10) Call of Duty: WW2 Gameplay Details
Call of Duty is back, with its boots firmly on the ground this time. After years of ever more futuristic combat, the industry’s most popular shooter is hitting the reset button and going back to its roots. We couldn’t be happier about that and we’re looking forward to some more information about both its single and multiplayer offerings.
The reveal trailer and subsequent story details suggest developer Sledgehammer Games is taking the game’s narrative in an interesting and potentially controversial new direction, which looks like a refreshing change of pace. But we would like some more tangible information on what will set its single player campaign apart from other WW2-themed shooters of the past.
We’re also desperate to see a deeper dive into the dynamic of its multiplayer gameplay. Hopefully, there are some interesting new features that break the mold of what we’re used to seeing in Call of Duty multiplayer. How will the game’s WW2 setting influence competitive multiplayer and will we see the introduction of Battlefield-esque vehicular combat for the first time? More details on the all new team-focused War Mode, which pitches players in iconic WW2 battles will also be interesting.
Oh, and a Nazi Zombie mode sounds pretty awesome, too!
9) Assassin’s Creed Has A Fresh Coat of Paint
Assassin’s Creed games seem to always leak in the buildup to launch. Although it remains unofficial, we have a pretty good idea of what to expect based on the dozens of tidbits that have surfaced across the internet in recent weeks. Rumors suggest the game is set in Ancient Egypt and includes multiple new features, such as an RPG leveling and a revamped combat system.
The series has sorely needed an update for some time, having suffered partly from fatigue and the overwhelmingly negative reception to Assassin’s Creed Unity back in 2014. Having taken a year off after the critically well-received but middling commercial performance of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, the series is expected to garner significantly more interest if it does return to E3 this year.
We want to get excited about this brand new look for Assassin’s Creed, and that means abandoning many of the antiquated features of the previous games. If the rumors are to be believed, it sounds like Ubisoft heard the message loud and clear. This year could see one of video gaming’s biggest franchises back with a bang.
8) Firm Release Dates For Sony’s Heavy Hitters
Sony’s last few E3 press conferences have earned it a reputation as a master of hype, working crowds of enthusiasts into a fever pitch as a result of successive game announcements. Earlier this year, several of those finally came to fruition, receiving critical acclaim and cementing Sony’s position as industry leader moving forward.
There are even more games up Sony’s sleeve, some of which are fairly new additions to the upcoming roster and others fans have been eagerly anticipating for some time. Off the back of such a successful opening salvo of games in 2017, Sony’s audience wants to know what the rest of the year holds, particularly given that the fall season has been underwhelming this generation. As much as extended gameplay demonstrations are likely to raise the roof, the biggest boon for fans would be the firm release date of its biggest upcoming titles.
As pumped as we are for Spider-Man, we wouldn’t be so greedy as to expect a release date quite yet, but games such as Days Gone, God of War, and Detroit: Become Human are realistic and tantalizing prospects. Having at least one of those titles confirmed for an autumn release date is right up there on our list of most anticipated announcements.
7) Everything Scorpio
Microsoft has given us the specs and we’re fairly sure of what to expect with regards to the console’s performance, but it’s time for Microsoft to lift the lid on Scorpio. A full reveal is expected and necessary, and fans will want a presentation of why Microsoft’s born-again Xbox One will be the home of gaming moving forward.
That won’t necessarily be easy, though, as Sony’s slightly stuttering reveal of PS4 Pro demonstrated. Showcasing the visual fidelity of 4K and 60fps gaming isn’t easy when the majority of the audience is watching via a low-quality live stream. Moreover, Microsoft will also have to be extremely careful that successfully balances touting the advantages of Scorpio without isolating current Xbox One owners.
Scorpio’s impressive hardware undoubtedly makes it the most powerful and capable console ever made, but that increased performance surely comes at a price. What that price is will remain a big question that needs answering. A price range between $450 and $550 is our best guess, which represents decent value for money considering its specifications, but it it still isn’t cheap. Scorpio’s full reveal may very well decide parity between the industry’s major players for the remainder of the generation, so we’ll be on the edge of our seats as the conference unfolds.
6) Microsoft Impresses With Games, Old and New
Microsoft’s CEO Phil Spencer has already stated that he doesn’t want to spend too much of the E3 presentation detailing hardware, and we would suggest that is a very good idea. Because as important as the finer details of Scorpio’s design are, assuring gamers that the Xbox One brand as a whole has plenty of exciting content to enjoy is even more critical.
After Fable Legends and Scalebound’s cancellation, Microsoft desperately needs to shake off its reputation for killing first party content. Halo 5, Gears, and Forza are sure bets moving forward, but we’d like to see more than just this holy trinity as mainstay Xbox franchise. This E3 would be a great time to announce new studio acquisitions or partnerships that would see interesting exclusive content for the Xbox One brand.
Microsoft is undoubtedly hoping that Scorpio’s augmented performance will make it a default choice for consumers wanting to enjoy third-party content. Will that really be enough to ensure its long-term success, though? Surely Microsoft has to flesh out its first party/exclusive upcoming library to increase its appeal, particularly in the face of Sony’s lucrative timed exclusivity contracts with major third parties. Fingers crossed Microsoft lays those concerns to rest with a host of good-looking content coinciding with Scorpio’s release.
