What We Want From This Year’s E3

By Adam Ouakli (@AdamOuakli)

It’s that time of year again, gamers! Yep, E3 is just around the corner and this year, it’s open to the public. With less than a week to go until the biggest event of the year on the gaming calendar, we got thinking about what exactly we want to see at this year’s show.

The event is set to run from June 13th to June 15th but before that, we are going to be treated to press conferences from the bigger companies on the days leading up to the event. Here are the times of the presentations:

Saturday 10th June

  • EA – 8pm GMT

Sunday 11th June

  • Bethesda – 5am GMT
  • Microsoft – 10pm GMT

Monday 12th June

  • Sony – 5am GMT
  • Ubisoft – 10pm GMT

Tuesday 13th June

  • Nintendo – 5pm GMT

With that out of the way, let’s see what these gaming juggernauts are set to reveal and what we want to see them announce:

Xbox Will Show Off The 4K Scorpio

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The showpiece of the weekend will inevitably be the Xbox Scorpio. No other company is revealing a new console and although we got a sneak peek at the Scorpio at last year’s E3, we expect to learn more about specs and hopefully get a release date. Microsoft has already shown us a snippet of what the console is capable of with a very short trailer of a new Forza game (which is likely to debut) but we want to see more. We want to see what its full capabilities are and what games will be released for it in glorious 4K. Perhaps Gears of War 5? Perhaps a new Halo game or re-master, perhaps not. Fans can dream.

Sony’s Main Focus Will Be On Games

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Sony will be going into E3 this year without any new hardware to reveal. This means that their focus will be almost entirely on game releases. We are expecting a whole heap of games to get excited about. We know about some of the titles we expect to be showcased already: Spider-Man, Days Gone, Detroit: Become Human and the highly anticipated sequel to what many consider to be one of the greatest games of all time; The Last of Us. A new God of War game would be quite nice too. Hopefully, we’ll see trailers or even gameplay for most if not all of these titles.

What Games Do We Want To See

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We can expect a Destiny 2 trailer and a Call of Duty WWII trailer. Fingers crossed that Activision will have some gameplay to show us from CoD WWII. If we’re lucky we might even get a sneak peek at some multiplayer.

Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding will most likely make an appearance. We have already seen a short trailer of the game but we hope that there will be some new gameplay to show off.  After all who doesn’t want to see some more of Mads Mikkelsen and Guillermo del Toro?

Another game some of us desperately want an update on is the Final Fantasy VII remake that was announced at E3 back in 2015. It hasn’t been long since Final Fantasy XV was released but Square Enix cannot tease fans on such a matter. This is serious stuff. We want that FF7 remake and we want it now.

Some of the bigger announcements will be coming from the likes of EA, Ubisoft and (we hope) Bethesda.

EA will inevitably showcase its yearly football instalment FIFA 18. A new Need for Speed game will also most likely be showcased. EA’s most hyped unveiling will be Star Wars Battlefront 2. After a disappointing 2015 revamp of the old classic, from what we’ve seen already, the second instalment will include different generations, and, wait for it, single player. Finally. We weren’t asking for much.

Nintendo Will Have To Amp It Up This Year

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Nintendo will have to unveil a lot of exciting things this year to keep fans interested. It’s been just over 3 months since the Nintendo Switch was released, and fans are itching for new titles to be announced with a very limited line-up so far. We’re looking for new exclusive games like a new Mario game; in particular, we expect to hear more about Super Mario Odyssey. Fans of Nintendo will be hoping and praying that a new Metroid game will be unveiled. We’ll be holding our breath. We probably shouldn’t though.

E3 Disappointment For Pokémon Fans?

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Pokémon fans who are expecting a big announcement at E3 will probably be disappointed. Nintendo broadcast its yearly Pokémon Direct on Tuesday which promised a ‘big announcement’ which left fans wondering what it could be. Could it be a new game in the series for the switch? Could it be the rumoured Pokémon Stars after the release of Sun and Moon last year?

Wrong and Wrong. Two of the series’ classics, Pokemon Gold and Silver will be coming to the Virtual Console on the Nintendo 3DS store for download in September. Nostalgic? Yes. Exciting? Perhaps a little. Ground-breaking announcement? No.

We will be seeing two new Pokémon games, however. Announced along with Gold and Silver were two new additions to the 3DS: Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, featuring new story-lines and Pokémon but still set in Alola. Kind of like when Pokemon Black 2 and White 2 followed on from Black and White.

Oh yeah, Pokken Tournament is also coming to Switch. The Pokémon fighting game, until now only available in Japan, will be released on Nintendo Switch on September 22nd.

Nintendo’s presentation last year was a bit underwhelming despite showing off Zelda: Breath of the Wild so we’re hoping they do a bit better this year.

