There are a surprising number of people who hear “E3” and immediately point towards Nintendo revealing new gameplay of their latest title, Square Enix not showing gameplay of their next delayed game, or Xbox showing new “exclusive world premieres” on a big screen, but these are simply press conferences. The true E3 happens after these stages have packed up and made way for: two show floors full of anxious nerds trying to get their hands on the newest games. A week from now, thousands of people will wait in long lines outside of booths put up by game publishers to experience this. I’m glad to say that I will be the Sick Critic representative at the Electronics Entertainment Expo in 2019. As such, it’s only fitting for me to share my thoughts on what we’ll see next week. Whether you go to E3 or not this year, these are games you’ll be hearing increasingly more about once the crowd that is there has first-hand experience with them:
Prediction: Probably one of the most anticipated games this year is DOOM: Eternal. The game serves as a direct sequel to DOOM, which was released in 2016, a title heavily commended for its chaotic weapon play and refreshing take on the classic franchise. The game even released on the Switch in November of 2017, giving the title a new resurgence with a brand-new audience. With the franchise’s new-found popularity amongst the younger crowd, DOOM: Eternal will serve as the centerpiece for Bethesda this year.
Prediction: July 26 will see the release of Wolfenstein: Youngblood, and Bethesda is going to be showing it off to fans of the series at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Another series with roots in the twentieth century, Wolfenstein found its own home in the current console generation when Wolfenstein: The New Order released in 2014. Most recently, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus was ported to Switch and made an appearance at E3 2018 in its new handheld form. These games follow B.J. Blazkowicz in an alternate reality where Germany came out of World War II victorious. This new title takes a different angle on the current Wolfenstein canon by following Blazkowicz’s daughters Jessica and Sophia as they search for their father twenty years after the events of The New Colossus. This game should be the Robin to DOOM: Eternal‘s Batman.
Prediction: It’s not entirely far fetched to think that with Wolfenstein: Youngblood being there, Bethesda could squeeze in Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot. My reasoning here is two-fold: 1) they both release on the same day as part of the same series, so if one is there, then there’s no reason they shouldn’t both be there; 2) the game is set in virtual reality, and E3 is a hotbed for anything VR these days. Will I check it out? No, probably not. Will it be there? Possibly.
Fact: Bethesda has no plans for Starfield this year. I’m a little bummed. I said in an article back when Bethesda announced their press conference date that this would be a sure thing, and I was intrigued by it. Guess we’ll just have to sit with our hands in our pockets a little longer.
Prediction: Okay, the main event has to be Pokémon Sword and Shield, right? Is there anything else that could even closely resemble a candidate for a contender for Sword and Shield? I don’t think so. Nintendo fans haven’t seen the release of a true addition to the massive Pokémon franchise since Sun and Moon came out in 2016. One thing is for sure: these are some of the most excitable fans in all of gaming. At last year’s expo, even Let’s Go had a line with a wait that surpassed three hours within minutes of the doors opening. There’s no way to predict how flooded Nintendo’s booth will be this year. Good thing it’s the biggest one, they’re going to need the space. We’re already getting a Nintendo Direct dedicated to it tomorrow.
Prediction: Super Mario Maker 2 may not be the studio’s most anticipated game of all time, but it certainly has its pull. The original was arguably the only reason to own a Wii U after Super Smash Bros. Ultimate released on the Switch. People love the freedom to put their own spin on such an iconic franchise, and this game will be the same thing with a wider array of tools and a story mode. While certainly not the highlight of the booth this year, it will have a strong presence and likely a long line.
Prediction: Speaking of The Legend of Zelda, Link’s Awakening has a remake coming this year to the Nintendo Switch, and there’s plenty of excitement to go around for those who are fans of the original from 1993. I’m no Nintendo expert, but I think nostalgia will be high as players pick up this classic in a new, elevated form next week, and the timing is quite remarkable considering this coming Thursday, June 6, is the original game’s 26th anniversary.
Prediction: We have a teaser for the Animal Crossing game that’s supposed to come to the Switch this year, but we have no gameplay, no date, not even a real title for the thing yet. Either way, it’s coming, and what better stage than E3 to announce the details and give the game its first public exposure? This could be another long line.
