E3 2014 is almost upon, and that means in just a few short weeks we will be drowning in new game trailers, gameplay, developer interviews and so much more. Developers always have something to prove at E3, but some have to impress more then others. I decided to put together a list of ten games that need to wow audiences at E3 in order to get momentum back on their sides. **Warning: I use the word show a lot.**
Ubisoft has massive shoes to fill after the resounding success of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. Instead of continuing in the very popular pirate setting, Ubisoft has decided to set the follow-up in 1790’s France, during the French Revolution. Pirates are an easy setting to sell games in, as pirates are cool. The French Revolution? Not so much. Ubisoft’s initial reveal of Assassin’s Creed Unity was honestly pretty boring. It just showed our hero, Arnaud, walking around on rooftops during a major protest, not exactly as exciting as Black Flag’s reveal where you get introduced by freaking Blackbeard.
At E3, Ubisoft needs to show us all why this new setting is going to be just as fun and cool as Black Flag was. Their needs to be new combat options, better storytelling, and some sort of X factor that gets the fan base excited. Ubisoft is known for bringing the big guns to E3, so I fully expect both a live gameplay demo, and a gorgeous new CG trailer to wow us. Will it be enough to make fans forget about Black Flag’s massive shadow? That remains to be seen.
I honestly surprised to put this one on the list, but unfortunately for Rocksteady Warner Brothers Montreal released a Batman game last year that in no way lived up to the series name. Origin’s made me wonder just how much steam the Arkham franchise really has left. On top of that, Arkham Knight’s reveal hasn’t exactly wowed us yet. It’s just been more of Rocksteady’s Batman, which is certainly not a bad thing, but nothing seems very different. You could argue that the inclusion of the Batmobile is that new addition, but it has only felt like a gimmick thus far, instead of something integral to gameplay.
The Arkham series has never been a series to wow critics and fans alike at E3, and unfortunately I don’t think Rocksteady and WB think they have to do that this year. To me, if Arkham Knight can show off a gameplay demo that showcases how the series has evolved into the next-generation of consoles, and that the Batmobile isn’t just some gimmick they added, Rocksteady will have me hyped for this game once again. Unfrotunately, I don’t honestly expect them to do that.
This game looks like one of the most blatant cash-ins I have ever seen. People say games like Batman: Arkham Origins, Gears of War Judgement, and God of War Ascension were cash-ins, but Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel seems to be in a league of it’s own. I’m going to start with the title: Pre-sequel is an obvious way to poke fun at how most prequels don’t add much to the overall story or universe, but this just seems like they are admitting “Yea, we are just making a cash-in by reusing resources from the last two games.” It’s release on the PS3, PC, and Xbox 360 only, just makes the game’s release feel lazy as well.
Can 2K Australia even change my opinion on this game just being a massive cash-in? I honestly don’t know. With this one not likely to appear at any press conference we probably will only see a gameplay demo through various gaming websites, which don’t really have the same impact a press conference reveal. They could show off some big gameplay elements that change the game, or show how the game will impact the overall universe. Will they do this? I’m going to call it now and say no. This game is just more Borderlands for die-hard fans, and I don’t think 2K Australia wants it any other way.
For the first time in a long time, Call of Duty actually has positive momentum going for it on the internet. The initial reveal trailer managed to get fans excited about Advanced Warfare because of two thing: Kevin Spacey and the fact that it feels new. Advanced Warfare showed hover bikes, mech suits, and spider tanks, where Ghost’s reveal last year talked about next-gen fish AI and a dog. This game feels new, and different from anything we’ve had in Call of Duty in the past. The GameInformer preview even talked about how your exoskeleton will allow you to dash side to side and jump higher then ever before.
At E3, probably during Microsoft’s press conference, Sledgehammer needs to bring a great gameplay demo that shows off these awesome new features. Do not show this game’s sniper mission that’s shown up in every game since COD 4. Show us something exciting that could only happen in this future setting. They could shock the world even further by showing off the game’s multiplayer in a live 12 player match. Show the how the exoskeleton will change the multiplayer, or if we will see awesome new additions like the hover bikes or mechs in the competitive side. Keep this hype train going Sledgehammer, and maybe bring along Kevin Spacey too. You can never have too much Spacey.
Ever since it’s reveal, Bungie has told us ad nauseam why we should be excited for Destiny. The ex-Halo dev has even shown us brief glimpses of gameplay but none of them have lived up to Bungie’s own self-hype. Does it look good enough that I’ll probably buy it? Sure, but they have yet to show anything that proves Destiny is the gamechanger it touts itself as. Right now, it just looks like a three player co-op Borderlands, with less humor and some MMO elements sprinkled in.
