What to Expect From Gaming’s Biggest Event of the Year
It’s that time of the year again, people. E3.
The grass is green, birds are chirping, and people around the globe are glued to their television screens and computer monitors to get the skinny on the biggest gaming announcements for 2018 and beyond. It’s bound to be an electric next couple of days.
In preparation for the big week, we’ve put together an “Entrance Survey” detailing some of our own writers’ hopes and expectations heading into the festivities. What can we expect from Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo? Should Smash Switch include a single-player mode? Will EA get its act together this year (hint: it was a resounding no)?
Put on your train conductor hats, because we’re plowing ahead on the EA hype train. Alllllllll aboard!
Q: What’s your favorite thing about E3 (in general)?
Augustine: Honestly, the best part is spending the time with friends watching it more than the games themselves. Love getting hyped up for the new games but in the end, I’ll only end up getting a small few of them. Watching the Versus XIII trailer and at the end having the logo slowly change to a XV was probably one the hypest things I’ve ever watched and the screaming from myself and my peers just made it more special.
Kei: How extra Sony is about their conferences—their showmanship and flair. Games-related content aside, they’ve mostly managed to minimize those awkward moments while keeping up the pace, and I’ve come to appreciate their press-conference expertise, especially in comparison to the other companies. Well, except Devolver, but that’s a separate topic entirely.
An: If I’m being honest, I tend not to follow E3 because let’s be real—video games are expensive and I’m in college. Often I don’t have the newest console to play the games highlighted in the conferences, so there’s not a lot of sense getting hyped for games I won’t play until way past the release dates. But hey, I’m willing to keep up with it for a change. Maybe I’ll have a favorite thing by the end!
Sam: My favorite part is getting hyped up for dozens of games I probably won’t ever play or even care to read about when they’re actually available.
Genesis: I’ve never followed E3 as much as I like to, but I do pay some attention to just random games being announced or mentioned. Because I end up paying so little attention and my focus ends up on games I’ve never heard of, it’s actually fun finding these new games. So I guess the introduction to new things is my favorite part of E3, as vague as that sounds.
David: As much as I love E3 for discovering new and unique games like A Way Out, Below, and The Last Night, my favorite part of the show has to be losing my mind over those megaton announcements. Sony’s E3 2015 went down in history for its deliverance of the holy trinity: Final Fantasy XV, The Last Guardian, and Shenmue III. E3 2016 saw the Kojima and Norman Reedus partnership rise from the dead with Death Stranding. Ubisoft brought us Beyond Good & Evil 2 at E3 2017. What will E3 2018 have in store? We’ll have to see.
PJ: Easily the sense of community. It’s the video-game Super Bowl but everyone wins (except for EA). Tuning in with friends and watching in equal awe as Sony announces long-dead franchises is incredible. Last year, me and a crew of five or so guys were exhausted as Bethesda’s presentation ended at roughly 1 AM our time. While we soak in the news, some small group, Devolver Digital, takes the stage and suddenly an existential crisis more akin to Adult Swim than games media sends us on a wild trip (there was so much blood). You never know what will happen at E3. But something definitely will. Experiencing this repeated surprise with the whole gaming community is something special.
Q: Which press conferences will you be tuning into?
Augustine: I usually stick to Bethesda, Sony, Ubisoft and Square Enix. Whatever I get the time to watch to be honest.
Kei: I’m thinking I’ll actually tune in to all of them except for Nintendo (nothing against Nintendo—just a timing issue).
An: Ideally, I’ll tune into Bethesda, maybe Ubisoft, and Nintendo.
Sam: I’ll probably try and check out what Nintendo, Bethesda, and Microsoft are up to.
Genesis: I’m hoping this year to watch as many conferences as I can. I definitely plan to watch Nintendo’s, but it looks like school might get in the way of that. I’m really hoping I’ll be able to watch it for at least a little though.
David: I’ll be watching all of them… well, except the PC gaming show.
PJ: I’m with David both figuratively and quite literally. The perks of unemployment: nothing to get in the way of watching Nintendo live.
Q: What are you most excited to see from the show?
Augustine: Honestly, I haven’t really been paying much attention to a specific company on what to look out for, but Sony usually puts on a good show. Am looking forward to seeing more on Death Stranding.
Kei: Honestly not excited for any one company or studio this year. I’m most excited for any surprises, I think, that haven’t been teased yet.
Sam: Red Dead Redemption 2, I guess? We have yet to see one second of gameplay from that, and it’s still one of the biggest upcoming releases.
Genesis: This is pretty basic, but more news about Smash Bros. I’m so hyped for it. I’ve been getting back into Smash Bros. Brawl lately and it’s just making me more excited for a new game (hopefully!).
David: Very excited to see CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077 unveiled for the first time. Aside from that, looking forward to getting in-depth looks at Death Stranding and Ghosts of Tsushima at Sony’s presser, as well as updates on Beyond Good & Evil 2 from Ubisoft.