Prediction: Luigi’s Mansion 3 will be there. We don’t even know if that’s what it’ll officially be called, but it’ll be there. We already saw gameplay in a Nintendo Direct back in September, and the game is slated for this year. It’s a long-awaited addition to a popular series. This booth is really shaping up to be something special.
Fact: “Attendees will also have a chance to play #Borderlands3 at the 2K booth!” Thank. You. Randy. May blessings rain down upon you and the team that has graced us with such a fortune.
Prediction: 2K was nowhere to be seen at last year’s E3, and now it has a large booth in the dead center of the South Hall. While I could definitely see Borderlands 3 taking up this whole booth, there may be a small place for NBA 2K20. I mean, it would be too good to be true if it were JUST Borderlands 3, right?
Prediction: What the hell is going on here? Square Enix is going to take up as much space as Bethesda, but they don’t appear to have anything worth playing. Last year it was Kingdom Hearts III, but this year is a mystery. My best guess is that we’ll finally be hearing something big about the project that Crystal Dynamics has been working on that supposedly is an Avengers game. The studio hasn’t released anything in four-and-a-half years, so assuming they’ve spent that entire time developing this game plus some overlap with Rise of the Tomb Raider, it could be reaching the end of its development cycle. There are a few other games in the works right now, but I think this is the best bet. The only other thing that could take up such a spot is Romancing SaGa 3 simply because it’s releasing this year on a pretty wide scale, but, again, my money is on this Avengers title.
Prediction: It feels like Skull & Bones has been in development forever. It was playable at E3 2018, and now it’s being delayed to 2020. If I’m Ubisoft, why wouldn’t I just send a few more feelers out there? Especially considering I have practically nothing else to take up the show floor space.
Fact: Beyond Good & Evil 2 will not be there. Leave it to Ubisoft to exclude their most-anticipated game. Why do they have such a big booth again?
Prediction: Ghost Recon Breakpoint is the only thing that could possibly justify the space Ubisoft is taking up on the show floor. It seems the Tom Clancy line of games never ends, probably because they’re still big hits with the gaming community. The Division 2 released to an impressive amount of applause earlier this year, so it stands to reason that Breakpoint would work well as a game of interest.
Prediction: Do you remember that unremarkable game, Watch Dogs, that was kinda supposed to rival Grand Theft Auto V? Remember how they came out with a sequel a mere two years later and it not-very-surprisingly came out just as mediocre? Well, they’re back with Watch Dogs Legion, a leaked game that will apparently be announced this year at E3. While this could be the big thing on Ubisoft’s radar for the show floor, I doubt it. Breakpoint is more likely in my opinion.
Prediction: I’m uncharacteristically excited for Bandai Namco this year because of one game: Twin Mirror. Developed by DONTNOD Entertainment, possibly my favorite story tellers in the business, this title is coming this year. When? We’re not sure (hopefully we’ll know after the press conferences), but, like Vampyr, this serves as a step away from the studio’s success with Life Is Strange. This is the one and only thing I can see at this booth, and you know what? I dig it.
Prediction: While it’s the only thing I will see, Bandai Namco actually has a few games coming this year that we are waiting on: Digimon Survive, Code Vein, and Rad to name a few. Of these, I could see Rad having a somewhat significant presence. The game was announced during the Nindies Showcase in late March. It’s being developed by Double Fine Productions, the team responsible for the Psychonauts series. It seems very expo-/convention-friendly.
Prediction: E3 isn’t exactly foreign to games that have already released. Devil May Cry 5 has been out for a few months now, but it’s a big title that caught everyone’s attention. We could see a nice place for people to experience it. However, I see this as unlikely. The game’s main sales have already passed, so it wouldn’t be very lucrative for Capcom to spend the money of setting it up on the show floor. The potential boost in sales would likely be negligible.
Prediction: I can see a small section of the booth dedicated to the original Devil May Cry. Capcom has it scheduled to release on the Switch later this year, and E3 would be a nice medium to give a glimpse of the game.
Wow! What a year ahead of us. With so much to look forward to, it’s hard to contain my excitement. With that being said, I have to go plan out my E3 trip. Lots to do.
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