REPLY TO ALL: E3 11 Game Predictions

E3 will be upon us shortly. There’s plenty of hype surrounding new hardware, but we are here for the games. This week we talk through the games we hope to hear more about along with any unlikely predictions that would melt our faces if they became a reality.

BioShock Infinite

But I want to go to Columbia now.

Andrew (Coopopolopolis)

I’m looking forward to seeing the new campaign trailer for Gears of War 3, however, I don’t really want them to show off too much. I just want to play the game. If Nintendo should do us (and themselves) a favor and surprise us with a few really cool launch titles for their new console. If E3 really wanted to blow me away, Irrational Games could announce that Bioshock Infinite is way ahead of schedule and will actually be releasing this December instead of next. My fingers are crossed for that one.

Justin L (JDevL)

I’m in earmuff mode when it comes to Gears 3 and a lot of the sequels out there that I already know I’m buying. So I’ll spend my time dodging certain trailers of games I want to be surprised by since I’m more interested in new game announcements. I wouldn’t mind seeing some action from Assassin’s Creed Revelations that hopefully shows why it is bigger/better/different than last years game. I don’t want Microsoft to focus too much on Kinect, but I do want to see the next batch of games to see if any will be worth playing. I’m not optimistic though. I want to know what Starbreeze (The Darkness, Chronicles of Riddick) has been working on. Lastly, I’m really curious to see what Harmonix’s new game is, I’m hoping for something trippy like an updated Amplitude that works with the Rock Band library somehow. I also want Nintendo to blow us away with whatever Retro Studios has been doing since Donkey Kong Country Returns couldn’t have been it. That Metroid Prime knowledge has to be going towards something, and hopefully it’s towards something worthy of selling a new console.

Justin G (GiffTor)

I will admit that I haven’t followed the pre-E3 news all that closely because whatever the opposite of a rumor-hound is, that’s me. Rumors have a way of getting you excited for something that doesn’t pan out or just upsetting you. I’m definitely looking forward to hearing more from Harmonix; even though I’m not a huge rhythm/music game guy, I do love me some Rock Band. Like Justin L, I’m definitely interested in some Kinect games that I’d be interested in since the peripheral has some serious potential that I have yet to consider as realized and I’d like to hear more about the new Assassin’s Creed. I’m also somewhat curious about Ubisoft’s overall… I don’t know how to put it but… business plan? Their little Uplay system seems to be set up in parallel (if not direct competition with) XBL Arcade/Marketplace, which I find odd. The only mind-melter might be if we see a playable demo out of Silicon Knights of the next Too Human. Otherwise, I’m not sure that there are any mind-melting surprises out there, but I’m always open to being proved horribly, horribly wrong.

JP (JPizzle151)

I on the other hand LOVE rumors! I could read about game rumors all day. I should launch a version of TMZ for video games. With that said, my number one hope for E3 is the announcement of GTA V. I understand that Rockstar is not listed as a formal attendee of the show, but there is a rumor floating around that GTA V is a major third party launch title for Project Cafe. If that announcement does happen, I expect it to be a “Look who we brought to the party!” moment for Nintendo. After the highly successful releases of Red Dead Redemption and L.A. Noire, I can’t wait to see what the next GTA installment will bring us. The biggest thing I want to see from the upcoming fall games is a game play demo of Skyrim. I am hoping that Todd Howard will take the stage and give an extensive demo (like he did with Fallout 3). The biggest reason I want a demo is to see if and how Bethesda integrated what they learned from making Fallout into Skyrim. I also am really excited to see the new engine in action.

Battlefield 3

That's a pretty modern looking battlefield.

Next, I would like a game play demo of Battlefield 3. That isn’t a big hope since I expect DICE and EA to show up guns blazing with this title. I, of course, also want to see demos of Arkham City, Mass Effect 3, and Gears of War 3 as well. The biggest pipe dream for me this year is that Square would finally announce Kingdom Hearts 3. It’s time to move on from the latereal, above, under, inbetween, and any other preposition you can think of entries into the series. I want the direct sequel now. I also want to hear Square say the game is coming to Xbox as well as PS3. Based on Square’s recent fiscal reports, I think they would have to strongly consider a cross-platform placement of this game. Square would do themselves a lot of justice by placing the game on the new Nintendo console as well. Kingdom Hearts 3 could be a huge third party title for Nintendo’s new hardware. Lastly, after the Kotaku and Activision debacle, I hope Activision has their flight delayed for an entire week and misses the show. Then again, that might compel them to hold their own trade show. That might be worse.