PJ: It’s usually Nintendo for me. Something about the charm and nostalgia of seeing such familiar characters take the stage and expand their library gives me far more joy than whatever dance number Ubisoft has planned.
Q: Microsoft has a history of having big third-party games open their conference. What’re the odds we see Cyberpunk 2077 on their stage?
Kei: I would say it’s more likely to be at a Microsoft show than any other show (although the PC gaming show is a sleeper).
Sam: Slim, though I’d be excited to hear anything more from CD Projekt Red about anything.
David: We know Cyberpunk is going to be at the show. We also know that it needs to be on someone’s stage. Microsoft seems like a safe bet, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it at Sony’s presser either.
Q: Will Crackdown 3 release this year?
Augustine: Realistically probably, but no.
Sam: If it doesn’t come out this year, they’ll probably just cancel it, right?
Genesis: Probably not.
David: Yes. Fall 2018.
[Editor’s note: Since we answered this question, Kotaku’s Jason Schreier has reported that Crackdown 3 is apparently being delayed until 2019. We’ll see for sure on Sunday.]
Q: How about Gears of War 5?
Augustine: I think we’ll see it but nothing more.
Kei: Gears seems more likely than Halo, and the Walmart leak gives it some legitimacy. A full Gears trailer + a Halo tease seems likely.
Sam: No, but maybe we’ll see a Gears spin-off or something.
David: I think we see it here, possibly even demoed. Won’t release until 2019 though, to give Crackdown some space.
Q: What’s the deal with the leaked Forza Horizon 5 title from Walmart? Did I miss number 4?
Kei: I think we’ll see another Forza game, strange numbering issues aside. It’s actually Microsoft’s best exclusive series at the moment.
Sam: It was probably a typo. Given the series’ release history, Forza Horizon 4 launching later this year seems like a pretty sure bet.
David: While Microsoft is known for some pretty egregious numbering (then again, so is Apple), famously skipping Windows 9 and going from Xbox 360 to One, I’ll chalk this up to an error on Walmart’s part.
Q: Building on that… think we’ll see Playground’s new open-world RPG this year?
Kei: Can’t wait for Fable with cars. Just kidding. No, we won’t.
David: Unfortunately, I doubt it. In all likelihood, it’s a next-gen title, though I’d love to be wrong and have it be the killer-app the Xbox One X so desperately needs.
Q: Will we finally see Halo 6 on stage? Perhaps as MSoft’s big show stopper?
Augustine: You know, sometimes you just have to give up on a series. Halo hasn’t stood the test of time like CoD has. It will be there, but I hope they have something bigger than than Halo 6. Maybe end with Halo: Infinity, or are they the same game? Who knows, maybe 343’s Halo: Infinity will be the spark that brings Halo back.
Sam: I think so, though I can’t imagine the hype for Halo 6 will be as big as Microsoft expects it to be.
Kei: Halo’s been on a 3-year cycle for a while now, but between 5’s lukewarm reception—and Halo Wars 2’s apathetic one—I feel like Halo fever has died down quite a bit. I expect a CGI trailer and a generic 2019 release date announcement. Maybe a Halo 5 battle royale mode, to provide something at least a little tangible.
Genesis: I’m pretty sure something about Halo 6 will be mentioned at the very least, but to be honest I don’t think anyone will really care except Halo fanboys. I actually enjoyed Halo 5, so I’m kind of hoping for news on 6, but like I said before, I don’t think anyone is really going to care about it.
David: Despite whatever 343 has said in the past few months to suggest otherwise, I have to believe Halo 6 will be there. A tease, sure, but Microsoft needs to show its cards if it’s to improve consumer faith in their hardware (and drive more sales).
Q: Biggest prediction for MSoft?
Augustine: After reading a little, I am kind of excited for this new Halo: Infinity. Only because the name intrigues me. Will see after the conference. Maybe a new Mass Effect teaser.
Sam: Xbox Game Pass will expand access to way more games…but the price will go up.
Kei: Phil did say that he wanted to see more Japanese games on the Xbox E3 stage, right? So, something Japanese (that hopefully doesn’t get cancelled). Also, Microsoft makes a big deal out of some new pricing or structure change for Game Pass. Sea of Thieves DLC news… whelms. Splinter Cell was part of the Walmart leak and that series has always felt like more of a Microsoft series than a Sony one—maybe we’ll get a Xbox One X enhanced reveal here. Perfect Dark reboot.
David: If Halo 6 isn’t shown, it’ll be because 343 has a full-blown Halo spin-off that’s releasing sometime next year (think Halo Reach, except bigger and better). A beta will be held this year and, you guessed it, the invites will be bundled in with copies of Crackdown 3.
Q: We know we’re getting The Last of Us Part II, Spider-Man, Death Stranding, and Ghosts of Tsushima (and presumably Days Gone too). Which one of the “Big 4” (or Big 5) are you most excited for? Why?
Augustine: Death Stranding. Hideo Kojima. Can’t go wrong there. But low-key also looking forward to TLoU2 and Days Gone due to their post-apocalyptic genre being one of my favorites in video games and their respective trailers having done well for their games.
