If there’s one game that absolutely has to be at Microsoft E3 conference in 2018, it’s Crackdown 3. Not only because is it arguably Microsoft’s biggest remaining first-party exclusive for the rest of the year (at least we hope), but because we still haven’t seen a whole lot of the game in action. Nor do we have a concrete 2018 release date yet. Something that, god forbid, cannot be pushed back any longer.
With Crackdown 3 having been under wraps for so long, we wouldn’t be surprised to see it take up a good chunk of time in Microsoft’s show. A quick look at the story of the single-player, the explosive carnage of the cloud-powered multiplayer mode, and then round things off with a September release date to get out ahead of the likes of Red Dead Redemption 2 and Black Ops 4.
Gears of War 5
Is this just on our predictions list because we think doing this might will it into existence? Perhaps. But, there’s also a fair few signs to suggest that we might get at least a tease from developer The Coalition.
First off, we’ve been waiting for the continuation of JD’s story in Gears of War 4 for nearly two years now, and though it’s unlikely Microsoft will reveal and date Gears of War 5 in one fell swoop at E3 2018, it’ll likely still get a tease. Some gameplay footage, perhaps just the logo, or a quick cutscene of JD and the crew chatting about what step to take next against the Swarm.
What form Gears of War 5 shows up in at E3 2018 remains unclear. However, Walmart Canada did kinda drop the ball massively last month, revealing listings for a number of games including, you guessed it, Gears of War 5. Don’t worry, I’m already revving my chainsaw bayonet in anticipation, too!
Halo 6 (and maybe that Halo TV Show)
The lights dim. The audience teeters on the edge of their seat. The hallowed tones of Halo’s theme echo throughout the room as the aforementioned audience bursts into ruptures of applause and jubilation. Halo 6 appears on the screen in its iconic, futuristic font.
It goes a little something like that in our head. Probably after Phil Spencer lays down that classic one-liner: “and we have one more special announcement.”
It’s almost been three years since Halo 5 released, and considering that it released three years after Halo 4, if 343 Studios is working on a three-year release cycle, things are looking incredibly promising for Xbox One owners in 2018.
However, with Halo 5 receiving some criticisms for feeling a little dated and samey, Halo 6 might give the series a bit of an overhaul to freshen things up (on top of what Halo 5 achieved with the multiplayer side of things). It may not have been leaked in a Walmart Canada listing, but if Microsoft needed a Halo announcement at E3, 2018 is certainly the year for it to show up.
And at the very least, if no Halo game announcement is made, perhaps we’ll get an update on how that Halo TV series is coming along.
Forza Horizon 4
The overarching Forza series has been a beacon of light in the recent dark years of Xbox One exclusives. Each and every year, without fail, racing fans have had either a new simulation racing experience in Forza Motorsport, or a more arcade style, open-world take on the series in the form of Forza Horizon. Following on the from the visually and mechanically-sublime Forza Motorsport 7, it’s time for its more eccentric sibling to take the wheel.
We don’t know a whole lot about where Forza Horizon 4 is going to take us (we’ve been to Europe and Australia already in 2 and 3 respectively), what new features it may include, or what its headline vehicle will be. But that’s how Forza reveals tend to go. We know one’s (probably) coming (thanks again Walmart Canada), we just have to wait until the announcement for all the juicy details.
id @ Xbox
[email protected] is doing some great working bringing some incredibly talented independent developers onboard and giving them a platform to release their games on. Fortnite, PUBG, Surviving Mars, and Cuphead are just a few of the giant titles that featured in last year’s [email protected] games montage, and we’re putting our money on us seeing another similar montage at E3 2018.
Namely, however, we’re thinking its time for that mysterious indie title, Below, to finally emerge out of the shadows. Following a series of delays after initially being announced back at E3 2013, fans finally got to see some fresh new gameplay at PAX East just a couple of months ago. After several delays, and a sudden reappearance, it seems to us as though Capybara Games may finally be ready to settle on a release date.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps is another of those [email protected] games sure to get fans hyped if it appears on stage during Microsoft’s E3 2018 show. Considering it’s been three years since the original title released, and the fact that it was announced at last year’s show, we think this is another title slated for a 2018 release date, too.
Japanese Developers and Publishers
If you take a look at the Xbox One’s library of games, it excels in a lot of places. That is, except for JRPGs and other titles from Japanese developers that have seemingly found a home on Sony’s PS4. That’s not to say that the Xbox One has none, but it’s something that Phil Spencer himself has acknowledged, and something he intends to rectify at E3 this year.
When asked if we’d see JRPGs on stage this year on Twitter, Spencer replied saying yes, though acknowledged that things can change. However, Spencer also suggests that Microsoft is making a big effort to work with Japanese publishers, so unless the disastrous happens for Microsoft, expect them to show up. Exactly what, however, we’re not entirely sure. Though, with Microsoft still owning the rights to Blue Dragon and its need for exclusive IP not going away anytime soon, it would certainly be a convenient fix to a number of the gaps in its software library.
New Exclusive IP
And that leads us onto arguably the most obvious of our Microsoft E3 2018 predictions. The “Xbox One has no exclusives” line has been mentioned time and time again, and though it obviously does have exclusive titles, its library somewhat pales in comparison to the seemingly never-ending line of blockbuster exclusives hitting Sony’s PS4. So where could these new exclusive IP come from?
First, it’s worth remembering that rumors had seemed to hint at the possibility of Microsoft purchasing third-party publishers or developers early on in the year. Though there have been no rumblings since, straight-up acquiring new developers or publishers would certainly bolster the Xbox One’s first-party offerings.
New IP, however, are likely to come from the new Playground Games studio that opened up earlier this year to work on a non-racing title, as well as, maybe, whatever’s due to come next from Rare now that it has only got post-launch content to focus on for Sea of Thieves. A Perfect Dark or Banjo Kazooie revival sure would be sweet.
There’s also a good chance Microsoft will take some time to showcase some of its very best [email protected] titles, especially after the success of Cuphead last year.