Justin G

You know what that right there is? That’s internal diversity, that is. I don’t like rumors, JP loves them. After reading through all of the things that he’s excited about, I came to the conclusion that one reason I’m not psyched is: I’m not going to get to play any of this cool stuff for months or even years! I’m not the world’s most patient person, anyway (goes with the whole INTJ personality type). Still, I have to thank JP for reminding me that not all hopes have to be positive ones.

Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die. – Mel Brooks, who knows something about comedy

I predict that someone will “greyhat” hack Sony’s presentation, you know, like their demo of has a boot-screen message saying “We still don’t know how to secure our networks!” I like it when people/companies own up to screwing up instead of acting like they’re perfect, which is how Sony’s approach has struck me and I love seeing hubris punished. I want more ridiculous predictions because the realistic ones, like “No, Mass Effect 3 isn’t coming out until 2012″ makes me sad, no matter how much I respect BioWare’s commitment to quality.

Ethan (Wizardtrain187)

I’m a lot like GiffTor in terms of lacking patience. When Fallout: New Vegas was announced, it was difficult to even play other games because all I thought about was that one. That doesn’t stop me from torturing myself though.

Resident Evil seems to be floating around my mind quite a bit and since I haven’t played a title in the series for years, it’s about time I started getting pumped about the games that really got my addicition pumping. I’m interested to see more details on Operation: Raccoon City, since multiplayer gaming is slowly working it’s way into my heart. This is a huge departure for the series and while the concept looks interesting, the hype is a bit obstructed by Slant Six’s involvement. Not saying they’re a bad choice, I’m just not too familiar with them. I want to see the mechanics fleshed out and more gameplay footage, which I expect at E3. Rumors about Resident Evil 6 have also been intriguing to me and I’m curious whether or not it will be announced. I’ve heard it’s an even bigger departure for the series than Operation: Raccoon City, so anticipation is dead even between the mere announcement and what’s actually in store.

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City

Where's your visitor's center?

I also want to see more on Skyrim, mostly because despite how great the game looks and how much I like Oblivion, I am not as pumped about it as I should be.

Lastly, even though I bash the games on a regular basis, Modern Warfare 3 will be on my watch list. Even though the story isn’t “deep” per say, there’s something about the characters involved and the semi realistic “what if” scenario played out in the first 2. What can I say, I’m a sucker for summer blockbusters. I’m also very curious as to what they can possibly add to the multiplayer of that series to make it stand out for the last two releases. A game a year is risky, but it seems like they are pulling it off though I think MW 3 may be the plateua of the Call of Duty series and could end up being the downward turn in fan excitement.

Justin L

Gifford, you convinced me. I’m now looking forward to 3rd party developers taking swipes at PSN in their trailers and demos. There have to be multiple companies out there that had their E3 demo presentations screwed by the outage, and I hope they get a few cheap shots in.

Adding to the diversity, I’m just jaded by rumors and expect the industry to mess with my head. So I’m interested in them, but my hopes never go up. I’m interested in seeing more details on both RE games, too. I expect RE6 to make a teaser trailer appearance, and also scare the hell out of Ethan and I by heading in the wrong direction. Here’s hoping Raccoon City makes up for it though, if done right, I’d be more into that game than Left 4 Dead. As for MW3, the only thing that interests me about CoD these days is to see how much they hype it and what they focus on to try and sell it to a new crowd. Especially, because I don’t think that crowd exists anymore. People who are buying CoD already know they are, but Activision will spend millions advertising to them anyway.

Rumors are starting to churn about Eidos bringing back one of my favorite series – Legacy of Kain – who hasn’t seen a game on this version of consoles. However, Eidos’ development pedigree has been struggling lately, so I’m nervous about who they will give it to since Crystal Dynamics is busy with the new Tomb Raider game. Speaking of which. I’m ready to see the new Lara in action. We’ll see what tricks she’s picked up from Uncharted and Assassin’s Creed, and see if she can try anything new.

JP

I haven’t thought about Legacy of Kain in years. Lacey, you make me want to go plug in the Dreamcast and play Soul Reaver right now. I would be interested to see a resurrection, if you will, of that series as well. As far as CoD goes, yawn, I am really close to jumping off the wagon and finding something else. I can honestly say that the trailer didn’t do anything for me. With that said, I want to see game play demos of CoD before making any judgements on if I want to purchase the game. I’m still leaning towards Battlefield and their new engine. I will go deeper into the Battlefield vs CoD drama once we get closer to November.

