The most anticipated games of E3 2016
E3 doesn’t officially start until Sunday when EA raises the curtain on its 2016 releases, followed by Bethesda, Microsoft, Ubisoft and Sony. And then the actual doors open for everyone else. But as publishers jostle for the limelight there’s been so many leaks and livestreams it’s fair to say the show has already begun.
Which is fine by us, because it means we’ve been able to sit here and get excited about the games we know we’re going to see in detail over the next seven days. We’re sending a team over to cover E3 live, but while we wait for another game to accidently be leaked by an overeager ad team, here’s our list of the most anticipated games we know to be on show at E3 2016.
Let’s start with the most obvious first. Battlefield 1 is going to dominate E3 this year. It already looks the part and has got the community enthused in ways that Battlefield Hardline could only ever dream about. This is the Battlefield game you’ve waited years for.
It may seem a little bit distasteful, but World War One provides enough new ideas and variety without losing the raw military conflict we’ve come to expect from DICE. If they can get the juxtaposition of combat right – the swords and horses versus the early tanks and clunky machine guns – the multiplayer will once again live on for years. With Call of Duty long since losing its way and no other real competition on consoles, the time is right for Battlefield 1 to reclaim its place at the top of the leaderboard.
You know how DC heroes are ridiculed for being moody joke-vacuums? Well, that’s perfect for a game about forever punching each other in the face.
Injustice 2 comes from Mr Mortal Kombat himself, Ed Boon. There are reasons to be cautious about publisher Warner Bros, especially after it dicked people over with Mortal Kombat X problems, but it sounds like there’s enough going on in Injustice 2 for us to be optimistic. Customise your heroes with new gear and change their fighting styles? We’ll give that a go. Plus, it’s got Gorilla Grodd in it, so take our money now.
Mass Effect: Andromeda
We don’t know nearly enough about Mass Effect: Andromeda which is one of the reasons it’s on this list. The other being: it’s Mass Effect.
With a new cast, a new galaxy, new game engine and bigger open world, it sounds like we’re kind of starting again from scratch, but all built on the Mass Effect foundation of a deeply cool sci-fi RPG from the much-loved Bioware team.
There’s early prototype footage still knocking around but it would be wrong to base much credibility in that. What we’re waiting for is a big reveal at E3, and that’s exactly what we’re going to get.
Agents of Mayhem
Seemingly coming from out of nowhere, Agents of Mayhem is an open world superhero game. “So what?”, I hear you say. It’s made by Volition, the nutbags behind Saints Row. “Oh”, you reply, humbled.
The Saints Row games are bonkers on the surface and incredibly well made under the hood and we expect nothing less here. Set in the same universe as the Saints, Agents of Mayhem riffs on superheroes and cartoons, allowing the player to take control of three heroes and switch between them on the fly. If anyone can put a fresh spin on po-faced superhero nonsense, it’s the developers who put a dildobat in a game. One of the first new games to get excited for in 2017.
Ghost Recon: Wildlands
We got a sneaky look at this last year and it came across as a mash up of Far Cry and The Division. Open world loot-shooting in a lawless country, with plenty of parachuting, flying, jeep-riding and heavy gunnin’ reminiscent of the rather excellent Just Cause series.
It’s easy to be cynical about Ubisoft’s approach to big games and there are always familiar elements, but once it gets into a grove with them it turns out some real classics: The Division, Rainbow Six Siege and Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate are just recent examples.
Crackdown is one of the best Xbox games ever made. Crackdown 2 is absolutely not one of the best Xbox games ever made. We all want Crackdown 3 to go back to the roots.
The explosions look good, which is reassuring. But we haven’t seen enough of this yet to get too pumped. We want the morphing vehicles, leaping assaults, gang takedowns and tower-climbing of the original all loving made with the power of the Xbox One. And a release date this year. Please make this good.
Detroit: Become Human
He can’t name a game for shit, but oddball game director David Cage can turn heads with his passion for stories and stunning looking games. The man knows how to manipulate the PlayStation architecture, no question.
So Detroit is a sci-fi game about androids questioning their own humanity, or humanity questioning its own androgyny, but really the story is a just a means to wallow in whatever beautiful technical showcase the French masters at Quantic Dream can cook up. If Sony wants a showcase for the power of the PS4, this is it.
The Legend of Zelda
This is a curious one. What we’re going to be looking at is a game that will presumably be a lot better on the NX console, so think of this playable Wii U game as a teaser for Nintendo’s next console hardware.
But it’s Zelda, right? Open world and glorious, ripe for exploration on horseback, full of blue skies and ominous enemies, whimsy and worry, health hearts and arrowhead accuracy. It’s been in development forever but the faithful always hold out hope and at E3 this year they finally, finally, get to play it.
