Hey all! This is Brandon Myers, back with a new Ramblings. Now, 2018 has been a rather off year for Ramblings in general, but it’s time for E3, and I wouldn’t miss doing my annual articles. E3 is one of my favorite times of the year. So today I’ll be doing my typical preview of the events. I may do a single recap article next week once all the press conferences are over. Probably on Friday or something, once the event and all the official news coverage is done. Anyway, let’s get to the preview!
First up is Electronic Arts. Just like last year, they’re starting festivities with their press conference on Saturday, June 9th, at 2PM EDT. We know they’re going to show off Battlefield V, and the new Bioware IP revealed last year, Anthem, is expected to show up. And their annual sports games are a safe bet. I hope they show something Star Wars related. There were rumors months ago that Disney was looking into canceling the licensing deal with EA and giving the Star Wars license to someone else given how few Star Wars games EA has made since the deal was made over four years ago, and how poorly Battlefront II was received. One would think EA will pull out all stops to show they are going to start utilizing the license more than they have. Personally, I kind of hope Disney pulls the agreement, or at least gets rid of the exclusivity part. But I digress.
I haven’t read much in terms of what EA has planned other than sports, Battlefield V, and Anthem. They may have some indie titles to show off, and probably plenty of new games. Or at least that’s my hope.
Microsoft starts off Sunday’s press conferences at 4PM EDT. Going by Gamespot’s list of confirmed Xbox One games, there doesn’t seem to be much of anything in terms of first-party games. Microsoft has been lacking in that particular department for some time now, instead opting to sign third-party games to “console-exclusive” deals. I expect to hear that stupid “Exclusive” voice clip a lot. I’ve made fun of that voice last year on Twitter, and then a couple days ago (again on Twitter). They make too big of a deal about “exclusive” in their E3 press conferences. More than Sony or Nintendo do, by far.
If I seem a bit too harsh on Microsoft, I apologize. It’s personal bias, and I admit that. I think they will announce something Halo related, maybe something Gears of War related. They have some first-party IP, I think it’s about time they use it more.
Bethesda comes in at 9:30PM EDT, which is a really odd time, but it’s far better than being at 11PM or Midnight like they’ve been in the past. We know they’re showing off Rage 2 and Fallout 76. We don’t really know much else. If they’re making a new Fallout, then Elder Scrolls is almost certainly not appearing. Rumors are suggesting that Fallout 76 is some sort of online or MMO game, which would definitely be an interesting twist. It would also suggest that Zenimax Online would be handling the development, as they are doing with Elder Scrolls Online. That could mean that The Elder Scrolls VI could be in development, but I think Todd Howard said last year that the next Elder Scrolls is still years off. If I remember correctly, though, in the same statement he said that they were working on a new RPG IP in the interim, so maybe we’ll see that this year?
Rounding out Sunday is Devolver Digital at 11PM EDT. Last year was their first “press conference,” which was a pre-taped parody of E3 press conferences. It was bloody, vulgar, and funny as all heck. In the post-E3 podcast that Mr. Eddie and I recorded, we both expressed our enjoyment of this spectacle. Devolver Digital has already apologized in advance for their “press conference” this year, so I expect it to be good. No idea if they will show off any actual games, or if it’s just going to be another parody of E3, but it should be an entertaining way to spend a Sunday night.
Monday, June 11th starts off with Square Enix at 1PM EDT. Expect news on Kingdom Hearts III and other stuff, like possibly the Final Fantasy VII remake. I’m hoping for something on Legacy of Kain, but I highly doubt it. Also, Deus Ex is “on hiatus” following less than expected sales of Mankind Divided, which kind of bums me out. I love Deus Ex. I’m not seeing much in terms of confirmed SE games, or even rumors. But Square Enix has a lot of properties and development studios at their disposal. It should be interesting to see what they have to announce.
Ubisoft is at 4PM EDT Monday. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was leaked, and later confirmed, so that will be a focal point. No word on if the assassin in the game gets a magical hood that allows him (or her) to possess people and objects. (That’s a Super Mario Odyssey reference, people.) They also are going to have The Division 2, Beyond Good and Evil 2, Skull & Bones, and others. I also expect a lot of corny attempts at comedy and possibly a big dance number for a new Just Dance game or something. It’s not really one I’m looking forward to, honestly. I want to see their games, sure, it’s just the stuff in between is a mess.
The PC Gaming Show is on Monday at 6PM EDT. I don’t think I’ll be watching it, honestly. I watched it the first year in its entirety, and it was more or less a talk show that was for the nerdiest of the so-called PC Master Race. There was a lot of talk about the latest CPU and GPU tech, with a smattering of games. It’s definitely not for a casual PC gamer or a console gamer. Not at all. But hey, if you bleed PC gaming, then go give it a watch.
Sony closes Monday at 9PM EDT. They have said they’re going to focus on four core games: Death Stranding, Ghost of Tsushima, Spider-Man, and The Last of Us II. I really hope that they show more than those four games, though. Their verbiage, that they’re going to “focus” and give a “deep dive” on those four, has me worried. I know it’s time to stop hoping for some sort of PS1/PS2 backward compatibility announcement, but I really hope they have something more than just four games. I really do. I get Sony doesn’t need to “win” E3, since they’re already the sales victor of this generation (to the point that Microsoft stopped giving sales numbers for the Xbox One and said that they are no longer using system sales as a measure of success), but please, at least give us more stuff. Now, Sony did say they will be announcing stuff starting today (Wednesday, June 6th). One game per day until Monday, for five announcements total. I just hope they aren’t using that as their excuse to devote their press conference to four games by saying they talked about five others in the days leading up to the event.
Finally, Nintendo closes the festivities on Tuesday at Noon EDT. Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Switch, or whatever it ends up being called, will no doubt be a focal point. I suspect we’ll hear more about Pokemon: Let’s Go Pikachu! and Let’s Go Eevee! We may hear more about the “core” Pokemon game for the Switch that’s coming next year, but I doubt that. It may be a little too far out from release to be talking about that just yet. Metroid Prime 4, which was announced last year, could show up as well. And maybe that Yoshi game, too. Needless to say, I’m hyped for Smash Bros. I want them to release a demo of it in the next two weeks. It’s going to be playable at E3, so why not? Ship the E3 demo for everyone after the show ends. Come on Nintendo, I need my Smash fix, and you aren’t partnering with Best Buy this time around for demo kiosks.