So, here we are at that time of year again. While some people can’t wait for World cup football or the French open, I personally can’t wait for E3 2017 and this year I’m particularly excited. Taking place from June 13-15 in Los Angeles, it’s where all the big guns announce their exciting new games which will be launching in the busy holiday season and beyond. June is set to be an early Christmas for fans. As with every E3 we can expect some surprises, but what games do I and the rest of team Thumb Culture most looking forward to? Here’s everything we’d love to see.
The Last of us – Part II
THIS is the game that I am most excited about. Being a huge naughty dog fan and playing TLOU at least 5 times since its release on the PS3 and then the remastered version on the PS4, not counting the fact that I still play the multiplayer a lot, I am truly chomping at the bit to see a lot more trailers at Sony’s E3 conference. Is it too much to hope for to see some game play? Sadly probably yes. Naughty Dog has proven itself as one of the absolute best developers in the industry, and its track record speaks for itself as far as a promise of quality and polish. Writer and creative director Neil Druckmann is joined this time around by Halley Gross, a writer on last year’s HBO hit Westworld, which could mean even more twists and turns for the story.
What I really want to see is a new character(s) brought into the mix but the main focus should be with Ellie. Naughty Dog has revealed that The Last of Us Part 2 takes place five years after the original left off, with a 19 year old Ellie acting as the game’s main character. Joel also makes a return, watching over Ellie as a slowly aging old man. I debunk all rumors that say Joel is dead and comes back to Ellie in “ghost form” of some kind. I don’t believe that for a moment the creators of TLOU would dismiss such a strong main figure. In the words of Neil Drunkmann himself
“So much thought went into this – I know there’s trepidation about going back to these characters, we feel that as well. No-one loves these characters more than we do, and we wouldn’t do it if we didn’t have the right idea. I had ideas with different characters and it didn’t feel right. The Last of Us is about these two characters. All I ask is that fans of the first one put some faith in us – we’re going to do right by you.”
The main drive of the narrative is unclear, but we know Ellie is very, very angry about something so the under laying feeling in part 2, will be hate. Having the ability to respond to various dialogue choices as you explore The Last of Us 2 would be fantastic, far more so when we consider the mature themes this franchise has been willing to tackle. We’ve seen what narrative choice in post-apocalyptic worlds can do in the likes of Telltale’s The Walking Dead. Being forced to choose who we save in The Last of Us Part 2 could be equally heart-wrenching. I want lots more information at this year’s E3 on TLOU 2 in the form of more trailers, more information on the story and definitely a release date which I think will be towards the end of 2018 ( Please surprise me with an earlier date! )
Who doesn’t love a good zombie game? I’m very interested in hearing more about Days Gone at E3 this year, especially since we haven’t heard much about Sony Bend’s open-world action title since last year when it was announced for PlayStation 4 and shown at the PS4 Pro presentation, but it looks like the game will be at E3 2017 “in a big way.” according to actor Sam Witwer, who is voicing protagonist Deacon St. John.
What I want to see is game play showing a vast open “world war z type” world filled with places you can stop in to buy/craft items, a strong story line akin to TLOU or Uncharted, amazing photo-mode options for those long motorbike rides and of course hordes of zombies. In the technical demo we witnessed at last years E3, we saw Deacon fending off a HUGE horde of “freakers” as they are known in the game with ease. My guess is this will not be so easy in real game play and you will have to work hard to get from one side to the other. A release date will be very soon in my opinion and here’s hoping that this will be another game I can play over the possibly Halloween period? I honestly think this will be an amazing game and something I can’t wait to get my “zombie lovin’ “ hands on.
Uncharted 4: The Lost Legacy
Did I happen to mention what a big Naughty dog fan I was? Having played all of the Uncharted series I was very hyped to hear that two ass kicking women (Girl power!) Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross are back as part of a team in search of the long lost Tusk of Ganesha deep within India’s Western Ghats. Taking place 6 to 12 months after the events of Nathan Drake’s last adventure, The Lost Legacy will feature some of the largest and most ambitious environments in the series yet.
Uncharted 4 had some surprisingly diverse playgrounds for us to explore, and it seems The Lost Legacy will be no different. We already know the release date is in August this year, but what I’d love to see is game play….and a lot of it. We have seen the trailers and I don’t think we really need another one at this stage so, all that is left is some full on gaming action. I want to see more on how the relationship between Chloe and Nadine developed and do you get to choose who you want to play or is it a turn based character system? Whatever happens I know Naughty dog will blow it out of the water and make Lost Legacy a must for any Uncharted fan.
When we first witnessed the experience that was Death Stranding at last years E3, we were greeted with Norman Reedus naked on a beach with a baby…weird. Since then nothing has really changed in the fact that the word weird still stands loud and proud. Death Stranding is Kojima’s first project post-Konami and also the first game he’s directed outside of the Metal Gear Solid series in a very long time, so I’m really looking forward to seeing what he does with these new freedoms. Kojima has never really let us down in the past when it comes to creating fantastic action games full of depth and imagination.
Kojima has been developing Death Stranding alongside Guerrilla Games who are the makers of Horizon Zero Dawn, which is my GOTY so far. Just how amazing was that game? What I need to see at E3 is some context in what is going on in Death Stranding. Why is Darrell Dixon ( shout out to my fellow Walking Dead fans ) naked and holding a baby that then disappears into black oil? We all really need something concrete in the form of more insight into the story, game play action which is probably unlikely and a new trailer that isn’t composed of a bizarre art project. I don’t think it will be released anytime soon and my guess would be around autumn 2018.