The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim – The Definitive Edition
It’s a remake! Of an old game! We played this years ago! I have a better version on PC! Give us a remake of Oblivion then I’ll be interested! Wah, wah wah!
The Elder Scroll V: Skyrim sold squillions and proved that a niche role-playing series could hit the big time, pulling in fans that had never touched a nerdy world of fantasy and cat-people and vikings and dark murder magic. And it’s getting the remaster treatment because it absolutely deserves it. We’re pumped for the re-release of a five year old game and we don’t care who knows about it.
Watch Dogs 2
OMG, hope it’s better than the original and isn’t downgraded again amirite? Yes, you are. Well done.
Remember how the first Assassin’s Creed game wasn’t very good but the sequel was amazing? In fact, the sequel was so good it became Assassin’s Creed 2: The Ezio Trilogy with Brotherhood and Revelations. That’s testament to the gold that Ubisoft pumped out between 2009 and 2011.
Our point? We’re expecting to see Watch Dogs 2 be a massive improvement on the almost-exciting original and everything we’ve seen so far (which is quite a lot) is pointing to a sequel worth throwing your cynicism away for.
That game with a kid in headphones and his dragon. If you actually Google “xbox dragon game” the first result is the official product page for Scalebound on Xbox.com. We know this because we couldn’t remember what it was called.
The fact that it’s a Platinum game is the seller here, because it’s got a whiff of the Quantum Breaks about it: an interesting project, long in development, often delayed, that arrives with hype and then evaporates like mist.
But on the positive side it’s an RPG at it’s heart rather than an action game, so we’re curious to see what the makers of Bayonetta can do in a genre they’ve not yet explored properly.
The Last Guardian
So long in development it’s become a joke. Until last year we thought it had evaporated, like so many Half-Life 3s in the wind. But no, The Last Guardian is alive and well and out this year.
But when a game has been so long in development and so much pressure is on it to perform you don’t want games journalists spending 20 minutes on it in a sweaty conference hall and walking away going “actually, that was a bit rubbish”. Which is why we don’t think it’s going to be playable at E3 this year.
But apart from that, who doesn’t want a look at the weird giant cat bird again and daydream whimsically about the glory days of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. Ah. You can’t go back…
Shadow Warrior 2
God knows how this got a sequel but goddamn it we’re pretty pumped to get some wang in our faces.
Publisher Devolver always parks up outside the E3 conference halls in the fresh air with a trailer park, BBQ and barman, which is reason enough to go visit them. They also have a PR dude who looks like a hot Jesus so that’s another tick. Also, Shadow Warrior 2 looks like the bloody violent sequel we were hoping for, with 4-player co-op and no pretenses: kill and make cock jokes. We’re in.
The first Titanfall was a great experiment from the Respawn team and provided plenty of hours of multiplayer robo-punch-ups at VG247. It proved that there’s room for a fast first-person mech game and had enough unique elements to feel like one of the first true “next-gen” video games.
What we basically want from the sequel is that feeling of calling down a mech from the skies x100. Add melee weapons and giant monsters to the fight, keep that sweet wall-running, and give us multiple, customisable giant robots and we’ll sit at the front of the E3 stage drooling like we’re on some really good sedatives.
Horizon: Zero Dawn
We’re on the fence about the next game from the creators of the permanently lacklustre Killzone series. Which is probably why we want Horizon: Zero Dawn to prove our doubts wrong.
It’s an open world action game with RPG elements, but in 2016, what isn’t? The big draw here is using stealth and hunting down robot dinosaurs in a world which, frankly, looks beautiful. At E3 we should get a better idea as to whether Horizon Zero Dawn is just a cool little concept, or something that we’ll want to explore for hours on end.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
After the reveal got such a hammering, there’s a car-crash element to seeing Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare at E3. But despite the series completely losing its way, we’re still hopeful of a great Call of Duty game, even if it is from the people who made Ghosts.
Under the shadow of Battlefield 1 this next entry in the series could have a few aces up its sleeve, but it needs to come out and show them and not act like it’s the top dog anymore. A humble presentation and explanations as to just how the sci-fi war setting is still the Call of Duty we used to love will get this game back on track.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Remastered
Ah, fuck it. Give us a Modern Warfare remaster, we’re ready for it. There’s no doubt that this is going to look and sound amazing again. Modern Warfare was the game that blew Call of Duty up, and just seeing Soap and chums take down Zakhaev and the Ultranationalists again wil be worth the ticket alone.
But what a ticket, eh. We have to buy Infinite Warfare in order to play this remaster and that really sticks in the craw. Unless of course, Activision does an about face and sells it separately…