Kei: I’ll go with what’s probably an underdog pick—Ghost of Tsushima. I know what we’re getting, either through franchise familiarity or a deluge of preview content, for TLoU2 and Spider-Man. And Death Stranding is so befuddling I’m not sure “excitement” would be the right word to describe my feelings towards it. Ghosts of Tsushima has an interesting setting and a developer I trust, and I’m hoping that we’ll get a release date for it to solidify Sony’s upcoming lineup.
Genesis: I don’t keep up with Sony games very much to be honest. Death Stranding looks interesting, but I doubt I’d play it.
David: As excited as I am for Ghosts of Tsushima, I have to go with Death Stranding based on the pedigree of Hideo Kojima as a game director. We’re due for some gameplay footage, and I think we’ll finally get it on Sony’s stage this year. I’m totally not prepared for my mind to get blown again.
PJ: Is “all of the above” too much of a cop-out? I wasn’t the biggest fan of TLoU so, while Part II will probably be great, I’m in no rush to see it. I think lumping Death Stranding in that group is a bit unfair because we won’t see it for another three years. That might push ahead of Spider-Man for me though as Kojima is likely brewing one of the craziest experiences to ever come from a Sony console.
Q: Sony has also stated that we’ll see some surprising third-party announcements at the show. Any ideas for what Sony could be planning?
Kei: Japan to the rescue! I’m not sure how, exactly, but I think we’ll see something along those lines. Another Yoko Taro collaboration? Demon’s Souls remaster/remake from Bluepoint? Nioh sequel? Moving away from Japan, the 30 days of Black Ops 4 DLC exclusivity feels like a lock. And perhaps we’ll see a Mortal Kombat reveal here—while I feel that on the whole Netherrealm has been fairly platform agnostic, fighting games as a genre have strong shifted in favor of the Playstation 4 this generation (most tournaments run on PS4). I could see Sony working a deal to keep their stranglehold on a smaller but still passionate genre here as well. And DMC5 will probably be here as opposed to at Microsoft, I think.
David: I think we definitely see Rocksteady on stage for Sony, given their past relationship, to show off their new game. It’s been far too long since Batman: Arkham Knight, so I have to believe that next game—Superman, Justice League, whatever it is—is shown off in full force. I also think Japan Studio has something new in store for us. Fumito Ueda’s studio, genDESIGN, teased something new way back at the beginning of the year. Is it safe to say the two are collabing on a new entry in the Ico “franchise”? We’ll see soon.
PJ: Maybe Atlus. Why not? Persona 5 was one of the biggest games last year (hands down the longest). They have several smaller, non-P5 projects in the works (also two totally confirmed P5 spinoffs). Maybe a PS4 announcement trailer for that mysterious Project Re Fantasy?
Q: Any chance of a Bloodborne 2 reveal?
Augustine: I think it might be too early. I don’t think it will happen.
Kei: I think it’ll happen. I’m not exactly convinced that “Shadows Die Twice” is Bloodborne 2, but…yeah, whatever that is. I think it’ll be here.
David: When Sony’s Shawn Layden wrote that Sony will have “stellar announcements from third-party publishers” at this year’s E3, this was what he was referring to. It’ll be there, for sure.
PJ: Bloodborne is too hot a name for them to drop completely. I’d be shocked if we never saw a sequel. Will we see it this year? Potentially. There is that trippy teaser with bone-weapons and gothic screws. The stars are aligned on this one.
Q: Hear me out here. PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale 2. Yea, or nay?
Augustine: Yes for the memes, no because it won’t happen.
Kei: Yea, but it’s not a fighting game anymore—it’s an actual battle royale.
David: As big as the actual battle royale genre has become… no, this absolutely won’t happen, convenient name be damned.
PJ: Oh man, actual battle royale Battle Royale? That would be something. Not something good, but definitely something. I mean, the answer is no, right?
Q: Biggest prediction for Sony?
Augustine: Death Stranding tentative release date with some gameplay trailer. Days Gone for Winter 2018 and TLoU2 for Spring 2019. Devil May Cry 5.
Kei: We’ll get a full-blown trailer for the next From Software project (Shadows Die Twice/Bloodborne 2), as well as a Horizon sequel reveal.
David: Sony positions Days Gone and The Last of Us Part II as its one-two punch for 2019, while Death Stranding and Ghosts of Tsushima get tentative 2020 windows, either officially or through post-show interviews with Sony execs.
PJ: A Death Stranding release date that’s way closer than expected and will be subsequently pushed back two years.
Q: Biggest question on everyone’s minds: Will the new Smash Bros. be a full-on sequel, or more of a 4.5 iteration?
Augustine: I think it’s time for a new installment to the series. Their little teaser was too vague to not be a new game. Big light with silhouettes in front just screams new. This will be Nintendo’s big one.
