Another E3 has come and gone and with it the usual reflections and debate arise about who “won” this year’s expo. Nintendo’s popular new Switch console got a lot of love and a 40 second teaser for Metroid Prime 4. Many argue that Nintendo had the strongest showing, but this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo was full of exciting announcements from all the major studios. Here’s a roundup of some of our favorite things we saw from this year’s E3.
Metroid fans collectively shrieked with excitement when Nintendo confirmed that Metroid Prime 4 was now in development for the Nintendo Switch. There isn’t much information to go by, but it is confirmation by Nintendo that they haven’t completely forgotten about bounty hunter Samus Aran. Also announced for the 3DS was Metroid: Samus Returns. It is a remake of the Gameboy’s Metroid 2: Return of Samus and it will be releasing in September of this year.
Mario Odyssey was showcased widely as co-op gameplay was confirmed during a Nintendo livestream. Mario’s new adventure has him donning multiple outfits while trekking across many different, colorful areas aided by his sentient hat Cappy. Mario can use Cappy to grab coins and even possess certain enemies. A co-op partner can join in the gameplay by taking control of Cappy. Initial impressions are that Nintendo is making the right moves with Mario Odyssey.
There were several other important Nintendo announcements including a bombshell dropped by Pokémon President Tsunekazu Ishihara – developer Game Freak is working on a “core RPG” Pokémon game for the Nintendo Switch. This is a big deal as fans have always wanted a “true” Pokémon game to make its way to a home Nintendo console. Also announced were new Yoshi and Kirby titles slated for 2018 releases. Yoshi has you play with familiar Yoshi’s Island mechanics through a miniature world reminiscent of Little Big Planet. Kirby follows a familiar formula – eat enemies to gain their abilities – but also hinted at is a local co-op mode where Kirby befriends his enemies presumably so they can be controlled by another player.
Anthem looks to be the exosuit wearing multiplayer action game we didn’t know we wanted. You play as a Freelancer that flies around in awesome suits called Javelins. Not much was shown beyond the sprawling beautiful vistas and a promise of 4 player shared-world multiplayer. Developed by Bioware, Anthem is dropping in on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows sometime in late 2018.
Star Wars: Battlefront II was a huge focus during EA’s conference, which features massive and visually impressive multiplayer battles that span across the entire film franchise. The single player campaign, meanwhile, will tell a story that helps to bridge the gap between Star Wars: Episode VI and Episode VII. Star Wars: Battlefront II will be releasing in November of this year for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows.
A Way Out is a prison break adventure and the brainchild of the director of the widely acclaimed Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. Created specifically for split screen cooperative gameplay, you and a friend (either locally or online) work together to fight, run, and solve problems in a multitude of ways while experiencing a story simultaneously from two points of view. Not designed for “drop-in, drop-out” co-op gameplay, A Way Out is meant to be played with a friend from beginning to end – perfect for those who love cooperative gameplay. It is scheduled for release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows in early 2018.
MachineGames brought Wolfenstein back in a huge way with 2014’s Wolfenstein: The New Order and they look to be continuing the over-the-top shooter craziness with their upcoming Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. B.J. Blazkowicz continues to blast away Nazis in a campaign that promises to continue the great storytelling of its predecessor. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus will release in October for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows.
Bethesda looks to be making good on their promise to bring Fallout 4 to VR – and they’ve recently extended their VR commitment with the announcement of two more VR titles: Doom VFR and Skyrim VR. Each of these games has been reworked from the ground up for VR support and will carry their own price tags. Fallout 4 VR and Doom VFR will be available for HTC Vive while Skyrim VR will be available for PSVR – all are slated for release sometime in 2017.
Bethesda has also announced a controversial new program from content creators called the Creation Club, aimed at those who want to create new content for games. Content will then be vetted and officially sold and supported by Bethesda. Many are crying foul though, and citing Bethesda’s earlier attempts at monetizing user mods. Bethesda since reassured fans that this isn’t a moneymaking scheme, but many still feel they’re just calling paid mods something new.
Project Scorpio was finally revealed at E3 as the uncreatively named Xbox One X. Fully compatible with Xbox One games, the Xbox One X is being promoted as the most powerful console of all time, featuring 4k gaming with HDR support, and even 4k Blu-ray capabilities – something the PlayStation 4 Pro is lacking. Microsoft promises that existing games will play and run better on the Xbox One X, thanks to what Microsoft claims is the “fastest, most advanced processor ever to power a console.” Xbox One X will be available on November 7th of this year.