At E3, likely during Sony’s press conference, Bungie will have to get people excited for Destiny by showing off what hey have done so well for so long: multiplayer. Showing off how good the game’s competitive multiplayer mode is could get the hype train completely back on the tracks. If the right features are talked about, the E-sports community could quickly rally behind Destiny, giving it even more momentum going into it’s September release. I think Destiny will be a good game, but everything Bungie has shown off thus far has just come off flaccid to me. They need to demonstrate what Destiny really is, and why we should be as excited as they want us to be.
Lionhead’s status as a premier game developer has certainly fallen off in the past generation. While Fable 2 and 3 sold well, they suffered from the classic Peter Molyneux problem of over-promising at nearly every stage. Since Molyneux’s departure, the game’s quality have gone down even further. The releases of Fable Heroes and the Kinect controlled Fable: The Journey hurt the franchise and Lionhead name quite a bit, as they were just plain bad games.
With Fable Legends, it looks like we are getting a new direction for the franchise. During it’s reveal last year at E3, it appears that Fable: Legends will be a four vs one game not unlike Evolve or Left 4 Dead. The heroes will have to do their best to stop a puppet master-esc villain who throws everything he has at the heroes to kill them. This would be a very concept, and hopefully Microsoft and Lionhead give a full gameplay demo during their press conference. Show how this game will honor the legacy of the series, while creating one of the best exclusives for the Xbox One.
FFXV impressed the hell out of us at E3 2013, but we have seen literally nothing from the game since. Even Kingdom Hearts 3 had a brief gameplay demo during Disney’s D23 expo, and Final Fantasy XV is assumed to release before Kingdom Hearts. This game has been in development for nearly eight years, and you’d assume we are getting close to the game being finished, especially with the re-reveal last year at E3.
Square Enix can silence any doubter with two two things at this E3: a live gameplay demo and a release date. The gameplay we saw at E3 was really impressive, so I’d love to see even more. Show off the character’s relationships, the combat, and this crazy new battle system. Ending the demo with a release date would finally prove that this game’s development is nearing the finish line. Fans have been waiting for this one for too long Square, reward their faith at E3 2014.
The Division looked absolutely phenomenal from the gameplay demo we saw at E3 2013, but we haven’t seen any gameplay for it since. The delay to 2015 is the right move, but that means Ubisoft is going to have to find a way to keep gamers excited for these next two E3s. This will be a challenge for Ubisoft, as the hype for another delayed title, Watch Dogs, has certainly dropped off quite a bit. The combination of delay, and over-promising at previous E3 presentations have made many cynical against Ubisoft.
Massive will likely show off another gameplay demo during Ubisoft’s E3 press conference, where they will have to show enough to keep gamers excited but not show too much. They have a lot more development to go, so don’t over promise what is coming in The Division. Show off more of the game’s player vs environment mission, competitive moments against other clans, and maybe more ways that a tablet player can help their friends. Most importantly, do not over-promise. If the graphics or gameplay that you show in your demo don’t end up in the game, you will have many angry fans.
Ready at Dawn’s first foreray into triple A gaming was one of the highlights of Sony’s E3 press conference. It looks fresh, with a setting not often explored in gaming, and a lore that has the mystery element that makes players want to know more. What has players less excited is the game’s short gameplay videos. While they look beautiful, the gameplay isn’t nearly as fresh and new as the setting. This game is shaping up to be one of the few PS4 exclusives coming this year, so it needs to keep fans excited.
During Son’y press conference, Ready at Dawn needs to show just how fresh The Order is. The unique locations, crazy enemies, and interesting weapons all have to be on display. The demo should keep some of that mystery that’s kept players excited, but reveal enough that we know what we are really getting into. The PS4’s Fall exclusive’s are looking light, so The Order has to impress to lighten the fact that we may be only be getting it and DriveClub this year.
An Uncharted game being developed by Naughty Dog should be enough to get folks excited, but Naughty Dog may not be the company it use to be. Uncharted’s creative director Amy Hennig left the studio in March (she was rumored to be forced out by Naughty Dog directors Neil Druckman and Bruce Straley), Uncharted 4’s game director Justin Richmond left to work at Riot Games, and actor Todd Stashwick, the voice in Uncharted PS4’s reveal trailer, is no longer working on the game. Hennig’s departure alone would be enough to cause worry for Uncharted, but this string of departures has me fearful for the studio’s future.
At E3, Naughty Dog and Sony can silence all critics by showing players what Uncharted PS4 now is. Sony has a lot riding on Uncharted PS4, so they will almost certainly have this game front and center showing off just how good it can be. Uncharted has always impressed at E3, and I honestly expect this year to be no different. They have to show off that Naughty Dog is still Naughty Dog, evenafter all of these departures. Show us that Naughty Dog is still the place that produces consistently amazing games.
What games do you think need to bring their A game to E3? Let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading!
by, Bobby Marquardt