Sam: It’s going to be an actual sequel, because they otherwise wouldn’t focus on it this much. With previous Wii U-to-Switch ports (e.g. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze), they basically just told you it was coming, instead of first showing a cryptic trailer with no context at all and then making it the centerpiece of their E3 demonstration.
Kei: I think in terms of core gameplay, it’s going to be their least revolutionary game in the series (put another way—I think it’s going to feel very similar to Smash 4). And I don’t have a problem with that. Smash has always felt like it’s a series striving to find the perfect balance, as opposed to other fighting games who have a desire to switch things in several areas for the sake of variety. I think that in terms of content it will feel like a sequel, even if the core gameplay feels very similar.
Genesis: DEFINITELY a new game. I feel like almost everyone expects an actual game at this point, and the emphasis being put on Smash makes me believe we’re getting a sequel.
David: In this case, I really think the answer is “both.” While Smash for Switch will undoubtedly be a new, proper iteration in the series, I don’t expect as much of a leap from Smash 4 to Switch as, say, Brawl to Smash 4 or 64 to Melee. Expect an upgraded engine, similar physics, carryovers in terms of stages and characters, but tons of new content in the form of modes and newcomers.
PJ: I’m thinking a full sequel. We have to remember Smash 4 was tethered down completely to the 3DS version, despite it selling far more than the home-console release. No Ice Climbers? Not saying the inclusion of Ice Climbers (which will absolutely happen) is enough to warrant an entirely new iteration, but with all the flexibility and creative gameplay modes the Switch offers, why stay tethered to an archaic 3DS port? What if it has Labo support? We just saw that Pokéball controller. What if there’s a new type of Joy-Con for Smash?
Q: Any desire for a single-player mode? Why or why not?
Augustine: Sure. There’s no reason to not incorporate a single-player element. Would love to see some new single-player map concepts similar to Break the Targets and such, along with the traditional campaign mode.
Sam: Sure! I’ve always appreciated the single player elements of the series, even if it’s never particularly necessary. I’d love Board the Platforms to come back.
Kei: Please. Sakurai put more effort into Break the Targets in Melee than he did into the entirety of Smash for Wii U’s single player modes. I’m not asking for Subspace, but try to give us something to go back to?
Genesis: Yes please! I love the single player aspects of Smash games in the past, and I’m really hoping we get an adventure mode with a cool storyline too.
David: I definitely would like a proper single-player mode. Something along the lines of Brawl’s Subspace Emissary, but perhaps with a simpler storyline and streamlined gameplay. I’m pretty fed up with the lazy “Stage 1: fight this Bowser CPU” formula in Smash 4’s Classic and All-Star modes, so a return to form would be most welcome.
PJ: Honestly, Subspace didn’t play well. It was such a cool concept though. Focusing on a single Switch version instead of splitting focus between Wii U and 3DS could give them a chance to really iron out a new Subspace.
Q: What big character hopes/predictions do you have? Any surprising third parties? Lay ‘em out.
Augustine: Would love to see like a Hector or some mage from Fire Emblem outside of the traditional Roy or Marth FE sword User. Shovel Knight would be cool seeing as his kit fits in with the game’s mechanics.
Sam: Funky Kong or GTFO.
Kei: I hope we get a lot of iconic third parties. None of the Nintendo characters left are really appealing at all to me—announcements like Toad, Dixie Kong, King K. Rool, or Ridley aren’t going to do anything for me. Give me Lara Croft, Doomguy, Monster Hunter, Chun-Li…just spice things up. Minecraft Steve to piss everyone off.
Genesis: Minecraft villagers. Just because.
David: Aside from the rumored inclusions of Ridley, Simon Belmont, and Ice Climbers, I really would love to see Shovel Knight get his due. Yacht Club Games has had an excellent relationship with Nintendo, and with Shovel Knight having its own line of Amiibo figures, this seems like a no-brainer. Lara Croft would be another fantastic 3rd party, as would Neku from The World Ends With You (potentially as a tie-in with the upcoming TWEWY: Final Mix?).
PJ: Undoubtedly, the Ice Climbers will be the first Amiibos shown. I’d guess we will see something Arms and maybe a Wooly Yoshi or Yarn Kirby. Some weird alternate.
Q: Moving on… will we see Metroid Prime 4 during the Direct? If so, will there be gameplay?
Augustine: Yes. After the small teaser they did last year, there’s no way they can leave us all hanging and not show something, even if it is small. Probably no chance for a release date but some gameplay, some cinematography, something for sure.
Sam: I would imagine so, and I wouldn’t be surprised of there was a teaser trailer of sorts. I seriously doubt the game comes out later this year, though. Maybe next summer.
Kei: 30 second teaser, subtitle, year. That’s all I expect.
Genesis: For sure. And I’m pretty sure we’ll get gameplay too which I’m really looking forward to. I love anything relating to Samus because she’s literally a goddess, so I’m looking forward for some news on it.
David: I think we’ll see a full-blown trailer during the Direct, followed by a gameplay demo during the Nintendo Treehouse. A 2019 date would be nice as well.