God of War
Last year, Sony revealed its all new God of War game for the first time, making it a tremendous part of its showcase for its pre-E3 press conference. And it looks like we’ll be seeing a lot more of it at this one as well. I wouldn’t have been that excited for another GOW if it wasn’t for the amazing looking trailer that was shown. Here we see Kratos is now a father, trying to connect to and raise his son Atreus which we meet for the first time. This itself raises quite a lot of questions. Will we be able to play as Atreus? Where and Who is his mother?
At last years E3 we saw Sony showing off the series’ signature mix of hack-and-slash action and quick-time event cutscenes. There does appear to be a more fluid, Dark Souls-style combat going on though. Kratos also has a wicked beard, so there’s that, too. We will definitely see game play at E3 2017 and a release date firmly in place. There has been rumours of a September 2017 release. Here’s hoping this is true as a healthy dose of Norse mythology will be a winning mix with not only GOW fans, but gamers everywhere.
Detroit: Become Human
Being a fan of Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls I was excited to hear developer Quantic Dream, led by the acclaimed auteur David Cage, had brought out this Sci-Fi enriched game trailer. In the trailer we saw at E3 2016 Connor, who is an advanced prototype assigned to police forces to help them investigate cases involving deviants, has to deal with a hostage situation. The point is that the outcome depends on your decisions and strategy as a player: the girl will either survive or die. I would personally like to see this time around gameplay that is more than just quick-time events. I think a 2017 release is in the immediate future but without much information since E3 2016, it would be hard to say for sure. *fingers crossed*
Red Dead Redemption 2
Now we all know Red Dead got delayed until 2018, but will we be seeing it at E3? Seven years ago it has been now that we saw former outlaw John Marston set across the American frontier to help bring the rule of law. I would love nothing more than to see a proper trailer for the upcoming release in Spring 2018 but Rockstar usually skips E3 and prefers to hold its own reveal events. It would be a good get for a first-party conference, and we already know PlayStation is partnering with Rockstar for timed exclusivity on select online content for Red Dead Redemption 2. So if it appears anywhere at E3, expect it to be at Sony’s conference — but don’t hold your breath.
There are many more games worthy of a mention that I’m interested in seeing more about at E3 2017 and there will be a follow up articles and news during/after E3, but I couldn’t conclude my article without mentioning Xbox. I used to be a huge xbox 360 gamer when, in my opinion, xbox was good but in saying that, here are a few things I would really like to hear about –
State Of Decay 2
Now as you know, I’m just a sucker for some zombie action and State of Decay 2 trailer shown at E3 2016 looked very enticing. The trailer depicts two groups of survivors separated by quite a distance and seemingly going about their own business. At the end of the teaser, the group surrounded by zombies is about to be overwhelmed and fires off a flare, which is seen by the other party. We’ve learned that the flare isn’t just a vehicle for visual storytelling in the trailer – it’s a core gameplay mechanic in State of Decay 2.
“The flare you saw in the trailer is actually the matchmaking mechanic,” says Microsoft Studios general manager Shannon Loftis. “You can be playing, and if you start to become overwhelmed, you can shoot off your flare. That signals to other players that you need help.”
How brilliant does that sound? Plus, adding four-player Co-Op is just the titbit needed for most gamers, certainly me. I would love to see some real time game play and of course a release date although its rumoured to be this year.
“The release date will be revealed, along with gameplay, systems, and so much more, at E3 2017,” Undead Labs founder Jeff Strain in a blog post. “So pace yourselves, mark your calendars, and get ready to party with us this June.”
Now, that’s a big bold statement coming from Undead Labs so, lets hope they live up to their words.
Xbox Live Creators Program
This summer, Microsoft will no longer pick and choose which games are good enough to make it to the Xbox store — even wacky, unfinished, “early access”-style games will be allowed to appear there. The one and probably only reason at this moment I am interested in this is because PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG to its friends) is supposedly making its debut here.
This would be a breath of fresh air and huge excitement to me having only had the ability to watch other streamers on Twitch play this due to my potato PC. I’m also much more of a console kinda girl anyway. I really hope Xbox tells us more about this at E3 and maybe even some demos? I’m trying not to get my hopes up too much as we know Dayz has been promising us for such a long time that they will be bringing their post-apocalyptic multiplayer to consoles, but this does sound like it really could be happening.
What do some of the other team members at Thumb Culture want to see at E3 2017? Let’s ask them…
Stuart Shortland – “E3 has come around once again and Rach asked me what I was looking forward to? Well, in all honesty I’m not really looking forward to anything in particular. I will be interested to see what the scorpio has in store, but more to see what is in store for PSVR. Aside from that, give me a Day’s Gone firm release date and I will be happy”
Glyn Horton – “To say I would sacrifice a body part to attend E3 would be a total understatement, alas, the opportunity to self-sacrifice has not presented itself this year. Therefore I can only voice my thoughts on the event this year and what I am looking forward to in particular. Theres a few titles I am really looking forward to from E3 this year plus some titles I REALLY hope they release more information for. Titles I am looking forward to hearing more about are Days Gone, State of Decay 2, Final Fantasy 7 Remaster and hopefully, somewhere nestled within the bountiful delights of E3 will be some more information regarding Dynasty Warriors 9. There is massive potential for this year’s E3 and I am going to just say here and now, I think this year’s will be amazing!”