Duck Tales

Wooh-ooh

A lot of the fun that goes into E3 speculation is thinking about old series that you want to see new entries from. Everyone has that one game that sits in the back of their memory. You know deep down you want that title to be brought back from the dead in a big new way. Another thing I would have to add to my want list is more remakes of classic platforming games. When these projects are done right, they are extremely satisfying. I love the interpretation of classic games on modern hardware. Who doesn’t want to see Duck Tales HD? I know I do.

Cole (Colefacekilla)

You all have good points. And I’m looking forward to many of the same things you guys are. Ethan and Justin L., I’m right there with you when it comes to Resident Evil. As much as I want to see a return to “survival horror” the success of Resident Evil 5 has me doubting that possibility. Raccoon City has potential… but then again so do many of the games we barely know about.

As far as Modern Warfare 3 goes, I’m a Modern Warfare fan. However, Infinity Ward is not the same studio it was when the first two games in that version of Call of Duty were released. That being said, it looks batshit insane and I’m interested in playing the single player campaign. If the multiplayer doesn’t change, I’ll rent/borrow it and beat it in a day and never return to it. If Infinity Ward and the many other developers that have been associated with this game make sweeping changes and change the way first person shooters are played online, I’ll be very impressed/excited. I have a feeling they will trot out the same old tropes and sell a ton of copies anyway. Just not to me.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if Square Enix made awesome games again? Branch out from Final Fantasy and make epic games like you used to. I’m not necessarily saying go make sequels to all of my favorite games of the Super Nintendo and PS1 era but take chances like Vagrant Story or Final Fantasy Tactics. Stop messing around with all this bullshit CG and concentrate on simple stories that everyone can understand. I would love for Square Enix to rise again, or some other developer to take their place….oh wait, Bioware did that already.

Justin L

I misread JP’s response and for some reason got really excited about the potential of a hardcore realistic Duck Hunt sequel from Nintendo to show off their new console and how it will still work with WiiMotes. That being said, Duck Tales sequel or not, pogo stick platforming is way overdue for an update.

Activision

Or you could do E3 this way.

I’m cheering for new Infinity Ward, much in the same way that I’ve always been cheering for Neversoft. But ultimately I know what product Activision wants so I’m not interested. I do need to throw in that I’m also not really interested in Battlefield 3. The tech and graphics are the only intriguing parts, but I prefer my Modern Warfare with a sense of humor like the original Bad Company. But apparently neither Activision or EA want to laugh about their war games these days.

We do keep making predictions based on existing franchises, but when the dust settles from an E3, I’m usually buzzing about new games/franchises that I’ve never heard from before. I want another Assassin’s Creed moment when Ubisoft came out of nowhere with that beauty. Ubisoft needs to show us something new and awesome. Their Clancy games seem to be fading, Prince of Persia is a shell of itself, and Ezio needs someone else to carry the banner for a while.

Justin G

Anyone think the Ubisoft Uplay is going to lead to anything significant or is it just a peripheral thing? Think it’ll pop up at E3?

Justin L

From a company who thought a real-life laser tag game was worth presenting at E3 last year I’m skeptical of their plans on making Uplay useful to anyone.

Cole

I think the Uplay thing is dumb. It’s just a way for Ubisoft to keep track of the people buying their games. If I was a huge fan of everything Ubisoft, maybe I would want to be a part of something like that, but it seems like they are just trying to create their own social media site. Sorry Ubisoft, I’m just not interested.

Ubisoft

Still baffled that the guy from The Soup is your CEO

After remembering all the crap that was brought up last year, thanks to Ubisoft and Konami, I’d like to see game companies just bring their “A” game to the conference. Don’t try to be too cutesy or hardcore. You wind up being cheesy and stupid. Forget the pomp and circumstance (unless of course Macho Man is involved. R.I.P.) (sidenote: Pomp and Circumstance was his entrance music. aka: the graduation march song) Just give us trailers and demos of your best games. This will never ever happen but I wish it would.

JP

I haven’t heard about this Uplay, but I agree it sounds dumb. I am trying to show restraint with the CoD vs Battlefield debate, but here is my thought. I really think that the next innovator in the FPS genre will be Respawn. We have to keep in mind that these are the guys that made the good Medal of Honor games and the Infinity Ward CoD games. I am also interested in what Bungie will do for their IP. Unfortunately, I think we will have to wait for next year to see these two studios’ current projects. I would love to hear what they are working on, but I really don’t see that happening at all. It seems that both studios are taking the ‘loose lips sink ships’ approach.

Conclusion

This group isn’t a fan of rumors, but we sure do enjoy picking fights over speculation. Regardless of what is and isn’t announced, E3 2011 has the potential to be memorable or completely forgettable. We just can’t wait to get our hands on the games at PAX.

Sources:

Giant Bomb (images)