E3 2016: Marc's Predictions
In the past, The Electronics Entertainment Expo is a bit of a second Christmas for me. The debut of new games in my favorite medium of entertainment has always been a source of joy for me. Between the lead up to the event itself, speculation of the product and the suspense while waiting for the release date, E3 is a natural source of joy in my otherwise hum-drum existence. This year that all changed.
It has barely been three years since I stupidly bought an Xbox One during launch week for the low price of only $499 US Dollars. I'll admit I'm a moron for doing so that early, but coming off the success and impressive library amassed by its predecessor, I would have never dreamed that the reality gamers have been presented with was what I was buying into.
After several price cuts, one coming within the first year, I continued to grit my teeth in defense of Big Gaming. Halo 5 dropped with a colossal thud, yet my resolve remained unremitting. Gears of War was my savior. Marcus Fenix would release and whisk me away to Sera, away from the broken promises and malaise churning inside me.
From across the rolling hills of salvation came a dull and rumbling thunder. A disjointed, hellish voice carrying tales of a new set of consoles filled the air as though each letter be tiny wasps. Their poisonous barb digging deeper into my flesh with the release of each headline of “Project Scorpio” or “PS4.5”.
Where the Xbox 360 lasted a decade, this console generation lasted a mere three. For the cost of the consoles purchased at retail, I could have built a pretty solid gaming PC. Throw in the expense of a NEW 3DS (Another scam console that I'm ashamed to say occupies space in my house and one I thankfully I wasn't stupid enough to buy.) and a Wii U and that “solid” gaming PC becomes the Hackintosh of my dreams.
In all honesty, I've never been so indifferent towards the E3 expo since I've been old enough to comprehend it. With the cloud of an upgraded, full price console hanging over the event, it's hard to justify excitement towards the software that occupies the show floor. As such, this will likely be my last round of console ownership.
I've seen the light oh PC overlords... Cleanse my clouded soul in the golden light of your unrelenting truth...I've seen blue skies through the tears... I'm coming home.
Although the event myself has been tainted by the impending doom of Project Scorpio, this year's event remains on my radar. These are my predictions for the show and games that have piqued my interest.
Gears of War 4
Gears of War has always felt like a series that was created with my desires and my desires only at the forefront. Gritty, vulgar and violent, Gears remains my go-to when it comes to competitive online shooters. That longevity exists thanks to Gears of War 3's excellent multiplayer. With the recent beta test of the 4th game in the series, I'm confident that the series is in accomplished hands. I expect this game to steal the show.
Thanks in part to sheep in wolf's clothing release, Overwatch, Gearbox's MOBA killer, Battleborn failed to live up to the hype by almost any reasonable measurement. I'm genuinely shocked 2K wasn't sued for false advertising, as replacing the “N” with an “E” is a far more accurate depiction of the game's content. To recoup losses and revive faith in the Gearbox brand, Borderlands 3 is all but certain.
I expect a departure from the series trademark formula in favor of the currently popular “open world” format. While loot based gameplay remains the hallmark of the game, traveling off Pandora will be the soup de jour in Borderlands 3. Manufacturers will play a huge role in the game with Mr. Torgue at the forefront.
Final Fantasy XII
Finally, the game no one liked featured in a remake literally no one asked for. Final Fantasy XII marked a huge departure in quality for the series, a ball that the 13th installment took and ran it in for a touchdown... three whole times over. My memories of this game are far from fond, and I have little faith Square Enix can polish this disaster into an entertaining video game.
Remakes and Compilations
Expect several remakes and releases to clog the show floor. With new consoles on the horizon, Sony and M$ will be somewhat gun-shy when it comes to pumping money and faith into any new intellectual properties. Likely candidates are; Final Fantasy VIII or IX, Halo 3, Kingdom Hearts and Grand Theft Auto. Speaking of which...
Grand Theft Auto?
Something tells me that we are in store for some big GTA news whether in the form of a new single player experience or a stand alone GTA Online release, Grand Theft Auto is going to have some showing at E3. While I'd love to see a dedicated relaunch and restructuring of GTA Online, it seems more likely that a remake of GTA3 or Vice City with GTA Online support will be announced.
No Man's Sky
I'll believe this game exists when I actually have the case in my hands and open it to find an actual disk, not an IOU.
Pokémon Sun/Pokémon Moon
Content with rereleasing the same copy of Pokémon Gold/Silver with new characters for the past decade or so, Nintendo continues the tradition of their forty dollar Rock Paper Scissors simulator in the form of Pokémon Sun and Moon. Pokémon has been Nintendo's equivalent of the Madden franchise and in a similar fashion to Madden, the fan base is quite conditioned to pry themselves away from their Dakimakuras long enough to get a fresh copy in their bloated, Dorito-stained fingers as soon as possible.