Leading up to every E3 conference we expect to walk away surprised, blown-away, and for some reason get an update on each and every game that we’re currently hyped for. Of course, that isn’t the case, and often what’s announced one year disappears the next. Sometimes, never to be seen or heard from again. That’s simply part of the show, and something that we’ve grown accustomed to over the years. With E3 2017 wrapping up last week we’ve decided to take a look at some of the big games and other things that we either hoped to have seen, or learned a little bit more about.
Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2
This was always a going to be a longshot, and historically speaking Rockstar has kept its E3 announcements and appearances in line with the career trajectory of David Schwimmer. In that we used to see the studio’s efforts pretty regularly, but now they only turn up at the strangest times. Like in that OJ series. The different being that Rockstar’s marketing feels meticulously planned and thought out, as opposed to enough time passing since the cancellation of Friends that the idea of David Schwimmer is palatable again. Anyway, with the recent Red Dead Redemption 2 delay into 2018 we should probably expect to get our next slice of gameplay footage sometime later this year.
Perhaps an early Christmas present.
That Final Fantasy VII Remake
In 2015 Sony and Square-Enix broke the fan-service record for the most fan-service thing ever with the announcement of a full top-to-bottom remake of the classic RPG Final Fantasy VII. An epic undertaking if there ever was one, which led to Square-Enix announcing that the sheer size and scope of the project would mean an episodic release structure. Perhaps one instalment a year, for seven years. We kid, but Final Fantasy VII is a huge game so remaking the entire thing is a bold move. Fast forward two years down the road to today and we’ve yet to see or hear more about the project. Other than the always fun news that development duties on the remake has recently shifted from an external studio to an in-house team.
A Cyberpunk 2077 Teaser
The story of CD Projekt RED’s ambitious sounding RPG Cyberpunk 2077 is one that lines up with the expansion of the studio, and the success of The Witcher 3. As the size and scope of The Witcher 3 grew, so did the team working on it. And from what we’ve been told a sizable chunk of Cyberpunk 2077’s resources shifted to help the final push for the main game as well as put together the excellent Witcher 3 expansions. These growing pains mean that now CD Projekt RED is able to comfortably work on multiple projects at once, including Cyberpunk 2077. First announced in 2013 development on the game in 2017 is progressing steadily, with a team now said to be larger in size than the one that worked on The Witcher 3.
The question now is, how long before we get to see it in action?
A Glimpse at Bethesda’s Plans for 2018
Another longshot, but also something that solidified Bethesda the publisher’s philosophy as one and the same as Bethesda Game Studios the developer. Which means no big announcements until a game is months away from release – so no info on the rumoured sci-fi epic Starfield or the inevitable next entries in the Fallout or Elder Scrolls franchises. Instead Bethesda’s E3 2017 showing comprised of the one-two punch of Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus and The Evil Within 2: The Game From That YouTube Ad We’ve Been Seeing All Week. Two fantastic looking games announced and due for release this year. Unlike every other publisher and hardware maker we basically know zilch about what Bethesda has in store for 2018. Which has us both excited, and slightly annoyed. Excitedly annoyed.
Nintendo’s Online and Virtual Console Plan for the Nintendo Switch
Prior to E3 Nintendo announced that its subscription-based online service for the Nintendo Switch won’t be making its debut until sometime in 2018. Which as you can expect is a very strange thing for a console maker to announce for a new piece of hardware released in March 2017. AD. So, with only simple matchmaking functionality and a digital storefront being the foreseeable future for the Nintendo Switch’s online portfolio, we’re surprisingly pining for the days of the Nintendo Wii’s News, YouTube, and Weather channels. At this point we’ll take either cloud-saves or SD card backup as a win. Also, with a handheld as powerful and beautiful to look at as the Switch, one wonders how long we’ll have to wait before we’ll get to experience some of Nintendo’s back catalogue -- on the go. Namely, of the classic GameCube variety.
Halo Something, 4K VR, or At the Very Least a New AAA First-Party Microsoft Thing to Showcase the Power of the Xbox One X
The sheer breath of titles on display at Microsoft’s E3 showing and the company’s positioning of the Xbox One X as the hardcore-PC-gaming-rig-housed-in-a-sleek-console sibling of the Xbox family, has mostly won us over. But that doesn’t change the fact that we didn’t get to see anything new and impressive from Microsoft Game Studios, apart from Forza 7. The latest brilliant looking entry in a long line of brilliant looking entries. Compared to Sony, Microsoft’s upcoming games catalogue from internal studios is missing a Horizon Zero Dawn, a God of War, a Spider-Man, a The Last of Us Part II, and a Days Gone. The sort of cinematic, story-driven, epic, single-player experiences that are perfect for showing off what new hardware can do. Also, we didn’t get that Oculus Rift and Xbox One X partnership that we probably should have.
More Info, or Some Idea on what both Death Stranding and Dreams are Supposed to Be
Okay, so this is purely for the sake of clarity. Because as great as the idea of a brand-new game from the mind of Hideo Kojima sounds, when it’s hard to make out what the thing is
based on early teasers and trailers, you need to see more. And really, all we wanted to see was a gameplay demo and someone explaining what’s going on whilst throwing out some classic E3 phrases like “immersive personal journey” and “cinematic cloud-based destructive creative social engagement”. But with development on Death Stranding still in the early stages it will probably be a while before we find out what Hannibal, the director of Pacific Rim, and that biker dude from The Walking Dead are up to. And speaking of fever dreams, where was the update on Media Molecule’s Dreams?
The Reveal of Shadow of the Tomb Raider or the Latest Batman Arkham Joint
Self-explanatory really, and thanks to leaks we know that both a new Tom Raider is in the works and something Arkham related from the studio behind Batman Arkham Origins. In the case of Shadow of the Tomb Raider we know it’s at that point in the development cycle where the developer is toying with different typefaces for the logo. As for Arkham series, who knows what the status of that one is. What with the cancellation of a planned Suicide Squad game from the same team. Also, with Batman Arkham Knight turning two this week, we were kind of hoping that maybe we’d get a glimpse at whatever Rocksteady is working on. With the studio stating that it’s done with Batman Arkham, is the next thing Superman? Justice League? Animaniacs?
A Single-Player Campaign Demo for Star Wars Battlefront II
Closing out our E3 2017: No-Showcase is the distinct lack of single-player footage from EA’s 30-minute Star Wars Battlefront II presentation. Instead, what we got during EA Play this year was an esports-style showcase of a multiplayer battle set on Queen Amidala and Jar Jar Bink’s home world of Naboo. Yeah, not the same Battle of Hoth-style spectacle that wowed audiences the first time around. What made this decision all the stranger was the fact that EA went to great lengths to announce that it had taken on board all the “constructive feedback” from Star Wars Battlefront to give fans the game they wanted the first time around. And so, a detailed look at the hyped single-player campaign was relegated to behind closed doors demonstrations.
With fans getting Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Esports instead.