PJ: Yeah, when I think of the big games Nintendo will need to show to keep up with Sony and MSoft, I’d expect Smash, Pokémon, Fire Emblem, that rumored Star Fox racer, and definitely Metroid 4. I’m not sure what to expect, but I’m absolutely expecting something.
Q: Will the core Pokémon 2019 game be there?
Augustine: I think we will see some Let’s Go, but probably not the main Switch game they are planning.
Kei: I don’t think so. Smash should be enough.
David: Nintendo had their chance to show off the core Pokémon alongside the announcements of Let’s Go, Pikachu!/Eevee!. I think we’ll be waiting until next year for news on this one.
PJ: No one would have predicted we’d get the Pokémon announcement we got last E3. Maybe one of the janitors will be sweeping up a bunch of Pokémon Rainbow carts or something. Realistically, no. A core Pokémon game will probably remind gamers of all the features Let’s Go! will miss.
Q: Guesses for the Fire Emblem Switch official title?
Augustine: Fire Emblem: Binding Blade Remastered. I need it.
Sam: Fates: Echoes of Erbetreum: With Funky Mode & Knuckles.
Kei: No idea on the title. It’s going to have the guy who does Senran Kagura as a producer, though, and we’ll be able to feel the anime tiddies and the soft cheeks of every trash-tier waifu they include in the game.
David: Bold guess here: it’s a reboot, and it’s simply titled Fire Emblem. Call your bookie.
Q: Biggest prediction for Nintendo?
Augustine: Fire Emblem Switch this December and Fire Emblem Genealogy of the Holy War/Binding Blade Remake.
Sam: I think a handful of big-time, AAA games from the last few years (maybe The Witcher 3, Overwatch, or Far Cry 5) end up getting ported to Switch.
Kei: Fortnite for Switch, too easy honestly.
Genesis: Maybe Animal Crossing for the Switch because of the mobile game that came out? And a small announcement for a N64 Classic.
David: I’ll assume that the Fortnite, Dragon Ball FighterZ, Monster Hunter leak is most likely accurate. In addition, I’d love to see a sequel to the woefully overlooked Battle Chef Brigade, as well as new worlds (and perhaps a full-blown Luigi campaign) for Super Mario Odyssey. Throw in a No More Heroes 1 & 2 collection and Killer7 remastered for Switch, and we’ve got a pretty darn good conference on our hands.
PJ: I think we’re going to see a few new worlds for Odyssey, specifically Delfino Plaza and Rosalina’s Observatory. It’s the fan service we deserve.
Q: Splinter Cell and a new Assassin’s Creed have already been outed (thanks Walmart). Are you excited for either of these? Why or why not?
Augustine: Always excited for that annual Assassin’s Creed reveal to maybe raise my hopes for the series. Maybe this is the one to surpass AC2. As for Splinter Cell, it’s been a long time coming for that new addition to the series. Loved it back in 2013 will be looking forward for this one as well.
Sam: As one of several people in the world with a degree in Latin and Ancient Greek, I am excited about the upcoming Assassin’s Creed, though I want people to stop saying it takes place in “Ancient Greece.” If it takes place after Caesar’s assassination in Origins, it would just be Greece in the early years of the Roman Empire.
David: Splinter Cell and Assassin’s Creed have always been solid franchises for Ubisoft. I’ll always be excited for new entries, especially given how long Splinter Cell has been away and how good AC: Origins happened to be.
PJ: Why should I? Another Mediterranean Assassin’s Creed? I’ve played that 7 different times in 7 different games. We stray further and further from AC2’s light every entry. I think I’m out for good.
Q: Desired setting for a new Assassin’s game? A recent leak has already outed the new AC to be in ancient Greece (apparently the game is called, if you can believe it, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey), but if you could have your choice, where would you like the franchise to go next?
Augustine: Would love to see some Asian version of it setting in the Pacific Islands similar to Black Flag or even in China or Japan.
Sam: I want the series to exist in a time before guns, so maybe feudal Japan or England right after the Battle of Hastings.
Kei: Any non-Western civilization would be great.
David: Feudal Japan has always been, and always will be, my first choice. I get that Ubisoft is comfortable sticking with Europe/America, but seriously… quit relegating Asian countries to crappy 2.5D side-scrollers.
PJ: I don’t want a where, I want a when. Place us as Cold War Assassins. It’s the difference between Ubisoft spending too much money rendering a hyper-realistic Eiffel Tower to spending the appropriate amount of money on historically fascinating events.
Q: Yea/Nay: Will Michael Ironside be back as Sam Fischer in the new Splinter Cell?
Augustine: Probably not considering it’s been 5 years, but we can hope.
Kei: Nay, they’ve probably moved on.
David: Yea, he’ll be back.
Q: Odds of a new Watch Dogs game (give a %)? Guess the city?
Augustine: 25%, considering the poor reception of both. Although Watch Dogs 2 was miles better than the first, I can see it having a chance. Third time’s the charm amirite. As for the city, would love to see Tokyo or Beijing but I could settle for NYC.