5) More Third Party Support For Switch
Switch’s nascent success has surely surprised even the most bullish of its supporters, not because the hardware itself isn’t appealing but due to the fact that it has launched with such minimal third party support. Indeed, after the dismal performance of the Wii U – a console that relied almost solely on first party content – it seemed a sure bet that the company would seek to better facilitate third party support this time around. That simply hasn’t occurred, but it also hasn’t slowed the console’s commercial success one bit.
Still, it seems unlikely that the Switch will be able to keep this momentum going long term without some semblance of meaningful third party support. While that does not necessarily mean AAA ambitious titles like Assassin’s Creed or Far Cry need grace the console, titles such as Hearthstone, Gwent, or Rocket League would certainly help boost its wider appeal.
As well as the likely announcement of more indie titles on Switch, we’re hoping Nintendo thinks strategically about bringing alternative but popular titles to sit alongside the likes of Minecraft to attract the greatest possible audience.
4) Virtual Console and Online Features Announced For Switch
The Nintendo Switch’s honeymoon period has taken everyone by surprise, but now it’s over. Now it’s time for Nintendo to smooth over the console’s rough edges and transition from a soft launch to its full potential. That starts with Virtual Console, which absolutely needs a firm release date. Nintendo’s huge catalog of beloved games makes it one of the most appealing features, particularly on Switch. Consider that Nintendo’s classic and recent library features games designed for both home console and portable gaming — a perfect match for the Switch’s hybrid functionality.
Along with further information about Virtual Console, we’re holding out for more on Nintendo’s upcoming online subscription service. Having previously mooted a slightly perplexing game rental service, Nintendo has recently U-turned and opted to indulge users with a single game players can keep per month from its classic library. This more consumer-friendly dynamic has likely pleased many Switch owners, and its $20 price point isn’t bad either. We would like to see some Direct time allocated to pledging a release date.
3) Final Fantasy VII Remake Returns To E3
At this point, few could argue that Square Enix has dropped the ball with its most highly anticipated upcoming games. An E3 2015 tease and subsequent PlayStation extended trailer for the hugely anticipated remake of Final Fantasy VII came far too early. And don’t get us started on how long Kingdom Hearts III has been in development. But while there’s a quiet confidence that Kingdom Hearts III will likely please its fan base when it does finally arrive, the same can’t quite be said of Final Fantasy VII Remake. There are massive question marks over the nature of this episodic remake, and the recent news that development has been shifted back to Square Enix’s main studio after being outsourced to Cyber Connect is concerning.
Final Fantasy VII is a special game to many people and a hugely important one in the wider history of the video gaming industry. This really isn’t the sort of game that fans want to be brought back as a jumbled mess, but after the recent worrisome news and Tetsuya Nomura’s statement that FF7 Remake is still a way off, we need something to calm our nerves. A new gameplay trailer to restore some faith that the project is in safe hands would be just the ticket.
2) Crackdown 3 Blows Us Away
Where is Crackdown 3? The third entry in the popular Xbox franchise is supposed to have been one of the Xbox One’s marquee titles, but having impressed in early gameplay demonstrations back in 2015, it has gone AWOL. Fresh off the bat of Scalebound’s cancellation earlier this year and jaded by memories of Microsoft closing Lionhead Studios, one can understand the tension among fans. There is every bit of chance that Crackdown 3 may never see the light of day… or, Microsoft blows us away at this year’s E3 with a stunning comeback trailer and a firm release date. We know which one we’d rather see!
With Scorpio’s reveal a sure bet during Sunday’s conference, Crackdown 3 would be the perfect title to either coincide or release soon after the upcoming premium console. It’s expected that Crackdown 3’s ambitious design will push the vanilla Xbox One to its maximum, so it would also be a great choice to really showcase what Scorpio’s additional grunt can do to maximize performance beyond just 4K gaming.
1) Finally, Metroid Is Back
How long must Nintendo keep us in excruciating anticipation of the announcement we all want to to see? Metroid might not have enjoyed commercial success on the same level as Mario and Zelda, but it’s a sorely missed fan favorite that Nintendo would earn massive brownie points for bringing back. We’ve spoken about frustrations over fan feedback falling on deaf ears and if Nintendo were to extend this olive branch to its fans, you can bet it would blow the roof off of E3 this year.
Unfortunately, although Retro Studios has been quiet for some time working on an unannounced project, it seems more likely to be a Donkey Kong Country title rather than Metroid. As much as we love that iconic series, surely it is time to reintroduce Samus Aran in a full-scale Metroid Prime title?
If you ask us, an FPS would well round-out Switch’s catalog and offer a more mature, edgy title to complement its growing library. Monster Hunter and Pokemon might be huge draws for Switch’s evidently huge Eastern following, but the Metroid series would ingratiate the console to Western fans who remember the series so fondly. Please, Nintendo!