Extended Conversation: E3 2016 Preview

With E3 2016 just a few days away, we took some time to go over some of the big titles expected to make appearances at this year’s show as well as some rumors that have been popping up recently.

Diverging Shooters

At this E3 we can all expect to see the latest from the two biggest shooters in games: Call of Duty and Battlefield. While we’d normally scoff at the tired genre, this year promises big changes from both franchises. While Infinity Ward takes Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare further into the future with space combat (including zero gravity gameplay), DICE and EA are going back to Battlefield’s roots by featuring historical warfare, specifically the criminally overlooked World War I in their game Battlefield 1. The Great War was a milestone in combat technology with the advent of tanks, airplanes, war balloons, and chemical weapons. As someone who has retreated from the genre in recent years, Battlefield I has me excited to see how DICE will handle all the fascinating fronts and unique gameplay opportunities.

Mass Effect: Andromeda

Mass Effect Andromeda. Image courtesy of BioWare.

Mass Effect is one of our favorite video game series and one of the most prolific sci-fi RPGs from the last generation of consoles. EA and BioWare have been relatively quiet regarding Mass Effect: Andromeda, the latest entry in the series, which is reported to distance itself from the original trilogy. This E3 is a pivotal moment for the developer, who recently made it known that the game has slipped to Q1 of 2017. With little concrete information or demonstrations in the wild so far, we know EA will have a big unveiling at this year’s E3, hopefully including a huge info dump as well as gameplay demos, in order to jumpstart the hype train for next spring.  Recently leaked video showed off a HUD similar to Mass Effect 1, jetpack traversal, and a vehicle exploring an open environment. It’s safe to assume that a major showcase is on its way.

So Close and Yet So Far

The Last Guardian is one more delay away from becoming vaporware at this point. Originally revealed at E3 2009, the game has gone through development hell, for lack of a better term. Between team members leaving, studio changes, a brief trademark lapse, and rumors of cancellation, somehow the game survived and was re-announced as a PS4 exclusive at E3 last year with a release date of late 2016. As we quickly approach the promised release quarter, we’re hoping for a more detailed dive into the game and its mechanics at this E3, as well as a little reassurance it’s actually coming.

New Games, New Franchises

While the majority of E3 will likely be already established franchises as the industry continues to trend toward the safe waters of annual iteration, we also expect there to be quite a few new IPs on display as well.

Horizon: Zero Dawn. Image courtesy if vg247

Horizon: Zero Dawn, Sony’s neo-prehistoric post-apocalyptic action RPG, was delayed until February 2017 so it would be wise for Sony to serve up some brand new gameplay to appease the fans. So far, Sony has revealed videos about combat and the main character, Aloy, but we hope to see a lengthier look at prolonged gameplay involving other elements besides combat. Another recently delayed game, Kickstarter superstar Yooka Laylee, will be making its first E3 appearance.

Yooka Laylee. Image courtesy of Polygon and Playtonic Games

Backers and curious gamers will need to see more of this game in action to prove that the traditional 3D platformer genre still has legs in this industry. The developer Playtonic certainly has the pedigree, and making a strong showing will go a long way to convincing many borderline fans.

Sequels in newer series such as Watch Dogs, Titanfall, and the surprise hit South Park: The Stick of Truth will also be making appearances at this year’s E3. Watch Dogs 2 has already had a big unveiling after several smaller leaks, but expect for Ubisoft to pull back the entire curtain next week. Fans are already excited about the new protagonist and setting announcements, so hopefully Ubisoft will follow up with some more details. Titanfall 2 is expected to end its Xbox One console exclusivity, and the hope is that the sequel will offer more single-player and post-launch options as those were the areas commonly criticized in the first game.

Rumor Has It

No E3 coverage would be complete without the obligatory wild speculation and rumor mongering. Recent leaks showed what could be an in-game map for a new Red Dead Redemption game. Coupled with the fact that Rockstar has not released a new game since 2013’s Grand Theft Auto 5 and various other hints being reported, this news has many gamers (ourselves included) speculating that a new Red Dead game would be a major announcement at this year’s E3. Red Dead Redemption made a big splash when it was released in 2010 (to the tune of several million copies sold) and the market seems ready for a follow up.

A slightly more speculative rumor involves a potential PS4 exclusive Spider-Man game. Sketchy and unconfirmed reports make some connections between a leaked resume listing an “untitled Spiderman PS4 project” and the fact that Sucker Punch, one of Sony’s premiere 1st party developers, hasn’t released or announced anything since mid 2014. More importantly, Sucker Punch has a proven track record with open world, superhero games with their successful InFamous series. Taking into account Activision dropped their Marvel licenses in 2014, Sony’s new deal with Marvel, and Spider-Man’s popular reboot in Captain America: Civil War, it would make sense that Sony and Marvel would want to tap a developer with a solid track record to reinvigorate Spider-Man’s console games. While these reports should be taken with a large grain of salt, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see something from Sucker Punch announced regardless of its connections with Spider-Man.

Those are just a few select games we’re excited to hear and see more about at E3 next week. Check out the special Extended Conversation of our weekly podcast to hear more on these titles and other announcements we’re looking forward to and stay tuned in the near future for more of our coverage on E3 2016.

Michael Costanzo (51 Posts)

Michael is new to the podcasting scene, with The Crispy Noodle Podcast marking his first foray into the world of internet radio. He also enjoys playing video games, reading, criticizing the Philadelphia Eagles, and being Italian. Currently, Michael is enrolled in Rosemont College's Masters of the Fine Arts program for Creative Writing. He one day hopes to traumatize people of all ages with his writing. Until then, Michael will continue to bring his unique perspective to The Crispy Noodle.

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