Sam: 50/50, and I think Tokyo would be interesting.
Kei: 25% on an actual new Watch Dogs. I feel like despite Ubisoft’s best efforts, Watch Dogs just hasn’t caught on as well as they’d hoped. As for cities, I was going to say that (again) that a non-Western city would be really cool. Tokyo is a good choice—I would also throw Hong Kong, Shanghai, or Beijing into the mix, although that may be more Sleeping Dogs than Watch Dogs.
David: I’ll give a 75% of us getting Watch Dogs 3. As for the city… let’s go with Miami.
PJ: 30%: Paris.
Q: Over or Under on 30% odds Aisha Tyler comes back to host again?
Kei: I don’t know, maybe a souped-up Switch-enhanced version of Just Dance will bring her back. I’ll say she’s gonna show up.
David: Given the wave of positive reception Ubisoft received for its E3 2017 presser… As much as I enjoy Aisha Tyler as host, I’m going to take the under here.
PJ: Unlikely, but the funniest part of their event.
Q: Excited for Beyond Good & Evil 2? Why or why not?
Sam: No, mainly because sequels to cult games that take forever to make usually don’t end up working out.
Kei: What Sam said is spot-on. All the changes they’re making seem like they don’t understand what people loved about the original.
David: As disappointed I am that we’re not getting a direct sequel to Jade’s journey, I think a prequel is just what we need to circumvent the problems Sam and Kei highlighted above. Clean slate, let’s the developers run wild with new ideas. BG&E had always been a trendsetter, so I’m gonna stay optimistic that the sequel will follow suit.
Q: Biggest prediction for Ubisoft?
Augustine: New Rainbow 6 installment. New and improved version of The Division.
Sam: I think we’re due for a new Rayman.
Kei: That weird space game they teased in Watch Dogs 2 shows up? Maybe?
David: For Honor 2, with a far more fleshed out campaign for the first. Possibly open-world.
Q: Show of hands: Is anybody excited for this show?
Augustine: Usually skip this one.
Sam: Only if Titanfall 3 makes an appearance.
Kei: I’m equally excited for Microsoft and EA. I’ve set the bar very low.
Genesis: Not really at all.
David: I’ll watch… but I’m not expecting much.
PJ: Dev Diaries: The Show? Nah.
Q: Any chance we see Respawn’s Star Wars title?
Kei: Maybe they’ll show us a singular concept art sketch again.
PJ: Dev Diaries: The Show^^
David: They don’t really have much if they don’t show this off. I’ll bet we see this far before we see a new Titanfall (sales from Titanfall 2 tells me that 3 isn’t much of a priority, unfortunately).
Q: Will the rebooted Visceral Star Wars (now headed by EA Vancouver) be mentioned in any capacity whatsoever?
Kei: Maybe they’ll break our hearts by telling us how online and connected it is.
David: Yeah, they’ll probably give us a roadmap showing their approach to this new pay structure. Expect buzzwords like “commitment” and “integrity,” and little to no gameplay.
PJ: Dev Diaries: The Show^^
Q: Ideas for any big surprise indies — the next big “A Way Out” title, for instance?
Sam: A Way Out 2, but this time with loot boxes.
Kei: I’m sure Fares is working on something, but I have no clue.
David: I’d love to see one of EA’s indie partners tackle a “western JRPG”—like how Ubisoft did with Child of Light.
Q: Anything else you want from EA?
Sam: A reboot of Star Wars Rogue Squadron.
Kei: Knights of the Old Republic III? Although, honestly, I think both KotoR 1 and 2 are both kind of overrated. Or an Ahsoka Tano game, but that would never happen.
David: It’ll never happen, but I want the Mirror’s Edge sequel we all wanted (Catalyst doesn’t count). At the very least, a remake of the original game in Frostbite.
Q: Will Kingdom Hearts III get a release date? If so, for when?
Augustine: It will for sure get a release date. My bet is on December 2018, just before the holidays.
Sam: It will get a release date for probably the holiday season of this year. Unfortunately, it will be delayed several times after the announcement.
Kei: Holiday 2018. Although there’s a chance this gets announced at Sony’s conference, not Squeenix’s.
Genesis: I’m thinking yes to a release date, probably for early 2019.
David: 100%, it gets a release date. My money is on November 2018, to avoid Dragon Quest XI and Tomb Raider in September and Black Ops 4 and Red Dead 2 in October. Could get pushed to Q1 2019.
Q: Guesses for any new worlds/franchises/characters for KH III?
Augustine: Definitely some world based on Frozen. Would love to see some of the new Final Fantasy characters from the newer games be incorporated as well.
Kei: I would love to see Elsa in KHIII. Or Rapunzel.
David: Frozen is definitely a given, and we already know Tangled is in the game. How about some additional love for Pixar with an Incredibles world? Star Wars and The Avengers would also be dream choices.
PJ: Lion King 1 and ½. I would love to see them tap into their “Direct to DVD” library. Maybe Anastasia now that Disney officially acquired the rights. Has Finding Nemo/Dory been a world? I don’t know much about Kingdom Hearts.
