Jump on board the hype train, E3 is around the corner and we all love some gaming treats, and I’m here to give my thoughts on what I want Microsoft to bring and more!
Ahhh, E3, how i’ve longed for your return. It’s like Christmas day on the gaming calendar, for legions of gamers around the globe.
Publishers deliver on the hype, some sadly don’t (Konami 2010 anyone?) The one thing we all have in common is that moment of euphoria when a sleeping giant, perhaps dormant for years is awakened or a sequel to an enjoyable hit is announced.
(Cringe, it really was that bad^^)
This year is no different, Nintendo’s successful switch console will be looking to maintain its current momentum (which is high) by perhaps stealing the show with the highly rumoured Pokemon switch reveal. Meanwhile, Sony will no doubt be looking to keep gamers on board with some solid 3rd party announcements, more VR support and perhaps a few exclusives.
Today I’m looking at Microsofts conference and what I would like to see announced (none confirmed, just putting brands out there).
Last year the Xbox One X launched, reinvigorating the brand and boasting the most powerful specs a console currently can. 3rd party games look fantastic and the step up to 4k has been well received, but it still lacked some punch. The games are what help sell the consoles and Microsoft just haven’t got many in house-exclusives to tempt gamers from the other side to jump ship.
Which is what leads me to think Microsoft may well make some noise at this year’s presentation.
I start off with the status of Microsoft’s biggest franchise to date, the Halo series. (Warning spoilers below)
It’s been 3 years since MasterChief was last seen zapping those naughty forerunners. Lacking a split screen, and a broken story that had you on the blue team one min and then fireteam. (It was bad) This could and should be the time for a Halo 6 reveal, giving 343 studios the chance to steal the show, and put the wrongs of Halo v right. With the increased Xbox One X output, the visuals could look incredible. Halo 6 would be certain to draw attention to Microsoft, and would certainly indicate that they’re serious about pumping resources into exclusives.
This is a personal favourite of mine and one that I would like to see rebooted, like the Halo 6 paragraph, this is not a confirmed title and remains a rumour at best. Last seen back in 2013 (have 5 years really gone that quick?), Splinter Cell is one of the industry’s most well-known stealth brands.
Poor sales of Blacklist led to the franchise dropping down the priority list at UbiSoft headquarters, but it’s one that I firmly believe has enormous potential. Co-op mode and the spies vs mercs online multiplayer were highly enjoyable, and its about time a new instalment was released. (Perhaps in an open world environment?) I felt back in 2013 the brand was over-exposed, and Blacklist was not as stellar as some of the previous titles, the interrogation ending was lame, and the graphics were shockingly average, which in my opinion led to the poor sales. After a 5 year break, the market is now ready for the return of one of gaming’s sneakiest protagonists. Microsoft would do well to nail this one down on an exclusive contract. (It originally was!) Plus the delightful multiplayer modes would be a big hit in today’s e-sports events if properly implemented and then supported.
Jet Set Radio
A huge cult favourite from the late Dreamcast. Jet Set Radio was a trendsetter, one of (if not) the first games to embrace the cel-shaded graphics and it looked gorgeous. Tagging graffiti spots, evading the authorities and looking to control different turf’s, the game was great fun, the soundtrack was bloody awesome too. There are few games, quite as eccentric, and also relevant to a new market of gamers as JSR. Many a time I’d actually be dancing around the living room like a jackass. (Not sure I would today) but still, it brought me many fun moments and I see a real gap in the market for a game of such creative genius for today’s newer generation of gamers that missed out on JSR back in the early noughties.
An open world haven, filled with lore, awesome magicks, quests, and a revolution. (I mean who doesn’t like a revolution?) That right folks, Fable 4 should be high on Microsoft’s reveal list. Unheard of since 2010’s Fable III, most industry outsiders believed the franchise dead and buried since the closure of Lionhead. Many fans thought Albion had seen it’s final sunrise. In recent months, rumours have been going around that a scoop regarding Fable 4, is that the franchise is back in the development studios. Whilst unconfirmed, if true this would be huge. The Xbox is crying out for a successful, mainstream adventure/RPG of its own and Fable has the brand value, and most certainly a desire amongst Xbox gamers. This could be a dealbreaker for Microsoft if executed right.
So those are some unconfirmed rumours, and predictions of my own. Microsoft has however confirmed the following games for E3 2018.
Confirmed E3 2018
- Battlefield V
- Kingdom Hearts III
- Call Of Duty Black Ops 4
- Divison II
- Shadow Of The Tomb Raider
- Defiance 2050
- V-Rally 4
- Beyond Good & Evil 2
- FIFA 19
Bettsy’s most anticipated
The one part of the article, you’ve eagerly been waiting to read, my pick of E3 2018! I’m very excited to see the Shenmue III Trailer and KH III for nostalgia purposes. The Kingdom Hearts games brought me many happy gaming moments during my childhood, the whole Disney/final fantasy universes and characters becoming intertwined was a genius idea. The wait has been long, but the game is shaping up impressively. I’m looking forward to seeing what Square-Enix have up their sleeve regarding a release date and more gameplay footage.
As for the Shenmue trailer, it was recently publicised that the original two games will be ported and polished up, and Shenmue III has been pushed back to Q1/Q2 in 2019. This is a game that broke new boundaries and set the standard for a lot of today’s open world games. The Grandfather of QTE’s and a culturally groundbreaking title that took the word realism and made it, it’s own. I am so hyped to see more updates on this.
To summarise do I feel Microsoft will have some ace’s to play? Yes, you bet I do. 2018 Q4 and 2019 is massive for Microsoft, some big titles to leave the casuals drooling will do just nicely. If I was going to further speculate then perhaps Microsoft will launch some virtual reality kit of their own, seeing as Sony’s VR offering has retailed respectably.
Microsoft will need some heavy hitters to steal the spotlight this year, I do not foresee a new gear’s of war title, and if they come out with the usual Forza, Call of duty, FIFA, 3rd party stuff then they risk further alienating their fan base. Grab some exclusives, revive some old dormant titles, (psst Panzer Dragoon) and show the world that you mean business Microsoft!