS game. There are a lot more that could come from this. Nintendo are always full of surprises. It's possible a new Metroid will be announced.

EA I am expecting quite a bit from. The major thing I will be watching for is Star Wars Battlefront. Teased at E3 2013, and given a taster of what's to come at E3 2014, this year is the year we are set to get gameplay. It has been confirmed that will happen. We've seen the planets we'll be visiting, and a hint of the modes. Now we need proper confirmation of maps and modes. As well as other things. Customisation, vehicles, weapons, etc...
There are two or three other things Star Wars related from EA that might be at E3 this year. Bioware were one of the confirmed developers for Star Wars games. They are already working and maintaining one. The Old Republic is a free MMO, and has received many expansions over time since release. As well as showing another expansion for it, there is the possibility of them showing off their new game. What that might be is a hard guess, though it might take inspiration from Mass Effect. More likely is the game Visceral are working on. That game appears to have taken inspiration from the Uncharted series or, to put that in Star Wars terms, 1313. I'm going on a guess here and saying that Visceral liked what they saw with 1313, and though they couldn't revive it, they could at least use the gameplay from it. If it does resemble 1313, I will be looking forward greatly to it.
Shown at E3 last year was a concept from Criterion for a first person extreme vehicle sports game. What I saw from that was great. It looked like a real blast to play through. But, it was only a concept. What has evolved from that could be massive. Criterion worked on Burnout before being transferred to make Need For Speed. Burnout is no more and Need For Speed has gone to Ghost Games. Ghost took a year out to make Need For Speed the best they say they can. This E3 will be where we see what has come from that.
Also in concept form last year was Mirror's Edge. Now with the sub-title Catalyst, it looks to be improving the gameplay of the first, from what has been said. It's also said to not be a sequel. As for other games, we'll have to wait and see, but a certainty is the bulk of sports games that EA publish year after year.

Sony, Microsoft, and Ubisoft will be bundled into one. For all three companies, we can expect to see a racing title. For Microsoft, that will be Forza 6. Sony will possibly show off Gran Turismo 7 or Drive Club. Ubisoft will probably surprise people with any title they show off, but it is possible they haven't got a racing title as of yet. The Crew only launched last year. It doesn't need the focus.
Sony have Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection, which brings the three PS3 games to the PS4. The multiplayer for the first three games doesn't come with them, but those that buy it will get a multiplayer beta of Uncharted 4. Uncharted will have both Collection and 4 given at least some time of focus.
Microsoft bring both Gears of War and Halo to the fray. Gears is set for another game, maybe two. The Master Chief Collection has been released and Halo 5 is soon to be. It's possible all of this will be given some time of focus, and as Microsoft have previously said this will be the year of great first party exclusives, they might have something planned for another series of some sort.
Ubisoft are confirmed to bring the next Assassin's Creed, and another two Tom Clancy games. Both differ in nature, in the fact that Assassin's Creed is more exploration styled, while Clancy games are more typical shooters. They cater to different markets, so it makes sense.
Sony have a number of other games to draw from. While I'm not expecting another LittleBigPlanet any time soon, Ratchet and Clank is making a big comeback, so Sony would be silly not to feature it. As well as the game, there is a film as well, so it is possible we get info on both game and movie. There is also God of War that Sony could bring. And Infamous might be possible. The only thing sure at the minute is that the PSVita hasn't had any big titles on it, and even Sony seem to have given up on it. Maybe the time comes where we actually hear them say it on stage. "We are no longer in the handheld market" would at least settle people from hoping a revival is in progress.
Microsoft teased both Crackdown and Scalebound at last year's E3. This year, they can go full out and announce a lot more info for both games this year. And Rise of the Tomb Raider. Already confirmed to be coming to Microsoft's conference by a teaser at the beginning of the month, it would be good to see if exclusivity can do this title any favours. Microsoft did try for the PC market last year, in a small way. This year, I want them to go bigger. Announce PC exclusives. Bring old time PC games back and renewed with the latest tech. If Windows 10 is going to be the biggest console and PC gaming tied system, I want that to be done to full effect.

I don't really have anything to say on Bethesda or Square-Enix, but both Fallout 4 and Kingdom Hearts 3 are going to be the big games respectively for each company. Perhaps info for Elder Scrolls from Bethesda and Final Fantasy from Square-Enix.
The PC Gaming Show is where those PC exclusives will be. It is possible Microsoft will also show off more of Windows 10 here, and what it does mean for gaming on PC in the future. Valve are sure to be there as well.
This year also seems to be the year of virtual reality, so expect a lot of coverage from that.