Ubisoft Will Show Off Some Big Titles

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Ubisoft could potentially steal the show this year in terms of unveiling new titles. A new Assassin’s Creed trailer or demo is expected along with a more detailed look at Far Cry 5 which looks like it could be the best Far Cry game to date. We’ve already been treated to a trailer of the new Far Cry but a better look at it and possibly some gameplay could make it one of the most exciting showcases of the weekend. Also, remember that South Park game that’s been shown off the past two years? You’d be forgiven for not due to the constant delays that The Fractured But Whole has recieved but with a firm 2017 release date, expect to see Ubisoft show a lot of gameplay off, or at least some sort of cinematic trailer. Let’s just forget that Mario-Rabbids crossover, okay?

Will Bethesda Deliver?

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From this year’s E3 I want one thing. One simple thing. I want an Elder Scrolls game. Prey is fine. Quake Champions is okay. They may announce a new Wolfenstein game, good. But what we all want is another Elder Scrolls game. Please, Bethesda?





Star Wars Battlefront Beta impressions 

In news that will surprise no one, I love Star Wars. Ever since I was a youngster, lying on the couch watching the original trilogy on VHS, I’ve always had an attatchemnt to George Lucas’ epic saga.

That’s what made purchasing the original Star Wars: Battlefront games on PS2 so easy. You have the rebels fighting the imperials but unlike the movies, you’re not just witnessing it from the perspective of Luke or Solo: you’re on the battlefield, dodging projectiles and all sorts. Many hours were spent playing Galatic Conquest, which no doubt led to the premature death of my trusty PS2, and although the games haven’t aged all that well, it still holds a special place in my heart.

The series then went into hiding for almost a decade and when developers Lucasarts were closed down following Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm and, in turn, Star Wars itself. We all thought this meant that Battlefront 3, which had been in development for years after the 2005 release of its predecessor, was all but gone.

Then it happened. The teaser trailer in 2013. The subsequent reveal trailer in 2014 and all the gameplay that followed. There was Hoth, there was AT-ATs, there was John Williams’ iconic score. There was all of this and more that made Star Wars fans everywhere have to pinch themselves to make sure they weren’t dreaming.

So this is what made downloading the Beta last week a no brainer and thankfully I wasn’t disappointed. The beta definitely wasn’t without fault and maybe I’m best addressing the elephant(or AT-AT) in the room: Walker Assault on Hoth.

Before I go into criticising the mode, let’s give a brief description on what you actually do. In the 40-player Walker Assault mode, the Rebel side tries to destroy two Empire AT-ATs by securing outposts to call in Y-wing bombers. Empire forces, meanwhile, try to keep the Rebels from activating the command posts. All sounds fairly fun on paper but if you play it for even a few minutes, the cracks begin to show.

Unbalanced is pretty much the only word that can describe it as playing as the rebels is only enjoyable if you’re some respawning sado masichist. The imprerials definitely have the upper hand with the ability to take control of the AT-ATs to go on a full on massacre though thankfully this isn’t on demand, instead a randomly chosen event that doesn’t happen too often.

A lot of people have said that it’s down to strategy and that over time they witnessed the rebels winning more and more but when the developers of the game, Dice this time round, are saying it’s unfair, there’s definitely something that needs done. However, on the rare occasion when the game actually feels balanced, it was a hell of a lot of fun and felt like a proper Star Wars mode, unlike Sullust’s Drop Zone which, although enjoyable, feels like a Battlefield game mode with a Star Wars skin on.

Despite this, I had a great time with Battlefront. Walker Assault might have its aforementioned unbalancedness but it was still highly enjoyable and just knowing I was fighting on the iconic snowy planet from Empire Strikes Back gave me chills, no pun intended. Even the Survival mode, which can be played with friends and on your own, was a heap of fun and if there’s even more planets to play on with greater enemy variety in the final product, it could be a solid alternative to COD’s zombies.

I’ll close this post on a note since I did witness a lot of people getting awfully negative about Battlefront over the past week and of course they’re entitled to it. After all it would be a bore if everyone just agreed about everything and just made do with what they have so this in no way me moaning about them moaning . However, what these people have to bare in mind is that it’s just a beta. Since it was released, 3 new game modes have been announced and DICE have taken all the feedback on board to try and craft the best game they can make. I remember the Halo Reach beta being a bit of a disaster and it still remains one of the best multiplayer games I’ve had the fortune of experiencing.

Take off the rose tinted glasses and you’ll see a game that’s full of potential and fun if you give it a chance.

So what are your thoughts on the Star Wars Battlefront Beta? Love it? Hate it? Leave your opinions, both good and bad, in the comments below since I’d love to see what you thought of it. Also don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @blinkclyro for some more fanboying.