Microsoft also gave a closer look to the pirate game Sea of Thieves. Gather a crew and sail the high seas, fight other pirates, and find treasure. A Microsoft exclusive developed by Rare, Sea of Thieves will be available on Windows 10 and Xbox One with cross-play capabilities and is scheduled for release in early 2018.
Other titles announced during the Microsoft Conference were Windows and Xbox exclusives State of Decay 2 and Ori and the Will of the Wisps. State of Decay 2 is a follow-up to the widely popular Xbox 360 (and later Xbox One) zombie survival game State of Decay, featuring cooperative play with up to 3 other players when it releases in 2018. Ori and the Will of the Wisps, sequel to the gorgeous metroidvania game Ori and the Blind Forest, was also teased, but not much information was given.
Also announced during the Microsoft conference is non-Xbox exclusive Metro Exodus. The third game in 4A’s Metro series features more of the post-apocalyptic action that made the previous series entries popular but now adds emphasis on what the developers call “Sandbox Survival” in large non-linear areas. There should be lots of replayability here, with choices that matter and a gripping story. Metro Exodus will be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows in 2018.
Shadow of the Colossus, a cult PlayStation 2 hit, is getting remade for the PlayStation 4. Emphasis on “remake” as it is not just a remaster but a completely rebuilt game. The story will remain the same, but everything has been remade according to Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida. Developed by Bluepoint, the studio behind the remaster of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus for PlayStation 3 this remade Shadow of the Colossus will release for PlayStation 4 in 2018.
Supermassive Games inadvertently created a party game with 2015’s Until Dawn and created their upcoming game to capitalize on that trend. Hidden Agenda will follow the same type of interactive movie gameplay that Until Dawn used, but incorporates a feature enabling others to interact with the game directly. Using a system called PlayLink, other players can connect with their Android or iOS devices to play along during crucial moments as you hunt down the serial killer known as “the trapper.” One player will get a secret object along the way – a hidden agenda – to try and create conflict and thwart their friends’ efforts. Hidden Agenda will release later this year for PlayStation 4.
There were quite a few titles announced for PlayStation VR, with a few stand-outs. The one that most caught our attention was Moss VR. Play as a mouse named Quill as you explore and battle forest creatures in a setting inspired by Brian Jacques’ Redwall with gameplay that has been compared to The Legend of Zelda series. Scheduled for a 2017 PlayStation VR release, developer Polyarc wants to bring Moss VR to more VR headsets in the future.
Detroit: Become Human is a PlayStation 4 exclusive where you take the role of an android who is leading an android resistance. This story-driven third-person action game gives you the choice to resolve conflicts peacefully or through violent means. Developed by Quantic Dream Detroit: Become Human releases in 2017.
Mario x Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a game developed by Ubisoft that brings X-Com like squad based tactical gameplay to the Nintendo Switch. Play as Mario, Luigi, Peach and Yoshi or Rabbids that are dressed as Mario, Luigi, Peach and Yoshi. This mash up of hyperactive rabbits and the Mushroom Kingdom may seem bizarre, but Ubisoft has managed to bottle that Nintendo charm. Also, you’ll be able to play with a friend locally to fight Rabbids in turn-based combat. Mario x Rabbids Kingdom Battle releases at the end of August for the Nintendo Switch.
Skull and Bones was a surprise announcement at the Ubisoft conference and is part of a surge of multiplayer pirate-themed games. Based on the sea-faring portions of Assassin’s Creed IV, Skull and Bones promises a rich RPG system that will see you from upstart pirate to legend. You can play alone or with a multiplayer crew as you acquire treasure and fight others trying to thwart your efforts. Developed and published by Ubisoft, Skull and Bones has a late 2018 release date.
Ubisoft originally said there would no Beyond Good and Evil 2 announcement at E3, so we were quite surprised when Ubisoft then proceeded to unveil its cinematic trailer. Beyond Good and Evil 2 is a project that has long been considered to be in development hell. It been teased and leaked in various stages over the years, and despite the E3 trailer, development is still said to be at “day zero.” It looks like Beyond Good and Evil 2 is still a far way off but new life – and hype – has certainly been breathed into the project.
Transference is a surreal VR psychological thriller where you explore the minds of a family to piece together a mystery. Developed by Ubisoft in conjunction with Elijah Wood’s film company SpectreVision, Transference looks to bridge the gap between movie and games in a multi-branching narrative. It will be coming to PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive early next year.