Q: Will Final Fantasy VII Remake finally make its long-awaited return?
Augustine: I think we’ll get a small teaser ending with a tentative release of Summer 2019.
Kei: Give me Tifa or give me death. So death it is, I think.
David: I think this’ll be saved for PSX 2018, in all honesty. They need to push Kingdom Hearts and Dragon Quest right now.
Q: Excited for Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Dragon Quest XI, or The World Ends With You: Final Mix?
Sam: I am VERY excited for Shadow of the Tomb Raider.
Kei: Echoing Sam, I am extremely hyped for Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Survivor Lara is one of my favorite characters of the last two video game generations, even if she’s all over the place. And I’m glad that they’ve decided to just embrace the killing machine that she is. I’ve never been big into DQ11, and while I love TWEWY, I want a sequel, not a remaster, and I’m not exactly keen on replaying the whole thing.
David: Excited for all three, although TWEWY: Final Mix is absolutely what I’m looking forward to buying the most, if only to keep the dream alive for a sequel.
Q: Any big Final Fantasy XV wants/needs in terms of unannounced DLC/patches?
Augustine: Still can’t believe they are still working on this game. But I do hope they give their female characters some DLC love (i.e. Iris, Lunafreya, Aranea).
Kei: They’ll make Lunafreya a playable multiplayer character, or something (unless she already is).
David: To answer Kei… no, she’s not currently. We’re already getting an episode for her, though, so I’m sure that’s a part of it. Honestly, I just want Tabata and co. to open up as much of the game’s 2nd half as possible. Perhaps with Noctis’ 2019 DLC episode? I donno, I really have no idea where they’re going with this at this point.
PJ: Honestly, I wouldn’t mind a 10-20 hour Lunafreya campaign that charted her journey awakening all the things she did in the first game. I can’t remember the story too well.
Q: My head says no, but my hearts makes me want to believe. Any chance of Final Fantasy XVI being teased?
Augustine: No way.
Kei: Not a chance.
David: We’re a good 2 to 3 years out from a XVI announcement. Hopefully Ito is heading it, and it’s back in Ivalice. A man can hope.
Q: Biggest prediction for Square Enix?
Augustine: Would love to see a remaster of FFVIII as a long time fan and considering that it is the only one that has yet to have a remaster. The following and demand is there; it’s just a question of when.
Kei: Yoko Taro is going to do something weird on stage. Or on a video that’s shown on stage. And the big question is, will we see Avengers here, at Microsoft, or at Sony? I think I’ll say it shows up here.
David: Final Fantasy XV gets what everyone’s been clamoring for: a Talcott episode.
Q: Rage 2 is already out of the bag. Did you play the first? How excited are you for the sequel?
An: I didn’t play the first one, so I can’t say.
Kei: I might go back and play the first one. As for my anticipation levels…well, it looks like a cross of Fury Road, Borderlands, and those music festivals where everyone throws paint on each other. That’s not a cocktail I really asked for, but the gameplay could always blow me away.
Genesis: I didn’t play the first one.
David: Didn’t play the first one either, but I’m excited for the sequel. The enemy AI and animations for the original were on point back in 2011, and I’m curious to see what Id does to up the ante in Rage 2.
PJ: The gaming community collectively forgot Rage was terrible. Like, absolute garbage. Now everyone has asked “Is this a death sentence for Borderlands 3?” Uh, no. Borderlands 2 was an unbelievable game and Rage was terrible. Rage 2 will be fine. It will be fine. Not remarkable, not terrible. Won’t get fooled again. Give me Borderlands 3.
Q: Fallout 76 is apparently going to be online oriented (source: Kotaku). How does that affect your anticipation for the title? Any particular hopes?
Augustine: Was low-key hoping it was an origin story to the entire series. Not too keen on it being online oriented. Probably won’t get it if that’s the case.
An: Eh, I can’t help imagining something like ESO but with Fallout, which does not interest me. And by that, I mean giving players more of the world they love without really giving them more of the game they love. If online oriented is your jam, I could see the appeal. But for me, I’d rather not play a potential online offshoot to bridge the gap between Fallout titles.
Sam: I’m okay with something different, but I fear that the focus will be too much on making it a weird survival MMO and not enough on the incredible immersive storylines that have defined the franchise.
Kei: I thought Fallout 4 was massively disappointing, but I can’t be too mad about Bethesda trying to capitalize on the popularity of these sorts of online experiences with Fallout. It could be interesting, and it’s clearly more of a bridging-the-gap title than a full-fledged single player Fallout experience.
David: If it’s closer to Borderlands than Elder Scrolls Online, I’m in. If it’s an MMO, well…
PJ: Why shouldn’t it be? Fallout 4 wasn’t exactly a home run. If they need to try something new (or try a formula repeatedly proven by ripping off other games like Destiny) then so be it.
Q: Is Starfield a thing? Will we see it?
