As the E3 Expo approaches and the doors prepare to open to the industry (and lucky members of the general public), there has been a lot of hype over what will be shown at this year’s show. Will it be a new launch title that is the talk of the show, or new hardware? A new peripheral that you have to own? What will drive the industry in the coming days? We will find out very soon.
In the meantime, we have learned quite a bit about some of the games that will be showcased at the expo. Developers have been eager to show off launch trailers for their newest products, and several games have already been shown to the world before the show.
We thought this would be a great opportunity to share of the most exciting titles at the expo to prepare you for our week of coverage. So here are some titles you’ll want to keep your eyes on in the coming days!
SEA OF THIEVES (Xbox/PC)
Remember Rare, the company behind such Nintendo hits at Donkey Kong Country, Goldeneye, and more infamously Conquer’s Bad Fur Day? It appears the developers are now on team Microsoft and are developing a game that will make every annoying emo kid in your class’s dreams come true: a full blown, cartoon style “pirate simulator” called “Sea of Thieves.”
Now keep in mind, this isn’t like “Somalia: The Simulator.” This isn’t a dark, seedy underbelly of pirating. This is colorful, full of buried treasure, and protected by pirate skeletons who rise from the sand to attack. You can even fire yourself out of your ship’s cannon toward islands you find, and of course it’s multiplayer so you and your friends can go on adventures out at the high sea together. It’s truly a sandbox of pirate adventures, no pun intended.
STATE OF DECAY 2 (Xbox/PC)
State of Decay was a small-time hit, mostly due to its small budget and the studio responsible for it being of similar size (that is, small.) But the idea resonated with lots of gamers: not only do you survive hordes of zombies, but you also are responsible for foraging in a post-apocalyptic landscape for food and gear. State of Decay 2 intends to take this even further: in the sequel, with much better funding and a bigger team behind it, you will be able to not only build a base to survive, but grow that base. This includes growing food, finding supplies, making sure your fellow survivors are comfortable, and so on. It’s not just a fun romp in an open environment: it’s a constant test of survival in an open and unforgiving world. Leaving your refuge means putting yourself and your team in danger. Why wouldn’t you want a zombie game that focuses on the horrors of the world around you and not just the creatures trying to eat your face?
FINAL FANTASY 7 REMAKE (PS4)
Once upon a time (that time being 1997) Squaresoft was a relatively small game developer who had only really had success in the Japanese markets. They developed some of the most legendary RPGs known, including Chrono Trigger, Mario RPG, and Final Fantasy. This genre is commonly known as JRPGs (Japanese Role Playing Games). They focus on stories, character building, and cinematics to tell a complex tale. For many of us, Final Fantasy VII was the first delving into a fully developed JRPG. And it was a great example of the genre, too.
Squaresoft clearly has fond memories of the game, as well. That’s why they were inspired to re-make the classic. It will have a new battle system, fully upgraded graphics, new voice acting and cut scenes… and, apparently, will still stay true to the original source material. This may be a heck of an accomplishment, so we’ll see how successful they are!
Sadly, the game is released in episodic content. So let’s cross our fingers that Square has enough motivation to finish what they’ve begun, or just leave a half-completed series to the fans after they get bored of their nostalgia product. High hopes!
Spiderman as an IP has been very problematic: Marvel studios has to fight to have their own character in their films because Sony owns the rights to our favorite web slinger. This is why Spiderman games, movies, etc. seem particularly special: you know there was an epic legal briefing before each release.
The new Spiderman game for Playstation 4 is going to try and capture all the most thrilling elements to the web slinger’s experience: from climbing walls, to shooting webs and flying across NYC. From fighting enemies on the ground to jumping from car to car and properly ejected the bad guys. This game looks to incorporate all the best elements from the films and comics, and it will no doubt be a thrill to play!
SUPER MARIO ODYSSEY (Nintendo Switch)
Super Mario Brothers. Possibly the most recognized video game IP of all time, and one that has evolved dramatically throughout the years. From the first 2D side scroller for NES to Mario’s first fully 3D romp in Super Mario 64, we have seen the platform genre grow substantially under this Italian plumber. Now that Nintendo has released their new console, the Switch, they are ready to take the Mario franchise a step further. What will this include? Ridiculously populated worlds, for one: the mushroom kingdom is mostly gone, and instead you are thrown into the “real world.” And the real world is FULL of residences and enemies alike. Also, the draw distance is much better: entire towns are rendered right before your eyes. It gives you a limitless sense of possibilities, which is great when your main character is a knack for high jumps!
How will it take advantage of the Switch hardware? It will be portable, for one (as Switch has advertised for a lot of its titles.) It also will have multiplayer, which is a dream come true since being hinted at as early as the rumored Mario 64 2 was fabled to have it. Imagine, not only being able to play with friends online at home, but also being able to grab your Switch and take it to that friend’s house. It’s a true testament to what Nintendo has going with the hardware.
RED DEAD REDEMPTION 2 (MULTI)
The wild west of Grand Theft Auto, the original is largely considered the greatest western game of all time. And how could it have gone wrong? Take the Grand Theft Auto engine and replace cars with horses, cities with vast wilderness, and small towns with lots of problems. The story, a tale of a lawman put under pressure from the vast federal government, is a time piece as riveting as it is entertaining.
Now, with the new Red Dead Redemption title around the corner, it gives us all sorts of new questions to ponder: where will the story go? Will there be more than simple graphic upgrades? How open will the world be, and how many towns will it cover? Technology has gone a long way since the original, and we’re all interested in seeing what they’re able to do to make the old west more appropriate for modern gaming. How ironic!
GOD OF WAR (PS4)
Sony’s classic franchise, “God of War”, follows the Greek god of war Kratos as he fights like hell to secure his place in the heavenly realms. The previous titles were quite epic, to say the least: one boss fight is Zeus himself shunning you from the heavens to the underworld. You often fight enemies several feet tall, and they’re all from Greek mythology. It’s a true Oddessy, in every sense of the word.
The new God of War will take advantage of the Playstation 4 HD’s hardware, which is to say it will have 4K capability. We imagine the draw scale for these epic moments that define the series will lend itself to some truly jaw-dropping moments. Kratos’s battles will be larger than ever, and it finally has the processing power to make it happen!
STAR WARS: BATTLE FRONT 2 (MULTI)
The title on everyone’s mind, the latest Star Wars title from fabled studio DICE. It seems not that long ago that the original reboot for the Battlefront series had come out, and to be honest, it was a bit of a disappointment. It was devoid of levels, characters, blasters, vehicles, etc. Even by the end of the season pass players found themselves with only token gestures to improve the core gameplay. Many felt cheated.
The new Battlefront looks to be a huge improvement for many reasons: it includes many more “heros” to play as, including ones from the prequel trilogy. You can finally duke it out with Darth Maul, or fight against a clone army battle. The vehicle collection has been vastly expanded upon, and it becomes much more critical for ground fighters to check the skies for threats.
But the most talked about element has to be the single player campaign, which was missing from the original Battlefront series. Without a story mode to round out the online combat, the original was missing a huge piece to the Star Wars puzzle: a great narrative that fans could enjoy. Finally, we are given that: a tale of a female Imperial officer who leads troops against the rebellion. Will she stay, or will she find that the Rebel’s cause is just? It’s sure to be a groundbreaking experience, and one that is long overdue.
That’s all for now. Our coverage of the show starts tomorrow at noon, so tune in right here on Crimson Media Entertainment for on-the-floor broadcasts of this year’s biggest gaming show!