Exiting the vault
E3 used to be the place for game announcements. Back in the day we'd gather around dad's ol' Victrola, crank the radio, have brother Timmy hold the antenna toward the west, and listen to Walter Cronkite announce games like Nazi Murderer '52 and Pong.
But now—now we live in the wonderful 24-hour news cycle, which means publishers are free to spoil all their surprises ahead of time! As such, we already have a pretty good idea what to expect when we hit Los Angeles next week. Here are ten games we're looking forward to seeing more of at E3 2015.
Briefly (like, for a weekend) teased as "Advent," 2K confirmed last week it's working on XCOM 2—and it's a PC-exclusive. And it'll have procedurally generated maps. And built-in mod support.
Okay, I'm already sold.
I expect we'll get a peek at XCOM 2 in action next week—maybe at the PC Gaming Show on Tuesday?
Penumbra: Overture. Penumbra: Black Plague. Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Frictional made three of the best horror games of all time, and it's been a long wait for the studio's latest game Soma. But there's a chill in the air lately—a vague feeling like I'm being watched from the darkest corners of my apartment. That must mean we're close.
I guess I'd better pack some extra underwear for E3. Just in case.
Is anyone not looking forward to learning more about Fallout 4?
Last week Bethesda finally confirmed Fallout 4 is on the way with a short two-minute teaser, but we still know very little about the game and its Boston-based wasteland. With Bethesda's press conference scheduled for Sunday night, we can expect to see quite a bit more of the game.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Okay, so the weird alternate-reality game/torture video thing Square Enix used to introduce Deus Ex was unintentional corporate humor at its finest, and that first trailer…well, it didn't really capture much of what we love about Deus Ex.
But it's Deus Ex, damn it. It's part of the PC's heritage. I am legally obligated (probably) to be excited. Let's hope whatever we see at E3 is a bit more Blade Runner and a bit less 2014-era Robocop.
Master of Orion
This one came out of nowhere: Earlier this week Wargaming (the studio behind World of Tanks, et cetera) announced it's rebooting the classic Master of Orion, a.k.a. maybe the best space-based 4X series of all time.
I honestly don't know what's more surprising—that we're getting a Master of Orion game (remake?) nearly twenty years after the previous entry, or that it's Wargaming footing the bill.
Sword Coast Legends
Pillars of Eternity not enough to whet your CRPG appetite? Good, because Sword Coast Legends looks pretty damn interesting. In fact, it was my favorite game of GDC this year.
I had a ton of questions at GDC, though, that the team refused to answer—like, "Can I play the entire game in (the totally awesome and unique-looking) Dungeon Master Mode?" Considering the game's scheduled to release in September, I expect we'll see quite a bit of this one at E3.
Fun fact: We've now waited longer between Doom 3 and Doom 4 (or DOOM or whatever the title is) than we did between Doom 2 and 3. In development for approximately eighty-bajillion years, it's high time we got a look at DO4M in action. Like, for real. Not just a ten-second teaser trailer.
Again, expect a big blowout during Bethesda's press conference on Sunday night. And if we're really lucky, maybe we'll even get a release date sometime in the next decade.
Star Wars Battlefront
Okay, so a lot of the things we've heard about Battlefront so far have me worried: 32-player cap, some vehicles scripted instead of controllable, et cetera.
But…I want it to be good. I want it to be good so badly. I've been waiting for a Battlefront sequel for literally a decade now, and it's hard to let go. So keep your fingers crossed, if not for your sake then for mine.
Dark Souls III
Yes, it's real. Yes, it's coming in 2016. Maybe it's coming to PC—that one's still up in the air, for some reason. Yes, it's probably hard. Yes, you'll probably die a lot. Maybe the tagline will be "PREPARE TO DI3." See what I did there? I made the "E" a "3" because…oh forget it.
Likelihood we'll see this one at either Microsoft or Sony's press conference on Monday: Pretty much 100 percent.
Honorable Mention: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5
It's not on PC (for some inexplicable reason) but Tony Hawk is the game I'm really looking forward to at E3. I mean, they're calling it Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 implying it's a back-to-basics take on what made the first four games so amazing—tight controls, physics-defying stunts, killer soundtrack.
Maybe we'll finally get the first decent Tony Hawk game since 2003's Underground. It's a hail-mary-moonshot of a chance, but…I choose to believe. Just this once.