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As the school year ends and summer begins, gamers everywhere look to E3 for hype and expectations. Be it further developments on games previously announced at past E3s or new IPs, gamers of every stripe find new games and hardware to check out. Among others, several notable upcoming events stick out for special consideration.
In past E3s, Microsoft advertised an advanced generation game console to make up for Xbox One’s evident shortcomings. With this in mind, Microsoft aims to develop a premium console that rivals or otherwise exceed the hardware performance of Sony’s PS4 Pro. In a notable departure from classical console engineering, Microsoft advertises Project SCORPIO’s liquid cooling system in addition vents and fans. With an expected release date around the holiday of this year, Microsoft fans expect an official name for the console and a preview of the finished product.
Activision hopes to reinvent the wheels of Call of Duty with this return to their roots. With a launch trailer filled with cutscenes and trademark gritty storytelling, many audiences hope for actual gameplay at E3. Whatever content gets featured, the early impressions to follow allow prospective buyers to consider whether Call of Duty: WWII will be worth the money.
In an increasingly polarized social and political climate, Far Cry 5 debuts as Ubisoft’s primary entry for E3. Featuring gun-toting, redneck Christian cultists as the antagonists, the setting takes place in a fictional county in Montana. In a remarkable departure from their previous titles, Ubisoft now features character customization and women in more prominent roles. The thematic and narrative choices in Far Cry 5 takes a clear side in contemporary politics and aims to succeed with its unequivocal appeal to its target audience. Under this strategy, the audience’s initial reaction to Far Cry 5‘s debut most likely determines its future as a game worth buying.
In indie news, Re-Logic, the developers behind Terraria, announced a partnership with Pipeworks Studio. The two are expected to showcase more of their collaborative efforts for its sequel. New features include a greater narrative involvement and revamped graphics combined with classic gameplay elements. With incremental but significant changes to Terraria’s base model, fans have much to look forward to at the booth in E3.
Though Red Dead Redemption 2‘s launch date experienced a delay, Rockstar games might still release teasers and development reports for E3. Fans of the IP hope to hear more from the developers on the game’s progress, and developers will look to maintain the hype for the game even as it undergoes further development. I expect to see additional trailers that show more about the game that fans expressed interest in.
Two major competitors pioneer the next generation in premium gaming. Between HTC and Oculus, several hardware and software developers now scramble to make the most of virtual reality in gaming. Last year, NVidia showcased its latest line of graphics cards that, among other things, takes immersive screenshots using VR. NVidia’s primary competitor, AMD, also touted its RX line of graphics card using VR support as a feature. In any case, players can expect to see further improvement to the world of virtual reality in gaming.
Incidentally, a parallel emergence in the use of AR, or augmented reality, might also return its debut at E3. Augmented reality enjoys a little attention with the release of Pokémon Go, which uses the visual input from smart phone camera to immerse players into a world where they can catch Pokémon in their neighborhoods. Augmented reality as of yet holds untapped potential, but commercial production of Microsoft HoloLens might change that. Players curious about AR should keep an eye in their direction.
Following a mixed and controversial reception of Mass Effect: Andromeda, BioWare now pivots from their classic IPs to an announcement of a new one. Code-named “Dylan,” fans of the studio look forward to the premiere of a new story, and perhaps a new series. Known for their RPGs and character-centric storytelling, BioWare’s reputation continues into uncharted waters with Dylan. Rumors of upcoming DLC for Mass Effect: Andromeda also fuel hope for additional content hinted at in BioWare’s latest release.
Since the mediocre reception over the re-imagining of Battlefront, EA promised some basic improvements to its sequel. Fans now look to the advertised story-driven campaign, and additional content that spans the time gap between the last of the original trilogy to the start of Episode VII. True to its predecessor of the same name, Battlefront II also re-introduces space battles and expanded vehicle combat, all in the beauty of the Frostbite engine. Split-screen co-op will also feature for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Much like Call of Duty‘s newest sequel, Battlefront II returns to the roots that players wanted from the beginning. With a release dated just before The Last Jedi, fans look to E3 for more Star Wars content.
Coming off of the recently release of Prey and a slew of other re-imagined IPs, Bethesda’s booth holds a plethora of possibilities. With no new installment of an Elder Scrolls game for many years, many fans hope to see one. Todd Howard of Bethesda made an earlier mention of three major projects. Teaser images of Bethesda’s entry into E3 hints at two of them. Given the past success of Bethesda at E3, fans can still expect hype, whatever the content.
Following on the heels of the wildly successful Switch, Nintendo’s success at E3 is a given. Their new Zelda title, Breath of the Wild, breathed fresh innovation into their classic IP, and this raises expectations for Nintendo’s upcoming Super Mario Odyssey. Splatoon 2 and other betas for the Switch are also expected at Nintendo’s corner for curious gamers to try. All things considered, Nintendo already earned its place in the limelight.