An: Is it a thing? Seeing as ZeniMax trademarked the name in 2013 and renewed it in 2016, I’d say it’s a thing. Is it a game? Judging by official sources, I don’t think we know. Judging by questionable leaks, yes. Will we see it? It’s possible.
Sam: It probably is a thing, but I doubt we see it this year.
Kei: It’s a thing, and it’s happening. And we’ll see it at E3.
Genesis: It’s a thing. We aren’t seeing it though.
David: Bethesda wouldn’t have outed Rage 2 and Fallout 76 before E3 without an ace in the hole for the conference itself. Starfield is real, it’ll be at the show, and it’ll release this year.
Q: Let’s be honest. How far out is the next proper Elder Scrolls game?
Augustine: Considering that Skyrim came out about 7 years ago I could see it happening soon, whether it’s this year or in the next few years, keeping in mind that Skyrim is still being remastered onto different systems. Could be a good time to tease ES6.
An: It’s very hard to say. We know ESO’s Summerset expansion just came out and that’s the first time Summerset Isle will be fully explorable since Arena in 1994. Part of me hopes that between ESO trying to scratch the itch of longtime fans with the Morrowind expansion and now Summerset, Skyrim VR, and Skyrim’s endless ports Bethesda is ready to give us something new or will be in the near future. We are at the longest point between released main series Elder Scrolls games that there’s been so far. At the very least, they’re running out of excuses. But if Pete Hines and Todd Howard aren’t kidding about having at least two titles to get through before a proper Elder Scrolls game, and we assume that Rage 2 and Fallout 76 are those titles, it’s looking like Elder Scrolls 6 is still a ways away.
Sam: People are still buying various ports of Skyrim, so there doesn’t seem to be much of a rush to bring ESVI to the forefront. I think we get a tease though, maybe in the style of Metroid Prime 4 with nothing but a mention of its title.
Kei: It seems like it might be next-gen or cross-gen again. Although with my love-hate relationship with Skyrim, I’m not sure if another Elder Scrolls is something I need in my life right now.
David: I think it’ll be awhile before we see the next Elder Scrolls. I agree with Kei that the game will in all likelihood be either next-gen or cross-gen. Seeing as how the PS4 still has a few years in its life cycle, we probably shouldn’t get our hopes up for seeing Elder Scrolls VI anytime soon.
Q: Anything else you want from Bethesda?
Kei: I’m more invested in Arkane Studios than I am in mainline Bethesda games at the moment—I hope we hear something from them, if not now then in the near future.
David: Can Fallout 76 be a slower-paced battle royale game where you scavenge the battlefield for loot and build up your characters in order to survive? Perhaps even form factions and settlements with other wastelanders? I think that would actually be really cool.
Q: Most anticipated game(s) of E3 2018?
Augustine: Death Stranding, KH3, Metroid Prime 4 to name a few.
Sam: RDR2, Smash Bros. and Metroid Prime 4.
Kei: I’m not sure, actually. Like I said before, I’m looking forward to the surprises. I do have a sort of morbid curiosity towards that Smash, though.
Genesis: Like most people, probably Smash Bros.
David: Cyberpunk 2077 is in its own league for me. Death Stranding, Ghosts of Tsushima, and Metroid Prime 4 are runners up.
PJ: The Nintendo game we don’t know we have yet. Maybe a top-down Zelda?
Q: Give me your most out-there, absolutely bonkers prediction for E3 2018.
Augustine: Borderlands 3, Kingdom Hearts 3, PEGGLE 3! Half-Life 3 Confirmed and you can get it on RIGHT NOW at the app store.
Sam: The rumored Star Fox: Grand Prix steals the show and reminds people to bow down to Nintendo and its kookiest ideas.
Kei: M E L E E H D
Genesis: Microsoft announces Viva Piñata 3 for some reason. It turns out amazing.
David: Phil Spencer comes out with his patented leather jacket, Battletoads t-shirt, jeans combo and smirks for a second before announcing Half-Life 3 as a Microsoft exclusive. Gordon Freeman to be playable in Halo 6.
PJ: Reggie will announce the N64 Classic but it will already be out of stock before the show so they won’t have a tangible copy to showcase. Kojima will also literally upload his consciousness into Death Stranding and a literal copy of him will exist as a pre-order bonus for anyone ordering with Amazon Prime. Hyrule: Odyssey. Call of Duty: Odyssey. Detroit: Become Odyssey. The Witcher: Odyssey.
Q: Most importantly… Are you excited for Devolver Digital?
Kei: Yes. I am genuinely and fervently excited for Devolver Digital’s conference.
Genesis: Oh, God. That’ll definitely be interesting.
David: I’m always excited for Devolver.
PJ: I wrote about them in my intro. Yes.
Well, there you have it, folks. Some of our best and brightest, shining light on the year’s biggest gaming event. It’s sure to be an exciting week.
Rest assured: we’ll have all our biggest reactions and breakdowns ready in the days following E3. Stay tuned for our official E3 2018 Exit Survey!